Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee Chair

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is proud to endorse Representative Keith Ellison for Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Keith Ellison for DNC Chair

Great change is needed within the Democratic Party. The DNC's gross mishandling of the primary election between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton demonstrates the need for a reinvigorated party that appeals to working-class voters of all races, ethnicities and genders. Hillary Clinton’s electoral loss to the most unpopular candidate in history — Donald Trump — clearly highlights the urgency of change.

The Democratic Party’s decades-long abandonment of poor and working people in favor of the super rich and corporations has resulted in the loss of both Houses of Congress and Republican control of 68 out of 99 chambers in the country’s state legislatures. A neoliberal, pro-corporate fundraising machine dominates the national institutional leadership of the Democrats, and few politicians on the national stage show the integrity and courage to voice dissent and stand for a different kind of politics.

Keith Ellison is one of those voices. In a Congress dominated by bigots, liars and servants of corporations, Representative Ellison has been one of the few genuine and consistent champions of working people and the vulnerable and oppressed. He has been a shield defending labor union rights against decades of attacks by corporate advocates in both parties.

A strong voice for the inclusion and equality of everyone, he advocates for the rights of people of all races, religions, genders, sexual orientations and national origins. He has been one of the very few Democrats in Congress brave and principled enough to openly criticize the Obama administration when it has acted against the values of peace, justice and equal freedom for all.

The future of the DNC and the Democratic Party will be severely jeopardized if the leadership of the party remains controlled by the forces that have alienated the party from working-class voters. There are major forces within the party that will resist serious reforms tooth and nail. Transforming the Democratic Party leadership from servants of Goldman Sachs to servants of everyday workers will be extremely difficult. We do not know if it will ultimately be possible.

What we do know is that positive change never comes from politicians acting alone, but always from masses of ordinary people taking politics into their own hands. We will get the party we need when we build a majoritarian progressive movement — a mass movement of trade unions, women’s groups, immigrant’s rights organizations, organizations of people of color, with a visible and independent organized socialist movement at its core. We need to challenge both the bigoted far-right and the corporate neoliberal center in the streets and at all levels of government, and we need to be able to win.

History will tell whether the electoral expression of this movement occurs mainly within or outside of the Democratic Party — likely it will partially be both. Keith Ellison offers the best chance of implementing the changes the Democrats need to make if they are to build a party that gains the support of the working class, the poor, and all people of conscience.

Film Discussion: The Price We Pay

January 30, 2017
· 45 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
· 14 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
· 9 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
· 8 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.