165-1 DSA News

Be a Vital Part of Reproductive Justice in Chicago

by Maggie Kantor and Leah Barry

As proud democratic socialists and feminists, we joined the fight as co-captains for the Chicago Abortion Fund’s annual Bowl-a-Thon. Our goal is to raise $1,500 from our diverse coalition in the DSA for our greater Chicago area community. We’re asking that you donate to the DSA team and help us reach this goal by April 24th so that we can be a vital part of the movement to provide safe, legal abortion to those who need it.


Talkin’ Socialism

Episode 62 — Syria’s Great Migration; recorded March 12, 2016: Syria’s civil war has displaced an enormous percentage of its population, either internally or to an external diaspora. DSA’s Tom Broderick interviews Suzanne Akhras Sahloul, founder and Executive Director of the Syrian Community Network, about the dimensions of the problem and about the work of the Syrian Community Network: welcoming Syrian refugees to Chicago and helping them make sense of a new culture.

Download to listen later:
MP3 (32 MB) or OGG VORBIS (40.4 MB) (33:20)

SUBSCRIBE, or add to your playlist using STITCHER. Hey! Now available at iTunes.

DSA in the News

Shifting to post-Sanders mode, Livia Gershon quotes Ethan Earle, a DSA member, in an article at Vice. Also in post-Sanders mode, Dan La Botz opines that DSA is in an excellent position to provide a home for Sanders-nistas, no matter the outcome, at New Politics. DSA also figured into a post-Sanders opinion piece by Patrick Barrett at Truth-Out. DSA gets mentioned in another post-Sanders speculation by Miles Mogulescu at the Huffington Post. But Arun Gupta at Telesur, with all the authority and insight of an Occupy activist, sees the main post-Sanders contest as being between two flavors of Trotskyism with DSA a ghostly parenthetical “oh them.”

DSA was mentioned and DSA’s Deputy Director David Duhalde quoted in an article about New York’s 18th District State Senate election in an article by Sam Adler-Bell in The Nation. DSA member Carol Newton got quoted in an article by Mike Pearl about SPUSA Presidential candidate Mimi Soltysik at Vice.

Ominous forewarnings of chaos and violence around the upcoming “Democracy Spring” appeared in a Washington Times article by Kellan Howell and a Catholic Online article by David Drudge, and a Breitbart.com article by Aaron Klein, because, after all, Democracy Spring is DSA endorsed and Chicago DSA shut down Donald Trump’s Chicago rally. The John Birch Society’s The New American jumped in with an article by Steve Byas. Oh, yes, not to neglect David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine, where Mark Tapson actually thought DSA provided rides to the Trump rally… Tapson is a screen writer after all… These articles are being reposted in various right-wing blogs. Let us now appreciate the “journalism” of pigeon people.

The disorder at Trump rallies gets blamed on Trump in an article by Donna Fuscaldo at Good Call, quoting Shelby Murphy of the Young Democratic Socialists. DSA’s national director Maria Svart gets quoted about a Trump controversy at Emory University in a Newsweek article by Max Kutner.

Pardes Seleh at the Daily Wire, a right-wing propaganda site, claims Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, in his student days, supported a Harvard University referendum that kept ROTC off campus, a measure also supported by the campus New American Movement, a predecessor organization to… DSA.

Hanna Holcomb mentioned DSA in passing in connection with a campus visit by a Sanders Campaign organizer at the Wesley Argus.

The Buffalo Chronicle carried a long promo for an upcoming DSA meeting by Katrinna Martin-Bordeaux. The initial meeting of the recently reestablished YDS chapter at Michigan State University was covered by Alexea Hankin at The State News.

DSA was mentioned in a long profile of Jacobin magazine and its editor, Bhaskar Sunkara, by Dylan Matthews at Vox. Sarah Taaffe Maguire did a similar piece at Trinity News.

Jess Davis used DSA to define democratic socialism in discussing what policies a Bernie Sanders Administration might pursue at the Odyssey. And Andrew Stewart used DSA to help attack Bernie Sanders as a reactionary misleader for the bourgeoisie at RIFuture.

An article about a ballot measure re: Citizen Review Board for police misconduct listed DSA San Diego as an endorser at Ocean Beach Rag.

Generation Left

Louie Messina covers the Young Democratic Socialists’ Winter Conference in February: HERE.

Rauner’s Road to Perdition

The 2016 Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner will be held Friday evening, May 20, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro. Our keynote speaker for the evening is Alderwoman Suzan Sadlowski Garza and our honorees are local activist Jorge Mujica and National Nurses United Director of Public Policy (and former DSA National Director) Michael Lighty. Tickets are $80 and can be ordered from Chicago DSA, 3411 W. Diversey, Suite 7, Chicago, IL 60647. Ordering tickets and reserved tables online should be available starting April 5, HERE.


165-1 Politics


Supporters of the Chicago Teacher’s Union will rally at the Thompson Center, Clark & Randolph in Chicago, on Friday, April 1, 4 PM (though students supporters will begin shortly after Noon). Chicago DSA will be there. Look for our banner. For more information, see below or click: RSVP MORE INFORMATION. Also MORE INFORMATION. Also still MORE INFORMATION.


National People’s Action has issued a report on the measures it and its allies took in support of Kim Foxx’ primary election victory for States Attorney in March. Your editor thinks the report may be a tad optimistic in assessing the effectiveness of the campaign but he also thinks that Foxx’ victory would have been seriously in doubt without it. Judge for yourself; the PDF is HERE.

Trump Triumphalism

At Truthout, George Lakoff deconstructs Donald Trump’s success by beginning:

Donald Trump is winning Republican presidential primaries at such a great rate that he seems likely to become the next Republican presidential nominee and perhaps the next president. Democrats have little understanding of why he is winning — and winning handily, and even many Republicans don’t see him as a Republican and are trying to stop him, but don’t know how. There are various theories: People are angry and he speaks to their anger. People don’t think much of Congress and want a non-politician. Both may be true. But why? What are the details? And Why Trump?


The History of Economic Inequality in Illinois

The Illinois Economic Policy Institute has published the first ever historical analysis of economic inequality in Illinois, spanning 1850 through 2014. A PDF of the document is HERE.

It’s the Economy, Stupid

At Belt Magazine, Scott Beauchamp begins:

After months and months of media coverage declaring “economic populism” the theme of the presidential campaign –- and for both parties, no less –- it would be easy to succumb to short-term amnesia and assume that this has always been the case. It hasn’t. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush were the favorites as recently as November. Since then, Bush’s campaign, like a dying star, has collapsed under the weight of its own expectations. And Hillary Clinton, though still leading the delegate count, has gone more rounds with Bernie Sanders than most people predicted she’d be forced to, notably here in the Rust Belt. And, ever the cagey politician, to even get this far she’s had to appropriate some of his rhetoric along the way. In Michigan, a total of 1,078,973 people combined voted for two candidates that are hostile to the way we currently conduct trade. In Illinois it was 1,519,506. In Ohio, 1,241,134. How could economic dissatisfaction on this scale come as a surprise to what Nadine Hubbs calls “the narrating class”? There are two reasons. For one, pundits consistently ignore the economic concerns of the working class –- at least until election time. Secondly, those pundits haven’t had their jobs outsourced or automated. Yet.


165-1 Democratic Socialism

What’s So Democratic About Socialism?

Socialism is often conflated with authoritarianism. But historically, socialists have been among democracy’s staunchest advocates. Joseph M. Schwartz examines the record at Jacobin.

Worker Power in the Age of Uber

At In These Times, Tom Ladendorf examines how workers can share in management and profits. He begins:

For many labor activists, “tech” has become a dirty word. While Silicon Valley extols the virtues of the “sharing economy,” critics argue that platforms like Uber and Airbnb allow investors to reap profits by circumventing labor law and ripping off workers.

But what if workers owned the apps? A new movement called “platform cooperativism” hopes to harness the power of tech to democratize the economy and advance labor rights.


Be a Vital Part of Reproductive Justice in Chicago

by Maggie Kantor and Leah Barry

As proud democratic socialists and feminists, we joined the fight as co-captains for the Chicago Abortion Fund’s annual Bowl-a-Thon. Our goal is to raise $1,500 from our diverse coalition in the DSA for our greater Chicago area community. We’re asking that you donate to the DSA team and help us reach this goal by April 24th so that we can be a vital part of the movement to provide safe, legal abortion to those who need it.

We’re reaching out to you as fellow progressives and members of the Democratic Socialists of America, an organization formed on the ideals of feminism and socialism. As dedicated members, we know you are interested in reforming and changing the system to better the lives of working people by fighting for a more equitable world. Supporting reproductive justice is a simple way to do this and fight for every single person to have the right to control their own bodies. By donating, you help remove the legal and economic barriers that prevent thousands of men and women from being forced into having (or not having) children.

Since 2011, when Republicans took over many state legislatures and governorships, restrictions have grown. According to the Guttmacher Institute, founded to address sexual and reproductive health research, policy and advocacy, since 2010, states have enacted 231 restrictions to abortion, and, in 2015, “more than half of U.S. women of reproductive age live in states that are hostile or extremely hostile to abortion rights.”

Some state and local governments have limited access by requiring that clinics that offer abortions comply with the more stringent hospital building regulations instead of the regulations that affect all other medical clinics; failure to comply will lead to clinic closure. Other legislation requires that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at local hospitals; doctors who provide services from out of town find it difficult to get privileges.

Many low-income Americans simply don’t have savings or support networks that can afford the cost of an abortion. Beyond that, their insurance might be government funded and tax dollars are legally not allowed to go to abortion, no matter the reason for the abortion. Laws that require mandatory waiting periods and specific examinations also punish low-income women by forcing them to lose wages and pay for lodging in a city that could be literally hundreds of miles from their home. In the name of women’s health, anti-choice activists are pushing women into predatory loans and other awful and avoidable situations so that they can afford a legal and medically sound procedure.

Please consider donating much needed funds to the Chicago Abortion Fund by April 24th — the CAF supports low-income members of our community and makes reproductive justice possible for many of them.

The Supreme Court just heard a case about Texas’s restrictive laws that forced numerous clinics in the state to close — but this could happen anywhere in America with the prevailing political climate pushing more and more extreme laws through state legislation. While the Supreme Court absolutely stood up for people seeking abortions in an amazing session, we have to join Justices Bader Ginsberg, Sotomayor and Kagan in the fight for reproductive health and justice for all.

The fight for reproductive justice can feel like a Sisyphean task with every step forward bringing a new fight that pushes us three steps back. It’s important not to feel demoralized or to give up — women and families need you to keep fighting and donate to the cause. For every law that restricts access to abortions and forces women into medically and economically precarious situations, there are brave people who bring us closer to the world promised by Roe v. Wade.

Be one of them today. Fight for reproductive justice for all.

When you support CAF, you support low-income women across the city and allow them to actually choose their pregnancy (or not) by providing economic access to a procedure that is legal in this country. Supporting CAF is just one act in the fight for reproductive justice and compliments the work done by NARAL, Planned Parenthood and countless other organizations across the globe who fight for the same feminist and humanist rights that the DSA supports and promotes. I ask that you give what you can (by April 24th), share the link or this email with others who may be interested or may just have room for education on this topic. Please reach out if you would like to participate in the event itself.

With politicians, conservatives and anti-choice activists fighting across the nation to restrict access to safe and affordable abortions, it is absolutely vital for our diverse coalition of DSA members to support reproductive justice. It may seem small, but even $25 can help a specific, local population of people left behind by those who have defunding the social support network of our government.

P.S. While a donation of any size would be absolutely wonderful and very appreciated, we know not everyone is financially able to give. If you could share this link with your friends and family who might be able to give, we would appreciate that just as much! Remember, the bowl-a-thon is on April 24th, so donations need to be in by then!

DSA in the News

compiled by Bob Roman

In coverage of the then upcoming Illinois primary, Tom Schuba at NBC Chicago’s Ward Room identified Representative Danny K. Davis as a member of DSA (fwiw: not true at present). Tom Bell, for the Associated Press, included a two paragraph interview with DSA member Bob Murray in coverage of the Maine Democratic caucuses, carried by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch among others. Isthmus carried a press release touting the grand opening of a “Better with Bernie” headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, including a quote from DSA member Les Gallay. At Chicago’s Redeye, Jess Nocera explains why millennials like Sanders and don’t mind “democratic socialism,” quoting DSA’s Maria Svart; this may have also appeared in other McClatchy publications. Madi Clark continues to support Bernie Sanders, referencing DSA, at The Odyssey.

The transcript of a panel discussion by Danny Katch (ISO) and Bhaskar Sunkara (Jacobin) and Gloria Mattera (Green Party) and Dustin Guastella (DSA) on Sanders and building a socialist movement was posted at Jacobin. Building a post-Sanders socialist movement was also the topic of an essay by Joseph Schwartz, mentioning DSA, at Telesur.

At The Hill, Okla Elliott writes yet another What is democratic socialism essay for beltway insiders, referencing DSA. And there is a similar, very brief essay by Ariel Oaks at The Claw. And the discussion continues with an article by Liz Rowley at Mic that quotes DSA. Bethany Sanders explored the question of Bernie Sanders and democratic socialism with DSA at Around the Bend. Anirudh Bhattacharyya claims Bernie Sanders was once a DSA member at The Quint (India).

We don’t usually include Breitbart.com as a legit news site, but Aaron Klein decided that giving Chicago DSA credit for shutting down Trump’s Chicago rally was an excellent addition to his terrifying DSA mythos. Alas that we actually had so little to do with organizing the protest. DSA members were there, however, as well as at the Palmer House, protesting a Bruce Rauner fundraiser.

Talkin’ Socialism

by Bob Roman

Talkin' SocialismOur more or less monthly podcast, Talkin’ Socialism, is once again available through Apple’s iTunes store, for free. You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes and so not miss an episode. You can also listen to or subscribe to Talkin’ Socialism through Stitcher or through our RSS feed. Your choice is a matter of convenience, depending (I’d guess) on what device you use to listen. Not every back episode is available through iTunes or through Stitcher or through our RSS feed. This is a data entry issue and may be remedied eventually.

Since New Ground 164, we have two new episodes posted.

Episode 60, recorded on January 9, is “The Great Stagnation”. Chicago Political Economy Group mavens Ron Baiman and Bill Barclay examine today’s economy and ask: Is this the new normal? May be. Find out why.

Episode 61, recorded on February 6, examines “The Rauner Agenda”. Bunnie Johnson (Shop Steward and Executive Board member for AFSCME Local 2858, and a caseworker for the Illinois Department of Human Services) and Fran Tobin (Coordinator, Alliance for Community Services) in conversation with Chicago DSA’s Bob Roman. Welcome to the new barbarity.

These episodes, and all the back episodes, are available at HERE.

Dr. Quentin Young

by Bob Roman

If you live in the Chicago area or if you’re in any way involved in the ongoing struggle to bring about a universal health care system here in the States, you have got to have heard that Dr. Young has died at the age of 92. For the details of his political career (which frequently intersected with his medical career), consult any of the obituaries published in Chicago media. I’ll only add that in the fight for universal health care, Dr. Young was a pleasure to work with, he was a DSA member, and he was, along with Sue Purrington, our 1992 Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner honoree:

Dr. Quentin Young
Dr. Young at the 1992 Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner

Quentin Young

We honor you because for decades you have been in the forefront of the campaign for universal and comprehensive health care for all Americans.

Before you graduated from medical school you maintained that health care is a matter of right for all and not just for those who have the means to purchase it or have strong unions that negotiate for it.

As President then Chair of the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, you have worked to educate those in the health field that a comprehensive universal single-payer system is to everyone’s advantage. You have ably answered the lies spread against the Canadian system in existence today.

You have been there in the struggles for Civil Rights, for social and economic justice, and against all forms of discrimination. You were there in 1951 to fight against discrimination in Chicago medical institutions. You were there in 1983 for Harold Washington to win the mayoralty. You were there when Carol Moseley Braun announced her intention to run for the U.S. Senate. You have demonstrated your understanding that trade unions are a social force for Progress and Justice in our country.

For you dedication in the fight for universal and comprehensive health care for all and for your lifetime commitment to change our society to the better, the Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner Committee hereby presents to you its annual award this First Day of May, 1992.