Welcome to the July 2017 issue of the Washington Socialist


Welcome to the Washington Socialist for July 2017

This is the free monthly email newsletter of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America.

This great new look for the Washington Socialist is thanks to a design working group on the local’s Communication Committee.

But one last note — this new format is so great-looking that some inboxes might want to save some for your dessert. Check the end of the email to see if “this message has been clipped” and if so, click appropriately to see the rest.







Welcome to the July 2017 issue of the Washington Socialist, the free monthly email newsletter of the Metro DC chapter of Democratic Socialists of America.

It’s some measure of where we are in 2017 that for the first time in years we are publishing a July issue. Our practice in previous summers – when the level of political activity, even in here the Metro DC area, ebbed considerably – was to publish a Midsummer issue on Bastille Day, the only one between June and Labor Day.

Not in the era of Trump. Not with a quadrupled DSA membership.

We’ll have an August issue following this one. More to the point, we’ll publish our Weekly Update every Friday throughout the summer, and there will be plenty of thought and action to report, and report on. We won’t have a customary lazy, hazy Midsummer issue on Bastille Day, July 14, but as it happens that iconic anniversary falls on a Friday this year so you can expect socialism in your inbox on that jour de revolution anyway.

Metro DC DSA’s brand-new, restyled and enhanced website itself will be a much more dynamic source for socialist activists and socialist analysis – and for our increasing work with our allies on the broad left. You’ll find yourself going there often as the Washington Socialist Weekly Update links you with the latest on the mdcdsa.org site, on our Meetup site (now continuously present and staying current right on the site’s main page) and on our social media outlets.

There will be a lot to do and a lot to find out about, all summer long and into an active post-Labor Day fall. Metro DC DSA will be a focus and you’ll be in touch with it.

And as the “you” – the individual recipient/reader of the Washington Socialist in all its iterations – is connected with other members and organizations, we’ll in that way remind you – all of you – why it’s so important to be organized, to experience solidarity, to be strong in the face of illegitimate class power.

And wear it down. Together, the way it must be done. Stay tuned.

GOP Senators are engaged in a high-stakes bribefest to get to 51 votes on the Senate’s equally squalid and heartless version of the House substitute for the Affordable Care Act. Though a vote was delayed until after legislators return from the Fourth of July version of their endless series of work breaks, slimy backroom discussions continue.

Metro DC DSA, as a socialist component of the broad progressive resistance to this savage attempt to transfer wealth upward, is developing plans to counter the GOP push and stiffen the spine of the conventional political opposition in concert with our national organization.

See our roundup of the plans here and in the article table of contents below.

While we were fussing at max level about the health care bill, we may have noticed that Metro raised fares and cut service. Activists met at Columbia Heights rail station Thursday afternoon to make sure people didn’t forget this, demanding a flat two-dollar rail fare, increased bus service and a return of late night rail, and most of all that local officials bite the bullet and create a dedicated revenue stream for the system, including extracting payback from those developers and retailers who have profited most from the system when it is at its best. Local 689 of the Amalgamated Transit Union continues to fight against scapegoating Metro workers for the lapses of Metro executives.

 Activists rally to make Metro respect workers and serve riders, not bureaucratic needs, at Columbia Heights metrorail station Thursday, June 29.



(get updates at our Meetup page– links here– and watch for the Washington Socialist Weekly Updates, in your inbox July 7, 14 [Bastille Day!] and 21.).

See our Meetup page or the calendar at https://mdcdsa.org/ for updates on all Metro DC DSA events.

Thu, July 6 planned health care actions with allies – see Maria Svart’s message, above.

Tue, July 11 Montgomery County DSA branch Happy Hour at Bar Louie in Wheaton Plaza, 5:30-8 p.m.

Tue, July 11 5 p.m. “After Piketty” discussion of book After Piketty: The Agenda for Inequality and Economics featuring: Ryan Avent, Heather Boushey, Brad DeLong, Darrick Hamilton, Elisabeth Jacobs, Annie Lowrey, and Marshall Steinhaum. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/research-on-tap-after-piketty-tickets-35521433564

Sun July 23 MARK CALENDARS NOW for Metro DC DSA picnic in Rock Creek Park 3-7 p.m. Chair Marge McLaughlin says “we will have $1 burgers and hot dogs, a cornhole tournament, and it’s *family friendly* … emphasize that because most of our meetups are at bars so I want to get the kiddos out. BYO sides and desserts!”

In our June 23-30 Update, solidarity with Central American comrades, with DC school teachers, activism on the Fair Elections legislation in DC Council and rallying against fascist outcrops in public places in our city.
In our June 16-23 Update the Health Care Working Group set plans for action as the legislative emergency in the Senate loomed; we noted our general body resolution cheering Corbyn’s comeback; ally training on ICE watchfulness; report on ally Jobs with Justice board meeting; confirmation of results of DSA Convention delegate election on previous Sunday.

More paths to information:
Maryland peeps – you can get an email once a week from our allies at Progressive Maryland with calendar items and activism news by clicking here. You can sample the goods here.
Baltimore comrades, Check in on Max Obuszewski’s highly useful calendar and tip sheet at http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
To keep up with progressive events in and around DC consult the invaluable calendar at the Washington Peace Center, http://washingtonpeacecenter.org/alerts 








News, Action and what’s happened:

DSA nationally and locally plan action with allies to win health care battle Washington Socialist
National DSA and our local are mounting plans now to join allies and keep the pressure on Congress to defeat the attempt at massive wealth distribution from poor and working people to the rich that has taken the guise of “repeal and replace” health care reform.

Notes from the People’s Summit  Daniel Adkins — The People’s Summit in Chicago early in June had a great lineup of speakers and workshops, Dan Adkins reports. And it was big, post-Trump big. But navigating the McCormick Center and the accommodations available means lots of advance planning.

DSA surge in Charlottesville primary battle had impact, an activist reports  Michael Payne
 of Charlottesville suggests “..one possible function of DSA is to have chapters operate as regional networks that work like ‘Momentum’ in terms of providing canvassing support to candidates & regions that the Democratic Party establishment would otherwise write-off and ignore.”

Progressive Values vs. New Realities: A Report  Chris Riddiough — Though we saw populism in both the Trump and Sanders campaigns, it is right-wing populism that represents a threat in American politics, and the democratic socialist populism of the Sanders campaign represents promise.

Pushback comes quickly at state and local levels to Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord Woody Woodruff — Every level of economic and political society in the US — except the GOP’s federal monopoly — expressed immediate and constructive pushback in order to further the carbon-reduction goals of the international compact on climate change known as the Paris Accord and joined, now, by all but three national governments.

TRUMP’S FAA PRIVATIZATION SCHEME: ONE MORE ATTACK ON THE PUBLIC SECTOR  Bill Mosley — The idea [of ATC privatization], which seemed to have wings as recently as a few weeks ago, appears to be off the table for now – on June 30 the Senate approved an FAA authorization bill that kept the agency intact. And yet privatization has powerful backers who aren’t ready to quit after 30 years of trying, and it is likely to be resuscitated in the near future.
Corbyn’s surge shows inequality issues on both sides of Atlantic ripe for addressing  Dylan Shelton — This new Labour party is a social democratic party that believes in something beyond the dreary inevitability of fear and despair proposed by Tories, Dylan Shelton writes. They see people mobilized from the bottom as the beginning of a left vision.
Our Socialism

NOVA, MoCo branches extend diversity and reach of Metro DC chapter Wm. Hunter Tammaro — The local branches, while still under the umbrella of the Metro DC chapter, give current members opportunities to get involved in their own neighborhoods, help recruit new members, and bring our vision to bear on a wider range of issues.
For a mutually supportive self-care culture in the movement  Joseph Schwartz — …let’s remember that if we can’t live together as caring individuals in a socialist organization, how could we build a caring, mutually supportive socialist society (in which political and cultural disagreements will continue, I believe, but hopefully they can be tackled in a much more egalitarian and democratic manner than they are under capitalism)?
Michael Harrington’s “The Vast Majority” – Forty Years On  Louis F. Cooper — Among other things, the book is notable for its candor: it admitted the complexities of the problems, their resistance to easy solutions, and insisted nonetheless that steps toward a more just global order were both possible and morally necessary.
Single Payer Health Care Gains Popularity, Posing Problems for Democrats Margaret Flowers, M.D. — Democratic Party voters have been strong supporters of single payer health care for a long time, Maryland health care activist Margaret Flowers makes clear. Polls have consistently shown that super-majorities of Democratic Party voters want single payer, but Democratic Party candidates keep telling them that they can’t have it.
How to Get the Real Straight News in the Alternative Fact Era Cecilio Morales Morales, a veteran editor, is “concerned that we risk dismissing too much or too little, becoming a malleable, information-deprived, and ultimately undemocratic society. The antidote is a clear grasp of the kinds of publications and news outlets there are and the variety of content they carry.
A Free Concert Meditation: Will Socialism Look and Sound Like This? Andy Feeney — A Free Concert Of Thelonious Monk’s Work at the Kogod Courtyard brings the thought: If we ever achieve socialism here in the United States, will the revolution be able to offer more people the chance to enjoy concerts like this one, in other venues as attractive as the Kogod, with equal access to everyone, and without requiring anyone to pay for the experience?

Good Reads for Socialists July 2017 – A compendium of online material you may have missed, plus Bob Roman’s must-read “DSA in the News”





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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