170-4 DSA in the News

compiled by Bob Roman

At Texas Observer, Gus Bova characterizes DSA’s explosive growth as a “red dawn”. And Matt Pearce at the Los Angeles Times is seeing red, noting the tripling of DSA’s membership. This was picked up by other publications in the old Tribune network, including the Chicago Tribune. MSN posted a 30 second spot (also see Wochit Headline News at Daily Motion), this also has been echoed at a few TV stations. John Sexton turned it into a brief item at Hot Air. DSA was on the menu in a report by Lisa Provence about the rise in activism at C-VILLE Weekly. Christian Horbelt wrote a report on DSA, focused on Pittsburgh, for International Politik und Gesellschaft. DSA came up in Harry Shukman’s interview of Winnie Wong at The Tab. At The Tab, Harry Shukman did a similar interview with Moumita Ahmed. A meeting of the Philadelphia DSA was the occasion for Jason Nark to examine DSA’s growth at The Philadelphia Inquirer. I missed this in the previous survey, but one episode of Bill Press and Friends included a growing DSA as a topic. And there’s a brief mention from Dan Sweeney at Sun Sentinel.

Sam Beem at Underground Voices covered a meeting of the Penn State YDS, focusing on their decision to not debate a conservative group. If you’re on a bandwagon, everyone wants on board so they invent an issue for a ticket: Aidan Mattis at The Libertarian Republic decided YDS was just afraid to debate. And Alana Hope Levinson at Mel Magazine contends a real cuckboi is a card-carrying DSA member. Aaron Klein passed off as fresh some stale canards and half-truths about DSA at Jewish Press and Trevor Loudon complains that it’s Not Your Daddy’s Democratic Party Anymore at World Net Daily. Cheryl Chumley whined about DSA’s growth at Washington Times.

So what is DSA? The Chicago Tribune posted a slide show as a brief explanation. Since we’re trending, here’s Circa.

It’s a dismal time for the left, sez Richard Whitten at Paste, but there’s DSA, among others, as light at the end of the tunnel? DSA was one of many topics touched on in an interview of Bhaskar Sunkara and Robert Brenner by Suzi Weissman at Jacobin.

Michelle Chen’s article on the immigrant rights movement mentioned DSA at Dissent. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s victory party was the occasion for DSA organized demonstration demanding LA be a sanctuary city, according to Gene Maddaus at Variety. It appears the Los Angeles Times ran a similar story but I can’t find the URL; however, here is a more recent Los Angeles Times article on Garcetti’s victory by Dakota Smith. The YDS chapter at Princeton University signed on to an open letter to the university president urging him to stand up for human rights, posted at The Princetonian.

David Highfield’s report on International Women’s Day activities in Pittsburgh for KDKA TV focused on DSA. YDS was among the groups organizing a International Women’s Day march and rally in DeKalb, Illinois, according to Aimee Barrows at the Daily Chronicle. The same event, with YDS mentioned, was covered by Sophia Philips at Northern Star. Times-Union mentioned DSA among the organizers of the Day’s rally in Albany, New York. Coverage at KTVU of the International Women’s Day march and rally in Oakland, California, quoted DSA member Jamie Gardner. Aaron Cynic’s coverage of the Day at Chicagoist included DSA’s blitz of Chicago Transit Authority stations in support of Amalgamated Transit Union’s ongoing negotiations with the CTA. (But we were at the Fight for 15 demo, too. There’s a photo of Tom Broderick, with DSA button, at the Chicago Sun-Times.) Rather like disguising a science fiction novel as a romance novell, Jenna Lemoncelli included DSA as part of her celebrity-journalism style coverage of the Day at Hollywood Life. Scott Heins at Gothamist interviewed Yvonne Martinez from DSA (“You’re here surrounded by Democratic Socialists”). Jackie Labrecque and Stephen Mayer at KATU mentioned DSA in their coverage of the Day. Michael Alison Chandler explored unpaid labor and the strike, quoting DSA’s Ariana Ascherl, at The Washington Post. This being The Washington Post, it got reposted some and excerpted more. Amber Randall smiled as she as she cut and pasted and mentioned DSA at The Daily Caller. Elizabeth Harrington at The Washington Free Beacon mentioned DSA while pointing out the International Women’s Day is rooted in Socialism (with a capital S). DSA got mentioned by Sophie Weiner mentioned DSA in an essay exploring color and politics at Racked.

How can Trump win the support of the Black Congressional Caucus? Richard Dimery thinks the prospect of being tarred and feathered with the likes of DSA and such should help, at Black Community News. Is DSA a Christmas goose? Marxist-Leninists whet their knives at Left Voice.

Kshama Sawant mentioned DSA in her response to Trump’s speech to Congress, as posted at Counter Punch. A discussion of electoral politics and the left by Daniel Moraff at In These Times mentioned DSA. Using the contest for DNC Chair and its outcome as tea leaves for the future, Cole Stangler at In These Times quoted DSA’s David Duhalde.

At the Daily Mail (U.K.), Chis Summers covers a police twerking scandal in Rochester, New York, and quotes a tweet from Rochester DSA.

Ben Jacobson at the Telegraph-Herald quoted DSA’s Derrick Clark about the Iowa legislature’s failure to support mental health treatment (caution: pay wall).

DSA was among the groups rallying for a $15 / hr minimum wage in New Jersey, according to Lindsey Kelleher at The Record. At the DesMoines Register, Kevin Hardy quoted DSA member Patrick Stall in opposition to proposed Iowa legislation preempting local minimum wages ordinances. O. Kay Henderson covered the same hearing, mentioning YDS, at Radio Iowa, as did Bob Fisher at KGLO.

Jenna Chandler listed DSA Los Angeles as being among the opponents of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative ballot measure at Curbed LA.

A progressive income tax for Seattle is under consideration and Daniel DeMay included quotes from DSA’s Stephen Gose at Seattle pi.

Veep Mike Pence visited Louisville, Kentucky, to discuss repealing Obamacare and was greeted by a rather large protest, DSA among the supporting organizations, according to Shelby Brown at The Louisville Cardinal.

Kashiki Harrison profiled DSA’s Joseph Schwartz at The Temple News. The late Michael Israel’s political journey, including DSA, was memorialized by Scott Thomas Anderson at Sacramento News & Review. Kelly Chen profiled YDS activist Hannah Zimmerman for Affinity Magazine.

Kim Jones, Jon Martinson and Brad McGarr explained the Twin Cities Chapter of DSA for Southside Pride. Huh-oh. Barbarians at the hedge row: Geoff Spillane noted an outreach meeting for a possible Cape Cod DSA chapter at Cape Cod Times. This Cape Cod item also got noted by Lauren Dezenski in her Politico column on Massachusetts politics. At Shepherd Express, Keith Schubert profiled the Milwaukee DSA chapter.

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The Bowletariats

by Caroline Reid
The Socialist Feminist Working Group is raising funds for women who seek abortions but need financial help. This is an annual event we do through Abortion Bowl-A-Thon fundraisers around the country in April. This is a great way for chapters to have a fun social event while helping raise money for the Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF). CAF is under the National Network for Abortion Funds whose mission is to “remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice,” which aligns with our values at DSA of reproductive justice.

For Chicago, the event is Sunday April 23 from 2:30-5pm at Burnt City Brewing, 2747 N. Lincoln in Chicago. All are welcome! Please sign up to be a Bowletariat with the DSA team or donate to us at: https://bowl.nnaf.org/IllinoisDSA.

If you have any questions please feel free to email IllinoisDSAbowl@gmail.com.

[Editor’s Note: For more information about the Chicago Abortion Fund’s work, see Peg Strobel’s interview with Brittany Mostiller-Keith, Lindsay Budzinski and Sekile Nzinga-Johnson at Talkin’ Socialism Episode 59.]

170-4 DSA News

Young Democratic SocialistsIgniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump

At Democratic Left, Adam Cardo writes:

From February 17-19, members of Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) gathered for “Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump.” The first YDS conference since the post-Bernie/Trump boom, the gathering acted as a rally point for all our new members as well as the staging ground for building and confronting the new far-right administration.

The most notable aspect of the conference was its size. More than 250 people attended, almost three times as many as last year. Many of the attendees had just joined DSA in the past couple of months, and many were first politicized by the Bernie campaign. But as less than a month had passed since the Inauguration, all attendees were concentrated on President Trump’s new far-right administration.

MORE.

Socialist International

Judging by the list of participants, it was another not terribly well-attended event (and DSA was not there), but Socialist International held it’s 25th Congress in Cartagena, Colombia, on March 2,3 and 4. In addition to electing leadership, the body adopted 11 resolutions, including statements on Mexico and Puerto Rico. You can find out more HERE.

170-4 Politics

Raise the Minimum Wage

The stagnant minimum wage in Illinois, stuck at $8.25 per hour, is holding back our economy. More than 40% of all workers in Illinois earn less than $15 per hour, including 46% of women, 48% of African Americans, and 61% of Latinos. Raising the wage floor in Illinois to $15 per hour would benefit the future of 2.3 million workers. It would be a historic economic stimulus for our communities, from Carbondale to the Quad Cities. $15 would revive our middle-class by keeping billions of dollars in the Illinois economy, putting more money in working families pockets immediately, and creating tens of thousands of family-supporting jobs. EVERYONE would benefit.

SIGN THE PETITION. (Legislation is pending introduction, more HERE and HERE.)

Keep Illinois Working

We count on public service workers in state government to keep us safe, protect kids, care for veterans and people with disabilities, protect the environment, help those in need and much more. Child protection workers, caregivers, correctional officers, emergency responders and other public service workers have a right to a voice on the job through their union. They use that voice to advocate for all of us — for better public services, for fair treatment on the job, and for fair pay and affordable health care. But Governor Rauner is making extreme demands that would harm public services, strip the rights of workers to have a voice, and drive down their middle class standard of living.

State employees are willing to do their part. But in January, Rauner walked away from the bargaining table and has refused to even meet with the union ever since. Just like he’s holding the state budget hostage, Rauner walks away whenever he doesn’t get his way.

Tell the governor to drop his unreasonable demands, come back to the bargaining table and negotiate fairly with the public service workers who keep Illinois working. SIGN THE PETITION.

Trump’s War on Dissent

Noted civil liberties attorney Flint Taylor writes:

On the heels of the much ballyhooed meeting that an obsequious Donald Trump conducted this week with local law enforcement officials from across the country, the president titillated the gendarmes with a threat to destroy — COINTELPRO style — an unnamed Texas state senator rumored to be introducing legislation to prevent law enforcement from financing police operations by seizing arrestees’ property before they have been found guilty in a court of law. On Thursday, Trump followed up with an executive order that gave the recently confirmed Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions a carte blanche to bring down the wrath of the federal government on anyone who is unfortunate enough to have a confrontation with a cop, a prison guard, a border patrol officer or who knows who else outfitted with a badge and carrying a gun.

At first blush, the order could be seen simply as a wildly unpopular president playing macho man to our nation’s police departments and their reactionary police unions. The unions have been chafing over being curbed by the previous administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ), which, by means of pattern-or-practice investigations and consent decrees, started to put the brakes on racist police violence. On its face, Trump’s new order looks like much bluster, with no enforcement mechanisms. Many of the provisions will need to be passed by Congress, receive funding and ultimately, pass constitutional muster — a hurdle that the authoritarian Trump administration, with its white supremacist hatchet men at the helm, seems unwilling to pay even a trifling respect.

MORE.

170-4 Democratic Socialism

No Easy Answers

At Vox, Zack Beauchamp attempts to deal with a question many have asked: “Why did voters who by and large benefit from social democracy turn against the parties that most strongly support it?” MORE.

At The Baffler, Sarah Jaffe’s interview with Cait Vaughan, an organizer with the Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign in Maine, might provide a partial answer HERE.

At the Working-Class Perspectives blog, Allison Hurst provides additional insight:

A friend of mine from college, someone raised on the less wealthy spectrum of the educated middle class, took issue with even the idea of the “working class.” What was this really? He knew a lot of blue-collar workers, plumbers, builders, who made a lot more money than he or his mother ever did.  I gave him the quick sociological explanations — it’s about power, not money, but his question remained with me. Based on power at work, two-thirds of Americans can be classified as “working class” (see Michael Zweig’s excellent The Working-Class Majority). That is a hell of a lot of people. They don’t all think alike. It struck me that sociologists, myself included, have spent untold ink arguing over the distinctions within the middle class (lower-middle, upper-middle, professional-managerial, those with economic capital vs. those with cultural capital, etc.) and where the line is between wherever this middle is and the top, and yet we have spent hardly any time  looking within the largest class of them all.

MORE.

And then there is “the curious collaboration between the cultural left and the economic right….” Huh? Conrad Sweatman explains how to overcome it HERE.