MDC DSA WEEKLY UPDATE FOR FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2019

MDC DSA Weekly Update for Friday February 8 2019

Coming up this weekend: On Saturday (Feb. 9) The Stomp Out Slumlords potluck at 2; Sunday (Feb. 10) the MoCo branch meeting at 2 and the MDC DSA General Body Meeting at 3. This issue also features two advance articles for the March Washington Socialist, as well as the national DSA February Dispatch, sent yesterday (Feb. 7). Check that all out below.

The local chapter GBM: The principal activity Sunday is chapter-wide training to improve our foundational knowledge and cultural competency relevant to the transgender community within DSA. A detailed framework of the training is here.

New items received since the Friday email was sent are in this GREEN TYPE. See the Venezuela Solidarity entry just below for new information, for example.


The next Campaigns Council (CC) is Thursday, February 21st from 7-8:30pm at the Institute for Policy Studies (FB event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/223794561765507/

 At the inaugural meeting of the CC in January, we determined the structure of these meetings will be:

  1. Report-backs from campaign leads (10-15 mins)
  2. Discussion on ways to plug into the work and collaborate across campaigns (10-15 mins)
  3. Campaign organizer training

Trainings will focus on generalized skills that organizers need to build and grow a good campaign. February’s training is on meeting facilitation; March, on power and power mapping. –Marge M


Our comrade Jose G alerts us to (national) DSA Venezuela Solidarity’s action message:

Reps Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal are currently circulating a letter to all members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) “rejecting threats of US military intervention in Venezuela, supporting dialogue to resolve the political crisis there, and opposing broad economic sanctions that hurt ordinary Venezuelans.”  The deadline for the letter [Feb. 6, has passed but we should quickly] set up congressional office visits with CPC members Reps. Jamie Raskin (MoCo) and Don Beyer (NoVA) ASAP to lobby for support of the Khanna/Jayapal letter as well as a bill to prohibit US military intervention being introduced by Rep. David Cicilline. Here is the Organizing Packet. Local MDC DSA activists say they’ll have an informal strategy meeting after Sunday’s GBM. A half-hour after the email Update was sent we got notification that the above Khanna-Jayapal letter to CPC colleagues has an extended deadline, till COB Friday Feb. 8 — so those local members with squeeze in the offices of Jamie Raskin or Don Beyer should still try to get them on board.


The MDC DSA Publications Working Group (which met last Sunday, Feb. 3) is moving ahead on elections for the five-member Publications Editorial Board enabled by a bylaws amendment passed in the 2018 local chapter convention. That PEB will oversee and manage the work of the Pubs WG in producing our periodical weekly Updates and monthly Washington Socialist newsletter as well as refreshed and dynamic mdcdsa.org website content, print handouts for outreach and tabling, print and online thematic ‘Zines and dynamite locally-created design features for all of our activities, brands and imagery.  Nominate members for the PEB (including self-nom) at this link. – WG edit team


Another new entry: Wednesday, February 13, MDC LSC February Happy Hour  6:30 PM to 9:30 PM Bar Roubaix  1400 Irving St NW #109 · Washington, DC

Come meet your friendly neighborhood Metro DC DSA libertarian socialists for a chat, some good food and drinks on February 13 from 6:30 to 9:30 at Bar Roubaix, right by the Columbia Heights metro! See you there!


 

Our comrade David P relays info on a Feb. 27 meeting of the DC Cooperative Stakeholders group in Petworth with an explainer on the landscape and prospects for nurturing coops. Event info here.   


National DSA is supporting Medicare for All community discussions – “barnstorms” – around the country and we have several in our region – Feb. 9 in Accokeek (PG-Charles County) and Baltimore, Feb. 10 Silver Spring (alas, same time as the Feb 10 GBM); and Howard County Feb 11.


Another new caucus has made itself known pre-convention: Socialist Majority  Check it out.


National DSA’s February Dispatch (sent yesterday, Feb. 7)) introduces new staff, has previews of the regional conferences and national convention, and discusses Medicare for All efforts and possible DSA paths of involvement if there’s a Sanders 2020 campaign. Read all of it at the link above.

FEATURED ARTICLES: Advance articles from the March Washington Socialist feature ecosocialist books, timely on the filing date (well, almost) of the Green New Deal Resolution in Congress (see Good Reads for more on that).

Andy Feeney reviews two books on food, part of a series reviewing books on the impact of capitalist production and consumption of food on the planet.

Kurt Stand reports on one of our local authors, David Schwartzman, who spoke in DC on his just-published The Earth is Not for Sale (co-written with his son) on the positive path available for a solar-communist future.

And note that the national Ecosocialist Working Group is within a week of finalizing its set of principles that should govern a Green New Deal. A final version should be available in next week’s Update. This trenchant second paragraph will probably remain unaltered:

“Yet, the crisis we face exceeds climate breakdown. Deepening inequality, suppressed democracy, precarious jobs, racial and gendered violence, border hostility and endless wars make up the terrain on which climate destabilization will be unleashed. The most vulnerable members of society will be hit hardest, first, and suffer most.”


MDC DSA EVENTS FOR FEBRUARY-MARCH

Saturday FEB 9 2:00 PM

Stomp Out Slumlords Potluck Social

Have you ever wondered what the SOS canvassers you don’t get paired with are like? Have you ever wanted to derail a business meeting into jokes and stories but resisted? Have you ever wanted to stand shoulder to shoulder with your fellow comrades and organize collectively around your desire for good food and drink? Quandaries solved here.

Sunday FEB 10  2:00 PM

MoCo DSA 🌹General Branch Meeting

Silver Spring Public Library, 900 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD

Please join us for the February general meeting of the Montgomery County branch of DSA. We plan to introduce the candidates for our branch’s very first elected steering committee. Voting will occur online during the week following this meeting. We’ll be in the main meeting room on the 3rd floor of the Silver Spring library.

Sunday FEB 10  3:00 PM

Metro DC DSA Monthly General Body Meeting

Friends Meeting House of Washington,, 2111 Florida Ave NW, Washington D.C. 20008, Washington, DC 20008

The monthly meeting of the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America! From 3:00-4:30pm, we’ll be participating in a chapter-wide training to improve our foundational knowledge and cultural competency relevant to the transgender community within DSA. We’re thrilled to be working with a trainer from Reframe Health + Justice. More at link.

Monday FEB 11  7:00 PM

DSA Mindfulness Caucus: Meditation & Mindful Sharing

Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library, 3160 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20010

A monthly meet-up where we meditate as a group and then mindfully examine and discuss the ways in which we’ve psychologically internalized capitalism. The theme for February’s meeting will be Love. We will examine the ways in which capitalism benefits from treating love as a commodity, and the alternatives.

Tuesday FEB 12  6:30 PM

Socialist Night School: Police and Prison Abolition

Petworth Neighborhood Library, 4200 Kansas Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011

Policing and prisons are ubiquitous features of our world, yet these institutions, widely seen as both necessary and oppressive, have not always existed, nor played as great a role as they do today. For many, uprooting these institutions seems unthinkable; here we consider the alternatives.

Saturday FEB 16  2:00 PM

Stomp Out Slumlords Reading Group Meeting

Southeast Neighborhood Library, 403 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Do you like housing justice? Do you like Marxism? Do you want to learn more about the theory behind Metro DC DSA’s tenants’ rights/tenant organizing campaign? Then join us for the inaugural SOS Reading Group meeting. We will be discussing Friedrich Engels’ “The Housing Question” and related readings. Follow link for access to readings.

Sunday FEB 17  4:00 PM

🌹Socialist Feminism Reading Group: Emotional Labor

The Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Rd., NW, Washington, DC 20009

Reading group Participation Guide. This month, our readings focus on emotional labor. Feminism 101: What is Emotional Labor? Follow link for access to readings.

Tuesday FEB 19  7:00 PM

Steering Committee

Institute for Policy Studies, 1301 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20036

Steering Committee meetings are open to any MDC DSA member who would like to attend. Please RSVP and message the hosts if you would like to join by videoconference so we can make arrangements to get you the appropriate URL.

Wed Feb 20  7:30 PM

February Labor Working Group

Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library (3160 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20010)
Labor WG meets 7:30-9 PM, topics are wage theft campaign and solidarity requests.

 Thursday FEB 21  7:00 PM

Campaigns Council

Institute for Policy Studies, 1301 Connecticut Ave NW #600, Washington, DC 20036

Join us for the February Campaigns Council meeting! We will have reportbacks from campaigns on their current work and ways to get involved, AND we will have a training on how to facilitate a great meeting. Join us!

Saturday FEB 23  2:00 PM

Red Cubs Child Care Orientation 2/23

Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library, 3160 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20010

Join us for a Red Cubs Child Care orientation! The child care working group is looking comrades to join our volunteer team. At the orientation, you can learn about our chapter’s approach to child care, engage in discussion about gender division in care work, and make new friends!  

Sunday FEB 24  2:00 PM

Co-operatives in Montgomery County

Rockville Memorial Library, 21 Maryland Ave, Rockville, MD 20850

In partnership with Impact Silver Spring, MoCo DSA members are organizing a series of educational discussions on the cooperative economy. What does an alternative to capitalism look like? How are communities in Montgomery County already transitioning away from hierarchical capitalist relations in the workplace and towards more democracy? Comrades are encouraged to bring their questions.

Wednesday FEB 27  6:30 PM

DSA Happy Hour

Franklin Hall, 1348 Florida Avenue Northwest, Washington,

Join us for our monthly happy hour! This is a great chance to meet and mingle with fellow comrades. No agenda, no work, and no politics… well, maybe a little politics. Happy hours, like most MDC DSA events, are open to members and non-members alike! Come join us in an informal setting to learn more.

MARCH

Saturday MAR 2  1:00 PM

DSA Afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gallery Pl-Chinatown Station, 630 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Kick the late-winter blues with veteran DSA member and museum prowler Bill Mosley for an exploration of artworks inspired by political and social struggle in the two Smithsonian museums that occupy the historic Patent Office building. We will meet in the building’s Kogod Courtyard near the café; details at the link.

Tuesday MAR 5  7:00 PM

Steering Committee (remote meeting)

Steering Committee meetings are open to any MDC DSA member who would like to attend. This is a REMOTE ONLY meeting: please RSVP and message the hosts so we can make arrangements to get you the appropriate videoconferencing URL.

Sunday MAR 10  2:00 PM

MoCo DSA 🌹General Branch Meeting

Silver Spring Public Library, 900 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD

Please join us for the March general meeting of the Montgomery County branch of DSA. We’ll be in the main meeting room on the 3rd floor of the Silver Spring library. See you then!

MAR 16 – 17

DSA Regional Conference

DSA USA is organizing regional pre-National Convention conferences from February through April 2019, and Metro DC DSA is hosting one of them. (Venue TBD.) The regional conferences will:* provide earlier and equal access to conversations and information about the National Convention;*and encourage the broadest member attendance possible (beyond chapter leaders and convention delegates); follow link for details.

Sunday MAR 17  12:30 PM

Metro DC DSA Monthly General Body Meeting

Friends Meeting of Washington, 2111 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, DC

March’s general body meeting of the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America will be held directly after the DSA regional conference the chapter will be hosting all day Saturday, March 16 and ending at noon Sunday, March 17. **Exact start time subject to change, but we are tentatively planning to begin at 12:30pm Sunday; watch this space.

 


EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV

Saturday, Feb 9 Monthly meeting of the citywide DC GRASSROOTS PLANNING COALITION 1:30-4:00 PM Union Temple Baptist Church 1225 W St, SE (Anacostia Metro, onsite parking) MDC DSA is a coalition member. Tell the DC Council to ‘show us the money’ for low income housing & community development! https://www.facebook.com/events/2476508569089567/

Sunday, February 17  SURJ MoCo Meeting & Ally Training 2 – 4 PM Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church 9601 Cedar Ln, Bethesda, MD 20814,  https://www.facebook.com/events/646544239136823/

 

Monday, February 18  — Reel & Meal presents featuring a new PBS documentary, “Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution.”  Come learn how the racial justice and health care struggles intersect. An event for Black History Month co-sponsored by Health Care is a Human Right- Maryland  with Prince George’s County Peace & Justice Coalition – vegan buffet meal ($14) at New Deal Café, 6:30 PM followed by film and panel discussion across the plaza at Old Greenbelt theater. at 7:45 PM RSVP at each link for both meal and movie.

Monday, March 4 Progressive Maryland Lobby Day in Annapolis 6-9 PM Carry our issues – reducing prison population, eliminating cash bail, fight for $15 and Fair Elections – right to our legislators desks. More here

Thursday, March 7 Filipina Women Resist — 6 PM – 8 PM Busboys and Poets Takoma — 235 Carroll St NW, Washington, District of Columbia  RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/803165356688221/

For International Women’s Day, Filipina activist leader Cristina Palabay will speak about the current human rights crisis in the Philippines and women’s global resistance.


GOOD READS

A discussion of electoral work long-range in DSA from the blog on Grassroots Economic Organizing. Doug Henwood, passing this along on Facebook, quotes a peer to the effect that it’s “a vision of life as one long student council meeting…” http://www.geo.coop/blog/groundwork-socialist-party-democratized-caucus-within-democratic-party?fbclid=IwAR2bpjmTDpknoqKPtCYMvQYVz65-A0o3niIkfdHE2GHjohQc2lnzvhYuNhs

Parts of the Green New Deal include: The Green New Deal Must Put Utilities Under Public Control – a great goal for the Eastern seaboard states that make up the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and are hobbled by the dominance of Exelon, especially in the southern states of RGGI like Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

NPR Highlights Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Green New Deal. In what National Public Radio touted as a radio news exclusive, host Steven Inskeep interviewed AOC on the Feb. 7 “Morning Edition” concerning a House of Representatives resolution she’s sponsoring with other Democrats concerning a proposed Green New Deal.  In the interview, Inskeep also told listeners that NPR has posted the full Green New Deal proposal on its web site, and he didn’t lie.  For details, click here:  https://www.npr.org/about-npr/692067268/npr-news-exclusive-with-rep-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-on-her-green-new-deal .   – Andy Feeney

MEDICARE FOR ALL

Michael Lighty, who is doing a series of events around the country about Medicare for All on behalf of the National Nurses Union (where he is policy director) and with DSAUSA support, had this discussion in December about the paths for financing a universal health care system. He was national DSA organizing director in the early ‘90s. Here’s the video: https://sandersinstitute-ourrev.bsd.net/page/m/2ba7a5c5/be4b7f1/9ea2cf08/75fbe1bd/2054864840/VEsE/

CIA’s 1953 Overthrow of Iran’s Democracy Outlined in New NPR History Podcast.  Bad blood between Iran and the United States didn’t begin with Trump’s torpedoing of the Iran nuclear treaty, nor with radical Iranian protesters chanting “Death to America” during the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the pro-western government of the Shah, two journalists point out on NPR’s new “Throughline” history podcast page.  The authors of the podcast about Iran, featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition” program on Feb. 7, document how CIA operative Kermit Roosevelt orchestrated the overthrow of elected Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953, primarily in response to Iran’s nationalization of oil fields controlled by what is now British Petroleum.  This helps explain why many educated and politically aware Iranians have distrusted the U.S. ever since. For details on the NPR story, and to listen to the podcast, click here:  https://www.npr.org/2019/01/31/690363402/how-the-cia-overthrew-irans-democracy-in-four-days  — Andy Feeney

The Washington Socialist is the newsletter and editorial publication of Metro DC DSA. The views and opinions expressed here may not reflect those of the chapter, and publication of any information should not be considered an endorsement. For our chapter's official statements, please visit the Statements section of our main site.

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