Twin Cities DSA Little Red Letter #102: East Phillips, Union Strikes, Socialists in Office, and More!




Twin Cities
Democratic Socialists of America

Little Red Letter #102

East Phillips, Union Strikes, Socialists in Office, and More!

Another eventful week, let’s start local. More stories to come in our featured news section. 

On Monday, a press conference was held by the coalition fighting against the City of Minneapolis Roof Depot demolition to give an update on where things stand. The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute was joined by Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, AFSCME 2822, Twin Cities DSA, Climate Justice Committee, Little Earth and East Phillips residents, City leaders, and union activists to stand with them in their effort to secure state funding to stop the demolition.

Also on Monday, Macalester and UMN YDSA with Twin Cities DSA hosted a “Socialists in City Hall” panel with Council Members Jason Chavez and Aisha Chughtai, as well as Celeste Robinson, policy aide for Councilor Robin Wonsley. An informative event about socialists navigating the inner workings of the Minneapolis City Hall, panelists discussed their first year in office and their efforts to push for change, the work down outside of the council as community conveners and how they are able to leverage their position in support of working class movements, as well as their relationship with Twin Cities DSA and what that means going forward. A second event will be hosted at Macalester College on 4/3, and will feature a new set of panelists. Twin Cities DSA is also in the middle of its 2023 endorsement process. Q&A calls are being scheduled for members to engage with candidates, and all members should attend the 2023 Endorsement meeting on 4/15 at 1:00pm, more information in the big events section.

On Wednesday, a nationwide labor action occurred at over 100 unionized Starbucks locations, including three locations in Minnesota. We are now over a year out from the first Starbucks unionization in Buffalo, NY. The company has waged an intense campaign of union-busting, including store closures and laying off organizers. The union drive continues though, with seven new stores announcing their intent to unionize this past week. Read more about the local strikes below in featured news.

Starbucks One-day Strike Report-back

On Wednesday, March 22, Starbucks workers at over 100 stores across the country went on strike over recent hour cuts and the company’s continued refusal to bargain. Three stores in the Twin Cities participated: Saint Anthony, 300 Snelling in Saint Paul, and 47th & Cedar in Minneapolis. The one day strike took place the day before the company’s annual shareholder meeting. It also came a few days after Howard Schultz stepped down as CEO. 

60,000 LA School Workers Strike for Better Conditions

On Tuesday, 60,000 workers for the Los Angeles Unified School District began a three day strike. This included 25,000 workers with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99, and 35,000 educators with United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) refusing to cross the picket line. Over a decade of organizing and increasing collaboration between the unions and the community enabled a successful labor action, and there is now a tentative agreement with the district that will be voted on by members.

A demonstration against raising the pension age in France. Over 800K participated in this Paris demo alone. Photo courtesy of Flo M., DSA member abroad

French Protests Against Macron

A lot has happened in France since we touched on it in a previous newsletter. President Macron has forced through his new law to raise the retirement age, without a vote in Parliament. A vote to end his government has failed, and this has set off a new wave of protests, building on nationwide strikes that had been ongoing. There have been massive actions nationwide and brutal responses from police as the President refuses to back down. But neither will the workers of France. Watch this interview of a French union official vowing that the fight will continue, while CNN pushes the government’s line on pension reform.

TCDSA committees and working groups need members to get involved in order to create the multi-racial, worker-powered socialist future we’re all aiming for. Below are some opportunities to be part of the exciting work going on in our chapter right now!

  • Twin Cities DSA Communications Committee: Newsletter 

    The newsletter team is looking for volunteers to help create the Little Red Letter, our chapter’s bi-weekly newsletter. There’s a variety of ways to contribute–sample tasks include editing a fellow member’s submission, creating the Big Upcoming Events and Group Meeting and Events sections, writing a submission, or posting pieces to the web, to name a few!  If you’re interested in getting involved, please drop a line in the #newsletter channel on our Slack.

  • East Phillips Urban Farm 

    TCDSA has endorsed the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute’s (EPNI) Urban Farm initiative to resist the City’s Hiawatha Campus Expansion plan. Not only would this release high levels of arsenic into the environment and further pollute the neighborhood with diesel fuel exhaust from city fleet services onsite, but it would also dash the community’s plan to develop this site as a neighborhood hub (with socialist solutions such as cooperatively owned businesses, solar energy, and jobs for East Phillips residents). If you want to build power with other comrades opposed to environmental racism, reach out to Connor S ( to become part of TCDSA’s EPNI Working Group.

  • Ezra Ishman Solidarity Fund

    The Ezra Ishman Solidarity fund is looking for members to help administer applications. This fund was established in 2018 and distributes one-time grants up to $200 to TCDSA members. It is meant to help meet immediate material needs and is a means of mutual support among people organizing together. If you are interested in helping to review these applications, please contact our chapter treasurer Tim H at
  • The Street Corps Working Group Mutual Aid Series

    Interested in getting involved in Chapter organizing? Interested in mutual aid and helping the community? The Street Corps Working Group is launching several prospective mutual aid and community building programs for this Spring and Summer. We have coordinators ready to help lead these programs but volunteers are needed to make these projects a reality. We encourage you to take a look and sign up for a project you are interested in here.

  • Socialist Job Fair – Register Here
    • Sunday, 4/2, 2:00pm – 4:00pm – 312 Central Ave SE, Minneapolis

      The upcoming TCDSA job fair will feature presenters who either work in union jobs, or are currently trying to unionize their workplaces — jobs where you could be a huge help as an organizer!
  • TCDSA/YDSA: Why City Council Matters to Socialists – Register Here

    • Monday, 4/3, 5:00pm – 6:30pm – Macalester College

      Join YDSA @ UMN Twin Cities, Twin Cities DSA, and Macalester YDSA for Socialists in City Hall, a presentation on the Saint Paul and Minneapolis city government. We will be joined by three guest panelists: Minneapolis Councilmembers Robin Wonsley, Saint Paul Councilmember Nelsie Yang, and Tom Basgen, a Saint Paul City Council Executive Assistant. Afterwards, we’ll have a small group discussion. There will also be free pizza!
  • Why Do Socialists Care So Much About Unions and the Working Class?

    • Monday, 4/3, 6:30pm-8:00pm – Register Here

      This class and discussion will explore the historical and present day reasons why socialists believe the working class and its unions are so key to the transformation of society. Presented by Peter Rachleff, labor historian, labor activist and cofounder of the East Side Freedom Library.
  • Twin Cities 2023 Candidate Q&A’s

    • See Scheduled Q&A’s and Register Here

      Q&A meetings are an opportunity for membership to ask questions in advance of the chapter endorsement meeting. Are there topics you want to hear about from candidates? Is there something on their questionnaire you want to follow up on? All members are encouraged to attend or submit your questions here.
  • TCDSA 101

    • Saturday, 4/8, 10:00am-12:30pm – Register Here

      Join us for an introduction to Twin Cities DSA! Designed mainly for new members but any member might benefit. This event will acquaint you with the ideas behind socialism, the structure, culture, and history of Twin Cities DSA, its position in the national and local left ecosystem, and help you discern where you might find the most rewarding opportunities to get involved
  • Twin Cities 2023 Endorsement Meeting – Register Here

    • Saturday, 4/15, 1:00pm

      At the endorsement meeting, candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and their platform.  After candidates have spoken, members will have the opportunity to discuss candidate endorsements, and how these races fit in with the chapter’s strategic goals. Our endorsement meetings require a quorum of 50 members to continue the endorsement process. We invite all TCDSA members to come and participate, as this is for the endorsement of the entire chapter.

  • Red Desk Beta Debrief, Monday, 3/27, 7:00pm-8:00pm – Zoom Registration 

    • We will conclude the Red Desk Beta Test by having a debrief about our experience then make plans for launching it to the chapter.

  • Electoral Committee General Meeting, Wednesday, 3/29, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Register Here

    • The TCDSA Electoral Committee holds a general meeting the last Wednesday of every month at 6PM.

  • Steering Committee Meeting – Sunday, 4/2, 3:00pm-4:30pm 

    • Check #steeringcommittee for the zoom link and agenda. If you are a member and need access to slack, sign up at

  • Minneapolis Rent Control Working Group – Tuesday, 4/4, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Register Here
    • Join the TCDSA Minneapolis Rent Control Work Group! This will be a space to discuss the proposals from the city’s working group on rent control and the strategy and tactics that lay before us in positioning TCDSA to bring the fight for strong rent control in Minneapolis into the public spotlight.

  • Health Justice Work Group – Tuesday, 4/4, 6:30pm-7:30pm – Register Here
    • The Health Justice working group is rebuilding! Join us for our monthly meeting and get to know other comrades to discuss the healthcare industry, learn about current healthcare-related legislation, and plan how our chapter can work for health justice.

  • Internal Organizing Phonebank – Wednesday, 4/5, 6:00pm-7:00pm
    • Join the Internal Organizing 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. Not on Slack? Submit to verify you’re on the member list.

  • Communications Committee Meeting – Thursday, 4/6, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Zoom Registration
    • The Communications Committee meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. 

      For information on joining this meeting, see the #communications channel on Slack. Not on Slack? Submit to verify you’re on the member list.

Go to to see everything!

Brown flood waters as far as the eye can see with just the tops of vehicles and upper stories of buildings visible.

They Don’t Care About Us – Kip H highlights preventable and intentional instances of environmental injustice against residents of Pajaro, CA, East Palestine, OH, and East Phillips in Minneapolis, MN, as a result of decisions made by both Democratic and Republican regimes.

Inside the UK’s first Amazon strike

Amazon unionization has spread to the UK, fueled partly by the terrible “cost of living crisis” (i.e. completely government-induced hyper-inflation, food shortages, and austerity measures.)

from Debra K R.

Joyce Carol GOATs

Joyce Carol Oates was previously known to Jude Ellison S. Doyle as the “gross feet lady” due to her predilection to post pictures of her more than 80 year old feet. Now they call her Joyce Carol GOATS and say she is the last hope for Twitter and humanity to overcome its toxic, celebrity-driven transphobia. A far greater writer than she-who-will-not-be-named and also about 35-40 years older, Oates has publicly worked through her earlier flippant skepticism about the trans rights cause to embrace it and eloquently defend it.

from Debra K R.

An Indigenous Community Land Trust Is Creating Housing Through #LandBack

In Eureka, California, the Wiyot tribe has seen historic urban Indigenous land return victories. Now, through a unique legal model, it’s creating housing for former foster youth on its ancestral land.

from Debra K R.

“It Took Us 50 Fucking Years”: A Review of Rabble Rousers

If you’ve been around housing movements … you have probably heard about a place called Cooper Square, where the people did the impossible: beat back the real estate speculators and aligned power brokers to take control of a piece of their neighborhood and created permanently affordable social housing… A good amount of people know that this happened; far fewer know how it happened. The new documentary film Rabble Rousers: Frances Goldin and the Fight for Cooper Square, which opens March 24th at the Firehouse Theater in Manhattan’s Chinatown, aims to change that.
from Debra K R.

Afroman – Will You Help Me Repair My Door (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
Rapper Afroman made a hit music video out of home video footage of a sheriff-led SWAT team breaking into his house at gunpoint and searching it. Now the cops are suing him. This links to the video itself.
from Debra K R.

If you find something that should be shared, you can post it to the #linkroundup channel on Slack.

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