July 7, 2023

July 7, 2023



  • MDC DSA July General Body Meeting — Sunday, July 9

  • DMV-wide tenant meeting — Wednesday, July 12 (rescheduled)

  • Union Kitchen boycott continues: Support workers by signing up to leaflet

MDC DSA July General Body Meeting — Sunday, 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 this Sunday, 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.

This month’s GBM will feature a section on internal democracy, how internal politics arise in mass democratic organizations and the history of internal politics in the chapter, with spaces for discussion. We want to hear from members of all levels of involvement and experience, so please consider attending. For more information, make sure to sign up here.

DMV-wide tenant meeting — Wednesday, July 12 (rescheduled)

On Wednesday 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.

Union Kitchen boycott continues: Support workers by signing up to leaflet

Union Kitchen Workers United are well underway in 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.


Washington Socialist article addition — submission deadline approaching

Ahead of this weekend’s General Body Meeting, read one last pre-Bastille Day addition to the Washington Socialist — comrade Sam D.’s retrospective analysis of our chapter’s delegate election process (and the debate and discussion that followed), complete with the author’s recommendations on expanding member participation and strengthening internal democracy. 

A reminder: The deadline to submit articles for publication in our next full edition of the Washington Socialist — to be released next Friday, July 14 in recognition of Bastille Day — is tomorrow. Send submissions to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.

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.)


Repro Justice fundraiser for DCAF — Saturday, July 8

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


Meditation and Balance for Organizers Series — starting Wednesday, July 12

The newly inaugurated Training Department will kick off its first series, Meditation and Balance for Organizers, on Wednesday July 12; the nine-week series will focus on strategies for managing individual activist burnout. More about the new department’s full series, key contacts and upcoming programming can be found here. Additionally, you may 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 learn how to hold effective organizing conversations.

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 16 from 5 to 8pm. The travel and lodging involved in the convention are not cheap, so this is a great opportunity to raise money and hang out with comrades. If you cannot make it to the picnic, consider helping phonebank the chapter — there are shifts on Sundays and Wednesdays, and you can call outside of them, too. And feel free to donate whatever you can 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 this Sunday, July 9.

Socialist Night School on Social Housing with panelist Zachary Parker — Thursday, 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. The Night School 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.

NoVa Branch wants you to play more tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons

Want to play tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons with your comrades? NoVa Branch is hosting a fundraiser where everyone who donates will get access to a survey that will help them connect fellow nerdy comrades to play games with. Donate here to get the survey and roll for initiative.


Publications Schedule: Updates will be published weekly throughout the summer — Fridays, July 7, 14, 21 and 28 — with Publications WG 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 tomorrow, Saturday, July 8; send submissions to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.

Quick reference links for MDC DSA: 

And live from our studio Wednesday, July 19, 8 – 9pm | MDC DSA’s Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation

Weekly Update Tip Line: The Metro DC DSA Tip Line is live. Tell us what you think we should be covering. Or join us on #publications Slack channel.


Friday, July 7

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

Wednesday, July 12

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

6 – 8 pm | We Power DC Organizing Committee 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)

Sunday, July 30

11am – 6pm | Sunday Funday Food Drive and Fundraiser (in person, NoVA Branch, open to all)


Half-Price Metro Rides Now Available for DC SNAP Users | WMATA

DC SNAP users can now receive a half-off fare discount from WMATA whenever they use their SmartTrip card. The new “Metro Lift” program will help reduce the transit burden for an estimated 90,000 DC residents and is open now. Enrollment can be done either online via the WMATA website or in person (Metro Center Metro Station on the Mezzanine level, the Metro Office Building at L’Enfant Plaza and the Metro Office Building at New Carrollton). Participants must provide their contact information, SmarTrip card number, and photos of their state-issued photo ID and SNAP EBT card to enroll. Discounts are available 48 hours after enrolling online or immediately if done in person, and customers will have to re-enroll annually. 

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 to 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 to 4pm. Light snacks and refreshments will be available. Summer Art Parties are free to attend, click here to learn more.

DC Punk Archive, Rooftop Shows | DC Public Library

DC Punk Archive Library Rooftop Shows are back! The next show will take place on 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).


Socialist electeds in a show of force

Our comrade and former MDC DSA member David Duhalde writes in In These Times about a confab of 80 elected democratic socialists from around the country. “How We Win: The Democratic Socialist Policy Agenda in Office,” was held at Gallaudet University right here in DC.

Supreme Court Decisions on Education Could Shift Debate to Class and Intersectional Effects — A roundup

  • “The decisions this week on affirmative action and student loans give Democrats a way to make a case on class and appeal to voters who have drifted away from the party.” Opinion from NYT.
  • Writing history from below, Greg Palast, caustic and entertaining, relates his own experience as an “affirmative action baby.” “American education is a war zone — where battlefield success is measured by the prestige schools you’ve attended, connections to the powerful and their wallets and their Rolodexes, to their ‘networking opportunities,’ and entry into the gene pool for the landlords of our planet. ‘Getting in’ — is everything. Getting left out is everything too, if you’re left out. … In other words, it’s bigger than race. It’s about the war that cannot speak its name: class war. The ruling class doesn’t mind ‘diversity’ if it doesn’t threaten their rule.” From Portside.
  • “… many of the people who run elite colleges have had their own blind spot in recent decades. They have often excluded class from their definition of diversity. They enrolled students of every race and religion, from every continent and U.S. region, without worrying much about the economic privilege that many of those students shared. NYT briefing
  • And Richard Kahlenberg, again in the NYT: Focus on race, not class — “I testified that racial diversity is very important — but that providing a leg up to economically disadvantaged students is a fairer and more legally and politically sustainable way to produce it.”
  • Just as a coda, here’s a post-decision observation from The Economist (The Economist!!): “Despite the sermonising [sic] of its administrators, even with race-based affirmative action the country’s best universities never represented America. The very same universities offer extreme preferences to children of alumni and donors—a shadow, unjustifiable affirmative-action scheme for the white and wealthy hidden behind the prominent one for black and Hispanic applicants (a disproportionate share of whom were wealthy themselves).” 

AI’s Roots in Neoliberal Ideology

“The real risks of [Artificial General Intelligence] are political and won’t be fixed by taming rebellious robots. The safest of A.G.I.s would not deliver the progressive panacea promised by its lobby. And in presenting its emergence as all but inevitable, A.G.I.-ism distracts from finding better ways to augment intelligence. Unbeknown to its proponents, A.G.I.-ism is just a bastard child of a much grander ideology, one preaching that, as Margaret Thatcher memorably put it, there is no alternative, not to the market. Rather than breaking capitalism, as [Open AI co-founder Sam] Altman has hinted it could do, A.G.I. — or at least the rush to build it — is more likely to create a powerful (and much hipper) ally for capitalism’s most destructive creed: neoliberalism.” Evgeny Morozov in the NYT Sunday Opinion

Business Outsider? Strike publications offer a glimpse of worker-owned media

During their strikes, journalists at Business Insider and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette continued writing – just for not for their own publications. From The Objective; TX our comrade Amanda L for the tip.

Our comrade David Schwartzman provides a critique of Kohei Saito’s book “Marx in the Anthropocene: Towards the Idea of Degrowth Communism” — “Degrowth Communism is close in concept to Solar Communism both with a steady-state physical economy, realizing a 21st century update of Marx, “From each according to her ability, to each according to her needs” with her referring to both humans and nature. … Saito’s book hopefully will help promote this future.” From Climate and Capitalism

“As Israel’s biggest siege on Jenin in two decades wound down, tales of trauma and devastation emerged from the small settlement that has been home to three generations of Palestinians who had to flee their ancestral land during the Nakba (catastrophe) in 1948. But also evident was a firm resolve, and a defiance aimed at Israel and its international allies.” Al Jazeera reports on the brutal Israeli assault on Jenin that killed at least 11 Palestinians: ‘They can’t break our spirit.’

“France has ignored racist police violence for decades. This uprising is the price of that denial.” In The Guardian, Rokhaya Diallo writes: “Since the video went viral of the brutal killing by a police officer of Nahel, a 17-year-old shot dead at point-blank range, the streets and housing estates of many poorer French neighbourhoods have been in a state of open revolt … After years of marches, petitions, open letters and public requests, a disaffected youth finds no other way to be heard than by rioting.”

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