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Washington Socialist Weekly Update for April 28-May 5

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 12:08
WEEKLY UPDATE For April 28-May 5
 From the Washington Socialist and Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America

  The Washington Socialist Weekly Update aims to keep you and your fellow activists informed and your calendars as well-managed as possible (some of that is up to you) and fill in the gaps between the monthly appearances of Metro DC DSA’s newsletter, The Washington Socialist

A BIG WEEKEND IN DC – National and local members of DSA will mark this weekend of major resistance actions with activities honed to expose and explore the corporate-capitalist practices that underlie the wide range of grievances brought by so many to the city’s streets over May Day weekend, the International Workers’ day.
DSA members will march in concert with adherents of many specific causes for resistance and alternative change in the People’s Climate March and May Day’s parade and activities. And Friday night, Metro DC DSA presents a discussion of the roots of climate degradation in the intertwined financial and fossil-fuel interests and their grip on the US government and polity – and explores green-energy, job-creating alternatives.

Friday night’s panel, “Building a Green Economy,” features Gar Alperovitz of the Democracy Collaborative and Next System Project, a distinguished historian and political economist. On the panel with him are Shirley Fiske, Environmental and Policy Anthropologist, Professor at University of Maryland; Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Climate and Environmental Justice Program; Eugene Puryear, Stop Police Terror Project DC, Party for Socialism and Liberation and Margaret Klein Salamon, Clinical Psychologist, Co-Founder of The Climate Mobilization. Metro DC DSA member Sam Knight, journalist and co-founder of the District Sentinel podcast, will moderate the session.
Panelists and audience will explore whether climate solutions are possible under capitalism and the political obstacles to a fair, ecologically-sustainable society.  
The event is at 7 p.m. at the Friends Meeting House, 2111 Florida Ave. NW in the District of Columbia. A reception follows at approximately 9 p.m. at the DSA Washington office,  1301 Connecticut Ave NW suite 600.

DSA members Saturday, April 29 will join the People's Climate March, hundreds of thousands from across the nation resisting the Trump administration’s retrograde climate and energy policies, which mask corporate greed with vain claims to restore employment in industries that market forces are extinguishing. The national and local DSA contingent will gather at 11 a.m. at the fountain at Columbus Circle near Union Station and then join the main march at the Capitol Building at 12:30 as it steps off toward the White House and then on to the Washington Monument for a 3 p.m. rally. DSA national and local members meet after the march at The Big Hunt near Dupont Circle for a restorative reception.

On May Day, Monday, May 1, DSA members will join their brothers and sisters in a march for International Workers Day to show support and solidarity for workers around the world. Metro DC DSA is extremely proud to be working with Many Languages One Voice DC (MLOV), CASA, and the DC May Day Steering Committee to promote labor rights and other issues that directly affect the working class here in DC as well as around the world. Metro DC DSA and national members will gather in Lamont Park, for a noon rally and then join other marchers at Malcolm X Park at 1 to proceed to the White House.

DSA is a leading edge of resistance to the Trump administration’s attempt to install naked capitalism as the foundation of government. Public, democratic control of the economy and a society of equals are the socialist solutions to the oppression of working class and poor people, which Trump and his ilk have falsely invoked in their campaign to divide the country in order to rule it.

 
DETAILS DAY BY DAY (check our Meetup Page anytime for the very latest)
 
Fri Apr 28 Panel:  Building the Green Economy 7:00 p.m.
Friends Meeting of Washington 2111 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, DC (map)
Metro DC DSA is proud to host Building the Green Economy, a panel discussion on the intersections of economic and environmental justice. Is a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions possible under capitalism? What are the political obstacles to a fair, ecologically-sustainable society? Join us for an evening of invigorating discussion with environmentalists, activists, and academics.
Panelists--
Gar Alperovitz: Co-Founder of the Democracy Collaborative and the Next System Project
Shirley Fiske: Environmental and Policy Anthropologist, Professor at University of Maryland
Jacqui Patterson: Director of the NAACP Climate and Environmental Justice Program
Eugene Puryear: Stop Police Terror Project DC, Party for Socialism and Liberation
Margaret Klein Salamon: Clinical Psychologist, Co-Founder of The Climate Mobilization
The event will be moderated by Metro DC DSA member Sam Knight (Journalist, Co-Founder The District Sentinel podcast). Doors open 6:30 p.m.
9:15 p.m.: Open house at the DC DSA Office (1301 Connecticut Avenue NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20036) following the Green Economy event. Join us for conversation and refreshments!

Sat Apr 29 11:00 a.m. People's Climate March
Columbus Circle - Union Station 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, DC (map)
11:00 a. m. : DSA members gather at the Christopher Columbus Memorial Fountain at Columbus Circle, immediately south of Union Station Metro Station & bus hub. We will have a flag, a large banner, posters and will be wearing lots of red!
Closest Metro station: Union Station (50 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002 - Red Line). For those riding the MARC Train to Union Station, see this information.
From there we will join all of our brothers and sisters at the main People’s Climate March gathering outside of the U.S. Capitol building (East Capitol St NE & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004).
12:30pm: Begin marching up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House
1:30pm: March will surround the White House on all sides and take a powerful collective action.
3:00pm: March will reconvene at the Washington Monument to hear from the frontline communities of the climate crisis about solutions
After March (4-7 PM): DSA members gather at The Big Hunt in Dupont Circle (1345 Connecticut Ave NW) where buffet-style food will be provided by the national office.
Closest Metro station: Dupont Circle (1525 20th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036 - Red Line).

Sunday, April 30 10:30 a.m.: MLOV and IWW are organizing a hard picket of a business this Sunday, 4/30, to call for the reinstatement of a worker unjustly fired for organizing and have invited DC DSA members to join the action. It would be great if Metro DC DSA members could turn out in solidarity. The specific target is currently being kept under wraps so they can't organize a response, but the picket itself is completely above board under a filed ULP suit. Picketers are meeting at Logan Circle 10:30 a.m. on Sunday for an agenda overview and brief training on picket best practices before moving out to the target business.
This is a great chance for members of our chapter to show up in solidarity with local workers and organizers during the May Day weekend for a great cause, as well as get some experience with a direct action. If you're interested in attending the picket please message either Brian Dickey (grunt136@gmail.com) or Gareth Sparks (garethsparks@gmail.com or on Signal at 3013793091) for more details.
 
Sun Apr 30 3:00 p.m.  Socialist Book Group Discussion National Portrait Gallery Kogod Courtyard 8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, DC (map)
Join us for a discussion of Evicted: Poverty and Property in the American City by Matthew Desmond.

Mon May 1 12:00 p.m. May Day Rally and March Lamont Park 3258 Mount Pleasant St. NW, Washington, DC (map)
In observance of International Workers’ Day, Metro DC DSA will hold a rally and march to show support and solidarity for workers around the world. Metro DC DSA is extremely proud to be working with Many Languages One Voice DC (MLOV), CASA, and the DC May Day Steering Committee to promote labor rights and other issues that directly affect the working class here in DC as well as around the world.
  • 12:00 p.m.: Convene at Lamont Park for a joint rally with MLOV and other local organizers.
    1:00 pm: March to Malcolm X Park (officially called Meridian Hill Park, 2400 15th St NW) to unite with the DC May Day rally.
    1:30 pm: March to the White House for a massive demonstration led by CASA.
  • Closest Metro Station at Start: Columbia Heights (3030 14th Street NW - Yellow & Green Lines)
    Closest Metro Station at Finish: McPherson Square (1400 I St NW - Blue, Orange, & Silver Lines)
  • Help show there is widespread support for radical change toward a sustainable economy run for and by workers!
  • More information: http://dcmayday.org/
    https://www.facebook.com/events/154530288401949

Sun May 7 3:30 p.m. Metro DC DSA monthly membership meeting – Steering Committee Election at Friends Meeting of Washington 2111 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, DC (map)
Voting for the new Steering Committee will occur at the General Meeting on Sunday, May 7.
Agenda:
A. Before Meeting Begins : Check-in period and membership verification.
B. 2 minutes. Introduction
C. 5 minutes. Nomination and voting on members of the Election Working Group.
D. 10 minutes. Explanation of voting procedures and last minute questions.
E. 3 minutes per speaker. Candidate speeches for each qualifying Steering Committee nominee.
F. 5 minutes.  Final call for membership verification.
G. 10 minutes.  Distribution of ballots and voting for Steering Committee members.
H. Unspecified Time to count ballots: Members will be announced before the end of the meeting.  Remaining time following the election will be allocated to highlighting upcoming DSA events and committee reports.
Dupont Circle is the nearest metro. 
When you get off at Dupont Circle:  Take the Q Street exit from Metro; Connecticut Ave. is within sight. Walk north (uphill) on Connecticut Ave. approximately two and a half blocks to Florida Avenue; turn left on Florida and walk approximately half a block to the Meetinghouse on the right. Look for meeting house front garden. 
 
 
A FINAL NOTE: The monthly newsletter, The Washington Socialist, goes out Tuesday morning (May 2) so you still have time to contribute to Good Reads. Send links and, if you want, a brief comment about any online left-aligned article you think members would find interesting, even deep-buried leftish articles in the MSM (which can happen). Send to woodlanham@gmail.com  by 6 p.m. Monday please.
 
Categories: Political Parties

Washington Socialist Weekly Update for April 21-28 (and beyond)

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 08:28
WEEKLY UPDATE
 
For April 21-28 (and beyond)

  The Washington Socialist Weekly Update aims to keep you and your fellow activists informed and your calendars as well-managed as possible (some of that is up to you) and fill in the gaps between the monthly appearances of Metro DC DSA’s newsletter, The Washington Socialist
We’re embarking on a very full ten days, with protests, actions and parades combining in the unmistakable form of resistance and demands for the alternatives we know will bring everyone a better life. Here’s the essential road map, below. But first, some members outline what has been happening.
 
>>DC Reinvest Coalition Aims to Redirect the City’s Investments to Its Own Communities
The Washington Socialist Weekly Update (4/21/2017)
By Alex Banks
The city of Washington, DC invests $2 billion in Wells Fargo, which supports dirty pipelines (like Dakota Access), private prisons, and racist, predatory lending practices. The solution: push the city toward full divestment. Tuesday evening at the Southwest Library, the newly formed coalition known as DC ReInvest gathered for a public mass meeting. DC DSA was well accounted for with seven of our comrades present along with representatives from most of the other six founding organizations: 350 DC, Rising Hearts, SURJ DC, Socialist Alternative and DC Fights Back. Led by SA's Sarko Sarkodie, the meeting welcomed newcomers to the campaign, which in the short term aims to have DC (as well as individuals) cut ties with Wells Fargo while seeing the District reinvest back into its communities over the long haul. 
 So far the campaign has had some typical highs: getting 6 out of 13 of the DC Council to endorse our proposal of divestment; and lows: being stonewalled by Council Financial Committee chair Jack Evans (Ward 2) thus putting a hold on the proposal moving forward. The meeting ran for about an hour and a half with plenty of audience participation. I invite members to join this effort and am happy to try to answer any further questions.
 Overall, it was a very inviting and informative affair with plenty of valuable knowledge offered. If anybody is interested in any upcoming events, check out the DCReInvest Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/DCReInvest/?ref=br_rs as well as their Twitter page: https://twitter.com/DCReInvest
>>People’s Budget Aims for Spending Alternatives -- Austin Kendall of the Economic Justice Committee attended this week’s meeting of the People’s Budget Forum, a coalition project that is developing an emerging alternative budget for the District, unlike the one proposed by Mayor Bowser that is distinguished by its tax giveaways to the wealthy and poor public provision for issues like housing and jobs – dire needs of communities like the slumlord-run Barry Farms, where the meeting took place. Read Kendall’s complete report.
>> Airport workers win living wage after 2-year campaign Sam Nelson reported Wednesday afternoon to the Economic Justice Committee (and our readers) in an “Update on the Fight for 15 front: Dulles and National airport workers will see a pay bump of $4 in January, with wages eventually getting to $12.75. This is a huge first step on the road to 15, thanks to all who came out to the various rallies and such…” Here is the account from Union City Thursday morning:
“Local airport workers won a huge victory yesterday when their two-year campaign for a living wage finally paid off. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority approved a new policy ensuring that airport contractors pay their employees a living wage. The airport workers -- including wheelchair and checkpoint agents, terminal cleaners, cabin cleaners, sky caps and baggage handlers, many of whom now earn as little as minimum wage -- could see hourly wages increase to $12.75. "I never thought I'd live to see the day," said DCA airport worker David Tucker, who's worked at the airport for fifty years. "This raise will be great," said UNITE HERE Local 23 member Divina Stinchcomb, an airline catering employee of LSG Sky Chefs at Reagan National Airport. "For me, and I know for my coworkers, this will change my life." While SEIU 32BJ Vice President Jaime Contreras called the move “a step in the right direction," he said that workers still need $15 an hour and a union "to reach the light at the end of a long tunnel of poverty. These men and women," Contreras added, "continue to face intimidation and retaliation by employers and need the protection that only a union can provide."
 
ACTIVIST CALENDAR FOR APRIL 21-MAY 2
 
Saturday April 22
►Buzzard Point Community Cleanup with Empower DC  9 a.m. – noon. 100-106 N St. NW, DC 20024 Work with community organization members to clean, plant, paint etc. Info  MDCDSA Climate Change and Environmental Justice committee.
 ►MDCDSA Economic Justice Committee meets Saturday 12:30 p.m. to 2 at Petworth Library. 
The living wage for airline contractor employees at National and Dulles Airports was raised yesterday, we'll hear from a UNITE HERE local 23 rank and file organizer involved in the struggle on what's next. Aaron will talk about a healthcare town hall and project for universal coverage. We'll also be talking People’s Climate March and May Day and how we can build momentum from what promises to be a part of the revolutionary event.
 ►Climate Change and Environmental Justice committee flyering for our April 28 panel “Building the Green Economy” before the March for Science Sat, April 22 -- meet 2 p.m. at 89 Constitution Ave. NW
 
Sunday, April 23
►Picnic to Fund #PaidLeave4DC hosted by Jews United for Justice, Sunday 2-4 p.m. at Malcolm X Park, 2400 15th St NW. Universal Paid Leave Act was passed in December but startup funding was not allocated in Mayor Bowser's recent budget. Join Economic Justice Committee members as they speak with community organizations to coordinate next steps.
Socialist Feminism Reading Group Sun Apr 23 4 p.m. RSVP held at the Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery in Chinatown, 8th and F Streets, NW (map) Join us as we explore and discuss topics within Socialist Feminism! Current selections are from Women: Class and the Feminist Imagination Learn more
►Progressive Maryland will be joining more than 30 other grassroots organizations from around the country in Washington, DC starting Sunday, April 23 (through Tuesday 4/25) for the founding convention of our new national organization, People's Action. At the convention we will: Build a Long-Term Agenda that points the way to transformative change and guides our campaigns now;  Commit to stopping the attacks on people of color, immigrants, women, Muslims and LGBTQ people;  Gather with friends and allies to celebrate what we have won and the movement we are building together. Information here.
►Our Revolution Maryland's first statewide meeting.  Sunday, April 23 3:30 p.m. Tommy Douglas Conference Center 10000 New Hampshire Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20903. A livestream with Nina Turner, Larry Cohen, Ben Jealous and DSA member Mike Connolly follows the meeting. Info and RSVP
►6 p.m. mass volunteer meeting for building the People’s Climate March, Friends’ Meeting House. Info
►Sunday evening (April 23) is article deadline for the May issue of the Washington Socialist monthly DCDSA newsletter. Send article submissions to Woody at woodlanham@gmail.com
 
 Monday, April 24
►Affordable Housing Crisis Meeting hosted by our allies at ONE DC, rally at 5 p.m. before the upcoming Zoning Commission decision for Brookland Manor. 441 4th St. NW (Judiciary Square metro) Info here.
►Direct Action Training and Opportunities  IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) has extended an invitation to Metro DC DSA to participate in their semi-regular direct action training this coming Monday, April 24 from 6-10 p.m. This training will cover various topics such as marshaling/security, de-escalation tactics, picketing, and how to speak to the media. After the training you will have an opportunity to sign up for a couple upcoming actions/events that IWW will be leading over May Day weekend, including helping to marshal at the May Day march that DSA's march will join up with at Malcolm X park. If you might be interested in more information on this training session and signing up, please contact Brian Dickey at grunt136@gmail.com.
 
Tuesday, April 25
►From CC&EJ committee: 100% Clean Energy Bill Launch w/ Jeff Merkley & Bernie Sanders  Tue, April 25, 11:45 a.m – 12:30 p.m. at Russell Senate Office Buildinginfo
►Panel: Community Lens: Public Transportation in the DMV 7-8:30 pm
A look at one of our region's most crucial resources; public transportation. This panel will explore how equity, worker rights, and our changing climate are connected. Panelists will offer community solutions for how we can have a robust public transportation system that is safe, reliable, affordable, and reduces the impact of climate change. Moderator: Sigute Meilus , Executive Director, Americans for Transit; Panelists: Zuri Tesheira: ATU Local 689; Ben Ross: Action Committee for Transit; Claudia Barragan:  Environmental Justice Committee, DC Sierra Club; David Schwartzman: DC Statehood Green Party <> MDCDSA is a co-sponsor.
St Stephen and the Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton St  NW  -- Columbia Heights Station, Green Line Metro, also S2, S4, 42, and 43 bus lines

Wednesday, April 26
Socialism vs Capitalism: A Debate Wed Apr 26 6:30 p.m. RSVP   ICC Auditorium-Georgetown University 37TH AND O ST., N.W., (map) Ryan Mosgrove, National Organizer for Young Democratic Socialists, and Charlie Kirk, Founder and Executive Director of Turning Point USA, will engage in a friendly debate on whether millennials should fight for socialism or capitalism. Both are college-based groups. This event will be livestreamed via Facebook Live! Stay tuned for the link! Further information

 Thursday, April 27
DSA Happy Hour Thu Apr 27 6:30 p.m. RSVP   held at Sudhouse 1340 U Street NW, Washington, DC (map)
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. Learn more
 ​
Friday, April 28
It Takes Roots Action: Mother Earth's RED LINE -- Friday, Apr 28 “Direct action against the corporations and politicians driving the extractive economy” 2-4 p.m. submitted by our CC&EJ committee. Information and directions
BUILDING THE GREEN ECONOMY Friday April 28th 6:30pm: Doors open at Friends Meeting of Washington (2111 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008). Metro DC DSA is proud to host Building the Green Economy, a panel discussion on the intersections of economic and environmental justice. Is a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions possible under capitalism? What are the political obstacles to a fair, ecologically-sustainable society? Join us for an evening of invigorating discussion with environmentalists, activists, and academics. Panelists— Author Gar Alperovitz; UMD Anthropologist Shirley Fiske: NAACP’s Jacqui Patterson, PSL activist Eugene Puryear: psychologist Margaret Klein Salamon. Moderated by Metro DC DSA member and journalist Sam Knight. Panel at 7 at Friends Meeting and open house later at 1301 Conn. Ave NW, 6th Fl. (DSA office) at 9:15. $5 donation requested. RSVP

Saturday, April 29
People’s Climate Movement — March for Jobs, Justice, & the Climate Saturday, April 29 Information on DCDSA's participation is at the link. National DSA and DCDSA are both co-sponsors.

Sunday, April 30
►Sunday April 30 the MoCo Our Revolution group meets at the Gaithersburg Library 2-4 p.m., regular monthly meeting, info here.
Socialist Book Group meets Sunday, April 30 to discuss Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Property in the American City 3-5 p.m., Kogod Courtyard at National Portrait Gallery.

Monday, May 1
►DC DSA MARCH ON MAY DAY Monday, May 1st In observance of International Workers’ Day, Metro DC DSA is organizing a massive rally and march to show support and solidarity for workers around the world. Metro DC DSA is extremely proud to be working with Many Languages One Voice DC (MLOV), CASA, and the DC May Day Steering Committee to promote labor rights and other issues that directly affect the working class here in DC as well as around the world. The schedule:
12:00 p.m. -- Convene at Lamont Park (3258 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC) in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood for a joint rally with MLOV and other local organizers.
1:00 p.m. -- March to Malcolm X Park (officially called Meridian Hill Park, 2400 15th St NW, Washington, DC) to unite with the DC May Day rally.
1:30 p.m. -- March to the White House (Lafayette Square, Pennsylvania Ave NW & 16th Street Northwest, Washington, DC) for a massive demonstration led by CASA.
Closest Metro Station at Start: Columbia Heights (3030 14th Street NW Washington, DC 20009)
Closest Metro Station at Finish: McPherson Square (1400 I St NW, Washington, DC 20005)
To RSVP for DSA’s rally and march, visit http://bit.ly/2owpUiY
To RSVP for DC May Day rally and march, visit http://bit.ly/2p2tkdW
Help show that there is widespread support for radical change towards a sustainable economy run for and by workers! Here's an article from Cosecha via Portside on planning for some of May Day's actions

GOOD READS AND DIVERSIONS
►Among the week’s Good Reads – US readers might have had to turn to the Guardian for actual US peace community response to the “Mother of all Bombs” deployment.
►“How to Jam the Trump Brand” – members are sharing and touting this Naomi Klein video.
 ►With the end of the Maryland legislative session, attention is turning to the 2018 gubernatorial race. Progressive Maryland member Hal Ginsberg made a case for Ben Jealous in this op-ed in the Baltimore Sun
Categories: Political Parties

People’s Budget Forum brings the community together for powerful document

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 07:31
Washington Socialist Weekly Update
 
By Austin Kendall
 
Community organizations and activists gathered at Excel Academy in the Barry Farms neighborhood on April 13th to share knowledge on the DC Budget for fiscal year 2018.

The event was kicked off by Ianna from the Future Foundation, a community organizing group focused on issues of social and economic justice that meets at the Barry Farms Recreation Center.

Stephanie Sneed and Monica Kamen, co-directors of the Fair Budget Coalition, spoke on the necessity of fighting for a fair budget, and the fiscal specifics, respectively. Monica noted that only about 2% of the $13.8 billion budget goes to funding affordable housing initiatives and that more must be allocated to housing.

The attendees broke into groups based on policy interests, with facilitators specializing on Jobs and Worker Protections, Education and Child Care, Food and Nutrition, Housing, Veterans Affairs, Policing and Protection, and Healthcare and Medical Services[1] . The groups discussed their thoughts about the budget, and were brought together to create one document of the People’s Budget. This democratic socialist sat at the Jobs and Worker Protections table, led by Carol Joyner of DC Family Values at Work and Sequnely Gray of DC Jobs with Justice.

The discussion focused on Paid Family Leave, reforming TANF, and expanding transportation subsidies to adult learners. The “asks” were an additional $20 million to cover the full start up costs of administering the Universal Paid Leave Act; $2 million to extend the time that persons can use TANF, creating a hardship extension policy; and that subsidized transportation be extended to all publicly funded adult education programs.

There was a spirited discussion of how to propose that these additional items be funded -- ranging from a recommendation from a Jews United for Justice organizer to not spend an additional $40 million on new police cruisers, to standardizing the assumptions guiding the three reserve funds[2] , as they are now inconsistent and making them consistent would free up about $90 million, according to Kaish from DC for Democracy.
 
The break out groups reconvened and representatives from each group shared their discussion with the group. A representative from the DC Office of Budget and Planning responded to the Jobs and Worker Protections break out group that they are “working on eliminating TANF [time] limit.” They also said that there is movement towards making the Department of Human Services a “one stop shop” for benefits through coordination on providing services at one location, so that folks do not have to use their valuable time going to multiple agencies.

Monica Brokenborough, a Ward 8 teacher, spoke for the Education and Schools[3]  break out group, noting that Ward 7 and 8 schools are facing the most severe budget cuts because allotments are based on projected enrollments, which expect a shift to public charter schools. The community is invited to the school budgets hearing on Thursday, April 27th at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the John Wilson Building.

Ward 8 councilmember Trayon White was in attendance, and the housing break out group turned to him to ask him whether he supports legislation to target slumlords. Councilmember White took the mic and said that yes, he did support such legislation, noting that there had to be more inspections and stronger fines to deter landlords from failing to maintain their properties. He noted the ongoing hearings regarding slumlord firm Sanford Capital as indicative of the DC attorney general’s office as making this issue a priority.
 
Another attendee stood to ask what could be done to prevent displacement of families that was sure to happen with the redevelopment of slumlord-run Barry Farms. White agreed with him that Barry Farms has been run by slumlords, but noted that the talks on redevelopment are still unfolding and it is too early to even comment on. White did remark that he was concerned that 30% of families are behind on their rent, a loophole that allows developers to prohibit families from returning to their homes.

The evening concluded with a charming play enactment by a group of young students on how to influence the budget.
 
The organizers of the People’s Budget Forum hope to get Forum attendees and members of the community to the council’s hearings on the budget, beginning with the first full council hearing on May 12th. Tactics are being debated, but all agree a large physical copy of the People’s Budget will be featured.

Kendall is co-chair of MDCDSA's Economic Justice Committee

Categories: Political Parties

Weekly Update for April 14-20

Sat, 04/15/2017 - 09:28
WEEKLY UPDATE
 For April 14-21

Several Metro DC DSA committees meet this week as preparations for a marathon weekend of socialist resistance April 26-May 1 are afoot. We provide the latest on those events as well.
 
 
The Washington Socialist Weekly Update aims to keep your calendar as well-managed as possible (some of that is up to you) and fill in the gaps between the monthly appearances of Metro DC DSA’s newsletter, The Washington Socialist

THE UPCOMING WEEK:

Saturday April 15th tax day march at Capitol noon protest Trump’s undisclosed tax returns and the tax system that’s tilted to the benefit of those in power.  From 11:20 a.m. - 1 p.m.,DCDSA Sign Distribution and Outreach at the Tax March on the Supreme Court front steps -- do you think the Tax March's message of "Donald Trump should show his taxes" is a little too narrow-minded for our vision of a socialist future? Then come out and help flood the narrow message market with the true and just message of "Tax the Rich". We'll gather in front of the Supreme Court in order to split into teams and break off to distribute signs before joining the march, if anyone wants to do so.

Saturday April 15th DCDSA Communications committee 2-3:30, SE Branch Library.

Tuesday April 18th Book Talk at Economic Policy Institute, John Judis on his new book The Populist Explosion, 11 a.m.

Tuesday April 18th  DCDSA  Socialist Feminism Committee Meeting 6:30 PM C. B. Powell Building 525 Bryant Street NW , Washington , DC (map) RSVP  Prospective members can contact dc.socialistfeminists@gmail.com and request to be added to the Google group. Committee members are currently participating in the NNAF Bowl-a-thon on behalf of DC Abortion Fund. We have already raised over $1000! We are also planning a bowling/bocce games night. Here is the link to donate to our team: https://bowl.nnaf.org/team/114388

Tuesday April 18th 6:30 p.m.DCReInvest Mass Meeting: Divest from Wells Fargo! Southwest Library, 900 Wesley Pl SW
DC invests $2 billion in Wells Fargo, which supports dirty pipelines (like Dakota Access), private prisons, and racist, predatory lending practices. Join us as we discuss how to get involved and push the city toward full divestment.
Wednesday April 19th Jobs with Justice Pre-Mayday Information Session  La Casa • 3166 Mt. Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010

Wednesday April 19th Our Socialist Book Group (see April 30, below) most recently read Jonathan Smucker’s Hegemony How-To and he talks about the book at Busboys at 5th and K, , 6-8 p.m.

FUTURES: MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW:

Saturday, April 22nd DCDSA Economic Justice Committee meeting 12:30 to 2 p.m., at Petworth Neighborhood Library, 4200 Kansas Ave NW, Washington DC 20011.
 
Sunday April 23rd DCDSA Socialist Feminist reading group meets; electronic copies of the readings are available- to join the group or access readings contact dc.socialistfeminists@gmail.com

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE; Sunday April 23rd 3:30-4:30 p.m. Our Revolution Maryland AKA Maryland Rising has a statewide meeting in Silver Spring at the ATU (Old Meany Center) conference building at 10,000 New Hampshire Ave. 20803 Info here.

GET READY FOR A BIG (LONG) WEEKEND APRIL 26-MAY 1 -- join the Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for a week protesting capitalism’s environmental degradation and celebrating workers and the resurgence of socialist ideas.

Wednesday April 26th: SOCIALISM VS. CAPITALISM: A DEBATE
YDS debates TPUSA at Georgetown University.

Thursday April 27th: DC DSA HAPPY HOUR
Come socialize with other socialists!

Friday April 28th: BUILDING THE GREEN ECONOMY 6:30pm: Doors open at Friends Meeting of Washington (2111 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008). Metro DC DSA is proud to host Building the Green Economy, a panel discussion on the intersections of economic and environmental justice. Is a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions possible under capitalism? What are the political obstacles to a fair, ecologically-sustainable society? Join us for an evening of invigorating discussion with environmentalists, activists, and academics. Panelists— Author Gar Alperovitz; UMD Anthropologist Shirley Fiske: NAACP’s Jacqui Patterson, PSL activist Eugene Puryear: psychologist Margaret Klein Salamon. Moderated by Metro DC DSA member and journalist Sam Knight. Panel at 7 at Friends Meeting and open house later at 1301 Conn. Ave NW, 6th Fl. (DSA office) at 9:15. $5 donation requested. RSVP

Saturday, April 29: People’s Climate Movement — March for Jobs, Justice, & the Climate Information on DCDSA's participation is at the link. National DSA and DCDSA are both co-sponsors.

Sunday, April 30 Socialist Book Group meets to discuss Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Property in the American City 3-5 p.m., Kogod Courtyard at National Portrait Gallery.

Monday, May 1st DC DSA MARCH ON MAY DAY
In observance of International Workers’ Day, Metro DC DSA is organizing a massive rally and march to show support and solidarity for workers around the world. Metro DC DSA is extremely proud to be working with Many Languages One Voice DC (MLOV), CASA, and the DC May Day Steering Committee to promote labor rights and other issues that directly affect the working class here in DC as well as around the world.

12:00 p.m. -- Convene at Lamont Park (3258 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC) in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood for a joint rally with MLOV and other local organizers.
1:00 p.m. -- March to Malcolm X Park (officially called Meridian Hill Park, 2400 15th St NW, Washington, DC) to unite with the DC May Day rally.
1:30 p.m. -- March to the White House (Lafayette Square, Pennsylvania Ave NW & 16th Street Northwest, Washington, DC) for a massive demonstration led by CASA.

Closest Metro Station at Start: Columbia Heights (3030 14th Street NW Washington, DC 20009)
Closest Metro Station at Finish: McPherson Square (1400 I St NW, Washington, DC 20005)

To RSVP for DSA’s rally and march, visit http://bit.ly/2owpUiY
To RSVP for DC May Day rally and march, visit http://bit.ly/2p2tkdW

Help show that there is widespread support for radical change towards a sustainable economy run for and by workers!
Here's an article from Cosecha via Portside on planning for some of May Day's actions

Saturday, May 13 Football, or as we sometimes call it soccer, with labor: DSA joins labor night at DC United.  

Categories: Political Parties

Weekly Update for April 8-14

Sat, 04/08/2017 - 07:40
 
WEEKLY UPDATE
 FOR APRIL 8, 2017
As socialists, we've been known to use the term "crisis" a lot, usually in connection with the crisis of capitalism. That's still a thing, but it's the crisis inside the crisis -- Donald Trump's regime -- that leads us to move beyond the monthly frequency of the Washington Socialist to add these weekly updates. We include both calendar items and timely articles, as you see.

This weekend (April 8-9) satisfyingly grubby action by the (Anacostia) riverside, and a town hall that examines capitalism's central role in oppressing vulnerable groups in "Connecting Race and the Socialist Resistance." Sunday, Metro DC DSA's monthly membership meeting, amping up for the struggle. Here are details:
 
Today, Saturday 4/8
 
9:00am - 11:00am
Potomac River Cleanup
DSA members will meet to dispose of trash alongside the Potomac River near the Washington Canoe Club in Georgetown before heading to the Racial Justice Town Hall (12:00pm)
Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/202975903524173/
Washington Canoe Club
3700 Water St NW, Washington, DC 20007
 
12:00pm - 5:00pm
Town Hall: Connecting Race & the Socialist Resistance
Join DSA for a range of speakers, workshops and more to highlight the connections between attacks on vulnerable communities and capitalism. It's going to be a big event for members and non-members alike, so please bring friends!
Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1694834294142480/
Communications Workers of America
501 3rd St NW, Washington, DC
 
 
Sunday 4/9
 
3:30pm - 5:00pm
DC DSA April General Membership Meeting
Metro DC DSA will conduct its monthly general meeting, which will include a floor vote to set rules and conditions for the Steering Committee vote, scheduled for the next general meeting (now May 7). Please be sure your national DSA membership is current and be able to provide some verification of membership to vote! (If you are not found on the member list your membership card or an members email from DSA will serve, or else two documented members may vouch for you.)
Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1829585347307035/
Friends Meeting of Washington
2111 Florida Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20008


Activity update: Leo Gertner reports on the latest meeting of the Jobs with Justice Steering Committee, on which Metro DC DSA is represented. Organizations from many parts of the struggle converge on this committee for mutual information, support and decision-making. Read the complete article here.



Categories: Political Parties

JwJ panel converges D.C.'s progressive activists, causes

Sat, 04/08/2017 - 06:15
The Washington Socialist Weekly Update <> April 7, 2017

By Leo Gertner

[filed 4/1/2017] On the first of March, the DC Jobs with Justice Steering Committee met at SEIU Local 32BJ’s offices on Vermont Avenue to take up new business, re-double its commitment to local fights, and welcome a new member to the coalition. Brian Wivell and Leo Gertner attended as Metro DC DSA representatives. Our chapter is one among nearly fifty leading local organizations that belong to the Committee, which has led the fight against social and economic injustice in the region.

The Committee took several important votes. Max Toth, a long-time organizer, most recently with Working America, was elected a treasurer to the DC JwJ Executive Board. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) was welcomed as a new member of the Steering Committee with broad support. It hopes to start a campaign to tax polluters to create a universal basic income. The Committee voted to endorse the National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens’ proposal to the fight to fund the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act, which embraces a public health approach to violence and builds on Black Lives Matter proposals.

Elizabeth Falcon, DC JwJ’s executive director, led discussion on its new Solidarity Squad, a rapid response organizing program designed to engage people who want to participate in the local resistance against Trump. DSA was singled out as a group that could offer advice on how to best harness energy built around resisting the current administration. DSA is welcome to propose events or actions to be sent out weekly by the Solidarity Squad by emailing solidarity@dcjwj.org by Monday at 8:30 a.m.

UNITE HERE Local 25 then discussed its support of a bill councilmember Kenyan McDuffie introduced in January to limit the power of commercial AirBnB operators, who have seized up to 40 percent of the AirBnB market, transforming scarce affordable housing into short-term rentals. The committee finally discussed the continuing Paid Family Leave fight as councilmembers backpedal on their earlier commitment. A final vote is expected after the June budget.

Numerous organizations also provided updates on campaigns, several of which Metro DC DSA has supported: ROC spoke about its tipped minimum wage campaign; SEIU Local 500 reported on organizing drives at American University, George Washington, and Howard; National Nurses Union talked about mobilizing around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; ATU discussed the WMATA budget; CWA offered an update on the AT&T Mobility contract fight, and MLOV reported on its sanctuary cities organizing.

The Steering Committee's next meeting will be in June.
 

Categories: Political Parties

Welcome to the April 2017 Issue of the Washington Socialist

Sat, 04/01/2017 - 09:44
The resistant radical's toolkit for anti-Trump activity, plus just some enjoyable reading as Winter makes way for Spring...

Welcome to the April 2017 issue of the Washington Socialist, monthly email newsletter of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America.
April 1 has always been a potential stumble for this newsletter, which has tried to walk the line between acknowledging the existence of All Fool’s Day and insisting that we won’t be frivolous about our socialism on that account and that if there are any fools out there we are not among them.

Well, good luck. We are living in this world, after all, even as we struggle for the one we want.

Tempting to say that Trumpland offers special instances of the All Fools definition, but we need to qualify that. All Fools Day is one of the traditional festivals when oppressed peoples could slyly overturn the standard hierarchy and be ruled by disruptive underlings for a day, under the very noses of the elites who are in charge the other 364 days (unless folks can invent more festivals). The Silly Season ruled, one of the "weapons of the weak.".

And where are we today? Trump the Lord of Misrule is inverting the inversion and providing a clownish but always-moving target for media scrutiny – creating a thick fog over the substantive and very damaging practices of his administration. Give him credit: he's no sort of governance talent but a hell of a showrunner.

As March in Trumpland staggered to a close, the House and White House together collaborated on a gigantic, in-front-of-everybody fail and, as Paul Ryan ruefully acknowledged, “The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.” Incompetence was on display for all to see. Democrats more or less successfully shelved their gloat mode and got to work; Bernie Sanders on the Senate’s first day back at work filed a “Medicare for All” bill that presumably will be an apt counterpart to Rep. John Conyers’s HR676 “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act,” already boasting 72 sponsors before the Trump/Ryan train wreck (now up to 80).Here is National DSA’s pre-debacle statement on the path ahead which is suddenly looking more promising. But...

But who’s looking? As long as Trump and his enablers can pull Deven Nunes’s strings and dance around the Russia inquiry – serious as it is -- the significant cracks in the GOP’s aura of three-branch invincibility will be hard to see and harder to exploit. The Showrunner-in-chief will continue to dodge the penalties he should be paying for the biggest conservative sin of all – being bad, inept, at wielding conservative power.

It's a fight against distraction. So education, even paddling upstream as we must, has to be part of our task. And that brings us to this issue of the newsletter, which has that purpose. Again, welcome.

DSA MEETINGS AND EVENTS IN APRIL
Check our Meetup page for updates and changes. Coming soon: an emailed update between issues.
 
Saturday, April 1 4:30-6 p.m. The Racial Justice and Anti-Bigotry Committee meets TODAY at the IPS office, 1301 Connecticut Ave.

Sunday Apr 2 DCDSA Electoral Committee meets, 3 p.m. at IPS, 1301 Connecticut Ave. NW. Email briwivell@gmail.com if you are coming. Agenda is here.

Sunday Apr 2  Intro to DSA: Socialism 101 6:30 PM RSVP Arlington Central Library Auditorium 1015 North Quincy Street, Arlington, VA (map) Are you new to our group and wondering just what the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is all about?
 
 Tuesday, April 4, Economic Justice Committee 6 to 7:30 p.m. at 1616 P Street NW, Suite 150, updates from working groups on AT&T Solidarity, Fight for $15/One Fair Wage, Defending Federal Workers and Contractors, Housing Justice, and Healthcare for All. Plus: What must be done to "de-dude" socialism and economic justice.
 
Saturday, April 8 Town Hall: Connecting Race and the Socialist Resistance noon to 5 p.m. at CWA, 501 3rd St. NW.
 
Sunday, April 9 3:30 p.m. Metro DC DSA Membership Meeting at Friends Meeting, 2111 Florida Ave. NW
 
Thursday, April 20 Socialist Salon at 6:30 p.m., location tbd – topic is Public Banking and Transformational Economics.
 
Wednesday, Apr 26 DSA Happy Hour 6:30 p. m.  at The Big Hunt, 1345 Connecticut Ave. 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. Learn more

Friday, April 28, Building the Green Economy: Panel 7 p.m. at Friends Meeting of Washington
2111 Florida Ave. NW Washington, DC Metro DC DSA presents a panel discussion on the intersections of economic and environmental justice. Is a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions possible under capitalism?
 
Saturday, April 29 People's Climate March 11 a.m. Both national DSA and our local Metro DC chapter have endorsed the People's Climate March (PCM) scheduled to take place here in DC -- and at many other locations around the country.

Sunday, April 30 Socialist Book Group Discussion 3 p.m. National Portrait Gallery Kogod Courtyard 8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, DC (map) Join us for a discussion of Evicted: Poverty and Property in the American City by Matthew Desmond.
 
OUR ALLIES:

Saturday, April 8 National Day of Actions on Improved Medicare for All National DSA has endorsed this action; the link includes more info plus local actions around the country.

Sunday, April 23 – Tuesday, April 25, 2017 People’s Action Founding Convention  Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street NW Registration opens at 1 pm and program begins at 6 pm on Sunday, April 23rd; last activity ends at 5 pm on Tuesday April 25th on Capitol Hill. Progressive Maryland's national affiliate.

IN THIS ISSUE:

<>Doing Our Socialism
Organizational Observations – Eric Sommers likens a recent DSA membership meeting to a more familiar sort of get-together and finds it a good model.
Gareth Sparks  recounts the March Socialist-Feminist Salon and the intersectional context.
Glen Pine suggests we take a close look at how our Working Groups and committees are designed to make sure they don’t pull us away from central socialist analysis.

<>The Struggle Now
Universal Basic Income, a frequent topic in this newsletter recently, gets a different take from Lucy Duff.
Information and capitalism are oil and water, and governments go to some length to keep public information from the public, as Woody Woodruff describes.
Austin Kendall suggests having an actual capitalist as president may wake people up to the way government serves the needs of capital in Trump: A Capitalist Unmasks the Capitalist Bias of US Governance
 
<>In Our Backyard
As RFK Stadium ages out of use and becomes a classic tear-down, DC, MD Opponents of Public Stadium Financing Play Offense in Bill Mosley’s narrative.
Our comrade  Carl Goldman’s award as Trade Unionist of the Year from the Metropolitan Council AFL-CIO celebrates a life of fighting the good fight.
As our committees continue to be the leading edge of our local’s activism, Sam Knight keeps us updated with committee reports.
The shadow of the 2018 election hangs over Maryland Politics as the Assembly battles the governor while the legislative session winds down. Woody Woodruff reports.
Our Climate Change and Environmental Justice committee is ramping up for the April 29  People’s Climate March ; Lucy Duff provides details.
 Microgrids detached from the main public power grid are showing promise as alternatives to traditional energy use, Dan Adkins reports.
 
<>Books, Culture, etc.
Kurt Stand recounts the recent presentation We Were There: chronicling women of radical courage.
Timothy Snyder’s book On Tyranny provides a Handbook for the Anti-Trump Resistance. Bill Mosley reviews it.
Another book full of advice for radicals, Smucker’s Hegemony How-to, is reviewed by Lynne Williamson.
Cecilio Morales surveys two very different books on the Perils of Automation and the remedies for an increasingly jobless future.
Good Reads for Socialists rounds up online articles you might have missed.
 
 
 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
Categories: Political Parties