Update on the Preliminary Political Platform

In January, the NPC approved a plan to substitute a longer political platform in place of a “priorities resolution” to be adopted by the 2019 national convention.

In past years, DSA conventions have adopted priorities resolutions. Our last one was adopted in 2017 and called for DSA to prioritize activism around Medicare for All, Labor Organizing, and Electoral Politics.

Given DSA’s explosion in size and the diversity of work being carried out by DSA activists across the country, the NPC opted instead to organize a strategic document as a more traditional political platform.

A political platform would include a preamble laying out both an analysis of the world political situation and a broad strategic direction for socialists going forward. This preamble is typically followed by a list of demands on the state and society. One demand we have out front and center since 2017 is that for Medicare for All, but DSA members are fighting for many other demands, from the Green New Deal to universal rent control to an end to mass incarceration.

The NPC attempted to recreate the process of drafting a priorities resolution in 2017, but this time with the goal of producing a political platform for the consideration of the 2019 convention. However, in developing this process, it became clear that DSA’s growth and increasing ideological diversity means that we need to commit to doing a longer process than just a few months leading up to the convention.

Instead, the NPC decided in April to postpone development of a political platform and instead propose to the 2019 convention a resolution calling for a two-year long process to develop a political platform for DSA to debate and adopt at our 2021 convention. This will allow the next NPC to organize a process of political education and debate that includes a lot more input from chapters and members. A longer timeline would allow regional gathering to discuss political perspectives, chapters to hold political education meetings around historical platforms, and members to debate amendments. Members will thus be able to learn and study together, while the organization will improve its ability to strategize together.