Bulletin 8.30.2018 - Opportunities + Less than 100 days til election day

We have the numbers, but our interventions are only effective when we are mobilized for collective action.

At a Glance:

  • Less than 100 Days to the Election: Kristin Seale Canvass, September 8
  • Local Dues Drive, August 30
  • Labor Solidarity: Stand with Philly Teamsters!, September 4
  • OCOS Coordinating Committee Inaugural Meeting, September 5
  • Philly DSA Museum Night, September 5
  • New Member Meeting, September 15
  • Socialist Night School, September 18
  • Temporary Harassment Grievance Policy Hearing, September 19
  • YDSA Organizing Drive

The recent Philly DSA Day/ Solidarity Day School brought together veteran organizers to think about the political tasks facing us today. Participants all agreed on one thing: the current political situation is a unique and massive opportunity for socialists. In the words of one of the final panelists:

“For the question of the left and what it ought to be doing today to be meaningful there has to be a pathway for collective action, there has to be a way in which we can intervene collectively in politics, and questions then don’t become questions of aspiration but questions of strategy and tactics. What the last few years have done, from Occupy, to BLM, to the Sanders campaign, is brought tens of thousands of people into the orbit that a miniscule grouping of people used to inhabit… This is the first real opportunity in the last 4 decades... and now [DSA] can start thinking about making concerted interventions into the world in a way that makes your organization matter and you can actually start shifting politics.”

Philly DSA’s political campaigns can make these interventions. Members are driving forward real, popular social democratic demands like Medicare For All, fair school funding, and reformed labor practices through electoral work, and involvement with Our City Our Schools and Fair Work Week. We are situating socialism in the broadest and most diverse sector of the American population -- the working class -- through labor solidarity work with TDU and through our canvassing operations.

We have the numbers, but our interventions are only effective when we are mobilized for collective action. Kristin Seale is poised to advance to Harrisburg on a democratic-socialist platform, and to take out an incumbent Republican in the process. This is a huge opportunity: in down-ballot races, canvassing is the single most important factor in outcome. Just as important, these activities give us all the opportunity to be genuine political actors: to turn outward and have serious political conversation with everyday people, not just those already within our orbit. If every Philly DSA member committed to canvassing or phone-banking for Kristin and the democratic-socialist demands that she represents at least once between now and November 6, a win would be all but certain. We can keep the momentum behind democratic socialism moving not only in Philadelphia, but across the nation.

Like other DSA chapters, Philly has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few months. Let's translate these numbers into real power, and keep pushing socialist demands forward!


Kristin Seale Canvass

Saturday, September 8 | 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].

Local Dues Drive Phonebank & Movie Night

Thursday, August 30 | 6:30 pm | Email for Address

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]

Stand With Philly Teamsters!

Tuesday, September 4 | 9:30 pm | PHL Airport UPS Center, West Gate | 1 Hog Island Rd

Contract negotiations are winding down between UPS and the Teamsters union. Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a rank-and-file caucus inside the Teamsters, is leading a big fight to vote down a concessionary contract.TDU leaders have been impressed by Philly DSA's mobilization of support recently, and they want our help again!

UPS workers will be holding an informational picket/rally on Tuesday, September 4th at the UPS Center at the Airport on 1 Hog Island Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19153 (West Gate) @9:30pm. You can RSVP on Facebook here.

UPS workers are under the largest private sector contract in the country and this fight is proving to be among the most important happening in labor today. Our support could really help boost their morale!

Please let us know if you can make it. If you can drive other members as well please contact [email protected] or 610-389-6089 to coordinate transportation. Hope to see you there!

OCOS Coordinating Committee - Inaugural Meeting

Wednesday, September 5th | 7:00 pm | Media Mobilizing Project | 4534 Baltimore Ave

At our July General Meeting, Philly DSA voted to join the Our City Our Schools Coalition and to establish 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 welcomes all Philly DSA members to the inaugural meeting and strategy session on September 5th, 7pm at the Media Mobilizing Project. Please email Seth Kulick and Kate Cairns at phillydsa.ocos@gmail.com if you’re interested in getting involved.

Phonebanking for Canvasses

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

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

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

The goal of this phonebank is to turn people out to our upcoming canvasses. Direct conversations with members are one of the best ways to reach out to our local and get them involved with our campaign work. Plus it’s a lot more fun with comrades!

Email [email protected] for details.

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. It will be Pay What You Want night at the museum and we'll be meeting by the "Atmosphere and Environment XII" sculpture to the right of the West Entrance of the museum. See you there!

Marxism Reading Group

Monday, September 10 | 7:30 pm | Chapterhouse Coffee | 620 S. 9th Street

The Marxism Reading Group will be holding its second meeting to discuss G.A. Cohen's Marx's Theory of History: A Defense. Please contact Jarek Ervin at [email protected] if you are interested in joining. New participants are welcome!

September New Members Meeting

September 15 | 12:00 pm | West Kensington Ministry | 2140 N Hancock St

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.

Socialist Night School

Tuesday, September 18 | 7:00 pm | Houston Hall 3417 Spruce Street | Room TBD

Our socialist night school is kicking off again. For our first session we’ll be asking “What is Democratic Socialism?” Stay tuned for readings and more details!

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 audiences of all levels ​(regardless of previous experience).

Please contact Jarek Ervin at [email protected] with questions!

Temporary Harassment Grievance Policy Hearing

Wednesday, September 19 | 7:00 pm | West Kensington Ministry | 2140 N Hancock St

At the last general meeting, the local voted to the table voting on the temporary harassment grievance policy until the local could convene and weigh in and make adjustments to the content. If you have questions or just want to learn more about the temporary harassment grievance policy please join us at this hearing.

YDSA Fall Organizing Drive

Calling all college students! Philly DSA is happy to announce our participation in the national YDSA Fall Campus Organizing Drive. Do you want to connect with your school’s chapter or build a new one? We can help you! There will be an informational meeting on Sunday, September 30th at 2 PM at Temple University in Gladfelter Hall Room 413. We will have plenty of information, DSA swag, good company, food, drinks, and more, so invite your friends! If you have any questions please direct them to [email protected].

Upcoming Committee Meetings

Outreach Committee

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

Recent Minutes

Electoral Evaluation Committee Meeting

TBD | Email Alex Nagle, EEC Chair at [email protected]

Canvassing Committee

Monday, September 17 | 7:00 pm | UPenn Bookstore | 3601 Walnut St

Recent minutes

LILAC Meeting


Recent Minutes

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.  

Recent minutes

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 quarterly. For a one-time donation, please click here. 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


In Solidarity,

Philly DSA Outreach Committee

Inquiries: [email protected]

Website: phillydsa.com

Join Philly DSA

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