Twin Cities DSA Little Red Letter #96: Setting Directions, Labor Actions, and Debriefing Elections




December General Meeting Recap
  There was a full schedule at the December 2022 general meeting, starting with updates on how our chapter’s capacities are being developed, inspiring work being done by local YDSA chapters, and preparations by labor allies for coordinated action in 2024. Moving from that, we discussed two resolutions, our priorities for 2023 and a policy platform. Based on member discussion, the Steering Committee also added a third question for members to consider, should TCDSA sign Seattle DSA’s Railroad Strike Statement? If you are a member, today is your last day to vote! Search for the OpaVote email sent on 12/11 to cast your ballot.
Labor Actions  Thursday 12/8 saw a full day of labor actions, starting at MSP airport with The Awood Center, SEIU Local 26, Teamsters Local 120, Teamsters Local 970, Unite Here Local 17, AFA, and Machinists to demand healthcare, fair wages, and workers rights at the airport (see the piece by Melanie W. below).
This was followed by a teach-in at CTUL by the Awood Center and TakeAction Minnesota about the Amazon Workers Rising campaign, and finally Amazon workers, labor allies, and community members rallied at the Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, to demand, pay raises for ALL Amazon workers, an end to the system of worker surveillance, passage of the Warehouse Worker Safety Bill, and climate action from Amazon, including paying for a just transition in Minnesota (more on their recently announced union drive in the ICYMI section).
Tuesday 12/13 carried on the action, as we joined in solidarity with more than 100 rail workers and members of supportive unions to make it clear to rail bosses that workers won’t stop fighting for safe railroad staffing and adequate sick days. Ross Grooters, co-chair of Rail Workers United, also joined a chapter call on the crisis in the railroad industry (see the piece by Kip H. below)
Debriefing Elections
  After two years of work under the current Electoral Committee, Twin Cities DSA members met on 12/10 to discuss the role of electoral campaigns going forward. In light of the potential approval of the policy platform and chapter priorities proposals, we discussed how this work could advance TCDSA’s political vision, what the chapter is seeking from the endorsement process, how to build out engagement structures with endorsed elected officials, and how to address the challenges of capacity and inclusivity that have limited expansion of the committee’s work (see the summary by Tim H. below).
Big Events Coming Up • TODAY: Twin Cities DSA New Member Hangout – Mayday BooksRSVP Here TODAY, Friday, 12/16, 5:30pm – 7:30pm Hangout at Mayday Books. All members welcome, but this is an especially good time for new members and people considering joining TCDSA to get to know each other and ask questions! • THIS WEEKEND: Starbucks #DoubleDownStrike – Promote on Social Media  300 SnellingFriday, 12/16, Picket from 7:00am – 10:00am, Rally at 9:00am St. Anthony Friday, 12/16, Picket from 11:00am – 1:00pmSaturday, 12/17 & Sunday, 12/18, Picket from 9:00am – 1:00pm both days  Starbucks workers continue to not have a contract. Workers in Saint Paul and Saint Anthony are planning a series of strikes this Friday (12/16) through Sunday (12/18) to put on the pressure. Let’s show Howard Schultz that the community is on the side of the workers and won’t stand for union busting! • East Phillips Urban Farm Support – Join Here Tuesday, 12/20, 6:30pm – 7:30pm Twin Cities DSA is getting more involved in the East Phillips Urban Farm fight, and whether you are already plugged in or don’t know much about it, everyone is welcome to this meeting to plan how we can help our neighbors win this important fight!
Chapter Branch/Committee/Working Group Meetings and Events • Marshaling 101 Training– Saturday, 12/17, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Justice Frontline Aid Office Marshaling 101 Training held at the Justice Frontline Aid Office, 514 N 3rd St #202, presented by the Street Corps Working Group’s Security Committee. We are looking to build and expand on our chapter’s Marshaling Team. We will be going over the basics of Marshaling and how you can get involved! • Socialist Reading Group – Sunday, 12/18, 3:00pm-4:30pm – Zoom Registration  The socialist reading group will be discussing We Own the Future, Democratic Socialism-American Style, Parts I and II.  • West Metro Working Group – Monday, 12/19, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Event RegistrationRidgedale Library  This will be an informal meetup to talk about building a West Metro & Wright County branch. It’ll be a hybrid meeting with the in-person event at Ridgedale library.  • Labor Branch Meeting – Tuesday, 12/20, 7:00pm-8:30pm  The TCDSA Labor Branch meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. For information on joining this meeting, see the #labor channel on Slack. Not on Slack? Submit to verify you’re on the member list. • Internal Organizing Phonebank– Wednesday, 12/21, 6:00pm-7:00pm – Zoom Registration Join the Internal Organizing (IO) Committee for our bimonthly phonebank to call new TCDSA members.

We meet on Zoom to go over the script, mute ourselves and make phone calls to other DSA members, and then return to debrief how our calls went. A brief training is provided and no prior experience is required. These phonebanks are a chance to meet newer members to TCDSA, hear what they need from our chapter and what brings them to socialism. All are welcome to join, but new members should note that this is a group calling session where we will call you, not an event designed for new members.

IO phonebanks are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. For more information about joining this meeting, see the #internal-organizing Slack channel.• St. Paul Branch Meeting – Thursday, 12/22, 7:00pm-8:30pm  The St. Paul Branch of TCDSA meets on the 4th Thursday of the month. Stay tuned for specific details on how to join this meeting.  Go to to see everything!
On the Blog / In the News Authors’ opinions may not reflect those of Twin Cities DSA.
Reflections on Cannon Valley DSA –  In light of the recent decision by Cannon Valley DSA to seek merger with Twin Cities DSA, Revmira reflects on the history of their local organizing and the challenges they and other small chapters across the country face. This is Part 1, with more to come.
Post-Election Debrief: Recentering After Two Years – After two years of work under the current Electoral Committee, and in light of the potential approval of the policy platform and chapter priorities proposals, Twin Cities DSA members met to discuss the role of electoral campaigns going forward and how this work could advance TCDSA’s political vision. Written by Tim H.
Rail Industry Crisis – Kip H. writes on the recent chapter call with Rail Worker’s United co-chair Ross Grooters on the deep structural problems with the nation’s rail system and the rally on 12/13 in support of the railroad worker’s fight.
Saint Paul Electoral Opportunities – Steve T. writes on recent history of the fight for rent control in St. Paul, the developer fueled efforts to gut its implementation, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as many of the opponents of rent control decide they won’t seek re-election.
A Surging Labor Movement – Melanie W. shares her thoughts after attending the march and rally on 12/8, hosted by numerous unions and community groups to demand healthcare, fair wages, and workers rights at the airport.
In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) With so many great podcasts, articles, books and videos coming out, it’s easy to miss something. Here are a few things members have found and loved recently.
After Floyd As movement scholars Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward warn in Poor Peoples’ Movements, mass protest and institutional building can be in conflict, as the latter might sap the energies of the former or even actively discourage spontaneous protest. Yet it is important to build robust movement institutions that won’t collapse under the weight of their contradictions. They must be flexible and retain the ability to honestly assess mistakes and experiment with tactics and strategies. from Deb R.  Armed activists march in Tulsa, claim inmate was wrongfully convicted of rape A story from Fox news tells of a small group of armed activists, including the original Black Panthers, marched from Greenwood to the Tulsa County Courthouse in support of a man who they claim was wrongfully convicted of rape.from Robbie O. Is a YIMBY/Tenant Activist Bridge Possible? Shelterforce has a great piece about the inability – and the urgent need! – for YIMBYs and tenants rights activists to get on the same side. And obviously the onus for that is mainly on the YIMBYs, but we as activists also have to be ready to get past the rigidity of binary thinking to accept their allyship once they confront their privilege and start actively working for and in solidarity. Has examples of both, also cites and quotes Mitra Jalali on the activist side. from Deb R. Why we’re fighting to fully fund public housing in MinnesotaThe problem isn’t resources, it’s a lack of political will, write a state representative from Minneapolis, a Minneapolis City Council member and the president of the city’s taxation board. from David A. Amazon workers launch union drive at Minnesota fulfillment center
“…workers at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Shakopee have begun an effort to unionize the warehouse and legally force the retail giant to negotiate with them. Union organizers at the warehouse are collecting union cards for Amazon Labor Union Minnesota, which is affiliated with the first and only unionized Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, N.Y.”
from Anders B.  From the book Fight Like Hell by Kim KellyThe 1840s Lowell Female Labor Reform Association’s (LFLRA) official publication, called the “Voice of Industry”, published the following poem:

“And amidst the clashing noise and din
Of the ever beating loom
Stood a fair young girl with throbbing brow
Working her way to the tomb”  ~Pheney

Some 60 years later New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire occurred.  146 women died who either burned to death from the flames and smoke or jumped 9 floors to their death.  The factory owners always locked all doors once workers entered.from Melanie W.
If you find something that should be shared, you can post it to the #linkroundup channel on Slack.

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