We must protect community land | Bulletin

Sheriff Sales are public auctions of foreclosed homes and lots, seized when homeowners can’t pay their mortgages or property taxes. Many of these lots provide green space, play areas, and community gardens throughout neglected parts of our city. This process is one of the principal ways the ruling class seizes homes and community spaces that belong to Black and Brown, working-class Philadelphians.

Important note about our General Meeting this Sunday, 9/26: If you have not received an email with your member ID and ballot, stack, and support links (subject line “General Meeting Important Links”), and you are a member in good standing, email [email protected] ASAP. You must RSVP online to receive a Zoom link for the GM.

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The Sheriff Sale moratorium expired earlier this month, and with that comes the sale of empty lots to for-profit developers in an unjust, opaque process. Sheriff Sales are public auctions of foreclosed homes and lots, seized when homeowners can’t pay their mortgages or property taxes. Many of these lots provide green space, play areas, and community gardens throughout neglected parts of our city. This process is one of the principal ways the ruling class seizes homes and community spaces that belong to Black and Brown, working-class Philadelphians.

Organizers from the Iglesias Garden in Kensington delivered a petition to reinstate the moratorium in a basket of tomatoes and basil grown in the garden. The City responded with laughably disproportionate force. At least 18 cops arrived to block these organizers from delivering their symbolic basket. After a long standoff, the cops finally let the lead organizer enter; they reported after that the City had claimed this issue was “out of their jurisdiction.”

As democratic socialists, we must defend the rights of Philadelphians to their land, homes and communities. You can sign this petition to show your support for the Iglesias Garden’s demand to extend the Sheriff Sales Moratorium. You can also attend the Housing Committee meeting tonight at 8pm, where we’ll hear from a guest speaker about community land trusts and discuss how to win democratic control over community land.

-Luke Mills, Philly DSA member
Read the full essay

On the calendar
Unless otherwise specified, all events are held via Zoom. Due to the weather, the SEPTA bus canvass scheduled for today has been canceled.

Green New Deal for Public Schools Phonebank, today at 4:30pm
Call and text parents, teachers, and DSA members to support Jamaal Bowman's Green New Deal for Public Schools legislation. RSVP 

Rent Control Coalition Phonebank, today at 5:30pm
Join the Rent Control Coalition to call petition signers and update them on ways to get involved with the Coalition. RSVP 

Housing Committee Meeting, today at 8pm
Hear from a guest speaker on community land trusts, discuss our ongoing tenant organizing through the Stomp Out Slumlords campaign, and more! RSVP

General Meeting, September 26 at noon
Join the Philly DSA membership to decide on the political direction of our organization. View the resolutions up for consideration here and RSVP

  • Join us at 5pm following the General Meeting for a happy hour at Cantina Los Caballitos in South Philly! RSVP

Green New Deal Commission Meeting, September 27 at 6:30pm
Join this regular meeting to hear about current projects, including updates from the Green New Deal for Public Schools and Better Buses campaigns. RSVP

Defund the Police Campaign Meeting, October 1 at 6pm
Join this monthly meeting to discuss an upcoming Red Rabbits Training, an upcoming referendum on policing, and more. RSVP

Worker Cooperatives: Worker Power and Autonomy, October 1 at 7pm
The Political Education Committee will explore the basic ideas and theory behind worker co-ops in this discussion with Dr. Shahram Azhar, Assistant Professor of Economics at Bucknell University. RSVP

National Convention Report-back, October 3 at 4pm
Join our 2021 NatCon delegation for a report on how DSA’s highest deliberative body made important political decisions for the organization back in August. RSVP

Structured Organizing Conversations Training, October 7 at 6pm
The Member Engagement Committee will train you on how to have organizing conversations essential to labor, housing, and other deep-organizing work. RSVP

Fall (of Capitalism) Fest, October 9 at 3pm
Celebrate fall with Philly DSA at this family-friendly outdoor event! Events will include pumpkin painting and carving, face-painting, food, and games. RSVP

Political Education: Liberation Theology, October 13 at 7pm
Liberation theology changed the politics of Latin America by merging Christian faith with socialist understanding of the world. Join us to learn this history with the host of the Liberation Theology podcast, Fr. David Inczauskis, SJ. RSVP

New Member Meeting, October 14 at 6:30pm
An introduction to Philly DSA for new members and people thinking about joining. Learn about the local and the many ways you can get involved! RSVP

View the full calendar

Updates from the branches

Delco DSA
Reading Group, October 14 at 7pm
Read and discuss an essay published in Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life. RSVP

Public Hearing on County Waste Policy, September 30 at 6pm
Attend or send comments to stop the Covanta contract. The hearing is in person at the Government Center, 201 W. Front St. in Media, PA. RSVP
View all events

BuxMont DSA
What a GND for Public Schools Would Mean for MontCo, today at 7pm
Join Dr. Akira Drake Rodriguez, Sen. Katie Muth, and more panelists for a discussion on investing in green schools in Montgomery County. RSVP

BuxMont DSA General Meeting, September 24 at 7pm
Hear reports from working groups and committees, discuss and debate the upcoming actions and events of the branch, and vote on resolutions proposed by the membership. RSVP
View all events

This week in unions

  • AFSCME DC 47, representing white collar city workers, reached a tentative agreement that includes a 3-year deal, a $1,200 bonus, 4 weeks of parental leave, and a 9% raise over 3 years. 
  • Nabisco strike ends: “The BCTGM’s striking members made enormous sacrifices in order to achieve a quality contract that preserves our Union’s high standards for wages, hours and benefits for current and future Nabisco workers...Those Brothers and Sisters who walked the picket lines day in and day out are true BCTGM heroes.” 
  • IATSE to vote on a strike authorization: Companies like Amazon and Netflix are making record profits off the backs of workers. “It is incomprehensible that the AMPTP, an ensemble that includes media mega-corporations collectively worth trillions of dollars, claims it cannot provide behind-the-scenes crews with basic human necessities like adequate sleep, meal breaks, and living wages.”

To Get Involved: If you’re interested in supporting workers who want to organize, organizing your workplace, supporting workers and unions taking collective action, or in building relationships with rank & file union members and leaders, email [email protected]

On the bulletin

  • Housing Survey: Please fill out the Housing Committee’s survey to map shared landlords and property management companies. Responses will help future tenant organizing efforts.
  • Bylaws Reform Commission: The Philly DSA Steering Committee recently created a Bylaws Commission, which is tasked with creating and implementing a process for reforming the Philly DSA bylaws. If you’re interested in being part of the Commission, please apply here.
    • If you have questions, please email the Commission’s chair, Sam Datlof ([email protected]).
  • Join us on Slack: If you’re a Philly DSA member and you’d like to join our Slack workspace, please email [email protected].
  • Access our Google Calendar: This public calendar is updated regularly with our chapter’s events.
  • Harassment and Grievance Process: In accordance with Article XIII of our Bylaws, a commission has been formed to receive, process, and review grievances for disciplinary action. To read more about the process or to file a grievance you can do so here.
  • Support Philly DSA! 

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In solidarity,

Philly DSA

“I want to affect people like a clap of thunder, to inflame their minds with the breadth of my vision, the strength of my conviction and the power of my expression” - Rosa Luxemburg, socialist theoretician and organizer 

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