Twin Cities DSA Little Red Letter #106: An End to the Hiawatha Expansion Plan, the Legislative Session Ends, and a Convention is Forced to Adjourn




Twin Cities
Democratic Socialists of America

Little Red Letter #106

An End to the Hiawatha Expansion Plan, the Legislative Session Ends, and a Convention is Forced to Adjourn

If you’re reading this as soon as you get it, workers at the Cedar and 47th Starbucks store are on strike this weekend in response to management unjustly and arbitrarily firing long time shift supervisor Aidee Escobedo. They will be on strike until 5pm today, and if you are able to, please join them and show your support! You can also show your support by donating to the gofundme for Aidee.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our May General Member meeting on May 7th! We had excellent presentations on chapter activities and the progress made toward our adopted priorities, heard about the DSA Strike Ready campaign in support of the UPS Teamster contract fight, and discussed the special election for the At-Large Steering Committee position and the 2023 DSA National Convention, with a call for nominations from members to be delegates. All members received OpaVote ballots yesterday for both these elections, and voting ends this Friday. If you are a member and haven’t received your ballot, reach out to

On Monday May 8 community members testified before the City of Minneapolis Planning Commission in opposition to rezoning and conditional use permits for the Roof Depot site in East Phillips. These are requirements for the city to move forward with their Hiawatha Expansion plan. The City recently expressed a willingness to cancel this plan and sell the site to the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI). Given the uncertainty of the situation, the Commission postponed a decision on this action to their meeting in late June. 

Minneapolis legislators continued to work with community members toward making the East Phillips Urban Farm happen and Saturday announced funding for the City to seek an alternative site for their proposed fleet maintenance facility and abandon the expansion plan. This clears the way for EPNI to purchase the site and represents a massive victory for East Phillips and Little Earth, as well as the coalition of groups that have stood with them!

On Thursday May 11 the Democratic Socialist Caucus hosted the Democratic Socialist Day on the Hill. Twin Cities DSA signed on to this event along with the Twin Ports, Brainerd Lakes, and Red River Valley DSA chapters and Health Care for All Minnesota (HCAMN). As the session draws to a close this event was hosted as a show of support for priorities at the legislature, including funding for the East Phillips Urban Farm, paid family and medical leave, and labor protections for Uber and Lyft drivers, among others. Speakers included Sen. Jen McEwen, Minneapolis Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party Chair Briana Rose Lee, and HCAMN Board Chair Rose Roach. 

This event overlapped with the sit-in conducted by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) at the Governor’s office, with many nurses coming to listen to our speakers before returning to keep up the fight. As the previous newsletter highlighted, bills at the legislature have faced corporate pusback from Mayo Clinic, which threatened to pull investments over the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act supported by MNA. Governor Tim Walz indicated he believed a compromise was possible. This “compromise” is now included in the new law, which will exempt Mayo Clinic from these requirements, sacrificing the working conditions of healthcare workers and caving to corporate threats. Read more in the piece by Brooke B below.

On Saturday May 14 the Minneapolis DFL held their Ward 10 nominating convention. Council Member Aisha Chughtai received the Twin Cities DSA endorsement in this cycle and in 2021, and was also seeking the DFL endorsement. This endorsement was contested by Nasri Warsame, whose campaign has largely not been public so far. This convention was disrupted and forced to adjourn, with Nasri Warsame campaign members and delegates assaulting volunteers and supporters of Aisha Chughtai who had gotten on stage to show support during her candidate speech. See Aisha’s statement here. This has led to the State DFL taking steps to ban Nasri Warsame from DFL endorsement, while conservative elements look to use the situation to their advantage. Read more in the piece by Deb K R below.

Photo from the MNA Facebook page

We Can’t Count On Walz

At the behest of Governor Tim Walz, the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act, supported by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA), now includes an exemption for Mayo Clinic. This follows threats by Mayo Clinic to withhold undisclosed investments, and the whole affair shows why we desperately need to build working class power. By Brooke B

Screen capture from Twitter account WedgeLive shows the turmoil at Ward 10’s convention

Minneapolis DFL Turmoil

On Saturday, May 13, the Minneapolis DFL held their Ward 10 endorsing convention. It would be forced to adjourn partway through as Warsame supporters began to physically confront and assault Chughtai supporters, with the convention becoming unsafe for all participants. By Deb K R.

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!

  • Volunteer with Comrades at the next Open Streets! – Sign up for a shift here

    Saturday, June 10 on Lake St in Minneapolis.

    Last year, we made our foray back into tabling at in-person events in the Twin Cities at Open Streets Minneapolis. It was a great success, with members volunteering to talk with folks on the street about DSA and the work we’re doing locally. Now we’re in need of volunteers again for the 2023 Open Streets! This is a great opportunity to spend time with your comrades in person and to get more involved in chapter work. No prior experience with tabling is required. Sign up for a two-hour shift here, and we’ll follow up with you soon to confirm your time. Make sure to join the #tabling channel on Slack if you haven’t already, and join us for button-making on 6/4 before the event!

  • 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 could this release 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). 

    The coalition has specifically asked our chapter for help with administrative tasks such as updating documents with video links for archival purposes and helping EPNI with tabling at some upcoming health and environmental events scheduled in the spring. Reach out to Connor S ( to become part of TCDSA’s EPNI Working Group and/or to express interest in these specific tasks.

  • Twin Cities DSA Sports

    • Softball
      The season is fast approaching and will be kicking off Monday, June 5. It seems we’ll have plenty of players, though we do need input on the team name. Please fill out this quick, one-question poll by 11:59pm TONIGHT (Sunday, May 21). One vote per person, please!

    • Basketball
      Join us Sundays at 9:30 to play some casual pickup basketball games with comrades! Join the #socialists-play-sports-basketball Slack channel to stay in the loop! All skill levels are welcome 🏀

    • Disc Golf
      Disc golf is the golf of the working class! Most courses are in public parks and are free to play. Discs are inexpensive compared to most sporting gear and can be bought used, and many people who’ve been playing for a while have a collection of extra discs available to borrow. We’re organizing occasional TCDSA group rounds—join the #socialists-play-sports-disc-golf Slack channel for more info! All are welcome, regardless of athleticism.

  • 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.

  • TCDSA Doorknock Kickoff! – Register Here

    • Saturday, 6/3 – 1:00PM – 4:00PM – Painter Park

      Join TCDSA as we kick off our 2023 doorknocking campaign for our endorsed candidates! We’re starting in Ward 8 with Soren Stevenson (who just won the DFL endorsement for Ward 8 yesterday!).

      After we finish our doorknock, we’ll be having a grill out in Painter Park.

  • Button-making Social – Register Here

    • Sunday, 6/4 – 12:30PM – 2:30PM – East Lake Library

      We’ll be doing a lot of tabling this summer and will be holding a button-making social to make some swag to have on hand. Come, hang out, make some buttons, and get to know new and old chapter members. 

  • TCDSA Softball Doubleheader Opening Night 

    • Monday, 6/5 – Games at 6:15PM and 7:15PM – Logan Park SB/KB 2 Field

      Come cheer on our softball team on opening night where we’ll be playing a doubleheader! Potential low-key social afterward, stay tuned for Slack for more details. 

  • TODAY Municipal Socialsts in Office: Inaugural Meeting with Electeds – Sunday, 5/21, 3:00pm-4:30pm – Zoom Registration
    • The first municipal socialists in office meeting with electeds. We are meeting to work out ways we TCDSA membership can support electeds in our dreams for a better world.

  • East Phillips Urban Farm Working Group – Monday, 5/22, 8:00pm-9:30pm – Zoom Registration
    • The East Phillips Urban Farm working group meets weekly on Monday at 8p.TCDSA has endorsed the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute’s (EPNI) Urban Farm initiative to resist the City’s Hiawatha Campus Expansion plan.

  • Health Justice Working Group – Tuesday, 5/23, 6:30pm-7:30pm – Zoom Registration 
    • 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.

  • Office Search Committee – Tuesday, 5/23, 7:00pm-8:00pm – Zoom Registration
    • Updates on national matching grant, fundraising plan and recently toured potential locations.

  • Electoral Internal Phone Bank – Wednesday, 5/24, 5:30pm-7:00pm – Zoom Registration
    • We’ll be phone banking to ask members to activate for this year’s electoral work.

  • St. Paul Branch Meeting – Thursday, 5/25, 7:00pm-8:30pm – Zoom Registration
    • The St. Paul Branch of TCDSA meets on the 4th Thursday of the month. 

  • Socialist Feminists Branch Meeting – Saturday, 5/27, 2:00pm-3:30pm – Zoom Registration
    •  Our monthly branch meetings are a space to talk about current organizing and how people can get involved! We also have discussion centered around political education on specific topics each month. All are welcome.

  • Steering Committee Meeting – Sunday, 5/28, 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

  • East Phillips Urban Farm Working Group – Monday, 5/29, 8:00pm-9:30pm – Zoom Registration
    • The East Phillips Urban Farm working group meets weekly on Monday at 8p. TCDSA has endorsed the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute’s (EPNI) Urban Farm initiative to resist the City’s Hiawatha Campus Expansion plan.

  • Electoral Committee General Meeting – Wednesday, 5/31, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Zoom Registration
    • The TCDSA Electoral Committee holds a general meeting the last Wednesday of every month at 6PM.

  • Communications Committee Meeting – Thursday, 6/1, 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!

‘Crimes On Humanity’: UN Visits Minneapolis to Investigate Human Rights After Pressure Campaign

United Nations human rights investigators visited six U.S. cities that have been in the spotlight in recent years for police-involved killings of African Americans. The Minnesota visit comes after Twin Cities based activists organized petitions and letters to get the human rights panel to include Minneapolis in its tour. 

from Tim J.

Firearms Classes Taught Me, and America, a Very Dangerous Lesson

Harel Shapira, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas, Austin, took multiple firearms training classes in multiple states and interviewed instructors and students. What they found out about the effect of firearms training on the psyche of gun owners is that almost all classes deliberately instilled fear in the students and taught them, when in doubt, pull the trigger.

from Deb K R

Minnesota poised to close state park, return land to Dakota tribe

A small step beyond land acknowledgement, Minnesota returns Upper Souix Agency State Park to the Dakota.

from Robbie O.

Work of Die? ‘Death Panel’ Podcasters Propose ‘Health Communism’

Health Communism starts and ends with the same contention: “Health is capitalism’s vulnerability.” Because the conditions of health are bought and worked for, illness is its logical effect. On the other hand, many left critiques of capitalism recognize no state of health beyond the eugenic fantasy of wellness, a state of being that ever eludes the worker. The authors Beatrice Adler-Bolton and Artie Vierkant, co-hosts of the biweekly podcast Death Panel, disagree. They seek to reclaim the category of health not only for workers but for the non-working “surplus” adult population precluded from health in the capitalist system. Hence the book’s title.

from Deb K R

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