August 26, 2022

August 26, 2022



  • Housing and Displacement Walking Tour TOMORROW!

  • Free Brake Light Clinic on Saturday, September 10 — Canvassing This Weekend

  • Biden Administration Announces Student Debt Cancellation of up to $10,000 — Debt Organizers Vow to Continue Fight for Full Cancellation

Housing and Displacement Walking Tour TOMORROW!

Sign up now and join us for the Housing and Displacement: DC Walking Tour, starting at 1pm this Saturday, August 27th at 15 Kennedy St NW! The tour will explore three sites in Brightwood Park in NW DC connected to how displacement related to racism and profit have worked in DC real estate — in the past and present. The tour will be led by Tanya Golash-Boza, who grew up in the neighborhood and whose research on the area breaks new ground on how the neighborhood was segregated and re-segregated; and Mara Cherkasky, co-founder of both the historical research firm Prologue DC and the digital public history project Mapping Segregation in Washington, DC. The tour will also uncover how housing displacement is related to policing tactics and mass incarceration. The walking tour will connect historical struggles to current housing organizing efforts led by Metro DC DSA’s Stomp Out Slumlords Working Group. 

The tour will meet outside at 15 Kennedy Street NW (street area in front of Roots Public Charter School; walking distance to the Fort Totten Metro, 64 bus, E4 and K6 buses) at 1pm and will adjourn at 3pm. The tour will be followed by a happy hour afterward at a nearby bar. We will provide snacks and water on the tour and do our best to make sure the route is shaded and the pace is light. We encourage you to invite friends, comrades and anyone who may be interested! Make sure to sign up here to attend.

Metro DC DSA Organizing Free Brake Light Clinic on Saturday, September 10 — Canvassing This Weekend

On Saturday, September 10, Metro DC DSA is hosting its first brake light clinic as a way to build community support for getting police out of traffic enforcement. The clinic will be held from 11am to 4pm outside the AutoZone at 519 Rhode Island Ave NE, where volunteers will fix brake lights on cars for free. 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.

This Sunday, August 28, Metro DC DSA’s Defund MPD working group will be hosting a training and canvass to build awareness of the clinic. Learn how to change a brake light from 1 to 2pm, then from 2 to 5pm we are going to canvass the Brookland neighborhood and invite residents to the brake light clinic. We’ll meet in the parking lot of the Rhode Island Ave Shopping Center, 680 Rhode Island Ave NE, next to metrobar. Let us know you’re 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 10, please fill out this repair request form.

Biden Administration Announces Student Debt Cancellation of up to $10,000 — Debt Organizers Vow to Continue Fight for Full Cancellation

On Wednesday, the Biden administration released its plan to cancel federal student loans up to $10,000 for qualifying debtors, a move the White House says will see 90% of relief go to people earning less than $75,000. You can read the full announcement here, but here are the notes:

  • To be eligible, your annual income must be below $125,000 for individuals, or up to $250,000 for households. 
  • Pell Grant recipients who meet the income threshold will be eligible for up to $20,000 in debt cancellation.
  • Student loan repayment will be paused through December, to resume in January 2023.

A simple application will be released in the coming weeks — if you would like to receive notice of the application, sign up at the Department of Education subscription page.

The announcement will also make big changes to the way student loan interest payments are made:

  • Borrowers would pay no more than 5% of their discretionary income on monthly undergraduate loans — down from 10%. Additionally, the amount of income that is considered non-discretionary will be increased — meaning, those making about the equivalent of $15 minimum wage will not be required to make a monthly payment.
  • Loan balances after 10 years of payment for borrowers with loan balances of $12,000 or less will be forgiven, down from 20 years.
  • Borrowers’ unpaid monthly interest will also be covered — so no borrower’s loan balance will grow as long as they make their monthly payments, even when that monthly payment is $0.

This plan doesn’t go far enough, but it will provide substantial relief to working-class debtors and help to reduce the racial-equity gap that exists in the United States. This is not a handout this limited jubilee is the result of debtors organizing to put political pressure on elected officials to live up to the promises they make to their constituents. One of the leading debt organizers — The Debt Collective, which Metro DC DSA has proudly organized with in the past — has vowed to continue to push for full cancellation and further debt relief. This small jubilee will go far, and wouldn’t be possible without the tireless effort of people willing to stand up for themselves and each other in the face of economic peril.


Apply Now by August 28! Mid-Atlantic DSA Regional Organizing Retreat to be Held in DC

DSA is hosting a Regional Organizing Retreat in DC, September 9 – 11th and you’re invited to apply! Chapters from around the region will be sending up-and-coming organizers to DC for the weekend to build community, learn and explore opportunities for regional collaboration, and Metro DC DSA members are invited and encouraged to take part in this training. The training will include sessions on organizing basics from DSA national that will help DSA chapters across the region build power in our communities. The agenda will include a discussion of the state of the labor movement, a presentation about how to build a mass movement and how to set priorities. There will be Happy Hours and a walking tour led by Metro DC DSA’s Political Education Working Group. This will be a formative experience; learn from experienced organizers and build bonds with fellow socialists from across the region. When we organize, we win! Due to limited attendance capacity, we ask that those interested fill out this form here.

Housing can be an obstacle for many who want to attend this important event. Our goal is to place as many people as possible in housing that need it for the nights of Friday, September 9th through Sunday, September 11th. If you can house folks from out of town during the event — please fill out this form!

Help Support Initiative 82 to Raise the Tipped Minimum Wage

Now that the primary election is over, our electoral and labor working groups are focused on getting Initiative 82 passed in the DC general election. If passed, Initiative 82 would raise DC’s tipped subminimum wage (currently $5.35/hour) to its regular minimum wage (currently $16.10/ hour) plus tips on top. Raising the tipped minimum wage would not only increase people’s financial security, it would reduce racial and gender pay disparities, reduce wage theft and increase worker agency and power. The fight to pass Initiative 77 in 2018 got ugly and the opposition campaign is organizing to try to defeat Initiative 82 now. Organize with DSA to help raise the tipped wage in DC:

If you’re interested in helping out with Initiative 82, reach out to @aparna or @Carl R in the chapter Slack and we can talk more about the campaign! We’re looking for people interested in comms, field/canvassing, research or worker outreach! You can also register for our next meeting here

We’re also looking for current or former tipped workers to help with the initiative! If you are or were a restaurant worker, hair salon worker, car valet, nail tech, etc. and support Initiative 82, please fill out this form or send to any other workers you know.

PEC Announcements: General Election Deadlines for Endorsements and Meetings

The Political Engagement Committee would like to remind chapter members and candidates seeking our endorsement that questionnaires and endorsement resolutions are due on September 1st. If necessary, the September 6 PEC meeting will serve as the Q&A and first read of any endorsement resolutions, and the September GBM will be for debate.


AU Staff Strike Continues

American University staff, affiliated with SEIU Local 500, have been on strike this past week. The strike follows a year and a half of stonewalling from the administration, which has hired the notorious union-busting firm Jackson Lewis. The administration has walked away from bargaining despite the massive disruption the strike is causing at the beginning of the semester for students, parents, faculty and other staff. You can support striking staff by checking them out on Twitter, Instagram or TikTok; signing this petition, donating to the strike hardship fund or especially by showing up at the picket line on Friday, August 26th; main quad is 4400 Mass. Ave at Nebraska.


Support the Starbucks Union on Labor Day!

Sticking around town Labor Day weekend? Keep an eye out for info from the Labor WG about how you can participate in a nationwide solidarity action with unionized Starbucks stores in NoVA and DC! Join #Labor and #ActionAlerts on Slack and write to to be added to the Labor listserv.

JOIN MDC DSA Reproductive Justice Working Group, Every Wednesday at 7pm!

Join the Reproductive Justice Working Group! We meet every Wednesday at 7pm to discuss action around reproductive justice and plant a seed of hope when there seems to be none in this post-Roe world. We are currently working to create and execute campaigns to protect abortion access and reproductive justice. Come for the reproductive justice, stay to be plugged into the resistance. Everyone is welcome. If you’re interested in getting involved, join our Slack channel #repro-justice or send us an email at!

Sign Up Now: Washington, DC: Capital of Neoliberalism Walking Tour on Saturday, September 17th

Sign up now for the Washington, DC: Capital of Neoliberalism Walking Tour at 1pm Saturday, September 17th! The tour will start in Farragut Square NW and will visit four sites in downtown DC connected to how neoliberal tactics were exported from international institutions located in the District — and how they came to local governance. The tour will feature experts on the history of both international institutions like the International Monetary Fund and local institutions such as the Financial Control Board and limitations on Home Rule for DC. The tour will be led by Christy Thornton, a professor at Johns Hopkins whose writing and work includes a focus on how international institutions have interfaced with Latin America — and how resistance to those institutions through large scale protests and social movements has shaped their policies and meetings. The tour will connect attendees to current efforts to democratize the District led by Metro DC DSA.

Join us afterward for a happy hour at outdoor tables at the Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. We will provide snacks and water on the tour, which will be under two miles. Sign up here and indicate your ability to volunteer!

Fall 2022 Reading Groups: Sign Up Now for Post-Labor Day Start!

Sign up is open now for nine reading groups sponsored by MDC DSA’s Political Education Working Group! These 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. All groups will kick off after Labor Day. Whether it’s reading through W.E.B. DuBois’ Black Reconstruction in America, joining the Marx at the Museum group to read Ways of Seeing by John Berger, fighting the Capitalist Patriarchy by reading Zilla Eisenstein’s classic with the SocFem section, discussing Hammer and Hoe by Robin D.G. Kelley on communist organizing by Alabama sharecroppers in the 1930s, read through Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò’s Reconsidering Reparations and Elite Capture, there’s something for everyone! Several chapter working groups are sponsoring reading groups, making them a great way to get more involved in the chapter. Sign up here!

Help Build and Support YDSA Area Chapters for a Socialist Future

Our six local universities are headed back for the 2022-23 school year and will be starting their Fall Membership Drives. This includes: American, Howard, George Mason U, Georgetown, Catholic University and University of Maryland/College Park. The YDSA liaison has a monthly meeting starting on August 27th at 3pm where all students send a representative to update and collaborate. If you are interested in speaking for approximately 10 minutes about an MDC DSA action you are involved in, please contact @Meenak via slack. This can generate interest in your action and possibly participation! Goals for the upcoming year include increasing crossover/post graduate memberships in local DSA. If you know of a DMV university that is looking to start a YDSA chapter, please contact @Meenak via slack. Additionally, the YDSA liaison is looking for a MDC DSA member who is interested in mentoring local high school chapters. 

And finally, please support our future MDC DSA leaders by supporting their YDSA fundraising links (each school has their own). Please contact me via Slack @Meenak 

NoVA DSA Branch Special Election for Steering Committee: Ballots Emailed — Voting Ends Thursday, September 1 [Please Vote!]

If you are a dues-paying DSA member who resides in Northern Virginia, you received an email yesterday sent around 10:13am with an OpaVote Ballot. This election will fill three vacancies on the newly-established 5-person Steering Committee for our NoVA DSA Branch. The email ballot includes instructions and statements by our four phenomenal candidates — we encourage you to read everything carefully. Please access the “corrected” email sent around 10:13am and not the earlier version which contained an error and is nullified. Questions? Email or DM @Kristen B on Slack.

Save the Date: Rally for Rent Stabilization in Montgomery County — Friday, September 9th!

Join Montgomery County DSA at the County government offices in Rockville to rally against price-gouging for housing and say that rent stabilization works in Montgomery County. For the past two years, rent stabilization has kept families in their homes. Yet, the county council failed to extend rent stabilization before leaving for their August recess, allowing landlords to massively increase rents and forcing tenants to leave their homes and the county. Since then, tenants have received rent increases of 20% and more, far exceeding the rate of inflation and the cost of doing business. On September 9, landlords and real estate developers will meet with members of the council to pressure them for the right to price gouge rents and raise the cost of housing even further, just to pad their own pockets. We are showing up at the same time to say NO to price-gouging and YES to a policy that is for working families. We need to extend rent stabilization! Speakers will include future council members, other elected officials and top advocates for affordable housing. RSVP here.

The Montgomery County branch also has other opportunities to spread the word about rent stabilization. Tomorrow, Saturday, August 27, join our branch picnic to hang out with fellow socialists and help make signs and artwork for the protest! The picnic starts at 2pm at Wheaton Forest Local Park, about a 15-minute walk away from the Wheaton Metro. More details here.

The Montgomery County branch will also be tabling at both the Long Branch Festival (September 10) and the Takoma Park Folk Festival (September 11) to build support for rent stabilization and spread the word about socialism in the DMV. Stay tuned for more information about opportunities to help with tabling but feel free to email or post in #montgomery-county on Slack if you’re interested in volunteering for a couple of hours.

Migrant Justice: Sanctuary DMV Will Be Hosting Another Training for Volunteers

Are you interested in accompanying migrants to ICE & ISAP check-ins or immigration court appointments? Please register here if you would like to participate in the Zoom call on Monday, August 29th, 2022 from 7 to 8:30pm.


Red Desk is where all members can go to request support, calendar links for events, etc. for their campaigns and working group needs. How to access and use Red Desk? Here are some visual how-tos.

What is the future of work? What effect will it have on the composition of the working class? How can socialists strategically organize the scattered working class (uh, where did the shop floor go, again?)? Is your working group or campaign showing how to tackle these questions? These problems and solutions are what the long-form article format of The Washington Socialist’s Labor Day issue is designed to showcase. Make your thoughts heard and collective action may follow. The Labor Day issue’s article deadline is August 27; hit us up at or join the gaggle on #publications and get feedback on your project. 

Publications Schedule: This is the final Update for August; the Labor Day issue of The Washington Socialist (with accompanying Update) goes out Friday, September 2. September Updates are Fridays, the 9th, 16th and 23rd and the October issue of the newsletter is scheduled for Friday, September 30th.

Info: Available as a member resource on the local chapter website are up-to-date minutes on the Steering Committee’s 2022 meetings as well as on General Body Meetings 2022. The road map of MDC DSA’s activities — campaigns, working groups etc., including our three branches — is here.


Events on the MDC DSA calendar are virtual unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, August 27

1 – 3pm | Housing and Displacement DC Walking Tour (in person) 

2pm | DSA MoCo Branch Summer Picnic (in person)

Sunday, August 28

1 – 3pm | Prince George’s DSA branch August general meeting

2 – 3:30pm | Political Education Working Group

5 – 7pm | International Working Group Monthly Meeting

7 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Electoral Strategy Meeting

Monday, August 29

6:30 – 7:30pm | Medicare 4 All Working Group biweekly meeting

Tuesday, August 30

6:30 – 8pm | Medicare 4 All Trivia Night (in-person event)

Wednesday, August 31

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


Thursday, September 1

6 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Social Meetup (in person)

Friday, September 2

1:30 – 5pm | Stomp Out Slumlords anti-eviction canvass (in person)

Saturday, September 3

3 – 4pm | Monthly Meeting for Pubs WG Update team

Wednesday, September 7

6 – 7pm | NoVA Tenant Organizing Meeting

7 – 8:30pm | Cuba Campaign Committee Planning Meeting

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

Thursday, September 8

6:30 – 8pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting (hybrid; virtual/in-person)

Friday, September 9

10am | Renters Against Gouging and Exploitation: Rally for Rent Stabilization in Montgomery County (in-person event)

Tuesday, September 13

2 – 4pm | Support Labor at Prince William Co Board of Supervisors 2PM Meeting 

7 – 9pm | Support Labor at Prince William Co Board of Supervisors 7PM Meeting

Wednesday, September 14

7 – 8:30pm | Cuba Campaign Committee Planning Meeting

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

Saturday, September 17

1 – 3pm | Washington DC — capital of neoliberalism — walking tour (in person)

Sunday, September 18

7 – 9pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting for September


We Keep Us Safe Back to School Bash | Ward 6 Mutual Aid

On Saturday, August 27, join Ward 6 Mutual Aid/Serve Your City for their 3rd annual Back to School Bash at Audi Field. The event will run from 11am to 4pm and take place at Audi Field (100 Potomac Ave SW). Free food, activities, vaccinations, and more will be provided to attending families.

Volunteers Needed | Heal Da Homies

Heal Da Homies (HDH) is on the search for volunteers to help with food prep and distribution to our unhoused neighbors. Distro volunteers will table with HDH in McPherson Square on Wednesdays from 11am to 1pm and preparation sessions will occur on Tuesdays from 6 to 9pm in Cathedral Heights. Shift sign-ups for September and October are now live here.

Hiring, Comms Manager | DC Abortion Fund

DC Abortion Fund (DCAF) is hiring a Communications Manager with high levels of initiative and creativity, as well as exceptional organizational and execution skills, to build DCAF’s profile among stakeholders. This role will lead the development and implementation of a strategic communications plan; manage digital and analog communications; and develop messaging and communications that build relationships with callers, the community, national and local partner organizations, and donors. Application priority deadline is August 29.

Appalachian Resistance Comes to DC | People vs. Fossil Fuels

Frontline Appalachian environmental leaders are coming to DC (the Robert A Taft Memorial Carillon) on Thursday, September 8 at 5pm to protest against the pro-fossil fuel deals included in the climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. Organizers are rallying against the gutting of bedrock environmental protections, threats to tribal authority, endangerment of public health, fast-tracking approvals for Senator Joe Manchin’s pet project, the Mountain Valley Pipeline. RSVP here.

Socialism 2022 Conference | Haymarket Books

Socialism 2022 is a conference on our favorite topic held in Chicago from September 2-5 — but there is a virtual aspect that staycationers can participate in, if only vicariously. Here’s a menu and a signup link; free but donations are requested.


Community schools where enhanced services bring neighborhood and school up together – are a core element in the Blueprint for schools improvement in Maryland. Jeff Bryant, a longtime student of schools that work around the country, gives us a lot to think about with this look at community schools in Montgomery County.

In The Nation, the Espionage Act’s arbitrary use and deference to the powerful. 

Official, bureaucratic word from the NLRB — requiring the rehiring of unlawfully fired Starbucks workers. Oddly satisfying … via Portside. 

Megan E of People’s Action fedwatch sez this POLITICO overview is worth a look “even though I hate ‘the left is divided’ articles …”

Good listen: A DSA mention (maybe even a shoutout?) in The Daily of all places, during the Monday, August 22 episode on the UMWA strike at Warrior Met Coal, which profiles miner/union member Braxton Wright and details his commitment to solidarity. 

Biden administration moves to codify DACA and shield it from legal threats: Unlike the 2012 DHS memo that created DACA, the new regulation underwent a months-long rule-making process that was open to comments from the public, steps that the federal judge in Texas said the Obama administration should’ve undertaken before implementing the policy. Obviously, the student debt announcement was just a smokescreen to keep this behind the curtain.

The March Towards US Fascism Began With the Corporate Hijacking of Democracy — Political corruption and the idea that corporations can be people are the cancer at the core of our national crisis, Thom Hartmann writes in Common Dreams. Via Portside.

For Maryland comrades, a roundup of news that’s helpful for progressive pursuits (from Monday, so misses the eventual certification of Elrich’s hard-won second term in MoCo, as grudgingly acknowledged in the WaPo).

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