June 20, 2020 | 1:00-3:30 PM | Zoom | Rsvp for details
I’m new to DSA but I’ve been an organizer (and a socialist) forever. My first organizing work was in Kensington in the late 1990s; in 1998, before anyone had even used the word “blog”, I was posting daily updates from an anti-poverty bus tour across the US. I now work as a self-taught web developer. I joined the newly-formed Communications Committee last October. As the committee struggled to organize itself, I found a niche doing website updates. I was asked to be interim chair in March, just before the quarantine. Since then, I’ve focused on getting the committee organized and running smoothly. We’ve streamlined the event display on our website and decreased our event-posting time. I’ve met with the Social Media & Bulletin commissions (which fall under Comms but have operated independently), and I’m in touch almost daily on Slack. We’ve started a process to clarify the vision and goals of our commissions, and I’ve begun one-on-ones with new members to expand the committee. I’ve also built various automated systems to support our work. One tool checks that our Facebook events match our website, one tracks our Twitter engagement over time, another analyzes clicks on our bulletin, and we’ve started automatically sending RSVP lists to event hosts. For a long time now I’ve been looking for an organizational home and a place to use my skills. I’d be excited and honored to continue working with the talented people on comms for the next year.
My first priority is institutionalizing & formalizing the work we’re already doing. This isn’t the sexiest work, but I think it’s important as we grow as an organization.
The previous outreach committee did a ton of work setting up the bulletin workflow and our event posting procedures, and building on our Twitter presence. But as an organization we’ve moved from one or two people posting on Twitter, to a team of five people coordinating with a schedule and a Slack channel. That’s a huge difference! We need to continue building policies and systems to support this great team. We need to clarify our shared understanding of what we should be posting, and why. And we need to make it fun enough that nobody gets burnt out, and easy enough to onboard new people when someone does leave.
Likewise with the bulletin, we have a good system that harnesses the remarkable talent and instincts of two of our members who every other week come up with something both politically relevant and poignant. I’d like to get us to a point where we could replace both of them and maintain continuity (not that I would want to!). Ideally we would have enough capacity, probably beyond the three people currently on the commission, that we could think long-term about our message, dig into who our audience is and where we could expand strategically, and figure out how the bulletin fits into our website content.
My second priority would be to better utilize our design and writing talent by building both a graphics commission and a website commission.
Currently, all of our graphics are created by various talented designers but on an ad-hoc basis; there’s no central point of contact. My goal would be that any committee or working group in the chapter could ask the commission for graphics to support their activities, and someone on the commission would make graphics, in a reasonable timeframe, that followed a shared style. So far we have a group email list and a shared folder, but we need some coordination to get started. The website is updated haphazardly, and no one is currently focused on overall improvements. The current site is functional, but there is a lot of room for improvement in the description of our work and priorities, the information architecture, and the slightly clunky design. We don’t need to redo the whole website every year, but I’d like to build the website commission to focus attention on the site, since it’s our main point of presentation to the public.
Resolution 2020.06.00 Establish SEPTA Frequency and Route Redesign Campaign
Authors: Amy L and Matthew L
Co-Sponsored: Green New Deal Strategy Committee
Whereas, climate change and other environmental challenges represent a major threat to the well-being of working class people around the world; and
Whereas, the Green New Deal, as described in the resolution proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey in H.Res. 109 and S.Res. 59, aligns the need to address climate change while creating jobs for workers and democratizing control over energy systems; and
Whereas, public transportation is a critical component of any realistic strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and a crucial public service for Philadelphians of all ages and income levels, but especially the working class; and
Whereas, SEPTA’s bus system is the foundation of public transit in the city; and
Whereas, bus system ridership has been declining since 2014, despite population growth over the same time period, with riders shifting to private automobiles and, especially, ride-hailing services; and
Whereas, in 2018, SEPTA commissioned The Bus Network Choices Report as the first phase of a Comprehensive Bus Network Redesign, recommending a ground-up redesign of the network to provide faster service, better coverage, and better and more frequent connections, along with changes in traffic patterns and parking enforcement on the part of the City to prioritize transit, especially in Center City; and
Whereas, to date, SEPTA and the City have taken little action on that report; and
Whereas, the chapter’s temporary Green New Deal Strategy Committee, in consultation with the Local membership, evaluated several possible Philadelphia DSA campaigns, and has prioritized the need for improved public transit in Philadelphia; and
Therefore be it resolved, that Philadelphia DSA adopt a SEPTA Bus Redesign campaign with the objectives and strategy outlined in the appended campaign proposal; and
Be it further resolved, that where feasible Philadelphia DSA Steering Committee mobilize members to attend SEPTA board meetings to advocate for the network redesign; and
Be it finally resolved, that Philadelphia DSA members write their Council Persons, urging them to prioritize public transit in making decisions about land use, street design, and parking enforcement.
See Appendix D: SEPTA Frequency + Route Redesign Campaign Proposal
Resolution 2020.06.01: Establish Philly Green Schools Campaign
Authors: Green New Deal Strategy Committee
Whereas, Philadelphia’s schools are plagued by long-term underinvestment that results in teachers and students being exposed to harmful asbestos, lead, and other toxic materials; and
Whereas, the $1 billion earmarked by the state of Pennsylvania to invest in school renovation is threatened by austerity measures; and
Whereas, the renovation of schools has been prioritized by a number of Philadelphia DSA aligned groups, politicians, and candidates, including: the Caucus of Working Educators, Councilmembers Helen Gym and Kendra Brooks, State Representative Elizabeth Fiedler, and candidates Nikil Saval and Rick Krajewski; and
Whereas, Philadelphia DSA labor branch and Policy Committee are also working for Green Schools; and
Whereas, the chapter’s temporary Green New Deal Strategy Committee evaluated several possible Philadelphia DSA campaigns and has prioritized the need for a Philly Green Schools campaign; and
Therefore be it resolved, that Philadelphia DSA create a Philly Green Schools campaign with the objectives and strategy outlined in the appended campaign proposal; and
Be it further resolved, that where feasible Philadelphia DSA Steering Committee mobilize members to pressure local and state legislators for Green Schools.
See Appendix C: Philly Green Schools Campaign Proposal
Resolution 2020.06.02: Support Essential Workers in Philadelphia
Authors: Kilynn L, Dustin G, Paul P
Co-Sponsored: Mary M, Carly R, Marilyn A, Vicki F, Rohan S, Olivia H, Briana L, Syne S
Whereas, City Government has not done nearly enough to protect workers through the coronavirus crisis;
Whereas, many essential workers in Philadelphia are still without basic protections;
Whereas, some employers have failed to comply with public health orders for the protection and safety of workers;
Whereas, Philadelphia workers are still not protected from retaliation for refusal to work in unsafe conditions;
Therefore be it resolved, that Philly DSA organize around pending legislation to expand worker protections throughout the crisis, such as Bill 200328, already endorsed by the Philly DSA Steering Committee, and authored by Councilmembers Gym, Squilla, Johnson, Gauthier, Jones, Henon, Quiñones-Sánchez, Brooks, Gilmore Richardson, and Thomas;
Be it further resolved, that Philly DSA aid and encourage members to send letters to their respective councilmembers to support these efforts; and,
Be it finally resolved, that Philly DSA organize a virtual phonebank and day of action to call into City Council and demand more worker protections, an end to budget cuts and a fair transition for workers after the coronavirus crisis.
Resolution 2020.06.03: Establish A Green New Deal Campaign Evaluation Commission
Whereas, the general membership of Philadelphia DSA approved a Green New Deal priority at our local convention in June 2019; and
Whereas, the vision for the Green New Deal is expansive and requires a series of reforms, rather than a single piece of legislation; and
Whereas, future work toward this priority will require long-term strategy developed under evolving situations, including possibly running multiple campaigns simultaneously; and
Whereas, the chapter’s temporary Green New Deal Strategy Committee completed its mandate upon submission of its strategy document to the general membership;
Therefore be it resolved, that Philadelphia DSA create a Green New Deal Evaluation Commission of the Local to solicit, receive, review, evaluate, draft, and make recommendations to the Local on projects and campaign proposals related to environmental policy; and
Be it further resolved, that the Commission receive campaign proposals from the membership of the Local using the rubric submitted by the Green New Deal Strategy Committee in its strategy document for the Local; and
Be it further resolved, that the Commission make this rubric publicly available to the membership of the Local, through occasional inclusion in chapter-wide communication, so that the membership of the Local can submit campaign proposals at any time; and
Be it further resolved, that the Commission evaluate campaign proposals according to the seven principles for a Green New Deal submitted by the Green New Deal Strategy Committee, as well as H.Res. 109 and S.Res. 59 submitted to Congress by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey, respectively; and
Be it further resolved, that the Commission recommend future campaigns to the Local in the form of resolutions at assemblies of the Local, which require a majority vote of the members present and voting; and
Be it further resolved, that the Commission prioritize proposals that will promote green jobs and that require coalitions with organized labor; and
Be it further resolved that the Commission be chartered for one calendar year, until the General Meeting of the Local nearest to June 20, 2021; and
Be it further resolved that the Commission receive an annual budget of $200 for the costs of printing and event space, if needed; and
Be it finally resolved that Duncan G. will chair the commission.
Resolution 2020.06.04: Amend Standing Rules to Allow Steering Committee to Accept Steering Committee Member Resignations
Author: Marilyn A
Co-Sponsored: Olivia H, Michele R, Vicki F, Kilynn L, David M, David R, Rohan S, Briana L, Carly R, Syne S
Whereas, the current bylaws allow the chairs to appoint interim Steering Committee Members in the event of a resignation but does not specify the body which should accept the resignation of a Steering Committee member,
Therefore be it resolved, that an addition to the Standing Rules be made at section "Steering Committee", a new sub-section "Resignations":
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