At the time of the convention, there were 5 ad-hoc committees of Philly DSA - Canvassing, Policy, Housing, Childcare, OCOS. In addition, the Labor Branch existed as a non-geographical occupation and affiliation based branch of the chapter. With the new bylaws voted in at our March 2019 general meeting, branches can no longer be based on things such as union affiliation. In addition, temporary committees (the new name for ad-hoc committees) cannot extend past the life of an existing Steering Committee.
During this transition time we therefore needed to figure out whether the existing ad-hoc committees wanted to continue their activity under the incoming Steering Committee as temporary committees, as well as how to reconfigure the labor branch.
All existing ad-hoc committees were asked to compile and submit to the outgoing steering committee a final report, in which they were to include a recommendation on the future of their committee. The co-chairs then worked with each committee to help refine these recommendations.
Four committees - canvassing, policy, childcare, and OCOS - wished to continue as committees of the local.
In order to complete our committee transition, the Steering Committee therefore recommends the following:
The Steering Committee recommends the adoption of the final reports of the Canvassing, Policy, Housing, Childcare, OCOS Committees.
The Steering Committee recommends reconvening the Temporary Canvassing Committee for an additional 2 years. The committee will continue to fulfill its objectives of planning canvasses to further the political aims of the local and developing best practices for storing and collecting data relevant to the political priorities of the local. The committee will prioritize canvassing related to the four platform campaigns adopted at the 2019 Philly DSA local convention. Canvasses for other campaigns approved by the membership will be organized by the committee as capacity permits. The chair of the Temporary Canvassing Committee will be Jonah Gardner.
The Steering Committee recommends reconvening the Temporary Policy Committee for an additional year. The committee will continue to fulfill its objective of researching and developing democratic socialist policies. The committee will also continue to produce policy papers, as well as recommend policy positions to the general membership, hold hearings for input and discussion on policy questions, and organize regular public fora on policy areas. The committee will also continue to produce and consult on literature related to the Bernie Sanders campaign. The chair of the Temporary Policy Committee will be Jason Leach.
The Steering Committee recommends that the ad-hoc Childcare and Caregiver Support Committee be reconvened as the Temporary Committee on Childcare and Parental Support. The committee will help run childcare at events, starting with Philly DSA General Meetings and canvasses. The committee will also recruit people to provide childcare at Philly DSA events, track clearances for recruits, develop trainings for future providers, and work with committees to grow Philly DSA’s ability to provide childcare consistently at chapter events. The Temporary Committee on Childcare and Parental Support will be renewed for an additional year and will be chaired by Jessica Cross.
The Steering Committee recommends that the OCOS group be reconvened as the Temporary OCOS Coordinating Committee for one year. The committee will coordinate Philly DSA coalition work with Our City Our Schools and work with Philly DSA’s Political Education Committee to organize events advancing a socialist perspective on public education in Philadelphia. The Temporary OCOS Coordinating Committee will be co-chaired by Adrian Rivera-Reyes and Jason Wozniak.
The Steering Committee recommends that Philly DSA appoint a Labor Movement Commission consisting of Paul Prescod, David McMahon and up to three additional members appointed by the chair of the Local who will be responsible for strengthening our partnership with the labor movement, informing our members of strategic opportunities for collaboration with organized labor, making recommendations on proposals and campaigns of the Local that relate to labor issues, recruiting union members into the Local and organizing labor union members within the Local in order to further develop and implement strategies to advance socialist politics within organized labor, and leading the effort to carry out resolution 11:18:0 on the rank and file strategy.
The Steering Committee also recommends that the Local recognize the Labor Branch as a non-deliberative and auxiliary group aligned with Philly DSA. The Labor Branch will continue to hold monthly meetings which will help to bring members of the Philadelphia labor movement in or sympathetic to the aims of Philly DSA together to discuss the future of the leftwing of labor.
Appendix: Final Reports of Ad-Hoc Committees
Final Report of the Ad-Hoc Canvassing Committee
Final Report of the Ad-Hoc Policy Committee
Final Report of the Ad-Hoc Housing Committee
Final Report of the Ad-Hoc Childcare and Caregiver Support Committee
Final Report of the Ad-Hoc OCOS Committee
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