by Bob Roman
The branch held its monthly meeting at the Bucktown-Wicker Park Library on Wednesday, February 22. Over 115 people attended. The occasion could probably best be described as an organizational meet-and-greet, where attendees were introduced to the branch and its working groups, and provided a networking opportunity. The day before, DSA members had been mobilized to participate in a counter demonstration to a bigoted, right-wing protest of a proposed multi-family housing complex in Jefferson Park. See coverage by Alex Nitkin and Maya Dukmasova. It turns out there were carpet-baggers on both sides of the issue, with a Republican Party club active in helping organize the protest.
Both the Northside and Southside CDSA branches are new entities. Over a year ago, the original intent was to organize a northside branch, but by the time it reached a formal decision, the scope had expanded to a city-wide branch. It functioned that way until the Trump explosion when it became really obvious that there was not just room but a necessity for more than one branch. January saw reorganizing meetings. Judging by the February Northside meeting, there is very likely room and maybe a need for at least two branches on the northside.
The Chicago DSA Executive Committee has yet to catch up with any of this, not to mention the establishment of a West Suburban organizing committee and a Northern Illinios organizing committee in DeKalb and prospects for organizing committees in Joliet and Kankakee.
Elsewhere in Illinois, there is now a Champaign — Urbana organizing committee and a Quad Cities organizing committee.