DSA, YDS Membership Grew Fast, Still Growing

By David Duhalde

Today, the Democratic Socialists of America is approximately a third larger in both membership size and the number of community and college chapters than at the start of the Sanders presidential campaign. His candidacy and DSA members’ strong support work both remade the organization. However, new staff and continuing outreach are also playing a real and sustainable role in this growth.

Since 2015, when the Sanders campaign began, DSA’s community-based chapters have nearly doubled. Today, we have 42 locals and organizing committees, up from 26 over a year ago. Last week, YDS admitted its 20th chapter – the largest the youth section has been in nearly two decades.

This is on top of the nearly 2,500 new dues-paying members since Bernie’s race started. At our 2015 convention, DSA had a little over 6,000 members. Now we have over 8,000 members and are still growing. The organization experienced triple the normal monthly membership sign-ups during the Sanders campaign. And this month we sent out over 400 welcome packets to new members as a result of our recent national campaign.

DSA is more ready than ever to welcome our new comrades. In October, we hired Eileen Casterline as our administrative and office coordinator. Our staff of now six employees - totaling five full-time equivalents because two are part-time - is well equipped to activate new members into our chapters and committees. With dozens of people building new chapters, it doesn’t look like we will be slowing down any time soon.

In this era of political tension and opportunity, this country needs a socialist vision that mobilizes both grassroots activism and intellectual discourse required to make sustainable economic and social progress. A more vibrant DSA will mean a stronger progressive movement overall. The Political Revolution will continue with us!

UPDATE: Nearly 1,000 new members joined DSA during the two days following the election!

David Duhalde is deputy director of DSA

Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership. Left blog post submission guidelines can be found here.

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

July 06, 2017
· 36 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.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 6 PM MT; 5 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.

DSA New Member Orientation Call

July 09, 2017
· 14 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.  9 PM ET; 8 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 6 PM PT.

Running for the National Political Committee

July 11, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join this call to hear a presentation and ask questions about the role, duties and time commitment of a member of DSA's National Political Committee. In the meantime, check out the information already on our website about the NPC.

Feminist Working Group

July 12, 2017

People of all genders are welcome to join this call to discuss DSA's work on women's 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.

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 12 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 11 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.