June Dispatch: Growing our power to defund the police and defend black lives

Note: please note after this Dispatch was posted, several announced events were re-scheduled in solidarity with the ongoing uprising in defense of black lives. Rescheduled calls are marked as updated and the new dates included.

Defund the police.

Fund healthcare, unemployment benefits and PPE.

Defend black lives.

Defend democracy.

Simple demands, yet it takes an uprising to win. The owning class won’t call off their enforcers easily.

Stay tuned for more resources in the coming days, including our organizing call next Thursday. In the meantime, remember that DSA’s power comes from our grassroots.

Defying the age-old divide and conquer propaganda about “outside agitators,” DSA chapters in communities large and small are mobilized for protests in the streets and for all the important work that can be done from home under COVID-19 – coordinating water, first aid supplies and jail support; leading phone zaps to flood elected officials’ phone lines or phonebanking voters to get our candidates elected; raising money for bail funds; organizing unions and non-activist organizations to take a stand; calling and texting DSA members to invite them to take that first step; the list goes on. These times are scary, and we need you. Reach out to your local DSA chapter to find out how you can join the struggle.

And I’m happy to announce that you will be joining 70,000 DSA members in motion! As of today, we have never been larger. Being a working-class, member funded organization means we are accountable to ourselves rather than the capitalist class.

We need to keep growing our power. That’s how we will win our fights from police abolition to Medicare for All. Our goal is to become 100,000 strong by the end of 2021, and we’re aiming for 75k by the end of July.

Will you take time today to personally ask three friends to join DSA and send them to dsausa.org/join?

In solidarity,

Maria Svart
DSA National Director

In this Dispatch:

JOIN THURS 6/11: MEETING THE MOMENT — SAFE, STRATEGIC AND SOCIALIST ORGANIZING

In a time of unprecedented protest and unrest, we are holding a national call for chapters and members to review how to react in this moment. On the call, we will cover best practices for those participating in street protests and those who aren’t, how existing chapter work can be strengthened and reoriented towards this moment through real world examples, and the ways current mobilizations can be transformed into sustainable organizing projects. Join us on Thursday 6/11 at 8:30pm ET/7:30pm CT/6:30pm MT/5:30pm PT to discuss all of this and a DSA SOCIALIST analysis of the current unrest in this country.

NEW LOCAL DSA GROUPS

A big welcome to our new DSA local groups!

Congratulations to our new Chapters:

  • Erie DSA, PA
  • Southeastern WY

Congratulations to our new Organizing Committees:

  • Humboldt County, CA
  • Lubbock, TX
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast
  • Merced & Mariposa, CA
  • PA Wilds, PA
  • Wilmington, NC

MEET YOUR STAFF

Ty-Lucas K., Full Stack Developer

I am a software engineer and organizer based in New Orleans, LA. While I have enjoyed working for a lot of small companies in various industries over the years, it’s exciting to transition to putting my skills towards helping an organization and cause I deeply believe in.

I’m looking forward to building out tech tools for DSA, and helping to ensure we are able to work effectively as the organization continues to grow.

JOIN 6/25 ESSENTIAL WORKERS ORGANIZING CALL (updated with new date)

Despite the increased dangers and precarity brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, workers are joining together at workplaces across the country and finding new forms of leverage for winning their demands.

The Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC) is a joint effort between DSA’s Democratic Socialist Labor Commission and the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE) to support workers organizing at their workplaces for better protections, higher pay, paid time off, and more during COVID-19. Over 500 volunteers have signed up to organize with EWOC. Over 1500 workers have reached out to us in some 70 days. We’ve been organizing with workers in more than 30 states.

On Thursday, 6/25 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT, we’ll hear directly from grocery store workers, restaurant workers, and public service employees who have been organizing and winning demands at their shops!

RSVP here to join the call. During this live event, we will:

  • Learn from workers about organizing efforts and victories at Sprouts Organic Market, Jimmy John’s, and Taco Bell — including winning a $2 pay increase, back pay and paid time off for 250+ Taco Bell workers in Michigan!
  • Hear from public service employees from UE how they are fighting for better pay and protections during COVID-19
  • Find out more about EWOC, this exciting partnership between UE and DSA, and how you can support essential workers’ organizing efforts during COVID-19

JOIN 7/14 FOSSIL FUEL POWER MAPPING WEBINAR WITH LITTLESIS (UPDATED WITH NEW 7/14 DATE)

Our Ecosocialist Working Group and Green New Deal Campaign Committee are teaming up with LittleSis for a webinar on power mapping the fossil fuel industry on Tuesday, 7/14 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT! Join us to learn important skills in researching the power you want to challenge. This webinar will train you in skills that could be useful for any pressure campaign.

ORGANIZE 6/23 #DSAFORUSPS ACTIONS TO SAVE THE POST OFFICE (updated with new date)

#DSA4USPS: DSA chapters and members purchased over 6,000 postcards to tell our representatives to support our US Postal Service and more than 600,000 union jobs. The postcards will soon make their way to you, and then Congress! On June 23, DSA’s Democratic Socialist Labor Commission is encouraging chapters to do socially distant demonstrations to protest the new Postmaster General, and to draw attention to the fact that USPS needs a bailout.

SUPPORT DSA ENDORSED ELECTORAL CAMPAIGNS

Support DSA Electoral Campaigns — set up a phonebank for one of our nationally endorsed candidates! You can find a list of our endorsed candidates here, with links to donate or volunteer. And if your chapter would like to host their own solidarity phone bank or fundraiser, you can contact our DSA National Electoral Committee at elections@dsausa.org for support and training.

YOUNG DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA UPDATE

The 2020 YDSA convention is fast approaching! This year, delegates from our 110+ YDSA chapters will gather online, for the first time ever. Though we’ve had to change our convention plans due to COVID-19, we won’t let it stop us from strategizing, electing new leadership and setting new national priorities democratically.

If you are a leader in an official YDSA chapter, or if you’re working with official chapter leaders, please make sure that your chapter submits the results of its delegate election by Monday, June 15. Each official chapter has received an email with more details, including their delegate apportionment.

For more information about the convention, please watch the 2020 Convention Info Call. The password is 3q$%14ww.

We are also excited to announce that we have chartered our first YDSA chapter at a historically black college or university (HBCU), at the Lincoln University of Pennsylvania! In partnership with the Afrosocialists working group, we are making a concerted effort to build more YDSA chapters at HBCUs. If you are a student at or graduate of an HBCU and would like to help with this project, click here!

APPLY FOR OUR NEW DSA NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE — SOCIAL MEDIA SUBCOMMITTEE

To better coordinate our communications, we are developing a new DSA National Communications Committee. The National DSA Communications Committee helps articulate our socialist politics, leverage our base into action to win our campaigns, and seize on political opportunities to spread our message of a socialist future. This volunteer committee is subdivided into five volunteer subcommittees to handle specific areas of our work: Social Media, Digital Organizing, Press/TV, Narrative Strategy, and DSA Publications.

We will be posting job descriptions for each subcommittee here. We are starting with the Social Media Subcommittee, and will add volunteer job postings for each committee over the coming weeks.

Do you have organizational social media experience? Join us! To apply, please fill out the application here. Social Media subcommittee co-chair applications are due July 9.

SUMMER DEMOCRATIC LEFT OUT NOW — READ AND SHARE WITH FRIENDS!

Can “crisis socialism” bring system change out of the coronavirus pandemic? Read the Summer issue of Democratic Left, out now online and in your mailbox soon. Find out how past epidemics and pandemics shaped health policies and what the current crisis can lead to. Read economic and tax policy analyses as well as stories of mutual aid initiatives in local chapters. Learn from the disabled community, which is already sheltering in place and knows a lot about political action.

DSA FOR BERNIE DEBRIEF

DSA built an unprecedented independent expenditure campaign to elect Bernie Sanders and to grow our democratic socialist movement, and now we need to share the lessons and successes of our work. While ultimately Bernie dropped out, our DSA for Bernie chapters knocked more than half a million doors, identified and developed new leaders to help run their local campaigns, and recruited thousands of Bernie supporters into DSA. We believe our chapters have emerged from the election larger, stronger, and more able to take on the ruling class than ever before.

Dozens of chapters filled out our DSA for Bernie debrief form to share their successes, lessons, and how their chapter has changed through their campaign. We have combined these responses to create a national DSA for Bernie Debrief Pamphlet that gives an overview of our campaign and celebrates our chapters’ many organizing victories in their own words.