Enjoy your January 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. This month, volunteering opportunities, political education, our YDSA youth conference, and more. Read on to get involved!
- From the National Political Committee — A Vision of the Whole
- Sunday 1/23 — National Tech Committee Social
- RSVP for Wednesday 1/26 Introduction to Socialism and Capitalism
- Volunteer Discussion Board Moderators Needed! Apply by Wednesday 1/26
- Deadline Monday 1/31 — Sign Up for Political Education on Environmental Justice in Palestine
- Apply for the National Tech Committee Steering Committee! Deadline Monday 1/31
- RSVP for Wednesday 2/9 Call — What Religious Traditions Can Bring to the Left
- Students: 2022 YDSA Conference Registration is Now Open! Early Bird Registration Until Tuesday 2/18
- Join the Disability Working Group Today!
FROM THE NATIONAL POLITICAL COMMITTEE — A VISION OF THE WHOLE
In August, our 2021 National Convention passed a series of resolutions that will define our work in 2022-2023. As the National Political Committee (NPC), elected at that same convention, we are tasked with implementing the decisions of that Convention. As political leaders, we are also charged with reading the moment, looking at upcoming and likely events, and finding strategic points of intervention in our fight against the capitalist class. The year ahead involves a growing authoritarian current, the learned helplessness of the Democrats threatening midterm elections, and a weak infrastructure leaving the working class without recourse during another pandemic surge and exacerbated climate crisis. Our “vision of the whole” has allowed us to take into account these threats and assess how to move and carry out this work as a national organization. We know the only way to win will be to build power: supporting ongoing strikes and union organizing, electing socialists, and winning campaigns through collective action.
Over the last four months, the NPC has been collaborating, discussing, debating, and working on identifying internal and external priorities from the resolutions passed, as well as putting together work plans to figure out how all the convention resolutions should be implemented. Of those submitted, we identified seven resolutions that we will prioritize, operating from our current capacity and existing resources. Three are focused on external campaigns: labor organizing, building our electoral capacity to put socialists in office, and fighting for an ecosocialist Green New Deal. There is considerable overlap in the work of these three priorities which will both seek concrete political wins as well as build the capacities of our organization at both the national and chapter level.
Two of the priorities focus on the growth of our membership and an understanding that we cannot rely solely on external events to fuel our growth. We can inspire people to join DSA on the basis of our external campaign work if we are diligent about new member onboarding, running recruitment and renewal drives, and engaging these new members in all aspects of our organization. Growing DSA should become the most important task for every chapter and each member in DSA. With that must come a commitment to an anti-racist organizing culture and most importantly to take very concrete steps to transform DSA into a mass multiracial organization rooted in the working class. We know that capitalism is grounded in and strengthened by a culture of white supremacy, but our task is to build a space for the entire multi-racial working class to come together to topple these intertwined evils.
Finally, two priorities focus on building up the infrastructure in DSA to connect the work happening in hundreds of chapters together: a five year plan for national staffing and fundraising and the standardization of our national bodies. These efforts will ensure we build the strong organization that the working class needs.
Descriptions of the priorities and other resolutions with finalized work plans are outlined below, along with the objectives of their respective work plans. Resolutions for which we did not receive finalized work plans were not included.
- Resolution #5: Building Worker Power to Win Democratic Socialism: We recognize the three primary labor tasks to be: building the capacity for DSA to do labor work, organizing in the labor movement, and agitating and winning labor legislation. This work plan commits us to strengthening the DSLC and chapter labor branches by creating and developing industry, union, and sector networks and supporting job pipelines. This work will be prioritized in the South, help chapters map local labor conditions, create joint labor campaigns, and support comrades of color. The DSLC recommits to the PRO Act campaign and builds on efforts to help organize Amazon. We will encourage DSA members in unions to get their locals to do more new organizing and support rank-and-file efforts. This work plan also commits us to hire a full-time labor staffer.
- Resolution #8: Toward a Mass Party in the United States: The NEC will develop guidelines for national and chapter endorsements, expectations for endorsed candidates, and the responsibilities of DSA toward endorsed campaigns and chapters by mid-2022. The NEC will expand the current National Electoral Strategy by drafting longer term strategic guidance: a concrete strategy for targeting races over the next decade and passing legislative priorities of our national priority campaigns. DSA will hire two staffers as soon as possible: one focused on field, outreach, and strategy and another focused on fundraising. The NEC will hand off the administration of the DSA In-Office Network to the NPC and work with the DSLC to create a labor strategy for electoral organizing and accompanying digital guide for chapters. Finally, the NEC will continue to support chapters engaging in electoral campaigns through direct mentorship, fundraising, and communications support.
- Resolution #12: 2021 Ecosocialist Green New Deal: The climate crisis is an increasingly urgent challenge our world faces, and the context in which all of our struggles for liberation will unfold over the coming decades. The GNDCC will guide and support a strong network of chapters engaged in local and national GND campaign work. They will collaborate with the NEC on running ecosocialist candidates at various levels of government and with the DSLC to deepen relations with various unions, especially integrating decarbonization demands into contract fights. Furthermore, the GNDCC will develop other avenues besides Congress to win a GND for Public Schools such as teacher union contract fights (esp CA), school infrastructure bonds, and state level school legislation/coalition fights. Buy-in of DSA membership and the org to the idea of “all politics is climate politics” in the 21st century through political education, incorporation of ecosocialist angles in non-GND DSA work, and collaboration with other national DSA committees will be an overarching goal of this work, as well as a mobilization-ready membership who can respond quickly to carry out direct action events.
- Resolution #31: Making DSA a Multiracial and Anti-Racist Organization: The main objective of this resolution is to transform DSA into a multiracial mass socialist organization through the creation of a Training and Leadership Institute led by the Multiracial Organizing Committee that teaches DSA’s theory of power and develops leaders of color. MROC will develop best practices for the organization on multiracial organizing for chapters and national committees. They’ll help chapters collect demographic information and help develop and promote a shared analysis of racial capitalism and multiracial organizing across DSA chapters.
- Resolution #27: Beyond 100K: Building a Mass Socialist Organization: The Growth and Development Committee will focus on building chapters from our existing base of at-large membership, supporting YDSA in their growth and development efforts, and continuing to support the organizing skills of our members. These same skills can be used to identify and recruit leaders at the local level to build out our chapter presence all over the country. This will be achieved through a Dues Drive, with the goal of affirming the role of dues in our organization, as well as through another iteration of the Recruitment Drive, with a greater emphasis on recruitment outside of members’ existing social networks and instead prioritizing bringing in members from strategic sectors, unions, and local communities of color. The GDC will also help chapters build and sustain robust new member onboarding processes and a clear participation arc.
- 2019-21 NPC recommendation: Five Year Staffing and Fundraising Plan: We will create a graduated five year staff and fundraising plan, spanning June 2022 – June 2027, an outline of which will be presented to the NPC at the 2022 February NPC meeting. The plan will lay out clear roles for different actors, with benchmarks and decision points. The 2022-2027 staffing/fundraising plan will take into consideration the staffing resolution passed at the 2019 and 2021 conventions, resolutions passed by national bodies between these conventions, and National Director review recommendations.
- 2019-21 NPC recommendation: Standardization of Committees: The NPC is responsible for national committees and ensuring they are equipped to organize and support specific areas of work as part of a larger strategy adopted by the Convention and directed by the NPC. We are excited to work with national committees and members on strengthening our national infrastructure and ability to develop and implement powerful campaigns across the organization by developing criteria, accountability measures, and an implementation timeline.
Other work plans:
- Resolution #2: National Committee for Reparations to Black People: The campaign committee will determine a coherent theoretical framework and strategy for reparations to Black communities, Native communities, and the Global South that also considers the disproportionate effects of climate change on these communities. They’ll create literature and basic political education to educate DSA candidates running in federal elections and create a memo for chapters detailing how members can include demands for reparations in their external campaign work, deal with compliance questions, and win this demand nationally.
- Resolution #4: Mass Campaign for Voting Rights: Socialists have a proud history of fighting to protect and expand democracy, and this moment of right-wing voter suppression and attacks on democracy are no different. The Voting Rights Campaign will develop best practices and chapter toolkits for locals to be able to provide material support to voters on election day. In the lead up, the VRC will carry out 2-3 webinars focusing on educating the public on voting rights attacks, as well as how we can expand the base of the enfranchised working class. The VRC will create a resource library that chapters can use and develop a broader voting rights strategy document to guide this work within DSA.
- Resolution #35: Spanish Translation & Bilingual Organizing: The primary objective is for important national DSA documents and resources to be translated into Spanish through our Translation Team. National campaigns must include Spanish language messaging, and chapters will be encouraged to do the same with their materials and resources.
- 2019-21 NPC recommendation on Statewide Organizations: Statewide organizations will be an important layer in DSA’s structure, serving to connect chapters together and build campaigns and infrastructure that are successful across their states. These statewide organizations may interact with priority resolutions by running campaigns that align with them. The NPC will create template bylaws, fundraising plans, and supportive infrastructure that will encourage the development of state organizations.
- Resolution #30: Matching Funds for Chapters to Hire Staff and Open Offices: Offices provide a meeting ground to recruit, strategize, plan campaigns, and host campaign events, while staff provides essential and sustained support to execute democratically decided priorities. Since chapters remain the primary organizing ground for DSA, these matching funds will provide an enormous boost in our organization’s capacity to run effective chapter-level campaigns and grow our membership.
- Resolution #3: Empowering DSA’s Mass Abolition Work: The Abolition Working Group will support DSA and YDSA chapters in carrying out campaigns and work specifically related to stopping the construction of and/or rolling back carceral infrastructure and building momentum for defunding the police. They’ll help chapters and national committees in incorporating abolitionist values into their work and enable political education and skills-sharing initiatives.
- Resolution #28: Building Transformative Justice through a national Committee of Grievance Officers:In 2017, our convention passed Resolution 33 to ensure that harassment has no place in our organization and that DSA is a welcoming, safe space. The NPC will create a Committee of Grievance Officers to oversee quarterly training events open to all HGOs, share best practices for mediation and conflict resolution, and study potential improvements to the system. Conflict in our organizing spaces can undermine our ability to organize, but building a culture of healthy political disagreement will strengthen us.
This work can’t be done by the NPC or by their respective national bodies alone: it will require time and energy from every DSA member. We believe carrying out these work plans will allow us to meet the moments ahead and look forward to continuing to build a mass movement for socialism with all of you.
Courage and care, comrades,
Your National Political Committee
SUNDAY 1/23 — NATIONAL TECH COMMITTEE SOCIAL
The National Tech Committee (NTC) invites you to our first social of the year on Sunday 1/23 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT! Fill out this brief form to RSVP. As part of this 2022 kickoff, you’ll learn more about the numerous initiatives we are working on, and the Steering Committee application process. See below for more about applying for the NTC Steering Committee.
RSVP FOR WEDNESDAY 1/26 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 online Wednesday 1/26 at 8:30pm ET/7:30pm CT/6:30pm MT/5:30pm PT to hear about these questions and more! The call will feature speakers Hadas Thier and Peter Frase guiding you through the basics of socialism and capitalism. Representing different socialist perspectives within DSA, you’ll learn how to discuss large ideas in simple ways with members and non-members alike.
VOLUNTEER DISCUSSION BOARD MODERATORS NEEDED! APPLY BY WEDNESDAY 1/26
Our Communications Committee is working to develop our DSA National Discussion Board as a useful resource for members to learn about socialist organizing, seek and give advice on our work, engage in constructive discourse, and build camaraderie across chapters. We’re looking for volunteers to help moderate the forum — this is an important role!
Check out the application form for moderator expectations, and please apply if you’re interested in helping to make the DSA forum a comradely and welcoming place for our members! The first round of applications are due by Wednesday, 1/26. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
DEADLINE MONDAY 1/31 — SIGN UP FOR POLITICAL EDUCATION ON ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN PALESTINE
The DSA BDS and Palestine Solidarity Working Group also recommends this new resource from Visualizing Palestine that illustrates environmental injustice in Palestine. The fight against climate change is also a fight against systems of colonization and militarism that destroy both human rights and the environment. Learn from Palestinians’ experiences living under Israeli apartheid in a part of the world warming faster than the global average — and how the concepts of climate vulnerability, green colonialism, environmental racism, and colonial extraction apply here and in other contexts where the climate crisis amplifies existing injustices.
APPLY FOR THE NATIONAL TECH COMMITTEE STEERING COMMITTEE! DEADLINE MONDAY 1/31
The National Tech Committee is now accepting applications for its Steering Committee! To apply, please fill out this form. Applications are open until January 31 at 11:59pm PST. You can expect to spend approximately 5-8 hours per week on NTC SC responsibilities, with meetings usually every two weeks.
Priority will be given to active NTC members. Please sign up for the NTC by taking our survey here. Please email [email protected] with any questions.
RSVP FOR WEDNESDAY 2/9 CALL — WHAT RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS CAN BRING TO THE LEFT
What can religious traditions bring to the left? Join the Religion and Socialism Working Group Wednesday 2/9 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT for the first in a series of conversations! This event will bring together religious socialists from a range of traditions to discuss the intersections of their spirituality and politics. Open to religious and non-religious comrades alike, we will discuss the importance of religious people on the left and the ways in which faith and socialism can be mutually informed. There will be plenty of time for Q&A and open discussion.
STUDENTS: 2022 YDSA CONFERENCE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION UNTIL TUESDAY 2/18
Registration for the 2022 YDSA Conference is now open! The conference will be held in Chicago the weekend of April 1-3, and it’s open to all young socialists. All attendees are required to submit proof of vaccination, show proof of negative test, and wear masks during the conference. The early bird deadline is Tuesday 2/18. Registration closes March 11. Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.
JOIN THE DISABILITY WORKING GROUP TODAY!
Apply to join the DSA National Disability Working Group (DWG) today! These are exciting times in the disability justice movement. The DWG is committed to disability justice, anti-oppressive organizing, mobilization, and advocacy. As disabled democratic socialists, we recognize the centrality of structures of ableism that contribute to and sustain capitalism.
We actively work for inclusion of disabled people in all aspects of DSA and all settings where DSA participates, including accommodation of in-person and online meetings. Within the constraints of an authoritarian capitalist social context widely hostile to the disabled, we educate DSA organizers to meaningfully move towards universal access to DSA participation, through comradely advocacy and critique.