171-3 DSA in the News

compiled by Bob Roman

It looks like the story about DSA’s rapid growth is finally becoming yesterday’s news. Instead, we’re beginning to see scattered accounts of DSA’s activities. The two most notable involved the Republican attempt to “repeal and replace” Obamacare and Los Angeles DSA’s campaign against Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. There are 26 links in this report.

At Vice, Eve Peyser noted that Hillary Clinton is forming a new PAC, no thanks, and provided a list of alternative places to put your money, including DSA. Jeff Stein’s article at Vox was about the money fallout from the AHCA vote, but he included a picket line quote from DSA member John Leo. DSA’s Deputy Director David Duhalde got a quote in Gideon Resnick’s coverage of Trumpcare at The Daily Beast. Jenny Dream gave DSA credit for being among the organizers of a protest of U.S. Representative John Culberson’s vote in favor of the Obamacare repeal at The Houston Chronicle.

John Nichols gave DSA a passing mention in an account of Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s primary victory at The Nation. DSA also got a mention in Daniel Marans’ account of Chokwe Antar’s nomination at The Huffington Post. Gloria Tatum at Atlanta Progressive News noted DSA’s involvement in electing khalid kamau.

Jacobin organized a forum of its editors about Trump’s first 103 days wherein DSA’s growth got a passing mention. DSA’s growth also got a mention in Daniel Denvir’s interview with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor at Jacobin.

It looks like I missed it in the previous report, but Michael Edison Hayden mentioned DSA in a pre-May Day round-up of demonstrations at ABC News.

Marcia Brown provided further coverage at The Princetonian of YDS of Princeton University’s protest of university treatment of staff.

Jessica Li at The Tab reported on a out-of-hand party at Princeton, giving YDS a mention.

At Inside Higher Education, Jeremy Bauer-Wolf’s account of conservative tactics on campus gave YDS a mention.

At the Los Angeles Times, David Wharton gave DSA primary credit for the start of organized opposition to the Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Olympics, as do Dave Zirin and Jules Boykoff at The Nation. Aaron Gordon at Vice interviewed two of the organizers of the Olympic-bid opposition and DSA was a part of the discussion. Travis Waldron wrote up the story for The Huffington Post; Hillel Aron wrote up the story for LA Weekly. Josh Criswell reported the story for KLAC AM 570; Nick Butler wrote up the story for Inside the Games. All those accounts featured DSA and to one degree or another used DSA as an argument for the Olympic Games or against them. For Adam Nagourney at The New York Times concedes there’s opposition to the games, started by DSA.

Mark Chiusano gave DSA a brief mention in noting the level of political activism in Brooklyn at Newsday.

DSA helped sponsor the creation of a Immigrant Bail Fund, reported Lucy Gellman at New Haven Independent.

Is he really into you, is he just a friend, or is he recruiting you for DSA? Mara Wilson offers guidance at Reductress.

Andrew Miller at The Trumpet is upset that California is repealing its ban on employing Communists, mentioning DSA by way of illustrating just how dangerous this is.

Jacque Medina at Bushwick Daily boosted the second Paid Protest comedy show, this one benefiting DSA.


171-3 DSA News

Trumpcare Must Not Pass the Senate
A May 5, 2017, statement by DSA’s National Political Committee notes:

DSA will work to pressure Senators to reject the House bill and to refuse to pass a substitute bill that would overturn the ACA, as DSA realizes that the ACA imperfectly expands health care coverage to millions. But given the inefficiency and vulnerability of the ACA, DSA will also redouble our efforts to create state single-payer systems (i.e., state-level versions of “Medicare for All”) wherever possible, particularly in blue states, including California, New York, New Jersey and Minnesota. We will join with others to build a mass movement for “Medicare for All,” a movement capable of electing those truly committed to “health care for all” to state legislatures and Congress.


Labor 101
On Saturday, May 13, the Labor Working Group organized a “Labor 101” seminar at the United Electrical Workers hall for members and friends who’ve not been a member of a union or have had little direct contact with unions. The 100 minute event was live-streamed on Facebook, but you can still watch the event:

Democratic Socialism 101
On Sunday, May 7, Chicago DSA held another introduction to democratic socialism workshop at the Homewood Public Library in southern Cook County. Compared to the first, held on Chicago’s near west side, it was lightly attended, but it was accompanied by a fair amount of free publicity. Thanks to Bob Reilly for hosting this event. Now there is talk of organizing a fourth Chicago DSA branch in south suburban Cook County.

Q&A with Will Guzzardi
On Wednesday, May 3, the Northside Chicago Branch CDSA hosted State Representative Will Guzzardi at the Bucktown – Wicker Park library for a discussion of electoral politics in Chicago and the Illinois General Assembly, including the unfortunate role that money plays in being a candidate.

Canvassing for an Elected School Board
DSA helped organize a canvass of voters in Senator John Cullerton’s district in favor of legislation establishing an elected school board for Chicago. Cullerton is not in favor of this legislation, and as President of the Illinois Senate, his opinion counts for a great deal. Nearly three dozen turned out to do this work, contacting several hundred of his constituents. You can follow up by calling his office at 773.883.0770 to let him know your opinion.

171-3 Politics

Confront McDonald’s!
On May 23, Fight for 15 is having its biggest action on McDonald’s ever, here in Chicago.

McD’s just doubled its CEO pay to $15 million & is spending hundreds of millions on a new HQ in the city. But it hasn’t changed how it treats its workers. They’re still struggling to survive, still sexually harassed, & still getting wages stolen.

McDonald’s way of doing business is holding EVERYONE back. it’s hurting us all. McDonald’s low wages cost taxpayers more than $1 billion a year, because more than half of us are forced to rely on public assistance to support our families.

We are marching because this not only worker’s issue, but this is an immigrant, racial, women, LGBTQ, and environmental issue. When we beat McDonald’s, we will all win. That’s why you need to join us: Tuesday, May 23, 4 PM at Daley Plaza, Washington & Dearborn in Chicago then onward to the Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s at 600 N. Clark.

The Forgotten Story of the Radium Girls….
At Buzzfeed, Kate Moore writes:

With war declared, hundreds of working-class women flocked to the studio where they were employed to paint watches and military dials with the new element radium, which had been discovered by Marie Curie a little less than 20 years before. Dial painting was “the elite job for the poor working girls”; it paid more than three times the average factory job, and those lucky enough to land a position ranked in the top 5% of female workers nationally, giving the women financial freedom in a time of burgeoning female empowerment. Many of them were teenagers, with small hands perfect for the artistic work, and they spread the message of their new job’s appeal through their friend and family networks; often, whole sets of siblings worked alongside each other in the studio.

Radium’s luminosity was part of its allure, and the dial painters soon became known as the “ghost girls” — because by the time they finished their shifts, they themselves would glow in the dark. They made the most of the perk, wearing their good dresses to the plant so they’d shine in the dance halls at night, and even painting radium onto their teeth for a smile that would knock their suitors dead.


171-2 DSA in the News

compiled by Bob Roman

There continues to be a celebrity (famous for being famous) element to the news media coverage of DSA in this report but the fact is: DSA is involved in a lot of interesting stuff at all levels of politics. News coverage is beginning to be more reflective of this. DSA’s involvement in local elections has gathered more coverage than it probably deserves. On the other hand, DSA’s involvement in the People’s Climate March didn’t seem to get much attention outside of right-wing blogs. May Day brought out the scribes, understandably, including the dedication of the honorary Lucy Gonzalez Parsons Way. Yet considering how DSA has de-emphasized campus organizing, we’ve continued to get considerable coverage of YDS campus actions. There are more than five dozen links in this late April report.

In These Times featured a conversation between Chris Maisano and Jessie Mannisto about socialism and electoral politics. Daniel Marans noted the election victories of DSA members khalid kamau in South Fulton, Georgia, and Dylan Parker in Rock Island, Illinois, at The Huffington Post. Mike Elk at Pay Day Report profiled a number of labor-oriented local election campaigns around the south, including DSA’s role with khalid kamau. Heidi Groover’s “SLOG” column at The Stranger noted khalid kamau’s victory and DSA. John Nichols wrote up DSA’s role in elections at The Nation. Attempting granularity, Jimmy Tobias at The Nation began a monthly survey of urban resistance to Trumpism that included DSA member Dylan Parker’s election win in Rock Island. Fox21 (KQDS) carried a report by Lena Takada on the city council candidate screening Duluth DSA is a part of. A brief report on the same was carried by Lyanne Valdez at WBNG.

Dev Thimmisetty wrote about UTD students and recent grads involved in electoral politics at The Mercury, and DSA got a mention. At the UT Daily Beacon, Libby Dayhuff reported on a panel discussion on electoral politics with panelists from YDS and DSA.

Bernie Sanders is a miserable sell-out in the DSA tradition, sez Andrew Stewart at Counterpunch then Andrew Stewart goes on about it, so there. Is DSA the future of the left? Looks like it, opines Nathan Newman at The Huffington Post. At Mother Jones, Tim Murphy agrees that socialism and DSA are cool. Again. Thank you, Trump. Claire Levenson agrees at the French edition of Slate. More than resistance, DSA gives people something to believe in, according to Jake Johnson at Paste Magazine. Josh Delk and Paul Kengor at The American Spectator can’t believe it, however: It’s all Trumped up. DSA got a mention in New York Magazine’s “Beyond Alt: Understanding the New Far Right” (there’s also an “alt-left”.) Thom Hartmann interviewed DSA’s Ryan Mosgrove.

Seattle Weekly put together a guide to Seattle’s new left; DSA did get a mention. A broad national look at the anti-Trump movement by Peter Dreier at The American Prospect included a paragraph about DSA.

Talon Delaney covered a debate between YDS and Turning Point USA at Iowa State Daily. There was another debate between YDS and Turning Point USA at Georgetown University, covered by Nicholas Elliot at Georgetown Review.

Frankie Benitez profiled the University of Oregon YDS chapter at The Daily Emerald. YDS had a couple of paragraphs and photos in Nina Sheridan’s report on an Activities Fair at The Princetonian. Samantha Friskey used DSA as an identifier in covering a “join the resistance” panel  at The Daily Pennsylvanian. Dave Huber excerpted and commented on that article at The College Fix.

The Daily Emerald carried a report by Francisca Benitez on an upcoming die-in protesting war in Syria wherein YDS got a mention. The die-in was covered with YDS as the organizers by Brady Wakayama at KEZI.

The Princetonian posted a letter from the university chapter of YDS demanding specific changes in the way university employees are treated. The letter was followed up by a march and rally organized by YDS, reported Claire Thornton at The Princetonian. The demonstration got written up by Francesca Billington at Princeton Alumni Weekly. The Chattanoogan quoted UTC YDS leader Ellie Newell with regard to outsourcing work done by university employees. Michelle at Wesleying mentioned YDS as one of the primary organizers of a hunger strike in protest against management stalling in contract negotiations with Yale graduate students.

DSA made it into the photo caption in an article about the affordable housing crisis in California by Michael Mott at Sacramento News & Review. DSA was a member of a coalition protesting Trump housing cuts according to Black Star News.

At The Atlantic, Robinson Meyer noted DSA’s participation in the “big tent” strategy of the Climate March.

DSA was mentioned in passing in an essay about the relevance of May Day by Dave Anderson at Boulder Weekly. Natasha Abner’s preview of the upcoming May Day “Day without Immigrants” in Newark included DSA among the sponsors at Atlantic Highlands Herald. Chicago DSA put out a press release, picked up at eNews Park Forest, but Miles Kampf-Lassin at The Chicago Reader also included Chicago DSA among the groups participating in Chicago’s May Day. YDS is among the organizations bringing May Day to the University of Maryland, reported Leah Brennan at The Diamondback. Leah Brennan at The Diamondback also covered the resulting demonstration. Emma Whitford at The Gothamist surveyed upcoming May Day demonstrations in New York, including one planned by DSA in support of B&H employees. Westword included a DSA event in its survey of May Day events as did KDVR. DSA was among the organizations in the upcoming May Day march Las Vegas, according to KTNV. Fifi Abdul-Malik mentioned DSA in an essay explaining May Day at The Ghana Guardian. Linda Cook at Quad Cities Times used a DSA meeting to explain May Day. Alex Stone at ABC radio news mentioned DSA in his coverage of U.S. observances of May Day, as in this example at WRTA. Rachel Kurzius quoted a DSA member in coverage of Washington’s May Day march at DCist. Patrick Strickland gave DSA several paragraphs in coverage of May Day events across the U.S. at Al Jazeera. DSA’s Ryan Mosgrove was quoted in a report on May Day carried by KVRR. Taylor Polson mentioned DSA in an account of the local May Day demonstration at Honolulu Star Advertiser. An account of the Los Angeles May Day appeared as an editorial at The Independent (UK). DSA got several mentions in Nick Pinto’s May Day account at The Village Voice.

Mina Bloom at DNAinfo reported that Leonard Pierce represented DSA at the official unveiling of an honorary “Lucy Gonzalez Parsons Way” along Kedzie from Emmett to Addison in Chicago.

Josh Nathan-Kazis covered a May Day strike at B&H Photo Video’s warehouse for The Forward, noting DSA’s supportive participation.

A protest in support of immigrant rights disrupted an education conference, gaining applause from conference participants and DSA a mention in a report by Ryan Leou at Daily Bruin.

Anna Merriman at nj.com reported on YDS’ participation in an anti-hate speech rally at Princeton University. YDS got a mention in a Richmond Times-Dispatch regarding Cornell University and free speech.

Sarah Jaffe’s interview with Renata Pumarol at In These Times mentioned DSA.

Sam Adler-Bell mentioned DSA in passing in a review of Smucker’s “Hegemony How-To” at New Republic.

For the Indivisible blog at Medium, Patrick Cochran wrote up a universal health care demonstration in Boston, listing DSA among the organizers.

DSA is pro-Russian, opined Henry Dykstal at The Lawrentian.

Dan McQuade mentioned DSA, in passing, in an anthology of pot jokes at Deadspin. DSA got a mention in Shaun Scott’s essay on comedy and politics at City Arts.

DSA got mentioned in Jonny Coleman’s account of LA’s Labor Choir at LA Weekly.

Kate Arnoff mentioned DSA in passing while engaging in schadenfreude over wealthy screw-ups at In These Times.

DSA was among the organizations at a press conference regarding a seriously dubious (gassing a 5 year old?) Birmingham, Alabama, police action, according to Michael Clark at WIAT. Carol Robinson at AL.COM also mentioned DSA in her account of the press conference. Mo Barnes mentioned DSA in his report on the incident at Rollingout. Laura Burnip wrote up the incident for The Sun (UK), mentioning DSA. Darla Guillen included a quote from Eric Hall in an account at Houston Chronicle. All this got some play among various bigot blogs, as you might expect.

171-2 DSA News

Beyond Resistance: A Way Forward

The 2017 Debs — Thomas — Harrington Dinner is coming up soon, Friday, May 19. We have two honorees whose work deserves your recognition: Larry Cohen, past President of the Communication Workers of America, and Adriana Alvarez, a rank-and-file organizer and public spokesperson for the Fight for 15. We have a great speaker to tie it all together: Alderman Carlos Ramirez Rosa. And finally, if you find the information below to be useful, Chicago DSA could seriously use your help. If you haven’t already gotten your tickets, a printable PDF flyer with more information is HERE. You can also order your tickets online HERE.

Intro to democratic socialism

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

Sunday, May 7, 1:30 PM @ Homewood Public Library, 17917 Dixie Highway, Homewood. What do we mean by “democratic socialism?”  How does it compare to what Bernie Sanders talked about during his presidential campaign? What do democratic socialists have to say about capitalism in the world today? Why do we think it is a form of society that must be replaced? And what might that replacement look like?

The event is free but space is limited. Please RSVP HERE.

A Chicago DSA May Day

DSA’s Leonard Pierce joined 35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez Rosa and Illinois Labor History Society President Larry Spivack and others in honoring Lucy Parsons with an honorary street name.

The dedication ceremony was one of several morning and rallies that fed into a mass rally and march beginning at Union Park on Chicago’s near west side. Despite being the temporary location of the Haymarket Square free speech monument and statues of Governor Altgeld (who pardoned the surviving Haymarket martyrs) and James Connolly (Irish marxist and nationalist, executed by the British), the park is actually named in honor of our side of the U.S. Civil War: the Federal Union. The park has become, however, the starting point for many left and labor rallies and marches, including this May Day.

The 2017 May Day march and rallies drew over 20,000 participants:

May Day in Chicago
Photo by Christine Geovanis
May Day in Chicago
Photo by Christine Geovanis
May Day in Chicago
Photo via Northside Chicago branch CDSA
May Day in Chicago
The banner in the foreground is Chicago DSA’s original parade banner making its first public appearance in decades. It’s a bit worn, but it looks great in the photo. Photo via Southside Chicago branch CDSA.

The Bowletariats

The Bowletariats

Chicago DSA’s bowling team in the Chicago Abortion Fund fundraising campaign placed 4th in the amount raised among the nearly three dozen teams entered. Their total was $4,294.68. We’ve been unable to learn how they did in actual bowling… The campaign raised over $55,000 over all when the goal had been $35,000.

Uniting to Build a Socialist Feminist Movement

A May 1, 2017, statement of the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America begins:

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is committed to socialist feminist organizing, knowing that capitalism is built upon male supremacy and white supremacy. One of the most critical feminist issues is reproductive justice, including not just birth control and abortion but also childbearing and childrearing. DSA also understands that abortion access is an economic issue, that poor and working-class people and people of color in particular experience limited access to reproductive healthcare, from the very limited access to care for rural patients to mandatory waiting periods that force people to lose work and stay in a costly hotel, to the high cost of the care itself.


171-2 Politics

Beyond the “L”

At Southside Weekly, Daniel Kay Hertz writes:

Chicago is a city with a long, sordid history of using geography as a weapon. Segregation — between neighborhoods, sides of the city, the city and the suburbs — has been used to privilege some people over others, and to keep resources like jobs, schools, and other amenities away from the unwelcome: often low-income people and people of color.

The generations of transportation and development policy that treated people without cars as an afterthought, or elements to be actively discouraged, are simply another part of the weaponization of geography. It created a two-tiered transportation system that forced even many of those living in poverty to spend thousands of dollars to buy and maintain a car, or lose hours a day on increasingly disinvested transit services. Those who are physically unable to drive were left out no matter their financial situation.


171-2 Democratic Socialism

May Day 2017: Born in the U.S.A.

At Democratic Left, Michael Hirsch begins:

For generations, May Day, the International Workers Day celebrated by working people in more than 200 countries, was ignored in the United States, the country of its origin. In fact, the annual holiday is as American as cherry pie, commemorating as it does the 1886 nationwide general strike in which U.S. trade unionists — largely foreign-born — walked off the job in support of an eight-hour workday.

This year’s observance marks the 128th anniversary of that campaign to humanize the workday — and of the tragedy at Chicago’s Haymarket Square that followed three days later.


May Day in Chicago

Episode 74 — Talkin’ Socialism

Recorded 04.19.2017. In this episode, Chicago DSA’s Tom Broderick sits down to discuss May Day 2017 with Artemio Arreola, the Political Director of Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Robert Reiter, the Secretary Treasurer of Chicago Federation of Labor, and Susan Hurley, the Executive Director of Chicago Jobs With Justice and a member of Chicago DSA.

Use the audio player below

or download to listen later [right click]:

MP3 (33.7 MB) or OGG VORBIS (20.5 MB) (33:05)