July 21, 2023

July 21, 2023



  • RENT STABILIZATION PASSES IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY: Working class triumphant in historic advancement of tenant power

  • Steering Committee Unanimously Votes to Censure Zachary Parker

  • Union Kitchen leafleting continues — rally tomorrow, July 22

RENT STABILIZATION PASSES IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY: Working class triumphant in historic advancement of tenant power

Years of organizing for tenants’ rights have shifted power and pushed forward the historic passage of rent stabilization in Montgomery County. This week, the Montgomery County Council voted 7 – 4 to approve Maryland’s first county-wide, permanent rent stabilization bill. When signed into law by County Executive Marc Elrich, Bill 15-23 will limit rent increases to 3% plus inflation as measured by the consumer price index, up to a 6% maximum. The final bill also includes much-needed vacancy control, allows regulation for the charging of “additional fees” and includes all housing types. While HOME Act sponsors Elrich and Council Members Will Jawando (D-At large) and Kristin Mink (D-District 5) and their staff played key roles, this victory for the over 400,000 tenants who call Montgomery County home would not have happened without tireless and relentless organizing by the Montgomery County Branch of Metro DC DSA and the HOME Act coalition including CASA, Jews United for Justice, the Montgomery County Educators Association, SEIU 500, Everyday Canvassing, Sunrise Silver Spring and more. See the coalition victory press release here.

Join Metro DC DSA to continue building working class and tenant power in our region, and celebrate this victory with the Montgomery County branch at our annual branch summer picnic on August 13 at Wheaton Forest Local Park.

Steering Committee Unanimously Votes to Censure Zachary Parker

On Tuesday, July 11, Metro DC DSA elected official Councilmember Zachary Parker voted for the “Prioritizing Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2023,” which expands pretrial detention for youth and a broad swath of adults. This vote, and his championing of the bill, stand in stark contrast to the values that led the chapter to endorse Councilmember Parker’s candidacy and to the campaign the chapter ran to elect him, which included over 40,000 doors knocked by chapter members. 

In response, the Steering Committee unanimously voted to censure Councilmember Parker at its July 18 meeting, following a recommendation from the Political Engagement Committee and input from multiple priority campaigns. Censure is the highest form of rebuke available to the chapter that leaves open the possibility of working together in the future, and the Steering Committee hopes that accountability can lead to a future where Councilmember Parker returns to the values he campaigned on. Read the censure resolution here.

Union Kitchen leafleting continues — rally tomorrow, July 22

Union Kitchen Workers United are continuing their boycott campaign against Union Kitchen, a result of management’s persistent refusal to come to the table and bargain in good faith. Workers are looking for volunteers to help pass out flyers outside of Union Kitchen locations, particularly on weekends, with open slots available at various locations. View the schedule/locations and sign up here.

Metro DC DSA is holding a rally to support the workers this Saturday, July 22 at 11am in front of the 1924 8th Street NW location. There will be speakers and music, as well as information on ways to get involved in the fight for fair working conditions at Union Kitchen. You can find details and RSVP here. Socialists interested in volunteering to help promote and facilitate the event can reach out to @Kurtis (he/him) on Slack.


Baltimore DSA to host Strike Fest concert to benefit impending UPS strike — July 23

A strike has been authorized for August 1 and 340,000 UPS workers are preparing to join the picket line. In order to support these workers who make up such a critical part of our society’s infrastructure, Baltimore DSA has put together a benefit concert on July 23 at Mobtown Brewing Company (4015 Foster Avenue, Baltimore MD 21224) from 12 – 6pm. The concert will feature a lineup of diverse musical talent the Charm City is famous for: contemporary new wave from The Creachies, multi-genre alt-pop by Giji, rock-twanged experimental hip-hop from Owx, folksy alternative from Brunswick, and Baltimore-flavored whiskey rock by way of Old Eastern. Learn more or donate to the concert (and learn about an event-exclusive t-shirt) here.

Socialists who have not yet signed the Strike Ready Pledge should do so soon. Help our chapter plan for picket line mobilization by also filling out this survey. Reach out to @Kurtis (he/him) on Slack with any questions.

Shut Down ICA-Farmville Detention Center Virtual Action — July 25

Join the Free Them All Virginia coalition, including La ColectiVA, Detention Watch Network and NoVA branch’s Migrant Justice working group, for a virtual action on July 25 from 4 – 5:30pm — RSVP here. We will be hearing from directly impacted people and calling on President Biden, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and ICE Director Staci Barrera to stop the renewal of the contract that keeps the ICA-Farmville detention center open. This is part of a larger series of actions by the coalition ahead of the contract renewal date this September. You can also continue to support shut down efforts by: (1) Signing the petition to shut down ICA-Farmville, (2) Following Free Them All VA and coalition partners La ColectiVA, and (3) Donating to the La ColectiVA Liberation Fund (Venmo: @LaColectiVA) with the note “commissary donation.” Also fill out our interest form if you are interested in getting more involved with the NoVA branch’s Migrant Justice working group.


Socialist Feminist Section Happy Hour — July 26

Join the Socialist Feminist Section at As You Are. DC this Wednesday, July 26 from 5:30 – 8:30pm — all are welcome. As You Are. DC is an incredible bar which has a dance floor, lounge area, and coffee shop, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. RSVP here.

The Reproductive Justice working group will also be holding a meeting this Wednesday, July 26 at 7pm to plan next events, research reproductive justice and more. RSVP here


Defund NoVA Police Working Group Meeting — July 26

The Defund NoVA Police working group is working to challenge oppressive institutions and imagine the capacities for community care that we might grow instead. If you are interested in getting involved with our work, our next working group meeting is Wednesday, July 26 at 7pm. Please fill out our interest form in advance and we will get you plugged in.

Join the NoVA Branch for a Sunday Funday at Quincy Park — July 30

On Sunday, July 30 from 11am – 6pm, we will be playing games, eating food, and vibing with other comrades at Quincy Park (1021 N Quincy St, Arlington, VA 22201). Bring us your hacky sacks, water soakers and other fun outdoor games. We will also be hosting a fundraiser and food drive, so if you are feeling a little generous, we would appreciate that too. RSVP here.

Fundraise to Send Delegates to Convention — Every Wednesday and Sunday

Our chapter is raising funds to help send delegates to DSA’s national convention! You can help by phonebanking the chapter — there are shifts on Sundays and Wednesdays, and you can call on other days, too. Call your comrades for the cause! And feel free to donate whatever you can here. No worker should be excluded from organizing due to lack of funds. Remember: Socialist cash beats capitalist trash, and the more we practice basic organizing like fundraising, the better positioned we are to do it in the future.

Apply for chapter-wide Organizer Training starting next month

Applications for the Summer 2023 Organizer Training are open, and chapter members are invited to apply. The training will form a cohort of up to 20 people — both new and rising organizers, along with experienced organizers looking to improve or renew their organizing skills — and will use hands-on methods learned from chapter trainers that teach the principles of being an organizer. Modules will include Why We Organize, How to Hold Relational Organizing Conversations, Principles of Successful Campaigns, How to Plan a Campaign and more. Trainings will be held at a mutually convenient time weekly (either Sunday or Tuesday nights) for five weeks, and the group will get together in-person to get to know each other and talk organizing. Learn more and apply here.


Publications Schedule: Updates will be published weekly on Fridays throughout the summer — the final July Update the 28th; August 4, 11, 18 and 25 — with Publications WG adopting a summer schedule for the Washington Socialist; the Bastille Day issue is available here, and the Friday, September 1 Update brings our Labor Day issue. The article deadline for the Labor Day Washington Socialist is Saturday, August 26; send submissions to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.

Quick reference links for MDC DSA:

And live from our studio Wednesday, August 2, 8 – 9pm | MDC DSA’s Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation — includes live Q&A

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.



Food Access Updates | DC Hunger Solutions

Since the SNAP Emergency Allotments ended, many families are struggling to keep food on the table. DC Hunger Solutions’ benefits calculator can help ensure you are receiving the correct SNAP benefit. If you believe your benefits are incorrect, make sure your information is updated on the District Direct website or mobile application. For assistance with using the benefits calculator, maximizing your deductions, and/or making changes to your information, call DC Hunger Solutions at 202-640-1088. 

Two additional food access benefits have recently opened for DC residents: the DC Youth Meals Program (aka Summer Food Service Program) and DC WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). District children up to age 18 can receive Summer Food Service at designated meal sites at no cost while school is out during the summer months; there are no requirements to receive a meal. Sites are open now through August 27. To find a site near you, text “Food” or “Comida” to 304-304, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or visit the US Department of Agriculture Summer Meal Site Finder.  

WIC FMNP is available now and lasts until November 30. The program provides eligible WIC participants with a $30 benefit to purchase fresh produce and herbs at local farmers markets. Participants may redeem benefits electronically by signing up for eFMNP — to sign up, visit your local WIC agency, which will set you up with a QR code sticker, or call your local agency site to schedule an appointment and pick up your sticker. The local agency will add the sticker to your eWIC card, provide information on setting up an online portal account and mark that the benefit has been issued in the WIC system. Stay tuned to DC WIC for more information. 


Gensex is a community-based nonprofit centering the liberation and solidarity of Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color in the DMV. On Tuesday, July 25 from 6 – 8pm, Gensex will be hosting a planning meeting and picnic in Lincoln Park. Message Gensexdc on Instagram for additional information.

Community Safety Fair | DC Justice Lab

Public safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, and there is brilliance in the community that has gone unnoticed. Fifteen community leaders who do prevention and healing work in the District day after day want to share their solutions with you. Join them at the MLK Library on Saturday, July 29 from 2 – 4:30pm for a Community Safety Fair. Snacks will be provided.


Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns of 1980s recalled

As Rev. Jesse Jackson steps back (at 81) from the Rainbow/PUSH organization, activists from his remarkable presidential campaigns in the 1980s (which DSA strongly backed) gather to honor his work. Robert Borosage in The Nation recalls “In 1984 and 1988, Jesse Jackson challenged the country to move beyond racial division and find common ground. His was the first campaign of what would now be called intersectionality. He called it a quilt, making the point in union halls in Georgia, to family farms in Iowa, to gay and women activists that ‘your patch isn’t big enough’.” 

Why climate tribalism only helps the deniers

“One of the most effective ways to be a climate skeptic is to say nothing at all. Why expend the effort slapping down climate solutions when you can rely on feuding climate activists to tear each other’s ideas apart? Step into the murky waters of Twitter and you’ll often find activists spending more time going after one another than battling climate falsehoods.” From The Guardian.

Ahead of Israel President Isaac Herzog’s shameful address to Congress on Wednesday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal said that “the Palestinian people deserve self-determination and autonomy.” Predictably, Democrats and Republicans alike immediately responded with full-throated condemnation and an embracing of a state that “Organizations from Human Rights Watch to Amnesty International have condemned … for its racism, human rights abuses, and systems of apartheid.” From The New Republic. The House also passed a sham pro-Israel resolution by a (not) shocking 412-9 margin; Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Summer Lee of Pennsylvania, Jamaal Bowman of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri, Andre Carson of Indiana, Delia Ramirez of Illinois and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts voted against.

Amazon Teamsters’ Rolling Pickets Hit Facilities Nationwide

The battlefront widens every week. From 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