June 30, 2023

June 30, 2023



  • Attend the Villains of Silicon Valley: DC Walking Tour — July 1

  • MDC DSA July General Body Meeting — July 9

  • Montgomery County Council Committee strengthens rent stabilization bill, full council vote expected in mid-July

Attend the Villains of Silicon Valley: DC Walking Tour — July 1

Join Metro DC DSA tomorrow, Saturday, July 1 at 1pm for the Villains of Silicon Valley: DC Walking Tour, a political education event open to everyone in the District. The tour will be led by bestselling author Malcolm Harris and will meet at Freedom Plaza at 1pm — sign up if you are planning to attend at this link. This is the perfect event to connect with the chapter if you have not done so before or recently, or to learn more about the hidden history of DC. The tour will explore three sites in downtown DC (~1.4 miles) 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. Food and drink will be provided along the route and a happy hour will follow at Astro Lounge.

MDC DSA July General Body Meeting — July 9

Our next General Body Meeting (and the last full meeting of our membership body before DSA’s National Convention in August) 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 mandatory for those attending in person, and will be provided for attendees who do not have one. For more information make sure to sign up here.

Montgomery County Council Committee strengthens rent stabilization bill, full council vote expected in mid-July

The Montgomery County Council’s Planning, Housing and Parks Committee voted to advance the “anti-gouging” rent stabilization bill to the full County Council, with a tighter cap on rent increases — limited to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 3%, with a maximum increase of 6% — and expanded coverage to include single family homes and condos. A previous, developer-backed version that allowed egregious increases (CPI + 8% with no cap) was displaced. The full council will now vote on the bill as early as mid-July. 

The Montgomery County branch of MDC DSA and the HOME Act coalition will continue to push for the strongest possible rent stabilization bill, one that addresses issues such as vacancy control and implementation. Now is the time to get involved: Post in #montgomery-county on Slack or email montgomerycountydsa@gmail.com to get more information and plug in.


Steamy summer socialism?

Anti-capitalists have to find love too, and After the Storm wants to read your post-capitalist, steamy romances. Write about the day your fictional couple or polycule met: What do they look like? Where did they meet? What was the weather like that day? Submit your short stories to After the Storm, a DC-based publication telling stories of a better world. Learn more about our submission guidelines and how we support (and pay) local writers — supported by MDC DSA. (And see the review of After the Storm’s first collection here; soon to appear in The Washington Socialist.)

Support Union Kitchen workers — sign up to leaflet

Union Kitchen Workers United are two weeks into their boycott campaign against Union Kitchen, a result of management’s refusal to come to the table and bargain in good faith. The boycott continues: Workers are looking for volunteers to help pass out flyers outside of Union Kitchen locations, with open slots available at various Union Kitchen locations nearly every day. View the schedule/locations and sign up here.


Fundraise to send delegates to convention — Sunday, July 16

Come eat some delicious food and help send chapter delegates to the DSA National Convention at our next fundraiser/picnic at Malcolm X Park on Sunday, July 16th from 5 – 8pm. The travel and lodging costs to attend the convention are not cheap, so this is a great opportunity to raise money and hang out with comrades. If you can’t make it to the picnic, consider giving as you are able here — no worker should be excluded from organizing due to lack of funds. 

Follow along with our MDC DSA national convention delegation by checking out the #2023-national-convention Slack channel, and make sure to attend our next GBM on July 9.


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.

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 excited to announce that we will be having a summer skating fundraiser at Anacostia’s Skate Park on Saturday, July 8 from 4 – 8pm. Join us after for a social at a nearby bar until 10pm, location TBD.


Meditation and Balance for Organizers Series — starting July 12

The newly inaugurated Training Department will kick off its first series, Meditation and Balance for Organizers, on July 12; the nine-week series will focus on strategies for managing individual activist burnout. More about the new department’s full series, including info contacts, can be found here. Additionally, apply to participate in the Training Department’s Organizer Training starting in late August, designed for members hoping to develop skills on how to be a socialist organizer and hold organizing conversations.

DMV-wide tenant meeting — July 12 (rescheduled)

On July 12, Stomp Out Slumlords will host its regular in-person meeting with tenant leaders and organizers from across DC, Maryland and Virginia. We will be hearing organizing updates from buildings, discussing common tenant organizing issues and solutions and inviting new tenants and buildings to share and join in on their struggles.

If you are looking to get involved or organize your building, this is the perfect place to start. We will be orienting new volunteers and explaining more about what we do and where we can use more organizers. Join us at 6pm at MLK Library (901 G St NW) in Room 401-G on the 4th floor. Afterwards, we will head over to Hill Country Barbecue Market for food, drinks and socializing.


Socialist Night School on Social Housing with panelist Zachary Parker — July 20

Join us for a Socialist Night School on Social Housing on Thursday, July 20 at 6:30pm, a hybrid event held at the Petworth Library and online. The Night School will feature as panelists MDC DSA-endorsed DC Ward 5 Councilmember Zachary Parker, Empower DC’s Parisa Norouzi and Tenants Together’s Shanti Singh; we will cover the housing problem in the DC area, why public housing is an essential policy to address it, how public housing has helped working people live in cities such as Vienna, what the Green New Deal for DC campaign is all about and how to get involved in the fight in DC, Montgomery County and beyond. Sign up and learn more here!


Publications Schedule: This is the final June Update; Updates will be published weekly throughout the summer — e.g., Fridays, July 7, 14, 21 and 28 — 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.

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.

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, July 1

1 – 3:15 PM | Villains of Silicon Valley: DC Walking Tour

4pm | Defund NoVA Police Paint n’ Sip Fundraiser-Social

Wednesday, July 5

7 – 8pm | Repro Justice Open Meeting

Thursday, July 6

6 – 7pm | Publications Board Meeting

Friday, July 7

6:30 – 9pm | NoVA Game Nite (in person)

Wednesday, July 12

6 – 8 pm | Stomp Out Slumlords’ DMV-Wide Tenant Meeting

Thursday, July 13 

6:15 – 7:45pm | NoVA DSA Monthly Organizing Meeting (hybrid)

Saturday, July 15

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

Sunday, July 16

5 – 8pm | Convention Delegate Fundraiser/Picnic

Wednesday, July 19

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

Thursday, July 20

6:30 – 8:30pm | Social Housing: Socialist Night School (hybrid)


Art Exchange | AYA Art Collective

On Monday, July 3 the AYA Art Collective will host an Art Exchange at the Eaton Hotel’s Eaton House (1203 K Street NW) from 6 – 9pm. The Art Exchange offers an unforgettable evening of Afrocentric Performance Art centered around Black Queer and Trans performers in the DMV area who will showcase their artistic talents and gifts. In addition, our event has a goal of building a community of collaboration and imagining liberated futures through art. Tickets are available on a sliding scale and available here.

DC Punk Archive, Rooftop Shows | DC Public Library

DC Punk Archive Library Rooftop Shows are back! The next two shows will take place on July 5 (featuring Bad Moves, Glitterer and Outerloop) and August 2 (featuring Hammered Hulls, Jenny Hates Techno and Emotional World). These shows are free, all ages, and take place at 6:30pm on the rooftop of the DC MLK Library (901 G Street NW).

Industry Night Market | Electric Cool-aid

The Night Market series at Electric Cool-aid (512 Rhode Island NW) features crafts and wares from DC hospitality industry creatives. The July 10 market will open from 5 – 10pm and features plant vendors, spooky creations, boozy cupcakes, tarot reading and more! The Night Market will take place on the Electric Cool-aid patio and is free to enter (but must be 21 to enter the bar).

Summer Art Parties | Common Good City Farm

Bring your kids out to Common Good City Farm (300 V Street NW) to create some art for the space and some to take home! The next Summer Art Parties will be on July 23 and August 13, from 3 – 4pm. Light snacks and refreshments will be available. Summer Art Parties are free to attend, click here to learn more.


The Unfolding Medicaid Disaster

Now that Biden and Congress have ended pandemic protections, nearly a million have lost Medicaid coverage for procedural reasons so far — and many more will. From The Lever via Portside.

D.C. cleared scores of homeless from McPherson Square. Then kept evicting them.

“Although D.C. officials deemed more than 60 percent of them eligible for housing assistance, less than 30 percent ultimately received some kind of housing — including accepting a bed in one of the city’s shelters. The majority remained on the street.” As activists predicted at the time, encampment evictions provide no lasting solutions for the District’s houseless – in fact, it makes it harder for advocates to help our houseless neighbors. Read more from the Washington Post.

International labor news: Retail workers across Spain walked off the job on Monday, striking against H&M Group for better pay and working conditions. “Union leader Ángeles Rodríguez Bonillo told The Associated Press that workers had lived with “salaries that have been frozen for many, many years” but now have found their situation untenable “with the economic situation and the high cost of living.”

Strike Ready: Teamsters prez O’Brien says “The largest single-employer strike in American history [against UPS] now appears inevitable.” Company has ‘til today (Friday) to change their offer, he said. From the union’s website. 

Why did Democrats embrace the far-right Narendra Modi? 

From Jacobin: “During an official state visit, the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has been feted and praised despite his Hindu nationalism and right-wing policies — even by Democrats.”

Maryland tidbits from the weekly News You Can Use blog (Progressive Maryland): “As a new United Way study showed over the weekend, there are nearly a million Maryland households that are employed, ‘earn above the [Federal Poverty Level], but not enough to afford the basics in the communities where they live.’” Before COVID that number was over 800,000; COVID times added 77,000. So the numbers were already bad. And that’s households. More current news, detailed in the blog, illuminates how households in Maryland and elsewhere tumble into that status.

On a related note, Rev. William Barber and colleague Gregg Gonsalves identify the stealth killing machine in US life: “A recent study by one of our colleagues shows that cumulative poverty over many years is the fourth leading cause of death in this country. Current poverty – just being poor right now – is seventh on that list.” From The Guardian.

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