DSA National Electoral Strategy

DSA Electoral Committee

Our national electoral strategy was formulated by a coalition of electoral organizers from our chapters across the country and was recently unanimously passed at our National Political Committee meeting on January 27th, 2018. You can read it in its entirety at the link below.


In August the DSA National Convention passed a priorities resolution that established electoral work as one of the three top foci of our organization (along with Medicare for All and Labor Solidarity.) The electoral segment of that resolution reads:

And whereas local electoral work, particularly in favor of openly democratic socialist candidates but also anti-corporate progressives, can both defeat the Right and take on neoliberal Democratic Party establishment candidates;

This convention mandates that the national staff, National Political Committee and relevant national working groups aid chapters in developing DSA’s universal health care, labor and electoral work…

III. Electoral Work

While DSA will prioritize social movement work and public socialist education, we also recognize that who holds legislative power affects the possibilities for democratic social change. We also understand that for many people open to radical politics their first political experiences come through electoral politics. In a world of big-money politics, DSA’s electoral capacity is mostly tied to the volunteer power of our chapters.

Our Strategy



Socialist electoral campaigns offer extraordinary opportunities for DSA. Elections can mobilize hundreds of thousands or millions of people around a socialist vision, far beyond the reach of most other organizing campaigns within our capacity. Winning elections will allow us to implement vitally needed reforms that build the power and confidence of working-class people. Perhaps most vitally at the moment, developing and running campaigns is a key way for our locals across the country to build power where they are organizing right now. Electoral organizing can and should be an integral part of DSA’s work, and we fully support the decision of the membership to make it a national priority. Socialists must be relentless in struggling to build power in a hostile climate – electoral power is too important to leave in the hands of our enemies.

In order to build a movement that can, one day soon, claim hundreds or thousands of elected officials, our priority should be to build powerful independent electoral operations in DSA locals around the country. It is the thousands of activists in these locals who will develop specific local strategies, win elections and policy victories, and refine the mechanisms to hold elected officials accountable in the face of inevitable opposition from the one percent.

The Bernie Sanders campaign demonstrated that there is an enormous desire among millions of Americans for democratic socialism. Translating that desire into a sustained socialist movement of millions will require long term work, starting from the bottom up in communities across the country, rooting our efforts in an independent, democratic organizing model. Above all else, the key to a successful national electoral strategy is empowering DSA’s locals to experiment and grow in the pursuit of that vision.

Read the complete strategy here.



Talking About Socialism Webinar

March 25, 2018

This training is at 7:00 pm ET, 6:00 pm CT, 5:00 pm MT, 4:00 pm PT

Click here to RSVP

Join Steve Max, a founder of the legendary community organizing school, the Midwest Academy, to practice talking about socialism in plain language. Create your own short rap. Use your personal experience and story to explain democratic socialism. Prepare for those conversations about socialism that happen when you table or canvass. This workshop is for those who have already had an introduction to democratic socialism, whether from DSA's webinar or from other sources. Questions? Contact Theresa Alt <talt@igc.org> 607-280-7649.

Click here to RSVP