Who We Are & What We Do
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States. We believe that working people should run both the economy and society democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few. We are a political and activist organization, not a party; through campus and community-based chapters, DSA members use a variety of tactics, from legislative to direct action, to fight for reforms that empower working people.
DSA and YDSA chapters organize around a variety of issues based on local priorities, especially labor solidarity and anti-austerity work. However, the national office provides resources and support for the main activist priorities of the organization as voted on by delegates to our national convention:
The climate crisis is an emergency. The world’s top scientists are saying we have little time to get off fossil fuels. Meanwhile, inequality is already out of control — and rising. We fight for a Green New Deal because it’s the only plan that meets the scale of the crisis, one that puts people and planet over profit to build a more just and sustainable economy. We’re organizing in our workplaces, communities and schools to build the working class movement it will take to win.
When Bernie Sanders says “not me, us,” he’s talking about an urgent political project: building a mass movement of working people that can change society. We are supporting Bernie so we can beat back Trumpism and the Wall Street Democrats, while also building the grassroots pressure and infrastructure we will need to keep fighting long after election day, so we can transform our economy and politics into a true democracy.
Bernie Sanders launched a political revolution and DSA continues to build it, training our chapters to effectively support democratic socialist candidates running for local and state office while lifting up our key issues. We’re also grappling with how to build independent political power to hold elected officials accountable to their constituents rather than the donor class.
Capitalism pits us against each other and workplaces are fundamentally authoritarian unless workers can self-organize and build collective power. This is why people build unions, and why employers undermine them. It is also why the capitalists as a class constantly promote narratives about unions that frame them as unnecessary, undemocratic, or ineffective. We know better, and we’re building worker power in every region of the country.
Health care is a huge segment of our economy and health care access is a deeply and widely felt need. In the capitalist system, you have to pay to get care or go without, but doesn’t have to be this way. In a democratic socialist system, we would collectively provide care as a society. M4A is a stepping stone towards that vision and we’re using this campaign to build a working class base of people fighting for state and national power.