August 25, 2023

AUGUST 25, 2023



  • MDC DSA August General Body Meeting — Sunday, August 27

  • Social Housing working group canvassing operations begin this weekend — resources available at new homepage

  • Teamsters ratify UPS contract

MDC DSA August General Body Meeting — Sunday, August 27

Attend our virtual general body meeting this Sunday, August 27 from 2 to 4 pm. Our general body meetings convene all chapter members bi-monthly. Working groups, caucuses, committees and leadership provide key updates on campaigns and other activities. Members may also propose and vote on business. This month we’ll learn about the successful rent stabilization campaign in Montgomery County and hear back from delegates who went to DSA’s national convention about some of the decisions made at the national level and any takeaways for our chapter. Members, potential members and supporters are welcome to attend. Register here.

Social Housing working group canvassing operations begin this weekend — resources available at new homepage

The new Social Housing campaign homepage is now live, and features links to our DC Council petition — sign it if you haven’t yet — a recording of last month’s Socialist Housing 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. This includes signing up to be part of our presence at community events on August 27, September 10 and 16, and October 7. Take a look and come join us!

Teamsters ratify UPS contract

UPS Teamsters ratified their tentative agreement on August 22, with more than 86% voting in favor. National DSA stated in response: “Over the past month, we bore witness to a great debate as workers reviewed the contract offer to decide whether or not it was good enough. This signifies something — that workers are not willing to settle for less. As the result of a historic contract campaign, UPS Teamsters got a taste of how it felt to flex their power as workers. A working class with high expectations is a very good thing for the Teamsters, for our labor movement, and for the struggle for workplace democracy and socialism.” Read the full statement here.

Strike activity in the United States remains on the rise, with the United Auto Workers considering a potential strike against the Big Three automakers in September, ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, and other worker uprisings and agitations across the country. Metro DC DSA will continue organizing and mobilizing to support the DMV-area working class; members looking to get involved should visit the #labor channel on the chapter Slack.


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. And 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.


Register Now for Fall 2023 Reading Groups

You are invited to sign up for Fall 2023 Reading Groups through Metro DC DSA and invite anyone else you know to join. There is something for everyone: an internationalism-focused film discussion group, a group on housing policy in Chile, Ursula K. Le Guin’s sci-fi classic The Dispossessed, a group on the origin 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 areas 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 following Labor Day. Sign up here!

Sign Up: Wheatpasting Outreach Events — September 18 and October 1

Sign up now to attend chapter wheatpasting outings next month! Wheatpasting is a great way to be part of a small group raising awareness about the chapter and its upcoming political education events through putting up posters around the DC area — no experience necessary. We’ll meet and fan out in small groups to put up posters for chapter events on Monday, September 18th at 6:30pm (meet at U Street Metro) and Sunday, October 1 at 1pm (meet at Dupont Circle Metro). You can sign up here or as part of the sign up for the Big Tech and Capitalism: DC Walking Tour, which will take place on October 7th.


EWOC offers volunteer training

The Emergency Worker Organizing Committee (EWOC) is offering free training for volunteers who want to help workers organize their workplaces. EWOC is a joint project of DSA and the United Electrical Workers Union. The training starts on Saturday, September 9, from 1 to 2:30pm, and continues for a total of four sessions ending on September 30. Our Metro DC DSA Chapter encourages anyone interested in assisting worker organizing to attend the training. Sign up here. Under “Who referred you?” say “Metro DC DSA.” Enrollment is limited to the first 200 volunteers, so sign up soon. Questions? Email the Chapter’s Labor Working Group (LWG) at

Northern Virginia branch and event mobilizing

The Northern Virginia branch is hosting a Mobilizer Party on Saturday, August 26 from 3pm to 8:30pm. The event is a great way for Northern Virginia members who have been looking for a way to begin organizing in the region to meet fellow socialists. NoVA members will be calling and messaging new and inactive members to ask about their desires and ideas for the upcoming year. Food and drinks will be provided, along with great music once the party starts afterwards. RSVP is required.

NoVA branch will also be holding a game night on Friday at 6:30pm at The Board Room near Clarendon Metro, perfect for socialists looking for a relaxed way to unwind with comrades. RSVP to get all the updates.


Are you new to DSA, and want to learn more?

The next Why You Should Join DSA / New Member Orientation meeting is on Wednesday, August 30, starting at 8pm. The meeting outlines our chapter’s structure and our campaigns, branches, and caucuses. Our chapter covers the DMV area, including the District, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland. RSVP here.


Publications Schedule: Next Friday, September 1st’s Update will include our Labor Day Washington Socialist; the article deadline is tomorrow — Saturday, August 26. Please send submissions to Would you like to participate in MDC DSA’s publications? Check us out on #publications and let us know what you would like to write, or write about. If you would like to see something included in the Update, suggestions can be submitted to the tip line.

Quick reference links for MDC DSA:


Saturday, August 26th

3 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch August Mobilizer Party

Sunday, August 27th

10am – 1pm | Canvass for Social Housing

2 – 4pm | MDC DSA August General Body Meeting

Wednesday, August 30th

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

Friday, September 1st

6:30pm | NoVA DSA Gamenite  

Sunday, September 3rd

7pm | NoVA Electoral Working Group Meeting


March on Washington | National Action Network, Drum Major Institute

It’s the 60th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, an event that still stands as the opening of the Civil Rights Movement’s national representation. National Action Network and Drum Major Institute will co-host a celebration and renewal tomorrow, Saturday, August 26, with a program beginning at 8am at the Lincoln Memorial and a march to follow from 1 to 3pm.

Farewell to WAMU’s Martin Austermuhle | WAMU

Calling all DC hacks and flacks! If you’ve been engaged in media, policy or any kind of advocacy in DC over the last decade, chances are you’re familiar with WAMU’s senior reporter, Martin Austermuhle. After many years of service, Martin is leaving the District for greener pastures — but not before saying a last goodbye. This free event on August 29 from 6 to 8pm at Midlands DC (3333 Georgia Ave NW) is a great chance to chat it up with local journalists, mingle with fellow DC advocates and, of course, wish Martin a fond farewell!

Farmer to Table, Building Resilient Food Systems | Women Impact Investing Network (WIIN)

Join WIIN at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library on Wednesday, September 6 at 5:30pm for a “Farmer to Table” discussion on Building Resilient Food Systems. Panelists will discuss the challenges of building a resilient food system in the DMV and propose actions to promote food access and health equity. Panelists include Tope Fajingbesi, Managing Director of Dodo Farms in Montgomery County sharing her fair farming philosophy of Land, Labor + Capital (“LLC”); Winnie Huston, DC Green’s Food Policy Strategist, advocating their mission of advancing health equity by building a just and resilient food system; and Amy Bachman, Director of Procurement and Sustainability at DC Central Kitchen, sharing their focus on combating hunger and poverty through job training, job creation and healthy food distribution. This event and subsequent networking event is free, but RSVP is required.

Sustainable Gardening, Cover Crop and Fall Planting Workshop | Share a Seed

Learn about the benefits and importance of cover cropping – a foundational sustainable growing practice – at Share a Seed’s annual fall workshop at Upshur Community Garden (1325 Upshur St NW). The workshop will be co-led by international cover crop expert and Upshur Gardener Andy Clark. Activities will include a cover crop overview, planting and cover crop turning demonstration, free cover crop and other seeds, and fall planting guidance. RSVP here. The $5 ticket fee supports Share a Seed’s programming,  but no-fee options are available. Please contact with any questions.


Imagine stars, burning, and the shadows they cast — what happens when political networks die? In Cosmonaut, local member Sam D assesses the role played by a now-dead caucus on the structure and character of the local DSA.  

Our comrade David Schwartzman published “Nuclear Power, Degrowth and the Working Class” at Historical Materialism

Underpaid and overlooked, migrant labor provides backbone of Maryland Eastern Shore’s local economy

Blue-crab feasts represent one of Maryland’s most iconic tourist draws — but, as The Conversation reports, the industry’s “workforce consists of mainly female migrant workers from Mexico who do the grueling job of picking crab for eight to nine hours a day, from late spring to early fall. They make on average of US$2.50 to $4.00 for every pound of crabmeat they pick.”

Dems get blindsided by faux cultural populism (with a soundtrack)

“Over the past week, Oliver Anthony’s video of his song “Rich Men North of Richmond” has gone viral, clocking more than 20 million views on YouTube,” as Robert Reich notes. “As it’s risen to the top of the streaming charts, it’s also become a theme song for reactionary conservatives. Because cultural populism’s underlying political agenda is white male Christian nationalism[, it] aims to resurrect the social and racial hierarchy that dominated American life before the 1960s.” The song ignores the “massive transfer of wealth” that has put Anthony’s victims of “wokeness” behind the 8-Ball, Reich argues. Thanks to our comrade Dave R for circulating this.

The hidden costs of flooding in DC’s poorest wards

“… residential flooding problems throughout the District will require costly and complicated solutions, with residents living in D.C.’s poorest wards bearing a disproportionate burden.” Read Washington City Paper and Hola Cultura‘s first in a series on flooding in the District — and the populations that flooding — due to increase as climate breakdown continues — impacts the most.

Red for Ed — students protest massive budget cuts at West Virginia University

The red-shirted student protesters want an independent audit of the budget and big cuts in the bloated administrative sector instead of losing faculty and departments. From Popular Resistance. Another explainer from the NYT.

In Failing To Strike at UPS, the Teamsters Missed a Big Opportunity, writes Sam Gindin in Jacobin. “The five-year period of ‘peace’ in reality strengthens the ability of the capitalists to wage class war, while severely limiting the leverage of workers because of the no-strike clause in effect for the contract’s duration.” However, “Measured in conventional union terms, the Teamsters-UPS contract seems a clear Teamster victory,” Gindin acknowledges. The New York Times reports that “The International Brotherhood of Teamsters said that its UPS members approved the five-year contract with more than 86 percent support.”

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