Metro DC DSA’s Weekly Update for Friday, April 12, 2019

MDC DSA’S GENERAL BODY MEETING Sunday (April 14) anchors our weekend activities. We’ll start at 3:30 with quick chapter updates leading into a compact version of the Socialist Night School’s acclaimed Socialism/Marxism 101. That sets the stage for small-group thematic breakouts to prioritize the local chapter’s work plan as the August National Convention approaches, preceded by elections of our convention delegates AND of local leadership. Meet at the Friends Meeting House, 2111 Florida Ave. NW. Spoiler alert: the May GBM will focus on convention delegate election issues and processes.

Also this weekend: Wage Theft training and canvass, Sunday, April 14, 1 PM.


From the Labor WG

April 15th Solidarity ask: Postal Workers Tax Day Outreach,  2-4 PM, Dorothy Height Post Office: Fighting the idea that the Postal Service is funded by tax dollars

Wage Theft

Next Canvasses and Facebook Events: Adams Morgan April 14th; DuPont Circle April 27th; Eastern Market May 4th; Chinatown May 18th

We Need Canvass Leads. If you are interested in stepping up more in the wage theft project and want to lead a canvass, we’ll have two trainings for that on April 20th at Cleveland Park Library and April 25th at 1616 P St NW

Organizing Workshops — If you have any experience in any of these areas and want to help develop a workshop course for DSA members to learn how to organize their workplaces, contact labor@mdcdsa.org !  Skill call for: Know Your Rights<>Workplace Conversations<>Charting Your Workplace<>1-on-1s<>Organizing Committee<>Workplace Research<>Identifying Issues<>Developing Literature<>Running Doorknocking/Outreach<>Collective Bargaining<>Choosing Your Union<>Direct Action in the Workplace


MoCo DSA’s Newsletter this week has updates on some bills in the Assembly, their struggle against police violence in the county, and their own curated list of Good Reads (“Reading and Resisting”).

And speaking of bills in Maryland:

Maryland’s General Assembly passed over 850 bills by their Sine Die deadline. About 2,500, a record number, were filed, and there’s no doubt that many of those were bad bills and good riddance. But there were some real missed opportunities – at least as far as the state’s progressive forces are concerned. Here are a few to think about.


From Alex H, NoVa branchSolidarity Ask — Virginia Democrats are walking away (and even apologizing) from their calls for Ralph Northam to resign. Two VA senators are even having Northam join them for campaign fundraising events, one this Wednesday for Betsy Carr of Richmond and this Sunday for David Marsden of Fairfax. The Fairfax County NAACP requested that Marsden disinvite Northam and he refused, defending Northam. They have asked for solidarity and for people to join them in peaceful protest at 1 PM on Sunday April 14th at the Ponds Community Center (9837 Burke Pond Ln, Burke, VA 22015). Link for information and the call to protest


IPS Panel explores trends toward public ownership

Cooperativist activists from the Democracy Collaborative/Next System Project joined UK activists engaged in the struggle back out of Thatcherite privatization and MDC DSA Green New Deal advocate Ashik Siddique at the Institute for Policy Studies. “… as the center of gravity in politics shifts, there is potential to renew public action and ownership for the good of the people after decades of neoliberal and austerity measures.” Check out this presentation from Wednesday evening (April 10) in livestream here.


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.


Chelsea Manning is being kept in solitary confinement for resisting a Grand Jury subpoena and she needs legal funds to keep resisting, so donate to her here: Chelsea Manning Needs Legal Funds to Resist a Grand Jury Subpoena — for more, our comrade Chip Gibbons writes in Jacobin about Chelsea Manning’s plight: Let Chelsea Go by Chip Gibbons New wrinkle, of course, is the arrest of Assange in UK; does that moot her allegedly withheld info?

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.



Publications schedule

MDC DSA will publish and email weekly Updates on Fridays, April 19 and 26. The May Day issue of the monthly Washington Socialist will be emailed Wednesday, May 1. Article deadline for the May newsletter is Wednesday, April 24. The April newsletter is here. Want to join the Publications Working Group (or run for the five-member Publications Editorial Board)? Look in on the # publications channel in MDC DSA Slack or email thesocialist@mdcdsa.org. The Publications Working Group meets Wed., April 17, 7 PM at Lamond-Riggs neighborhood library. All are welcome.


Openings on the Left

Consider applying to be a 2019 WILL Empower apprentice. Applications are now open and are due April 15, 2019. Apprentices will begin work in September, 2019. Find out more in our information guide.  “…a paid opportunity for recent college graduates and rank-and-file activists to explore what it’s like to work for the labor and workers’ justice movement… building power for women workers.”

Building Power in Virginia: This May, New Virginia Majority is hosting Solidarity Summer, an electoral training and political education program in Northern Virginia. The program is seven days (with one day off) of intensive training from May 15 to May 22, which will give participants the skills they need to run a district-wide electoral program: training staff, using and analyzing data, writing and revising outreach scripts, and more. More info on the programHow to apply.

–Stu K


MDC DSA EVENTS FOR APRIL/MAY

Follow links for complete information

Sunday APR 14  1:00 PM

Wage Theft Training & Canvass: Adams Morgan

Unity Park, 1771-1795 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009

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.

Sunday APR 14  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 APR 15  7:00 PM

Community Garden Initiative Interest Meeting

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

Join MDC DSA’s Ecosocialist Caucus and Mutual Aid Working Group for the second meeting of the DSA Community Gardening Initiative. Learn about urban agriculture and gardening in the DMV area, as well as plug in to the various focus groups of the initiative, including: – Gardening Volunteer Coordination– Gardening Education and Skill-Sharing– Short-term Plot Search and more.

Monday APR 15  7:00 PM

NOVA Branch DSA 🌹 Organizing Meeting

Columbia Pike Branch Library, 816 S Walter Reed Dr, Arlington, VA 22204

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.

Wednesday APR 17  7:00 PM

Publications Working Group Monthly Meeting

Lamond-Riggs Neighborhood Library, 5401 South Dakota Ave NE, Washington, DC 20011

Finalize Publications Editorial Board election procedure and timeframe. Plan all aspects of publications activity.

Monday APR 22  7:00 PM

DSA Healing Caucus: Meditation & Mindful Sharing​

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

Join us on Earth Day as we hold space for ecological grief. We plan to meditate and then unpack the way capitalism has encouraged us to deny our interconnection with nature through journaling and mindful sharing. Bring something to write on/with.

Monday APR 22  6:40 PM

Social Reproduction: Socialist Night School

Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Session three of the Socialist Night School. In this session, we will discuss what social reproduction is, how many current and seemingly divergent struggles are intertwined with struggles over social reproduction, and how social reproduction is a crucial concept for understanding capitalism in general and our current moment in particular.

Tuesday APR 23  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. Submit agenda items at Red Desk.

Wednesday APR 24  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  — and maybe meet one of our endorsed candidates in Virginia.

Saturday APR 27  2:00 PM

Wage Theft Training & Canvass: Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle Station, 1525 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

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 put that training to use in a canvass.

SATURDAY, APRIL 27  2:30-5 PM

Prince George’s DSA Organizing Committee

 Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mt Rainier, MD 20712, discussing coalition work on priority issues with guest resource folks from MoCo DSA, Progressive Maryland and other allies. All welcome. Email woodlanham@gmail.com for more info.

APR 26 – 28

2019 Socialist Feminist Convergence

First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, 2125 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

The Socialist Feminist Convergence is a regional conference that brings together feminists on the left to build power & solidarity. This event, hosted by the Philly DSA Socialist Feminist Working Group and endorsed by the DSA Socialist Feminist Working Group at the national level, aims to bring together leftist feminists from across the country. More information at link above.

Sunday APR 28  4:00 PM

Socialist Feminism Reading Group 🌹

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

Please read our reading group Participation Guide  and join us as we explore and discuss topics within Socialist Feminism. 🌹 This month, our readings focus on: [topic TBD] You can submit suggested articles anytime — we can build a topic around them!]

MAY

Wednesday MAY 1  6:00 PM

Grrrls* Night

Wet Dog Tavern, 2100 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

Grrrls* Night is a space for women, trans comrades of all genders, enbys, and femmes to come together and talk socialism — or just be social. New members and DSA-curious Grrrls*, come say hi and connect with us! Tonight’s event is also a salute to May Day and wrap-up celebration for Metro DC DSA’s Bowl-A-Thon activity (see entry above).

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 put that training to use in a canvass.

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.

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. Submit agenda items in Red Desk.

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 to RSVP and get address.

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  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.


EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES

 Saturday, April 13     Nonviolent Direct Action Training –by Extinction Rebellion, 3:30-6:30pm @ St Stephen’s. Training for anyone interested in learning about the methods of nonviolent direct action. Recommended for anyone who hasn’t had much experience with this style of protest who would like to attend the following event.

Saturday, April 13 “Racial Equity and the DC Comprehensive Plan, Empower DC Monthly Meeting, 1:30 – 4 PM, Union Temple Baptist Church, 1225 W St. SE. More info here.

Sunday, April 14 Forum on Nonviolent Peacemaking Initiatives Presented by Maryland United for Peace and Justice / Institute for Positive Action from 2:30-4:30 PM  Adelphi Friends Meeting, 2303 Metzerott Road, Adelphi, Maryland 20783 

Monday, April 15, “Reel and Meal” features A Teachable Moment, New Deal Café, 113 Centerway in Greenbelt’s Roosevelt Center  Optional vegan meal ($14.00) at 6:30 PM Free screening starting at 7 PM. 

Tuesday, April 16th      The Climate Games with Extinction Rebellion, 8-10:30 AM @ Spirit of Justice Park. Since the Republicans insist on playing games with the future of our planet, XRDC is happy to have the RNC host the Climate Games this year. With any luck, the annual showdown between Team Earth and Team Greed will be such a big hit that the RNC might not be able to conduct their usual business on Tuesday…

Tuesday, April 16, ONEDC’s Emancipation Day Freedom School,  3 PM-8PM – History, Food, Film, Music, Emancipation.  THEARC , 1901 Mississippi Ave SE Washington, DC 20020
Google map and directions  Info and RSVP

Tuesday, Apr. 16 Why Worker Coops and Socialism Need Each Other. Join Larry Fenster from Democracy at Work DC to discuss and explore ways in which worker coops and socialist movements can work together to promote freedom, cooperation, and economic justice. 6:30pm to 8:00pm at the Shaw Library. RSVPs are appreciated.

Monday, May 13 Road to a Green New Deal Tour in Washington, DC  at 7 PM   Cramton Auditorium, Howard U Speakers: Senator Ed Markey<>  Naomi Klein<> Rhiana Gunn-Wright<> Alexandra Rojas <> Jeremiah Lowery (DSA member) — We’ve put the Green New Deal at the center of a national conversation about climate action, and we did it faster and with fewer resources than anyone (including me) thought possible. We did it because we organized, and spoke the truth about the depth of the crisis we’re facing as a generation


GOOD READS

>>Good read from Jules Bernstein –  Paul Buhle reviews Jack Ross’s book on the history of US socialism (a loooongread) https://www.lawcha.org/2019/02/13/american-socialism-revisited-buhle/

>>Jacobin: Green New Deal means class struggle: https://portside.org/2019-04-08/real-green-new-deal-means-class-struggle

>>Good Reads:  House Beautiful profiles AOC’s Recent Tweet on Gardening.  Not many socialists win favorable mention in the glossy magazine House Beautiful, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has done so.  An April 8 item in House Beautiful’s lifestyle section, by senior editor Hadley Keller, reports that AOC has just asked her 3.5 million Twitter followers for “sage” advice on what to plant in her new plot in a DC community garden.  Hadley writes:  “Much like the open forum that ensued when she called for suggestions on how to furnish her apartment, replies to the politician’s tweet ranged from the earnestly helpful to the sarcastic, punny, and just plain weird.”  Some environmentally minded fans recommended raising native plants to attract bees; one offered advice on planting vegetables for making salsa, and one replied simply, “Mitch McDonnell.”  House Beautiful’s predicts:  “The congresswoman might just have the world’s best community garden after this.”  Is this what old-line revolutionaries meant by cultural struggle?  https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/a27072978/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-gardening-advice/  Andy Feeney

>>From Portside, Arendt keeps being relevant… https://portside.org/2019-04-10/why-hannah-arendt-philosopher-now

Two more reads from Andy Feeney

>>Good Read:  The Atlantic Looks at a Non-Hipster DSA Activism in Iowa.  Some DSA members were irked by a recent cover story in New York magazine (a liberal publication that generally scorns socialism), which describes DSA meetings in the Big Apple as resembling “a never-ending Brown University reunion” and a “new way to date in Brooklyn.” http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/03/socialism-and-young-socialists.html. But in an April 5 piece in The Atlantic, writer Elaine Godfrey portrays a very different style of DSA activism in Iowa, a state which now supports five DSA chapters and another two in formation.  The Iowa socialists she’s interviewed, Godfrey reports, are generally media literate, but “not Upper West Siders from moneyed families, nor are they, for the most part, graduates of elite Ivy League schools … Socialism, to them, is not a trendy niche hobby.” Instead, Godfrey writes, “the people I spoke with see the DSA as a vehicle for changing their own immediate circumstances,” since many are struggling with job insecurity and student debt.  Their concern is with capitalism as a generator of economic distress. Their practical focus for the common year will be on affordable housing. For details, see https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/04/democratic-socialism-surging-iowa-ahead-2020/586441/

 >>Good Reads:  AOC Makes the Cover of TIME Magazine. TIME magazine for March 21 has a cover story on AOC, “The Phenom,” with a long profile inside headlined “‘Change Is Closer Than You Think’: Inside the Unlikely Rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”  Charlotte Alter’s generally sympathetic article notes: “No lawmaker in recent memory has translated so few votes into so much political and social capital so quickly.” AOC now has more than 3.5 Twitter followers, Alter reports; at the same time, the congresswoman also receives frequent death threats, and opinion polls indicate that relentless rightwing demonizing of her has taken a toll:  reportedly, some 41% of the public now views her unfavorably, a big swing from a few months ago, with attitudes toward AOC differing sharply by race, ethnicity, political party and age.

Noting the significant role that DSA volunteers and the democratic socialism’s popularity among millennials have played in AOC’s rise to political prominence, Alter adds:  “Like [Bernie] Sanders, she seems more concerned with movements than elections; she doesn’t talk about flipping seats and votes, but rather of winning hearts and minds.”  The article quotes the congresswoman as explaining, ‘By the time legislation actually gets through, it is five years from now. So everything we introduce needs to have 2025 or our kids in mind.’ AOC, Alter concludes, is “not thinking about how to keep the Democratic majority for another two years; she’s thinking about how to define the agenda for the next two decades.”  DSA members who haven’t already seen the TIME piece can find it at http://time.com/longform/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-profile/?iid=sr-link5

 

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.

Join the DC DSA Mailing List

Subscribe to MDC DSA's mailing lists for weekly event calendars, special announcements, and other relevant content. You can unsubscribe or modify your settings at any time.

Basic Information Fields marked with a are required.
Committees / Interests
Choose Your Subscriptions
Branch Affiliation Choose a branch to also get updates on local activities for your area.