Bulletin 2019-10-17: Striking Teachers and Bernie’s Momentum

The strike wave that has been building power across the country over the past few years has washed ashore once again in Chicago. Mayor Lightfoot’s negotiation team was unable last night to agree to the reasonable demands of the 25,000 member Chicago Teachers Union and nearly 7,500 school support staff from SEIU Local 73.

The strike wave that has been building power across the country over the past few years has washed ashore once again in Chicago. Mayor Lightfoot’s negotiation team was unable last night to agree to the reasonable demands of the 25,000 member Chicago Teachers Union and nearly 7,500 school support staff from SEIU Local 73. 

Both unions were fighting for their students by asking not only for typical needs like salaries and employee benefits, but also lower class sizes, more nurses and librarians in schools, and social workers for the thousands of CPS students who lack permanent housing. Also considered in the contract demands are social justice issues like more affordable housing and sanctuary for immigrant students and families. Mayor Lightfoot has refused to include these demands in the teachers’ contracts because she doesn’t want to lose her “flexibility” (the ability to break her promise).

This morning, our comrades in Chicago DSA are standing in solidarity with the picket lines of teachers and support staff at a dozen schools across the city.

Not only are they manning the early morning picket lines, but our comrades in Chicago DSA have started their own Bread for Ed fundraiser, inspired by our East Bay and Los Angeles DSA’s efforts when Oakland and LA teachers went on strike last year. 

Our Chicago comrades set the goal of raising $10,000 before the strike began. As of this morning, they have raised over $25,000 to provide meals to students. Philly DSAers,  let’s show our solidarity and contribute to Chicago DSA’s Bread for Ed Fundraiser here! Even a small donation of $15 will be able to feed five Chicago students.

DSA chapters from across the country are standing in solidarity with Chicago teachers and students. Check out this article in DSA’s Midwest Socialist about the solidarity of Las Vegas DSA!

Bernie Wipes the Floor on the Debate Stage (and Endorsements)!

For those who missed our watch party Tuesday, here is a quick recap of the Presidential Debate: Media pundits who had already written obituaries for Bernie’s political revolution had to make massive edits after Bernie rocked the debate hall.

Bernie tore into his opponents, who keep defending watered-down reforms to our cruel and dysfunctional healthcare system (we are looking at you, Mayor Pete).  He also had the courage to say that his Medicare-for-All single-payer healthcare plan will raise taxes while lowering costs for working class people across this country. He was likewise the only person to even mention the climate crisis the world is facing, and he reiterated our demands for a Green New Deal to combat this capitalist-fueled crisis. 

After a spectacular evening on the stage, Bernie enjoyed another victory. As the debate ended, news broke that Sanders would receive the prized endorsements of DSA nationally-endorsed Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Omar stated in her endorsement that Sanders is the only candidate in the race that is uniting a multi-racial working class coalition necessary to bring about a political revolution. Omar noted that Sanders is the only candidate who has pledged to end student debt, the only candidate who will provide universal school meals, and the only candidate who is committed to ending our endless wars. 

An in-depth report written by Philadelphia’s own Holly Otterbein and Alex Thompson states that Bernie got both Ocascio-Cortez’s and Omar’s endorsements while recovering in a Las Vegas hospital from his recent heart attack. Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir had the following to say: “Think about the courage of this person who says, ‘You know, I know what you just went through but I have so much trust and confidence in you that you are the one who will fight the fight that I believe in. I'm with you.’”

The same courage AOC and Omar have shown in the past few days is what is going to be necessary to win this political revolution.

This Week in Unions

If your union does something cool between Bulletins, let us know on Facebook or Twitter! Also, if you’re a union member and a member of Philly DSA interested in getting involved with our Labor for Bernie work, please fill out this form.

  • UAW and GM came to a tentative agreement on Wednesday, with the company acceding to most of the union’s demands, like pay increases, lump-sum payments, top-notch health insurance at little cost to workers, promises of more products built in U.S. factories to calm fears of outsourcing, and a path to full-time work for temporary workers. GM caved to the demands of the union after a 31-day strike and fears that UAW would also begin targeting other auto manufacturers like Ford. While this agreement has yet to be ratified by GM workers in UAW, we in Philly DSA and the Philadelphia labor community will continue to stand in solidarity with the workers of GM and our comrades in Langhorne. 

  • On October 12th, workers at Mack Trucks went on strike over demands for wage increases, job security, cost of living allowances, and holiday schedules. Comrades from Lehigh Valley DSA, Philly DSA, and Temple YDSA traveled up to stand in solidarity with Mack workers!

  • Philly DSA labor organizers Dave McMahon and Paul Prescod were quoted in a story in Labor Notes about demanding that their respective unions and all unions have a democratic endorsements process and why Bernie Sanders is the only candidate worthy of union backing.
     
  • Rank and file members of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO have managed to get the union federation to commit to only endorsing a Presidential candidate who supports Medicare for All.

  • The 3-seed Philadelphia Union face the 6-seed New York Red Bulls in the first round of the MLS Eastern Conference playoffs this Sunday at 3pm at home.

Events

Book Launch/Artist Talk by Cassie Thornton + Education Flea
Saturday, October 19 | 11:00am - 1:00pm | Making Worlds Bookstore | 210 South 45th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104

Northeast Philly Canvass for Bernie and City Council
Saturday, October 19 | 12:00pm - 4:00pm | Russo Park | 7300 Torresdale Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19136
Make sure your phone is charged if you have one!

BuxMont DSA: Eco-Socialist Hike/Lanternfly Hunt, Evansburg
Saturday, October 19 | 12:00pm - 4:00pm | Evansburg State Park Nature Center | 851 Mayhall Rd, Collegeville, PA 19426
Lanternflies are an invasive species in Pennsylvania. Join comrades for a hike, and squish some bugs!

Sunday Canvasses for Kendra and Nic
Sunday, October 20 | 12:00pm | Multiple locations
Our chapter voted to endorse two Working Families Party candidates for City Council at-large: Kendra Brooks and Nicolas O’Rourke. We will incorporate the City Council ask into our conversations this Saturday, and we encourage members to knock doors through the Working Families Party campaign in the coming weeks!

Labor Movement Commission Meeting
Sunday, October 20 | 12:00pm | 4914 Larchwood Ave Philadelphia, PA 19143
You won’t want to miss our next Labor Branch meeting! We’ll have guests from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Teamsters Local 623 talking about their work.

BuxMont DSA: October General Meeting
Sunday, October 20 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm | Reformed Church of the Ascension, United Church of Christ | 1700 W Main St, Jeffersonville, PA 19403

Solidarity Sunday: watch the Eagles game on the strike line!
Sunday, October 20 | 7:30pm - 10:30pm | 200 Cabot Blvd E, Langhorne, PA 19047

Canvassing Committee Meeting
Monday, October 21 | 7:00pm - 8:30pm | Penn Bookstore Cafe | 3601 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Political Education Committee Meeting
Monday, October 21 | 7:00pm - 8:00pm | Good Karma Cafe | 928 Pine St Philadelphia, PA 19107

Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Hearing
Tuesday, October 22 | 9:45am | City Hall (Northeast Corner) | 1400 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Rally for a Statewide Fair Workweek
Tuesday, October 22 | 12:00pm - 12:30pm | Pennsylvania State Capitol | 501 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17120
Rep. Liz Fiedler is holding a rally on Tuesday, October 22nd from 12-12:30 pm in the Main Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol building for her Fair Workweek bill. Philly DSA will arrange carpools to Harrisburg. Email phillydsa@gmail.com if you’d like to provide a ride or need one.

Northeast Philly Rally for Kendra and Nic
Wednesday, October 23 | 4:30pm - 5:30pm | In front of NE Library | 2228 Cottman Ave Philadelphia, PA 19149

Marxism Reading Group
Wednesday, October 23 | 7:00pm | Chapterhouse Cafe | 620 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

American Airlines: Healthcare is a Human Right!
Thursday, October 24 | 5:00pm | Philadelphia International Airport | Terminal B, 8000 Essington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19153
On Thursday, October 24th UNITE HERE workers at American Airlines are rallying for affordable healthcare, an increasingly decisive issue in the labor movement. The rally will take place at the Philadelphia International Airport (8000 Essington Ave,Terminal B) @ 5pm.

Weeknight Canvass for Bernie and City Council in Point Breeze
Thursday, October 24 | 6:00pm - 8:30pm

BuxMont DSA: October Socialist Social
Thursday, October 24 | 7:00pm - 10:00pm | Pop Inn | 4 North Main Street, Chalfont, PA 18914

Olney Charter Teachers Fair Contract Rally
Saturday, October 26 | 12:00pm | 4300 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19140
Teachers at Olney Charter High School, one of the only unionized charter schools in the city, are in a bitter fight for a fair contract. Their success could inspire both charter and public school teachers alike. On Saturday, October 26h @12pm teachers will be rallying at 5th Street btw Huntington and Cayuga.

Phonebank in South Philly
Sunday, October 27 | 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Socialist Night School: Labor
Monday, October 28 | 7:00pm - 9:00pm | Golkin Room, Houston Hall | 3417 Spruce St Philadelphia, PA 19104

BuxMont DSA: Socialist Night School, Electoral Politics
Monday, October 28 | 7:00pm - 9:00pm | The Zen Den | 41 E State St, Doylestown, PA 18901

Weeknight Canvass for Bernie and City Council in West Philly
Tuesday, October 29 | 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Weeknight Canvass for Bernie and City Council in West Philly
Monday, November 04 | 6:00pm - 8:30pm 

Policy Committee Meeting
Tuesday, November 05 | 6:30pm | Penn Bookstore | 3601 Walnut St Philadelphia, PA 19104

Announcements

Harassment and Grievance Process

In accordance with Article XIII of our Bylaws, a commission has been formed to process grievances. The purpose of the Philly DSA Grievance Commission is to receive and review all filed grievance claims in order to determine if they are credible, not credible, or not substantiated and to make recommendations on possible disciplinary action. To read more about the process or to file a grievance you can do so here.

The Policy Committee Needs Your Help!

Do you have a socialist policy idea? Something to start a campaign in the chapter or support our ongoing work? Something that we need to put on Bernie Sanders's desk? At our November 2018 General Meeting, the local established a Policy Committee to research policy and present Philly DSA members with the opportunity to engage in discussions about the kinds of policies that we would like to see pursued at all levels of government. The Committee now has a form for members to submit these ideas and work with the Committee on a project. We will help you produce a pamphlet, white paper, or even model legislation!

Get involved in Philly DSA’s Communications Committee

The Philly DSA Communications Committee is looking for writers, artists, programmers, photographers, and anybody else who’s interested in promoting our local’s amazing work. If you’d like to get involved, please email phillydsacommchair@gmail.com.

Host a Canvass!

The Philly DSA Canvassing Committee will be running smaller, shorter weeknight and weekend canvasses out of members' homes and in order to do this, we need people to volunteer their houses and apartments as launch locations!  Please email Vicki at victoriaannfleck@gmail.com with any questions. If you're interested in hosting, please fill out the form below:

Member Surveys: Childcare

At our November 2018 General Meeting, the local established a childcare committee in order to implement more consistent childcare practices for the organization. The committee has prepared an initial survey to assess member needs and interests in order to guide their work. Please take a moment to fill out the survey.

Support 👏 Philly 👏 DSA 👏!

Local Dues - support our campaign work and cover everyday operating costs like meeting space // Contribute to Philly DSA PAC - help fund our independent electoral campaigns // Accommodations, Accessibility, Childcare - let us know what you need to stay involved // Moved away from Philly? - update your address on the DSA national database.

 

In Solidarity,
Your Philly DSA Bulletin Team

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