Bulletin 8.16.2018 - Upcoming fights + a year in review

This August marks a year since the historic 2017 DSA National Convention in Chicago. Since then, it’s become even clearer that socialism is coming to the mainstream, and that DSA is poised to channel popular momentum into real political projects.

At A Glance

  • Philly DSA/Solidarity Day School, August 18
  • Kristin Seale Canvass, August 19
  • New Members Meeting, August 25
  • Dues Drive Phone Bank & Movie Night, Aug 30
  • OCOS Coordinating Committee Inaugural Meeting
  • Happy Hour and Art Museum Night
  • Committee Meetings
  • Accommodations, Accessibility and Childcare
  • Parliamentarians and Local Dues
  • Buxmont DSA: Upcoming Events

This August marks a year since the historic 2017 DSA National Convention in Chicago. Since then, it’s become even clearer that socialism is coming to the mainstream, and that DSA is poised to channel popular momentum into real political projects. The past year has been the busiest in Philly DSA’s history. Members have been building Philly DSA into a vibrant organization with a clear political strategy, a number of successful campaigns, and the infrastructure necessary for a long-term socialist movement in Philadelphia.

In the past year, Philly DSA members have:

  • Organized successful campaigns to put democratic socialists in the state legislature
  • Created nationally-adopted political education programming that creates long-term commitments to socialist politics
  • Canvassed diverse Philadelphians to build a national consensus around Medicare for All
  • Built a rank-and-file majority labor branch
  • Created spaces for healthy democratic debates through General Meetings and Open Strategy Meetings that clarify strategic and political differences
  • Massively expanded overall membership
  • Gotten involved in dozens of active initiatives ranging from local, district based pressure campaigns on City Council, to demonstrations and mobilizations in solidarity with social justice and labor justice causes
  • Worked to make the organization financially viable in the long-term by incorporating and implementing a local dues structure

We’ve accomplished all of this as a democratic, membership-based, all-volunteer organization, with no paid staffers and no resources, financial or otherwise, beyond what members volunteer to put into it.

The Left is undergoing a resurgence not seen in years, but this is only the beginning. This movement will not be built overnight, and there are no shortcuts. High profile press-conferences, celebrity stunt activism, and posting on social media will not build the broad working-class base we need. It will only be built through connecting with millions of people across the country, in their neighborhoods, townhalls and workplaces through the labor-intensive but necessary process of person-to-person organizing around a programmatic vision for building socialism here in America.


Philly DSA/Solidarity Day School

Saturday, August 18 | 10:00 - 4:00 pm | International House Philadelphia  | 3701 Chestnut Street

Socialism is experiencing a resurgence in the wake of the 2016 election. Though once widely rejected in the US, people are once again asking: can socialism guide us to a better world? And, what actions will actually help us get there?

The Philadelphia DSA/Solidarity Day School will explore these and a range of other questions. Featuring panels by a number of prominent writers, organizers, and scholars, as well as workshops exploring the theories and histories informing socialist organizing, we’ll discuss the strategies that can lead to real working class power.

Throughout the day, we’ll consider a range of key programs, from the labor movement to electoral politics and the viability of alternative socialist parties. Whether you’re new to socialism or a longtime organizer, join us to discuss goals for the socialist movement in the years leading up to the 2020 election–and beyond.

More information is available on our flyer. To register, click here.

Kristin Seale Canvass

Sunday, August 19 | 1:00 pm | 521 N Monroe St, Media, PA

We're less than 100 days away from the general election on November 6th! Philly DSA is knocking doors to make sure that our fellow member, Kristin Seale, wins her seat in the PA State Assembly this fall.

If you have any questions or would like to organize a carpool, reach out to [email protected].

Phonebanking for Canvasses

Tuesday, September 4 | 5:30-8:00 | TBD

Monday, September 10 | 5:30-8:00 | TBD

Can’t make the canvass but want to get involved? Join us at our next phonebank!

Phonebanking is one of the best ways to reach out to our membership and get them involved with our campaign work. Plus it’s a lot more fun with comrades!

Email [email protected] to RSVP.

New Members Meeting

August 25 | 12:00 pm | DIYRE | 4244 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA

If you're a new member of Philly DSA or are thinking about joining, come to our upcoming New Member Orientation! Our Local chapter continues to grow and as new members join these orientations help make clear what it means to be a member of a democratic-socialist, dues funded, volunteer run, membership organization.

There will be time to chat informally with other new members, meet committee persons and campaign organizers, as well as hear speakers cover major topics:

  • What is DSA?
  • How does a democratic political organization function?
  • Active campaigns and how to get involved

Orientation meetings will take place monthly going forward to supplement general meetings with more informal space for becoming familiar with the organization.

Please contact Peterson Goodwyn via [email protected] if you have any questions.

Local Dues Drive Phonebank & Movie Night

Thursday, August 30 | 6:30 PM | Location TBA

Philly DSA is a 100% volunteer run organization. We rely on the hard work of our dedicated membership to keep everything running smoothly. To support this work, Philly DSA needs Local Dues. These Dues make our work possible by paying for meeting and event spaces, campaign materials, and more.

This phonebank will serve three main purposes:

-Get lapsed members to rejoin by paying monthly dues

-Persuade current members to switch their national dues to monthly payments

-Guide our active members to pay local dues through our new Nation Builder platform

Phonebanking is also a great opportunity to connect with other local members! This is a way to talk to members who may be new or currently inactive, and get them connected with campaigns and committees.

After we’re done making calls, we will order a pizza and watch a movie!

To RSVP please email [email protected]

OCOS Coordinating Committee - Inaugural Meeting

TBD Early September

At our July General Meeting, Philly DSA voted overwhelmingly to join the Our City Our Schools Coalition and to enact an Ad-Hoc Committee to coordinate our chapter’s participation in the coalition’s fight for education justice and fair school funding in Philadelphia. The OCOS Coordinating Committee of Philly DSA welcomes all Philly DSA members to the inaugural meeting and strategy session, date TBD, at the beginning of September. Please email Seth Kulick and Kate Cairns at phillydsa.ocos@gmail.com if you’re interested in getting involved.

Old City Happy Hour

Tuesday, August 21 | 6:00 | Old City Beer Garden | 240 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Join the Philly DSA Social Committee for a Happy Hour in Old City! DSA Happy Hours are a space for our chapter's members and anyone interested in or curious about DSA to hang out and get to know each other in an informal setting. If you're new to DSA, heard about us on the news, curious about what we're up to, or a long-time member who just wants to hang out, stop by!

*Note: If it rains, we'll head to Victoria Freehouse instead. Either way, take the MFL to 2nd St if you're using SEPTA.*

Philly DSA Museum Night

Wednesday, September 5 | 6:30 PM | Philadelphia Museum of Art

Because we need roses, as well as bread, the Social Committee is planning an outing to the Philadelphia Museum of Art! Take a night to explore one of the most impressive art museums in the world with your fellow DSA members. We'll be meeting around 6:30 PM and splitting into groups to check out the museum, then we'll probably all find somewhere to meet up afterwards. Also, keep in mind that Wednesdays are Pay What You Want at the museum. More details to come!   

Upcoming Committee Meetings

Local Initiative/Local Action Committee (LILAC)

Wednesday, August 22 | 7-9pm | 455 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA

Electoral Evaluation Committee Meeting

Thursday, August 23 | 7 PM | UPenn Bookstore 2nd floor cafe, 3601 Walnut St, Phila, PA 19104

Canvassing Committee

Tuesday, August 28 | 6:30 PM | UPenn Bookstore | 3601 Walnut St

Outreach Committee

Thursday, September 6 | 7-9pm | DIYRE | 4244 Lancaster Ave

Steering Committee Meeting

Thursday, September 13 | 7:00-9:00 pm | Houston Hall Room TBD | 3417 Spruce Street

The Steering Committee administers the affairs of the Local and oversees the implementation of the decisions of the General Meetings; it may also create policy in-between Local Conventions. Steering Committee meetings are open to all Philly DSA members, although only Steering Committee members have voting privileges.  

Accommodations, Accessibility, and Childcare

As a membership organization, we are only as strong as members are active, participating and mobilized. Philly DSA is committed to making all aspects of its work available and accessible to all members. If you require any accommodations or resources in order to participate, please reach out via [email protected]. The more we understand about the needs of our chapter, the stronger of an organization we can become.

Call for Parliamentarians

Philly DSA is seeking members interested in becoming parliamentarians to help run our General Meetings and other official business meetings of the local. Candidates should be comfortable with public speaking and facilitation and have a willingness to learn the basics of Robert’s Rules of Order, which are used to administer large meetings of the DSA at the national level and local level in Philadelphia. If you are interested, please fill out this brief application here.

Local Dues

Philly DSA has only just started receiving 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 a one-time or recurring payment. Thank you for your support!

Contribute to Philly DSA PAC

Help fund Philly DSA's independent electoral campaigns by contributing to our PAC. Contributions made to Philly DSA PAC go toward expenditures on printed materials, venue rental fees for joint fundraisers with candidates, and other expenses critical to these campaigns' success.

Philly DSA PAC is a political committee connected to Philly DSA. We have this PAC because PA election law requires all coordinated expenditures made to influence the outcomes of elections to be paid from a separate segregated fund (the PAC), not our chapter's general treasury. Contributions to this fund are not redundant with local dues since only individuals can contribute to this fund while our main chapter bank account cannot.

Link to the PAC can be found here: http://dues-phillydsa.nationbuilder.com/pac

BuxMont DSA Upcoming Events

Diner Socialism: BuxMont DSA Social

Thursday, August 16 | 7-10 pm | Michael's Family Restaurant | 709 Bethlehem Pike, Montgomeryville, PA

A fun laidback dinner to reflect on our past year! This is a social NOT the general meeting which will be scheduled later in August. Bring your stories of the past year, and maybe some ideas for the year ahead! Children friendly. Vegetarian friendly. ADA Accessible.

1st Official Branch General Meeting

Wednesday, August 29 | 6-9pm | Reformed Ascension Church | 1700 W Main St, Jeffersonville, Pennsylvania 19403

  • Elections for Co-Chairs, Secretary
  • Vote on our first resolutions and campaigns
  • Guest speakers TBA
  • Card check is necessary, please email [email protected] your membership receipt or DM us on Facebook or on Twitter.

If you do not have membership you cannot vote or run for an elected position.

The church is ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible. If you need any accommodations, please do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected] or through our Facebook page.

Suburban Socialist Bowling! Hosted with Montgomery County Socialists and Delaware County DSA!

Saturday, September 8 | More details coming soon!


In Solidarity,

Philly DSA Outreach Committee

Join Philly DSA

Isn’t it time to do something? Get involved with the Local.