The following candidates are running for various positions in the Twin Cities DSA 2023 Convention this September. Descriptions for each of the positions can be found here.
Political Action Coordinator
Political Education Coordinator
Click (+) next to the candidates to view their statements below.
Co-chairs (2, at least one may not be a cis male)
One year ago TCDSA set out on a course to pick fights with the ruling class that were winnable. The intention was to engage in struggle side by side with radicalizing workers, learn from them and draw them closer to DSA. Building multi racial working-class power in the Twin Cities was our aim. We wanted to build strong institutions that were welcoming to workers and through which we could recruit, retain and train working-class fighters. While there is still much work to do along these lines, we have made substantial progress in raising the profile of TCDSA and putting down much stronger roots into the Twin Cities working class. If I am elected to a second term as one of the co-chairs of TCDSA, I can promise that I will continue to make every effort to steer our chapter into the middle of the class struggle along the lines of the True North 2.0 resolution.
Hello comrades! My name is Laura (she/they) and I am running for TCDSA co-chair. I am an abolitionist, a union member, and have 10 years of experience doing housing advocacy through various roles within the field of human services. Although my resume is not extensive within DSA, I am committed to learning and growing as an organizer. I’ve been a member of TCDSA for several years now but have taken a more active role in the past 3 years. During the regional organizing that was occurring in the early days of the pandemic, I helped grow our local St Paul neighborhood group through internal outreach to new St Paul members. When the two St Paul regional groups merged we formed an organizing committee to establish bylaws, facilitate our monthly meetings, and increase engagement. This past year I have also served as one of the co-chairs for the Socialist Feminist working group. Serving as SocFem co-chair has been an absolute joy, with a highlight being leading our SocFems team for the Our Justice fund-a-thon and raising $10,000 for abortion funds. I also believe that organizing can and should be fun sometimes! This summer I helped plan a People’s Party dance fundraiser to raise money for our delegates going to convention in August. Whether in the role of co-chair, or outside of it, I hope to continue planning socials, fundraisers, and ways for folks to feel connected and engage with our organization that results in real material support. Outside of TCDSA I enjoy gardening, spending time with my partner and our dog, volunteering with the Women’s Prison Book Project and being involved with my district council, Hamline-Midway Coalition. If elected, I look forward to meeting and organizing alongside you, learning more about the incredible work you all are doing and how I can best support you. A better world is possible!
I’m Cynthia S (she/her) and very happy to be running again for TCDSA’s Steering Committee (SC). This past year I served as an At-Large member of the SC and focused the majority of my efforts using my background in graphic and web design, online learning, and organization and leadership development to help create and implement an amplified, sustainable, and scalable communications operation for the chapter. I collaborated with other chapter members to co-lead and build a plan for our Comms and Social Media teams and am very pleased to report that we have markedly increased the visibility of our chapter’s good work, which of course helps to draw more people into the chapter and to augment our growing power both in numbers and politically. Last year, I worked as a teacher in the Minneapolis Public Schools and as an MFT member was a key organizer of a solidarity event that brought together Twin Cities unions (like SEIU, CWA, and AFSCME) and community organizers from the MN Environmental Justice (EJ) Table to stand with the East Phillips, Little Earth, and EPNI communities against the City’s planned demolition of the Roof Depot. This event in many ways laid the groundwork for wider union participation in the expanding fight and directly correlates with the type of cross-union and cross-sector solidarity that is the cornerstone of TCDSA’s work in the 2024 Contract Convergence fight, in which I am also involved. I’m committed to continuing this year to build working-class power in the focused and intentional ways we began doing this year. Our success has come from the chapter’s laser focus on meeting working-working class fighters where they’re already facing-off against the boss, their landlord, or indifferent government officials; through the True North 2.0 resolution, we will continue to integrate working-class fighters into TCDSA as we meet them in union struggles, on the shop floor, through tenant organizing, and in working-class led EJ campaigns. I also look forward to continuing my work with other comrades on the Comms team, where we are starting to plug Delta, UPS, and other workers into key roles to help amplify the chapter’s and coalition partners’ messages. This year, in alignment with the Chapter Bylaws, I will be submitting my candidacy for the Recording Secretary position, which is directly associated with the Comms role in which I serve.
My name is Michael Wilson (he/him). In my day job, I am a Grant Manager at Native American Community Clinic. As an activist organizer, I have stepped into many organizing roles this past year. Facilitating monthly TCDSA 101s, outreach tabling, reading groups, acquiring hats for our softball team (even scoring a few runs!), attending rallies, picket lines, shoveling snow, and serving as a delegate to our National Convention. I’ve been active in Pol Ed, Internal Organizing, IOC phone banking, and our East Phillips Roof Depot campaign. I am active on EPNI Health Team and EPNI Outreach Team where I have coordinated over 20 EPNI tabling events, a block party, and been a vector between our chapter and the Roof Depot coalition.
My skills are that of a consistent helper. I see the Recording Secretary role as a place where I can assist and allow our organizers to focus on their own leadership roles. Steering Committee has the function and power to coordinate and assist member organizers, and this administrative aspect of Steering Committee is a skillset I have!
Our Steering Committee has been a pipeline to burnout. I am proud to live my commitment to meet the administrative needs and address the root causes of burnout in our leadership roles. Steering Committee could also be more transparent and accessible. I intend to bring administrative duties to the next level and actively advance a culture of membership participation. Importantly, I will lead a Leadership Operations Skill-Share program in order to broaden leadership capacity and make discussions, decisions, and daily operations clear and visible to members. If you agree that my workplan spreadsheet and my skills as a reliable helper will make me an effective Recording Secretary, I would be honored to have your vote.
Michael’s Platform: A People’s Admin – Recording Secretary 2024
- Steering Committee Administration
- Assist Agenda Drafting
- Finalize SC Meeting Minutes & Post To Wiki And Slack Within 48 Hours
- Record SC Votes In Meeting Minutes
- Create SC Meeting Zoom Links & Everyaction Registration Links
- Update SC Meetings On The Events Calendar
- SC Meeting Slack Notifications (meeting times, agenda draft, call for outstanding agenda items, and all scheduled votes)
- Track SC Meeting Attendance
- Leadership Operations Skill-Share Program
- Facilitate 15-minute Operational Skill-Shares
- Record, Save, Post, And Play Before SC Mtgs.
- 11 Former And Current TCDSA Leaders Have Committed To Doing 1 Skill-Share Quarterly (for a total of 44 sessions this next year)
- Submit Quarterly Evaluation Reports With Attendance Numbers, Type Of Skills Shared, Links To Recordings, and Member Feedback
- Generate An Operational Task Request To Put In The “Help Wanted” Section Of Each TCDSA Newsletter
Hi, I’m Pierce – long time socialist and nerd! You may know me from my work on the website redesign and red desk. In the process I’ve learned a lot about our chapter infrastructure and studied professional web development further. My vision for Tech Ops coordinator: * Make work visible, so people have a map for chapterwide collaboration. * Improve the user experience of our platforms & get routine feedback. * Focus on reaching the full 16 county area we represent so everyone can participate. * Train our membership how to use the resources we already have available. In more concrete terms, I plan on the following: * Create surveys and host listening sessions to get user feedback and also identify volunteers. * Create slack policies that address notification fatigue, and make other improvements with user-guided feedback. * Create a chapter Google drive and develop a strategy for use. * Create cross chapter groups to work on maintaining: the website, wiki, and other operational needs. * Work on building a “TCDSA Dashboard” so we can spot structural issues together and plan our work effectively. Overall, I want to ground our work in reality by asking about the specifics of how we plan on actually building the power and infrastructure we need to coordinate the economy for human needs instead of profits.
I have been a member of Twin Cities DSA since April 2020 and in addition to other organizing work in the chapter I have been the Treasurer for the last two years. I have a background in auditing and accounting, and over the last two years I’ve handled the tax and campaign finance reporting, managed and tracked chapter expenses, and have been a resource to the steering committee for managing our funds. In addition I have supported the office search committee in setting up the fundraising apparatus and providing financial details to apply for the National matching grant and for office locations, and have maintained the Ezra Ishman Solidarity Fund while the administrative group was dormant, and worked to convene the group of people who now oversee the fund and respond to applications. I ask members to elect me for what would be my last term as Treasurer to continue the work of maintaining chapter finances and compliance, and to build the bench for whoever will replace me in October 2024.
Political Action Coordinator
I’ve been in TCDSA for 5 years, and been active in labor, electoral, and community work within the org. I’m running for PAC because I’d like to serve the chapter in that capacity. In the last few years our chapter and scope of our work has grown tremendously. We are interacting in large coalitions and taking out campaigns in many different sectors. Next year we’ll be taking more political action. We got climate action, potential strikes, potential progressive city council majorities and budding work with tenants on our horizon. We’ll need strong relationships in community and bold action to build working class socialist power in these arenas. I’d love the chance to serve as PAC and believe I can do the work well. I’ve worked in many coalitions as a member and organizer in a union and electoral capacity. We’re going to need to do this in partnership with allies while staying firm in our socialist vision. Please elect me as PAC.
Political Education Coordinators (3, no more than one white cis male, highest vote receiver is on SC)
I joined TCDSA in May of 2022, and very quickly got involved. At the time, the Political Education Committee was struggling to stay active. I ran for Pol Ed Co-chair to help it get restarted and was elected. During that time, we revamped TCDSA 101s and I have helped co-host them monthly, bringing in new members and helping them understand our common politics and how the chapter works. We have provided several educational events, and comrades in the Committee have begun and hosted our fantastic debate nights. Halfway through that term, I stepped up to also fill in the role of Labor Branch co-chair, as some of our other comrades had to step back. In those months, I helped to make sure the Labor Branch meetings had some sort of Political Education/skills-sharing element in them, similar to how the Soc Fem Branch operates, which has been received well. That experience with the Labor Branch was invigorating and challenging, and helped to round out my political leanings. However, we have many comrades in the chapter who have more Labor knowledge and experience than me, and I will gratefully step aside for them to lead that Branch. Along with Labor and Pol Ed, I have also been active in the Soc Fem Branch, and with EPNI/EJ work. I was a pediatric ICU nurse for seven years, and so much of that job was spent teaching – children who were my patients, their families, and my fellow nurses – in a combination of formal and informal settings. I want to continue bringing that experience to the Pol Ed Committee, and working with the amazing comrades who have consistently showed up to those meetings for the past year. We have a lot to do in the coming year, and I want to help make sure our comrades inside the organization feel knowledgeable and prepared as they step out to do organizing on the ground. I want to help everyone in the chapter feel comfortable explaining what socialism is, understanding how they personally view politics, and knowing what it looks like to translate that knowledge into practice. Offering more outward-facing educational opportunities for the community is one of my long-term visions for this committee.
I have been an active member of the Political Education Committee since November 2022. In the last year, I have been a part of planning chapter debate nights, movie events, and other educational programming. I am an educator and feel strongly about making sure our membership and the workers of the Twin Cities are intellectually prepared for the challenges of 2024. I am running to be a Political Education Coordinator because I want to help develop two lines of programming. First, I want to see internal political education developed so all members can clearly articulate our socialist principles, methods, and goals. When we discuss other topics like labor organizing, election work, and mutual aid, every chapter member should be able to express their opinion in terms of how we are strengthening the working class to win a socialist future. Second, I want to develop political education programming for the broader community. The Twin Cities are chocked full of left-of-center and politically inactive folks who want and need great changes. Political Education should create digestible, accessible material that reaches this population and explains the world to them in socialist terms. This work is aimed to prepare the broader public for the onslaught of ruling class propaganda that will flood the airwaves in 2024.
My name is Jessica G (she/her) and I am running for the Political Education Committee. I’m an educator in Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), serve on the board of Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59, and am working on my Masters in Urban Education at Metro State University.. I’m also the co-founder of the Environmental Justice (EJ) Working Group for MFT and active with the MN Environmental Justice (EJ) Table that is working to shut down the HERC in North Minneapolis. As a longtime BIPOC member of TCDSA, I’ve been reluctant to get involved in the chapter until now, when I’ve seen the current chapter leadership’s commitment — through their implementation of the True North resolution — to changing the organization to be more focused on bringing in and welcoming working class people and people of color. I am committed to building a culture in the chapter where working class people feel a genuine sense of belonging and, at the same time, to helping current members do the hard internal and organizational work required to make that change. I’m also interested in deepening the chapter’s understanding of how our work today is deeply informed by the history of class-struggle politics. For my work in Pol Ed, I’d be drawing upon my experience as the founder of the School for Liberation in Fairbault, MN, where for one year, participants learned about black, indigenous, environmental, and anti-oil resistance movements, including the resistance to police brutality. I’d also draw upon my training and experience as an educator, where I’ve taught countless young people — including the students in my current Youth Participation and Evaluation (YPE) courses — how to engage as political agents of change. I regularly facilitate workshops on direct action, security culture, and abolition at Black Table Arts and across the Twin Cities and the U.S. My career as a militant, activist, and labor organizer includes writing about anti-facism, active resistance on the Dakota Access Pipeline, and solidarity work against liquid genocide on the Pine Ridge Reservation that resulted in the closure of several liquor stores — work that in many ways laid the groundwork for later resistance on the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines. In the IWW, I also served on the national steering committee for the General Defense Committee (GDC) — where we ensured that working class fighters had the funds and protection they needed to stay safe — and was an active member of the African People’s Caucus — where we centered our African members in teachings focused on the intersection of the history of black resistance and labor. I’m excited to support True North 2.0 and to be a part of the chapter’s leadership that helps to implement the resolution.
Members At-Large (3, At least one non-cis male)
I began organizing with TCDSA in summer of 2019. Over the years I’ve worked with various groups across the chapter, including the Socialist Feminist branch, the regional organizing groups of 2020, and our Internal Organizing committee. Since this spring, I have held the role of Member At-Large on our Steering Committee. I’ve helped put together general meetings, chapter socials, new member phone banks, tabling outreach, and more. It is my number one goal, as an organizer, to make more organizers—to ensure that every member of TCDSA has access to the resources and support necessary to grow as committed socialist leaders. We need to focus on bringing new members into our work, supporting and retaining our active members, and strengthening the next set of chapter leaders. I am running for an additional term as a Member At-Large to do just that.
I am running for an At-Large position because I want to help make our chapter stronger through robust chapter democracy, Steering Committee transparency, and member participation. I want to strengthen our capacity to engage our members and for our members to feel supported and welcome when they look to get involved. I believe our At Large Steering Committee positions offer a key role to improve our capacity to do this. I have been primarily involved founding and coordinating our Street Corps Working Group where I have experienced firsthand the successes and failures of trying to organize chapter projects in a democratic and participatory manner. In addition, I have dedicated time where able to working with other chapter committees such as Communications and Internal Organizing. I give a lot of my time to this chapter, and, if elected, I look forward to dedicating much of my time to my Steering Committee duties, working with our Internal Organizing Committee, and finding new strategies to communicate with and support our many members. I would love to utilize our future chapter Office Space to host routine office hours for me to engage new and current members. 2024 is going to be a big year and we need all hands-on deck and a strong organizational culture of solidarity and comradeship to face the struggles to come.
Heyo, my name is Bree and I’ve been an active member of TCDSA since 2015. I was one of the founders and co-chairs of the Socialist Feminist Branch within our chapter and have been elected as a delegate twice to our National Convention. I bring deep historical insight into the chapter’s development, as well as strong personal relationships with the many comrades with whom I’ve been privileged to organize with. I am currently active in our chapters communication group as a Social Media Captain and as a graphic designer. Outside of TCDSA I have organized around several issues and have been part of electoral campaigns including both of Robin Wonsley’s campaigns for Council and Sheigh Freeberg’s campaign for State Senate. My interest in electoral work is second to my continued passion for cultural change within organizing spaces. I support the proposed amendment to our Conflict and Grievance Policy. If elected, I intend to build out this policy as a means to broaden our chapters’ awareness of conflict and to normalize it in order to strengthen relationships and integrate a culture of Transformative Justice into our day-to-day operations. The backbone of the civil rights movement, Ella Baker, popularized the African proverb “Each One, Teach One”, which in essence, to me, means building leadership through the active sharing of knowledge. I’m a natural connector and I plan on sharing the skill set I have built over the years to continue our work of growing a multiracial working-class base within our chapter. This is why I am also a supporter of the True North 2.0 platform that focuses on a class struggle vision to fight racial and patriarchal capitalism, while making the movement spaces we operate within joyful and empowering!
Withdrew From Consideration
In 2018, I had the honor of making history as one of the first transgender and Two Spirit individuals to achieve victory in a primary election. This milestone was a testament to the strength of community, with our local Democratic Socialists of America and the National DSA committee standing resolutely beside me, demonstrating the potential of democratic socialists in challenging the status quo. As a history educator, a devoted aunt, a dedicated organizer, and a survivor of colonial genocide, I found solace and purpose in the Twin Cities, where I sought refuge as a transgender individual from Montana. My roots trace back to the Coahuiltecan and Aztec nations, a heritage that imbues my journey with deep cultural significance. Our path forward is rife with challenges, from the pressing issue of the trans genocide to the undue influence of the ultra-rich and policies that disproportionately harm the working class. Yet, it is through adversity that we find our true resilience. Together, drawing strength from our diverse backgrounds and shared goals, we will persist in our mission to shape a future where equality reigns, where every voice resonates, and where policies uplift the working class.
When I became a socialist over 20 years ago I thought I may never see it come to pass, but that it was a worthwhile effort when trying to change the world. Now I fear that it may be the only way to prevent a climate change nightmare and it may not come soon enough. Given the urgency of the crisis it seems the central ideas of Marxism have never been more crucial, the self emancipation of working people being the only way to overcome the contradictions of capitalism. One of those contradictions being that despite diminishing profitability and ongoing and increasing environmental destruction the system cannot and will not stop that same destruction that threatens not only the system, but life on earth. Because of the intractable nature of capital and the time crunch, it is even more important that workers direct action to halt production and force systemic change. I have been trying to build that kind of fight in the labor movement for the last decade. The current upsurge in the labor movement can’t come fast enough and requires as much support as possible so that working people feel the confidence necessary to act on the rage that is building and save the earth for something more than another day and dollar. It is important for socialists to be at the heart of such a movement. I think DSA needs that kind of focus so I am running with the True North slate.