DSA 100K Update




Back in October, DSA chapters across the country launched the DSA 100K Drive — the first membership drive of its kind in DSA history. As of this weekend, over TEN THOUSAND members have joined via chapter and member-specific recruitment links and our organization overall is now over 80,000 members nationally. Here in the Twin Cities, we have had over 75 members either join or renew since the start of the drive. Those numbers aren’t bad, but there’s still time to pitch in and help us get to our goal of growing our local chapter by 10% — which would mean 130 new or renewing members.

Why do a recruitment drive?
We need more socialists! We can’t have a mass movement without masses. While DSA has grown from under 10,000 members in 2016 to over 80,000 in 2020, imagine what we could be with 100,000, 250,000 or even a million members! That’s more comrades putting socialists in elected office, more comrades getting involved with mutual aid work in their neighborhoods, more comrades organizing their coworkers into unions. When we grow our organization, we can grow our capacity and take workload off of our core members and identify new leaders.

When we actively and strategically recruit, we can also help our organization become more diverse and representative of the multi-racial working class. Maybe you’ve heard criticisms of DSA — it’s too white, it’s too male, it’s too educated, it’s too middle class. If we only rely on passive recruitment, people finding us on twitter, through existing friendships, or through podcasts, we may be reinforcing those dynamics. When we actively recruit, we can work to reverse those trends — purposefully recruiting people of color, women, trans and non-binary people.

Finally, we know that this is a crucial time in our movement. Trump is beaten, and people are exhausted. A lot of people desperately want to believe that they can tune out — go back to brunch and stop worrying about politics. We know that we have to keep fighting, and by plugging our friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers into DSA, we give them a place to keep fighting. A lot of people know deep down that change won’t come from the top-down, but unless we ask them to join a bottom-up fight, they might not find it on their own.

Why do we pay dues anyhow?
Dues are what funds our organization, both nationally and locally. It’s what allows us to hold organizer trainings, our bi-annual national convention, funds our technical tools like Zoom and Spoke, and pays the salaries of our national staff members. If our organization relied on grants and high-dollar donations like so many non-profits, it would be accountable to foundations and single donors. When we’re funded by members, we are accountable to one group — our members. Dues help create buy-in to our organization. We’ve all been on a mailing list and not even remember how we got on it. Dues can be the first step in helping a new member realize that DSA is more than a mailing list — we’re a member-led and member-run organization. When you join, you become an organizer in the socialist movement! No one should be excluded from DSA based on their ability to pay, and those who can’t currently afford dues can request a Dues Waiver. Others pay as they are able, from $5 a month on up.

How can I help?
There’s still time to take the DSA 100K pledge at dsausa.org/recruit. When you take the pledge, you’re given a custom link to send to your potential recruits! If you recruit three people by the end of the pledge drive (Saturday, November 14th) you’ll win a DSA hat! A bit corny, sure, but an incentive never hurts. If you don’t want to commit to three recruits, but know a person who should join us, send them our chapter recruitment link: http://dsausa.org/join?source=Twin%20Cities .

We also know that we have a lot of members who may have lapsed on their dues. Maybe you paid yearly dues and have forgotten to renew, or perhaps your card expired and your status has lapsed. To check your dues status, just send an email to operations@twincitiesdsa.org with “Membership Status” in the subject line and we’ll help you sort it out. We have also started calling and texting members whose dues have expired in the last year to remind them to renew, so don’t be surprised if you get a call from a friendly organizer!

A big thank you to all of our members who have already taken the pledge and talked to folks in their life about joining DSA. When we invite others into DSA, we ask them to fight alongside us toward a better world. We grow our movement and the strength of our movement. We make a promise to each other not to just give up and go back to brunch!

-Ian R.