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Your National Political Committee newsletter — Our Best Chance is Each Other

Enjoy your December National Political Committee newsletter! Our NPC is an elected 18-person body (including two YDSA members who share a vote) which functions as the board of directors of DSA. Read on for more!

FROM THE NATIONAL POLITICAL COMMITTEE — OUR BEST CHANCE IS EACH OTHER

Dear comrades,

As 2021 comes to an end, it’s hard not to think about the number of times we have been failed by our government over the last year. The pandemic continues to frame individual responsibility as the way forward, while we know the only way to end COVID is through a coordinated and just global response. As DSA members in Congress foretold, Biden and the Democratic Party leadership have capitulated to Manchin on Build Back Better, an already insufficient bill, with a feigned powerlessness. And while Biden has extended the student loan pause until May, he hasn’t fulfilled his campaign promise to cancel student debt, leaving millions of people in limbo. We know who is causing the grief and suffering of the world — we know the names of those who deserve our rage.

All of this is enough to make you feel like nothing will ever fundamentally change. But in the words of the late bell hooks, “Hope is essential to any political struggle for radical change when the overall social climate promotes disillusionment and despair.” Cynicism and despair are expected — so keeping hope alive will require intention and imagination. But it’s what will sustain us as we make the world ours.

There are many paths to a better world, and it’s up to us, as socialists, to remind the working class that when we fight, we can win. We can find inspiration in the resilience of Kellogg’s workers who ratified their contract after an eleven-week strike. We can find lessons in the victory of Chile’s new President-Elect Gabriel Boric: a testament to the persistence and power of working class resistance forged in the streets to counter neoliberalism. We can find opportunities in crisis to confront our enemies and offer a compassionate alternative — where no one is left behind and all people can live with dignity.

We must organize because our best chance is each other. As we carry on to another year, may it bring a renewed commitment to our shared project and a rage that will light the way.

Courage and care, comrades. And as always, solidarity forever.

RUN FOR THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST LABOR COMMISSION (DSLC) STEERING COMMITTEE!

The NPC is now accepting applications to the Steering Committee (SC) of DSA’s national labor body (the DSLC). We are also accepting applications to become a voting member of the DSLC. Read on to learn how to become a member of the DSLC and how to apply to the Steering Committee of the DSLC.

The DSLC SC is now a 15-member SC, per the decision made at our NPC retreat in November:

  • 2 NPC co-chairs
  • 2 YDSA reps
  • 5 elected SC members
  • 6 SC members appointed by the NPC

DSA members have until Friday, January 14th, 2022 to become a DSLC member in order to vote in the upcoming Steering Committee election. In order to become a member of the DSLC, you must be a current member of DSA, fill out the DSLC membership application, and be either a member of a DSA Labor Formation or meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be a union or worker center member or retiree.
  • Work for a union, worker center, or legal advocacy firm that represents workers.
  • Be a part of a workplace organizing drive.
  • Be a journalist, academic, or writer with a focus in labor studies and/or political economy.

If you previously filled out an application and are still in good standing, you are already a member.

Applications for the Steering Committee are now open. Please click here to submit your application. Applications will close at 11:59 pm Pacific on Friday, January 14th, 2022. Please note: on the last page of the application, you’ll be required to provide 3 references who are DSA members, and will provide a 250-word statement of reference.

If you are a DSLC member, be on the lookout for an email on January 19th with details on the voting process and a link to candidate application statements. Voting will open on January 24th and close January 31st at 11:59 pm Pacific.

The NPC will decide the 6 appointees to the committee from among the candidates who weren’t in the top 5 and elected in the first round. In order to be considered for appointment, you must fill out this application by the deadline and run in the election.

The new Steering Committee will be announced on February 10th.

WEDNESDAY 1/12/22 — JOIN THE RELIGION AND SOCIALISM WORKING GROUP FOR A SYNODAL CHURCH IN A PLURAL WORLD: A CONVERSATION WITH MARK GUEVARRA

Join the DSA Religion and Socialism Working Group’s Catholic subgroup and Today’s American Catholic magazine Wednesday, 1/2/22 at 6pm ET/5pm CT/4pm MT/3pm PT for a conversation with Mark Guevarra of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, on the origins, processes, and possibilities of the 2023 synod on synodality!

In what may be “the largest consultative process ever,” the synod will seek to gather the voices of over 1 billion Catholics and their affiliates to discern the way forward for the church in the third millennium. In this webinar, we’ll look at the historical and theological roots of synodality, how the synodal process has the potential to depolarize the church by centering marginalized voices, and the ways we can develop our capacity for encounter and dialogue to bring about the “listening church” of which Pope Francis has spoken. We’ll also look at how the synodal process might become a prophetic sign of inclusion, communion, and collective decision-making for local, national, and international civic spaces. As the International Theological Commission has written, “Today, when growing awareness of the interdependence between peoples forces us to think of the world as our common home, the Church is called to demonstrate that her Catholicity and the synodal way in which she lives and works are a catalyst of unity in diversity and of communion in freedom.”

Mark Guevarra (he/him) was born in Vancouver, Canada. He was raised in a devout Catholic family and attended Catholic schools through the 12th grade. He has served as an educator, college instructor, and pastoral associate with a special focus on LGBTQ+ ministry. He is currently completing his doctoral studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, where he is completing a dissertation on synodality. He is a member of Call to Action’s 2020 Re/Generation Cohort.

SIGN UP FOR DSA NATIONAL POLITICAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE’S NATIONAL SPEAKERS’ TRAINING — APPLICATION DEADLINE SATURDAY 1/15/22

Please join DSA’s National Political Education Committee for our National Speakers’ Training series this February! You can find more information on the series and how to apply here. The application deadline is Saturday, 1/15/22.

In this exciting three part series, members are invited to a training to develop your speech writing and public speaking skills! During the course you will get to write a talk, give a presentation, and listen to others present on a variety of different topics. You will learn to argue in clear and compelling ways and help lead the work in your chapter or working group. Sign up today!

RSVP FOR WEDNESDAY 1/26/22 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIALISM AND CAPITALISM

What makes socialism a viable alternative to capitalism and what are the pathways to getting there?

How would you describe the critical problems with capitalism in just a few sentences?

Join DSA’s National Political Education Committee for an Introduction to Socialism and Capitalism Wednesday, 1/26/22 at 8:30pm ET/7:30pm CT/6:30pm MT/5:30pm PT! This event will feature speakers Hadas Thier and Peter Frase, who will guide us through the basics of socialism and capitalism. As you hear different socialist perspectives within DSA, you’ll learn how to discuss large ideas in simple ways with members and non-members alike.

NATIONAL COMMITTEE CRITERIA AND IMPLEMENTATION: AN OVERVIEW FOR DSA MEMBERS

To develop winning campaigns and better support chapter work, we need strong national infrastructure! Following the adoption of NPC Recommendation #3, the 2021-2023 National Political Committee (NPC) developed and unanimously passed complimentary National Committee criteria, accountability measures, and an implementation plan. This was developed after interviewing leaders from the majority of national committees in September; building consensus on criteria and accountability measures during the October NPC meeting; and unanimously adopting the proposal on November 2, 2021. Our goal: to develop the capacity of national committees to better serve our members and DSA. You can learn more about the adopted proposal and process here.