Letter from the Incoming Editor-in-Chief – Democratic Socialists of America

Publishing pieces to the DSA website is a thankless job of behind the scenes work that often lurches along unnoticed. The outgoing editors of the Democratic Left, under the leadership of Barbara Joye, have been the stewards of this platform for a long time and I want to acknowledge their hard work. Thank you.

DSA is in the midst of a communications overhaul. Soon we will have new web forums, a bulletin, and a redesigned website. The print publication, Democratic Left, has already undergone an editorial transition.

The digital media platform, formerly known as the Democratic Left blog, has a new editorial team and will soon be renamed. In fact, we invite you to submit suggestions for the new name and we will select from among the responses. The new editorial committee is divided into sections, with section editors tasked with curating and editing pieces in the following categories: organizing, chapter roundups and profiles, press and electoral, arts, and international affairs. We want to cultivate a diverse range of perspectives on these and other topics as we make this platform a vibrant political space for DSA and beyond.

DSA members and chapters have amazing stories. Take Charlottesville, where protesters were injured in the tragically fatal attack last August; DSA members have built a vibrant chapter even as Nazis continue to threaten them. When prisoners in Florida went on strike earlier this year, DSA Miami participated in a coalition that provided them with aid and support. We have chapters challenging police brutality with brake light clinics, campaigning for Medicare for All, and pressuring lawmakers to end the U.S. involvement with the war in Yemen. As the new editorial committee, we want to help our fellow members tell their stories. With thirty thousand members and an international presence, DSA’s digital media platform can be a global beacon of socialist political engagement.

To truly make a mark, we must do more than tell stories – we will have to wrestle with ideas as well. Debates regarding political differences as to the nature or mission of socialism, and the methods of struggle to achieve it shall arise on our collective journey. We want this site to be a forum for these discussions. Our new committee is in the process of establishing an editorial policy and publication guidelines, which will be released soon. I want to make one thing clear from the outset: we will edit for clarity and accuracy, but we categorically reject censorship as a means of dealing with political differences. We cannot be a multi-tendency big tent if ideological divergence is not allowed to surface within our organization. I and this editorial committee stand firmly committed to DSA’s multi-tendency principle. Embracing debate is the only way to overcome the inevitable political differences between tendencies, a process which will in turn make this organization a stronger and more unified force. We want this platform to be a space where people can think aloud in common, where thoughtful questioning and disagreement are virtues, where principled political discussion may reside.

I have the honor of presenting our new editorial committee:

Chris Lombardi, Managing Editor

Tyler Curtis, Managing Editor

Bonnie Bailey

Miranda Alsknis

Lisa Newcomb  

Evan Heitkamp-Boucher

Anne Clark     

Daniel Gutiérrez  

Jorge Tamames  

Joshua Whitaker

Jarek Ervin


We will begin our new publishing cycle April 1st. Get your popcorn.

Thank You,

R.L. Stephens, Editor-in-Chief