September 15, 2023
August OpaVote ballot results are in; both resolutions pass
Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power Film Screening and Panel — Saturday, September 16
- Metro DC DSA organizing free brake light clinic on Saturday, September 23 — canvassing/wheatpasting this Sunday, September 17
August OpaVote ballot results are in; both resolutions pass
Thank you to everyone who participated in the July General Body Meeting OpaVote. Below are the results for the question “Should the chapter adopt the Resolution for Increasing Resolution Transparency?”
- YES: 119
- NO: 18
- ABSTAIN: 8
Below are the results for the question “Should the chapter adopt the Disclosure of Chapter HGO Reports Resolution?”
- YES: 113
- NO: 17
- ABSTAIN: 14
General resolutions require a majority vote. With more than 50% of votes in favor, both the Resolution for Increasing Resolution Transparency and the Resolution for Disclosure of Chapter HGO Reports PASS. Thank you to all who voted and participated in our chapter’s democracy!
Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power Film Screening and Panel — Saturday, September 16
Metro DC DSA is partnering with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Legacy Project for a free public screening of the film Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power, about SNCC’s electoral organizing in Alabama. SNCC Legacy and Metro DC DSA will also hold a panel discussion featuring SNCC activist Jennifer Lawson and MDC DSA members about how we can apply the lessons of people power to the present and future of DC. The screening and panel will be at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library on Saturday, September 16 from 3 to 5pm. We will be requiring and providing masks to protect each other from the new COVID-19 strain going around. All are welcome.
Metro DC DSA organizing free brake light clinic on Saturday, September 23 — canvassing/wheatpasting this Sunday, September 17
On Saturday, September 23, Metro DC DSA will be hosting a free brake light clinic to build community support for getting police out of traffic enforcement. The clinic, where volunteers will fix brake lights on cars for free, will be held from 11am to 4pm outside the AutoZone at 519 Rhode Island Ave NE. The process for fixing brake lights is simple, but will help in reducing community interactions with police and help educate the community on legislation that activists are interested in passing in DC in the near future.
To prepare for the clinic, the Defund MPD working group will be hosting a training and canvass to build awareness of the DC clinic on Sunday, September 17. Learn how to change a brake light from 1 to 2pm, and then canvass and wheatpaste local neighborhoods and invite residents to the brake light clinic from 2 to 5pm. We will meet in the parking lot of the AutoZone. Let us know you are coming by filling out this sign-up form. And if you or someone you know would be interested in getting their brake light fixed at the clinic on September 23, please fill out a repair request form for the clinic.
Put pressure on the Prince William County School Board to bargain in good faith — Phonebanking on Sunday, September 17; School Board Meeting on Wednesday, September 20
The Prince William Education Association (PWEA) is putting out a call to fill the Prince William County School Board meeting to pressure the school board into bargaining in good faith. The school board and their anti-labor lawyers have continued to drag their feet at every opportunity to frustrate PWEA’s attempts to officially unionize and write a new contract. The school board meeting will be at 7pm at the Kelly Leadership Center (14715 Bristow Rd, Manassas, VA) — RSVP here. To advertise the event, the NoVA Branch Labor working group will be hosting a virtual phonebank you can join on the Sunday before at 3pm. Come rally to support and stand in solidarity with the teachers fighting on the front lines against the rise of creeping fascism.
Tipped workers: Protect your tips!
Are you a tipped worker in DC? If so, DC Jobs with Justice would like to connect with you. Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie is attempting to halt tipped worker’s hourly wage increases and steal tips through the proliferation of “service charges.” It’s important your voice is heard so McDuffie can’t keep you, your friends, or your family from earning what you rightly deserve! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and connect with other workers.
UAW Big 3 autoworkers poised to strike — sign the DSA Strike Ready Pledge
After years of concessions to the bosses and skyrocketing executive compensation, union autoworkers are standing firm and saying enough is enough. Contracts at the Big Three automakers — Ford, Stellantis and GM — expired on September 14. At time of writing, UAW members are on the verge of a groundbreaking strike, the first to take place at all Big Three companies simultaneously. You can commit to supporting UAW workers however you can by signing the DSA Big 3 Strike Ready Pledge!
But this fight is important not only to the 150,000 UAW members who work at the Big Three. Their fight, and the fight of teachers to unionize and waiters to keep their tips, is the fight of the whole working class. And there is always more work to be done! If you’re feeling inspired by the increase in labor action on which this newsletter has continually reported, if you want to materially improve the conditions of the working class, the Labor working group needs you. Please fill out this form and an organizer will be in touch to get you plugged into their upcoming work. We have a world to win.
Stomp Out Slumlords anti-eviction canvass at Marbury Plaza — Saturday, September 23
Join Stomp Out Slumlords and other comrades in their next anti-eviction canvass. Come out and inform tenants facing eviction of their rights in court, how to get a lawyer and to see if they are interested in organizing their building. Tenants that are canvassed are twice as likely to go to court and fight their eviction, so every volunteer can make a big impact.
We’ll meet at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station on the D Street exit between 6th and 7th above the escalators (if the weather is bad, we’ll be downstairs just before the turnstiles). At 1:30pm we will have a short training to explain why these canvasses are necessary, how to talk to tenants about their upcoming eviction suits and how to fill in walk-sheets. We will then hand out walk-sheets and set you up with a partner — if you have never done this before, we’ll try to set you up with a veteran who can show you the ropes!
During this month’s canvass, we’ll also be supporting tenants at Marbury Plaza. Tenants at Marbury have been subject to a large number of evictions as they have organized to form a tenant’s association at their building. With well over 600 units, there are hundreds of units to still knock, both for the dozens of eviction hearings that have been scheduled as well as signing up tenants for the association. We will need volunteers specifically for Marbury so if you’re interested in seeing more what building organizing looks like, make sure to come.
If you have a car, please drive it down to the meeting spot. Cars are helpful for getting canvassers to Metro-inaccessible areas. Parking near L’Enfant Plaza is a bit tricky, but doable. If you’re interested in our work but cannot canvass, reach out to email@example.com to learn about other ways to get involved.
Defund NoVA Police working group retreat — Sunday, September 17
The Defund NoVA Police working group is hosting a retreat to go over their past initiatives and figure out the next campaigns to organize around. The retreat will be on Sunday, September 17 from 1 to 3pm at the Arlington Central Library (1015 N Quincy St, 22201) — RSVP here for the room number. If you are interested in getting involved, the next working group meeting is Wednesday, September 20 at 7pm. Please fill out the interest form and look around the linktree to get plugged in.
NoVA Medicare for All working group meeting — Tuesday, September 19
Help us as we join forces to petition the Alexandria City Council and Arlington County Board to endorse Medicare for All. The next working group meeting is Tuesday, September 19 at 6pm — RSVP here. If you support universal healthcare, are an Arlington or Alexandria resident, and would like to volunteer to get involved, please join the #nova-medicare-for-all Slack channel or fill out the interest form. You can also visit our new linktree to learn more about our campaigns in support of healthcare as a human right!
Get out the word about rent stabilization in Montgomery County — tenant hotline project and tabling on Saturday, September 23
This summer, the Montgomery County Council passed a watershed rent stabilization bill that limits rent increases to 6% or less, thanks to tireless organizing by tenants, labor and allies. Now, we need to get the word out to renters so they know their rights under the new law. The Montgomery County Branch of Metro DC DSA will be tabling at Burtonsville Day on Saturday, September 23 — sign up for a shift here.
In preparation for public outreach events, MoCo DSA has created a frequently asked questions guide to the new rent stabilization bill to share with tenants as well as a new public email address. Do you rent in Montgomery County and want to know if you will be covered by the new bill? Do you want to get involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detention Is NOT Prevention: Metro DC DSA to host virtual DC Crime Bill Teach-In — Tuesday, September 26
Over the summer, the DC Council passed emergency legislation that expands carcerality under the guise of public safety, including expanding pretrial detention for both children and adults. The Council is moving to make parts — if not all — of this legislation permanent. Join Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, The Chosen Few at HIPS, Metro DC DSA, DC Justice Lab, and Black Swan Academy for “Detention is NOT Prevention: DC Crime Bill Teach In” to learn about the harmful crime bills that the Mayor and Council are hoping to pass. Attendees will learn how to send written testimony opposing these harmful bills that make us all less safe. Register here.
Sign up now for Big Tech and Capitalism: DC Walking Tour — Saturday, October 7
Everyone is invited to sign up in advance for the Big Tech and Capitalism: DC Walking Tour starting at 1pm on Saturday, October 7 in Farragut Square. Walking Tours are great ways to learn about socialism, bring friends to DSA events, learn the geography of the area through radical education, start volunteering for events and get connected to local organizing. The Walking Tour will explore three sites in downtown DC connected to how tech firms undermined racial justice, used illegal lobbying to displace existing companies and used DC as a model to remake urban spaces around the world in Uber’s image over the last decade. The Walking Tour will be led by three geographers and scholars on labor in the DC region: Katie Wells, Kafui Attoh, and Declan Cullen, the authors of the new book Disrupting DC: The Rise of Uber and the Fall of the City, and will draw on material and research from the book. The tour will adjourn at 3pm, followed by a happy hour afterward at the outdoor tables at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. Sign up here.
The National Tech Committee is proud to introduce DSA Feed, an RSS feed that aggregates multiple DSA publications — including our own Washington Socialist — in one convenient place. You can add the feed to browse socialist articles in your RSS reader of choice, add to the feed by submitting your caucus or working group publication here or even contribute to the open-source project on GitHub. Read more from the NTC’s announcement here.
MDC DSA Publications Schedule: The final September Update is scheduled for Friday the 22nd; the October Washington Socialist appears with the Update on Friday, September 29. Article deadline for October’s newsletter is September 23. Please send article submissions to email@example.com.
Would you like to participate in MDC DSA’s publications? We write, we edit, we do the tech — there are so many ways your hand could lighten the load. 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:
- Metro DC DSA chapter’s website
- Our local structure — campaigns, working groups, etc.
- Capsule introduction to the chapter including our branches covering the DMV
- A home-grown history of our local chapter
- Archive of the Washington Socialist
- Archive of our MDC DSA Socialist Night School
- National DSA’s website
And “live from our studio” Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation with Q&A avails, on Wednesday September 27.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Saturday, September 16
Noon – 5pm | Canvass for Social Housing
Sunday, September 17
Monday, September 18
Tuesday, September 19
Wednesday, September 20
7 – 8pm | Defund NoVA Police Working Group Meeting
Thursday, September 21
6:30 – 7:30pm | Social Housing Organizing Meeting
6:30 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch DSA Social Meetup
Saturday, September 23
9am – 3pm | DSA Tabling at Burtonsville Day (in person)
11am – 4pm | Free Brake Light Clinic
1:30 – 4:30pm | Stomp Out Slumlords Anti-Eviction Canvass
Wednesday, September 27
Crispus Attucks Film Park Series Begins | Crispus Attucks Park DC
Crispus Attucks Park’s (63 1/2, 23 U St NW) end of summer movie series begins on Friday, September 15 at sunset and will offer movies each Friday through October 6. This year’s theme is “space” and the first film up on the 15th will be WALL-E. Bring your friends, bring a blanket, bring some snacks. The screening is free to attend.
Reel and Meal: Eating Our Way to Extinction | The New Deal Cafe
On Monday, September 18 at 7pm, the Reel and Meal at the New Deal Café will be screening the film Eating Our Way to Extinction, detailing how the food we eat contributes to climate change — eating meat accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gases. The screening will be in-person at the New Deal Café (113 Centerway in Greenbelt) and on Zoom. Prior registration for virtual attendance is required. The café offers a full menu for the live screening.
Happy Hour Fundraiser for Workers Organizing | Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA)
On Tuesday, September 19, the FCWA returns to DC to host their annual FCWA Happy Hour and Fundraiser celebrating another year of food worker organizing with local members and allies. FCWA will also honor Neza Xiuhtecutli for his many years of leadership in building the Alliance and the food worker movement. Join FCWA at the Immigrant Food at the Planet Word Museum (925 13th Street NW) at 6pm to raise a glass to support worker organizing! This is a ticketed fundraiser event — more information here.
BIPOC Seed Exchange and Collective Zine Workshop | Leftist Livingroom Library
Leftist Livingroom Library is hosting an open seed exchange and zine making event for BIPOC community members on Friday, September 22 at Malcolm X Park (16th Street NW and W Street NW) from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Guests will be invited to share seeds and customize pages for a collective zine focused on ancestral recipes and remedies.
Building Blocks of Visionary Organizing | Visionary Organizing Lab
The Visionary Organizing Lab is an educational laboratory working to build new economies, institutions and cultural practices to create a new system from the chaos of our current one. They’re hosting a fall series of trainings on the Building Blocks of Visionary Organizing, including topics like Recognizing and Nurturing Interdependence, and Imagining New Possibilities. Learn more here and get tickets (available on a sliding scale) for the next session on Tuesday, September 26 from 6:30 to 8:30pm.
Female Rage Hot Sauce & DCAF Fundraiser | Female Rage Hot Sauce
Female Rage is a woman-owned, DC-based hot sauce made with homegrown peppers and local produce. On Thursday, September 28 from 7 to 9pm, they will be launching their brand at ANXO Cidery and Pintxo Bar (711 Kennedy Street NW). Sales support the DC Abortion Fund. This event is free to attend — RSVP and more info here.
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
Bernie: The United Auto Workers may soon strike. Every American should support them
We may know by now what kind of union action — or overtime talks — for which we have been getting “strike-ready.” But the principles remain: “Workers at the big three carmakers earn less now in real dollars than they did 15 years ago – as their CEOs make more and more,” Bernie argues in The Guardian. “Their fight is everyone’s fight.”
Tradlife — a sort of lifestyle brand being promoted to burnt-out workers and disenthused city-goers – has generated a counter-cultural gravity through social media. To the conspiracy-minded, it is the ultimate form of resistance to elite social control and work-life drudgery. However, surrogates of the lifestyle often obscure the backgrounds which allow them to curate their spectacle of self-sufficiency. Read more in “Land Ho” from The Baffler.
From 730DC’s Hayden Higgins: Author Kim Stanley Robinson Has a Utopian Climate Solution: Cities. KSR is a DSA member. A fine interview.
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.