Bequest Brochure

Cover:

Image: Old School DSA logo

Democratic Socialist Legacy Circle:

Planning Today for thee Future of Our Movement

Images:

Dolores Huerta

Michael Harrington

Group of men (80s?)

Cornel West

Inside:

You’ve supported DSA through good times and bad,

when there seemed to be openings for our politics, and when all doors seemed closed. You didn’t give up, and neither have we. You and DSA have stood on the shoulders of those who came before.

And those who come after us will stand on our shoulders. They will have a legacy of values, ideas, and action. But in order  to put the ideas into action, they will also need a legacy of resources.

That’s where you come in.

Image: Harrington at head of large anti-nuclear rally in early 1980s in NYC.

You may not think you have resources to leave to DSA, or you may be planning to leave a legacy gift but just haven’t  gotten around to it. In either case, we ask you to take action now to help ensure DSA’s future.

Every year, we receive gifts from supporters who remembered us in their wills. This year, we even received a gift from someone who decided that DSA shouldn’t have to wait until he died! A last gift may be the only time that a person of modest means will be able to leave a significant sum.

Every generation of activists must provide resources for the generations that follow. It is never too early to start planning. Legacy gifts can be a life-giving infusion, if you will. For instance, a life insurance policy on Michael Harrington literally saved the organization when he, the major fundraiser and most visible representative for DSA, died prematurely.

Will you become a legacy supporter of DSA? Will you guarantee that this organization will still be there to champion your values when you’re gone?

About 50 percent of the people in this country don’t have wills. True, many don’t have assets, but if you have a retirement plan or a home, even a car in your name and have not designated beneficiaries, you are creating problems for those left behind.

And in the worst-case scenario, your assets could be used for purposes that you abhor:

  • Unmarried partners have been excluded from estates and even evicted from their common home because one dies suddenly before they had gotten around to making wills or adding names to property deeds.
  • Relatives who don’t share your values and despise your causes might end up with the bulk of your assets and  use them to support their politics instead.
  • The state could end up with all of your assets because you have outlived your relatives.

That's why some members have already provided for DSA in their wills or trusts. Others have used their insurance policies or retirement plans to make a final gift.

“Without a strong socialist presence in U.S. politics, the struggle for social justice is severely weakened. I want my children to live in a more just world and be able to participate in a vibrant organization fighting for our cause. That’s why I am including in my will a generous bequest to DSA.”

— Joseph Schwartz, National Vice-Chair of DSAWill you join in the Legacy Circle? Please take these steps now:

  • Make a list of all your assets, including your insurance policies, real property, retirement plans, and other  resources.
  • Make a list of the people for whom you want to provide and the organizations you want to benefit.
  • Think about an executor for your estate who will know and understand your wishes.
  • Talk to a lawyer. Yes, it’s an expense, but it could save your will from being contested by right-wing relatives.

Please let DSA know so that we can thank you and, if you’re willing, print your name in the Winter issue of Democratic Left so that you can inspire others by your example. For more information, call or write to DSA's National Director Maria Svart at (212) 727-8610 or msvart (at) dsausa.org.

Image: young DSAer with DSA tshirt, DSA button, red DSA bandana around his neck, smiling as he yells into a megaphone with a DSA sticker "People Over Profit" on it.

You’ve supported DSA through good times and bad, Our ideas are powerful. Your commitment to them hasn’t wavered. Keep the flame alive. Please help ensure the future now.

Back Cover:

Images across top:

DSOC youth section crowd in late 70s (?)

Young DSAers and YDSers holding up red DSA banner (this summer)

Text:

There are many ways you can help guarantee  DSA’s future

  • Leave a specific amount or a percentage of your estate to DSA in your will
  • Designate DSA as a primary or secondary beneficiary of your retirement plan
  • Designate DSA as a beneficiary of an insurance policy
  • Leave a home or real estate property to DSA
  • Give a gift of cash or appreciated assets now that could have beneficial tax benefits to you

Image:

New DSA logo from website

Text:

national office contact info, photo credits

Film Discussion: The Price We Pay

January 30, 2017
· 51 rsvps
The Price We Pay blows the lid off the dirty world of corporate malfeasance — the dark history and dire present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, tax havens - and what we need to do to stop this.  DSA member Bill Barclay, who has a cameo role in the film, will facilitate the discussion. Watch the film prior to the discussion.

Full film available on Vimeo.

How to Plug in New Members

February 01, 2017
· 18 rsvps

Is your DSA chapter growing quickly and you're trying desperately to find ways to plug new members into your chapter's work? Never fear! On this conference call an experienced DSA organizer will go over the basics of new member outreach and developing a plan for plugging new members into your chapter's work. Most of the call will be devoted to troubleshooting specific issues you're facing, so please brainstorm some issues beforehand that you want to bring up on the call.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 7 PM PT.

Film Discussion: Salt of the Earth

February 05, 2017
· 12 rsvps

Join DSA members Shelby Murphy and Deborah Rosenfelt in discussing Salt of the Earth, a captivating film made in 1954 by blacklisted writers and actors about a strike at a New Mexico zinc mine. Well before the resurgence of feminism in the 1960s, these filmmakers were exploring gender inequality and solidarity. Available on Netflix.

Shelby Murphy is a Latina from Texas and former Young Democratic Socialists co-chair. Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, Deborah Rosenfelt researched the making of the film and its aftermath for the reissued screenplay. Here is her blogpost about the film.

 

Film Discussion: Documentaries of People's History in Texas

April 02, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join DSA members Glenn Scott and Richard Croxdale to discuss videos produced by People’s History in Texas (PHIT), a project that brings to life the stories of ordinary people in significant socio-political movements in Texas. They will discuss The Rag, their newest documentary, which tells the story of an influential underground paper based in Austin, Texas, from 1966-77. Click here to view Part I (the early years as an all-volunteer paper covering the student, anti-Vietnam and Civil Rights movements), Part II (the impact of Women’s Liberation on the paper) and Part III (building community: covering local politics, nukes, co-ops, feminist institutions). But also check out the video on the Stand-Ins about a group of university students who led a movement to desegregate Austin’s movie theaters in 1961.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 12 rsvps

Join DSA member Jason Schulman to discuss the film Rosa, directed by feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. View it here at no cost before the discussion. Marxist theorist and economist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) played a key role in German socialist politics. Jason edited Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy and has a chapter in Rosa Remix.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion.