Metro DC DSA Votes to Revoke Endorsement of the Brandy Brooks Campaign
With more than a two-thirds majority, Metro DC DSA members voted to revoke our chapter’s endorsement of the Brandy Brooks campaign. The vote started on Friday, April 22, and concluded on Monday, April 25 at midnight.
The vote followed multiple internal discussions in the chapter that began after the Steering Committee was notified on April 9 of credible allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation by Brandy Brooks towards one of her former campaign employees. We were also informed that Brandy walked back the accountability process that the campaign had internally set up. The Steering Committee met with Brandy Brooks on April 12 where she did not deny the allegations. Following this meeting, a Washington Post article was released on April 15 where Brandy is quoted confirming the allegations of sexual harassment and professional retaliation against the aggrieved party, including the rescinding of a job offer. It was not a question about whether or not this happened, but about how we as a political and values-based organization would respond to such a clear breach of our values by an endorsed candidate.
Our chapter’s endorsement is not the right of any individual. It is an affirmation that we believe that a candidate shares our values and a commitment from our chapter that we will dedicate time, resources, and labor to help them fight for those values in office. Because of this, very few people receive our endorsement each cycle. We are proud to be part of such a strong democratic organization, with clear processes for both endorsement and the revocation of endorsement. The general body voted with a two-thirds majority to endorse Brandy in December 2021, and voted by a similar margin to rescind that endorsement today. A candidate admitting to sexual harassment and retaliation is a base level disqualification from our chapter’s endorsement. We could not in good conscience continue to devote our chapter name, resources, and the volunteer labor to support a campaign in which worker safety had been repeatedly threatened. This was a heavy and difficult vote for many of our members, but we’re heartened to see such decisive solidarity with the aggrieved party and a clear affirmation of our values.
Our notion of justice is restorative, not punitive, and we welcome Brandy to engage in such a process and grow as a person. However, given the allegations that she walked back the campaign’s internal accountability process and retaliated against the employee, it seems that Brandy is not yet ready to take responsibility for her actions and to be accountable to her staff, supporters, and DSA comrades. The Steering Committee has indicated that outside of this vote, we will pursue an internal Code of Conduct investigation and explore potential mediation, if Brandy is open to participating.
In the coming months, the chapter will focus our electoral efforts solely on our four remaining endorsed campaigns across DC and Montgomery County: Zachary Parker, Gabriel Acevero, Max Socol, and Initiative 82. We still have a world to win.