Metro DC DSA Weekly Update for Friday, May 3, 2019

New this weekend: Canvassing for Northern Virginia MDC-DSA endorsed candidates Irma Corado and Yasmine Taeb Saturday and Sunday. Get details at the links. We can make a difference in Virginia! If your weekend is booked, fear not – there are canvasses every Saturday and Sunday in May; check the calendar below.


The May 1 newsletter included a heap of notifications, so start with/catch up via the full web version of the May Day Washington Socialist. There you’ll find info and links for this weekend’s Wage Theft Training/Canvass Saturday and the MoCo General Meeting and Stomp Out Slumlords Potluck, both Sunday, plus lots of events advanced in our Allies in the DMV calendar. There’s access to the LaborFest calendar full of great films and talks; several in-depth organizing trainings this weekend and in mid-May, and as promised this Update has the full May calendar.

Also don’t miss the May issue’s featured articles on elite candidates, the rad-trad Dems fuss, a new stadium for the NFL team that may not be named, a Green New Deal opportunity at the Tidal Basin, DC’s tax policy and the Dems dilemma in the bereft Maryland House of Delegates (and, updating that, the compromise solution).


And the FLASH OF GREEN — adding the brand-fresh MoCo newsletter, with an alert about the May 14 fundraiser for Irma Corado (endorsed candidate in NoVa; see above) being hosted by the MoCo folks. See it here


MDC DSA elections The Elections Working Group reports: Candidate Forum for Steering & IOC Elections

Want to learn more about who’s running for MDC DSA Steering Committee and Internal Organizing Committee Co-Chair? Come out to the Candidate Forum on May 11th from 4:30pm to 7:30pm at Friends Meeting of Washington (Event links: Facebook | Meetup)!  At the Forum candidates will explain why they’re running and attendees can ask the candidates questions. Members may nominate a candidate or self-nominate at this link until May 12.

Here’s the full run-down of Steering & IOC election events:

May 11 – Candidate Forum

May 12 – Last day to qualify as a candidate

May 17 – Voting begins via online OpaVote ballot

May 21 – Voting closes

Elections to select delegates for the 2019 DSA National Convention will take place in June, so stay tuned for further details!


Friday morning labor dispatch: MoCo workers vow to fight for contract
“We will have to fight, make no mistake, to get what we deserve, but that’s always been the case,” said UFCW 1994/MCGEO after the Montgomery County Council voted down funding for their contract on Tuesday. “We’ve never backed down from a fight, and we won’t forget this betrayal.” Local 1994 noted that the vote was led by Councilmember Hans Reimer, “who knowingly misrepresented the numbers in an effort to score cheap political points at the expense of our members.” The union returns to the bargaining table with County Executive Marc Elrich and representatives of the County Council on Sunday night. Elrich, speaking at Wednesday night’s DC LaborFest Opening Night, spoke at length about his support for the deal, frustration with the Council vote and reiterated his support for working families and their unions. “Our goal,” Local 1994 said in an email to its members and supporters, “is to reach a compromise that will secure funding for a wage package that resembles our contract as much as possible.” (From Union City, Friday, May 3)


Solidarity Notes — Dutch M.P. visits

This May Day a group of Metro DC DSA comrades met with Sadet Karabulut, an elected member of the Dutch parliament with the Socialist Party. We gave her gifts of inauguration posters and a book of Bernie Sanders speeches. She asked us about how we conduct grassroots organizing and we deeply impressed with our local canvassing efforts in both community and electoral organizing. Karabulut expressed concern about the rising fascist and nationalist right in Europe, which we share domestically.

You could tell her relief in talking to fellow socialists after several days of engagement with the mainstream of American politics.  

After sharing mutual concerns about a coup in Venezuela, Metro DC DSA informed Karabulut about the efforts of US peace activists to prevent a takeover of the Venezuelan embassy. Metro DC DSA members also talked about their approach to political education and how the Socialist Night School was consciously sponsoring programs that showed how racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression were intertwined with class exploitation and socialists could not fight one without fighting the other. 

Karabulut expressed her hope that YDSA activists might someday visit the Netherlands and meet with activists of the Socialist Party.  — David D and Chip G


The protection of the Venezuelan Embassy in Georgetown against occupation by the US-backed Guaido contras continues; find out more at this FB page and check out the footage on Democracy Now Thursday morning. MDC DSA folks are involved (and needed); check our #internationalism Slack channel.


DSA North Star Caucus, a national one with several years’ work under its collective belt, has published a May Day 2019 letter to DSA comrades around the country, linked here. It includes an affirmation of the need for DSA caucuses old and new, and as DSA’s caucuses increase, emerge, and re-form as the 2019 Convention approaches, the letter says North Star members “dismiss the notion that DSA should exist without caucuses. … In an organization of 50,000 members, many if not most new to democratic socialism, the old DSA without caucuses is no longer viable. The organization needs organized factions – caucuses – that put DSAers who think alike and do similar work in touch with each other, allowing members to develop and present their political views and strategies to the organization as a whole. Interaction among such caucuses is the essence of democracy in any large organization.”

As the national DSA Convention 2019 approaches in August and election of local delegates is on the table, the Washington Socialist wants to hear from all national DSA caucuses and formations represented in our local chapter. (Disclosure: the Publications Working Group member editing this issue of the Weekly Update is a North Star Caucus member.)


The Metro DC DSA Disability Justice Working Group is asking disabled members and allies to contribute to a special series of articles highlighting biographical accounts of disabled experiences on the left. We want to illustrate that disability experiences in leftist spaces take on unique forms and that these perspectives matter to a broader conceptualization of identity politics in our fights for liberation from the capitalist system. If you are interested, please email disability-justice@mdcdsa.org or reach out to us on Slack through #disability-justice. – Matthew A


Join our 2019 Bowl-A-Thon to raise funds for the DC Abortion Fund which helps provide direct logistical and financial support to people in or traveling to DC who are seeking abortion care. Help us raise socialist cash for abortions by donating here, and remember to share this link with your friends and family. The current campaign is ending so this is the last chance to contribute in this round!


Inquiring Minds: How do you find out more about Metro DC DSA?

You can map out MDC DSA’s activity and process at the “Structure and Campaigns” page on our website (https://mdcdsa.org/) . You can subscribe to our publications whether you are a member or not. Current DSA members can join our Slack, where a lot of our activist work and info is in regular exchange in many committee, working group or caucus channels.  Join our Meetup page to get regular notifications about our chapter and working group meetings.


Publications schedule

Weekly Updates are scheduled for Fridays, May 10, 17 and 24, and the June newsletter will be sent Friday, May 31. Want to join the Publications Working Group? Look in on the # publications channel in MDC DSA Slack or email thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.


MDC DSA EVENTS IN MAY 2019

Saturday MAY 4  2:00 PM

Wage Theft Canvass/Training: Eastern Market

Eastern Market Station, 701 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

We will be conducting another training and canvass as part of the Labor Working Group’s anti-wage theft campaign. Attendees will first receive an hour-long training on DC wage theft law and how to talk to workers about fighting back and organizing to get what they’re owed. Afterwards we’ll canvass.

Saturday MAY 4  10:00 AM

DSA Canvass for Virginia Primary

Fairfax County, , VA, VA

PLEASE RSVP HERE: http://tinyurl.com/MDCDSAElectoral2019  Come canvas for our DSA-endorsed Virginia candidates! We have a unique opportunity to reshape the state this year. Join us!

Sunday MAY 5  10:00 AM

DSA Canvass for Virginia Primary

Fairfax County, , VA, VA

PLEASE RSVP HERE: http://tinyurl.com/MDCDSAElectoral2019  Come canvas for our DSA-endorsed Virginia candidates! We have a unique opportunity to reshape the state this year. Join us!  

Sunday MAY 5  2:00 PM

MoCo DSA 🌹General Branch Meeting

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

Please join us for the May general meeting of the Montgomery County branch of DSA. We’ll be joined by DSA members and state delegates Gabriel Acevero and Vaughn Stewart to talk about this year’s state legislative session. We’ll discuss the bills that passed, those that didn’t, and how to start making plans for next year’s Assembly session.

Sunday MAY 5  4:00 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 to eat good food .

Monday MAY 6  7:00 PM

Ecosocialist Caucus Meeting: Fossil Fuel Imperialism

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

“No blood for oil,” the left has chanted for decades now, and unfortunately it’s a fight that’s very far from done. With DSA Ecosocialists Green New Deal principles including “decolonize and demilitarize,” we know that international solidarity, anti-imperialism and a departure from the extractivist model itself are key to the transition to a sustainable future.

Tuesday MAY 7  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

Wednesday MAY 8  5:00 PM

Queer Caucus Happy Hour

Dacha Beer Garden, 1600 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Good afternoon, Queer comrades! We are getting the Queer caucus restarted! We have reserved a large (they call it a community) table at the Dacha Beer Garden, 1600 7th Street NW (Shaw-Howard Metro) on Wednesday, May 8 at 5 PM. This is for all LGBTQIA+ comrades and our allies/accomplices.

Saturday MAY 11  10:00 AM

DSA Canvass for Virginia Primary

Fairfax County, , VA, VA

PLEASE RSVP/ GET INFO HERE: http://tinyurl.com/MDCDSAElectoral2019  Come canvas for our DSA-endorsed Virginia candidates! We have a unique opportunity to reshape the state this year. Join us! Further details on location, time, etc. will be announced later.   

Saturday MAY 11  1:30 PM

Stomp Out Slumlords: Anti-Eviction Canvass

L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station, 600 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024

Come help us connect tenants facing eviction with legal resources! Tenants we speak to are twice as likely to go to court and fight their eviction, so every volunteer can make a big impact. We’re meeting at the L’Enfant metro — 7th St and Maryland Ave Exit. Train at 1:30, canvass stepoff at 2.

Saturday MAY 11  1:00 PM

Ward 3 Socialist Potluck

Are you a DSA member and live in Ward 3 of Washington, DC? Are you interested in meeting comrades from your neighborhood? Do you like to cook food and share it with others? Come join us at our comrade Matt’s place for a fun potluck with a side of politics aimed at bringing the neighborhood together. Follow link for details.

Saturday MAY 11  5:00 PM

Steering Committee/IOC Candidate Forum

Friends Meeting of Washington, 2111 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Join us to hear from candidates running for the Metro DC DSA Steering Committee! This May, there will be elections for Secretary, Treasurer, and seven at-large Steering Committee positions, as well as two Internal Organizing chairs. All dues paying members of Metro DC DSA are eligible to vote. Nominations are still open until Sunday, May 12. Follow link for more details.

Sunday MAY 12  10:00 AM

DSA Canvass for Virginia Primary

Fairfax County, , VA, VA

PLEASE RSVP HERE: http://tinyurl.com/MDCDSAElectoral2019  Come canvas for our DSA-endorsed Virginia candidates! We have a unique opportunity to reshape the state this year. Join us! Further details on location, time, etc. will be announced later.

Thursday MAY 16  6:30 PM

May Campaigns Council Meeting

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

Join us for the May Campaigns Council Meeting! We will have report-backs from our campaigns on their current work and ways to get involved, followed by a training on best practices for interacting with the media.

Saturday MAY 18  10:00 AM

DSA Canvass for Virginia Primary

Fairfax County, , VA, VA

PLEASE RSVP HERE: http://tinyurl.com/MDCDSAElectoral2019  Come canvas for our DSA-endorsed Virginia candidates! We have a unique opportunity to reshape the state this year. Join us! Further details on location, time, etc. will be announced later.

Saturday MAY 18  2:00 PM

Wage Theft Canvass/Training: Chinatown

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

We will be conducting another training and canvass as part of the Labor Working Group’s anti-wage theft campaign. Attendees will first receive a training on DC wage theft law and how to talk to workers about fighting back and organizing to get what they’re owed. Afterwards we’ll put that training to use in a canvass.

Saturday MAY 18  3:00 PM

Anti Racist Struggle and Socialism (Socialist Night School)

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

In this Socialist Night School session, we will discuss capitalism’s roots in the slave trade and colonialism, the Black contribution to Marxism, and the need to organize. It will be led by Bill Fletcher Jr. Fletcher is a longtime DSA member, racial justice, labor and international activist. He is the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us!”

Sunday MAY 19  10:00 AM

DSA Canvass for Virginia Primary

Fairfax County, , VA, VA

PLEASE RSVP HERE: http://tinyurl.com/MDCDSAElectoral2019  Come canvas for our DSA-endorsed Virginia candidates! We have a unique opportunity to reshape the state this year. Join us! Further details on location, time, etc. will be announced later

Sunday MAY 19  3:00 PM

Metro DC DSA Monthly General Body Meeting

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

The monthly meeting of the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America! The agenda will be distributed the week before the meeting.

Monday MAY 20  7:00 PM

DSA Healing Caucus: Meditation & Mindful Sharing

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

May’s theme will be social media under capitalism. Realizing that social media platforms is both a powerful tool for connecting economic justice organizers and a powerful tool for companies to profit off of our data through psychological manipulation, the goal for this month is untangle when being online is and isn’t aiding our liberation. More at link

Wednesday MAY 22  6:30 PM

 DSA Happy Hour

The Midlands Beer Garden, 3333 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010

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 […]

Wednesday MAY 22  7:00 PM

NOVA Branch DSA 🌹 Organizing Meeting

Pohick Regional Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA 22015

Welcome to our monthly NOVA DSA organizing and planning meeting. Please take a minute to read our short, brief, not very long, sort-of-illustrated NOVA DSA Socialist Meeting Participation Guidelines . We will be welcoming new members and continue discussing planning for our current actions and campaigns including support for DSA candidates in Virginia Elections, anti-Amazon-HQ2 and more.

Saturday MAY 25  10:00 AM

DSA Canvass for Virginia Primary

Fairfax County, , VA, VA

PLEASE RSVP HERE: http://tinyurl.com/MDCDSAElectoral2019  Come canvas for our DSA-endorsed Virginia candidates! We have a unique opportunity to reshape the state this year. Join us! Further details on location, time, etc. will be announced later.   

Sunday MAY 26  10:00 AM

DSA Canvass for Virginia Primary  

Fairfax County, , VA, VA

PLEASE RSVP HERE: http://tinyurl.com/MDCDSAElectoral2019  Come canvas for our DSA-endorsed Virginia candidates! We have a unique opportunity to reshape the state this year. Join us! Further details on location, time, etc. will be announced later.   

Sunday MAY 26  1:30 PM

Stomp Out Slumlords: Anti-Eviction Canvass

L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station, 600 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024

Come help us connect tenants facing eviction with legal resources! Tenants we speak to are twice as likely to go to court and fight their eviction, so every volunteer can make a big impact. We’re meeting at the L’Enfant metro — 7th St and Maryland Ave Exit. Training at 1:30; canvass stepoff at 2.

Thursday MAY 30  6:00 PM

Disability Justice Working Group Meeting

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

Join Metro DC DSA Disability Justice Working Group for our monthly meeting. Learn how to get involved in the various campaigns to empower and liberate the disabled community from the oppressive capitalist system. We meet on the first floor of the ADA-compliant Festival Center. ASL interpretation will be provided on request.


EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV

Friday, May 3 – Jacobin editor Bhaskar Sunkara talks about his new book, The Socialist Manifesto, with WaPo columnist Elizabeth Bruenig, 7-8 PM at Politics and Prose Union Market, 1270 5th St NE, Washington, District of Columbia 20002

Friday May 3 “Home For Good,” SURJ-DC sponsors a fundraiser for EMPOWER DC, with dinner and two drinks, $15 6:30-9, St. Stephens Church, 1525 Newton St. NW. RSVP and info

Friday May 3 Jean Wyllys, a comrade of Marielle Franco who had to flee Brazil and seek asylum in Germany because of death threats, is going to be hosting a conversation about solidarity in the age of Bolsonaro with queer/Afro-Brazilians/socialists in Brazil. 9:30 AM — Delegate Gabriel Acevero, Metro DC DSA member and gay Afro-Latino Maryland Delegate, will be facilitating the conversation. The organizer of the event is the Center for Economic and Policy Research. If interested in attending please email Colin Brineman (brineman@cepr.net). —Brian W

Saturday, May 4 Re-imagining Safety: A Wards 1 & 4 Speak Out and Resource Fair 3:00 – 7:00 PM Bruce Monroe Community Garden 3012 Georgia Ave NW, DC 20001  https://www.facebook.com/events/811371622558695/ Please join us for this community speak out and resource fair on May 4th to engage with your neighbors, tell your story, and let us all re-imagine together what true safety could look like!

Tuesday May 7th The Antifascist coalition DC United Against Hate, which Metro DC DSA members helped start, is having an open meeting to plan for an upcoming educational event on the rise of fascism in Turkey. at the Mt. Pleasant Library at 7 pm: https://www.facebook.com/events/365529637415273/

Wednesday May 15 Victor Grossman speaks at Busboys and Poets on “lessons from East Germany for building socialism in the US, Europe and around the world” – the 14th and V location. https://www.busboysandpoets.com/events/th-evt-8365873/  

  On Friday, May 17, Grossman speaks at 6:30-8:30 PM at the Goethe Institute at 1990 K Street, NW. ; and on Saturday, May 18, at 2:30-5 PM at the Nation Magazine Discussion Group in DC at the Cleveland Park Public Library at 3310 Connecticut Avenue, NW.


GOOD READS

What about this “Good Reads” stuff anyway? The Publications Working Group’s presumption is that our members and allies frequently encounter online articles that focus on, or touch on, socialism —  values and policies, history and future, critique or celebration. These articles may turn up (as they increasingly seem to be doing) in mainstream media. Or in far more specialized, distinctly non-mainstream venues. Or in the leftish aggregators that themselves collect “Good Reads” as a service.

Bottom line: our readers often encounter such expressions and want to share them because they think they should be shared. We want you to think of the “Good Reads” section of the monthly Washington Socialist or weekly update when you think about sharing these worthwhile messages. Sending a link to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org (putting “Good Reads” in the subject line helps) is all it takes to share the link with (as of this week) 2,914 subscribers. Catching the subscriber’s eye (an art in itself) can be enhanced if you have the time to write one sentence that – well, catches the subscriber’s eye (especially if the actual article headline is less than inspired).

So that’s all. When the urge to share hits you, the reader, send the link to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org and meet new comrades. We will include your name only if you explicitly say we should.

Our comrade Zach E co-authored an article on the value of organizing grad students https://magazine.scienceforthepeople.org/vol22-1/ustoo-how-unions-could-fight-harassment-in-stem/

Reconstitution of the labor movement, per the Atlantic,  is coming from younger workers

Repeats and catch-ups from the May Day Washington Socialist:

Can We Please Relax About ‘Socialism’? Only in America is the word freighted with so much perceived menace.  “In every other free society with a functioning market economy, socialism is an ordinary, rather general term for sane and compassionate governance of the public purse for the purpose of promoting general welfare and a more widespread share in national prosperity.” But not, apparently, in the US. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/27/opinion/sunday/socialism.html

Added after the Wednesday email:

 Hobsbawm on the origins of May Day from the Guardian longform edition.

And from the NYT‘s Tom Edsall: The right understands the role and importance of labor better than the left, and knows what to do while the left dithers.

Cornel West and Adolph Reed Jr. brought together for Bernie in one byline, apparently mind-melded over Joe Biden…

Adding (May 4) this detailed review of a “sprawling” (to say the least) but essential book about our digitally interpenetrated lives, Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, from The Nation.

 

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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