August 4, 2023

AUGUST 4, 2023



  • The DSA National Convention convenes on Friday

  • Political Engagement Committee to hold meeting on 2024 questionnaire on August 8 — input from chapter members requested

  • Socialists join the fight against Starbucks union busting — holding demonstrations against stores on August 7

The DSA National Convention convenes on Friday

DSA’s National Convention begins on Friday, August 4 in Chicago. Delegates to the convention, including 38 of our own from Metro DC, will be debating policy and strategy for the Democratic Socialists to follow over the next two years. Delegates will be tasked on affirming or denying a slew of resolutions, electing a new National Political Committee and instructing the organization on how best to marshal our resources to build socialism and emancipate the working class in the US and abroad. Contentious debates and tough decisions around DSA’s electoral collaboration with the Democratic Party, the size and structure of the NPC and our national working groups and committees — primarily the International Committee and the Boycott, Divest, Sanction working group — and DSA’s potential mascot are sure to abound.

Follow along in #2023-national-convention and be sure to treat your fellow comrades as such.

Political Engagement Committee to hold meeting on 2024 questionnaire on August 8 — input from chapter members requested

At the next meeting of Metro DC DSA’s Political Engagement Committee, the committee will hold a deeper discussion on endorsement guidance for 2024. This meeting — to take place on August 8 — will help inform development of the local’s endorsement questionnaire for use this fall. Ideally, updates will be complete and brought to the general body for a vote at the August General Body Meeting. 

All chapter members are invited to participate in this meeting, especially those who have priorities or issues that they want to be considered as part of DSA’s endorsement process. Important issues to be considered include: how to best integrate our priority campaigns into the questionnaire; questions about a Socialists In Office Committee; and questions to create surety about political alignment with DSA, including possibly questions about previous elections. All suggestions, however, are welcome! Interested members are invited to ask questions in the #2023-pec channel in Slack or to message PEC Chair Carl R directly.

Socialists join the fight against Starbucks union busting — holding demonstrations against stores on August 7

Join DSA and other community organizations in solidarity with Starbucks Workers United for a Day of Action on Monday, August 7 to demand that Starbucks respect workers’ rights! SBWU has filed dozens of complaints to the National Labor Relations Board citing hundreds of labor violations, including organizers being fired, stores being shut down and pay raises being denied to unionized stores. Multiple events are being planned at area Starbucks — find one to join here or host your own.

Current MDC DSA actions:

  • Olney, MD from 8 – 10am (3126 Olney Sandy Spring Road, Olney MD 20906)
  • Takoma, DC from 8 – 10am (232 Carroll Street NW, DC 20012)
  • Rosslyn, VA from 9 – 11am (1501 17th Street North, Arlington VA 22209)
  • Virginia Square, VA from 2 – 4pm (901 North Stuart Street Arlington, VA, 22203)

Other fronts:


From the Washington Socialist: Onward to Convention from Michael M

On the eve of Convention, comrade and Steering Committee member Michael M contributes to the dialogue surrounding the recent delegate election. Brew a pot of tea and delve into the intricacies of the election timeframe, the Onward Slate platform, and the urgent need for socialists to advocate their views internally as well as externally.


Mayor Bowser uses budget tricks to keep migrants in limbo

As Republican governors continue to bus migrants across the country as part of a cruel trafficking publicity stunt, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has used a procedural veto to block migrants in DC from being granted temporary forms of identification. With temporary hotel shelters allocated to newly arrived migrant families filled to capacity at about 1,200 people, others are left in an unfortunate catch-22 where they lack legal documentation to get shelter of their own — or even to open bank accounts, apply for refugee status, or any number of things that require an ID.

Comrades at Sanctuary DMV continue to take donations in their mutual aid efforts to help these victims of Republican barbarity.

Fossil Fuel Fighter Festival — August 19

On August 19, the Earth Day 2023 collective will hold a youth-led (but open to all!) Fossil Fuel Fighter Festival to bring together organizations and individuals from across movements. Get ready to learn, build community, play games, make art and more. The Fossil Fuel Fighter Festival will also help us prepare for the September 17 March to End Fossil Fuels in NYC. We’ll be in Malcolm X Park in NW DC (exact location to be determined) from 10am – 1pm. If you can bring anything (be it a game, food, music or a bunch of friends) or would like to help organize the festival, please say so on the RSVP form or reach out to


Organize the Unorganized — August 6

Come to the NoVA Union Organizing School this Sunday, August 6 from 5 – 7pm at Northern Virginia Labor Federation (4536 B John Marr Drive, Annandale, VA) for an Organize the Unorganized training session led by Chris Townsend, retired Organizing Director of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). Northern Virginia, like the rest of the United States, has seen a huge increase in workplace organization efforts that we, as socialists, must capitalize on. Whether you’re an experienced organizer looking to learn new tricks or a newcomer to organizing that’s just sick of your boss, this training is for you. Details and sign-up information are here. The event is in-person only.

Share your labor day music — Washington Socialist compiling reader playlist

The Washington Socialist needs suggestions for its left-wing Labor Day playlist. Contemporary or old-school; weird punk; utopian jazz; class-conscious new-wave; labor ballads; antifascist folk; or any other tune that gets your blood pumping to the left. Bonus points for DMV area-sounds. Submissions will be reviewed and arranged into a wider list and made available in the Labor Day issue. Submit a link or upload your digital audio copy directly at the link here.


Publications Schedule: Updates will be published weekly on Fridays throughout the summer — August Updates will arrive on the 11th, 18th and 25th. The Publications WG has adopted a summer schedule for the Washington Socialist. The Bastille Day issue is available here and features articles by chapter members on the upcoming convention, congressional Republicans’ assault on District autonomy and more. The Friday, September 1 Update will accompany our Labor Day issue. The article deadline for the Labor Day Washington Socialist is Saturday, August 26; send submissions to

Quick reference links for MDC DSA:



ASL Story Time | Gallaudet Motion Light Lab, DCPL

Visit the Children’s Room of the MLK Jr. Memorial Library at 2pm on Saturdays, August 5 and September 2 for ASL storytelling and fun with a new storybook app created by Gallaudet University’s Motion Light Lab (ML2). ML2 staff will present stories in American Sign Language with voice interpretation using the apps they have created. Visuals will be projected on a screen while the presenter reads and signs the story. For more information, contact Tayla Newman, Program Support Specialist for ML2 via videophone (240-608-6580) or email (

Dinner and a Movie | DC Veg Week, sPACYcLOUD, Slow Food DC

Looking for another summer movie to see after Barbenheimer? Join DC Veg Week and Slow Food DC at vegan restaurant/skate shop/community space sPACYcLOUD on Thursday, August 10, for a free screening of “Eating Animals,” based off of Jonathan Safran Foer’s book by the same name. In this 2017 documentary, filmmaker Christopher Quinn examines the environmental, economic and public health consequences of factory farming. Tickets for “Eating Animals” and all screenings associated with DC Veg Week can be found here.

Back to School Fairs/Resources

August is all about back to school prep for DC families, so we’ve compiled a few upcoming resource fairs below. All events are free and feature a variety of activities, many including free meals and a giveaway of backpacks and/or school supplies. DC Special Education Hub will also be tabling at each event to provide resources to families with special needs children. Please contact the event organizer listed for details on each event.

  • Langston Day Back to School Resource Fair: Saturday, August 19, from 11am – 5pm at 667 24 St NE. For more information, email
  • Carver Back to School Resource Fair: Thursday, August 24, from 1 – 4pm at 2026 Maryland Ave NE. For more information, email

Ward 5 Back to School Event: Saturday, August 26, from 10am – 2pm at Brookland Middle School (1150 Michigan Ave NE). For more information, email

Watermelon Festival Weekend | Black Dirt Farm Collective

The Watermelon Festival is a reintroduction of Black Dirt Farm Collective (BDFC) to the Mid-Atlantic region in celebration of the beautiful watermelon and its forgotten beautiful Black History! On August 19 and 20, BDFC will bring together BIPOC land-workers, agrarianists, creators and nature enthusiasts on BDFC’s 22 acres of land for two days of family-friendly, watermelon-filled activities including an overnight camping experience, watermelon-themed tastings, wellness workshops, outdoor education, live music and more! Tickets range from $3-30.


A Charles County activist comments in Maryland Matters that the minimum standards for safe and healthy shelter are being ignored or flouted by those getting rich off the rents they collect. Quoting MarketWatch, he notes “The reality that many households without air conditioning are made up of low-income renters or people of color has caused some to see air-conditioning access as both a public-health and racial-equity issue.”

And how about on the job? The Guardian reports that Big Business lobbies against heat protections for workers as US boils – as if that were a surprise… “The Biden administration has proposed federal heat protections for workers. But those rules face stiff opposition and could take several years to be finalized under current rule-making processes and laws. They could even be scrapped depending on the outcome of 2024’s election.”

For Maryland comrades, a roundup of Maryland, comparative state and some relevant federal news clips (“News You Can Use”) posted every Monday on the Progressive Maryland blogsite; this week “…a lot of climate news in the News You Can Use, as well as scams, lobbyists (not the same thing, quite), how to run the state’s schools improvement (better check the AC before opening day), what other states are doing we might think about or stay away from, and Congress takes a break with essentially nothing accomplished.”

The New Majority/DSA Observer has done their own budget/cost analysis of resolutions that will come before the 2023 Convention. “This Convention will be the second in the post-Bernie reinvention of the DSA. It’s essential to recognize that we no longer have the tailwinds of a larger national campaign to boost membership and socialist appeal. The decisions made during this Convention will have a binding effect on the organization’s priorities and resource allocation. Among all the decisions made at the convention, few are more critical than those that impact our financial resources.”

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