August 5, 2022

August 5, 2022



  • Stomp Out Slumlords DMV-wide meeting — Monday, August 8 at MLK Library

  • Sign Up Now: Housing and Displacement Walking Tour on Saturday, August 27th!

  • Rally for striking WMATA workers — Tuesday, August 9

Stomp Out Slumlords DMV-wide meeting — Monday, August 8 at MLK Library

On August 8th, Stomp Out Slumlords will host an in-person DMV meeting with tenant leaders and organizers from across DC, Maryland and Virginia. The delegation that attended the Autonomous Tenants Union Network Convention last month in Los Angeles will report back on the experience and the lessons learned from other tenant unions. We will also discuss next steps for building the tenant movement across the DMV. The event will take place at 6pm at MLK Library (901 G St NW, Washington, DC 20001). 

Want a preview of the meeting? Read Stomp Out Slumlord’s recently published report-back on Washington Socialist.

Sign Up Now: Housing and Displacement Walking Tour on Saturday, August 27th!

Sign up now for the Housing and Displacement: DC Walking Tour, starting at 1pm on Saturday, August 27th! 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, a District native 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 of Prologue DC, a historian, researcher and writer/editor focusing on everything DC, especially the city’s racial history. 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 organizing efforts against District landlords 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. Spanish-language translation will be provided, and we encourage you to invite friends, comrades and anyone who may be interested. Make sure to sign up here to attend — and indicate your ability to volunteer!

Rally for striking WMATA workers — Tuesday, August 9

On Monday, two hundred members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 went on strike! Their employer, the WMATA contractor Transdev, has refused to bargain in good faith as the union fights for good pay, real benefits and dignity at work. The union is calling on supporters across the region to join them for a rally next Tuesday (August 9th) to show Transdev that the community supports their demands. Sign up here! From Local 689 ATU: Transdev sticks head in the sand, won’t bargain till next week


Big things happening in NoVA Tenant Organizing — volunteer organizers needed to help organize tenants

The NoVA Tenant Organizing Working Group has been organizing a complex in Virginia owned by a notorious national slumlord. Two weeks ago, a community meeting to discuss poor conditions and mismanagement attracted over 50 tenants. Tenants and organizers made a plan to coordinate mutual aid actions, organize a conditions survey and knock on all 403 doors in the complex to prepare for an action against management. To accomplish this, we need more organizers and volunteers. Are you interested in organizing tenants, mutual aid or canvassing? Do you speak Spanish? We could use your help connecting with Spanish-speaking tenants. If you’d like to get involved, reach out to Katlyn C. on Slack, join the #nova-tenant-organizing channel or email!

NoVA DSA Leadership Candidate Forum — August 25

Join the NoVA DSA Leadership Forum to inform your very-important vote for new Branch leadership. RSVP here. There will be at least one seat available. You may view the draft agenda here. You can still nominate someone. They must be a NoVA resident, DSA member and accept the nomination by the time the forum (Thursday, August 25, 7 to 8pm) begins. We especially encourage people of marginalized identities, particularly BIPOCs, to run: This is the nomination form.


Special NoVA Monthly All-Branch Meeting — August 11

We need YOU to attend the NoVA DSA General Branch Meeting next week! This is a very important meeting: we will be voting on a vital charter amendment to expand the three-member NoVA Exec leadership team to a five-person Steering Committee. This will greatly increase our branch capacity.

We will also discuss unionization as the theme is #HotLaborSummer. We will have a local labor activist give a Hot Take you don’t want to miss! Please RSVP and put the event on your calendar. You can join via Zoom or in person (if vaxxed!) at the Arlington Central Library. You may review the draft agenda here.


Three new articles published on Washington Socialist

This week, three new entries have been published in the Summer 2022 edition of Metro DC DSA’s political journal, Washington Socialist:

Labor Working Group leadership opportunities

The Labor Working Group is looking for two people to fill our open leadership seats. The specific responsibilities of these positions are flexible, but you will be helping us implement our Initiative 82 campaign, DSA’s national Starbucks and logistics projects and our ongoing worker organizing efforts! If you are interested or wish to nominate somebody, please email before 11:59pm on Friday, August 12.

MPD kills another over week of July 30

DC police shot and killed Kevin Hargraves-Shird last Saturday afternoon — and already, the stated police narrative is falling to pieces. DCist reports: “Hargraves-Shird was armed, according to Executive Assistant Police Chief Ashan M. Benedict during a press conference, although he couldn’t definitively say whether Hargraves-Shird pointed his gun at the officer before being fatally shot. … [Hargraves-Shird’s] car did not match the description of cars involved in the earlier shooting nearly a mile away, but police are still drawing a connection for reasons they have not shared with the media.” Hargreaves-Shird’s family is disputing MPD’s characterization; read more here.

Primary news: DSA Congressional reps sway away primary challenges from moderate dems

The Squad survived: Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.) both easily beat primary challengers on Tuesday. There has been chatter since 2018 among moderate Democrats about unseating the progressives in primaries. But to date, the Squad’s members have continuously repelled their opponents.” (Punchbowl newsletter)


Publications Schedule: Our Labor Day issue, always a highlight, will publish Friday, September 2 at the beginning of Labor Day Weekend. The article deadline is Friday, August 26, also the date of our final August Update (we’ll also send Updates on Fridays, August 12 and 19). Be heard about labor and socialism! Send your take on work and its absence, the identity of today’s working class, and opportunities to build socialism offered by the turbulent economy to us at Talk about your ideas and get support at the #publications Slack channel. Inspiration needed? Check out the deep archive on the Washington Socialist website from latest to legacy, including data-rich and history-steeped articles on the recent MD and DC primaries we just posted for August. We at MDCDSA pubs have been adding to our local chapter’s institutional knowledge for decades; don’t overlook it. 

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.



Sanctuary DMV Benefit | Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network and Rhizome

Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network is an all-volunteer coalition of 20+ organizations in the DMV who have been receiving migrants from the Texas/Mexico border since April. As part of a political stunt to pressure the federal government to enact draconian border measures, migrants are being sent every day in buses from Texas to DC and dropped off at Union Station. Since April, thousands of asylum seekers escaping poverty and violence have been greeted by local volunteers who coordinate food, clothes, travel, shelter and, when possible, long-term solutions for those seeking to stay in the DMV area. This benefit show at Rhizome will feature music by Glitterer, Son Cosita Seria and Silver 100. Tickets are available on a sliding scale.

Herbalism Workshop | Little Red Bird Botanicals and Common Good City Farm

Holly Poole-Kavana of Little Red Bird Botanicals leads a free ($15 suggested donation, if you can) Herbal Abundance Workshop on Monday, August 8 at Common Good City Farm. The event starts at 6pm and will cover the benefits, drawbacks, and how-to’s of wild harvesting and growing your own, as well as provide guidelines for sustainable sourcing when you need to buy from an herb company. Get tickets here.

Oyster Mushroom Conservation and Cuisine | Slow Food DC

Next Sunday, August 14, Slow Food DC will lead an Oyster Mushroom workshop at Temperance Alley in NW DC. The event will start off with a basic intro to mushroom cultivation workshop, after which participants will be given the chance to make their own take-home oyster mushroom grow kits (while supplies last!). Chef Iulian Fortu of Arcadia Ventures will prepare a dish featuring oyster mushrooms for attendees to try, and answer all your questions about mushroom cooking. This event is free, donations are suggested. Get tickets here.

Defund the Police Deep Canvass | SURJ-DC

The SURJ-DC Deep Canvass and Trans & Queer teams are hosting their next deep canvass day on Sunday, August 14. Through these events, SURJ-DC is working to build a community that learns together about community safety and alternatives to policing. The canvass will run from 10am to 2:30pm and take place in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. Morning training will be indoors (with AC; masks required), lunch will be provided, then canvassers will get out on the doors together with a script focused on shifting resources from policing to community needs. Find more information and sign up here!

Reel & Meal Series | New Deal Café

On Monday, August 15, the Reel & Meal film series observes the August 6, 1945 anniversary of the first nuclear attack on Japan with “The Vow from Hiroshima,” both in-person at the New Deal Café in Greenbelt, MD, and online via Zoom (registration required). The documentary film explores the global dangers of nuclear weapons along with the story of an 85-year-old Hiroshima survivor’s campaign with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons that won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. The program is free and starts at 7pm. A hybrid facilitated discussion follows.


Monday is a good day to declare victory, eh? Congrats, Gabe!

The US version of the informal economy, anatomized. US retailers lost the equivalent of the Pentagon budget last year because of returned purchases. What happens next? 

A Business Insider article outlines “conservatives’ effort to hold ‘an unprecedented convention to re-write’ the U.S. Constitution: … a movement spearheaded by powerful conservative interests [including the Koch-hegemonic ALEC], some of whom are tied to Trumpworld and share many of Trump’s goals, to alter the nation’s bedrock legal text since 1788. It’s an effort that has largely taken place out of public view.” 

The Intercept is reporting a “Bank of America Memo, Revealed: ‘We Hope’ Conditions for American Workers Will Get Worse” — apparently the financial behemoth privately fears that the working class has too much leverage.

One of the great labor reporters has died. David Moberg of In These Times is remembered here.

In Jacobin, Paul Prescod reports on the ongoing labor dispute between more than 100,000 union railroaders and the Class I rail carriers, who are determined to implement “precision scheduled railroading” — i.e., lean production for railroads — no matter the cost to workers. The result: “Once a coveted job that few could be convinced to give up before retirement, conditions for railroad workers have badly deteriorated. … with workdays that can last up to nineteen hours.” Despite the convoluted bargaining process required by the Railway Labor Act, the dispute is inching ever closer to a potential strike. 

From Dateline NBC: “What Happened to Anton Black?” — Airs tonight, August 5.

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