News


April Dispatch — Fighting for Democracy and Economic Power

Enjoy your April Dispatch! This month we have PRO Act volunteering, a Convention update, and more. Read on to get involved!

FROM MARIA: WE WON’T BE DIVIDED

The neoliberal capitalist narrative is all around us. Last night national news featured Black business owners in Atlanta lamenting Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star Game due to onerous voting regulations signed into law by the Georgia governor. Seriously. They compared a few owners losing short-term profits to a fundamentally undemocratic law designed to permanently block Black people from voting.

Socialists see through this framing and understand whose interests it serves — the owning class. That’s why while we fight for voting rights, we also fight for economic power. The working class is those of us who get paid by someone else, usually a small fraction of the value we create through our labor.

DSA’s Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act campaign brings together two key ways we have the power to make change — in the workplace and at the ballot box. As we move towards International Workers Day, May 1st, and as we look back to the moment a year ago when many of us felt the transformative power of the Sanders campaign, let’s remember how far we’ve come and how much more we have to do.

We won’t let walls of hatred divide us, we will unite in multiracial working class solidarity, and just in time to protect ourselves from capitalist climate catastrophe, we will birth a new world.

Onward!

Maria Svart
DSA National Director

PRO ACT FIELD TEAM UPDATE — SIGN UP TO PHONEBANK TODAY!

Shoutout to all the comrades who joined us for last week’s phonebanks to voters in Arizona, Maine, Virginia, and West Virginia. We had an audacious goal of making 500,000 calls for the PRO Act — and we did it! 842 people phonebanked, many for multiple shifts. Most were DSA members, from 162 different chapters, over 17 shifts. But we’re not done! Join us as we keep the pressure up via the phonelines, and as we expand our field operation to include textbanking! We have ongoing phonebanks and textbanks Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays between now and International Workers’ Day on May 1st.

FRIDAY 4/9 — RSVP FOR ORGANIZING OVERSEAS: MIGRANT DOMESTIC WORKER ORGANIZING IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION

Join DSA’s International Committee Friday, 4/9 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT for Organizing Overseas: Migrant Domestic Worker Organizing in the Asia-Pacific Region!

Workplace organizing is always difficult. Now imagine organizing when you live in your boss’s home. Domestic workers are often taken advantage of in their workplace, forced to work around the clock, abused by employers, and not afforded the dignity and respect they deserve. In response to the challenging conditions they face, domestic workers organize around the world to fight for their labor rights, their safety, and their health.

In this webinar, you’ll hear leaders from domestic worker federations and unions in Asia organizing some of the most underrepresented and undervalued women workers to stand up and fight for their lives and livelihoods in a moment of unprecedented crisis. The featured speakers are Fish Ip, regional coordinator of the Asia-Pacific Region of the International Domestic Worker Federation (IDWF); Shiella Grace Estrada, the chairperson and founder of Progressive Labor Union of Domestic Workers – Hong Kong (PLU-HK); Novelita Palisoc, who is organizing migrant domestic workers as well as local domestic workers in the Philippines; and Liezel Galdo, a migrant domestic worker organizer in Malaysia. Join us!

YOUR CONVENTION UPDATE: IMPORTANT DEADLINES THURSDAY 4/15

Our Platform Subcommittee is proud to share their first draft with all members and encourage you to take some time to read through it. This First Draft represents the beginning of the process to shape the political platform that will be discussed at the 2021 National Convention. As a reminder, the deadline to submit feedback on our national platform first draft is next Thursday, 4/15. We will have other opportunities to discuss and amend the platform, including at our pre-convention conferences, platform-specific calls, and via submitted changes.

The deadline for resolutions and constitution and bylaws changes is also Thursday, 4/15! As a reminder, proposals must be submitted with 100 signatures from members in good standing to be considered.

And nominations for At-Large delegates to the 2021 DSA National Convention are open until Friday, 4/30. For the purposes of the Convention, “At-Large” is defined as members who do not belong to a chapter. Based on DSA’s National Constitution and Bylaws, members of Organizing Committees are considered At-Large Members of DSA and are eligible to run in the At-Large Delegate Election. You can find more information on At-Large delegate elections here.

National Political Committee (NPC) nominations are open until Wednesday, 6/16. Visit the NPC elections page on the 2021 Convention website for more details, including nomination process, NPC member responsibilities, and the link to the candidate questionnaire.

“LABOR AND A JOBS GUARANTEE” POPULAR EDUCATION SERIES — SIGN UP FOR THURSDAY 4/15 OR WATCH ON YOUTUBE

Amid a health and economic crisis that has destroyed millions of jobs, a summer of uprisings that highlighted the ongoing deprivation of Black communities, and growing climate chaos, some policymakers are reconsidering a policy tool with a long history: to have the federal government provide jobs directly to anyone who wants one. But there are many questions about what a Job Guarantee (JG) can or should look like — especially how it can actually strengthen working class power.

On Thursday, 4/15 at 1pm ET/12pm CT/11am MT/10am PT, you’re invited to join the final presentation of a short course on “Labor and a Jobs Guarantee,” hosted by our DSA Ecosocialists, United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE), Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity (GISP), and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung NYC (RLS-NYC)! The two previous sessions are available on YouTube.

This popular education course will feature labor organizers and policymakers including Sara Nelson, Carl Rosen, Dr. Darrick Hamilton, Judy Ancel, Dr. William (Sandy) Darity Jr., Dr. Fadhel Kaboub, and DSA organizers Kari Thompson, Keon Liberato, and Sydney Ghazarian!

This popular education training on the Job Guarantee, and its historic potential for racial justice and climate justice, will lay out the challenges facing unions today; how a JG can be a game changer for the mass, broad-based, labor movement that is necessary to achieve a Green New Deal; and how to build links between those advocating for a JG and those fighting for a strong, mass, working-class, labor movement.

The panels will be livestreamed on YouTube. All sessions are open to the public. Rank-and-file union members are especially welcome to participate in the third session on Thursday, 4/15! We would love to see many DSA comrades participate in this series. Please feel free to forward in your networks!

JOIN DSA4USPS SUNDAY 4/18 FOR RURAL FREE DELIVERY — PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Join our DSA4USPS team Sunday, 4/18 at 4pm ET/3pm CT/2pm MT/1pm PT for a call on Rural Free Delivery — Past, Present and Future! In this call, we’ll explore the postal service’s mandate to serve all customers equally, whether they live in New York City or an unincorporated town. Rural delivery is one of the most important functions of the postal service, but because it is unprofitable, attacks on it are more likely than ever.

Join Dave Staiger, West Michigan rural letter carrier and member of the National Rural Letter Carrier Association; Cathy Kennedy of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, who fought tirelessly for pay equity for Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers; Katherine Devine of World Wildlife Federation, to share about their proposal for “Farmer Post,” similar to the Canadian farm-to-table proposal; and Sam, a rural USPS customer from the Southwest Louisiana DSA chapter. This webinar will be moderated by Emily Y. from Charlottesville DSA.

SIGN UP FOR DSA GIG WORKERS NETWORK!

Do you work for Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Instacart, Taskrabbit, Handy, Bellhops, Dolly, or other app-based employment? The Democratic Socialist Labor Commission is organizing an “industry network” for DSA gig workers to discuss experiences and prospects for organizing in this sector.

Please forward to your chapter members who work through app platforms, are interested in doing so, or email us with any related questions or suggestions. Contact [email protected] or fill out the form here.

“BUILDING THE RELIGIOUS LEFT” VIRTUAL CONFERENCE 4/24-4/25 — REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

“Building the Religious Left,” our DSA Religion and Socialism Working Group virtual national conference, will be Saturday, 4/24 from noon to 7 pm ET, and Sunday, 4/25 from 2pm-7pm ET. Registration is now open!

Hear from Andrew Wilkes, Sarah Ngu, Charles Howard, George Lakey, Angela Cowser, Matthew Sitman, Obery Hendricks, Colleen Shaddox, Fran Quigley, Jewish Currents magazine, the DSA Muslim Caucus, the Institute for Christian Socialism, Nicole-Ann Lobo, Samuel Cruz, Megan Romer, Imaan Javeed, and many more local activists and theologians. Come to learn, to share, and to be energized. 

DSA NATIONAL BUDGET REPORT CALL SUNDAY, 4/25

The Budget and Finance Committee invites all members to attend our Budget Report to the Membership. The call will be held Sunday, 4/25 at 3pm ET/2pm CT/1pm MT/12pm PT. Register here today!

APPLY TO BE A NATIONAL DISCUSSION BOARD MODERATOR — DEADLINE FRIDAY, 4/30

The National Communications Committee and the National Tech Committee are seeking volunteers to moderate DSA’s members-only discussion board. Moderators help keep the tone of the community productive and comradely, while taking an active role in posting engaging content and joining in discussions.

The immediate focus will be on helping delegates discuss business in the leadup to our National Convention, but the larger goal of this role is to create a thriving and useful online community for organizers at any level.

Applications will be open through Friday, 4/30, and the term will be from 5/15/21 to 5/14/22.

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO THURSDAY, 4/15

DSA’s International Committee (IC) invites DSA members interested in global solidarity to apply for consideration for IC leadership. The deadline is Thursday, 4/15. Leadership positions include co-chairs for regional and thematic subcommittees (Americas, Antiwar, Asia and Oceania, Economics and Trade, Ecosocialism, Europe, Labor, Middle East and Africa, Migrants and Refugees), or serving on the IC’s Steering Committee or International Secretariat. IC work involves political education, issue campaigns, international diplomacy, and more. Leadership can expect to spend a minimum of 5 hours weekly on IC-related work. More info at link or queries welcome at [email protected]

SHOUTOUT TO OUR SPOKE ADMINISTRATOR TEAM — VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE!

We want to take a moment to appreciate our comrades who volunteer on the Spoke Administrators team! Because of their work troubleshooting problems, helping volunteers, and creating over ONE THOUSAND Spoke campaigns, our chapters across the country have been able to engage thousands more about housing, healthcare, and electoral work. They’re an integral part of our organizing infrastructure as an organization and their work can sometimes be unseen. We want to recognize their contributions to DSA.

Thank you to Naomi, Geoff, Robert, Christa, Charlotte, Beck, Chris, Anthony, Andrew, Alex, Alyssa, and many others for all of your work. We couldn’t do it without you! If you’re interested in joining this wonderful volunteer team, click here and let us know!