DSA Leads Socialist Caucus at DNC

 Socialist-Caucus.jpg

By Joseph M. Schwartz

A rapidly growing DSA held a coming-out party of sorts at the Democratic National Convention. Over 300 Sanders activists attended DSA’s “Socialist Caucus” on Wednesday afternoon, July 27th. In the audience were over  100 Sanders delegates, including most of DSA’s 55 member-delegates; they were joined by Larry Sanders, Senator Sanders’ brother, and the Senator’s son, Levi Sanders. See the extensive media coverage links below..a dozen stories we know of, including substantive articles in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker).

The enthusiastic audience heard from leaders of the two largest unions that backed Sanders.  Michael Lighty, political director of National Nurses United (and former DSA national director) analyzed  the “transformative,” anti-corporate nature of Sanders’ call for single-payer healthcare and a financial transactions tax to finance free public higher education. Communications Workers of America District One Legislative Director Bob Master argued that a post-Sanders political trend would have to broaden its racial basis and coordinate work around several key racial and economic justice demands.  

DSA National Director Maria Svart, El Paso DSA activist and Sanders delegate Ashley Rodriguez, and New York City DSA Co-chair Rahel Biru outlined the role DSA locals play in multi-racial coalitions and electoral campaigns  to fight for immigrant rights, affordable housing and democratic public education.  Jose LaLuz, DSA vice-chair and veteran labor and Puerto Rican rights activist, brought down the house with an impassioned plea to end United States colonial rule in Puerto Rico.  

Maria Svart and Joseph Schwartz, DSA National Political Committee member and chief organizer of the caucus, briefly outlined the NPC’s outlook on the election: building a stronger, multi-racial and anti-racist “post-Bernie trend” that can be in opposition to a neoliberal Hillary Rodham Clinton administration on day one. This can be accomplished, in part, by engaging in independent “Dump Trump” work in swing states (e.g., working for down-ballot progressives and engaging in voter registration and voter turnout among anti-Trump, progressive constituencies). In non-contested states, DSA locals can work for down-ballot progressive candidacies and build independent left electoral  and social movement capacity.

Numerous participants remarked on social media that the caucus was one of the most substantive meetings at the convention. A score of participants joined DSA on the spot and the DSA table rapidly sold out of its 50 bright red DSA “Continuing the Political Revolution” T-shirts.

Shout-outs to all the DSA delegates and volunteers who helped build the caucus. In particular, Tom Gallagher, Penny Schantz, Paul Garver, Harlan Baker, Ashley Rodriguez, Danny and Barbara Fetonte, Larry Wittner,  Rachel Ochs, Rebecca Ryan, Diane Isser and the list goes on...

Here are links to the widespread media coverage of the Socialist Caucus and of DSA:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-sanders-campaign-is-officially-over-now-his-supporters-wonder-whats-next/2016/07/27/812d89d4-5416-11e6-b7de-dfe509430c39_story.html


http://reason.com/blog/2016/07/27/dnc-socialist-caucus


http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-goal-for-bus-ride-home-healing-democratic-convention-rifts-1469752989


(if you put the WSJ story into Google News you can sometimes get around the WSJ paywall!)


https://www.dissentmagazine.org/blog/dnc-unconventional-democratic-socialist-electoral-strategy-voter-protection


https://www.dissentmagazine.org/blog/dnc-unconventional-bernie-sanders-sheepdog-socialist


http://theweek.com/articles/640704/american-socialists-confront-hillary-clinton-problem


http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37021-rep-keith-ellison-dnc-sanders-protestors-are-actually-helping-us


http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/a-diehard-bernie-backer-considers-what-comes-next


http://inthesetimes.com/article/19349/why-bernie-sanders-lost-and-how-the-next-progressive-challenger-can-win

A full video of the Socialist Caucus, Wed July 27, 2016 is posted here.


Joseph M. Schwartz is DSA vice-chair and volunteer organizer of the Socialist Caucus

DSA Immigration Rights Rapid Response: #AbolishICE

June 21, 2018

Thursday, June 21st at 8:30pm ET/7:30pm CT/6:30pm MT/5:30pm PT

Sign up here for a link to the call RSVP.

The Trump administration’s policy of separating families seeking asylum is only the latest in a escalation of anti-immigrant policies. We need to #AbolishICE now. Join us for an emergency call with the national DSA Immigrant Rights committee and our allies to discuss our strategy.

If you cannot make this call, please sign up here for a call recording and more organizing resources.

New Member Call, June 24

June 24, 2018

9pm ET/8 CT/7 MT/6 PT

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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.

Questions or Comments? Contact: 

Sam M


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**Note: this page originally had the wrong date listed. The Correct date is Sunday the 24th**

M4A Chapter Activist Training Call: How to Pass a Medicare for All City Council Resolution

June 30, 2018

Saturday June 30th at 4pm ET/3pm CT/2pm MT/1pm PST

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In March, Philadelphia DSA members showed up in droves with healthcare workers, community members, and elected leaders to pass a Philadelphia city-wide resolution supporting the Medicare for All Act of 2017 and affirming universal access to healthcare as a human right. This victory showed that in a city where the poverty rate is over 26%, city council leaders learned where to stand when it comes to universal healthcare. To move a national campaign to win Medicare for All, we need to build support from a broad range of cities and municipalities across the country. With some research, planning, and lobbying, you could work with city council members to pass a resolution of support in your city too!

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