Democratic Socialists of America 2019 Convention
August 2, 2019 8:25 AM   Subscribe

DSA's 2019 convention starts in Atlanta today. DSA member Andrew Sernatinger has written a breakdown of the convention, as well as given an interview about his piece.

The convention, among other things, will be voting on resolutions and National Political Committee candidates.

Official convention livestream

Other statements on the convention from the current NPC steering committee chair; Libertarian Socialist caucus; Left Voice; Bread and Roses

Previously: 2017 Convention; DSA
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles (73 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
SOME of us, who couldn’t possibly be named and it was a group effort anyway, where involved in creating the visual indentity of the convention as well as a host of brand new buttons, stickers, shirts, and other such merchandise.

A lot of chapters have created convention specific buttons and a broad collective decided to do their logo as the logo of a local sports team. NYC DSA did the Knicks.
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 AM on August 2 [13 favorites]


Also the first speaker was khalid kamau the Atlanta city council member who was the first campaign I did art and design for after joining so I have emotions
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 AM on August 2 [6 favorites]


How is the DSA alloting time for convention resolutions? 78 resolutions seems like it would be incredibly painful for convention goers, unless it’s longer than I’m thinking.
posted by corb at 9:51 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Sorry, the breakdown is actually “the approved eighty-five (85) resolutions and thirty-three (33) constitution/bylaw changes“ per that breakdown article.
posted by corb at 9:54 AM on August 2


From the 'breakdown' link: My own #15 is essentially a “Bernie or Bust” resolution, which accepts the decision DSA has already made in endorsing Sanders but rejects any other candidate should he lose.

I hope this doesn't happen. It seems incredibly short-sighted.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:01 AM on August 2 [17 favorites]


What problem does the DSA have with Warren?
posted by Selena777 at 10:19 AM on August 2 [11 favorites]


I don't know all the details but the Bernie endorsement is coming with a big expenditure of money and other organizational resources. So my understanding is that an organizational endorsement isn't just, "hey, DSA says you should go vote for this candidate". It's a real investment of time, money, and organizational resources.

Declining to endorse a candidate as an organization doesn't mean that individual DSA members can't volunteer for whoever winds up winning the Democratic primary through that candidate's organization or an organization like Justice Democrats and it certainly doesn't mean that DSA is going to be telling people to not vote or whatever.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 10:41 AM on August 2 [4 favorites]


OK, that makes more sense to me - the word "reject" from the blog post just read way harsher than "not endorse," which is how the actual resolution is phrased.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:50 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Scanning through the resolutions, I'm wondering about the somewhat odd formatting. Usually with things like this it's like:

"Whereas x is a problem, and;
Whereas such-and-such is true;
Be it resolved that we're gonna do y."

In the PDF of resolutions, this setup has been reversed - the "be it resolved" chunks come before the "whereas" chunks - but it looks as if most of the original authors wrote the resolutions in the traditional format, so a lot of them end with an awkward unresolved "whereas something, and;".

This isn't a huge problem or anything, but I'm wondering if Whelk or anybody has insight on why this formatting decision was made?
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:56 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


No idea, I assume it’s from Roberts rules of order?

It's a real investment of time, money, and organizational resources.

Yep, and it’s important to note any endorsement at all is highly contentious - even just voting to decide If we should endorse anyone can be heated. There’s a sizable chunk of the membership that thinks national elections shouldn’t take precedence over local ones (a lot of the resolutions this year are about putting more power and control to the locals, now that ...we have so many) and a smaller but equally vocal segment that doesn’t want to do electoralism at all (which I don’t agree with, as Erik Loomis says, no labor action in the US has succeeded without politicians favorable to it).

So far the two things I’ve notices following it are “the most DSA thing was a pile-up trying to vote on what system to use to vote.” And people talking to older activists who are at the convention for the first time saying things to the effect of “wow this is so much more organized and civil then socialist groups I remember, no one is screaming about Trotsky or anything.”
posted by The Whelk at 11:10 AM on August 2 [6 favorites]


Also Sara Nelson, the head of the airline steward union that ended the government shutdown, opened her speech with the 1881 Atlanta washerwomen’s strike.
posted by The Whelk at 11:46 AM on August 2 [6 favorites]


The youtube livestream doesn't seem to be working but it's up on the DSA Facebook page. You don't need to be logged in to watch. Sara Nelson is speaking now!
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 11:47 AM on August 2


The medic table is .....equipped
posted by The Whelk at 11:56 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


What problem does the DSA have with Warren?

etc., I assume

I'm certain there are people in the DSA who identify openly as social democrats and are completely fine with the idea that the objective is to harness capitalism for good rather than eventually to overturn it entirely (or people who disagree but are for strategically not caring about the difference in the short term) but I am also certain that there are people who are not down with that idea at all - its's sort of the line between social democrat and democratic socialist, after all.
posted by atoxyl at 12:58 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


I hope this doesn't happen. It seems incredibly short-sighted

Resolution #15 ("Bernie or Bust") just passed
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 2:34 PM on August 2


I've got to admit, their love for Sanders is the biggest reason I'm not more interested in the DSA. Another cranky old white man is not what any of us need.
posted by reductiondesign at 3:41 PM on August 2 [24 favorites]


I've got to admit, their love for Sanders is the biggest reason I'm not more interested in the DSA. Another cranky old white man is not what any of us need.

He's the only mainstream presidential candidate who has openly described himself as, you know, "a democratic socialist" so I don't know who else they'd endorse.

But far as I know there is a noteworthy contingent in many DSA chapters of people who think the organization should be focused on local and direct action, and shouldn't be in the business of endorsing presidential candidates at all. So I think you certainly could find people who aren't terribly enthusiastic about the relationship with Bernie's campaign, if you can get behind the position from that perspective.
posted by atoxyl at 3:57 PM on August 2 [7 favorites]


In order for a nomination to mean something, that is not be a paper nomination, we have to use a lot of time and resources, actively trying to get our nominee to win and ...yeah I fall in the “this would be better suited to local,races to build up our backbench and not get too fixated on the executive” side. My main argument is that the Sanders campaign already has a large and highly motivated activist base but he is the only like, card carrying member in the race so it felt a bit inevitable.

But there are people in my chapter who just do not do any electoral work at all and that’s okay too, we have to use every instrument in our orchestra, plurality and diversity of tactics makes us stronger and more resilient.
posted by The Whelk at 4:14 PM on August 2 [9 favorites]


That particular choice concerns me more due to the state of mind it implies among a large fraction of a group that has heretofore had the attitude of "what can we practically achieve now or in the near future to help people that is compatible with our moral framework and future goals even if it isn't perfect" than anything else.
posted by wierdo at 4:14 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


>It’s a resources and manpower question, almost everything we do is volunteer - if Sanders doesn’t get the nomination then those resources will go to other places and, of course, everyone is free to vote or support as they wish., it just won’t have the resources of National office. And I would prefer that tbh. Whoever the nome is will presumably have the backing of the Democratic Party and all the resources that entails. (My actual real life worry is a Sanders nomination and hostile party leadership) I want to focus on local issues where I feel we can have the most impact in relation to our size.

Trust me if this was being run by iron clad ideologues who consider anything then less than perfect a failure then we’d be like our more strident critics on the further left, sending me angry tweets about how we’re a war machine democrat party front organization and have oh tens of thousands of fewer members.
posted by The Whelk at 4:22 PM on August 2 [5 favorites]


As with the Open Borders resolution, this response ties climate policy to the broader causes of this crisis, rejecting lesser solutions that merely address the symptoms of these issues. DSA member Ashik Siddique, a co-sponsor of this resolution, states, “Capitalism and the corporate greed it inspires are the cause of our present crisis, but ecologically informed socialism is the answer. We cannot allow ourselves the luxury of despair.” At the first day of convention DSA votes for Green New Deal, Open Borders, and more.
posted by The Whelk at 4:44 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


DSA’s insistence on devoting a ton of time and energy on Sanders strikes me as myopic and sort of autopiloty. Maybe he’ll get as much media time as he did in 2016 and DSA will grow to 120,000 members, but’s that’s a hell of a dice roll to bank on when there’s lots of other things people could be doing.

Plus, even if Sanders wins the presidency, he won’t be able to implement his plans because he won’t have a Democratic Senate.

But, it’s what the membership wants, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Automocar at 6:28 PM on August 2 [5 favorites]


I remember when I first got interested in the DSA and wanted to go to a meeting in ATL and they would list that 6 people had attended. I never made it down there.

That was a different organization though than it is now. They had a policy of actively supporting Dem candidates.
posted by bongo_x at 7:06 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I joined my local DSA. Went to a handful of meetings, got myself on a few mailing lists. Attend a couple of events. I regularly get texts asking if I'm going to this or that big event.

I have not
* met any person from a committee in a way that made their name stick in my head;
* been called back about volunteering to work with documents - formatting, proofing, data sorting;
* been invited to any event that expects fewer than 20 attendees, and most expected more than 100;
* had a conversation about politics that wasn't focused on "these are the demands we're making of our elected officials";
* understood how the policies get created or where they get discussed before being sent out for review a few days before a meeting will vote on them;
* felt welcome or even noticed at any event I attended.

There is no space for stay-at-home introverts in my local DSA. I get that there's some measure of, "you gotta participate to make changes!" but the type of participation they want is thoroughly alien to me.

They are not
* Inviting members to attend city council meetings and then have a discussion at a café after;
* Finding out who's new at general meetings and looking for ways to get them involved;
* Holding weekly or monthly "anti-capitalism 101" sessions, for people who can see the current system is terrible but aren't sure how changes could work;
* Mindful of accessibility when choosing venues and setting up public events;
* Doing any outreach whatsoever to communities of color .

I like a lot of their goals. I get the impression they may be doing activism for me, but they're apparently not interested in doing it with me. I will not be renewing my membership.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 7:49 PM on August 2 [23 favorites]


Plus, even if Sanders wins the presidency, he won’t be able to implement his plans because he won’t have a Democratic Senate.

Realistically even a lot of Democratic Senators would be hostile to him - or any ideologically comparable candidate. I've seen people make a few different arguments about why it's worth it for lefty organizations to get involved in presidential campaigns regardless - most of them come down to the idea that presidential campaigns are the thing that gets Americans most involved in politics, and that Sanders' unexpected success in 2016 is one of the big factors that behind the resurgence of the DSA in the first place (and behind younger lefties running as Democrats, even). To me the stronger defense of getting involved is just that it's something a lot of members want to do but I don't know how much of a priority it should be at an administrative level.
posted by atoxyl at 8:33 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


If you want the most insider baseball of insider baseball views of the various internal caucuses, Current Affairs has you covered
posted by The Whelk at 6:14 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


There seems to be a lot less mainstream press coverage of the convention this year than two years ago. The only coverage I've seen is in small left political outlets. I wonder why that is? (My theory is both that (a) a lot of the panic in liberal circles about Trump has died down relative to Summer 2017, leading to less casting about for an improbable force to defeat him and (b) socialist-inflected politics -- e.g. AOC -- have become more of a threat to the centrists in the Democratic Party, so liberal journalists are less inclined to give them press.)

Consolation to anyone feeling piqued by the Bernie or Bust vote:

The Democratic Party politics of the “Democratic Socialists of America”
But Sunkara, ever the pragmatic realist, has made clear that he will support whomever the Democrats eventually nominate, declaring in an interview with the New York Times in May that “the mentality has to be to call for people to vote for Joe Biden, especially in swing states” and “avoid a third-party candidate.” Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, a supporter of Hillary Clinton, responded by praising Sunkara and the DSA for “trying to channel people away from [radical politics]... People in the DSA, Bhaskar, they’re very responsible in not encouraging that sort of thing.”
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:24 AM on August 3


Here's a Google Doc with a detailed live blog of the proceedings
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:51 AM on August 3


Oh nice the child care priority which calls for, along other things -Engage rank-and-file childcare workers who are very exploited, diverse and often not in unions -Brings in more parents, who are some of the most dedicated and militant organizers x Directly taking from the rich and opening up more resources and time for parents- passed nearly unanimously
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


What problem does the DSA have with Warren?

I think just that she openly describes herself as a capitalist, albeit one that believes capitalism requires checks and balances to operate efficiently and without eventually tearing itself apart.

But in terms of policy proposals Bernie and Warren are awfully close to one another. I'm mystified as to why polls say Bernie voters' second choice candidate generally is Biden.
posted by xammerboy at 11:08 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


Indeed, Sanders identifies as a socialist and has been pursuing a socialist agenda his entire life. That goes a long way for DSA members, but it's not just that. He has a diagnosis of what's wrong with capitalism that incorporates a class analysis, and he has a theory of change that differs from the other primary candidates: if he becomes president, when he inevitably encounters resistance to democratic socialist policies from both Republicans and Democrats, he plans to do everything he can to clearly and loudly explain why these forces are arrayed against these popular demands, raise class consciousness in the US, and whip up a mass movement in support of these policies to force the government's hand.

Even if he failed to pass Medicare for All, by the end of his presidency it would be very clear to the general populace why that is, and it would set the stage for a further leftward shift in a way that other candidates aren't trying to do. Sanders wants people outside the political system to be agitated and organized.

While Warren's policies are mostly quite similar to Sanders', I doubt she'd raise class consciousness or work as hard to form a massive popular movement. I also think she probably wouldn't want a DSA endorsement and certainly wouldn't bring us to the table the way Sanders would.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:33 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


I'm mystified as to why polls say Bernie voters' second choice candidate generally is Biden.

I mean, I can guess.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:51 AM on August 3 [22 favorites]


Considering the subject of this thread, I'm pretty sure if you polled just DSA members you would see Biden somewhere around last place. Warren would probably be second place.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:53 AM on August 3 [4 favorites]


I also think national polling has been broken for a while now and Warren still suffers from a lack of name recognition outside of professional-managerial class spheres and people who keep up on politics outside of cable news. Looking at individual donations or crowd sizes might be more indicative then cable TV. (I’ve also noticed Warren tends have better name recognition with people who, for lack of a better term, can be Online All Day).

Anyway the creation of Anti-Fascist initiative passed by 60 votes, which is good cause it probably means creating some kind of Red Rabbit training for every chapter and the Red Rabbits have been great at keeping protests and marches here in NYC safe, peaceful, and protected (either from the Nazis or the cops) plus they keep the chants going.
posted by The Whelk at 12:09 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


This entire thread is like a contest to see who can willingly make the most uncharitable reading of everything DSA/Bernie supporters do. Christ.
posted by windbox at 8:42 PM on August 3 [11 favorites]


I mean, that's MetaFilter for you. Home of the gen X professional managerial class liberal.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:46 AM on August 4 [17 favorites]


On the one hand, most of us like the idea of a political group dedicated to dismantling toxic capitalism, and are aware that may mean "dismantle all of capitalism." On the other, the DSA's specific actions in many areas look suspiciously like, "these are not problems until they prevent well-educated white men from having a comfortable retirement plan."

Whole lot of noise about Medicare-for-all and ending student loan debt. Whole lot of noise about increasing minimum wage and enhancing environmental protections. Whole lot less noise about automatic voter registration, public review of legislation before it's voted on, paying women for household and childcare work, firing corrupt and murderous cops, and removing creeps and abusers from positions of power.

I understand that no one org can focus on all the ills of modern society; it's just fascinating how the DSA has managed to focus almost all of its efforts on "political changes that will make life more pleasant for thirty-something tech dudes." They're not looking to make life better for only their core crowd (Medicare for all will help pretty much everyone), but the shape of the gaps in their activism is more obvious the more you look.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:48 AM on August 4 [10 favorites]


It's interesting to me that you look at Medicare for All, minimum wage increases, environmental protections, and free college education as centered on the interests of well-educated white tech dudes, because in my view, the common thread of all of those goals is that they help poor people.

Priorities do vary a great deal between DSA chapters. The Boston DSA makes sex workers' rights a major part of their activism, for example.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:30 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


You can have policies that center around the policy priorities of well-educated white tech dudes that also help poor people. They are not incompatible. The point is that when ranking priorities, it just so happens that the highest priorities are those that happen to benefit well-educated white tech dudes, and none that nearly exclusively focus on the specific needs of the poor and marginalized.
posted by schroedinger at 12:44 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


How exactly does a higher minimum wage, free college, and free healthcare particularly benefit well educated white tech dudes? That demographic has already been to college, makes way above minimum wage, and generally has solid healthcare plans through their employers.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 1:10 PM on August 4 [7 favorites]


The long story short is that we do have effective social services targeted at the poorest folks. Housing assistance, food assistance, emergency medical care before discussion of payment. Heating assistance in the north. The things that literally stop people from dying, right away, anyway.

Those systems don’t work very well! But they exist, and if you wanted to pick a fight you could talk about dramatically expanding them. Free housing for all. Free food for all. All ER visits covered at 100%.

Of course there are reasons to believe the conventional approach of only providing last-ditch support to the poorest folks is nearsighted and ineffective, and that pursuing change this way won’t actually deliver the political reforms we need. It makes a lot of political sense to focus on pushing more social services up into the middle class, adding stakeholders, rather than trying to add money to a safety net which is already a cost center to most Americans.

But it still seems disingenuous to act like this doesn’t reflect a shift from the typical liberal priority of “make things better for those worse off than me” to one of “make things better for everyone, including myself.”
posted by emmalemma at 1:12 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: a contest to see who can willingly make the most uncharitable reading of everything DSA/Bernie supporters do

Here's a list of the new NPC members

Also some news coverage of the convention from everyone's favorite news network
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 3:42 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


How exactly does a higher minimum wage, free college, and free healthcare particularly benefit well educated white tech dudes?

* When higher education doesn't mean higher pay: About 22 percent of Americans who earn between $12.01 and $16 per hour now hold college degrees
* Minimum Wage Still Can’t Pay for a Two-Bedroom Apartment Anywhere: And only in 28 of the country’s [3000+] counties can a 40-hour-a-week minimum wage worker afford a one-bedroom.
* The Student Loan Debt Crisis Is About to Get Worse: Student loans have seen almost 157 percent in cumulative growth over the last 11 years.
* Health Insurance Costs Accelerating for Workers: The average annual premium for an individual health insurance policy offered by employers rose $267, or 4.4%, to $6,368 between 2016 and 2017—nearly twice the increase recorded between 2015 and 2016 (2.3%)

Fixing these would not only benefit white tech dudes, but they are definitely "enhanced safety net for the career-minded" measures. Notice the lack of push to increase the amount of food stamps, or shorten the wait times for Section 8 housing, or expand and increase enforcement of the ADA.

I expect that many DSA members are in favor of those things - but they're not the t-shirt slogans. It's like there's this weird approach of "I'm not virtue-signalling because I'm working to better things for me, personally."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:16 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


Also here are the caucus allegiances of the new NPC; looks pretty evenly split between a variety of competing groups
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:52 PM on August 4


The long story short is that we do have effective social services targeted at the poorest folks

In the country with such a high homelessness rate this is offensively wrong
posted by Space Coyote at 9:23 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


"these are not problems until they prevent well-educated white men from having a comfortable retirement plan."

Exactly. An issue could be a screaming nightmare of an emergency, but DSA doesn't care unless able-bodied middle class white men are directly affected. Mass incarceration, immigrants in concentration camps, the lack of early childhood ed and the crisis in K-12, disability rights and access issues - anytime you bring these up, DSA can only say how higher minimum wage or M4A will indirectly fix these things. It's never a central political issue to be directly addressed, because these are not a problem for white dudes. Meanwhile there are a lot of DSA priorities that target the wellbeing of ONLY white dudes (marijuana). That speaks volumes.
posted by MiraK at 7:29 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


OK, I remember you from the time you trolled a Bernie Sanders thread for days straight. I don't know what to say except that your list of issues makes it clear you don't know much about the actual priorities of the DSA. Mass incarceration, immigration, and education are all issues that the DSA talks about FAR more often than marijuana legalization.

There's a hardcore contingent of anti-left posters here who pay NO attention to the philosophy, priorities, or actions of the left, and just apply this simplistic heuristic of "they are white dudes trying to set back the cause of women, non-white people, and people with disabilities". This is flatly untrue, and it's frustrating because you're using legitimate causes (that we care about too!) to cynically drive a wedge between people who should be allies.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 8:33 AM on August 5 [12 favorites]


As someone who has taken shifts sitting at a table offering coffee and muffins to family members going to see their relatives locked up at Rikers island and has worked on the Close Rikers Campaign and along side members with books through bars and canvassed with my chapter to keep a 12 bed mental health clinic from being replaced with a fancy new spine lab and voted to make sure a commitment to ending bail and the adoption of a restorative justice model of legalization be requirements for endorsement I am deeply, deeply offended by your mischaracterization.

The current NPC has only 3 men for in a 16 seat committee.

I guess ABOLISH ICE is one of our core platforms cause it makes for a cool t-shirt huh?
posted by The Whelk at 8:34 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


DSA doesn't care unless able-bodied middle class white men are directly affected

I guess ABOLISH ICE is one of our core platforms cause it makes for a cool t-shirt huh?


I think there's some problematic shit with the DSA (especially around how they handle labor issues) but I don't really care to be fighting about it. There's more than enough organizations to go around.

I am interested in how the split caucus effects on the NPC will play out in real life, and if that's a solution for factional wrangling, or likely to cause more of it.
posted by corb at 8:51 AM on August 5


An issue could be a screaming nightmare of an emergency, but DSA doesn't care unless able-bodied middle class white men are directly affected.

NYC-DSA member here (same chapter as The Whelk). I have plenty of criticisms of our organization and if the primary were held tomorrow I'd vote for Elizabeth Warren. But this is flat wrong.

Like the Whelk, I can speak to the work I've been doing over the past year:

Through DSA, I personally devoted hundreds of hours of my life to Tiffany Cabán's campaign for Queens District Attorney, and I'm only one of an army of DSA members who participated in some way. Tiffany is a public defender who ran on a radical platform of decarceration and decriminalizing poverty and we were the first organization to get behind her.

Previous to that I devoted an enormous amount of time to the NYC-DSA endorsed campaign of Julia Salazar, a DSA member who made sex work decrim and ending mass incarceration major platform planks and is now taking up these issues in NY Senate.

We've got a lot of work to do for sure, and DSA is a sprawling organization that varies by chapter. But I wanted to share what I've been up to in my neck of the woods.

p.s. I've never been asked to participate in anything related to marijuana legalization.

[I'm commenting under a different user name than I normally use here because I don't want to splash my political affiliations all over the internet.]
posted by supersweet at 9:25 AM on August 5 [7 favorites]


Aside from Salazar and Caban, don't forget DSA members AOC and Rashida Tlaib - all of them very obviously covertly working to help white bros who work in tech, right? So misguided, all of them, don't they realize that M4A and increasing minimum wage is just a "whole lot of noise" and is an "enhanced safety net for the career-minded" (whatever this is supposed to mean)
posted by windbox at 10:42 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


Not a democratic socialist myself, but I just want to say I'm heartened to hear the stories about actual activism and political agitation that people have been putting into this thread. Thank you all.
posted by AdamCSnider at 12:31 PM on August 5 [4 favorites]


Also not a DSA member, but also piqued by the galaxy-brain criticisms of DSA's projects.

NB: the presidential candidate that DSA just resolved it would be the only person it would support as a Democrat in the 2020 election -- Sanders -- is overwhelmingly popular in all areas of the country among Democratic donors (according to the NYT). That is, with a few exceptions: the home turf of other candidates, and rich areas of urban centers. Just about every predominately nonwhite area is going hard for Sanders. I doubt that's because the DSA agenda only benefits "able-bodied middle class white men."
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 1:04 PM on August 5 [3 favorites]


the home turf of other candidates, and rich areas of urban centers

The data in the article only backs this up if you ignore the provided maps of these urban centers. Or is southeast DC considered rich and Kamala Harris's turf?
posted by schroedinger at 7:58 PM on August 5


The brake light repair and medical debt clinic and tenant organizing stuff DSA chapters are doing are more well known but I love Syracuse DSA's Free Food project


Didn't SF DA hand out filtration masks during the big wildfires near the city a year ago so much that the city just said go to them and they also did a giveaway to the homeless and also every delivery person they could find?
posted by The Whelk at 11:09 PM on August 5 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry to have dragged down the thread with my dissatisfactions with my local DSA. I like all of the DSA's goals that I've heard of. I don't always agree that they're the goals I would prioritize, but I also don't think they're wasting time by focusing on them instead of the issues I might prefer got dealt with first.

But I haven't felt welcomed or wanted, and the more I look at the agenda I've seen, the more it looks like the issues of highest interest to the mid-20's tech job guys, get the most attention. That could just be because the mid-20s tech job guys are the most visibly active. It's quite possible that other goals, both in my area and other chapters, are getting plenty of activity that I just don't notice because, as mentioned, nobody's bothered to talk directly to me.

I worry that the tech dudes are setting the agenda, but I'm not convinced that they are. I am convinced that my local group is putting no energy whatsoever into getting more diverse voices involved. And if you can't deal with noisy crowded venues, you can't vote to change things.

I very much love what the DSA wants to accomplish. I am sad that the only contribution of mine that seems wanted, is my annual membership fee.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:17 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Or is southeast DC considered rich and Kamala Harris's turf?

Congratulations, you found an exception. Look at NYC, Chicago, Bay Area, etc. And, as an aside, Puerto Rico: not a trace of anyone but Sanders.

I worry that the tech dudes are setting the agenda

Ok, but currently the DSA is being ridiculed on national TV (e.g. starting @ 14:45) for bending over backwards to make every oppressed identity imaginable welcome at their conference (prefacing every statement with preferred pronouns, structuring the norms of their convention to account for disabled preferences, using progressive stack, promoting non-white-cis-hetero-males to leadership positions, etc.). What other actions could they take to make people feel welcome? If it's a matter of issues you're concerned with, it is a democratic organization so if you're just upset that you're outvoted on priorities... well, that's how democracy works.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 3:31 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


What other actions could they take to make people feel welcome?

* Seek out new members attending events/meetings; find out what their interests are; connect them to committees with more than "this is Jerry; he runs the climate caucus." But since meetings are busy and there may not be time to do more than that:
* Contact new attendees after meetings. Find out what would convince them to come back.
* Look for ways that introverts and people on the autistic spectrum can contribute. More online discussions; more small meetings; more ways to contribute skills without being in a crowd. (Some chapters may have strong online communities. Mine does not.)
* Do outreach in communities of color; making sure the few who attend meetings are heard is not enough.
* Explain the meeting process to newcomers. Explain where the discussions happen before/outside the meetings, because voting happens after all the decision-making is done except for final yes-or-no.
* Physical accessibility - not just "open to wheelchairs," but having non-painful chairs, giving clear public transit directions to meetings, organizing ride shares, asking, "does anyone need to be near the front so they can hear and see better?"
* Sign translators; possibly other language translators depending on community needs. Bilingual meetings should be the norm in some areas.
* Maybe look for mentors for new members - assign one-per-one if there are enough volunteers, or small groups.
* Host "intro to the DSA" classes, open to non-members, that cover the history, goals, and activist methods.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:07 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]


DSA at the crossroads (NBC)
posted by The Whelk at 1:30 PM on August 6


Just as a point of information here are some of the topics of resolutions that got the highest priority and passed at the convention:

-Defense of Immigrants and Refugees
-Orienting to Latinx Communities
-Universal Childcare
-End Cash Bail
-Fight for Abortion Access
-Housing as a Human Right
-Support for Decriminalization of Sex Work
-Criminal Justice and Decarceration
-Strengthening the Working Class Through Tenant Organizing

I obviously can't speak to what any specific chapter or group within a chapter is doing, but these are things that are supported overwhelmingly throughout the whole organization.
posted by Regal Ox Inigo at 3:01 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]




the sign of the times is that the photo CNN and so uses for DSA articles is one I'm

1- clearly visible

and

2- clearly checking my phone
posted by The Whelk at 8:15 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Aside from Salazar and Caban, don't forget DSA members AOC and Rashida Tlaib - all of them very obviously covertly working to help white bros who work in tech, right? So misguided, all of them, don't they realize that M4A and increasing minimum wage is just a "whole lot of noise" and is an "enhanced safety net for the career-minded" (whatever this is supposed to mean)
I will never understand how anyone can think free healthcare and higher education is for well-off white dudes. Maybe because I'm a person of color who grew up poor, but god damn, I would love to live in that magical alternate universe where these universal programs are just for rich white bros.
posted by Ouverture at 9:31 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]




The radio show Revolutions Per Minute (which appears to be quasi-affiliated with NYC DSA?) did a show on the convention
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 7:45 AM on August 7


It is a product if NYC DSA organizers.

Current Affairs: A Gathering Of Comrades
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I will never understand how anyone can think free healthcare and higher education is for well-off white dudes.

It's not that they disproportionately benefit well-off white dudes, because those things flatly do not. It's that those items do not immediately hurt them. When you see the entire political process as a zero-sum game, you will actively hurt yourself to see the group you hate hurt too. See: the entire American South and the Republican agenda.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:03 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Means TV covers the con “what do you do with a problem like Jeff Bezos?”
posted by The Whelk at 10:30 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]




Can I say a big thanks to this thread, because it's been very helpful to me in making a decision.
I was recently asked to run on a decriminalisation ticket by a local socialist organisation I'm involved with, not a very significant election but nonetheless worth putting some legwork into.

I'd been wavering on this, mostly because I was worried about how our critics would view it, how I might be accused of being a bourgeois leftist only interested in issues that affect me personally.

This thread has reminded me that that criticism will always take place, that decriminalisation is a real issue that will help people here, that we're not wasting our time on it, right libertarians have taken that space when the left abandons it, and since others are better placed to head up feminist and anti-racist tickets, I'm not taking up space unnecessarily.

I'm going to do what is asked of me, and to hell with the critics who hate our whole movement.
The critique is rarely actually about what's best for everyone overall, but as FakeFreyja says, a zero-sum belief that dictates that others must suffer for any improvements to take place.

Liberal reactionaries have named their enemies, we should take them at their word.
posted by Acid Communist at 9:33 AM on August 8 [10 favorites]


Lots of people are having a laugh over a hoax story planted on a right-wing site by a left-wing troll about the DSA conference
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 4:03 AM on August 9 [6 favorites]




If they’re scared of rank and file strategy then they’re scared of democracy.

Sara Nelson’s convention speech on YouTube
posted by The Whelk at 10:36 AM on August 20


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