165-4 DSA News

Last Call for Dinner

The 58th Debs — Thomas — Harrington Dinner is coming very soon: Friday, May 20. If you plan to attend, now is the time to get your tickets. We really need to know by Tuesday, May 17th, as the hotel needs to know how many meals to prepare.

We’re honoring Michael Lighty and Jorge Mújica, and we have a tremendous keynote speaker: Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza. For more information and to order tickets online, CLICK HERE.

The Sanders Campaign and Beyond

by Bob Roman

On Saturday, May 7, over 70 people gathered at the Midwest office of National Nurses United to consider the future of the movement for socialism inspired by Bernie Sander’s campaign. Much to the surprise of some late arrivals, it started on time and stayed pretty much on time for the rest of the three hours. It was a capacity crowd. Many of the late arrivals ended up seated on the floor.

MORE.

The Sanders Campaign and Beyond: An Introduction

by Ian Hartman

If you are here today, chances are you’ve been in some way stirred, energized, or moved to action by the Sanders campaign. This has proven to be an historic election — not just because Sanders has so successfully channeled the immense dissatisfaction that people feel with the political status quo, but because his campaign has helped carve out a space where we can really start to question and organize against the common sense that has constrained the horizons of American politics.

MORE.

Stop the TPP

Chicago DSA and Greater Oak Park DSA have begun a postcard petition campaign directed at the Illinois Congressional delegation, urging the Senators and Representatives to vote against the TPP when it finally comes up for a vote. We collected signed postcards at the May 7th Sanders event, at the Logan Square Farmers Market today, and at the upcoming Debs — Thomas — Harrington Dinner. We’ll be doing this at other venues throughout the summer. If you’d like to help, give the office a call: 773.384.0327.

DSA in the News

Paul Street continued to wish Bernie Sanders (and, in passing, DSA) would go away, leaving the field open for real revolutionaries, at Counterpunch. Also at Counterpunch, Howie Hawkins wished Bernie Sanders (and, in passing, DSA) would go away, leaving the field open for the Green Party. Ethan Corey at In These Times credits DSA as being among the organizations organizing the post-Sanders campaign Peoples Summit. Also at In These Times, Douglas Williams mentions DSA in passing in an argument against Clinton.

Apropos of May Day, the BBC interviewed Joseph Schwartz, identifying him as a Vice-Chair of DSA, on Newshour, about 16 minutes in.

Dan La Botz mentions DSA in passing in a survey of the Latin American and European Left at New Politics.

In reporting on the post-primary Sanders movement, Joseph Schwartz was quoted with the DSA Vice-Chair ID, by Peter Nicholas at The Wall Street Journal.

The Wesleyan Student Assembly voted in favor raising the minimum wage on campus, supported by the Wesleyan YDS chapter, as reported by Erica DeMichiel at The Wesley Argus. Aviv has a report on the campaign, mentioning DSA, at Wesleying.

The Sanders Campaign and Beyond

by Bob Roman

On Saturday, May 7, over 70 people gathered at the Midwest office of National Nurses United to consider the future of the movement for socialism inspired by Bernie Sander’s campaign. Much to the surprise of some late arrivals, it started on time and stayed pretty much on time for the rest of the three hours. It was a capacity crowd. Many of the late arrivals ended up seated on the floor.

The meeting was structured around a series of presentations grouped around topics (e.g. neoliberalism, democratic socialism), followed by question and answer sessions. The speakers included Ian Hartman, David Schweickart, Tobita Chow, Emily Rosenberg, Bill Barclay, Jan Rodolfo, Bill Bianchi, Fran Tobin, Peg Strobel, and as a panel: Emma Cone-Roddy, Ian Hartman, Alex McLeese, and Tom Broderick.

The number of speakers meant the Q&A sessions were necessarily limited, and we were fairly insistent that it be questions, not speeches. As lefties love time on the soapbox, everyone felt the lack and most especially those who came the event with an agenda. But time was a limited resource, and this was probably the event’s biggest flaw.

The next biggest was that the participant demographics tended to reflect the left generally, even if a majority of the attendees were new to DSA. There were a scattering of minorities: A few Blacks, Hispanics and south Asians. While majority male, there was better gender balance and more youth than is typical of lefty events.

Some of those with an agenda might assert the event’s biggest flaw was that it was organized by Chicago DSA. It was, however, cosponsored by National Nurses United, The People’s Lobby, Progressive Democrats of America, and the Alliance for Community Services.

The Sanders Campaign and Beyond: An Introduction

by Ian Hartman

If you are here today, chances are you’ve been in some way stirred, energized, or moved to action by the Sanders campaign. This has proven to be an historic election — not just because Sanders has so successfully channeled the immense dissatisfaction that people feel with the political status quo, but because his campaign has helped carve out a space where we can really start to question and organize against the common sense that has constrained the horizons of American politics.

Sanders has not just given us rhetoric. He has articulated a set of concrete demands and proposals that buck against the consensus politics of both the Republican and Democratic parties: demands for a living wage, for universal healthcare, free public higher ed, and progressive taxation, to name just a few. He’s done this while actually naming the “billionaire class” as a political enemy, and while identifying himself, without shame, as a “democratic socialist.”

In a very real sense, then, the Sanders campaign has helped to mainstream opposition to neoliberal capitalism, broaden our political vocabulary, and abet the fight for genuine alternatives.

Yet as Sanders himself has repeatedly emphasized, this fight does not rest on the electoral fate of a single presidential candidate. It rests on our ability to organize a mass political movement that can build upon and carry forward the possibilities opened up by the Sanders moment.

So what we’re hear to discuss today isn’t the democratic primary, or the election in November. We’re hear to discuss a much broader set of questions. What we do with this sense of openness? How do we build on this burgeoning opposition to the widening inequalities hardwired into our society? How do we channel the excitement around Sanders toward a sustainable movement for genuine political and social transformation?

Our speakers today will help us to grapple with these questions by putting the Sanders campaign in its broader context. We’ll hear about the crisis of neoliberal capitalism, the openings and the limits of the Sanders platform, and the meaning and history of democratic socialism. We’ll also hear about the challenges facing political organizers today, and the strategies they use to fight for change. These are the kinds of discussions we’ll need to keep having in the days to come. It’s our hope that by the end of the day, we’ll have taken one small step toward imagining and building the movement we need to get us to the future we want.

165-3 DSA News

Making a Political Revolution

Excited about Bernie Sanders? Want to join the political revolution? Come to our May 7th forum on movement building beyond the election! We’ll discuss the significance of the Sanders campaign, the meaning of democratic socialism, and strategies for confronting exploitation and inequality at the state and national level. We’ll also offer skills training on coalition building and grassroots organizing. Together, we’ll plan ways to channel the renewed interest in democratic socialism toward a sustainable movement for political transformation. There’s never been a more exciting or vital time to work for change. Join us in the fight!

Where: National Nurses United, 850 W. Jackson, Chicago

When: Saturday, May 7, 10 AM to 1 PM

Co-sponsored by Alliance for Community Services, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, National Nurses United, and Progressive Democrats of America.

Rauner’s Road to Perdition

The 58th Debs — Thomas — Harrington Dinner will be Friday evening, May 20, at the Crown Plaza Chicago Metro, Madison & Halsted in Chicago. Our keynote speaker is Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza and we’ll be honoring National Nurses United’s Public Policy Director, Michael Lighty, and Chicago labor and immigrant rights activist Jorge Mújica. Tickets are $80. Tickets can be ordered online at the Dinner web page or, if you prefer, by mail. For a printable (PDF) order form, CLICK HERE.

DSA in the News

Chicago ex-pat Eric Fink’s campaign for the North Carolina Senate and DSA were written up in an article by Paul Blest at Indy Week.

DSA was mentioned in connection with the late Bogdan Denitch in Ian Williams’ column at Tribune Magazine.

DSA got mentioned in passing in a post-Sanders speculation by Geoff Gilbert at Truthout. At MSNBC, Alex Seitz-Wald provided  a heads up about the upcoming People’s Summit in Chicago, mentioning (“and then there’s”) DSA. A similar article by Kate Aronoff also mentioned DSA at Rolling Stone. Paul Street dismisses Bernie Sanders and, in passing, DSA at Counterpunch.

Madeline Cohen included an extensive quote from DSA member Theresa Alt in a Cornell Sun article about the Sanders campaign in Tompkins County, New York.

Stephanie Block affirms to conservatives that socialism by any name is really bad, using DSA and Cornel West, as props at Spero News. At Maine Wire (a newsletter of the Maine Heritage Policy Center), John Frary mentions DSA in connection with research on the minimum wage. DSA is quoted by B.K. Marcus in a discussion of democracy and socialism at The Freeman.

Talkin’ Socialism

Episode 63 Good Jobs, Clean Jobs, and Nuclear Energy in Illinois
Recorded April 25, 2016. Tom Broderick interviews David Kraft, director and a founder of the Nuclear Energy Information Service. Kraft discusses the state of the nuclear energy industry in Illinois and the ongoing efforts by various interests to pass their own versions of a “Clean Jobs” bill. This legislation would create thousands of jobs by increasing energy efficiency, developing renewable energy sources, and meeting or exceeding EPA carbon emission standards. (37:27)

Religious Socialism

Chicago DSA member Brian Noe is among those producing a new podcast for DSA’s Religion and Socialism Commission. The first episode is a conversation with Professor Gary Dorrien, who teaches social ethics at Union Theological Seminary. The sound file is available through iTunes and Soundcloud.

Making a Political Revolution

Excited about Bernie Sanders? Want to join the political revolution? Come to our May 7th forum on movement building beyond the election! We’ll discuss the significance of the Sanders campaign, the meaning of democratic socialism, and strategies for confronting exploitation and inequality at the state and national level. We’ll also offer skills training on coalition building and grassroots organizing. Together, we’ll plan ways to channel the renewed interest in democratic socialism toward a sustainable movement for political transformation. There’s never been a more exciting or vital time to work for change. Join us in the fight!

Co-sponsored by Alliance for Community Services, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, National Nurses United, and Progressive Democrats of America.

Rauner’s Road to Perdition

The 2016 Eugene V. Debs – Norman Thomas – Michael Harrington Dinner will be Friday evening, May 20, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro, Madison and Halsted on Chicago’s near west side. It is, as always, a union hotel. You are invited, requested, beseeched to participate. We have a great program lined up; you won’t regret it.

The theme for this year’s event is Rauner’s Road to Perdition. If Governor Rauner prevails, our state is on its way to utter ruin. The alternative is the utter ruin of Rauner’s reactionary “Turn Around Agenda.” All roads lead to perdition for someone. It’s either them or it’s us.

Susan Sadlowski GarzaOur keynote speaker will do justice to this topic: Alderwoman of the 10th Ward, Susan Sadlowski Garza. The first Chicago Teachers Union member elected to the City Council, she is also the first woman to represent Chicago’s 10th Ward. Described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “tough-as-nails,” she is Bernie Sander’s political revolution come to Chicago’s “gritty” southeast side.

Our honorees fit this mold too.

Many of you will know Jorge Mújica as the 2015 socialist candidate for Alderman of the 25th Ward who Chicago DSA endorsed and supported. He was then and is now the Strategic Campaigns Organizer for the Chicago Arise worker center. But Mújica Jorge Mujicahas done so much more. In addition to being an organizer for worker centers, he has been an organizer for traditional labor unions. He has been a journalist for both print and broadcast media. Mújica was one of the three conveners of the historic 2006 immigrant rights march in Chicago that brought a million people out on the streets of Chicago. One is tempted to call him a renaissance activist.

Michael Lighty is the Public Policy Director for California Nurses Association / National Nurses United. In that position, he has been an effective advocate for a national “single-payer” health plan, for a “Robin Hood Tax” on financial transactions, Michael Lightyfor limiting the role of money in politics, and for lesbian and gay equality. Did we mention the Bernie Sanders campaign? It shouldn’t be a surprise that Lighty also served as DSA’s National Director, 1990 to 1993. Michael Lighty is the Board Secretary of the Martin Luther King Jr Freedom Center and, somewhat more prosaically, Lighty has served on the Port of Oakland Commission and on the Oakland Planning Commission.

The favor of your reply is requested.

165-2 DSA News

Rauner’s Road to Perdition

The 2016 Eugene V. Debs – Norman Thomas – Michael Harrington Dinner will be Friday evening, May 20, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro, Madison and Halsted on Chicago’s near west side. It is, as always, a union hotel. You are invited, requested, beseeched to participate. We have a great program lined up; you won’t regret it.

The theme for this year’s event is Rauner’s Road to Perdition. If Governor Rauner prevails, our state is on its way to utter ruin. The alternative is the utter ruin of Rauner’s reactionary “Turn Around Agenda.” All roads lead to perdition for someone. It’s either them or it’s us.

Our keynote speaker will do justice to this topic: Alderwoman of the 10th Ward, Susan Sadlowski Garza. The first Chicago Teachers Union member elected to the City Council, she is also the first woman to represent Chicago’s 10th Ward. Described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “tough-as-nails,” she is Bernie Sander’s political revolution come to Chicago’s “gritty” southeast side.

Our honorees fit this mold too.

Many of you will know Jorge Mújica as the 2015 socialist candidate for Alderman of the 25th Ward who Chicago DSA endorsed and supported. He was then and is now the Strategic Campaigns Organizer for the Chicago Arise worker center. But Mújica has done so much more. In addition to being an organizer for worker centers, he has been an organizer for traditional labor unions. He has been a journalist for both print and broadcast media. Mújica was one of the three conveners of the historic 2006 immigrant rights march in Chicago that brought a million people out on the streets of Chicago. One is tempted to call him a renaissance activist.

Michael Lighty is the Public Policy Director for California Nurses Association / National Nurses United. In that position, he has been an effective advocate for a national “single-payer” health plan, for a “Robin Hood Tax” on financial transactions, for limiting the role of money in politics, and for lesbian and gay equality. Did we mention the Bernie Sanders campaign? It shouldn’t be a surprise that Lighty also served as DSA’s National Director, 1990 to 1993. Michael Lighty is the Board Secretary of the Martin Luther King Jr Freedom Center and, somewhat more prosaically, Lighty has served on the Port of Oakland Commission and on the Oakland Planning Commission.

The favor of your reply is requested.

DSA Notes

  • At the initiative of the Chicago City Branch, Chicago DSA turned out to support the Chicago Teachers Union’s April 1 strike. DSA members gathered around the banner, where we handed out signs for the occasion. At most about a dozen of us were together at any one time, but people checked-in then left to find friends and acquaintances until the size of the crowd ultimately made navigation (and cohesion) difficult. There were actions all day around the city, so DSA’s participation was rather more than those of us around the banner. Among those marching with us that afternoon were Jason Schulman from New York and DSA’s new labor outreach coordinator Russ Weiss-Irwin. You can find some photos HERE.
  • Among other Chicago DSA members, Tom Broderick and Brian Noe attended this year’s Labor Notes conference, and helped staff a DSA table. At the same time, Jason Shulman and Chris Riddiough were in town to participate in panels at the Platypus gathering. Chicagoans Judith Gardiner, Marilyn Nissim-Sabat, and Bill Pelz were also listed as panelists for Platypus.
  • About a dozen folks turned up for City of Chicago DSA’s Happy Hour in March. Another is planned for Wednesday, April 27, venue TBA.
  • Alex McLeese conducted a Chicago DSA Meet-up on Danny Katch’s Socialism… Seriously.
  • Dave Rathke and Rosemary Feurer have joined the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Board of Directors.

DSA in the News

DSA was mentioned in a South Philly Review article by Bill Chenevert about the opening of a Sanders office. DSA also earned a mention in a Village Voice article by Jesse Alexander Myerson about Sander’s Judaism. Sanders and the appeal of socialism was the topic of an article by Vincent Jackson at The Press of Atlantic City that used extended quotes DSA member Natalie Midiri. DSA was noted and DSA member Theresa Alt quoted, in a Cornell Daily Sun article by Madelline Cohen about political donations and the Sanders campaign. A similar article by Colleen McCain Nelson at The Wall Street Journal quoted DSA member Elias Kleinbock. Askia Muhammad’s article about Bernie Sanders and Black politics in The Final Call mentions DSA with extensive quotes from Harold Meyerson. Brad Edmondson mentions DSA in a reflection about Bernie Sanders at Ithaca Times. That DSA’s definition(s) of socialism don’t quite match Sanders’ is a reason to mistrust Bernie Sanders, argues Kodi Garcia at Medium (not a unique argument; expect to see more of this).

DSA was mentioned in a Counterpunch article by Ed Rampell that vented about “progressive” Clinton supporters.

Barbara Joye, as a DSA member, was quoted in an Atlanta Progressive News article by Gloria Tatum about a demonstration opposing various anti-immigrant legislation in Georgia. DSA was listed among the sponsors of a rally for “Just Lawmaking and Sensible Lawmakers” for Oklahoma in an article by Darla Shelden at The City Sentinel. DSA is among the organizations supporting a “Resolution to Raise the Minimum Wage for Wesleyan Students,” as reported by Aviv Rau at Wesleying. DSA was mentioned in connection with the election contest for president of the Undergraduate Council of Students at Brown University by Matthew Jarrell at Brown Daily Herald.

DSA was mentioned as part of a further elaboration of the Obama the Socialist mythology (connecting Obama with Sanders, with Yet Another Sequel in the making) by Monica Crowley at the Washington Times. On the other hand, DSA and its history was a major feature in a seriously and determinedly unsympathetic but informed review of The Future We Want posted at The Brooklyn Rail by Jason E. Smith.

DSA was mentioned in an article about Jacobin magazine by Meera Srinivasan at The Hindu.

Rochester Area DSA co-chairs Karen Vitale and Lyle Rubin were part of a panel discussing democratic socialism on radio station WXXI.

Hull-House Tour for DSA Members

On Sunday, May 22, noon to 1:00, Chicago DSA members and friends are invited to a special tour of the Hull-House Museum by Rima Lunin Schultz and Peg Strobel. Schultz is writing a book with Graham Cassano, “Eleanor Smith’s Hull-House Songbook: The Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams’s Chicago”; Schultz wrote the museum’s website Urban Experience in Chicago: Hull-House and Its Neighbborhoods, 1889-1963. Strobel is former director of the museum; she co-edited Pots of Promise: Mexicans and Pottery at Hull-House, 1920-1940.

The tour will focus on the people and programs associated with Hull-House, the social settlement that Jane Addams co-founded in 1889. Her innovative approach to world peace began in the Hull-House neighborhood where she developed ideas and programs that engaged in the local, but were connected to a global, vision; this work was part of the reason for her being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. A 13-building complex, Hull-House was home to social activists who were residents of the settlement and, with Addams, developed innovative programs to address critical urban issues, from immigration to racial integration, juvenile justice to labor organizing, and the role of theater, the arts and music.

Reservations are not necessary, but please arrived promptly at noon. Hull-House is located at 800 S. Halsted in Chicago, not far from the CTA Blue Line Halsted station.