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

LGBT Activism: A Brief History with Thoughts about the Future

April 01, 2017
· 66 rsvps

Historian John D'Emilio's presentation will do 3 things: Provide a brief explanation of how sexual and gender identities have emerged; provide an overview of the progression of LGBT activism since its origins in the 1950s, highlighting key moments of change; and, finally, suggest what issues, from a democratic socialist perspective, deserve prioritizing now. John co-authored Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, which was quoted by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision that ruled state sodomy laws unconstitutional. 1 pm ET; 12 pm CT; 11 am MT; 10 am PT.

  1. This webinar is free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have headphones (preferred) or speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Peg Strobel, peg.strobel@sbcglobal.net.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

Film Discussion: Documentaries of People's History in Texas

April 02, 2017
· 30 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. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT. Here's a blog post about PHIT.

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

April 04, 2017
· 85 rsvps

Join Rahel Biru, NYC DSA co-chair, and Joseph Schwartz, DSA Vice-Chair, on this webinar for an overview of what we in Democratic Socialists of America mean when we talk about "socialism," "capitalism" and the goals of the socialist movement.  9 PM ET; 8 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 6 PM PT.

  1. This webinar is free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have headphones (preferred) or speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Joseph Schwartz, schwartzjoem@gmail.com.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

What Is DSA? Training Call

April 05, 2017
· 9 rsvps

If you're a new DSAer, have been on a new member call, but still have questions about DSA's core values/strategy/core work and how to express these ideas in an accessible way to the media, as well as to friends, family and others who might be interested in joining DSA, this call is for you. 

We will talk through the basics of DSA's political orientation and strategy for moving toward democratic socialism, and also have call participants practice discussing these issues with each other. By the end of the call you should feel much more comfortable thinking about and expressing what DSA does and what makes our organization/strategy unique. 8 pm ET; 7 pm CT; 6 pm MT; 5 pm PT. 70 minutes.

Feminist Working Group

April 12, 2017
· 28 rsvps

People of all genders are welcome to join this call to discuss DSA's work on women's and LGBTQ issues, especially in light of the new political reality that we face after the elections.  9 pm ET; 8 pm CT; 7 pm MT; 6 pm PT.

DSA New Member Orientation Call

April 16, 2017
· 23 rsvps

You've joined DSA - Great. Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision.  And, most importantly, how you can become involved.  8 pm ET; 7 pm CT; 6 pm MT; 5 pm PT.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 10 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. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.