TCDSA Little Red Letter No. 27


TCDSA 2018 Annual Member Convention Recap

In September of 2016, I found myself at East Side Freedom Library for an annual meeting of the Twin Cities chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. There were a handful of us who weren’t yet members and 15 card-carrying members in attendance–the exact number needed for quorum.

Fast forward two years later on September 30, 2018 and I’m sitting in a large lecture hall on Macalester College’s campus with nearly 200 other socialists, waiting for our annual convention to begin. I could feel the energy in the air, hear the greetings of new and old comrades, see the looks of anticipation for this year’s convention.

At the beginning of the meeting, our Co-Chair Nic asked (as is now a tradition at every DSA meeting), “For how many of you is this your first DSA meeting?” Hands shot up throughout the room.

In the first half of the meeting, we got down to business. Our chapter has three newly elected Steering Committee Members: Andrea as Co-Chair, Isuru as Political Action Coordinator, and deanna (re-elected) as Operations Coordinator. We also passed some pretty neat Chapter Resolutions including a Resolution to support the creation of a statewide DSA organization, a Resolution to adopt a proposed endorsement process, and a Resolution to begin the process of creating a chapter political platform. Each of these resolutions passed by majority votes of the chapter membership, and I am looking forward to seeing what they will bring for the future of our chapter.

We also saw some bylaw amendments, which passed and will help to make our bylaws clearer and our chapter stronger! Coming up at our next general meeting, the Bylaws Working Group will present their proposed amendments to what we currently have–get in touch with them to find out more or propose your own changes!

Before the halfway break, we heard reports from our Chapter Officers. First up, our Outgoing Co-Chair, Deb, spoke about her history in the movement and how she came to DSA. Deb has been an integral part of our chapter. She is a mentor, a leader, a guiding force, a steadfast comrade. Many thanks to Deb for all of the work and time she has put into the chapter as Co-Chair. As Deb’s report wrapped up, we had a Point of Personal Privilege brought to the floor and Deb was presented with her parting gift–the only suitable gift, really–a loaf of bread and a bouquet of roses.

We also got an update on our Chapter funds, including new disbursements from National which puts 20% of our paid dues into the Chapter fund. Our Political Education Committee is working to host a day-long educational event this coming spring and soon will be having a joint meeting with Political Education & Political Action. Our Operations Coordinator gave us the great news that we have over 800 members in our chapter! Alas, there are 200 of you who are expired and many who are about to expire–so renew your membership today and consider making it a monthly sustaining membership!

After a break for socializing, snaxis, and swag purchasing, we reconvened the meeting with Alexis giving a rousing speech about why we fight for socialism. We then got to hear from each of our branches with their latest news and upcoming events. I encourage you each to check out our chapter’s Google Calendar for the next upcoming meetings and I also recommend that everyone try to make it out to a new Branch meeting in the coming months. There is so much going on out there–you don’t want to miss out!

Some new and exciting things are also happening right on Macalester’s campus–a YDSA chapter is forming! Two of our YDSA comrades gave an update on organizing a chapter on campus and filled us all with a lot of hope for the future.

Perhaps my favorite part of the meeting was the last piece of business, not because the meeting was ending, but because it was the part of the meeting that brought us all together as one. Hearing our chapter singing Solidarity Forever, with our voices ringing out and our fists in the air ended our meeting on a strong, happy note (no pun intended).

A better world is possible, and we’re ready for it.

Article by Lauren N.

‘Wherever capitalism appears, in pursuit of its mission of exploitation, there will Socialism, fertilized by misery, watered by tears, and vitalized by agitation be also found, unfurling its class-struggle banner and proclaiming its mission of emancipation.’

— Eugene V. Debs

 The TCDSA Swag Shop is now open for all of your socialist swag needs!

We’ve got a variety of t-shirts and sweatshirts up for preorder, since public nudity is still frowned upon. We also have TCDSA logo pint glasses in stock, because everything tastes better when consumed in a union made glass.

Do you have ideas for future TCDSA swag? Let us know!

For Further Review

With so many great podcasts, articles, books and videos coming out, it’s easy to miss something great. Here’s a few things we’ve found and loved recently:

Rural Minnesota rising: Failed by capitalism, residents seize control of their internet destiny by Pete Kotz
CityPages writeup of how rural Minnesotans are working together to ensure broadband access, after the ~market~ has failed them.

Why We Take Sides by Nathan J. Robinson
The editor of Current Affairs explains very politely why both-sides-ism is bullshit.

The Constant Consumer by Drew Austin
How Amazon has reworked us to define ourselves as consumers, rather than citizens.

Revolutionary Left Radio: The Marxist Center: Base-Building Toward Dual Power

Below the Surface of ICE: The Corporations Profiting From Immigrant Detention by David Dayen

The TCDSA Reading Group will be meeting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 20 at Boneshaker Books, 2002 23rd Avenue South in Minneapolis.

Our reading selection for October is The Foundation Pit by Andrei Platonov. Our November book is Nixonland by Rick Perlstein. We will be voting on our December book at this meeting.

Everyone is welcome to attend!

News from the National

The National has launched emergency actions to stop Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Below, find links to images for social media and posters, and pledge to take action this week.

We are launching emergency actions starting TODAY.

Brett Kavanaugh is but the tip of the iceberg. We must stop him and anyone else the right-wing tries to install on the Supreme Court that they have set up to be largely unaccountable. They aim to roll back a century of hard fought economic and social progress in one fell swoop while utterly disregarding the concerns raised by survivors of sexual violence.

Click here to pledge to take action this week to Stop Kavanaugh, either locally or in Washington, DC.

The Socialist Feminist Working Group and NPC ask all local groups to mobilize if you have not already, wherever you are, as soon as possible. The Senate may vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation this week or Saturday.

DSA members in West Virginia got the week kicked off with an occupation of Senator Manchin’s office this afternoon, and New York City members are marching on the Yale Club in Manhattan tonight!

Click here for images for posters and social media:

  • Unleash Your Fury, Never Go Back
  • Tear Off the Mask from the System of Elite Rule

Recommended targets:

  • If you have a swing Senator, occupy their offices
  • If you are not in a swing state but your community has a “Yale Club” march on that
  • If you are not in a swing state and there is no Yale Club nearby, march on the federal district court, or if necessary other federal buildings
  • If you are near Washington DC or can get there by Thursday morning, consider participating in direct actions targeting the Senate

Click here to pledge to take action this week.

Please share our pledge sign up and images far and wide on social media! But most importantly, take to the streets!

Only people power will win, now or ever.

Keep fighting!

Maria Svart
National Director