August Dispatch: Celebrate our victories and keep fighting

We can win.

Friday, July 10 the United Teachers of Los Angeles released a poll of their membership showing 83% wanted full distance learning as the school year starts. Monday, July 13 the school district announced it would be so.

Chicago was even faster. This past Tuesday, the Chicago Teachers Union called for a strike authorization vote over school reopening. Within hours, the school district announced classes would be remote.

We all have this power, if we act together. Both these unions united parents, students, teachers and other school staff to win gamechanging contract fights in recent years, through massive strikes withholding their labor, and now, they are fighting and winning for safe schools. Sign our pledge for Safe Schools here.

This week also saw amazing DSA victories in the electoral realm. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib beat her opponent by over 30 points, and Cori Bush beat a 50 year political dynasty to advance to the Congressional election in November. The power of the primary is real, and democratic socialism is winning when we organize effectively and unapologetically demand a world that works for all of us. Onward to next Tuesday, when more DSA members are on the ballot!

Finally, as Republicans in Washington, D.C. try to slash COVID relief and Democrats refuse to cancel rent, DSAers are organizing at the grassroots. From the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee, to the Restaurant Organizing Project, from the Save the USPS to Medicare for All campaigns, and from two of our newest national committees, the Abolition Working Group and the Housing Justice Commission, we’re building working class power for the long term. Make sure to connect with your local chapter and get plugged into a campaign.

When we fight, we win! Let’s keep fighting!

Maria Svart
DSA National Director

Other Announcements from Around DSA:

NEW LOCAL DSA GROUPS

Join us in welcoming these new Chapters and Organizing Committees!

Organizing Committees

  • North Olympic, WA
  • Greater Lafayette, IN
  • Trumbull County, OH
  • Polk County, FL

Chapters

  • High Peaks, NY
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Winston-Salem, NC
  • Coulee, WI
  • Northern Indiana

8/10 WORKERS ORGANIZE AND WIN CALL — RSVP TODAY

RSVP for our Workers Organize and Win call Monday, 8/10 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT! Hear writer and historian Mike Davis, DSA Afrosocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus co-chair Bianca Cunningham, Rosalyn Pelles of Repairers of the Breach, and essential workers on organizing for better working conditions during this pandemic (including hazard pay, PPE, and paid sick days) and taking the fight for #BlackLivesMatter into the workplace. This call is organized by our Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC).

JOIN 8/13 HOUSING JUSTICE COMMISSION CALL ON EVICTION DEFENSE

Unless drastic action is taken by all levels of government, we can expect a tidal wave of evictions throughout the coronavirus “recovery,” with more loss of housing than the 2008-2009 recession. Now more than ever, DSA members and tenants across the country must organize to fight back and defend tenants from displacement. Join the DSA Housing Justice Commission Thursday, 8/13 8:30pm ET/7:30pm CT/6:30pm MT/5:30pm PT for our Eviction Strategy Defense Call! The call will include a strategy conversation with organizers who are building eviction defense networks, connecting tenants with legal support, and using direct action to bolster our demand to #CancelRent and keep people in their homes.

TAKE ACTION FOR SAFE SCHOOLS

Pledge to take Safe Schools Action with DSA! We demand safe schools before a return to in person classes and adequate COVID economic relief to allow families to keep kids safe at home. You can read more in our NPC statement here.

DSA parents, grandparents, teachers, other school workers, and students across the country joined teachers’ unions and community organizations for the August 3 Demand Safe Schools National Day of Resistance. And we have more calls and actions to come as we fight for equitable and healthy schools. Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers, keep your eyes open for a call just for you in the coming weeks. We will stay united with our education workers!

DSA ELECTORAL ENDORSEMENTS — PRIMARIES 8/11

DSA has endorsed Nada Elmikashfi for State Senate in Wisconsin and Justin Farmer for State Senate in Connecticut. They’re both active organizers in their local chapters and need our support for their primary elections this Tuesday, August 11th. We encourage DSA members across the country to join Nada Elmikashfi’s phonebanks this week and sign up to volunteer for Justin Farmer.

JOIN THE DSA 4 USPS CAMPAIGN — NEXT MEETING 8/12

Join our DSA 4 USPS campaign! The DSA 4 USPS campaign is a subcommittee of the Democratic Socialist Labor Commission (DSLC) fighting to protect the U.S. Postal Service. The DSA 4 USPS campaign subcommittee meets every other Wednesday and holds regular national actions. The next meeting is 8/12 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT. Sign up here for call access information.

8/20 “BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE MOVEMENT FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE” CALL WITH POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN NATIONAL CO-CHAIR LIZ THEOHARRIS

Join us Thursday, 8/20 at 7:30 pm ET/6:30 pm CT/5:30 pm MT/4:30 pm PT for a call with Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, National Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign! After a successful launch last month with Rev. Andrew Wilkes and Linda Sarsour, DSA’s Religion and Socialism Working Group will host this month’s conversation on the theme of “Building an Inclusive Movement for Economic Justice.” We will talk through concrete ways to shift our political economy and expand the decision-making power of workers in a way that emerges from our religious and ethical traditions.

READ BDS/PALESTINE SOLIDARITY WORKING GROUP ANNEXATION STATEMENT

The BDS/Palestine Working Group has written a statement on Israel’s annexation plans. Please read and share with your local DSA chapters.

NATIONAL POLITICAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

The National Political Education Committee (NPEC) is thrilled to announce that our new website has launched! On the new NPEC site, DSA members will have several great new features at their disposal to help develop their chapters’ Political Education, including:

And more exciting features to come!

IMMIGRANTS RIGHTS WORKING GROUP ELECTS NEW STEERING COMMITTEE

As per our bylaws, the Immigrants Rights Working Group has just elected a new Steering Committee. Congratulations to the new Steering Committee members:

  • Northeast Regional Co-Chair: Ashley Smith 
  • Southeast Regional Co-Chair: Alexander Hernandez
  • Midwest Regional Co-Chair: Jorge Mujica 
  • Southwest Regional Co-Chair: Brianna Westbrook
  • West Regional Co-Chair: Duane Campbell 
  • At-Large Co-Chairs: Jose Perez and Deborah Elsas

The IMWG can be reached at immigrantrights@dsacommittees.org.