Welcome to the March 2017 issue of the Washington Socialist, the free monthly email newsletter of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America
On the day this newsletter is sent to readers (March 1), Young Democratic Socialists are having an organizing meeting at the College Park campus of the University of Maryland (see calendar). Ryan Mosgrove, the YDS lead organizer (located in our DC office) reports: "The growth in Young Democratic Socialists that has exploded across the United States is taking shape in DMV as well. George Mason University and the University of Maryland are both meeting regularly to form an official chapter of YDS on their campuses. And [breaking news] on February 28th, YDS Georgetown University was officially recognized as the 33rd Chapter of YDS. For more information on how to get involved with these groups, or to start a chapter of your own contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit bit.ly/StartYDS (link is case sensitive)."
As we see, this Maryland event is part of a cluster of YDS developments at local colleges and universities and represents a real shift in membership in our local, at least, and probably in national DSA as well: a new continuity. Our local’s recent startling growth has been concentrated in a younger, millennial cohort flowing in, often, from the Sanders campaign as well as from the revulsion against the general-election outcome and its tawdry reflection of major-party political degradation.
This means, among many other things, that young people organizing themselves at local universities see a cohort not unlike themselves as the leadership of DSA locally. Yes, that’s happening. It makes it easy to imagine oneself as a socialist and activist in post-educational settings. This will make a huge difference (by the lights of this superannuated writer) in the sustainability of DSA for the long haul. And this is, still, the long haul.
THE MONTH AHEAD
Be sure to check our Meetup site for updates
Wednesday, March 1, 6 p.m., Organizing meeting of Young Democratic Socialists group at University of Maryland, College Park – at Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library (in “The Clarice”) Seminar Room 2515C.
Friday, March 3, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wilson Bldg., 1350 Penna. Ave. NW DC City Council hearing on Congress Heights housing dispute – flagged by our Racial Justice & Anti-Bigotry committee, with JusticeFirst. More at above link.
Saturday, March 4, 1 p.m. Metro DC DSA Racial Justice & Anti-Bigotry Committee meets, Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library (WTD Meeting Room), 1630 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001-- After a review of recent events with ONE DC and Brookland Manor, we will discuss next steps on affordable housing issues, ideas on other opportunities for action and how each attendee can contribute.
Tuesday, March 7, 6 to 7:45 p.m., Metro DC DSA Economic Justice Committee meets, IPS, 1301 Connecticut Ave NW Washington DC 20036. Sam Portnow PhD will give a short presentation about his research on what boost you would expect to see in low-income children's school achievement if you increased their families' income. Marc Elrich, sponsor of the $15 an hour by 2020 bill in Montgomery County, has said that he will frame the continuing debate for $15 with how raising the minimum wage benefits children. Join us in a conversation with Sam as we decide how to hone our analysis to support $15 an hour in Montgomery County.
Sunday, March 12 Metro DC DSA monthly membership meeting, location is TBD so check the Meetup site. The agenda will be set the week before the meeting.
Thursday, March 16 6:30 p.m.Socialist Salon on the topic Socialist Feminism. Yong Chow restaurant, 312 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003,
Sunday, March 19 Socialist Book Group Discussion, 3 p.m. National Portrait Gallery’s Kogod Courtyard 8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, DC. Join us for a discussion of Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals by Jonathan Smucker. More here.
Tuesday, March 21 6 p.m. DCDSA Economic Justice Committee meeting from 6:00 to 7:45 p.m., 1301 Connecticut Ave NW Washington DC 20036. Talking tactics for work on our campaigns, Fight for 15, One Fair Wage, Paid Sick Leave.
Wednesday March 29 DSA Happy Hour 6:30 p.m. at The Big Hunt, 1345 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC -- Join us as we relax and enjoy some brews with our brothers and sisters of DC DSA. No agenda, no schedule, no topic, just some good conversation and beer.
Tuesday, March 21 The Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee will be attending a screening together as part of the annual Environmental Film Festival. Please join us for “The Age of Consequences,” which details the impact of climate change on resource scarcity, migration, and conflict, on Tuesday, March 21, 7 p.m. at the Carnegie Institute for Science, 1530 P St NW, Washington, DC 20005. No tickets or registration required!
FUTURES. Brian Doyle of our DCDSA Environmental/Climate Justice committee reports that the local is now officially a partner of the April 29 People’s Climate March here in DC – watch our website and our April issue for further details as the event approaches.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Henrique Calvo explores Fascism and why we are resolutely using that term to describe the perils of the present moment.
The environment and the planet’s future seem as threatened by Trump – or more so – than was feared. Can a popular front approach contest and win on protecting the environment and future? Andy Feeney weighs the odds.
The debate over Putin, and the Russian government’s, role in our election or other problems of the moment shouldn’t obscure the real issues we face. “… we ought to reject any attempt to oppose Trump by falling into the path of looking toward the US military, the CIA or other intelligence agencies as allies,” Kurt Stand states.
Socialists can get isolated from their own comprehensive view of the interlocking of disparate issues in a capitalist framework, Woody Woodruff argues, in part because of the directions our political work takes us.
CLOSE TO HOME
A jammed restaurant full of socialists glued to a discussion of Universal Basic Income is a sign of the times, Evan Ottenfeld asserts in his account of our February Socialist Salon (which you can watch on our website in full)
A bill in the Maryland legislature would retaliate against groups participating in BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – of Israel due to its human rights abuses in the occupied area. Chip Gibbons describes the conflict.
The short-cuts and trims local governments are likely to make to the best-intentioned affordable housing programs are the current against which activists must push, John Reeder argues from experience as a Northern Virginia housing advocate.
Metro DC DSA sent a strong statement of support to DC government to keep it from wavering on protecting its most vulnerable residents from the Trump administration’s policies. Bill Mosley describes the parlous state of Sanctuary DC.
Metrorail’s need for power can be partly alleviated in a sustainable way by putting solar panels on highway noise barriers, in Daniel Adkins’s ingenious proposal.
CULTURE: The convergent messages of the Oscar-nominated “13th” and the James Baldwin memoir film “I am not your Negro” are analyzed by Kurt Stand in a meditation on the uses of our past.
Reports from Metro DC DSA committees – the latest from the environmental justice, economic justice and communications committees under one heading.
Good Reads for Socialists collects online articles that you may have missed (and some you may have recommended).
You can be writing in the Washington Socialist. In fact, there are very few reasons why you should not be writing in the Washington Socialist -- and access is not among them. Find out more about the Washington Socialist and how you can take part as writer, editor or designer here.
You can read these as well as past articles in the Washington Socialist on our website where they are archived, dsadc.org
About The Washington Socialist
.The Washington Socialist is Metro DC DSA's monthly e-newsletter. Focusing on our local's events, socialist analyses of current events and book reviews, among other topics, The Washington Socialist is a great way to stay on top of the progressive goings-on in DC, Maryland and northern Virginia. We also encourage our readers to submit their own articles! Contact Editor Woody Woodruff for more info at email@example.com.
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