July Dispatch: Who is Next?

National Updates Table of Contents

I am filled with rage. Our children live in cages (they are all our children.) Our elderly live under overpasses. Our parents die of preventable health problems or police gunshots.

The times can feel hopeless, and as Jane McAlevey mentioned on our mass organizing call with her this past weekend, “we are in a high fear moment when ‘the boss,’ the capitalist class, including the Wall Street Democrats, are telling us we are going to lose our health care if we get Medicare for All.” Trump is telling our fellow workers that he will deport them, in order to make them more docile for his fellow bosses, and we’ve just learned that one in every two Border Patrol agents are in a Facebook group sharing jokes about migrant deaths. Vigilantes are killing trans women of color 50 years after Stonewall and a pregnant woman who was shot in the stomach was recently charged in the death of her fetus.

Trump just made ominous comments about the homeless which reminded me of the words of a good friend, a longtime anti-racist organizer: “fascism starts with a trickle, democracy falls in a cascade.”

Yet I am also filled with hope.

Last week, NYC DSA led the coalition of groups that elected public defender Tiffany Cabán against the Queens Democratic machine, knocking on an astounding 120,000 doors in the last four days of the campaign. She’s an unapologetic working class champion who, pending a recount this week, will serve as District Attorney for 2.3 million residents. Crain’s New York, the boss class newsletter, was practically frothing at the mouth about it.

Before that, New York state DSA chapters were part of a coalition of tenant and poor people’s organizations that overcame the upstate-downstate divide and ran a long campaign that just won serious new rent protections for tenants across the state. Many millions will benefit, and the landlords are also in clear panic mode!

And it doesn’t stop with NYC. In Texas, Austin DSA joined the Homes Not Handcuffs coalition to overturn three city ordinances that criminalized homelessness. Using skills developed through their previous Paid Sick and Medicare for All campaigns, they knocked on thousands of doors and culminated the campaign by bringing over a hundred people to City Hall to testify and demonstrate their power. At 2:30am, their coalition won the vote!

And who can forget the Wayfair walkout. This month a Boston DSA member helped lead hundreds of her co-workers, with a half a week’s notice, in a march on the boss with a petition against Wayfair’s contract with child concentration camps. When Wayfair’s CEO didn’t meet their demands to cut the contract, they took to the streets. Afterward this DSA worker leader said “speaking as someone who looked our CEO in the face today and said ‘are you conceding to our demands or are we walking out tomorrow,’ you are capable of so much more than you ever thought you were.”

You are.

Now is the time to act.

Maria

NATIONAL UPDATES

CLOSE THE CAGES ACTIONS

DSA’s Immigrant Rights Working Group asks all chapters to mobilize. Several organizations and coalitions have emerged to declare demonstrations against the migrant detention centers.

A new coalition, Lights for Liberty, calls for events on July 12. We encourage DSA members to contact these and other local coalitions and participate in these efforts. Click here to learn more and access DSA organizing resources.

MEET THE DSA WORKERS

Zachariah Boyer, Operations and Program Support

Greetings, I’m Zachariah and I’ll be assisting the national office through the 2019 Convention and the end of August. In my role, I’ll be answering your questions through the Registration Help Desk, helping to connect DSA chapters across the country with our new organizing tools (Spoke, Action Network, and VAN), as well as helping groups navigate our chapter pipeline process. Previously, my work has centered around electoral, community, and LGBTQ organizing. I have worked for the New York City Council, Americans for Workplace Opportunity/the Human Rights Campaign, and Freedom Indiana. I call Astoria, Queens my home, but I am originally from the Hoosier State — Indiana. If you ever need to reach me, please email RegHelpDesk@dsausa.org.

Michael Grochowski, Conventions and Conferences Coordinator

Hey! I’m Michael. I’m excited to join the staff of DSA starting after the 4th of July weekend. I’ve been active in DSA for two years, as a member of the NYC-DSA Steering Committee and the North Brooklyn DSA Organizing Committee. It’s been an incredible experience helping build a chapter that made possible the wins of AOC, Julia Salazar, Tiffany Cabán, the strongest rent laws in the country, and much more. Previously, I organized with racial justice groups and coordinated socialist political education events in my hometown of Milwaukee, and I worked professionally with youth and families — with much of my focus on working with communities to build organizations, programs, events, etc. Finally, I’m a huge Wisconsin sports fan, and as much as I love NYC, I always rep my home city and state. Feel free to reach out to me anytime — I want to learn from and work with as many of you as possible to make DSA the mass socialist organization we think it can be.

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST LABOR COMMISSION

The DSLC is hosting a call featuring the leaders of Labor Working Groups, Committees, and Branches throughout the organization. They will be discussing the approach they take to the labor movement in their chapters, campaigns they’ve taken on, and issues they’ve faced. We are still finalizing a time and agenda, but you can pre-register for the call at this link.

The DSLC is also in the process of launching the new communication platform via Groups.io. To connect your chapter’s labor activists with this group, please email dslc@dsausa.org for more information on how to sign up.

NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMITTEE

The NEC would like to congratulate Tiffany Cabán, whose shocking victory against the full might of the Queens machine was only made possible by the combined efforts of DSA chapters across the country, nationally endorsed candidates like Bernie Sanders, and their many coalition allies. It is a historic victory for racial justice, sex workers’ rights, and immigrant justice, and we can’t wait to see how it changes lives and opens up space for movement work that takes our fight for a better world further.

We’re ready to shock the system again, but this time on the West Coast, for Shaun Scott for Seattle City Council (election day Tuesday, August 6th). Shaun is a labor organizer and former staffer for M4A sponsor Pramilla Jayapal, who has already made waves with his popularity in Seattle’s Democracy Voucher System. If you want to tax the rich, provide free public and municipal broadband, and transform Seattle with a Green New Deal, then now is the time to get involved. Email eric@dsausa.org to get involved.

DSA FOR BERNIE

Last week while Bernie was watching everyone on the debate stage try to steal his ideas as cover for their continued capitalist policies, 50 DSA chapters around the country hosted events.

Members watched a debate that closed with Bernie asking the question: “How come nothing really changes?” We know why, and it’s why we’re running our independent DSA for Bernie campaign. We won’t win without a political revolution and building our power for the long term.

Our independent expenditure campaign ensures we can use our data for future organizing, we can build our skills in every chapter to do more in the future, and we can do the Bernie work with our framing, our issues, and in conjunction with our local candidates so we build the pipeline of DSAers in office who can support our priorities into the future.

If you haven’t already, please sign up to get started on this important work.

MEDICARE FOR ALL

From the presidential debate stage to the House of Representatives, Medicare for All is becoming one of the most important litmus tests in American politics. After a campaign led by DSAer Ady Barkan including Santa Barbara DSA members, Rep. Salud Carbajal has come on board as sponsor number 115 of the House Medicare for All Bill!

Chapters should keep building our momentum by passing local resolutions in their communities and turning up the heat in their Congressional pressure campaigns. You can check out our House Pressure Campaign guide to learn how to successfully lobby elected officials in your area. You can also visit Medicare For All Resolutions to learn about existing campaigns near you to pass local resolutions in support of single-payer, as well as to participate in webinar trainings.

If you’re attending the Socialism 2019 Conference, don’t miss Michael Lighty’s workshop on July 7th.

Finally, be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest news from the campaign!

ORGANIZING FOR POWER WITH JANE MCALEVEY

Hundreds of members have joined our mass organizing calls with legendary organizer Jane McAlevey as she helps us apply the lessons from her book No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age.

How do we identify and develop leaders for our organizing? How do we figure out who has power in our community? How do we fight back effectively and WIN?

Watch the recording of the first call. Then sign up for the third call on July 10 at 9pm ET/8pm CT/7pm MT/6pm PT! Can’t make that time? That’s OK — everyone who RSVPs will receive a recording of the call.

RSVP for a discount deal on her book, and check out the DSA Fund book discussion guide here. The national office has been flooded with thank you emails after the last two calls, so you don’t want to miss the final one!

WE STAND WITH THE WORKING CLASS EVERYWHERE

This month we released three statements of international solidarity with the help of our International Committee.

DSA supports the Hong Kong protests against the extradition bill

DSA stands in solidarity with the popular uprising and general strike in Sudan

DSA stands against sanctions and war with Iran

SEND LABOR DAY GREETINGS TO DEMOCRATIC LEFT

Democratic Left is DSA’s official magazine. Show you’re a proud socialist with your name in our Labor Day issue!

You can use this link to choose the kind of ad you want, tell us how many, and make your ad payment. You will receive an email with instructions on how to place your ad. Ads are in grayscale only (except for full-page color ads.) All proceeds support Democratic Left.

CONVENTION UPDATES

Our 2019 National Convention is in one month! We’ll be sending occasional updates as the convention gets closer. The national office will include general interest convention updates in the monthly Dispatch and in occasional member emails. If you are not a delegate, and you want to receive fewer convention updates, you can opt out of convention emails here.

Extension of Hotel Booking Deadline

Due to member reports of receiving errors using the hotel booking link, we have received an extension on the hotel booking deadline to July 8, 2019. If you experience any challenges booking at the hotel, please let us know at reghelpdesk@dsausa.org.

Constitution and Bylaws Changes and Resolutions

Members from across the country have submitted proposed Resolutions and Constitution and bylaws changes. Any member or group of members can submit changes to these by July 9th using the form below. Elected chapter and at-large delegates will vote on the updated proposals at the National Convention.

You can find the text and cost estimates of resolutions submitted here. The deadline to submit resolutions was June 2nd.

You can find the text and cost estimates of proposed constitution and bylaws changes here. The deadline to propose changes to the DSA national Constitution or bylaws was May 2. You can find the current DSA constitution and bylaws here.

Any member or group of DSA members in good standing may submit amendments to proposed Resolutions and Constitutional and Bylaws changes through Tuesday, July 9. Please use this form to submit amendments to Resolutions or Constitution/bylaws changes for debate at the 2019 National Convention.

National Political Committee Candidates

Delegates to DSA’s National Convention will also be electing a new National Political Committee (NPC). The NPC is DSA’s primary political leadership. It is a sixteen-person body which functions as the board of directors of DSA. And as a reminder, you can join us for a series of Zoom calls with the 2019-2021 NPC candidates! Each call will feature a different group of candidates. We’ve gotten solid feedback about the first call, and I want to make sure you don’t miss out.

The calls are limited to DSA members only. To verify memberships are up-to-date with their dues, we ask that you RSVP for access in advance:

Solidarity Fund

DSAer’s need your support! This year we’ve expanded scholarships to include support with travel, registration fees, and housing. Please give to the Solidarity Fund to help support delegates getting to Atlanta!