Bulletin 2.8.2018 - General Meeting

Our February 10 General Meeting is almost here! At General Meetings, the Local assembles to hear reports from projects and committees, set local policy and priorities, and to debate and vote on resolutions.

At A Glance

  • General Meeting THIS SATURDAY Feb 10

  • Upcoming Night School and Capital Reading Group

  • Philly DSA Be My Comrade Post-Valentines Karaoke Night Feb 17

  • The Left and Labor Panel Feb 26

  • Medicare for All Canvas Mar 3

  • Committee Reports and Meetings

  • Medicare for All Open Strategy Meeting Recap

  • Local Dues




February General Meeting this Saturday

Saturday, February 10th | 1:00-3:30pm |  First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St | Main Chapel Wheelchair Accessible

Our February 10 General Meeting is almost here! At General Meetings, the Local assembles to hear reports from projects and committees, set local policy and priorities, and to debate and vote on resolutions. The assembled membership is the ultimate decision-making body of the local, so participation is crucial. This meeting we will be debating supporting electoral candidates for the upcoming primary cycle. We cannot make binding decisions on these activities unless we meet quorum, which is currently around 150 members. So you cannot afford to miss this meeting!

At this upcoming general meeting, we will have special guest speaker Seth Ackerman to talk about socialist electoral strategy; electoral candidates to answer questions from our general membership, and 11 different resolutions to debate!  All proposed resolutions and amendments can be found in our General Meeting packet.  Please review the packet before the meeting and if possible print your own packets so we can save on printing costs. We will have some available at the meeting but not enough for all our members. Additionally, for our upcoming meeting we will be improving debate by organizing two lines -- one for speakers for each motion and one for those against -- for each resolution.


If anyone has questions for our guest speaker, please submit them using this form.  In addition, if you would like to prepare questions for any of the electoral candidates that the local will be voting on whether or not to support, please check out their candidate questionnaires here:


Kristin Seale - candidate for Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 168
Alex Deering - candidate for Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 181
Elizabeth Fiedler - candidate for Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 184

The general meeting is open to all, but you must be a member in good standing (have paid national dues) in order to vote. Any questions please email [email protected].


Night School: Class Struggle

Tuesday, February 13th | 7:00-9:00pm | Houston Hall 3417 Spruce St  | Griski Room, Room 311


This session of the Night School examines the role of “class” in socialist politics. Around this question, a number of competing conceptual frameworks have emerged to explain what classes are; the function they performed historically in capitalist societies; and whether or not class structures still even exist in contemporary America. We will attempt to answer these questions and will then come back to the question of why class matters and what thinking about class might mean for left political strategy.


The Philly DSA Night School is intended as a forum for discussing thinkers, "-isms," and current trends in socialist politics. All meetings are free and open to the public, and are designed for all people regardless of previous experience.



Olin Wright, “A Framework for Class Analysis in the Marxist Tradition”

Bloom, Class Race and the Civil Rights Movement

Meiksins-Wood, “Why Class Struggle is Central”

Capital Study Group

Monday, February 19th | 7:30-9:30pm | Chapterhouse Cafe & Gallery | 620 S 9th St |


This group approaches Karl Marx’s basic theory of society and critique of capitalism through a reading of Capital in an open and informal setting. In our discussions we will review the text, assess the claims that Marx makes about history, society, and structure, and reflect on the relevance of systematic social understanding to a renewed critical politics.  In the upcoming session we will cover Chapter 3, “Money, or the Circulation of Commodities.”


Contact Jarek Ervin and Scott Jenkins at [email protected] for more details.


Be My Comrade Post-Valentine’s Day Party

Friday, February 17 | 8PM-Midnight | Gravy Studio | 910 S. 2nd St. |

Join Philly DSA for our annual post-Valentine’s day fundraiser!  Come out alone or otherwise to sing, dance and drink away the the highs and lows of love in world radiating disaster triumphant.  Feel free to invite your non-DSA or DSA curious friends.  $7 dollar suggested donation if you can afford it.

The Left and Labor: A Necessary Alliance Panel and Discussion

Monday, February 26th | 7:30-9:30pm | Calvary Church - Basement | 801 S 48th St


In a country with no party of the workers, how does the labor movement build and exercise power? What is the future of party politics for labor? What is the role of labor in the path to socialism? And what is the ideal relationship between left political organizations and organized labor?


To address these questions, Philly DSA Labor Branch will host a panel of distinguished socialist labor activists and writers.  The speakers will be:

  • Adolph Reed (Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Nivedita Majumdar (Secretary, CUNY Professional Staff Congress)

  • Marcus Barnett (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers; Momentum)


Next Medicare for All Canvas

Saturday, March 3rd | 12:00-4:30pm | Location TBD

Our next mass canvass for our Medicare for All campaign is coming up!  At this last canvas we got over 150 signatures and over 50 people interested in our campaign work and DSA! Canvassing forms the core of our Medicare For All strategy: it get us out in the street organizing and talking to fellow Philadelphians to build the broad social movement we will need to make adequate healthcare for all a reality.  We’ll begin with a training on some of the basics of what Medicare for All is and why it politically matters. Then we’ll head out to knock on doors and talk to the community about it. The canvass will focus on informing our neighbors about Medicare for All and getting them involved in pressuring the city council to pass a resolution supporting Bernie Sanders’s Medicare For All Act of 2017.


Committee Reports and Meetings

Philly DSA has a number of committees that allow members to get more involved in the chapter in different ways.  The following committees have meetings coming up in the near future.  If a date is not set below, it will be posted on the website calendar as soon as it is available. If you are interested in attending, please email the chair of the committee beforehand.


In addition, all committee have attached their reports detailing their committee activity between the previous general and this upcoming one. If you are interested in learning more about what each committee does please review the reports or email [email protected]


Labor Branch - chair Paul Prescod

Sunday, February 11th | 2pm | 910 S 49th St

Labor Branch Report

Canvassing Committee - chair Marilyn Arwood

Thursday, February 15th | 6:30pm | Penn Bookstore 3601 Walnut St | Wheelchair Accessible

Canvassing Committee Report  

Political Education Committee - chair Jarek Ervin

Wednesday, February 21st | 7:30-8:30pm | Good Karma Cafe 928 Pine St | Not Wheelchair Accessible

Political Education Committee Report

Steering Committee - chairs Melissa Naschek and Scott Jenkins

Thursday, March 1st | 5:30-7:30pm | Location TBD

Steering Committee Report

Electoral Evaluation Committee - chair Alex Nagle

Meeting details will be released soon

EEC Committee Report

Local Initiative and Local Action Committee - interim chair Brittany Griebling

Meeting details will be released soon

LILAC Committee Report

Outreach Committee - interim chair Max Ludwig

Meeting details will be released soon

Outreach Committee Report

Social Committee - chair Jonah Gardner

Meeting details will be released soon

Social Committee Report

January Open Strategy Meeting Summary

On January 14th, Philly DSA had it’s second open strategy meeting as a part of its ongoing Medicare for All Campaign. The topic of the meeting was the recent resolution passed at our December General Meeting - Resolution 12:17:3 - which set the short term goal of the Philly DSA M4A Campaign to be passing a city council resolution in favor of Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All Bill.  Attached here are the notes summarizing the discussion and actions emerging from the open strategy meeting.


Several of the tactics groups changed priorities in light of resolution 12:17:3, and one new tactic group - the policy research group - formed as a result.  If you are interested in getting involved with Philly DSA’s effort to pass a city council resolution or any aspect of our Medicare for All campaign, please email [email protected].


Local Dues

Philly DSA receives no funding from the National DSA, so local dues are crucial to the health of our chapter. They support our campaign work and cover everyday operating costs like meeting space, web hosting, and communication tools. Local dues can be paid in the form of quarterly donations of $10, $20, $30, or $50; a custom amount can also be arranged. Getting our finances in order lets us plan ahead to effectively implement the kinds of political activities that we decide on as a local.  If we can get even 50% of our Philly membership paying local dues, we will be on a path to really shake things up!  Please sign up here to contribute quarterly. For a one-time donation, please click here. Thank you for your support!

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