June 2, 2023

June 2, 2023



  • Delegate election results

  • Protect Initiative 82 against pernicious legislation — learn more on Monday, June 5 and testify on Thursday, June 8!

  • DC Council postpones tenant protections, chooses willful inaction that harms the working class

Delegate election results

The 2023 Metro DC DSA National Convention Delegate election concluded last week. 58 candidates competed for 38 seats and 4 alternate seats. Find the full list of elected delegates in the #announcements channel in the chapter slack. In addition, chapter members voted on Resolution 2023-05-GR10: General Body Meeting Frequency Bylaw Amendment and Resolution 2023-05-GR11: Dedicate Chapter Funds to Convention Delegates. Both resolutions passed. 

Members with questions should contact the Internal Elections Department. The IED will also make a report to the Steering Committee consisting of recommendations for adjustments to the standing rules for future elections, based on feedback received from chapter members during this election cycle.

Protect Initiative 82 against pernicious legislation — learn more on Monday, June 5 and testify on Thursday, June 8!

In case you missed it: The Restaurant Association of Metro Washington, an industry lobby group, is pushing to undermine the will of District residents who voted overwhelmingly for Initiative 82 to raise the tipped minimum. Their method: legislation introduced by Councilman McDuffie. By encouraging restaurants to use “service charges” that go to owners, the bill would confuse customers and reduce tipping, leaving workers worse off. Among other changes, the proposed bill would:

  • Override the implementation timeline that voters approved and delay the scheduled 2024 increase
  • Change the gradual implementation over the course of five years to full implementation in 2025, from $8/hr to about $17/hr, creating an unnecessary financial emergency for many restaurants, and intentionally making implementation of Initiative 82 look more onerous
  • Incentivize owners to use “service charges” that will go to owners but will seem like tips to many customers, resulting in less tipping, which was never the intent of I-82
  • Decrease the transparency and accountability required of restaurants around service charges
  • Provide special tax treatment to restaurants that no other retail sector receives, by exempting the service-charge portion of restaurant prices to be exempt from sales tax

If you would like to join the fight in support of tipped workers, DSA and other coalition partners will be hosting a webinar on Monday, June 5 to discuss the potential impacts of this proposed legislation. You can also sign up to testify against it at the public hearing on Thursday, June 8. Please note: You must sign up by 5pm on Monday, June 5.

DC Council postpones tenant protections, chooses willful inaction that harms the working class

The DC Council voted by a 7-6 margin to postpone consideration of a proposed cap on rent increases for tenants in rent-stabilized apartments, with Councilmember Brooke Pinto proposing a landlord-friendly amendment that, according to Washington City Paper, sought to preempt a different amendment from Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau, Janeese Lewis George and Zachary Parker — the latter two DSA-endorsed — that would have capped rent increases at 6% for the rest of the year and stipulated that rents cannot increase by more than 10% over the next two years. (Pinto’s amendment would allow up to 12% in increases through June 20, 2025.)

The Council’s vote to postpone is a cowardly abdication of responsibility that will have immediate consequences. Those Councilmembers who voted to postpone ensured that tenants across the District saw rent increases of up to 8.9% yesterday, June 1 — shameful gouging that DC’s working class cannot afford.


Image collage of various solidarity symbols

Washington Socialist is the monthly digital publication produced by members of the Metro DC DSA and will be on a modified summer schedule; see Info Access for more details.

A 2023 Delegate’s Guide to Learning from the 2021 Convention (Or: A Mandate, Not A Menu)
Gary Z and Lauren K look back at our last convention and consider the outcomes of the resolutions and decisions made there.


Publications Working Group elects Publications Editorial Cooperative

The Publications Working Group held its election for the inaugural Publications Editorial Cooperative last week, voting by approval to select Alex Mell-Taylor, Claudia S., Julie V. and Reana Kim. Since four candidates were approved for five seats, the newly elected board (with appointed members from Steering and AdCom) has the authority to appoint a comrade to the vacant seat by a simple majority vote. Read more about the bylaws forming and guiding the editorial cooperative here. To join or work with the Publications Working Group, visit the #publications slack channel or email thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.


Daily pickets & fundraiser for fired workers at the Wharf Intercontinental — every day in June

Last week, bosses at the Intercontinental Hotel made the disgusting decision to close down their acclaimed Moon Rabbit restaurant, following their workers’ decision to unionize with UNITE HERE Local 25. These types of blatant retaliatory practices cannot go down in our backyard without a fight! UNITE HERE is calling for sustained daily pickets outside of the Intercontinental hotel from 2:30 – 5pm throughout the month of June. If you are interested in attending these picket lines, fill out this form from the union to stay in the loop. DC Jobs With Justice is also holding a fundraiser for workers affected by the closure of Moon Rabbit. Consider donating here

Let’s stand together with these workers to send a clear message: Union busting is disgusting!

Union Kitchen workers, allies announce consumer boycott

United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400, in collaboration with a coalition of 20 supporting organizations, announced a consumer boycott of Union Kitchen stores on Thursday, June 1. “Organizers are launching the boycott in response to Union Kitchen management’s ongoing and unlawful efforts to undermine the workers’ union. These efforts include the wrongful termination of employees engaged in union activities, a violation of federal law,” according to a press release distributed on Tuesday. 

Make sure to honor the boycott — do NOT patronize Union Kitchen stores! Stay tuned on other ways to support, including likely pickets!


NoVA Branch updates: Join us at the Courthouse Starbucks sip-in on Saturday, June 3

Join us tomorrow at the Courthouse Starbucks (2100 Clarendon Boulevard) from 10am – 2pm to support workers in their struggle to bargain fairly with their employer and fight against retaliatory management practices! RSVP here. Other updates: The NoVA Branch is hosting a Mobilizer Party on Saturday, June 3, from 5 – 9pm in Ballston. Help build out the branch while having some fun at the same time! There will be food, drinks and great music. There will be a social afterwards, open to all, starting at 9pm. RSVP for the address! Additionally, the next hybrid NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 8, and the NoVA Branch Third Thursday Social Meetup will be held on Thursday, June 15.

Montgomery County Rent Stabilization Picnic — Sunday, June 4 at 3pm

May 15 marked one year since temporary rent stabilization expired in Montgomery County — and one year of skyrocketing rents and destabilizing evictions. The HOME Act Coalition, which includes the Montgomery County branch of Metro DC DSA as well as dozens of labor unions, service providers, impacted tenants, community advocates and housing experts, is fighting back for permanent rent stabilization. 

Join the HOME ACT coalition on Sunday, June 4 from 3 – 5:30pm for a picnic and potluck at Takoma Piney Branch Local Park to celebrate our multiracial, multilingual and interfaith community organizing for tenant protections. You do not need to be a renter to attend — all are welcome, including children! Let us know you are coming and sign up to bring something for the potluck here.


Sign up for Villains of Silicon Valley: DC Walking Tour and its Volunteer & Wheatpasting Teams!

Sign up for the Villains of Silicon Valley: DC Walking Tour with best-selling author Malcolm Harris on Saturday, July 1 at 1pm! Through the form, you can join our outreach team wheatpasting posters on June 6, 10, and 17 or our volunteer team to help at the tour itself. Walking Tours depend on volunteers to help out on the tour and spread the word beforehand! The tour will explore sites in downtown DC connected to how Silicon Valley leaders used institutions in the District to promote a capitalist world order over the past century, drawn from material and research for Malcolm’s Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World.

Storms of the Revolution Book Talk — Wednesday, June 7 at 6:30pm

What does a future beyond capitalism look like? Fiction magazine After the Storm takes the answer to this question to new heights. On Wednesday, June 7 from 6:30 8:30pm, hear from two Storms of the Revolution authors, Bill Mosley and Nate McIntyre, during a Book Talk hosted in collaboration with Bol Coop at Creative Grounds!

Can’t make it but want to get your own copy of Storms of the Revolution? Order at After the Storm’s website! (You can also read a review of the anthology by MDC DSA’s very own Kurt Stand.) Also: After the Storm is accepting long-form essay and short story submissions. View full submission guidelines here.


Repro Justice Working Group public meeting — Wednesday, June 7 at 7pm

The Reproductive Justice Working Group will be holding a public online meeting to discuss two essays — “Disability Rights and Selective Abortion,” excerpted from Abortion Wars, A Half Century of Struggle, and “I’m A Disabled Woman. Here’s Why Ohio’s Down Syndrome Abortion Ban Disgusts Me.” by Wendy Wu. RSVP here! If you are interested in becoming involved with the working group, check out our linktree!

In-person fundraiser for DSA National Convention support — Saturday, June 10

Come to Hellbender Brewing Company on Saturday, June 10 to help fundraise to send your comrades to National Convention! Convention is right around the corner, and we want to ensure all our delegates can make it regardless of their financial situation. Grab a beer with your fellow chapter members and support our delegates! The fundraiser will run from 5 – 7pm. Hope to see you there! If you can’t attend but still want to support your comrades, the link to donate is here.


Demystifying the Federal Reserve Socialist Night School — Thursday, June 15 at 6:30pm

Everybody involved in campaigns to make change in DC (or looking to get involved in one) is invited to the Demystifying the Federal Reserve Socialist Night School at 6:30pm on Thursday, June 15. The Night School will take place both in-person at the Mt. Pleasant Library and online — make sure to sign up in advance! Demystifying the Federal Reserve will help attendees understand one of the world’s most powerful institutions shaping our economy and our world: the Fed. 

Historian and writer Tim Barker will detail how the Federal Reserve works, with an emphasis on its key functions and the class dynamics of how the Fed’s policies affect workers and the world economy. The Night School will specifically cover the effects of the Fed’s policies on Metro DC DSA’s priority campaigns around housing, climate and labor, and address current issues related to inflation, the debt limit and bank failures. It will help attendees understand macroeconomic constraints that affect organizing work and connect them to organizing around debt.

The La ColectiVA Liberation Fund needs your support!

This fund provides commissary and post-release support to incarcerated migrants in Virginia. Contributing is one of the most direct ways to show solidarity with members of our communities who have been targeted by ICE and the deportation machine. To donate, Venmo @LaColectiVA with the note “commissary donation.”


The Full Picture: The Metro DC DSA chapter’s website is here. The road map of MDC DSA’s activism — campaigns, working groups, etc. — is here. And here is an introduction to the chapter including our branches covering the DMV. We have published the Washington Socialist in paper and on the web since the 1980s; see this topic-indexed archive. It is also the source of a home-grown history of our local chapter. Our political education, ongoing every day, is also inscribed in the record of our Socialist Night School. Here is the next round of our pol ed reading groups, coming up for summer.

Publications Schedule: June Updates are scheduled for Fridays, June 9, 16 and 23. The June Washington Socialist is published with this Update. Publications will be adopting a summer schedule for the Washington Socialist; issues will arrive with the Update of Friday, July 14, in honor of Bastille Day, and on Friday, September 1 for Labor Day. The article deadline for the Bastille Day Washington Socialist is Friday, July 7; send submissions to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.

Weekly Update Tip Line: The Metro DC DSA Tip Line is live. If you have news or events that you think should be promoted in the Weekly Update, please submit it to the form above. Include your contact information and all possible details for consideration. Deadline is Thursdays at 4pm for the following Friday publication, but please don’t wait till the last minute.


Friday, June 2nd

6:30 – 9pm | NoVA DSA GameNite In person

Saturday, June 3rd

10 – 11:30am | NoVA Medicare 4All Petition Gathering

10am – 2pm | NoVA Labor Supports Courthouse Starbucks Sip-In

5 – 9pm | NoVA Branch June Mobilizer Party

Sunday, June 4th 

7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Electoral Working Group Meeting

Wednesday, June 7th

7 – 8pm | Repro Justice Working Group Meeting 

8 – 9pm | Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation

Thursday, June 8th

6:15 – 7:45pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting

Thursday, June 15th 

6:30 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Social Meetup 

6:30 – 8pm | Demystifying the Federal Reserve – Socialist Night School (Hybrid)

Wednesday, June 21st

5:30 – 8:30pm | Labor Red Hot Summer Session 1


Weekly Produce Giveaways Have Begun at all DPR Urban Farms! | DPR

DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) currently operates three urban farms across the District: Powell (Ward 1), Edgewood (Ward 5) and Lederer (Ward 7). Every week, these farms offer free produce giveaways to any and all community members — giveaways are open now and will run until late fall/early winter! Check the DPR Urban Gardens Produce Giveaways page for the dates and times for each giveaway and for updates on what’s available. You can also find updates from Powell Community Farm on their Instagram page (run by a Metro DSA member!).

Community Table | Serve Your City / Ward 6 Mutual Aid

Serve Your City / Ward 6 Mutual Aid will host their Community Table at Miner Elementary School (601 15 Street NE) on Saturday, June 3, where neighbors can pick up free cleaning supplies, diapers, household items and more. The event will start at 11am.

Community Sip & Paint | Black Kids Do Cry Initiative and DC Greens

On Saturday, June 10 from 12 – 2pm, the Black Kids Do Cry Initiative will host their first Sip & Paint event in partnership with DC Greens at their Ward 8 Urban Farm, The Well at Oxon Run (300 Valley Ave SE). This event will feature the talents of local artist Shayla Dobson (aka Honey’s Girl) and start with (at 11:45am) an intention-setting activity just outside of the farm gates facilitated by Kima, the founder of The Black Kids Do Cry Initiative. The painting activity is geared toward adult community members; however, children are welcomed in the space and there will be a special art activity for any youth in attendance. Space is available for 25 community members and by reservation only. Secure your free spot by RSVPing here.

Congratulations to Baldwin House!

After years of advocacy, the tenant organizers of Baldwin House are now officially the stewards of 2570-2572 Sherman Ave NW in Washington DC! Celebrate with them via the Ward 1 Mutual Aid Instagram, where you can also stay tuned for any updates from the collective.


In the New York Times magazine, of all places — a long-form exploration of what decommodified housing might look like, using Vienna’s social housing model as an example (and detailing our own country’s ultra-commodified system as an antithesis). “Vienna invites us to envision a world in which homeownership isn’t the only way to secure a certain future — and what our lives might look like as a result.”

From Washington City Paper: “Resistance from D.C. CFO Forces Progressives to Scramble for SNAP Benefits, Excluded Workers.” Alex Koma writes: “The CFO’s obstinance also aggravated a group of progressive councilmembers looking to fund an expansion of food stamps in the budget’s waning days. Now lawmakers must embrace a distinctly risky method of paying for SNAP benefits at Tuesday’s second and final vote on the budget. And that’s had ripple effects elsewhere, making the process of providing checks to excluded workers much more complicated and angering their advocates in the process.”

In Dissent, Mark and Paul Engler explore the gains made and the limitations discovered by mayor Ada Colau and the Comuns — a radical political formation that stands for “Barcelona in Common” — who won electoral power in the Catalan city. “After two terms, the radical experiment in Barcelona has found limits to the project of bringing social movement energy into the corridors of institutional power. And yet it remains an intriguing model of electoral strategy.” Read “Barcelona’s Experiment in Radical Government” here.

Organizers of legal support and a bail fund for protestors against Atlanta’s Cop City are facing a state crackdown, in yet another unprecedented overreach that will surely have far-reaching impacts beyond Georgia. “In a joint operation with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, or GBI, Atlanta cops charged Marlon Scott Kautz, Adele Maclean, and Savannah Patterson — all board members of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund — with “money laundering” and “charity fraud.” From The Intercept

The polarization of US politics increasingly includes a dismaying “otherization” of those on each side of the political and cultural divide by those on the other “side.” A NYT columnist assesses the latest poly sci findings (you guessed it, Thomas Edsall).

The flame of thought, the magnificence of art, the wonder of discovery, and the audacity of invention all belong to revolutionary periods when humanity, tired of the chains of its restrictions, shatters them, and stops inebriated to breathe the breeze of a vaster and freer horizon.

Virgilia D’Andrea