Tue, Nov 21st, 2023
Join us this Sunday for Comradesgiving, November 26 from 3:00 to 5:30pm at the Gallatin Labor Temple. We will be sharing food and continuing the conversation around Social Housing and why a Public Housing Authority is needed. We will also be practicing how to write and submit public comment in preparation for the upcoming Gallatin County Commission hearing (Tues 11/28) to determine whether a Public Housing Authority should be established at the county level. Join us for a potluck with comrades. Multiple dietary restrictions are being considered, including vegan and vegetarian options. RSVP here.
Can’t make it, but want to show your support for establishing a PHA? See here for directions for submitting public comment to the Gallatin County Commissioners. Public comment for the County is due by November 27.
Ingredients of Alienation: The Emergence of Trader Joe’s United
Trader Joe’s is not your friendly neighborhood market. It is a billion-dollar national chain owned by one of Europe's richest families.
The post Ingredients of Alienation: The Emergence of Trader Joe’s United appeared first on EWOC.
Menendez Jr. Rejects Calls for a Ceasefire from 4 NJ Groups
Menendez Jr. Rejects Calls for a Ceasefire from 4 NJ Groups
For Immediate Release: November 21st 2023
Contact: [email protected]
Last night, representatives from North NJ DSA, Jewish Voice for Peace Northern NJ, American Muslims for Palestine NJ, and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) NJ, met with Rep. Rob Menendez Jr. (NJ-08). In the meeting NNJ DSA reiterated our calls for the Congressman’s immediate co-sponsorship of the Bush-Tlaib Ceasefire resolution, H.Res 786.
After mounting pressure from our organizations it’s clear Menendez Jr. has not moved an inch on the matter. Despite 66% of Americans, and over 80% of Democrats agreeing with calls for a ceasefire, the freshman Congressman appears uninterested in “meeting the moment” like he often says he is.
Even more disappointing was the Congressman’s claim in the meeting that he’s subject to an “internal struggle on this issue” and that “he wants to be better.” To be clear: This moment is more than just a struggle for the Congressman. This is a genocide happening in real time and Menendez Jr. has power through his position in Congress that he is not utilizing. The Congressman will also not be joining us tonight at 5:30pm outside Jersey City Hall for a teach-in on why and how the humanitarian crisis in Gaza are part of a decades long struggle to displace Palestinians, and how Palestine resists genocide.
We urge constituents of New Jersey’s eighth congressional district to continue to make calls and send emails to Menendez Jr. and to turn out to events like tonight’s, to demand a ceasefire co-sponsorship from the Congressman.
The post Menendez Jr. Rejects Calls for a Ceasefire from 4 NJ Groups first appeared on North NJ DSA.
The post Menendez Jr. Rejects Calls for a Ceasefire from 4 NJ Groups appeared first on North NJ DSA.
Mon, Nov 20th, 2023
American Universities Are Complicit in Israel’s Human Rights Violations
Many US universities are tied to companies and institutions that perpetuate apartheid and ethnic cleansing in Israel. The Activist Investigative Committee explores these entanglements and their effect on academic independence and recent crackdowns against pro-Palestinian activists on campus.
The post American Universities Are Complicit in Israel’s Human Rights Violations appeared first on YDSA.
Adams Announces Austerity Program + Adams Aide Under Scrutiny
The NYC Thorn is a weekly roundup of local political news compiled by members of NYC-DSA.
Eric Adams Scandal News
Winnie Greco, a close aide to Mayor Eric Adams and his director of Asian affairs, is accused of trading jobs and access to the mayor for money and personal favors, including renovations on her home.
A former FDNY chief told FBI investigators that he felt pressured by the Adams administration to approve a new Turkish consulate building despite safety concerns.
Mayor Adams announced a series of steep cuts to the city budget, totaling 5% across the board and impacting critical services including reduced summer programs for youth, eliminating Sunday library hours for all but one branch, and cuts to universal Pre-K (as part of a $1B cut to the Department of Education).
Brooklyn state Senator Kevin Parker, who has a history of legal troubles including previous assault charges, has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2004, according to a lawsuit filed against him. The lawsuit was filed under the state's Adult Survivors Act, which allows adult victims of sexual abuse to sue their abusers.
Negotiations between the New York City Council and the new Council staffers union, which have been going on since May of 2022, are held up over language regarding whether workers can be fired at-will.
Charges were dropped against Republican City Council Member Inna Vernikov (Brighton Beach), who brought a gun to a pro-Palestine rally at Brooklyn College last month, when the gun was deemed to be inoperable.
A look into the enforcement of New York City's plastic ban bag, first passed in 2020, found only small fines and warnings issued to repeat offenders.
Management at five of New York City's public defender offices have taken steps to punish employees or preemptively stop employees and their unions from making statements expressing solidarity with Palestinians.
After the City Council overrode the Mayor’s veto on a package of legislation designed to expand rental voucher eligibility for New Yorkers facing eviction, the Adams administration has yet to take any action on implementing that legislation.
A group of progressive elected officials – including all members of the NYC-DSA Socialists in Office — sent a letter to Columbia University calling for the reinstatement of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, two groups suspended for holding an “unsanctioned” protest demanding a ceasefire in Gaza.
Assembly Member Juan Ardila (District 37, Western Queens) has filed to run for re-election in 2024, even though he is facing a sexual assault scandal. Ardila will face DSA-endorsed Claire Valdez, and there is speculation that another candidate backed by the Queens County Democratic Party will also emerge.
The NYC Local
We're excited to say that last month, Alex Chan, David Kim, and David Turner revived our chapter's labor newsletter The Local. It arrives every other week with a focus on labor organizing, bargaining, and local legislation that impacts NYC's workers. Give them a follow and thoughts about what you'd like to see from a socialist labor newsletter.
Revolutions Per Minute
Listen to NYC-DSA's weekly radio show Revolutions Per Minute. Check out the show here.
Thanks for reading The NYC Thorn! Subscribe for free to receive weekly updates.
Local Residents Rally to Support a Ceasefire in Gaza
Over 200 Wilmingtonians came out on November 19 to show their support for a ceasefire in Gaza and end to Israeli apartheid. The event was organized by members of a local pro-Palestinian group along with Wilmington DSA members and our comrades in Liberate ILM. We urged the crowd to sign the open letter demanding a ceasefire resolution and to commit to boycotting companies that are doing business with Israel as part of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. We had several great speakers who shared personal connections to loved ones in Palestine and others who educated the crowd on the role of the apartheid state in maintaining capitalist hegemony in the Middle East, including a speech from our Chair to wrap up the afternoon. DSA provided safety marshals and manned the poster making station so that attendees could create their own sign to show support for human rights and for peace.
What are our demands?
As socialists, we stand against settler colonialism and genocide. We understand the role that Israel plays in the U.S. imperial war machine and that the genocide being perpetuated by Israel is primarily funded by the United States.
Our immediate demands are simple:
- An immediate ceasefire and end to collective punishment.
- Humanitarian aid to Gaza.
- Equal rights for all Palestinians.
How can you get involved?
You can stay up to date on local action and changes to our campaign by bookmarking our Palestinian Liberation webpage.
- Sign the open letter demanding a ceasefire resolution from our local government officials.
- Show up to events! We need your support to show elected officials that they face serious pressure for continuing to stand with an apartheid state.
- Volunteer your time. We need folks to help put on rallies, print fliers, and call people and our representatives. Email the chapter and we can get you set up.
Sun, Nov 19th, 2023
SCAD is Bad
Durham's tenants are in a crisis, and despite proponent’s claims, the developer-and-landlord-led “fix” to the building code known as “Simplifying Code for Affordable Development,” or SCAD, will neither solve or barely improve affordable housing in our community. Rising rents in Durham are displacing residents, mostly from working-class Black and brown communities, to make room for mostly wealthier and whiter tenants. Our elected officials are left to accept the neoliberal myth that “the market will find a solution” and yet, despite having green-lit a lot of new development, affordable housing units remain at a premium. Durham City Council should vote against SCAD.
For the past year, the Council has been considering SCAD – a massive amendment to the building code brought forward by Jim Anthony, a large Raleigh-based developer. The plan proposes many amendments to Durham’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), the document that the city provides to inform private developers of all the procedures, zoning rules and districts and standards they will need to follow in order to be allowed to build to code. Cities can use this to get private entities to enact the will of the city. For example, Durham’s current UDO provides a density bonus—where a developer is allowed to build a larger building than would have been allowed otherwise—if at least 15% of units are available for rent at 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). With the illegality of rent control and public housing, the most effective ways to address the affordability crisis outside of decommodifying housing, the UDO is the city’s sole tool with which it can ensure enough affordable housing options exist for its residents. Even this tool is blunted by NC state law that does not allow UDOs to mandate affordable housing. As such, any changes to affordable housing in the UDO has to meet the needs and come from the working class.
Proponents of SCAD will point to the fact that the amendment will increase the number of affordable rentals by 10 percentage points to 25% at 60% AMI if developers choose to utilize the bonus. This is a necessary and good change for the working class. However, SCAD also decreases how long the units have to remain affordable—reducing the required affordable housing period from 30 years to 5 years for rental units, and first sale for sale units. Both changes effectively reduce the stable housing and wealth-building opportunities SCAD purportedly claims it provides to the working class. On top of the reduction in the period of affordability, SCAD will allow developers to build lower-quality “affordable” units, permitting developers to create slums to squeeze profits out of poorer renters. And once the 5-year affordability requirement expires, landlords can then maximize their profits by evicting the poorer residents to then exploit white-collar tenants with higher rent budgets 5 years later. SCAD’s affordable housing “solution” works out to a temporary reduction (or “investment”) in landlord passive income that is part of the larger community-displacing, environment-destroying luxury developments that developers have been building in Durham, continuing the transfer of wealth from the working class to the capitalist class.
The City Council is set to vote on SCAD before the next council is seated. Voting the entire SCAD amendment as-is into the UDO would be a massive mistake the lame duck council will leave the incoming council to deal with. Not only is SCAD an ineffective solution, it is an anti-democratic cash grab backed by a coalition of landlords and developers who, on average, own 11.8 properties and 6.3 businesses. (Anthony, the primary architect of SCAD, is on record having said about Durham’s poorest residents that “gentrification is necessary to erase the ‘blight’”.) It is no surprise then, that SCAD does not ensure homes for fixed-, low-, and no-income parts of the working class who often fall below 30% AMI. Considering the importance the UDO is to development in Durham and the ramifications changes to it will have for decades to come, the Council must ensure that any changes made to the UDO serve Durham’s working class.
Keeping the 30 year affordability requirement in the current UDO is the bare minimum we must do to keep Durham affordable. Combining the minimum with changes in the UDO to further motivate affordable housing development could finally yield in greater affordable housing built in Durham. In addition to keeping the minimum duration, future Councils must also discern the types of developments it is approving—the only way to ensure Durham has affordable housing is to build affordable housing. Luxury housing, like other forms of wealth, will not trickle down. Continuing what we have been doing by approving fewer, larger, sprawling, poorly connected units that net developers the most profit (as recently done with the Perry Farm project) will only exacerbate traffic, high rents, environmental damage, and the climate crisis. We urge the Durham City Council to vote no on SCAD!
Thu, Nov 16th, 2023
Why Your Chapter Should Start a Union Campaign
Students at the University of Oregon won the largest wall-to-wall undergraduate workers union in country. The author explains how UOYDSA was central to their organizing success. A year ago, I signed my union card. I believed in things like universal healthcare and socialized housing, but I didn’t think there was anything I could do personally…