National Political Committee update — defending Black lives, DSA at 70K

Since we last wrote, working class people across our country have risen up in defense of black lives and to demand justice for the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Thousands of DSA members in major cities, suburban neighborhoods, and even rural communities have joined these popular mobilizations and we in the NPC issued this national statement to make it clear — DSA is unequivocally against the police and with the protestors.

Our own Kristian Hernandez, who sits on the Community Police Oversight Board of Dallas in addition to the NPC, has been leading some of this work in North Texas and just helped win a critical fight to block $6.5 million from the DPD budget and get unfettered access to police data and camera footage for all civilian complaints.

As socialists, we know that our work to build a mass working class movement strong enough to take on capitalism runs through, not around, age old struggles for Black Liberation and immigrants’ rights.

8toAbolition

As we enter the third week of national protests against police brutality, many demands are evolving on the streets — from more body cameras to defunding the police. In DSA, we believe demands for minor police reforms have gone unanswered for too long and instead we support the goals of #8toAbolition.

In the coming days, DSA will work with our members to enact strategic support for Black organizers and communities across the country. Right now, we call on all of our chapters to support #8toAbolition and how they are best reflected where they are. We have endorsed the weekend of action called for by SixNineteen, and encourage chapters to join actions starting on Juneteenth, 6/19/2020.

Abolition can’t wait.

National Strategy Planning and Organizational Consolidation 

On June 6th, we met with representatives from our national priority committees and DSA staff to discuss the first draft of a DSA 100K Strategy Plan developed by our National Growth and Development Committee. We hope this plan will serve as a roadmap for meeting our goal of growing to 100,000 members set by the 2019r Convention and launch a long term process of consolidating DSA structurally, so we can be more effective organizers.

In follow up to the meeting, we will be holding similar discussions on our national Chapter Leaders and Campaigns Council calls through the summer to discuss the draft with a wide network of leaders across the organization.

We will use the feedback from these calls to further revise the plan before we release a draft to the membership in early fall to foreground discussions leading into the 2021 National Convention — so stay tuned for more information.

NPC Vacancies 

We regret to inform you that since our last newsletter, three members of our body — Tawny T., Erika P., and Sauce — have resigned from the NPC. Those of us who remain recognize that serving in national leadership of DSA is an intense and often exhausting responsibility. We thank them for their work and will greatly miss their perspectives on the NPC.

Through Article VIII., Section II of the DSA National Constitution, we are charged with appointing members of the organization to fill vacancies on the NPC and to that end, we are opening applications up to all members of DSA in good standing. 

Candidates who previously ran in the 2019 Convention but were not seated in the election may apply if they are still interested in serving. We see these vacancies as a rare opportunity to form a leadership that is more representative of the multiracial working class and ready to rise to the challenges of our political moment. Accordingly, we will be giving first priority to Black candidates, particularly members who are active in the labor movement or the national DSA AfroSocialists and People of Color Caucus.

Since NPC duties are significant, we recommend that anyone who considers applying first review this overview of NPC Member Duties and Responsibilities. We want to stress that this is not a role for members who have not held prior leadership positions in DSA, their union, or other grassroots organizations.

If you think you would be a good fit for the NPC, please send your application to us through this form by 11:59 PST on July 6th. We will finalize appointments during the next NPC meeting July 11th-12th and announce the names of the new NPC members shortly after.

DSA 70K!

DSA officially has more than 70,000 members in good standing! 

Last week alone, more than 2,000 people became card carrying socialists and 300 people recommitted to DSA. If we continue on our current course, we will be on track to meet our goal of 100,000 members by 2021.

Our growth is a testament to the on the ground organizing carried out by thousands of DSA activists in the past weeks fighting for Black lives and a just response to COVID-19. Because of you, more and more people believe we can win a better world if we organize for socialism. 

If you haven’t shared our 70,000K announcement yet, here’s how you can help us keep up the momentum:

  1. Write a post about why you organize in DSA on social media and share it along with our graphic announcing that we’ve hit the 70K mark.
  2. Tag 1-3 friends who you think should #TrySocialism and ask them to #JoinDSA using the link: www.dsausa.org/join.
  3. Don’t be afraid to DM or text your friends to ask them to join directly. Even better, call them up and ask!

In these turbulent times, it’s as important as ever to celebrate our collective achievements.

In Solidarity,

The NPC

In this Newsletter:

DEADLINE 7/9: APPLY FOR OUR NEW DSA NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE — SOCIAL MEDIA SUBCOMMITTEE

As a reminder, applications are open for the Social Media Subcommittee of our new DSA National Communications Committee. The deadline to apply is Thursday, 7/9.

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.

Job descriptions for each subcommittee will be posted here. We’re 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 by July 9.

TOMORROW, 6/19 — JOIN JUNETEENTH CALL ON BLACK HEALTH UNDER CAPITALISM

Please join our Juneteenth AfroSocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus call tomorrow, Friday June 19th at at 7pm ET/6pm CT/5pm MT/4pm PT for “The Fire This Time: We Can’t Breathe.” The call will discuss the history of Black health under capitalism, the COVID-19 crisis, and next steps in the fight for Black liberation as socialists.

Black people have been subject to medical experimentation without their consent and many are suspicious of the medical establishment. Black Americans are also dying of COVID-19 at three times the rate of white people.

Yet there are also signs of Black working class struggles. In New Orleans, for example, the city’s Black sanitation workers are currently on strike for #PPE AND Hazard Pay amongst other demands while Mayor Cantrell has resorted to using the labor of imprisoned Black men (who face high rates of COVID-19 infection) to act as scabs in a bid to break the strike. We are also on the midst of a nationwide uprising over police brutality started in Minneapolis in response to the murder of George Floyd.

Exploring the history of Black resistance during public health crises and drawing parallels between past and present and listening to report backs from activists on the ground will help us chart a way forward against the anti-Black disparities contained within the wider capitalist COVID-19 crisis for the working class. Join us on Juneteenth, Friday, 6/19 at 7pm ET/6pm CT/5pm MT/4pm PT to discuss these issues with Black activists and organizers.

6/20-6/21 — Join the Poor People’s Campaign Digital Rally

Join DSA members and members of the DSA Religion and Socialism Working Group at the June 20 and June 21 digital rally of the Poor People’s Campaign. DSA has signed on as a Mobilizing Ally for the Campaign. Go to the Poor People’s Campaign overview page and register for the rally today!

6/21 — Reparations Film Screening and Discussion with DSA AfroSocialists and DSA Fund

On Sunday June 21st at 3 pm ET/2 pm CT/1 pm MT/12 pm PT, we welcome you to attend a screening and discussion of “Sixteen Thousand Dollars.” This event is co-sponsored by the DSA Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus and the DSA Fund.

“Sixteen Thousand Dollars” is a narrative comedy short film that imagines a world in which a struggling black college grad wakes up to find that reparations have finally been paid to descendants of slaves in America. With this new found capital, they will decide how best to spend their reparations, totaling a mere $16,000. Receiving reparations opens up old wounds of slavery, Jim Crow, and systematic oppression.

6/23 — #DSA4USPS: JOIN THE #SAVETHEPOSTOFFICE DAY OF ACTION

The #DSA4USPS campaign is supporting the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Day of Action to #SaveThePostOffice on Tuesday, June 23. Sign up here to get info on APWU’s action in your area. If the APWU doesn’t have one, organize your own! DSA members who do not have an APWU action near them can fill out this form to get support.

SUPPORT DSA-ENDORSED CAMPAIGNS THIS JUNE 23RD

On June 23rd, there will be 11 DSA Nationally-endorsed campaigns up for vote. You can find out how to volunteer for and donate to them on our endorsements page.

DSA has also added the following endorsements to our list. Two of them are re-endorsements, a new process that the NEC has set up to allow DSA to renew support of DSA elected officials for their re-election campaigns:

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for US Congress, NY-14 (re-endorsement)
  • Jamaal Bowman for US Congress, NY-16
  • Julia Salazar for NY State Senate, 18th District

NEW DATES: 6/25 ESSENTIAL WORKERS ORGANIZING CALL, 7/14 FOSSIL FUEL POWER MAPPING WEBINAR WITH LITTLESIS

Please note the new dates for two of our upcoming organizing calls:

DEMOCRATIC LEFT — APPLY TO VOLUNTEER FOR OUR NATIONAL MAGAZINE

Would you like to volunteer for our all-member magazine, Democratic Left? Apply here today!  Democratic Left is DSA’s volunteer-led nationwide print-and-online publication. It’s now the largest socialist publication in the United States at a time of exploding interest in socialism, and we’re eager to improve the quality of the publication and increase its online frequency and reach. To accomplish that, we need skilled DSA member volunteers in the following categories:

  • Stringers/local correspondents: Local reporters who will tell us what local chapters are doing. Photographers who will send in high-resolution photos of activities. Artists who will share posters and spot art made for local actions or be available on short notice to illustrate an article. Information will go to DL Online or the “Chapter and Verse’ section of the print magazine so that other chapters can learn from you.
  • Art researchers: Find public domain photos and art for DL Online articles and print magazine pieces.
  • Fact checkers and proofreaders: No fake news on our site!
  • Editors: We seek experienced editors who can help writers shape their arguments.
  • Writers: Do you cover a particular topic or have good connections to writers who do?  Let us know.

SOCIALISM 2020 GOES VIRTUAL THIS JULY 4TH

This year’s Socialism Conference will be a one-day virtual event on July 4th, from 2pm ET/1pm CT/noon MT/11am PT until 6:30pm ET/5:30pm CT/4:30pm MT/3:30pm PT. Join activists across the country to hear from our featured speakers:

  • Robin D. G. Kelley, author, Hammer and Hoe
  • Grace Blakeley, author, Stolen: How to Save the World from Financialisation
  • Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director, Sunrise Movement
  • Brian Jones, educator and activist
  • Dina Gilio-Whitaker, author, As Long as Grass Grows, Red Nation
  • Bill Fletcher Jr., labor activist and author, They’re Bankrupting Us: And 20 Other Myths about Labor Unions
  • Daniel Aldana Cohen, co-author, A Planet to Win
  • Jesse Hagopian, Black Lives Matter at School

and many more!

Panel topics will include discussions of the state of disaster capitalism today, reparations for slavery and settler colonialism, the urgent fight for climate justice and a Green New Deal, and what these turbulent last few months mean for political organization and the capitalist state. This year our conference plenary will be themed “From Rebellion to Revolution.” You can register here.

SOCIALIST FORUM SPRING/SUMMER 2020 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS RE-OPENED

Socialist Forum is re-opening pitch submissions for our next issue. We are interested in 3,000-4,000 word essays on the socialist response to two key crises: coronavirus, from all angles ranging from health care provision to the economic collapse in its wake, and the rebellions that have kicked off throughout the country in response to the police murder of George Floyd.

Submissions can address both or all aspects of the current crisis, or just one aspect of it. If you would like to contribute an article on these questions or another aspect of these broad themes to Socialist Forum, please use this Google form. Abstracts must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Thursday, 7/2.

Socialist Forum editors will blind-review abstracts and notify you about the status of your submission by Thursday, 7/16. If your article pitch is selected, Socialist Forum editors will contact you about a timetable for submitting first and final drafts.

APPLY TO JOIN THE SOCIALIST FORUM EDITORIAL COMMITTEE

Socialist Forum is seeking to expand its editorial committee. All DSA members are welcome to apply to join the committee at this time. We  especially encourage women and people of color to apply.

An editor’s responsibilities include periodic meetings with other board members to discuss the publication’s forthcoming issues and themes; solicitation of articles from members; reading, discussing, and selecting pitches and articles; making recommendations to authors to improve their articles; editing and revising articles in collaboration with the authors; and helping to promote issues of Socialist Forum to members and the public. Since the publication comes out only every few months, the work tends to be slow for a while but then becomes intense for a couple of weeks as the new issue is put together.

If you are interested in applying to join the committee, please fill out and submit this Google Form. The application deadline is Thursday, 7/2. Questions can be directed to socialistforum@dsausa.org.