June 16, 2023

June 16, 2023



  • Submit comments against Washington Gas’ destructive fossil fuel proposal — deadline is TODAY

  • Anti-eviction canvass with Stomp Out Slumlords — Saturday, June 17

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

Submit comments against Washington Gas’ destructive fossil fuel proposal — deadline is TODAY

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 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.

Anti-eviction canvass with Stomp Out Slumlords — Saturday, June 17

Join comrades with Stomp Out Slumlords for an anti-eviction canvass. Come out and inform tenants facing eviction of their rights in court, how to get a lawyer and to see if they are interested in organizing their building. Tenants we speak to are twice as likely to go to court and fight their eviction, so every volunteer can make a big impact.

We’ll meet at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station on the D street exit between 6th and 7th above the escalators (if the weather is bad, we will be downstairs just before the turnstiles). At 1:30pm we will have a short training to explain why these canvasses are necessary, how to talk to tenants about their upcoming eviction suits and how to fill in walk-sheets. We’ll then hand out walk-sheets and set you up with a partner — if you’ve never done this before, we’ll try to set you up with a veteran who can show you the ropes.

If you have a car, please drive it down to the meeting spot. Cars are helpful for getting canvassers to metro-inaccessible areas. (Parking near L’Enfant Plaza is a bit tricky, but doable.) After groups finish canvassing, folks can head to Sonny’s in Park View to socialize and debrief the canvass. If you’re interested in our work but can’t canvass, reach out to tenants@mdcdsa.org to learn about other ways to get involved.

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 — and be sure to invite your friends. 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 evil of President Herbert Hoover and American imperialism, what the real “Iran-Contra” scandal was, how tech elites fund the contemporary reactionary movement and much more. The tour will meet in Freedom Plaza, and food and drink will be provided along the route. We would also love your help volunteering during the tour.


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.

Ongoing fundraising to send delegates to convention

The DSA National Convention, where socialists from all over the country will meet to decide our organization’s agenda and elect new leadership, will be held from August 4 – 6 in Chicago. To ensure that all of our comrades elected as delegates can make it out to convention, we are fundraising to help cover the costs of travel and accommodations for chapter delegates. No worker should be excluded from organizing due to lack of funds. Miss last week’s fundraising happy hour at Hellbender? Not to worry — please give as you are able here.

Comrades keeping up with August DSA convention news should click regularly on the Slack channel #2023-national-convention; attrition has brought a modest shuffle in the MDC delegation cast of characters and our next GBM is July 9, last full gathering before the August convention.


Union Kitchen boycott scheduled to begin at 11am TODAY — kickoff rally in Eckington

Following unproductive meetings during which management refused to reinstate tipping, respond to union contract proposals or respond to the union’s financial records request, Union Kitchen workers with UFCW Local 400 are calling for a consumer boycott of Union Kitchen stores starting TODAY at 11am, pending an immediate and drastic change of heart from management. This is a direct response to what the union says is “management’s ongoing and unlawful efforts to undermine the workers’ union, including firing multiple employees for union activity, in violation of federal law.” 

Join Union Kitchen in kicking off the boycott at the store’s Eckington location (1625 Eckington Place NE) and support the boycott! Do not shop at any Union Kitchen stores. Email Union Kitchen and tell management you won’t support their business until they negotiate a fair union contract! Find more info on how you can help here, and follow the United Kitchen Workers for updates here.


Support Rent Stabilization in Montgomery County — Town Hall on June 21, Work Session on June 26

This week, the Montgomery County Council resumed consideration of the HOME Act, which would limit rent increases to 3% annually, after spending much of the spring working on the county budget. Now is the time for the County Council to see that rent stabilization has the support of the people. On the evening of June 21, the County Council will hold a community town hall with all council members present. This is the chance for renters and supporters of the HOME Act to talk about rent stabilization and share our stories. The town hall is at Weller Road Elementary School in Glenmont at 7pm, with the option for virtual participation. Then, the County Council will hold the second of two scheduled work sessions on rent stabilization legislation, starting at 1pm on Monday, June 26. Community members will not have the opportunity to speak, but we are hoping to get 60 people at the hearing with signs to demonstrate the peoples’ support for rent stabilization. RSVP for either event here.

Finally, join the June Montgomery County Branch meeting at the Wheaton Library on June 24 at 2pm to learn more about how to get involved in the Montgomery County rent stabilization campaign.

After the Storm at Awesome Con this weekend + upcoming tabling events

After the Storm is bringing anticapitalist fiction to DC’s 10th annual Awesome Con this weekend. Catch us at table B30 in Artist Alley at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center TODAY, Friday, June 16 from 1 to 8pm and TOMORROW, Saturday, June 17 from 10am to 7pm. Next weekend, on Saturday, June 24, we’ll be at booth #31 at the Harriet Tubman Elementary School from 11am to 5pm for Columbia Heights Day. And on Saturday, July 1, join us at The Outrage from 12 to 2pm for a preview of our upcoming anticapitalist writing workshop. 

Table with MDC DSA at Columbia Heights Day — June 24

The chapter will be tabling at Columbia Heights Day on June 24 from 11am – 5pm, and we would love to have your help promoting socialism and DSA to the many people who are going to be there. We will have a tent, tables, literature and water, but could use lots of help talking to people about all the great work we are doing across the DMV. Sign up here, respond in the #volunteer-board thread on Slack or DM @Tim S (he/him) on Slack.

UPS Teamsters United Solidarity Rally — June 25

Join UPS Teamsters United for a solidarity rally amid continuing contract negotiations. Come out to Sonny’s Pizza (3120 Georgia Ave. NW) on Sunday, June 25 from 4 – 8pm for an afternoon of fundraising, raffles and solidarity. Over a quarter of a million Teamsters are battling UPS for a fair contract and winning — management has already tentatively given in to union demands for air conditioning in trucks. Sign up for the rally here. You can also sign DSA’s Strike Ready Pledge in preparation for what could be the largest strike in American history.

Political Engagement Committee discussion on electoral accountability — June 27

One of the most consistent ongoing conversations across DSA — locally and nationally — is the subject of electoral accountability. On Tuesday, June 27 at 7pm, the Political Engagement Committee will hold a discussion on that very subject. We want to hear the voice of chapter members regarding why and how Metro DC DSA should hold the elected officials we endorse accountable to our priorities. Please come if you can. Find the Zoom link here.

Paint ’nd sip fundraiser with Defund NoVA — July 1

Join the Defund NoVA PD Working group for a paint ’nd sip fundraiser/social on July 1 at 4pm. As one last celebration of Pride Month, we will be gathering outside in Arlington (address details to be provided to those who get tickets) to recreate art by Keith Haring and reflect on the intersection of the LGBTQIA+ struggle for rights and the problem with expanded policing. Your ticket will give you access to the supplies and guidance needed to paint your own Haring artwork, and proceeds support our working group’s future actions and goals. Light food and drink will be provided, and those who purchase a ticket with a drink add-on will be offered red or white wine (BYOB is allowed). RSVP here.

Save the date to skate: Repro Justice fundraiser for DCAF — July 8

Join MDC DSA’s Repro Justice Working Group as we fundraise for DC’s Abortion Fund. We are so excited to announce that we will be having a summer skating fundraiser at Anacostia’s Skate Park on Saturday, July 8th from 4 – 8pm. Join us after for a social at a nearby bar until 10pm, location TBD.

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.


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 of articles. It is also the source of a home-grown history of our local chapter. Here’s the archive of our Weekly Update.

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: The remaining June Updates are scheduled for Fridays, June 23 and 30. Updates will be published weekly throughout the summer but Publications WG will be adopting a summer schedule for the Washington Socialist; issues will arrive with the Updates of Friday, July 14, honoring Bastille Day, and 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 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

Saturday, June 24

2 – 4pm | Montgomery County Branch Meeting

Tuesday, June 27

7pm | PEC Electoral Accountability Open Meeting

Thursday, June 29

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

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

Sunday, July 9

3 – 5pm | MDC DSA July General Body Meeting


30th Annual DC Dyke March | Friday, June 16

DC Dyke March is back, and currently scheduled for 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. If you are interested in forming an MDC DSA delegation, please contact @Marie (Fae/They/She) or @Adele B (she/they) on Slack.

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.

Summer Events on the Farm | Common Good City Farm

Looking to have a little fun in nature without having to travel outside the District? Common Good City Farm a DC-based (300 V Street NW) urban farm growing food for local residents and providing learning opportunities through workshops and programming has you covered. On-farm June events include: Medicine Making with Botanist and Herbalist Holly Poole Kavana on June 26 from 6 – 7pm, Sustainable Vegan Cooking Class with Chef Kay and Climate Classes on June 27 from 6pm – 8pm and Karaoke & Game Night on June 29 from 6:30 – 8:30pm (this event is free, food and beverages provided).

Reel & Meal This Changes Everything Juneteenth screening | New Deal Cafe
On Monday, June 19, the Reel & Meal at the New Deal presents This Changes Everything, the 2015 documentary based on Naomi Klein’s best-seller of the same name that looks at the prime global existential threat of climate change — and forms of solidarity to combat it. The film includes footage shot in five continents, and focuses on frontline indigenous communities bearing the brunt of climate change’s effects while being under pressure from exploitative corporate and statist connivance. The free event starts at 7pm and will be both in-person at the New Deal Cafe (113 Centerway, Greenbelt), with meals available for purchase, and online via Zoom. Zoom registration is required. A discussion will follow the screening.


Muffled by the wall-to-wall coverage of Trump in Miami, Democrats reintroduced a bill Wednesday to protect the right to contraception (established a half-century ago in Griswold v. Connecticut) in light of threats to it from conservative SCOTUS members like Clarence Thomas. It passed the House last year but could not overcome a Senate filibuster. From States Newsroom’s “Reproductive Rights Today.”

From the New Left Review’s Sidecar blog, a thorough consideration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s presidency and attempted transition away from neoliberalism in Mexico based on “the reinstatement of class cleavage as a primary organizer of the political field; the effort to reconcentrate the power of a state apparatus hollowed out by decades of neoliberal governance; and the break with an economic paradigm based on institutionalized corruption.”

A tale as old as time — or at least the Cold War — via The Guardian: “US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest and undermine government. … USAid started ZunZuneo, a social network built on texts, in hope it could be used to organize ‘smart mobs’ to trigger Cuban spring.” Thanks to our comrade Sela for the recommendation. 

Our comrade Chip Gibbons discussed the use and misuse of the Espionage Act in the Trump indictment on Democracy Now Wednesday following Trump’s Tuesday arraignment. “Regardless of Trump’s conduct, the Espionage Act is ‘basically unconstitutional” and should not be used as it is currently written, Chip notes, and notes Trump himself used the Espionage Act to go after whistleblowers when he was in office” [as did Woodrow Wilson, to incarcerate Eugene Debs, who ran for president from his prison cell]. Transcript here, video here (starts about 34:15). 

From rent control and/or stabilization to the next step: a recovery of the public housing ethic in practice. “What is social housing? The simple answer is that it is a systemic approach to providing homes that treat housing not as a commodity, but as a human right. But to make it more than just a slogan, you need policies and institutions to make that right” — social housing “requires an ‘ecosystem’ of policies, organizations, and movements to keep the system working and holding true to its mission.” From Nonprofit Quarterly via Portside. 

For readers that secretly prefer video, the Gravel Institute summarizes social housing in Vienna in this video featuring DSA-endorsed New York Assemblyperson Zohran Mamdani. Closer to home, we recently highlighted here a 2023 Jacobin article on social housing that included the persistent work of our comrade Vaughn Stewart, state delegate from Montgomery County, inching closer to a social housing goal in Maryland.

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