Remembering a Socialist Queen — Your September Dispatch

Here’s your September Dispatch! This month, remembering Barbara Ehrenreich, Starbucks Sip-ins, labor solidarity, volunteer opportunities, and more. Read on to get involved. And to make sure you get our newsletters in your inbox, sign up here! Each one features action alerts, upcoming events, political education, and more.

PS: You might notice that our style looks a bit different this time. We’re making updates to improve our accessibility, especially for people who use screen readers. Enjoy!

From Maria — Remembering a Socialist Queen

Barbara Ehrenreich joined the ranks of our socialist ancestors last week. Though she no doubt wouldn’t have called herself a queen, she was famous on the left for understanding both the cultural barriers white collar workers have thrown up to solidarity with blue collar workers, and the need to break down those walls for the success of our movement. She and her husband examined the Professional Managerial Class after activists in a political meeting attacked her for inviting a nurse and a locksmith who supposedly “diluted the politics,” but was unhappy later in life that PMC has become a slur in some circles.

A staunch socialist feminist, she wrote her bestseller Nickel and Dimed after President Bill Clinton’s welfare reform more than doubled the number of women and families living in extreme poverty, and later Bait and Switch to remind workers who were more comfortable at the time that they in fact still didn’t own the means of production, and they were next on the list for structural discipline by the capitalist class. Her central argument was that the grinding poverty of low wage workers was the future for white collar workers as well, unless they could unite in a mass movement rooted in shared interests and solidarity.

Had she lived to see the devastating Chilean constitutional referendum results, Ehrenreich might have diagnosed a few factors she saw here in the U.S. as well — a capitalist-owned media peddling lies and a left too often disconnected from the broader working class. But she also would have said let’s learn some lessons and keep fighting. Ehrenreich was a founding DSA co-chair and was proud of what we had become — just last weekend alone, 52 chapters organized strike support or Solidarity Sip-Ins at local Starbucks, and we launched the new Labor Solidarity Fund. This is simultaneous to and intertwined with our work to protect abortion, defend affordable housing, push for a Green New Deal, and elect socialists at all levels of government, to name just a few. DSA is more than just the sum of our parts — we’re a political organization connecting all these issues through our critique of the undemocratic economic system that requires the exploitation Ehrenreich described so well.

Let’s continue her legacy.

Maria Svart
DSA National Director

Grow Our Membership and Develop Socialist Organizers! Apply for the Growth and Development Committee by Friday 9/30

Did you know that DSA’s Growth and Development Committee recommitted over 5,000 members during the Recommitment Drive? Every member strengthens our movement! We train organizers to launch Green New Deal campaigns, run regular phone and text banks to members with lapsed memberships, mentor chapters to start labor working groups, and so much more! Apply to join the Growth and Development Committee by Friday 9/30 to continue this vital work of growing our membership and developing socialist organizers.

Volunteer for the National Political Education Committee — Apply by Saturday 10/1

Are you an educator, love sharing skills, are passionate about a piece of socialist history or theory that needs to be highlighted in an event, or are you a proficient digital editor? The National Political Education Committee (NPEC) is looking for volunteers this Fall to help with our trainings, plan mass call events, and produce our new multimedia projects.

Please visit our 5 ways to contribute page to learn more and fill out the volunteer form by Saturday 10/1.

Designers — Help Create Great Graphics!

The DSA Comms team is looking for a volunteer designer to create digital assets for our end-of-year development plan. The design will be used for social media and web graphics and printed on exclusive DSA merch! If you’re interested, please fill out this form and we will get back to you shortly.