Dear friends and comrades:
Given the extreme uncertainty about the status and availability of a vaccine for COVID-19, and taking into consideration the financial impact the pandemic has had on our membership, the National Political Committee has decided that DSA shall hold its 2021 convention online.
We did not make this decision lightly, as we believe deeply in the political activity of meeting in person to make the democratic decisions that shape the future of the largest socialist organization in the United States. We will also miss the communion of being in the same room as our comrades, as we reinforce that we have each other’s backs in our struggle for a better world. And while the COVID-19 crisis has created barriers to our organizing, we feel an online convention may also remove some of the accessibility barriers we’ve faced in past conventions, allowing for a convention more representative of our organization.
A mandate for a convention planning committee has been created, which will explore the possibility of in-person regional pre-convenings, if it is safe to do so. The committee will also explore the feasibility of a platform drafting process as part of chapter engagement work in the lead up to a convention. Staff members, who have been working closely with the YDSA NCC to execute an online YDSA convention, have already begun the process of identifying options and we will ensure that there is a deliberative process and democratic decision-making during the 2021 convention.
We are releasing this statement, in part, to encourage other organizations on the Left to strongly consider doing the same with any upcoming large gatherings in the next year, or until political and public health conditions change dramatically for the better.
Lastly, we also take this moment to welcome Keon Liberato, Justin Charles, and Kevin Richardson to the National Political Committee as newly appointed members, replacing those who have stepped down in the preceding months. We thank the previous members of the NPC for their work and look forward to working with Keon, Justin, and Kevin on the important tasks we have at hand. Jen McKinney will join the NPC Steering Committee (SC) as Secretary Treasurer.