Power and contradictions — Your July Dispatch

Here’s your July Dispatch! This month, get involved with a Green New Deal for housing justice, check out our member publications, and more.

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From Maria — Power and Contradictions

The other day I caught up with a friend who works with a lot of non-profit organizations. She was flabbergasted by DSA. “You have tens of thousands of people who not only open emails, but pay dues? You have hundreds of chapters led by members and winning campaigns? Members decide your direction rather than wealthy foundations?”

From the inside, it can be easy to forget how unique we truly are. Outside of the more active unions, there are no national mass member organizations as vibrant and active as DSA. Civic and movement organizations have withered away, and even many religious congregations struggle to engage people. Neoliberal capitalism has pulled us apart. Between disappointing politicians and the atomization of social life, it’s no wonder people drop out of all community spaces and give up on change.

As I wrote for the current issue of Democratic Left, DSA’s inherent contradictions are a source of both power and conflict. We are a working class army fighting to win transformative reforms, and at the same time, a debate society teaching ourselves to envision a better world. Doing both is energizing and exhausting. And it’s why we have chapters across the country on picket lines and simultaneously sending delegates to our national convention — we talk the talk and also walk the walk.

In solidarity,

Maria Svart
DSA National Director

Tuesday 7/18 — Join Our Green New Deal and Housing Justice Call!

How will we get Green Social Housing in the United States? Join us Tuesday 7/18 at 9pm ET/8pm CT/7pm MT/6pm PT to find out! Panelists from DSA’s Green New Deal Campaign Commission and the Housing Justice Commission will discuss different contemporary and historical approaches to the development of eco-conscious social housing and how we can win it today.

Help Comrades Come Together in Chicago! Give by Tuesday 8/1 for a Sticker

We’re less than a month away from the National Convention, and working class delegates traveling to Chicago from all over the country need your support! Pitch into the Convention Solidarity Fund to cover travel and lodging costs for working class comrades and make sure the Convention is fully accessible to all. Pitch in $17 or more by Tuesday 8/1 and get a Working Class Takes the Wheel sticker!

Socialist Forum — New Issue, Convention Proposal Feature, and Call for Submissions!

Socialist Forum, DSA’s quarterly long-form publication of theory, strategy, and debate, has exciting announcements for DSA members. First, the Spring/Summer 2023 issue is now live. This issue tackles a wide range of topics, including:

  • Is DSA really in crisis?
  • How did the Build Public Renewables Act get passed?
  • Building the labor movement with “workers’ circles”
  • Reflections on democratic socialist electoral strategy

And more! As always, we welcome responses and feedback at [email protected].

Also, Socialist Forum has created a new space for debate, discussion, and commentary about the resolutions and amendments that will be considered at this year’s national convention in August. If you would like to pitch an idea for a piece about any of the resolutions or amendments being proposed, please contact us at [email protected].

The Socialist Forum editorial committee is also accepting pitches for potential submissions to the Summer/Fall 2023 issue of the publication. All DSA members are invited to submit ideas for articles on any topic of potential interest to DSA members and the broader socialist movement.

If you would like to contribute an article, please use this form to submit a short pitch describing your idea. Your pitch should be short, roughly 200-500 words, and summarize the main ideas you would like to articulate in a full article. The pitch submission deadline is Thursday 7/20/23. If your pitch is accepted, the full article should be roughly 3500-4000 words in length. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Annual Report From the National Harassment and Grievance Officer

In order to strengthen DSA and our ability to both hold members accountable for unacceptable behavior and help us work through legitimate disagreements productively, we invest member dues in internal work around Harassment. Unlike many organizations, we don’t just have a token policy and consider our work done. Rather, we invest resources in a National Harassment and Grievance Officer (NHGO) who carries out the program and provides training and leadership development for HGOs within chapters based on professional best practices. Chapters are required to submit data annually about grievances processed, which are used to compile an Annual Report. Click here for the 2021-2022 Annual Report.