Oct 14, 2022

Oct 14, 2022



  • Battle for Initiative 82: socialist canvassers march east as DC’s mail-in ballot boxes open Friday

  • Rally for Labor in Prince William County — support requested for attendance in October 18 County Board Meeting

  • DC coalition launching Police Out of Traffic Enforcement campaign launch — October 18 from 6 to 8pm

Battle for Initiative 82: socialist canvassers march east as DC’s mail-in ballot boxes open Friday

US general elections will take place on November 8, and there are important, DSA-endorsed candidates and ballot initiatives taking place in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Metro DC DSA has endorsed and mobilized voter outreach in support of Initiative 82 — which would end the subminimum (“tipped”) wage in the District — as well as DC Ward 5 council candidate and DSA member Zachary Parker. In Maryland, MDC DSA has endorsed incumbent MD House delegate and DSA member Gabe Acevero (District 39). You can find your voter registration status following these links: DC, Maryland, Virginia.

MDC DSA’s primary electoral focus this cycle has been on passing Initiative 82 in DC. (Want to catch up? Read our Washington Socialist article). Last week, socialists returned to Ward 5 to canvass in DC’s working-class neighborhoods, joined by local progressive leader Erin Palmer and sent off by Ward 5 Dem nominee Zachary Parker. Socialists will continue to knock doors in DC’s eastern, working-class wards in order to turn out the coalitions (and then some) that turned out in support of Initiative 77 four years ago. If you would like to join DSA’s canvassing team, please fill out this form.

At a Tuesday night panel exploring the effects of the subminimum wage on marginalized tipped workers, Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George vowed to stand up for service workers in the Council and encouraged organizers to continue the fight: “[I82] is what we need, this is what we deserve. I am grateful for the workers who did not give up, who kept up the fight. This time, we cannot miss it again, and we won’t miss it again …workers who are the backbone of this industry will get a dignified wage.”

  • More Perfect Union — a national pro-labor advocacy network — released a video detailing conversations with a diverse set of workers on the Initiative.
  • The New York Times released a detailed write-up on the tipped minimum wage, detailing the ubiquity of wage theft faced by tipped workers in the industry.
  • The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance released their 2022 DC general election candidate ratings this week, which includes a question on ending the subminimum wage for tipped workers, for those wondering where certain candidates stand on the issue. (GLAA has endorsed I82.)

Rally for Labor in Prince William County — support requested for attendance in October 18 County Board Meeting

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors is in the process of crafting an ordinance that will give county employees collective bargaining rights. Unfortunately, the current drafted ordinance needs changes in order to ensure the workers have the same rights and protections as their counterparts across the state and country.  

With very little time before the ordinance will likely pass, the workers need us to make public comment at the next Board of Supervisors meetings on Tuesday, October 18. You can comment at the 2pm meeting (RSVP here) or the 7:30pm meeting (RSVP here) either in person or virtually. If you’re commenting in person, you’ll need to arrive 30 minutes early to sign up to speak. If you’re commenting via Zoom, you’ll have to sign up online by 5pm the day prior. *Note: At the last board meetings on the collective bargaining ordinance the comment period for the 7:30pm meeting didn’t start until after 11pm. We’ll know soon if that’s the case again as the agendas should be posted by end of day Thursday, October 13.*  If you can participate, please RSVP for one or both of the comment periods, and someone will follow up with more info.

DC coalition launching Police Out of Traffic Enforcement campaign — October 18 from 6 to 8pm

Traffic stops are the most common way Americans interact with the police, and too often, these interactions escalate to violence. At the same time, research has shown that traffic stops by police do not result in better street safety. If we want real safety on our streets, we will need to think bigger.

A citywide coalition will be launching the Police Out of Traffic Enforcement Campaign in DC to promote a new way of thinking about traffic safety. The campaign will officially launch on Tuesday, October 18th from 6 to 8pm at the MLK Library Rooftop in downtown DC and will feature a panel discussion and Q&A to learn more about the push to shift traffic enforcement responsibility away from MPD and to the District Department of Transportation. Metro DC DSA’s Defund MPD working group has played a crucial part in forming this coalition, and is encouraging members and supporters to register for the event here. The current campaign coalition includes the Washington Area Bicyclists Association, ACLU-DC, Sunrise DC, DC Justice Lab and Metro DC DSA.


PG County DSA: Stop the Money Pipeline campaign launch — Wednesday, October 19

Join the Prince George’s County DSA and Greenbelt Climate Action Network for an interactive discussion and political education event on the Stop the Money Pipeline Campaign. It will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, October 19 from 7 to 8:30pm. We will learn about the background of the campaign and how it intersects with local and regional actors, and how you can get involved and bring bad actors to account. Sign up here.

Wall Street is fueling the climate crisis, poisoning communities and causing widespread environmental destruction. The power plants, oil rigs and pipelines that are harming frontline communities and cooking the planet wouldn’t be possible without Wall Street’s money — it’s the financialization of the Fossil Power that is keeping these zombie megacorporations wrecking the planet. Big Oil is, by any reasonable measure, Big Stranded Assets. So we’re laying the blame at the feet of the big banks, insurance companies, asset managers and pension funds who are bankrolling the crisis. Join us.

Save the date for the 2022 Local Convention: December 9 to 10

The MDC DSA Steering Committee has voted to set the dates for the 2022 Local Convention for Saturday, December 9 to Sunday, December 10, 2022. Local Convention is an opportunity for the full chapter to introduce and debate general resolutions, bylaw amendments and considerations for political candidate endorsements for the 2023 primary election. The convention planning team is in the process of forming and will be headed by Steering member Aparna R. The Steering election for the 2023 term will occur concurrently with convention and will be managed by a separately constituted internal election administrative department in AdCom.

Make sure to save that weekend for now, and look out for additional resources about the upcoming convention. If interested in getting involved with the convention planning, please reach out to Aparna on Slack.


UMD labor coalition planning to make collective demands at 2nd annual labor picnic

Next Friday, October 21st, from 12 to 2pm at Hornbake Plaza, the University of Maryland, College Park labor community will be announcing shared demands for livable wages, stable jobs, and collective bargaining rights for all higher-ed employees in the state of Maryland. Workers will unite across employment classifications and conditions at one of the largest UMD labor demonstrations in years. Representatives from staff union AFSCME Local 1072, undergrads in United Students Against Sweatshops Local 52, graduate assistants with Fearless Student Employees, and the faculty chapter of American Association of University Professors will speak about why each group of employees is advocating for shared demands. You can RSVP here.


Silver Spring — Proud Boys disrupt Drag Queen Story Hour; support needed for next story hour this Saturday in Silver Spring

Volunteers are needed for the Drag Queen Story Hour rainbow wall THIS SATURDAY (10/15) and also on November 12th. This past Saturday, there was no response team on site and the Proud Boys showed up at Brookside Gardens in Silver Spring, MD, scared everybody and harassed the performer. These events are being targeted by fascists to intimidate and suppress inclusive community events.

Supportive community members will be meeting at 10:30am at Round House Theatre Education Center in downtown Silver Spring. The event starts at 11am and runs about an hour; bring big pride flags, DSA memorabilia, or big brightly colored umbrellas if you have them. An additional Drag Queen Story Hour will be held on Saturday, October 15 from 9am to 1pm at Petworth Community Market. 

Pubs WG’s Ghostly Social Event (All Are Welcome) — Friday, October 28 at 6:30pm

Join the Publications Working Group for a spooky Halloween hangout over at The Midlands Beer Garden on Friday, October 28 at 6:30pm. All are welcome to join, not just MDC DSA members. There will be a costume contest with prizes, starting at 7:30pm, so feel free to come in your creepiest, memeiest and most DSA-referential costumes. RSVP here!

Training for local Green New Deal Campaigns – last day for sign-up

TODAY, Friday, October 14 is the last day to sign up for a three-part national DSA training series for local Green New Deal campaigns. Training dates are Tuesday evenings, October 18, November 1 and November 15. More info here.


Publications schedule: October MDC DSA Updates are scheduled for Fridays, October 21 and 28, and the November issue of the Washington Socialist is scheduled for Friday, November 4. Join our Pubs WG gaggle in the #publications channel or send articles to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org. What do we publish? Check out the topic index.

Content(s): The October issue of the Washington Socialist includes Initiative 82: Here’s What to Know; Build Highways or Fight Climate Change: Biden Administration Can’t Do Both; Dispatch from Loudoun County: Democrats’ Virginia Problem; and Mid-Atlantic DSA Regional Organizing Retreat September 2022 Report.

Pubs Pitch: There is room in our publications work for all kinds of personal schedules as well as the material pleasure of learning, thinking about and doing socialism as you pitch in. There is a good fit for every comrade. Join us on #publications or at our next Pubs WG meeting, Saturday, October 29.

The Washington Socialist welcomes solo or collaborative responses from our many Fall reading groups; pass along what you are learning and thinking to your comrades who aren’t present and to our wider readership on the DMV left. Join our #publications channel to chat this up on Slack and send individual or group responses to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.

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.

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.


Monday, October 17 

7 – 9pm | Socialist Feminist Section Quarterly Meeting

Tuesday, October 18

2 – 5pm | Speak Up for Labor at Prince William County Board Meeting (hybrid)

7 – 11pm | Speak Up for Labor at Prince William County Board Meeting (hybrid)

Wednesday, October 19

6 – 8pm | MoCo Branch October Advisory Committee Meeting (in person)

7 – 8:30pm | Stop the Money Pipeline Political Ed Town Hall 

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

Thursday, October 20

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

Sunday, October 23

7 – 9pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting 

3 – 4:30pm | MoCo Branch Monthly Meeting (in person)

Wednesday, October 26

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

Friday, October 28 

6:30pm | Pubs WG Ghostly Social (in person)

Saturday, October 29 

3 – 4:30pm | Monthly meeting for release of the Washington Socialist newsletter

Sunday, October 30

5 – 6:30pm | Internationalism Working Group Monthly Meeting

7 – 8pm | NoVA Electoral Working Group Monthly Meeting


Wednesday, November 2

6 – 7pm | NoVA DSA Tenant Organizing Meeting

Friday, November 4 

6:30 – 9pm | NoVA DSA Gamenite (in person)

Sunday, November 20

7 – 9pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting


Adams Morgan PorchFest | ADMODC

Originally rescheduled due to inclement weather, the Adams Morgan PorchFest is now on for Saturday, October 15 from 2 to 6pm! Seventeen porches, patios and stoops will become stages for the day, drawing music lovers from around the region (70 bands are on the schedule!) into the tree-lined streets of Adams Morgan. Attendees can pick up a music map and wristband at the event headquarters (corner of Columbia and Adams Mill Roads NW). Wristbands are FREE and provide attendees with discounts at various Adams Morgan businesses.

Coat Drive | Ward 1 Mutual Aid, Lyman’s Tavern

Bring your new and gently used (clean!) winter clothing and accessories to Lyman’s Tavern in NW DC on Monday, October 17 from 7 to 11pm. The fundraising event will help Ward 1 Mutual Aid organizers continue their monthly support table for unhoused neighbors. In addition to your dropped-off coats and other warm gear, proceeds from DC Brau’s Corruption, Public or Imperial beers will also support the effort.

Garlic Planting Party | Washington Youth Garden

There’s still plenty of work to do in the Washington Youth Garden (inside the National Arboretum) before the end of the year, and you can help! Join the gardeners on October 29 from 11am to 2pm to help plant garlic, learn how to make delicious fall treats and enjoy family-friendly craft activities for the little ones. The fall Garlic Planting Party is free and open to the public, but RSVP is encouraged.

The Rights of Nature Movement on film October 17

Reel and Meal Presents Invisible Hand Monday, October 17, 7pm — a film about the Rights of Nature Movement. Ecosystems have rights too. For remote attendance, sign up here (required). In person: at the New Deal Café at 113 Centerway (Roosevelt Center) in Greenbelt, MD. More about this monthly film series here.


Finance Capitalism, the Economic Consequences of Ukraine and the End of Globalization — via Portside: While industrial capitalism got rid of the landlord class, capitalism still had economic rent, but instead of being paid to the landlord class, it is now paid to the banks in the form of interest.

“A scathing federal audit of the DC Housing Authority found that the agency is failing in some of its most basic tasks, from maintaining public housing units in habitable condition to ensuring that every usable unit is actually offered to the thousands of low-income residents who have waited for years for a place to live.” More in DCist.

The NYT reports on the national struggle to eliminate the tipped subminimum wage. “The provision, known as the tip credit, is a unique industry subsidy that lets employers meet pay requirements more cheaply. And even in a tight labor market, it is often abused at the employees’ expense, according to workers, labor lawyers, many regulators and economists.”

Business Insider rounds up a tasty prospect: “Being in a Union Means You Could Make $1.3 Million More Over Your Lifetime” — via Portside.

From Naked Capitalism: ‘Great Resignation’? ‘Quiet Quitting’? If You’re Surprised by America’s Anti-Work Movement, Maybe You Need to Watch More Movies

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