- Working Groups
Structure and Bylaws
Metro DC DSA has standing committees intended to oversee the chapter’s health and function, and to facilitate our other structures — working groups and caucuses — to do the work they’re passionate about. Read the formal description of each committee in our Chapter Bylaws.
Kareem E. (Chair), Stephanie G. (Secretary), Lauren K. (Treasurer), Kurtis H. (Campaigns Coordinator), Aparna R. (At-Large), Carl R.(At-Large), Dieter L.M. (At-Large), Hayden G. (At-Large), Philip B. (At-Large), Diego J. (At-Large), and Allison K. (At-Large).
The Steering Committee is the highest elected body of MDC DSA and is the political leadership of the chapter when the membership is not assembled, subordinate to the bylaws as well as resolutions passed by members at general body meetings and local conventions which may overturn its decisions.
If you would like to submit an item for a future Steering Committee agenda, please create a Red Desk ticket and select help topic: “Agenda Item / Steering Meeting”. For requests to endorse or support actions, or to sign on to letters, submit a Red Desk ticket under “Agenda Item / Steering Meeting / Endorse Action or Event”. As they are completed, Steering Committee minutes are posted to the Minutes & Historicals page of the Member Portal.
Slack: #steering for discussion, meeting agendas, and updates.
Brendan G. (Chair)
Committee discussion takes place on a private channel that can be joined by invitation if you would like to help with AdCom work. If you have administrative questions or need assistance, let us know in #helpdesk.
Lauren K. (Chair)
We’re actively looking to build out this committee! If you have experience or interest in budgeting, financial organization or reporting, fundraising, compliance, bookkeeping, or regular old spreadsheeting, please get in touch! The Compliance Subcommittee works within the finance committe to provide the necessary legal and financial oversight our electoral work requires for the chapter to stay in compliance with DC, Maryland, and Virginia campaign finance codes across election cycles.
Working Groups are formed whenever five dues-paying members come together around a shared vision of work. They may be issue or campaign-based, and may be affiliated with one of the five standing committees above or may operate independently as they deem useful.
MDC DSA’s Defund MPD Working Group is organizing in coalition with Black-led and racial justice organizations to defund the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, remove police from schools, and free our neighbors from occupation and incarceration as a path towards abolition — a world without cops and prisons. As part of our vision for racial and economic justice, we demand that the funding removed from police and prisons be reinvested in real public safety: housing, schools, jobs, healthcare and mental health services, community-based support programs, violence interruption, and other public goods and services.
To get involved, fill out this form!
As Democratic Socialists, we know that solidarity between disabled and non-disabled comrades lies at the intersection of disability rights and anti-capitalist action. Under capitalism, disabled individuals are subject to labor exploitation yet are simultaneously seen as inefficient and unfit to perform labor. This type of modern ableism drives a wedge between communities, segregating “productive” workers from those deemed “less able” — code for “less deserving” of dignity and justice. Ableism also serves the interests of political and economic elites by conditioning our society to see forms of social and economic stratification as being somehow natural and justified. We reject this notion and believe that inclusivity is not something to be debated. In fact, the experiences of disabled folk reflect the central contradictions of capitalism. Activism that does not consider the challenges facing the disabled community may perpetuate ableism, regardless of legal and societal reform.
The Metro DC DSA Disability Justice Working Group is dedicated to the empowerment and liberation of the DMV disabled community through non-hierarchical, issue-based campaigns designed by, in consultation with, and for disabled comrades. We aim to promote a democratic socialist platform in areas of health, education, infrastructure, housing, employment, and political representation. We also invite non-disabled comrades to act in solidarity and become an integral part of this Working Group. Our group works to expand accessibility and combat ableism within chapter organizing spaces. Moreover, we engage in internal and external political education surrounding the disabled community and its relationship to capitalism and other systems of oppression through our upcoming workshops, discussion/reading groups, and panels.
Food | Justice
Food | Justice was formed to collectively learn about agriculture with each other and in partnership with existing farms and gardens in the DMV area, while working toward establishing a physical garden and shared community space. We exist as a space of belonging where everyone who is interested in growing their own food and cultivating relationships with their environment is invited. If you’re interested in gardening, learning more about issues of food justice, and connecting with each other over food, join us!
Email List: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/join-the-food-justice-email-list
The Internationalism Working Group uses its strategic location in the heart of the empire to further the global struggle against militarism, imperialism, authoritarianism, right-wing nationalism, and capitalism. We aim to ensure that democratic socialist organizing in the United States incorporates a global perspective and builds transnational solidarity in pursuit of a world of peace, cooperation, equality, liberation, democracy, and socialism.
The Labor Working Group organizes with workers across the District to fight bad bosses, build new unions, and turn out for solidarity actions. Are you upset with changes management is making at your job? Do you think you have had wages or paid sick leave stolen from you? Maybe you’ve spoken about organizing a union with your co-workers, and those conversations went great, but you don’t know what to do next. If any of that applies to you, the LWG strongly encourages you to e-mail us at email@example.com. An LWG organizer will promptly respond. All communications are confidential.Membership in the LWG is open to everyone, especially workers who are members of unions or worker organizations, or who want to organize their workplace.
Medicare for All
We believe that healthcare is a human right, and should be provided to everyone regardless of employment, means, or immigration status. The Medicare For All Working Group works locally on healthcare advocacy to affect change both regionally and nationally. This includes identifying and seeking to rectify the racial disparities in healthcare, such as the disproportionate black maternal morbidity and mortality, and the uneven distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to BIPOC communities in the DC area. We have formed coalitions with local health justice groups to push for comprehensive single-payer healthcare, both nationally or at the state level, to cover all residents of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
The Migrant Justice Working Group focuses on challenging the apparatus of private contractors that make up the deportation machine. Anyone interested in researching and protesting profiteers to advocate for an end to deportation can join us!
The Mutual Aid Working Group aims to allow comrades to provide essential resources and services to working class and marginalized communities in the District of Columbia on the basis of non-hierarchy, voluntary association, and solidarity. We show this goodwill based on the belief that mutual aid serves as a viable alternative to the profit-seeking, exploitative nature of capitalism. In addition to providing resources and services, we will conduct political education on the ways that mutual aid can assist in the Democratic Socialist struggle to upend the rapaciousness of capitalism.
NoVa Tenant Organizing Working Group
The NoVA Tenant Organizing Working Group was formed to support the rent strike at the Southern Towers complex in Alexandria. Hundreds of tenants were unable to pay rent after losing their jobs due to COVID-19 and decided to work collectively to prevent each other from being evicted with the rallying cry of “No job? No Rent!” The NoVA Tenant Organizers are expanding to other apartment complexes to talk to tenants about how they can organize with their neighbors to avoid eviction and demand better conditions from their landlords.
Political education is central to the struggle against capitalism and to build socialism. The Political Education Working Group’s mission is to help us better understand our own world and how to fight for a better one. This work is rooted in political struggle and supports it as well. The Working Group organizes our Socialist Night School, a series of sessions that explore basic ideas, concepts and historical events related to socialism; and a comprehensive Reading Group Program to share learning and political education in a group setting, allowing members and supporters’ organizing and knowledge to develop alongside comrades. We also hold events in the community, such as walking tours that tie physical space in DC to the chapter’s organizing efforts and trainings for members to increase their skills, and we work with campaigns and other chapter formations to support their own political education work.
Reading Groups: https://mdcdsa.org/reading-groups
Night School: https://mdcdsa.org/nightschool
The MDC DSA Publications Working Group produces our chapter’s weekly email updates and monthly Washington Socialist newsletter. The group also works to refresh our website content, print handouts for outreach and tabling, creates zines, and provide graphic design support for the chapter. The Pubs group is overseen by a five-member Publications Editorial Board, which was enabled by a bylaws amendment passed in the 2018 local chapter convention.
Slack: #publications for discussion, content review, and editing
Rent Control Working Group
With current rent control laws in Washington, D.C., set to expire on December 31, 2020, we face a unique opportunity to pressure the D.C. Council to strengthen and significantly expand these protections. The MDC DSA Rent Control Working Group formed as part of a citywide coalition comprising tenants, legal advocates, labor unions, and community organizations that aims to (1) expand rent control to cover thousands of additional buildings in the district; (2) close legal loopholes that allow landlords and developers to profit from gross neglect and evictions; and (3) abolish above-inflation rent increases on rent-controlled units and preserve affordable housing for current residents. Join us as we organize for rent control and fight for housing justice.
Reproductive Justice Working Group
The Reproductive Justice Working Group organizes and advocate for abortion rights through the framework of reproductive justice. Reproductive justice requires the transformation of any system in which access to bodily autonomy, the right to have or not have children is delimited by race, class and gender. Restrictions to access, and the current attempts to ban abortion outright are an unabashed assault on the working class, particularly those who live in rural areas and red states. During a time of unprecedented hardship for the American working-class, and as Democrats and Republicans continue to treat the issue as a political football, Socialists must commit to building a mass movement to protect the right to abortion, and reproductive justice on both a local and national level.
Stomp Out Slumlords
Tenants organizing tenants to make this city work for tenants. From our anti-eviction canvasses, to helping working-class Washingtonians organize in their buildings, to our coalition with the DC Tenants Union, we’re figuring out how to build tenant power to take on the landlord class.
Montgomery County Branch
The branch works toward socialism in Montgomery County by fighting for housing for all, workplace democracy, towards police and prison abolition, against austerity, and electing socialists to state and local-level offices.
Northern Virginia Branch
The Metro DC DSA NOVA Branch works to fight for the interests of the working class and marginalized communities in Northern Virginia.
Prince George’s County Branch
The newly formed Branch is building momentum and a coalition to advance socialism and fight for the working class in Prince George’s County. Please connect with us as we organize our own efforts around Medicare for All, Housing, Ecosocialism, Criminal Justice, Political Education and more.
AfroSocialists and Socialists of Color Section (AfroSOC)
The AfroSocialists and Socialists of Color (AfroSOC) Section is solely for socialists that identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). This space is intended to support BIPOC through political education, mutual advocacy, and to build on our radical tradition.
Socialist Feminist Section (SocFem)
The Socialist Feminist Section is committed to political education, activism, and coalition building in the DC metro region and beyond. We expand upon our radical origins to build the collective power of workers for the common good. We envision a world free from all forms of sexism, racism, ableism, ageism, capitalism, imperialism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and other patriarchal constructs.
We hold three events a month: a business meeting, a reading group, and a social hour.
Currently, all gatherings and discussions are welcoming only those who are womxn-identified, people who are nonbinary, and marginalized genders. We ask that men do not participate at this time.
The Democratic Socialists Queer Section strives to fight against the institutionalized and informal systems that uphold the patriarchy in support of capitalism at the expense of Queer people and communities. We organize and fight against the material oppression of Queer people at all levels and will provide a platform that counters the marginalization of Queer voices.
In a 21st century that is already being defined by intensifying ecological, economic, and political crises, any environmentalism without equitability won’t have the tools needed to win the consent and active participation of the masses, while any attempts at socialism that don’t deeply integrate ecology will be dead ends on a dying planet. Against the existential threat of climate change, it’s necessary to organize a global political mobilization that can overcome fossil fuel capitalists and resurgent fascists in order to rapidly decarbonize energy systems and withdraw massive amounts of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. We must also fight for democratic use of the world’s resources and to reverse the damage that capitalism is inflicting upon the earth and the global community. Our task is to build collective power and solidarity with struggles that overlap with climate policy and environmental justice so we can all live in societies that allow people to truly thrive while regenerating our planet. Our primary goals are to promote ecosocialist perspectives and to encourage MDC DSA members to engage in meaningful organizing campaigns that advance climate and environmental justice in and around the District of Columbia, especially when we believe that they will build capacity within the chapter while growing power for working class people.
- Organizational Chart
- Working Groups