Bulletin: Socialism Wins at the Ballot Box

It’s old news at this point, but it bears repeating: Kendra won! Our next city council will include DSA-endorsed socialist organizer Kendra Brooks, the first independent candidate to win an at-large seat in Philadelphia. Kendra and Nicolas O’Rourke, as the Intercept’s Ryan Grim noted on Rising this week, were up against not just the Republican at-large candidates (the closest of whom she beat by almost 7,000 votes, per the latest count) but also a Democratic Party who, with a few notable exceptions, did not want to see this campaign succeed. So, thank you to everyone who canvassed, phonebanked, and helped make this election a success! We look forward to seeing you at Saturday’s Mass Bernie Canvass in Port Richmond. 😉

Brooks was just one of many DSA-endorsed candidates to win local office last Tuesday. In Charlottesville, VA, site of the 2017 alt-right rally, DSA member Michael Payne won his city council race, becoming the first socialist elected in the city. Seattle was a real nail-biter as Amazon spent $1.5 million (!) in a last-minute attempt to render themselves immune to local taxes. Some of that money, laundered through something called the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy, went to keeping DSA’s Shaun Scott out of office, though Kshama Sawant of Socialist Alternative came back to beat sentient Hideo Kojima NPC “Egan Orion” through mail-in votes. Boston DSA-endorsed Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler won election to city council in Cambridge, MA. And finally, our friends out in San Francisco helped elect tenants rights advocate Dean Preston to the Board of Supervisors and, in the highest-profile race of the cycle, prison abolitionist Chesa Boudin was elected as the next San Francisco District Attorney. 

Recent socialist electoral successes in the U.S. can and should be understood as a ~ Bernie Wave ~, and it’s not hard to see why: voters are drawn to Bernie’s agenda and candidates associated with him, and Bernie’s shown a unique dedication to use mass mobilizations to push the Joe Manchins of the world to support it. For more on how Bernie's candidacy can help our down-ballot electoral work, check out chapter Chair Marilyn Arwood’s excellent Socialist Forum article on the topic.

Looking towards South America

In case you haven’t heard, the U.S. is yet again backing a coup in Latin America. Bolivia’s right-wing military, supported by the U.S.-funded Organization of American States (and, people are saying, by the CIA), ousted socialist President Evo Morales on Sunday once it became clear he’d won reelection

Besides statements (thanks Bernie!), there’s not much we can offer at the moment; if you want to learn more, your homework for this week is Greg Grandin’s “A Few Tips on How to Understand Latin American Coups”, Rene Rojas on the Latin American “Pink Tide”, and, for some context, Ralph Miliband’s “The Coup in Chile.” You can also check out this statement written by national DSA’s International Committee. 

General Meeting Raffle Items

Are you getting excited for our End-of-the-Year General Meeting & Fundraiser on December 14th?

RSVP Here!

The Member Engagement Committee is putting out a Call for Raffle items. They are looking for new and gently used leftist books, curiosities, decorations, handcrafted items, sealed bottles of alcohol, event tickets, gift cards, etc. No item is too small. Email [email protected] for questions and to coordinate pickup. 

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.

  • DSA’s National Medicare For All campaign committee and the DSLC are initiating a social media day of action #DontBargainWithOurLives on Monday, December 9. If you are a union member, sign up to create a one-minute video telling a personal story of how healthcare has negatively affected you and your union at the bargaining table, and why unions need Medicare for All.
  • Last week, the Marciano Art Foundation laid off all their visitor services staff after employees announced an intent to unionize. This week, labor organizers filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the museum of illegal union busting practices. 
  • The Harvard Grad Student Union announced that the administration has until December 3 (last day of classes!) to reach an agreement before the bargaining committee will call for a strike. Negotiation sessions start this week on Friday.


BuxMont DSA: Socialist Social

Thursday, November 14 | 7:00 - 10:00 pm | Conshohocken Brewing Co.| 739 E Elm St, Conshohocken

Bernie 2020 Port Richmond Canvass

Saturday, November 16 | 12:00 - 4:00 pm | Campbell Square (Alleghany and Belgrade) | Email Jonah if you need a ride or childcare

BuxMont DSA: Eco-Socialist Hike

Saturday, November 16 | 1:00 - 3:30 pm | Tyler State Park | Main Park Rd, Newtown Square

Bernie 2020 Center City Canvass Shift

Tuesday, November 19 | 6:00 - 8:30 pm | Email Jonah for address | Please bring a laptop so that you can quickly enter the sign-up data that you collect when you get back to the launch location.

Bernie Debate Watch Party 

Wednesday, November 20 | Doors at 8:30, 9:00 pm start | First Unitarian Parish Room | 2125 Chestnut

Bernie 2020 Kensington Canvass Shift

Thursday, November 21 | 6:00 - 8:30 pm | 2543 Kern St | Please bring a laptop so that you can quickly enter the sign-up data that you collect when you get back to the launch location.

Bernie 2020 West Philly Canvass Shift

Monday, November 25 | 6:00 - 8:30 pm | 5110 Hadfield St | Please bring a laptop so that you can quickly enter the sign-up data that you collect when you get back to the launch location.

Socialist Night School: Nordic Social Democracy

Monday, December 2 | 7:00 - 9:00 pm | Golkin Room, Houston Hall | 3417 Spruce Street

End-of-year General Meeting and Fundraiser

Saturday, December 14 | 12:00 - 4:30 pm | William Way Ballroom | 1315 Spruce St

Upcoming Committee & Branch Meetings

Canvassing Committee Meeting

Monday, November 18 | 7:00 pm | Penn Bookstore Cafe | 3601 Walnut St

Political Education Committee Meeting

Monday, November 18 | 7:00 - 8:00 pm | Good Karma Cafe | 928 Pine Street

Green New Deal Strategy Committee 

Monday, November 18 | 7:30 - 9:00 pm | Penn Bookstore Cafe | 3601 Walnut Street

Communications Committee Meeting

Wednesday, November 20 | 7:00 pm | Email Eamon for address

Delco DSA November Branch Meeting

Wednesday, November 20 | 7:00 - 9:00 pm | Location TBD

Electoral Committee Meeting

Saturday, November 23 | 6:00 - 8:30 pm | Penn Bookstore Cafe | 3601 Walnut Street

BuxMont DSA: November General Meeting & Pot Luck!

Sunday, November 24 | 1:00 - 4:00 pm | Love in Action United Church of Christ | 350 S. York Rd., Hatboro


Harassment and Grievance Process

In accordance with Article XIII of our Bylaws, a commission has been formed to receive, process, and review grievances for 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 at all levels of government? Something that we need to put on Bernie Sanders's desk? The Policy 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 [email protected].

Host a Canvass!

The Philly DSA Canvassing Committee will be running smaller, shorter weeknight and weekend canvasses out of members' homes! If you're interested in hosting a canvass at your residence, please fill out this form. Please email Vicki at [email protected] with any questions.

Member Surveys: Childcare

The Childcare 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



Join Philly DSA

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