- Chapters demonstrate real socialist values, as opposed to what the right-wing describes as socialism. By being visible, active, and made up of ordinary people who decided they were tired of feeling powerless, chapters help undermine the right-wing's use of socialism to scare people.
- Chapters open up space for progressives by having a radical alternative vision and expanding the debate about local current events to the left in a way that relates to peoples' ordinary lives, much like the Tea Party pulls the debate to the right.
- Chapters train strategic, smart activists who attack the entire system of capitalism and related problems of racism, sexism, etc. in all the institutions of our society, rather than simply attacking the symptoms.
- Chapters integrate many issues, recognizing that all of our struggles are related rather than totally separate, and we prefer to focus on activist campaigns that highlight our connections and truly empower ordinary people at the expense of the ruling class. We call these transformative reforms, or "non-reformist" reforms, meaning they are strategic and help us move towards our long term, radical vision.
- Chapters create a real local community for self-education, mutual support and self-reflection so we can apply our lessons from activism to our theoretical understanding of the world, and vice versa, and we can have fun and make this work sustainable for the long haul.
- Internal self-education and respectful dialog: reading groups about theoretical perspectives or current events using short articles or heavy duty readings, like Marx for example.
- Public education: events introducing non-members to socialist ideas.
- Organizing: ongoing grassroots activist work as an open socialist organization to both promote real change, build a base, and build trust with others in the community
- Socializing and healthy community: Fun activities and attention paid to making the chapter welcoming to a wide range of people.
- Self-evaluation: Deliberate group reflection on a regular basis and conscious work for more experienced members to help less experienced members learn and grow.
- Constant recruitment: because of the old organizing adage "if you're not growing, you're shrinking" and we need a larger and stronger movement to win!
There are several steps towards becoming an officially-recognized DSA Chapter, and it all begins with filling out the form below.
Interested in starting a chapter? Fill out the DSA Chapter Interest Form and someone from the National office will get back to you as soon as possible!
Questions? Email: info(a)dsausa.org