June 23, 2023

June 23, 2023



  • New additions to the Washington Socialist: Read our comrades on the DSA budget and public power in DC

  • UPS Teamsters United Solidarity Rally — Sunday, June 25

  • MDC DSA July General Body Meeting — July 9

New additions to the Washington Socialist: Read our comrades on the DSA budget and public power in DC

Ahead of our next full edition of the Washington Socialist — coming Bastille Day, July 14 (with an article deadline of July 7) — a couple time-sensitive articles to tide you over. First, comrades Gary Z. and Lauren K. offer up an “analysis of DSA’s financial situation ahead of the Convention in hopes that the delegate body can go into the affair with a clearer view of what is really within our capacity;” a must-read for 2023 Convention Delegates. Then, in an article adapted from a speech delivered outside Pepco HQ (part of MDC DSA’s Walking Tour of Plutocratic DC: Power and Capitalism), Katharine G. writes on the intersectional need for public power. “DC residents deserve better than Pepco, Exelon, and other companies that put profit over people. Here’s an alternative: an energy democracy through public ownership of DC’s electric utility―a publicly controlled power company directly accountable to the people it serves.” Find both articles here.

UPS Teamsters United Solidarity Rally — Sunday, 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 US history.

MDC DSA July General Body Meeting — July 9

Our next General Body Meeting will be on July 9 at 2pm. Please make sure to save the date for our first hybrid GBM — you will be able to come in person to a Metro-accessible location in DC or Zoom in if you prefer. Like our last GBM, masks will be made available, and will be mandatory for those attending in person. For more information make sure to sign up here.


Sign up before it’s too late: Summer 2023 Reading Groups

The Political Education Working Group is still holding open sign-ups for summer reading groups for another week or so. Don’t delay in signing up if you are interested! 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 next week. 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. Please give as you are able here.

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


Join Kitchen Workers United to amplify boycott

As previously reported in past Updates, Union Kitchen Workers United have launched their boycott campaign against Union Kitchen, citing management’s refusal to come to the table and bargain in good faith. They are looking for volunteers to help flyer outside of Union Kitchen locations, with open slots available as early as today at time of writing. See the schedule and sign up here.


Table with MDC DSA at Columbia Heights Day — Saturday, June 24

The chapter will be tabling at Columbia Heights Day on June 24 (tomorrow!) 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.

Join the HOME Act Coalition for a Montgomery County Council Rent Stabilization Work Session — Monday, June 26

Last week, the Montgomery County Council’s Planning, Housing, and Parks Committee met to figure out what rent stabilization in Montgomery County will look like. The work session included a discussion from council members about policies like including renters of single-family homes and condos in potential rent stabilization plans, preventing landlords from raising rent to market rates if a tenant leaves the unit and ensuring there are enough county staff members to enforce rent stabilization. No votes were taken during last week’s work session. You can read more details about the first work session here

But the fight is not over yet. Last week, council members stated that they were prepared to discuss a rent stabilization rate and come to a compromise on both rent stabilization bills — the HOME Act and its developer-supported rival — in the next committee work session on Monday, June 26 at 1:30pm. Let us know if you can join the work session by RSVPing here. We want to have at least 60 people in the room with HOME Act signs to show that strong rent stabilization has the support of the people! You can also join the Montgomery County branch meeting this Saturday from 2 – 4pm to learn more about our rent stabilization priority campaign and other upcoming work. The meeting will be hybrid with the in-person component being at the Wheaton Library. RSVP here.

Political Engagement Committee discussion on electoral accountability — Tuesday, 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.

Sign up and invite your friends to the Villains of Silicon Valley: DC Walking Tour — Saturday, July 1

Everyone in the DMV is invited to sign up for the Villains of Silicon Valley: DC Walking Tour. The tour will be led by bestselling author Malcolm Harris and will meet at 1pm on Saturday, July 1. This is the perfect event to connect with the chapter if you have not done so before or recently — it will even feature ways to help out along the way. 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.

Paint ’nd sip fundraiser with Defund NoVA — Saturday, 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.

Upcoming save the dates

July 5 SOS DMV-wide organizing meeting with tenants; July 8 Repro Justice skating fundraiser and social. See links for details.


Thinking fast or slow about DSA and our chapter here in the DMV? Use these resources: Metro DC DSA chapter’s website; our local structure — campaigns, working groups, etc. or our introduction to the chapter including our branches covering the DMV. National DSA’s site is here. Or join our local chapter’s every-other-Wednesday intro session, “Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation,” including Q&A. The next session is at 8pm on July 5 — 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. There’s 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 with sign-ups closing soon.

Publications Schedule: The final June Update is Friday, June 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.



Bikes Not Bombs | Food Not Bombs

DC’s Food Not Bombs bike crew has rescheduled their June ride in order to better support the community. The crew stands in solidarity with the queer community and with protests that seek to defend and empower it. Bikes Not Bombs will now meet TODAY, Friday, June 23 at 7:30pm in Malcolm X Park (upper side). 

Summer Solstice Seed (and Plant!) Share | Share a Seed

Mutual aid seed sharing program Share a Seed will be sharing free lemon balm seedlings in addition to their usual seed offerings on Saturday, June 24 in honor of the Summer Solstice. Lemon balm is one of the few sour mints and is cooling and sedative. It also tastes great and is a great option for making tea or adding to a cold summer beverage. Catch Share a Seed from 10am – 1pm at the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market (3213 Mt Pleasant St NW) to share plants (while supplies last) and fall seeds (if you’re planning to grow your own pumpkin this year, it’s time to plant!).

Introduction to Restorative Justice Circles | DC Peace Team

This online session on Saturday, June 24 from 10am – 1pm will provide participants a chance to engage with both the theoretical roots and practical tactics of restorative justice facilitation and philosophy. Participants will establish a baseline for what, where and how restorative justice manifests itself in our world. Attendees will engage in community building exercises, a multimedia presentation and ample dialogue around its core tenets. Finally, participants will have a chance to enter their very own restorative circle, based on the model that the DC Peace Team uses in the greater Washington, DC community. Registration is available on a sliding scale.


To save $20 billion, McCarthy and minions are taking a pass on nearly a quarter-trillion bucks on the revenue side. Guess who can feel like they dodged a bullet? How much did Congress lose by defunding the IRS? Way more than we thought. It also includes some nifty graphics. 

Cleaning workers with SEIU Local 32BJ are about to enter contract negotiations with the Washington Service Contractors Association — and the members “who help maintain about 1,500 office buildings in the D.C. region, want a significant wage increase that reflects the work they say has been unseen, overlooked and underappreciated — particularly at the height of the pandemic when just showing up to clean a building meant risking their own health and the well-being of their families.” Read “They clean D.C.’s buildings, but they struggle to make ends meet.”

If you want to know about disinformation, the House GOP crazies think there is something un-American about you. More in the NYT: “On Capitol Hill and in the courts, Republican lawmakers and activists are mounting a sweeping legal campaign against universities, think tanks and private companies that study the spread of disinformation.”

“‘This [“How We Win” conference in DC] is the largest gathering of socialist elected officials in decades,’ exulted Maria Svart, executive director of the DSA Fund. Happy shouts and a stamping of feet followed her statement and other speakers who echoed it. Since Bernie Sanders ran for president seven years ago, DSA has boomed to close to 100,000 members; voters have chosen more than 150 socialists to govern them at levels from the House of Representatives to that school board in Long Island. Indeed, not since the heyday of the old Socialist Party of America, more than a century ago, have there been so many victorious politicians who sport the ‘S-word’ on their bios.” By Michael Kazin in The American Prospect.

AI, Job Loss, and Productivity Growth: “The moral of the story is that there is nothing about AI technology that should lead to mass unemployment and inequality. If those are outcomes, it will be the result of how we structured the rules, not the technology itself,” Dean Baker writes on the Center for Economic Policy and Research website. Via Portside

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