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.

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.

170-3 DSA News

After the Ellison Defeat

DSA’s National Political Committee adopted a statement on Democratic National Committee’s election of a Chair:

This weekend the Democratic National Committee (DNC) failed to choose Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) for Chair of the DNC. Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) backed Ellison’s election as part of a rebellion of progressive Democratic Party activists against a neoliberal Democratic Party national leadership that places corporate interests ahead of the interests of working people.

MORE.

Planned Inequality

Recorded 05.13.2011  at the 53rd Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner in Chicago. Our featured speaker for that evening was Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago. Martire contends the wreckage of our public institutions, our soaring private and public debt, our stagnating economy, the growing stench of racism in our politics: these are the natural outcome of an intentional decades-long policy of massively redistributing wealth to those who were already very very wealthy.

Download to listen later [right click]: MP3 (21.3 MB) or OGG VORBIS (17.9 MB) (22:10)

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Northside Chicago Branch

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.

170-3 DSA in the News

compiled by Bob Roman

David Weigel mentioned DSA members protesting at the end of his account of the election of Thomas Perez as DNC Chair at The Washington Post. It being The Washington Post, this got echoed at quite a few other sites. Jeff Stein also included DSA in his coverage of the DNC election at Vox.

Reuters distributed an account of DSA’s national growth by Justin Mitchell. Quite a few sites picked it up. Michael Moore added fuel to the fire by mentioning that DSA was among the organizations he had joined, and you should, too. It being Michael Moore, the post was reproduced on a good many other sites; Mark Hensch at The Hill even wrote a story about it. The video channel Now This also had an report featuring DSA’s growth. So you wanna be a socialist? Sara Bernard surveys your options in Seattle, including DSA, at Seattle Weekly. DSA’s growth was a minor part of John Reimann take on the developing mood in the U.S. at The North Star.

Jason Ruiz reported on the formation of a Long Beach, California, chapter of DSA at the Long Beach Post. The first meeting of the new Georgetown YDS chapter was covered by Claire Goldberg at The Georgetown Voice. The first steps by YDS activists toward becoming a recognized student organization at Boston College were noted by Chris Russo at The Heights. The activities of the YDS chapter at the University of Texas El Paso was the subject of a report by Michaela Roman at The Prospector Daily. Dave Kempa interviewed Linda-Ann Mattox of Sacramento DSA at Sacramento News & Review. Amber Enderton reported on the Sacramento DSA chapter in Elk Grove News.net. Kathie Obradovich reported on the growth of DSA chapters in Iowa at The Des Moines Register.

Steven Sherman at The Indypendent came away from the YDS national conference feeling a bit skeptical, but Emma Roller at Deadspin not so much.

Timothy Sheridan hypes the conflict between centrist Democrats and the left, personified by YDS, at OU Daily. The Indypendent posted an online forum on the future of progressives and the Democratic Party wherein DSA got mentions. Jon Ward and Hunter Walker mentioned DSA in a Yahoo News account of Tom Perez’ campaign to be DNC Chair. Creede Newton interviewed Samuel Ronan, a candidate for DNC chair, at Al Jazeera, and yes, absolutely, there is room for DSA in the Democratic Party in his opinion.

Patrick Iber reviewed recent books about Sanders and socialism, mentioning DSA, at The Nation.

On Valentine’s Day, the Alliance for Community Services attempted to deliver a valentine to Illinois Governor Rauner, asking him to have a heart regarding human services, and DSA was listed among the participating organizations at eNews Park Forest.

Wilson Pava’s account of 2017’s “Historic Thousand on J Street” march in Raleigh included DSA in the landscape at The Davidson.

Eugene Weekly noted the availability of non-violent direct action training, co-sponsored by University of Oregon YDS.

Kyle Scott Clauss at Boston Magazine mentioned DSA in discussing just what constitutes a “sanctuary” anything. Geoff Meldahl from Chattanooga DSA was quoted in Shaka Cobb’s coverage of an immigrant support vigil at Dalton Daily Citizen. YDS’ Dominic Chacon was quoted in Grecia Sanchez’s coverage of a “Day without Immigrants” at The Prospector Daily.

At The Glass Block, Brooks Butler Hays mentioned DSA in reviewing the history of workers’ bookshops in Pittsburgh.

Jeremy Moule noted DSA among the groups developing a local “Platform for a Progressive Movement” at Rochester City Newspaper.

DSA got mentioned in connection with single-payer health care in Jetta Rae’s coverage of Rep. Barbara Lee’s Fruitvale town hall meeting at Hoodline. According to Susan Maloney at The Badger Herald, DSA members raised a similar question at a town hall meeting for Republican Senator Ron Johnson, notable for the Senator’s absence. DSA was among the organizations sponsoring a town hall meeting defending the ACA, according to Kasey Bubnash at Missoulian.

Conor Lynch examined Slavoj Žižek’s argument that Trump is good for the left, citing DSA’s growth as one item in its favor, at Salon. Miles Kampf-Lassen cites the same evidence in his argument that the anti-Trump resistance is starting to win at In These Times. Your editor thinks this is akin to having stage 4 cancer and thinking, “Well, at last I’m getting my weight down to a healthy level.” And speaking of medical care, will Trump’s rampage over Obamacare lead to Medicare for all? Brendan Gallagher explored the prospect at Merry Jane, including DSA among those pushing for it. And Rick Paulas explained how Trump led him to socialism and DSA at Vice.

At Spiked, Tom Bailey mentioned DSA in passing while examining what he felt is the growth of conspiracy fantasies on the left. Rafael Khachaturian also mentioned DSA in passing in an essay about the “Deep State” concept at Jacobin.

West Suburban DSA

by Sam Miemczewski
West Suburban Illinois Democratic Socialists of America (WSDSA) had our first meeting on January 8th with 17 people in attendance and by our second meeting on February 12th we doubled that with 35 people in attendance. We just passed our by-laws and constitution and filed paperwork to become a chapter! We have four working committees: women’s rights, minority’s rights, legislation, and education. We formed a coalition with other groups and helped to organize a protest against Republican Congressman (6th District) Peter Roskam and had nearly 1000 people show up! We’re eager to work as a team with CDSA and other Illinois chapters and OC’s as they continue to form so that we can effectively organize to push DSA values in our communities. WSDSA is happy to be a part of such an ambitious organization and we hope to serve as a strong democratic socialist outlet for our comrades residing in the Western Suburbs of Illinois. MORE INFORMATION.