Metro DC DSA joins Hands Off DC coalition rally in support of DC statehood and autonomy
On Wednesday, March 8, the US Senate voted to overturn DC law for the first time in 30 years, with President Joe Biden and other Democrats joining Republicans’ shameless attack on the District’s revised criminal code – and DC residents’ right to self-determination. Metro DC DSA joined community organizations, elected officials and DC residents for a Hands Off DC rally earlier the same day, demanding Congress and the president respect home rule and democracy in the nation’s capital.
“Our 700,000+ residents are not second-class citizens. We are entitled to the same representation as residents of any other state in this country. We have the right to elect our own leaders and pass our own laws without politically motivated federal interference,” MDC DSA wrote on Twitter.
“The criminal code the DC Council passed gets rid of mandatory minimums that are a relic of a racist past,” DSA-endorsed Ward 5 Councilmember Zachary Parker said at the rally. “This is not just about Congress intervening in local affairs. It is a majority white body intervening in a historically Black city and a majority Black city.”
The right to self-determination and the fight for DC statehood – undermined by the bad-faith actions of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, the president and others – are central to our fight for socialism in the DMV. We cannot empower the working class in the District if a federal body – which isn’t elected by those living in DC – has the power to intervene against DC’s will. We will continue to organize for full enfranchisement for all District residents.
Additional reading on DC’s criminal code revisions:
Stomp Out Slumlords anti-eviction canvass - TOMORROW, Saturday March 11
Join comrades and inform tenants facing eviction about their rights in court, how to get a lawyer, and to see if they’re interested in organizing their building. Tenants that speak to Stomp Out Slumlords organizers are twice as likely to go to court and fight their eviction, so every volunteer can make a big impact.
SOS will meet at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station on the D street exit between 6th and 7th above the escalators (if the weather is bad, we’ll be downstairs just before the turnstiles). At 1:30pm there will be a short training to explain why these canvasses are necessary, how to talk to tenants about their upcoming eviction suits, and how to fill in walk-sheets. Volunteers will be provided walk-sheets and be set up with a partner — new canvassers will be connected with a veteran to show them the ropes.
If you have a car, please drive it down to the meeting spot. Cars are helpful for getting canvassers to metro-inaccessible areas. (Parking near L’Enfant Plaza is a bit tricky, but doable) After groups finish canvassing, canvassers are invited to Sonny’s in Park View to socialize and debrief. If you’re interested in our work but can’t canvass, reach out to [email protected] to learn about other ways to get involved.
Montgomery County councilmembers introduce permanent rent stabilization bill — canvassers to spread the word tomorrow, Saturday March 11
This past Tuesday, county councilmembers Kristin Mink (D-Dist 5) and Will Jawando (D-At large), with the support of County Executive Marc Elrich, introduced the HOME Act, which permanently caps rent increases at 3% annually. This legislation will provide tenants with housing stability and help working-class people avoid displacement. Mink, Jawando and Elrich drafted this legislation with input from the county’s major labor unions and advocacy groups, including Montgomery County DSA.
Meanwhile, conservative members of the county council introduced a competing bill that would continue to allow double digit annual rent increases. This Saturday, Montgomery County DSA, Everyday Canvassing and the MORE Network will canvass a working class apartment complex in Aspen Hill and talk to tenants about what real rent stabilization would mean to them. RSVP to join the canvass here.
A hearing for the rent stabilization bill is scheduled for Tuesday, March 27. Renters are urged to submit testimony in support of the bill. If you are interest in submitting testimony, email [email protected] and the chapter will assist you in preparing a statement. All rent stabilization supporters are encouraged to submit written testimony, and tenants who have experienced rent increases are particularly encouraged to testify verbally.
Results of vote on amendment to Metro DC DSA chapter resolution -- second read on primary resolution to occur at March GBM
Sign up and spread the word: Walking Tour of Plutocratic DC: Power and Capitalism on Saturday, March 18 at 1pm
Sign upand invite your friends, coworkers, family and comrades to the Plutocratic DC: Power and Capitalism Walking Tour, starting at 1pm on Saturday, March 18th!
The tour is an outdoor event visiting three sites in downtown DC after meeting at The Park at City Center (1098 New York Ave NW) at 1pm. The tour will adjourn at 2:45pm at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW after just under a mile of walking, and will be followed by an optional outdoor happy hour at the Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. We will provide snacks and water, and public bathrooms are available along the route. Make sure to sign up in advance if you may attend to get day-of notices around weather and to volunteer.
The Walking Tour will explore how institutions such as the Carlyle Group, Pepco and City Center DC create and maintain extreme wealth in the District. The Walking Tour will be led by Metro DC DSA Chapter members, who will use original research on private equity, public utilities and luxury real estate in DC to explore what your electric bill, Taylor Swift’s original recordings and luxury handbag stores have in common – and how to take power back from our local plutocrats. It will also connect attendees with campaigns to democratize DC and its power grid led by MDC DSA and We Power DC.
Action notice - Preserve labor history in Virginia schools
History standards in Virginia are updated every seven years, and the new proposed standards put forth by anti-worker extremist Glenn Youngkin and his Department of Education would remove the American labor movement from VA classrooms. Youngkin wants to remove teachings on the impact of the industrial revolution on working families, including women and children; remove the rise of organized labor entirely from Virginia lesson plans; and remove mention of influential leaders’ contributions to the labor movement in Virginia.
This hybrid event is open to both DSA members and supporters. The in-person event will be at Washington Community Fellowship. Those who wish to attend virtually can RSVP and will be provided with a Zoom link on the next page, under “Instructions From Your Host.”
IUFCW Local 400, former Union Kitchen worker to file lawsuit alleging wage theft
United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 and a former employee of Union Kitchen have filed a lawsuit under DC’s Wage Payment and Collection Law against Union Kitchen and its owner, Cullen Gilchrist, for withholding employees’ tips in violation of District law.
“We’ve told our community supporters from day one: tipping has been an issue at Union Kitchen,” Union Kitchen Workers wrote on Twitter. “When we figured out Union Kitchen wasn’t paying us all the tips our customers were giving us, we tried to give them the opportunity to do the right thing. Instead, they gave out “bonuses” that were less than what we were owed and removed the option for customers to tip entirely. Now we’re going to court.”
Councilmember Janeese Lewis George reintroduces Green New Deal for social housing bill -- with reinforcements
Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George was joined by CMs Brooke Pinto, Trayon White, Robert White, Zachary Parker (new to the Council!) and Brianne Nadeau in reintroducing Green New Deal for social housing legislation, officially titled the Green New Deal For Housing Amendment Act of 2023. Read the full text of the bill here.
MDC DSA posters spotted around the District
Notice any new imagery around Northwest DC? MDC DSA hit the streets last Saturday to put socialist artwork on full display. They’re meant to notify the public about events, such as the Walking Tour of Plutocratic DC: Power and Capitalism this coming Saturday, as well as our general outlook on safety, community care and public health.
DSA posters have a signature design style thanks to our awesome graphic design team. If you are interested in building and develop Metro DC DSA's aesthetic style, respond to this email or contact Christina D on the chapter slack.
In this month's Washington Socialist...
In this month’sWashington Socialist: A brief history and look toward a (hopefully bright) future in which building trades unions and ecosocialists unite; an exploration of a new children’s book that asks the question: why aren’t more electricians women?; an After The Storm collab conversation on radical socialist tenant organizing; and a socialist review of The High Ground, now playing at the Arena Stage. PLUS -- A new article on Mayor Bowser's potemkin budget engagement forums.
Publications schedule: March Updates will drop Fridays, 17th and 24th, and the April issue of the Washington Socialist will accompany the March 31st Update. Access any current or past Update anytime here.
About MDC DSA: The local chapter’s website is here. There is a rich array of info there for newer comrades who seek a campaign to embrace and for the DSA-curious to see how the campaigns interlock to dismantle capitalism and promote the socialist future. The road map of MDC DSA’s activism — campaigns, working groups, etc. — is here. And here is an introduction to the chapter including our branches covering the DMV.
Weekly Update Tip Line: The Metro DC DSA Tip Line is live. If you have news or events that you think should be promoted in the weekly Update, please submit it to the form above. Include your contact information and all possible details for consideration. Deadline is Thursdays at 4pm for the following Friday publication.
Rooting DC | DC Department of Environment and Energy Rooting DC is a free conference for urban gardeners that will take place this Saturday, March 11th from 9am to 4pm at Anacostia High School – this will be the first time this popular, annual event takes place East of the River! Rooting DC offers education about urban agriculture, food systems, health and the environment through workshops, panel discussions, demonstrations and an information fair. Learn about everything from food apartheid and historic racism in our food and farm system to composting tips and techniques. More information and RSVP here.
Community Trainings | DC Peace Team DC Peace Team, whose mission is to “cultivate the habits and skills of nonviolence in our communities, so we can better resist injustice, and thus, build a more sustainable just peace,” has three upcoming community trainings this month: “Restorative Practice in Aging,” Saturday, March 11; “Nonviolent Self Defense,” Monday, March 20; and “Trauma Awareness and Trauma Care,” Saturday, March 25. Sessions take place online and in-person, and payments are on a sliding scale. See DC Peace Team’s website to register and for more details.
Budget Advocacy Training | Fair Budget Coalition Local testimony to the DC Council about your experiences with our government is a critical component of building a more just, anti-racist DC. This month, the Fair Budget Coalition will be holding two online trainings – on March 14 at 6pm and March 15 at 10am – for residents who want to speak out and be heard, but may need some additional support in the budget advocacy process. The FBC trainings will walk attendees through the budget and hearing process, help them think about and prepare their message, and get them signed up to testify. Spanish interpretation will be offered at the March 14 workshop (please only sign up for one training to ensure space for everyone).
Volunteers Needed in the Great Ward 8 | DC Greens DC Green’s community farm, The Well, is reopening this month! A new season brings with it a lot of work to be done around the farm, so DC Greens is looking for a few folks to help out. Volunteers will help tend the fields, maintain the appearance of the community space, start seedlings, harvest with the farm staff, help build infrastructure, provide administration support and more! Sign up online here or email [email protected] with questions. Regularly, open volunteer hours include: Youth Volunteering Tuesdays, 3pm (children under the age of 18 need to come with a guardian or trusted adult!); Senior Volunteering Thursdays, 3 – 6pm; Community Volunteering Saturdays, 11am – 3pm.
Trans-Centered Events in DC | DC Trans Events A new Instagram account, @DCtransevents, has been posting trans-centric and trans-friendly events for the community since January. Check out their recent listing of monthly/weekly recurring events and support their efforts by checking out their page.
Beer Trivia Night | City-State Brewing and Slow Food DC
Are you a local beer nerd? Fancy yourself an expert on all things good food? Come by City-State Brewing (705 Edgewood St NE) on Tuesday, March 21 for a night of specials and themed trivia with Slow Food DC! Save the date information here, more details to come.
Any member or reader with a tip on leftish-oriented material available online without a paywall is invited to contribute. Comrades put it in #publications Slack; readers send to [email protected]
The US Attorney for DC is charging the MPD sergeant who shot An’Twan Gilmore 10 times with a civil rights violation and second-degree murder. Read more background on Gilmore’s 2021 killing – during which MPD officers startled Gilmore awake before wantonly firing into his moving car as he was driving away – from DCist
Punchbowl News lofted an interview Wednesday morning with Bernie Sanders about his new perch as chair of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. “‘My politics are a bit different than other [committee] leaders,’ Sanders said. ‘Now is the time to deal with some of the structural, long-term crises that we face.’ On the substance, Sanders’ efforts are targeting what he sees as systemic problems in America — ones he talked about endlessly during his two presidential campaigns. Corporate greed, income inequality, high prescription drug prices, anti-union activities and more.”
Metro DC DSA comrade and fiction writer Bill Mosley paints a vibrant future of what transportation policy could look like under an AOC presidency. This is part of an ongoing series in the same extended world about bitter conservatives complaining about losing society to the left. Read the first entry here.
The flame of thought, the magnificence of art, the wonder of discovery, and the audacity of invention all belong to revolutionary periods when humanity, tired of its chains, shatters them and stops inebriated to breathe the breeze of a vaster and freer horizon..
- Virgilia D'Andrea
Sent via ActionNetwork.org.
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