August 11, 2023

AUGUST 11, 2023



  • DSA National Convention 2023 wraps up

  • Montgomery County DSA picnic in celebration of successful rent control campaign — Sunday, August 13

  • Popular Front mobilizes against Governor Youngkin’s anti-trans agenda in Virginia — Rally with FCPS Pride next Tuesday, August 15

DSA National Convention 2023 wraps up

DSA’s National Convention wrapped up on Sunday having elected a new National Political Committee and adopted a host of new resolutions and amendments. Members can head over to the #2023-national-convention Slack channel for additional details. Results of the NPC election, which include slate and faction information, are as follows:

  • San Francisco based Red Star (3) — Megan R, John L, Sam HL. The Red Star candidates structured their campaign around good governance and internal structure building in the organization, in the process developing trust across a base of unaffiliated delegates at convention and through uniting a constellation of left-leaning caucuses.
  • The Groundwork coalition (4) — Rose D, Frances G, Ashik S (formerly of Metro DC DSA) and Cara T. The Groundwork slate is made up of former members of the 2021 Green New Deal slate, and is focused broadly on anchoring ecosocialist politics, legislative advocacy and electoral organizing at the national level. The Coalition ran up big support from delegates in major cities.
  • Bread & Roses caucus (3) — Alex P, Kristin S, Laura W. The caucus calls generally for rank-and-file labor organizing and prioritizing a break from the Democratic Party. 
  • Socialist Majority Caucus (2) — Colleen J, Renee P. A caucus that generally pursues political realignment of the Democratic Party, with focus on labor solidarity and electoralism.
  • Marxist Unity Group (2) — Rashad X, Amy W. A caucus spun out of the popular Cosmonaut publication, MUG has been focused on building up the DSA into an independent workers’ party. 
  • Anti-Zionist Slate (1) — Ahmed H. The Anti-Zionist slate was formed out of the DSA’s BDS working group and is largely focused on strengthening DSA’s approach to BDS and Palestinian liberation, as well as internationalism within the organization.
  • Independent (1) – Luisa M of Portland DSA. An active member of DSA’s International Committee.

In general context, this election appears to represent a one-vote swing to the “left,” with Bread & Roses likely to act as a swing vote. However, with no dominant faction all NPC members will need to work together to move the organization and their prerogatives. All NPC members have signed leadership pledges as part of their commitment to good governance: the pledge signed by Groundwork members and the Red Star pledge signed by the rest of the NPC candidates. In both pledges, candidates agreed to move away from online squabbles to focus more on productive disagreement, structure building, expanding transparency and expression of dissent through official DSA channels and publications instead of social media. Look out for deeper convention coverage in the Washington Socialist next week.

Montgomery County DSA picnic in celebration of successful rent control campaign — Sunday, August 13

Join the Montgomery County Branch for our annual summer picnic at Wheaton Forest Local Park (1700 University Blvd W, Wheaton, MD 20902) from 1 – 4pm. The picnic will celebrate the successful rent stabilization campaign victory, and will include interactive games, activities and some short speeches around 2:30pm. DSA has reserved a covered picnic area, so we will be out there rain or shine. Children, family members and friends of all ages are welcome. The park is about a 15-minute walk away from the Wheaton Metro. Questions? Contact and an organizer will get back to you.

Please RSVP so that we have a head count for food, and let us know if you can bring food and supplies or serve in a volunteer role.

Popular Front mobilizes against Governor Youngkin’s anti-trans agenda in Virginia — Rally with FCPS Pride next Tuesday, August 15

The Virginia Department of Education under Governor Youngkin is intent on making it impossible for trans and non-binary students, staff and families to exist freely in our schools and public life. NoVA DSA will be joining with FCPS Pride and other organizations for a rally and short march on Tuesday at 6:30pm at Luther Jackson Middle School (3020 Gallows Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042) in support of trans and other queer folks in VA schools resisting these policies. These assaults on our trans comrades will not stand! More information can be found at the Facebook event page. If you plan to join, please notify NoVA organizers in the #northern-virginia Slack channel to hold down the game plan.


Political Ed working group announces Fall 2023 reading groups

There’s something for everyone: an internationalism-focused film discussion group, housing policy in Chile, Ursula K. LeGuin, the origins of capitalism and so much more! Reading groups are great places to meet comrades, learn about topics of interest, talk through ideas with a group, and come into the chapter’s work through political education. Several chapter working groups are sponsoring reading groups, making them a great way to get more involved in specific organizing within Metro DC DSA. Ongoing political education is a necessity for both members and the chapter as a whole — our actions must be informed by theories and history. Groups will start the week of Labor Day. Sign up here.


Stomp Out Slumlords releases year-end report

Stomp Out Slumlords, Metro DC DSA’s tenant organizing project, has released its 2023 report. A reflection on the past two and a half years of organizing during and after the immediate crisis of the pandemic, the report offers valuable insights on winning in the face of impending catastrophe, owning those victories and continuing momentum — and much more. Read it here.

Returning Citizens Town Hall Saturday, August 12

Progressive Maryland is a sponsor of theFind Your Community, Find Your VoiceReturning Citizens Town Hall, which will take place at 11am on Saturday, August 12. Speakers will include Rev. Ricardo Sheppard; State Delegate Jamila Woods; Charles Hopkins, Samaritan Ministry, Peer Recovery Specialist; Michael Williams, Director of Returning Citizen Affairs Division Office of the County Executive (PG); and Lamont Carey, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens Affairs (DC). The primary speakers, however, will be returning citizens in attendance who will be afforded the opportunity to express their concerns, needs and aspirations. In addition to speakers, the Town Hall will provide space for direct service providers to provide information and will feature an expungement clinic. The Town Hall will take place at The Episcopal Church of the Atonement (5073 E. Capitol Street SE). The expungement clinic will run from 11:30am – 2pm.


MDC DSA Labor working group meeting on Monday, August 14; plus, DC Starbucks Workers United union election rally — Wednesday, August 16

Save the date for a virtual Labor working group meeting next Monday, August 14. We’ll talk Teamsters, Starbucks, Union Kitchen, Worker Organizing Workshop, Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC) and more. Check the #labor channel in Slack for updates on pending Zoom link.

Plus, socialists and labor allies across the city will be joining Starbucks workers at 5500 Connecticut Ave NW from 8 – 9am on August 16th to show support ahead of their union election later that day. SBWU encourages supporters to bring signs and messages of solidarity.

Social Housing working group releases campaign homepage — sign up to canvass from August – October

Our Social Housing campaign is launching! The campaign homepage features links to our DC Council petition, a recording of last month’s Night School (and a companion radio interview on Empower DC’s radio show), training materials from Councilmember Janeese Lewis George, educational articles and links to sign up for upcoming organizing meetings and canvasses. Join us August 27, September 10 and 16, and October 7 to canvass community events in Dupont, Adams Morgan, H Street and Georgia Avenue.


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

Renters United Maryland Housing Justice Summit Sunday August 27

Join Renters United Maryland, Maryland’s statewide housing justice coalition, in Columbia on August 27 to celebrate our wins from the 2023 legislative session and plan for the future of housing justice across Maryland. This summit is an opportunity to continue advancing tenants’ rights statewide. Coalition organizers are still working on the potential for a hybrid event option. If you need to join virtually, please add a note in the accommodations description box of the registration page to receive more details. Register here

Please fill out Renters United Maryland’s annual survey to provide input on what housing justice issues are important to you and help inform our coalition’s advocacy for the 2024 Maryland state legislative session. The survey can be found here.


Last chance to sign up for the NoVA Branch tabletop fundraiser

Time is running out fast! NoVA Branch is hosting a fundraiser to connect comrades so that they can play tabletop games with one another. Donate to the fundraiser and you will get access to a survey that will help you match up with other nerdy comrades. The adventure begins here!

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 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 just-concluded 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:



Ward 4 Back to School Giveaway | Councilmember Janeese Lewis George, et al

Emery Heights Community Day will host this fall’s Ward 4 Back to School Giveaway on Saturday, August 12 at 5701 Georgia Ave NW from 12 – 8pm. There will be free school supplies available for kids, live music, food, games and plenty of activities!

Group Sk8 | FloDMV

FloDMV, a DMV-based queer- and trans-led skate community, is leading a group skate session at Palisades Skatepark (5200 Sherier Pl NW) on August 20 from 3 – 6pm. This event is centering beginner, queer and trans skaters. If you’ve been wanting to work on certain tricks or are just getting comfortable on your board, FloDMV will have folks there to help you. Feel free to bring picnic items to share and enjoy on the adjacent grassy area. There will also be a raffle for some goodies!

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.

Punk Rock Flea — now accepting applications | DC Punk Rock Flea

The Punk Rock Flea Market is back! This year’s flea will take place on November 18, and applications for vendors are now being accepted here.


What’s up with the US debt? Is it a problem? NYT columnist Paul Krugman puts it this way: “The federal government is basically an insurance company with an army: It spends mainly on things the public wants, like the military, Social Security and health programs. But we have an effective blocking coalition [the GOP in Congress] against raising taxes enough to pay for those programs. So we’ll keep accumulating debt until that impasse is resolved.” He goes on in this helpful newsletter that qualifies as wonky.

The Department of Labor announced that it would update the Davis-Bacon Act — also known as prevailing wage law, which was gutted by Ronald Reagan (with the help of Jimmy Carter) in the 1980s — in a win for building trades unions that “could raise the salaries of the lowest-paid workers on infrastructure ranging from highways and bridges to battery plants, hydrogen production facilities, and semiconductor fabs.” The rule will also likely be immediately challenged in court by anti-labor actors like the Associated Builders and Contractors.

On 78th Anniversary of Hiroshima Bombing, [City’s] Mayor Decries ‘Folly’ of Deterrence Theory

“Believers of proactive nuclear deterrence, who say nuclear weapons are indispensable to maintain peace, are only delaying the progress toward nuclear disarmament,” Hiroshima’s governor added. Common Dreams via Portside

Reality bites as Bernie gets a podium on the Fox News site for his excursus on climate change: “I understand that transitioning away from fossil fuels is a contentious and difficult issue and will meet enormous opposition from Big Oil and other special interests. I also understand that it is not just an American issue, and that China (currently the world’s major carbon emitter) and countries throughout the world will have to come together with us to make the cuts in carbon emissions that the health of the planet requires. Whether we like it or not, we’re all in this together.” Watching this reasoned argument fight its way through the clutter and appalling news play on the Fox site is a mis-educational exemplar in itself.

The DC Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit against the DC Board of Elections in an attempt to kill proposed ballot initiatives for ranked-choice voting and open primaries. The DC Democrats join the DC Republican Party in opposition to the proposed initiatives, a stern reminder that capitalist class interests continue to dominate both ends of our political duopoly.

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