By the DSA National Office
During a surge in membership because of Bernie Sanders’s campaign, DSA hired new staff, who were in place when the wave of new members joined after the presidential election. By freeing the national director of administrative tasks, they allow program staff to be in the field and respond more quickly to organizing opportunities.
Eileen Casterline is the administrative and office coordinator in the national New York City office. She sends new member packets, swag, Democratic Left and Red Letter, and prepares other in-office mailings; she oversees in-office volunteers, including the “wonderful people who stuff all those mailings and make buttons”; and answers the phones and responds to many questions sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. She keeps our information and systems up to date and functional. Her background is in theater (mostly dramaturgy and set design), and she has worked in nonprofit fundraising.
Claudia Cahill is in charge of member engagement and grassroots fundraising. This includes writing and editing rapid response emails, connecting new members to existing DSA chapters, and helping DSA establish the financial stability needed for long-term organizing. Her background in theater, cultural anthropology, and teaching has been enormously helpful, as has her previous work in LGBT ministry in the Catholic Church, anti-war activism, and cat rescue. (Yes, cat rescue. As she notes, “In hard times, we all need some comfort. Also, knowing how to herd cats is a useful skill on the left!”)
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of the Democratic Left magazine.