Bulletin: September GM Recap, UAW Strike, Bernie Canvass

First, a recap for those who weren’t able to make it out to last Saturday’s General Meeting: After an introduction from PASNAP rank & file nurse Marty Harrison and a couple procedural votes (outgoing SC reports were accepted, the Canvassing & Our City Our Schools Committees were renewed, the Labor Branch’s role was codified under the new bylaws, and the Standing Rules for the local were officially adopted), we got to the new business of the day: the establishment of a Green New Deal Strategy Committee and the endorsement of two Working Families Party candidates for City Council, Kendra Brooks and Nicolas O’Rourke.

First, a recap for those who weren’t able to make it out to last Saturday’s General Meeting:

After an introduction from PASNAP rank & file nurse Marty Harrison and a couple procedural votes (outgoing SC reports were accepted, the Canvassing & Our City Our Schools Committees were renewed, the Labor Branch’s role was codified under the new bylaws, and the Standing Rules for the local were officially adopted), we got to the new business of the day: the establishment of a Green New Deal Strategy Committee and the endorsement of two Working Families Party candidates for City Council, Kendra Brooks and Nicolas O’Rourke.

Per the chapter Twitter day-of, these votes, too, were relatively uncontested. The Green New Deal was one of the most popular priorities at both our Local Convention and the DSA National Convention, so it’s unsurprising that our membership was overwhelmingly in favor of starting the work. 

As for Kendra and Nic, the two of them clearly won the room during their speeches and Q&As; they answered questions on topics from what they plan to do about Philadelphia’s ailing public schools, to why they identify as socialists, to how SEPTA can lead the fight for a Green New Deal in Philadelphia (trains, baby! we love them!). Philly DSA is proud to join BWMED, PASNAP, UNITE HERE, Councilwoman Helen Gym, and State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, among others, by endorsing these candidates, and we’ll be working with them through the November election in their efforts to unseat the Chamber of Commerce Rep. Al Taubenberger and Philly’s Deeply Weird (he broke his kid's shoulder doing judo! he insisted that a random man stabbed him even after a jury ruled otherwise! he even stole valor!) Councilman David Oh.

Bernie Kills It at the AFL-CIO Forum

Union members from around the city (plus a couple people this writer spoke to who were unaffiliated but “when I heard Bernie was coming, I had to be there”) had the privilege of hearing Bernie Sanders’s plan for organized labor at the Philly AFL-CIO’s Workers Presidential Summit on Tuesday, and by all accounts (yes, even the bourgeois media), he got by far the warmest reception of all the attendees, including late RSVP Joe Biden (ed. note: hearing the comically-out-of-touch Andrew Yang attempt to relate to a room of roofers and electricians by asking if their dads had Ph.Ds was another highlight). Real Bernie-heads will have heard parts of his speech before, but parts were more personal than usual (shout out to postal workers!), and there was a particular focus on his Workplace Democracy Plan, which is a godsend for America’s labor movement. The whole speech is online. It’s great.

AND THAT’S WHY WE NEED YOU CANVASSING SATURDAY

Our tireless, door-knocking experts over in the Canvassing Committee have planned another mass Bernie Canvass for this weekend, this time in the area around Temple. Meet us at Fotterall Square this Saturday, the 21st, at 12 pm. As always, we’ll meet first for a training session and then head out in pairs to knock doors. After the canvass, we’ll head to Draught Horse to relax over drinks and pizza (though there are whispers that Geasey field has open rec on the turf, if you, like us, might be interested in some pickup soccer).

Importantly, this is the first canvass where we will be using the digital canvassing system VAN. So, if possible, please bring a fully charged cell phone with miniVAN Touch already installed and set up (the user guide is attached here). Don't worry, if you don't have access to a phone that can download miniVAN, we'll pair you with someone who does or send you out with the paper materials.

We'll also have Spanish language versions of our leave behind literature. If you speak Spanish and are interested in doing a bilingual canvass, please email Tyler at jboydmeredith@gmail.com.

Finally, in order to reach our goal of knocking 200,000 doors, we're going to need to run canvasses throughout the week. That means we need more people to sign up to host a weeknight canvass. You can do that here.

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.

  • STRIKE! 50,000 UAW-affiliated workers at General Motors plants across the country are currently striking against low-wages and two-tier contracts. In an unsurprising move from the capitalist class, the company almost immediately cut their healthcare in response. (This is why even union members with great insurance need Medicare for All). The closest facility to us is the GM parts distribution center in Langhorne (200 E Cabot Blvd), where workers have been picketing in shifts to demand fair wages, real benefits, and dignity on the job. We’re organizing caravans from Philly to Bucks County to walk the line in solidarity. DSA members who are able to make the trip should contact Mindy (mindy.isser@gmail.com)  about joining strikers on Friday or fill out this form for more info.
  • STRIKE! Ring the bell again, folks, because reports came out this week that 80,000-plus union workers at Kaiser Permanente are planning a work stoppage in October to protest the healthcare company’s labor practices. The LA Times note that “the October strike would be one of the biggest since 185,000 Teamsters went on strike at United Parcel Service in 1997.”
  • RALLY! Faculty and academic professionals at Temple University are calling all supporters out to a contract expiration rally at the Bell Tower on October 15 at 1:00 pm. Negotiations over a new contract have stalled as administration have refused to budge on wages, benefits, and job security. TAUP is going to need community support to win a fair contract, so RSVP here and tell Jenna that Ben from Philly DSA sent you!
  • STRIKER! Center-forward Kacper Przybylko is your Second-Place Philadelphia Union’s Player of the Month after a run of four goals plus three assists over five games. 

Events

Temple University Bernie Canvass

Saturday, September 21 | 12:00 - 4:00 pm | Fotterall Square | York and 12th | Make sure your phone is charged if you have one! We'll be using the MiniVAN app for the first time!

BuxMont DSA Socialist Night School: Healthcare

Monday, September 23 | 7:00 - 9:00 pm | The Zen Den | 41 E State St, Doylestown, PA

Marxism and Politics Reading Group: Wage, Labor, Capital

Wednesday, September 25 | 7:00 - 9:00 pm | Chapterhouse Cafe | 620 S 9th Street

BuxMont DSA Eco-Socialist Hike: Camp Woods Preserve

Saturday, September 28 | 12:00 - 4:00 pm | Beale Road, Blue Bell, PA 

Philly DSA Night School: Bernie Sanders

Monday, September 30 | 7:00 - 9:00 pm | Golkin Room, Houston Hall | 3417 Spruce Street

Weeknight Bernie Canvass and Data Entry

Tuesday, October 1 | 6:00 - 8:30 pm | West Philly, RSVP for address | Please bring a laptop to quickly enter the sign-up data that you collect when after the canvass!

Marxism and Politics Reading Group: The Grundrisse

Wednesday, October 2 | 7:00 - 9:00 pm | Chapterhouse Cafe | 620 S 9th Street

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 phillydsa@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:

Host a Canvass

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.

Committee & Branch Meetings

Steering // Outreach // Pol Ed // OCOS // Social // Canvassing // Policy // Labor // Childcare // Diversity & Engagement // DelCo // BuxMont

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, 

Ben and Jeremy

 

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