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March Dispatch — Build Worker Power, Protect our Planet

Enjoy your March Dispatch! This month, find out how you can build worker power and protect the planet — and more. Get involved today!

FROM MARIA: BUILDING DEMOCRATIC POWER

Do you have power in your workplace? Do you control the decisions that affect you and take home the fruits of your labor, or does your boss make all the decisions and keep most of the value you produce?

We live in a supposedly democratic country. But when we’re on the clock, our conditions are anything but democratic. Whether it’s a small business or a multinational corporation, a corner restaurant or a monopolistic gig app, the owners rule. During a public health or climate disaster, this means our health and safety depends on them. In an economic crisis, this means our food and shelter depend on them. If you stand up for yourself as an individual, you risk everything. That’s why socialists believe in strong unions. When you stand up together, you can make real demands on your boss.

This alone is enough for DSA to support the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. And there’s more.

The owning class will absolutely drive our planet off a climate cliff and doom us to slow death by poverty and policing before that if we, the multiracial working class, let them. Just look at the devastation across the South these last few weeks, and the governor of Texas’s decision to fully reopen — knowing that will lead directly to mass death. The only way we wield our power at the scale required is through a class-wide revolt. Not just individual workplaces, but everywhere.

Looking back through our history, unions have been the strongest method for working class self-defense. And the very things workers before us won — the weekend, the eight hour day, a safe and equitable workplace — have been undermined by an all-out ruling class assault on our unions.

Living in a neoliberal capitalist dystopia, we’re told to shoulder all the costs and blame for the outcomes of this rigged system on ourselves. The only counterbalance is expanding unions to raise the floor for everyone — and ignoring the divide and conquer tactics of the capitalist class. They divide us by race, they divide us by citizenship status, they divide us by job classification. But when it gets down to it, we have a world to win if we stand together.

When union membership increases, income inequality decreases. It’s as simple as that.

The last few weeks show that even when they have the power, the Wall Street Democrats in the White House won’t use it to make critical changes like increase the minimum wage. Government does the bidding of the capitalists, not the other way around. The only way we win is if we change that dynamic by building a mass movement to put new people into office and a fighting labor movement to interrupt the capitalists’ profits. Labor must build our power so we can democratically control our workplaces and our society.

That’s why we’re going all out for the Protecting the Right to Organize Act! Join our call this Sunday and sign up to get involved in the fight of our lives.

Onward!

Maria Svart
DSA National Director

SUNDAY 3/7 — PROTECT THE RIGHT TO ORGANIZE LAUNCH CALL WITH NAOMI KLEIN, SARA NELSON, AND JAMAAL BOWMAN

Join us for a campaign launch call for the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act Sunday 3/7 at 5pm ET/4pm CT/3pm MT/2pm PT! On the call, you’ll hear from special guests Naomi Klein, union leader Sara Nelson, US Representative Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), and more.

The working class won the gains of the original New Deal through militant labor organizing. And a radicalized and organized working class can win a Green New Deal to solve our climate and economic crises.

But to win a Green New Deal, we need mass, multiracial working class power. That’s why we’re going all-in to pass the PRO Act. If passed, the PRO Act will strengthen unions, root out racist and unjust labor practices like right-to-work laws, guarantee that immigrant workers have the same rights as their fellow workers, build workers’ power to organize on the job, and grow our collective capacity to win a just transition to a green economy for all in the years ahead. Join us Sunday to learn more and get involved!

SUNDAY 3/14 — SOCIALIST FEMINIST WORKING GROUP’S ABORTION ACCESS FUND-A-THON TRAINING CALL

It’s once again time for the annual Abortion Access Fund-a-thon to support the National Network of Abortion Funds! Abortion access has suffered tremendously under the Trump administration and COVID pandemic. We need your help to raise over $100,000 for abortion funds! Are you excited to support abortion access, but don’t know where to start? Join the Socialist Feminist Working Group Sunday, 3/14 at 3pm ET/2pm CT/1pm MT/12pm PT for a How to Organize a Fund-A-Thon Training. Hear from experienced fundraisers on making your Fund-a-thon a success!

DEFEND WORKERS’ AND TENANTS RIGHTS — SUPPORT SOUTHERN MAINE DSA

Working people in Maine organized and got the goods! And now, the ruling class is coming after the gains they won. People First Portland and the Southern Maine DSA chapter are taking the battle for hazard pay and rent control to court. In the past week, comrades across the country have already given more than $8500 to help defend their wins for working class people. Donate to support our Maine comrades today and have your gift matched up to $10,000!*

THE DISABILITY WORKING GROUP IS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS! RSVP FOR OUR INFORMATION SESSION SUNDAY 3/21

The Disability Working Group is excited to begin accepting applications for our executive board! There will be an information session Sunday, 3/21 at 5pm ET/4pm CT/3pm MT/2pm PT. Register here for the call. Applications for the executive board are open until Wednesday, 3/31. You can find the application here.

INTEREST POLL FOR “BUILDING THE RELIGIOUS LEFT” VIRTUAL CONFERENCE 4/24-4/25

The Religion and Socialism Working Group of DSA is planning a virtual National Convening for “Building the Religious Left” on April 24-25! Panels, speakers, and skills workshops will help you bring socialist ideas to your faith community and link you to other DSAers of faith. Fill out this interest poll to learn more about the conference and get involved.

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST LABOR COMMISSION STEERING COMMITTEE VACANCY — MEMBERS IN THE SOUTH ENCOURAGED TO APPLY!

The Democratic Socialist Labor Commission (DSLC) is seeking applicants to fill a vacant seat on its steering committee. This seat was formerly held by a member in the South, and we are looking to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the current term. All dues-paying members from the South who also meet the criteria for individual membership in the DSLC are eligible. DSA members from historically marginalized groups such as those based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, religion, and nationality as self-identified are especially encouraged to apply! The deadline to apply is March 28. For more details, see the criteria list and application form here.

APPLY TO JOIN INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP — DEADLINE WEDNESDAY 3/31

Interested in Internationalism? Apply to join DSA International Committee (IC) leadership!

The IC’s mission is to help DSA and its membership to connect in solidarity with like-minded activists, workers, movements, and parties worldwide. Within DSA, we hope to contribute to international political education and to support the growth of international solidarity work in local chapters across the country. We also aim to support national campaigns for international justice and to help provide a network for members across the country.

We are seeking applicants for the new IC leadership term starting in June 2021. The application deadline is Wednesday, 3/31. We invite interested DSA members to apply for leadership positions including IC Secretariat, Steering Committee, and Subcommittee Co-chairs.

We aim to have a diverse IC leadership composition and strongly encourage women, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), and members from a wide geographic range to apply.

Please join us in a solidarity that knows no borders.

APPLY FOR THE NATIONAL POLITICAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE — DEADLINE WEDNESDAY, 3/10

The National Political Committee is looking for nominees to serve on the National Political Education Committee from April 2021 through March 2022! The NPEC is expanding and we are looking to draw in members with substantial roots in diverse areas of DSA. To this end, we are asking chapters and official national committees, working groups, and caucuses for nominations (specifically, formally recognized caucuses such as AfroSoc, not ideological caucuses).

Nominees should be prepared to devote at least 5 hours a week to committee business and contribute to substantive discussion on the content of political education material as well as contribute to its implementation. This implementation can take place in a variety of contexts, from curriculum preparation, to hosting speaking events, to producing audio and video recordings, to training new political educators. Currently, the NPEC has three subcommittees:

  • Training, which holds regular regional workshops to support local political education programs
  • Events and Speakers, which provides logistical support for national political education events and develops DSA members as public speakers
  • Communications, which handles publicly facing communications and coordinates with other DSA bodies to produce political education material in a variety of formats, from articles in Democratic Left to video lectures

The appointments for this term will also increase the size of the committee, and new members of the committee can contribute to the expansion of our work. Chapters, national committees and working groups, and caucus steering committees (or equivalent) must email their nominee’s contact information (name, email address, and phone number) to politicaleducation@dsacommittees.org by Wednesday, 3/10. Individual DSA members can also apply via this form by Wednesday, 3/10. Appointments will be announced by Wednesday, 3/31 to begin their terms on Thursday, 4/1.

PLEASE WELCOME OUR NEW DSA GROUPS!

Our power comes from our organized base rooted in communities large and small. Join us in welcoming the latest new DSA groups.

New Chapters:

  • Lubbock, TX
  • Amarillo, TX
  • Southern Oregon
  • Lakefront, IL
  • Appleton Area, WI
  • Jackson, MS
  • St. Cloud, MN

New Organizing Committee:

  • Oshkosh, WI

* DSA has committed to supporting this effort and will contribute no less than $10,000 to the upcoming legal defense.