June 9, 2023

June 9, 2023



  • Submit comments against Washington Gas’ destructive fossil fuel proposal — send a letter by June 16

  • Sign ups now open: Summer 2023 Reading Groups!

  • Socialist Night School: Demystifying the Federal Reserve — Thursday, June 15

Submit comments against Washington Gas’ destructive fossil fuel proposal — send a letter by June 16

Thanks in part to the outpouring of public comments to the Public Service Commission regarding Washington Gas’ wasteful, unsustainable PROJECTpipes 3 proposal, the PSC has granted extra time to submit public comments! This is a genuine victory, but we need to keep the pressure on. Some background: Washington Gas is seeking to impose new fees on gas customers to raise $672 million to replace nearly all the natural gas pipes in DC — whether or not a replacement is necessary. The company says it needs this money to maintain their infrastructure, but in reality, it is a wasteful cash grab at the expense of our communities and an investment in fossil fuel infrastructure that we need to phase out. 

We now have extra time to prevent the PSC from allowing Washington Gas to proceed with its plan. Please join others in MDC DSA in submitting this letter (feel free to customize!) to the PSC to keep the pressure on and show Washington Gas we are still watching! If we keep turning up the heat, we can win more opportunities to challenge fossil fuel capital and fight for infrastructure that actually serves our needs.

Sign ups now open: Summer 2023 Reading Groups!

The Political Education Working Group is excited to announce sign-ups for summer reading groups! Reading groups provide an excellent entry point to the chapter, a way to meet people within it and a way to continue your radical education. This summer, we have something for everybody — from Black Jacobins to a look back at the Poor People’s Campaign, from Marxist art criticism to Labor Power and Strategy — and other topics in between! Most meetings will happen online but groups will have the opportunity to hold in-person social meet-ups and meetings. Groups kick off the last week of June. Sign up here!

Socialist Night School: Demystifying the Federal Reserve — Thursday, June 15

Calling all organizers, new members, and anyone who wants to understand class politics in 2023: Join us online or at the Mt. Pleasant Library at 6:30pm on Thursday, June 15 for “Demystifying the Federal Reserve.” This Socialist Night School will feature writer and historian Tim Barker with a talk and Q&A about how the Federal Reserve affects the US economy — including chapter organizing campaigns. Come for an overview of the Fed and monetary policy, and stay to join the group for drinks afterward (if you join us in person). Sign up in advance to RSVP and get the link!


Workers win at Wharf Intercontinental, secure path to union contract

Labor victories continue to pile up — now, workers at Wharf Intercontinental have won expedited union recognition and collective bargaining after two weeks of pickets and boycotts. UNITE HERE Local 25 and InterContinental Hotel Group finalized the agreement on Wednesday, which includes a neutral arbiter counting signed union cards, an expedited and neutral first bargaining process and an end to the boycott of IHG properties. With this success, the fight for higher and transparent wages, better benefits and respect from management begins.

Volunteers needed for book transport from Montgomery County to Adams Morgan — TOMORROW, June 10

Our comrade elder, Sam P, has arranged to donate about 2,000 leftist books to the free library in the renovated Festival Center in Adams Morgan, and he needs some help with the move this Saturday, June 10. Volunteers will meet between 9:30 and 10am at Sam’s in MoCo to load boxes of books into a truck that will transport them to the Festival Center by 1:30pm. At that point, we will need volunteers to help unload the boxes at the center (1640 Columbia Rd NW). There is a designated parking lot in the back and bike racks in front of the building. DM @Julie (she/her) on Slack if you can assist!


Rally with SEIU custodial workers fighting for a fair contract — June 12, 14 and 15

Members of SEIU 32BJ will be hosting three different rallies for over 9,000 custodial staff engaged in collective bargaining in the area. Workers will be meeting on Monday, June 12 at 4pm at 11730 Plaza America Drive in Reston, Wednesday at 3:45pm at the Rosslyn Metro station and Thursday at 3pm at Farragut Square at 17th and K NW. Come out, show support and help build class solidarity.


Join the HOME Act Coalition for Montgomery County Rent Stabilization Council Work Session — Thursday, June 15 at 1pm

Tenant organizations, labor unions, service providers and members of the HOME Act Coalition are calling on all supporters of tenant rights and affordable housing to pack the hearing room for the Montgomery County Council work session on rent stabilization on Thursday, June 15. Two competing rent stabilization bills will be discussed during the hearing: the HOME Act, which will provide renters stability and cap rent increase to 3% annually; and another bill, modeled off of a developer proposal, which will allow landlords to displace our community members with high rents — all while making taxpayers pay for the cost of community displacement. 

Community members won’t have the opportunity to speak at the work session, but we can make our presence felt so the Councilmembers know that the community is watching! RSVP here.

Sign up for Villains of Silicon Valley: DC Walking Tour — Saturday, July 1

Sign up for the Villains of Silicon Valley: DC Walking Tour with bestselling author Malcolm Harris on Saturday, July 1 at 1pm! The tour will explore three 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. The tour will cover the evils of President Herbert Hoover, what the real “Iran-Contra” scandal was, how tech elites fund the contemporary reactionary movement and much more! You can also sign up to join our volunteer team to help out with the tour or the outreach team wheatpasting posters — the next wheatpasting event will be this Saturday, June 10 at 1pm at the Columbia Heights Civic Center.

NoVA Tenants Organizing Working Group needs more Spanish speakers!

The NoVA Stomp Out Slumlords contingent is organizing in a massive, majority-Latino building in Alexandria and is running out of linguistic capacity. If you speak Spanish and you want to learn more about tenant organizing or about volunteering, please fill out this interest form. You will be trained and ready to go, no matter your experience!

M4A is hosting an Organizing and Storytelling Training

If you’d like to hone your Medicare 4 All campaign skills and learn more about strategies and tactics, sign up for free training sessions here. The event will be virtual and in person near the Woodley and Cleveland Park Metro stations.

Political Engagement Committee discussion on electoral accountability — June 27

On Tuesday, June 27 at 7pm, the Political Engagement Committee will hold a discussion about electoral accountability. We want to hear the voice of chapter members regarding why and how the chapter should hold the elected officials we endorse accountable to DSA’s priorities. Please come if you can! Find the Zoom link here


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. National DSA is here. Prospective members and the DSA-curious are invited to join our local chapter’s every-other-Wednesday intro session, “Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation.” The next session is being held at 8pm on June 21 — RSVP here.

We have published the Washington Socialist on paper, and then 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 extensive record of our Socialist Night School. Here is the next round of our pol ed reading groups, coming up for summer.

Publications Schedule: Remaining June Updates are scheduled for Fridays, June 16 and 23. 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.


Saturday, June 10

5 – 7pm | National Convention Delegate Fundraiser @ Hellbender

Wednesday, June 14

7 – 8:30pm | Reproductive Justice Working Group Meeting

7:30 – 8:30pm | We Power DC Organizing Meeting

Thursday, June 15

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

6:30 – 7:30pm | Social Housing Organizing Meeting

6:30 – 8:30pm | Social Meetup — NoVa Branch DSA

Saturday, June 17

12:30pm | NoVA DSA Defund — Picnic + Movie!!

1:30 – 4:30pm | Stomp Out Slumlords Anti-Eviction Canvass

Tuesday, June 20

7 – 10pm | NoVA DSA Virginia Primaries Watch Party

Wednesday, June 21

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

Tuesday, June 27

7pm | PEC Electoral Accountability Open Meeting

Thursday, June 29

5:30 – 8:30pm | MDC DSA Socialist Feminist Section Happy Hour


DC Dyke March | DC Dyke March

DC Dyke March is back! Due to this week’s disastrous air quality, the 30th anniversary March has been postponed from Friday, June 9 to Friday, June 16. This year’s theme is Dykes for Trans Rights, and the march will begin at 6:30pm at Lafayette Square. The first Dyke March took place on the eve of the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. The march was organized by the lesbian Avengers and about 20,000 women participated. DC’s Dyke March is a sponsor-free, fiercely non-corporate event (more protest, less parade). The march is approximately 1.6 miles long and all participants are requested to wear a mask. ASL and Spanish interpretation will be provided.

Hazardous Air Quality Alert, Check Status of Events Directly with Organizers

Wildfires continue to rage in Quebec and Ontario, causing hazardous air quality along the eastern coast of the United States. DC has moved from a Code Orange (unhealthy for sensitive groups) to a Code Purple (very unhealthy) this week, with some areas in the greater DMV falling into a Code Maroon (hazardous). Friday, June 9 is estimated to be the most hazardous day of the week. Many neighbors are experiencing asthma and extreme allergy symptoms, and several events may be postponed or canceled. Please check in directly with organizers for the status of events and, if able, help your unhoused neighbors (or groups that directly support them) who cannot stay inside. You can check air quality in your area here.

Recommendations for Helping Unhoused Neighbors During Poor Air Quality | Remora House

Local advocates for unhoused neighbors, Remora House, have some suggestions for how to take care of yourself and your neighbors if staying indoors is not an option. Recommendation #1: Check in with neighbors to make sure they know what’s going on and why. If you haven’t already built a relationship with your unhoused neighbors, this is a great time to do so! Click here to view the rest of Remora House’s tips and recommendations.

Landmine Fundraising Events | Project RENEW

Project RENEW is holding two events in Virginia and DC in support of work being done to remove or destroy landmines left in Vietnam and helping with prosthetics and training for those harmed by mines. Veterans and members of the US Vietnamese diaspora (including poets, artists and musicians) will be participating. The VA event will be held on June 14 at 7pm at the Little Saigon restaurant (6218 Wilson Blvd, Falls Church), followed by the DC event on June 15 at 7pm at the Washington Ethical Society (7750 16th St NW). Both events are free to attend. Tax-exempt donations to RENEW are also being accepted through the Waging Peace in Vietnam Education Fund by writing *RENEW* in the memo line. All funds raised will go directly to RENEW. If not attending either event, donations can be made here.

Juneteenth Cookout | Baldwin House

Juneteenth celebrates the end of chattel slavery in America, and specifically Major General Gordon Granger proclaiming an end to slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865 in Galveston. It also marks the second anniversary of the organizers behind Baldwin House agreeing to start the process of buying the building and turning it into a co-op. Come celebrate the occasion on June 19 from 2 to 6pm at 2572 Sherman Ave NW. RSVP here.

Feedom Freedom Growers Film Screening | Visionary Organizing Lab

On June 21, Visionary Organizing Lab is hosting a free virtual screening for the release of Feedom Freedom Growers: A Documentary, which tells the story of how Myrtle Thompson-Curtis and Wayne Curtis grew a garden on Detroit’s East Side and gave birth to a transformative community from which a new food system is emerging. There will also be a Q&A panel after the documentary screening where participants can ask questions regarding urban agriculture, community self-reliance projects and more. RSVP here.


Thorough review of the 2023 Socialist Register: where we are now and what are the tasks, via Portside.

A new book seeks to “explain the evolution and enduring power of a racially inflected understanding of freedom” in America, combing through centuries of history in an attempt to define how a basic right for all people has been coveted and redefined by the right. “More than half a century after he stood in the ‘schoolhouse door’,” this review concludes, “the ghost of George Wallace still haunts American politics.” From the London Review of Books, via Portside.

From The American Prospect via Portside: A historical look at transit (in)equity in Baltimore, as well as newfound hope that Maryland Gov. Wes Moore may finally oversee the building of the proposed Red Line light rail system — long delayed by racist fearmongering. “The cancellation of the Red Line is a transgression deeply etched in the collective memory of Baltimore. Few places are as haunted as this city is by the egregiousness of its systemic racism in public transit.”

Again from Portside, thousands of early-career researchers at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) have kick-started the process of forming a union. They are calling on the agency — the world’s largest biomedical funder — to raise pay and improve benefits, as well as to bolster its policies and procedures on harassment and excessive workloads. About 150 of these researchers rallied on the NIH’s campus in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 1 to celebrate filing their union petition. Also in Popular Resistance.

In Dissent, Nina Luo argues: “We are not close to building the powerful and sustained mass movements we need, in part because we have not yet figured out how to transform the power of money into multiracial working-class power. Such a project is much more complicated than just changing the decision-makers named on a website.  … any good organizer could diagnose [the error] almost instantly: because funders don’t have a clear strategy based on an analysis of power and outcomes, what remains is cyclical and beleaguered conversations about structure and capacity.” 

Moira Donegan writes in The Guardian: “It is not a coincidence that the states which have the most punitive and draconian bans on abortion have also adopted the most aggressive targeting of transgender people and medical care. The bills are part of the same project by conservatives, who have been emboldened in their campaign of gender revanchism in the wake of Dobbs. Both abortion bans and transition care bans further the same goal: to transform the social category of gender into an enforceable legal status, linked to the sexed body at birth[,] and to prescribe a narrow and claustrophobic view of what that gender status must mean.” Thanks to Marie and the #repro-justice channel for sending this our way.

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