What's On This Week
Steering Committee Election Results:
The following seven members were elected to the 2017-18 Metro DC DSA Steering Committee by 130 members who cast ballots at our May 7 general membership meeting..
Feature Article: The climate march, DSA’s climate panel and the aftermath
Metro DC DSA and visiting national DSA members marched in the April 29 People’s Climate March. The evening before, Metro DC DSA mounted an authoritative panel of discussants on how a radical climate agenda can be forwarded. Andy Feeney recounts both events.
Three Maryland counties are moving the needle on public funding of elections.
This week, activists in Prince George’s County testified at a County Council public hearing on the 2018 budget, demanding the inclusion of significant funding for a public finance pilot program. Progressive Maryland and Our Revolution members collaborated on the demand, which also included a future legislative measure, Small Donor Funded Election System plan, to help get big money out of the county’s sclerotic electoral process. The looming inclusion of two at-large Council seats in the 2018 election – which would raise the stakes and the cost because of countywide campaign needs – sharpened the need. Montgomery County already has a similar public financing system but the County Executive is under the gun for underfunding it and Progressive Maryland activists are pushing the Council to fund it fully. Howard County councilmembers will vote soon to finalize and fund a measure that was passed by referendum in November, with activists pushing them on. A statewide public funding bill debuted in Annapolis this legislative session but failed to get across the finish line.
-- Woody Woodruff
Metro DC DSA had fast response to ACHA passage in House
When the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act on May 4th, Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America sprang to action, quickly organizing a protest outside of the Capitol for that day at 5 o'clock. About thirty persons gathered by the east side steps, led by Democratic Socialist organizers in chants, "U.S. healthcare is a lie, they don't care if people die" and the calls "when healthcare is under attack", "when reproductive rights are under attack", with response, "stand up, fight back." Capitol police required the protesters to move to the grassy area in front of the House's side of the Capitol. Yet that only brought the protesters closer to a group that had queued to enter the House, ostensibly to celebrate the vote. The signs declaring, "Medicine for profit is a crime against humanity", and the spirited chants of "Medicare for all", caused the entry of the celebrators to be expedited.
Because an unorganized socialist is a contradiction in terms, Brian Wivell called for a meeting on the spot to plan next steps, allowing interested DSA members to get involved with the "Medicare for All" town hall working group, and a working group, formed on the spot, to organize responses to the progression of the AHCA. Get involved, contact Aaron Marks at Thorapm@gmail.com for the town hall working group, and Harry Baker at John.Harding.Baker@gmail.com for the anti-AHCA working group.
Day-Long Candidate Pipeline Workshop in MoCo
While our local was electing a new steering committee last Sunday, a day-long activist workshop for developing alternative candidate pipelines in Maryland was underway in Silver Spring. For Maryland comrades who wondered what they missed, MoCo progressive activist and regular Progressive Maryland blogger Hal Ginsberg provided this rundown.
Metro DC DSA rep reports on opportunities to work with SURJ
I had a great meeting with a representative from SURJ's Education Team, and I would like to give you all a few updates on upcoming opportunities to work with SURJ (Standing Up for Racial Justice) in the near future.
Recently, in response to criticism, SURJ underwent a major reorganization to promote accountability within the organization. Part of this change is that the Facilitation Team, of which I was a member, has, along with several other teams, been combined into a new Education Team. This new structure is intended to make SURJ more effective and more accountable in its actions.
SURJ will be doing Deep Canvassing this summer, with date(s) in June TBD. Participants in this action will go out to rural neighborhoods in Northern Virginia and go door to door talking about Racial Justice issues. SURJ provides a quick training course for everyone who attends these, so all you need to do is bring yourself! I'll make sure to provide further information to the group as I learn more.
There is also a second round of Reading Groups starting in July. These are small group sessions that introduce members to the meaning of structural racism and its role in maintaining and exacerbating inequality in the US. I am unsure at this time, but I expect that the next round of reading groups will also include a "201" curriculum, which is designed to expand on what the 101 curriculum provides.
The best way to learn more about these and other events in the future is to join SURJ's email list! You can easily join at SURJ DC's website.
In early June I will be attending the next Education Team meeting and will hopefully have more concrete information on how DSA can get involved.
Economic Justice Committee Report
Two great campaigns, spearheaded by MDCDSAers in Environmental and Racial Justice committees, are taking off in the next two weeks: DCReInvest and Tenants Rights Canvassing. I went to the last DCReinvest meeting with a lot of other MDCDSAers and it was great. Tenants Rights Canvassing in Anacostia is exactly what we need to be doing, so I hope to run into many of you on that Racial Justice campaign.
There's a lot of great work to tap into on healthcare; contact Aaron (Thorapm@gmail.com) for working on a town hall for Medicare for All, and Harry for work on responding to AHCA as it moves through the legislative process (John.Harding.Baker@gmail.com).
Lots to do this week on the DC FY18 Budget and Paid Family Leave. Hit me up at 240-505-9426 / Austin.firstname.lastname@example.org per these points. If you can, come to final public committee hearing on the budget this Friday 5/12 at the John Wilson building, and TESTIFY that you want the tax surplus to be used for more affordable housing, better schools and stronger worker protections, not tax cuts for businesses. Seriously, come testify, it is welcomed, connect with Monica Monica@fairbudget.org from Fair Budget Coalition , who is arranging testimony, or ask me to arrange it with her and I will gladly.
THE COMING WEEK’S CALENDAR (MAY 12-18) <> MORE INFORMATION VIA LINKS TO MEETUP.
Friday 5/12: FAIR BUDGET Testimony and Action: Fair Budget Coalition is working on packing the room for the COW Hearing. RSVP here to sign up to testify or just come by and help pack the room. Contact Monica@fairbudget.org John Wilson Building. 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW.
Friday 5/12 Punk Rock Karaoke for J20 Defense at the Black Cat
Saturday 5/13: Tenant Town Hall: "Join us in the fight for tenants rights and affordable housing! [...] Get a free legal consult or visit tables of DC government agencies and other organizations that support tenants. Tenant Priorities 2017: DC officials will hear our priorities and will be asked to respond." Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: All Souls Church, 1500 Harvard St NW.
Saturday 5/13 Labor Night at DC United 7 p.m. Hang out with our labor allies as DC United takes on Philadelphia.
Tuesday 5/16: Health Care Working Group Meeting: "We will be planning advocacy around single payer and a Health Care Town Hall." 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. DSA office, 6th fl.,1301 Connecticut Avenue NW. (Dupont Circle Metro)
Tuesday 5/16: East of the River Schools Matter, Rally and March: "East of the River parents, students, teachers, community members, etc. rally for equity with public school funding. Say yes to 3.5% per-pupil increase!" 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm : Ballou Senior High School
MAY EVENTS IN COMING WEEKS
Saturday 5/20: Economic Justice Committee meeting: political education session to be announced. Organizing sub-committee elections. Working groups will present updates. 2 pm to 4 pm: Mt. Pleasant Library. 3160 16th Street NW
Sunday 5/21 Metro DC DSA Communications Committee 1-2:30 p.m., Mt. Pleasant Library
Sunday 5/21 Metro DC DSA Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee, 2 p.m., Georgetown Neighborhood Library
Sunday, 5/21 Socialist Feminist Reading Group, 4 p.m., Kogod Courtyard at National Portrait Gallery
Tuesday, 5/23 Socialist Feminist Committee meets, 6:30 p.m., DSA office, 6th Fl. 1301 Connecticut Ave. NW
Sunday, 5/28 Intro to DSA: Socialism 101, 1:30 p.m., Petworth Neighborhood Library
Wednesday 5/31 MDCDSA Happy Hour, 6:30 p.m., The Big Hunt, 1345 Connecticut Ave. NW
AND COMING UP IN JUNE:
Sunday 6/4 Socialist Book Group Discussion, 3 p.m. at Kogod Courtyard, National Portrait Gallery
Saturday, 6/10 DC’s Hidden Radical History: A Walking and Transit Tour. 10 a.m. at Dupont Circle Metro station, south entrance.
For more info on allied events consult the invaluable Peace Center Activist Alert Calendar http://washingtonpeacecenter.org/alerts
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