DSA in the News

compiled by Bob Roman

In coverage of the then upcoming Illinois primary, Tom Schuba at NBC Chicago’s Ward Room identified Representative Danny K. Davis as a member of DSA (fwiw: not true at present). Tom Bell, for the Associated Press, included a two paragraph interview with DSA member Bob Murray in coverage of the Maine Democratic caucuses, carried by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch among others. Isthmus carried a press release touting the grand opening of a “Better with Bernie” headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, including a quote from DSA member Les Gallay. At Chicago’s Redeye, Jess Nocera explains why millennials like Sanders and don’t mind “democratic socialism,” quoting DSA’s Maria Svart; this may have also appeared in other McClatchy publications. Madi Clark continues to support Bernie Sanders, referencing DSA, at The Odyssey.

The transcript of a panel discussion by Danny Katch (ISO) and Bhaskar Sunkara (Jacobin) and Gloria Mattera (Green Party) and Dustin Guastella (DSA) on Sanders and building a socialist movement was posted at Jacobin. Building a post-Sanders socialist movement was also the topic of an essay by Joseph Schwartz, mentioning DSA, at Telesur.

At The Hill, Okla Elliott writes yet another What is democratic socialism essay for beltway insiders, referencing DSA. And there is a similar, very brief essay by Ariel Oaks at The Claw. And the discussion continues with an article by Liz Rowley at Mic that quotes DSA. Bethany Sanders explored the question of Bernie Sanders and democratic socialism with DSA at Around the Bend. Anirudh Bhattacharyya claims Bernie Sanders was once a DSA member at The Quint (India).

We don’t usually include Breitbart.com as a legit news site, but Aaron Klein decided that giving Chicago DSA credit for shutting down Trump’s Chicago rally was an excellent addition to his terrifying DSA mythos. Alas that we actually had so little to do with organizing the protest. DSA members were there, however, as well as at the Palmer House, protesting a Bruce Rauner fundraiser.

Talkin’ Socialism

by Bob Roman

Talkin' SocialismOur more or less monthly podcast, Talkin’ Socialism, is once again available through Apple’s iTunes store, for free. You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes and so not miss an episode. You can also listen to or subscribe to Talkin’ Socialism through Stitcher or through our RSS feed. Your choice is a matter of convenience, depending (I’d guess) on what device you use to listen. Not every back episode is available through iTunes or through Stitcher or through our RSS feed. This is a data entry issue and may be remedied eventually.

Since New Ground 164, we have two new episodes posted.

Episode 60, recorded on January 9, is “The Great Stagnation”. Chicago Political Economy Group mavens Ron Baiman and Bill Barclay examine today’s economy and ask: Is this the new normal? May be. Find out why.

Episode 61, recorded on February 6, examines “The Rauner Agenda”. Bunnie Johnson (Shop Steward and Executive Board member for AFSCME Local 2858, and a caseworker for the Illinois Department of Human Services) and Fran Tobin (Coordinator, Alliance for Community Services) in conversation with Chicago DSA’s Bob Roman. Welcome to the new barbarity.

These episodes, and all the back episodes, are available at HERE.

164-3 DSA News

Campaigning for Bernie

Over the past two weeks, Chicago DSA, both as an organization and as individuals, continues to be actively promoting Bernie Sanders’ run for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Sanders 95th Chicago
Leafleting at 95th Street. Photo: GOPDSA

On February 17, Chicago DSA blitzed the 95th Street “L” stop in the morning rush, handing out over a thousand flyers, mostly a DSA piece structured around Cornel West’s endorsement of Sanders.

On Saturday, February 27, Chicago DSA participated in the #March4Bernie2, once again bringing along our banner. About a dozen members hung-out by the banner during the rally but people, members and non-members and erstwhile members, kept coming and going. This time the event marched up Michigan Avenue to the Water Tower park, with a stop at the Tribune Tower. This time the march gained brief news mentions apart from the traffic reports.

We also had a few “Beers for Bernie” election return watching events that, with apologies, were rather hard to locate if you didn’t already know the individuals involved.

As individuals, DSA members have been active in phone banking at the Sanders campaign offices in the south Loop and in Evanston. Peg Strobel hosted a “Women for Bernie” meet-up in Oak Park. Brian Swoveland is among those organizing a fundraising concert, Enter the Sandman, on March 4th. And those are just the things your editor has heard about.

Talkin’ Socialism

Episode 61 The Rauner Agenda
Recorded February 6, 2016. Bunnie Johnson (Shop Steward and Executive Board member for AFSCME Local 2858, and a caseworker for the Illinois Department of Human Services) and Fran Tobin (Coordinator, Alliance for Community Services) in conversation with Chicago DSA’s Bob Roman. What happens when the State pretends there is no money? What happens to Human Services when the government is run “like a business”? Welcome to the new barbarity.

Download to listen later [right click]:
MP3 (30.5 MB) or OGG VORBIS (24.4 MB) (31:47)
or add to your playlist using STITCHER or iTunes.

Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner

Save the date: the 2016 Dinner will be on Friday evening, May 20. It looks like we’ll have Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza as our featured speaker. If money is an issue, keep in mind that Chicago DSA members get a break on tickets.

DSA in the News

Bill Resnick continues his conversation with DSA’s Maria Svart, this time about socialism and climate change, on KBOO’s “Old Mole Variety Hour”. At public radio WOSU, Marilyn Smith deconstructs democratic socialism by interviewing a few sources, including a member of DSA. KATU interviewed Maria Svart about socialism and Sanders. Diane Jones’ “Off the Cuff” commentary on KLPW used DSA to explain democratic socialism: It’s evil, of course. U.S. Bureau Chief for Singapore’s The Straits Times, Jeremy Au Yong, attempts to explain Sanders and democratic socialism using DSA as one of his sources. Clark Mindock at International Business Times made a superficial attempt at defining Sander’s ideology — well, he got our name wrong.

MSNBC interviewed Frances Fox Piven about Bernie Sanders, mentioning her affiliation with DSA. Piven also gave a talk on the Sanders campaign in the context of poor people’s movements, covered by Steve Ahlquist at Progessive Charleston.

Edward Martin and Mateo Pimentel began a five part series, “Bernie Sanders, Democratic Socialism, and The Other America“, part II of which identifies Sanders as a “DSA socialist” at Dissident Voice. Peter Dreier examines Gloria Steinem’s support for Hillary Clinton, mentioning DSA, at Dissent. At the Associated Press’s Trail Translator, Nancy Benac uses quotes from DSA’s David Duhalde to help define Bernie Sander’s socialism.

The Orange Leader reported on two Vidor Lamar University students selected for political internships, including DSA in the bio of one of them.

Agatha Kereere covered an Oakland, California, Women for Bernie Meet-Up, including Barbara Ruffner “of the Democratic Socialists of America” as one of the speakers at Oakland North. Emma Alberici’s coverage of the results of the Iowa caucuses at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation included one scene featuring a lot of DSA Bernie Sanders t-shirts and buttons and interviews with unidentified DSA members. Anna Giaritelli at Washington Examiner covered DC’s MarchforBernie2, quoting DSA’s Coleson Breen and listing DSA as among the organizers. The U.K. version of International Business Times had a story by Tom Mendelsohn about the South Carolina primary, mentioning DSA’s Cornel West campaigning for Sanders.

J.T. Kim at Union College’s Concordiensis mentioned DSA, sorta, in connection with an upcoming campus visit by Cornel West. Likewise, Telesur covered a Cornel West tweet re: Hillary Clinton, mentioning his DSA membership.

164-2 DSA News

Greater Oak Park DSA

Ferrara Pan fair hiring demonstration
GOPDSA members and others at Ferrara Pan demonstration

GOP DSA joined Black Workers Matter in an action at Ferrara Pan to demand that (i) the company cease their discriminatory hiring practices and (ii) raise wages. Click HERE and HERE for more information.

On January 31, GOP DSA hosted a “Beers for Bernie” event at the Friendly Tap in Berwyn. About three dozen people attended, mostly not the usual suspects, to explore just what “democratic socialism” and the Sanders campaign is all about. It was politics accompanied by music from Chicago ex-pat singer-song writer Linda Boyle.

DSA in the News

A survey of campaign spending by Kenneth P. Vogel at Politico earned DSA a mention.

At the University of Maine, Sarah Allisot discussed socialism and mentions DSA in an essay posted at The Maine Campus. On the other hand, maybe it was Reuben Dendinger who wrote the essay, posted at the Bangor Daily News. Jaime Metzger enlisted DSA in arguing Bernie Sanders’ socialism ain’t your granddad’s socialism at Odyssey. Bernie Sanders isn’t a socialist, protests Therin Showalter at Indiana Daily Student, but quotes Joseph Schwartz and DSA to define the terms. Jeffrey Isaac presented a primer on Sanders and socialism at the New School’s Public Seminar, mentioning DSA.

Danny Duncan Collum mentions DSA when discussing “Should Christians Be Socialists?” at Sojourners.

Dan La Botz covered a New York March for Bernie with a mention of DSA at New Politics. Michael Romain’s account of the Bernie Sanders campaign in Oak Park, Illinois, began by featuring DSA at a local demonstration at the Wednesday Journal.

Elizabeth Bruenig crowned “democratic socialism” the winner of the 2016 elections, featuring DSA deputy director David Duhalde at The New Republic. On the other hand, some socialists are hoping Sanders will lose. Bill Scher mentioned DSA in his discussion of the two camps in a well-informed report at Politico. Mentioning DSA in passing, Gary Leupp continues that discussion in an essay in equal parts devoted to Bernie Sanders, socialism, and… Cornel West, posted at Counterpunch. Once again at Counterpunch, DSA pops up in an essay by William Blum about socialism and Sanders. Maria Svart joined Bill Resnick at Oregon’s KBOO Old Mole Variety Hour to discuss DSA and why “democratic socialism” is no longer an electoral kiss of death.

Jason Schulman mentions DSA in passing in an essay on the nature of political “parties” in the U.S. at New Politics.

Dan Majors outlines an analysis of Sanders’ economic plan by professor Gerald Friedman, mentioning DSA in connection with Friedman, at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Dave Anderson touted an upcoming DSA meeting in a discussion of the documentary This Changes Everything at Boulder Weekly.

DSA was used as an identifier for an interviewee in an article by Olivia Slagle regarding a demonstration advocating raising the minimum wage at The Daily Tarheel.

DSA National Political Committee Statements

on Bernie Sanders’ New Hampshire Primary Victory;

on Gloria Steinem.

164-1 DSA News

Beers for Bernie

What is democratic socialism? Who defines it? Since U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders decided to run for president of the United States on the Democratic Party ticket, questions about Bernie and socialism are ubiquitous. In addition to curiosity, there are attacks from the left, center and right as Bernie draws large and enthusiastic crowds. The Greater Oak Park chapter of Democratic Socialists of America invites you to join the conversation. We’re hosting a free event: Beers for Bernie. While the event is free, beer will be available for purchase. Beers for Bernie will be held at the Friendly Tap on Sunday, January 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. The Friendly Tap is located at 6733 W. Roosevelt Road in Berwyn. Questions? Email tbroderick@chicagodsa.org or go to the Facebook event page.

Chicago DSA Marches for Bernie by Alec Hudson

With the presidential primaries approaching and with Bernie Sanders gaining an edge over Hillary Clinton in the first primary and caucus states, the January 23rd March for Bernie was an embodiment of the enthusiasm for Sanders and his campaign. Over a thousand marchers arrived in front of the Daley Center and marched to the Chicago Board of Trade building, chanting slogans supporting Bernie and claiming “banks got bailed out, we got sold out!” In such an electric atmosphere people of all backgrounds spoke out against the inequality and lack of social services plaguing our nation, the state of Illinois, and the City of Chicago. The March was planned in coordination on social media with other marches supporting Sanders around the country.


Talkin’ Socialism

Episode 60 The Great Stagnation
Recorded January 9, 2016. Ron Baiman and Bill Barclay, members of the Chicago Political Economy Group, review the political economy of 2015 and speculate on 2016.

Download to listen later [right click]:
MP3 (32.5 MB) or OGG VORBIS (43.9 MB) (33:53)


or add to your playlist using STITCHER.

DSA in the News

In Ohio, party caucuses do not choose who will go to the national conventions but rather who will be the candidate’s slate of delegates to stand in the subsequent primary. In Ohio’s 7th Congressional District, public radio’s WKSU found a DSA member attending the Clinton caucus.

John Nichols mentioned DSA in passing in an article about MoveOn’s endorsement process at The Nation. He also mentioned DSA in passing in his follow-up regarding MoveOn’s decision.

Conor Lynch mentioned DSA in passing in this essay about Bernie Sanders at Salon. Terry Simons writes about meeting Michael Harrington, mentioning DSA of course, and nominates Bernie Sanders as his successor, posted (interestingly) at Counterpunch.

The Chicago Tribune didn’t consider the Saturday, January 23, March for Bernie worthy of an article, but the work of their photographer, John J. Kim, was colorful enough to merit a photo slideshow, a few of which show the Chicago DSA banner.

DSA was mentioned in passing in a David Brooks opinion piece in LaJornada.

Matea Gold included DSA in a discussion of the constellation of groups supporting Bernie Sanders in the Washington Post. It being the Washington Post, the article was picked up in other publications, including the Ames Tribune in Iowa.

John Perazzo used DSA as one of his props to demonstrate that Representative Luis Gutierrez is a horrible person at David Horowitz’ Front Page. Interesting on how all the links are to other right-wing conspiracy mongers.

Join us at Beers for Bernie in the Wednesday Journal.

Generation Left

The Young Democratic Socialists’ winter conference will be over President’s Day weekend, February 12 through 14, at the May Day Community Space in Brooklyn, New York. For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.

Chicago DSA Marches for Bernie

by Alec Hudson

With the presidential primaries approaching and with Bernie Sanders gaining an edge over Hillary Clinton in the first primary and caucus states, the January 23rd March for Bernie was an embodiment of the enthusiasm for Sanders and his campaign. Over a thousand marchers arrived in front of the Daley Center and marched to the Chicago Board of Trade building, chanting slogans supporting Bernie and claiming “banks got bailed out, we got sold out!” In such an electric atmosphere people of all backgrounds spoke out against the inequality and lack of social services plaguing our nation, the state of Illinois, and the City of Chicago. The March was planned in coordination on social media with other marches supporting Sanders around the country.

The Chicago March was organized primarily by Movement4Bernie, a group created by Socialist Alternative to garner support for Bernie outside of the Democratic Party. Our participation was welcomed by Socialist Alternative, and perhaps will foster further cooperation with them in the future as their support for Bernie continues. Beyond Socialist Alternative members of organizations like the Chicago Teachers Union, National Nurses United, as well as delegates for Bernie to the Democratic Party National Convention were all in attendance as were elected officials like Alderwoman Susan Garza. Chicago DSA’s attendance was great, with about a dozen DSA members from our City and Oak Park branches marching along with members from DuPage county. There was a solid turnout for our city branch which has been steadily growing since our first meeting in December.

So far major media has chosen to ignore the March and the other marches around the country, but there is no doubt in the minds of progressive and left-wing voters that something is happening in this country when hundreds and thousands of people are marching for a social democratic candidate like Bernie. With the involvement of DSA in rallies like these as well as our own #WeNeedBernie campaign we are helping to build a movement that will go beyond this election and move our politics more into the realm of socialist thought and action.

Other News

compiled by Bob Roman

City Branch

Some time ago, Alec Hudson came to the Executive Committee with an idea of organizing a CDSA branch for the northside of Chicago. Due to Hudson’s impossible work schedule, it remained nothing more than a Facebook page for many months. With a new job and help from some new DSA members, the idea expanded to organizing a City branch. An initial meeting in December brought together 9 interested members, mostly new and mostly young, to brainstorm possibilities. A second meeting is planned for January 13 at the Harold Washington Library. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/City-of-Chicago-Democratic-Socialists-of-America-1552834828264784/. For those not on the web, give the office a call at 773.384.0327.

Incidentally, if you’d like to organize a CDSA branch, this is a good time to do it. Branches don’t need to be geographic in nature under our constitution. They can also be formed around a common interest or an institution. Established YDS chapters also have automatic recognition as a CDSA branch.

Talkin’ Socialism

Episode 59Reproductive Justice, recorded December 12, 2015. Chicago DSA’s Peg Strobel nterviews three activists from the Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF): Brittany Mostiller-Keith, the Fund’s Executive Director, and CAF board members Lindsay Budzinski and Sekile Nzinga-Johnson. They discuss the history of the CAF, how it operates, and most especially the concept of Reproductive Justice, including ongoing efforts to repeal the notorious “Hyde Amendment” that prohibits any Federal funding of abortion. The proposed legislation, sponsored by Representative Barbara Lee of California, would insure abortion coverage under Medicaid and other insurance programs.

Episode 58Norvelt: Hope Only in Hard Times? Recorded November 21, 2015. Chicago DSA’s Peg Strobel in conversation with Margaret Power, co-author with Timothy Kelly and Michael Cary of Hope in Hard Times: Norvelt and the Struggle for Community During the Great Depression, a discussion the New Deal planned community of Norvelt, Pennsylvania. Margaret Power explains how her personal history intersects with Norvelt and provides some insights as to how and why the politics of this region has changed since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Available at Talkin’ Socialism.


On December 19, someone registered the domain name chicagodsa.info. That’s no problem. There are any number of organizations that share the initials d.s.a., from the Deputy Sheriff Association to the Deaf Seniors of America. But the person who purchased chicagodsa.info has it pointed to our web site: http://www.chicagodsa.org. The “whois” record for chicagodsa.info has the identity of the owner privacy protected. The anonymous email address for contacting the owner, wx9yb59745t@networksolutionsprivateregistration.com, sends any emails to our office email address, chiildsa@chicagodsa.org. Furthermore, we have some reason to believe that the email address chiildsa@chicagodsa.info exists.

So far the registrar, Network Solutions, has been notably unhelpful in resolving this situation. For all the brave words in their terms of service, their only response to what is obviously a registration based on deceit has been a promise to pass along our concerns to the owner of chicagodsa.info. This may be difficult to do, depending on the information they were given, but it’s not likely we’ll hear of it, one way or another, in any case.

To be fair, it is possible that this is a misguided but benign action of an enterprising DSA member. If so, please raise your hand and ‘fess-up. We’ll be more relieved than cross.

But unfortunately, this is far more likely to be a prelude to mischief. There are any number of possibilities. One is a fake but inflammatory Chicago DSA web site. Another and more likely possibility is all the opportunities to be divisive and outrageous: emails, bulletin board postings, postings on email discussion lists, etc. It also could be useful for fake press releases.

If you should spot chicagodsa.info either as part of an email address or as part of a web link, please let us know. And keep in mind that, until notified otherwise, chicagodsa.info is not likely to be honest or a friend to the left, never mind DSA.