Wed, Nov 15th, 2023
Tue, Nov 14th, 2023
Porchlight Tenants Crash Charity Event to Warn Donors About Dangerous Living Conditions
Madison Tenant Power
Madison, WI – On Monday, Porchlight tenants and their housing allies crashed a charity event for Porchlight, Inc., the nonprofit that runs Porchlight Men’s Shelter, in order to warn potential donors about dangerous living conditions. One person wore a cockroach costume.
Madison Wisconsin Homeless Union and Madison Tenant Power are calling attention to unsanitary and unsafe conditions in Porchlight properties in Madison, including: apartments full of cockroaches, bedbugs, and other pests; lack of bedding (tenants sleeping on the floor); and units that are not properly air conditioned or heated. Porchlight staff hang up the phone on housing advocates when they contact Porchlight about maintenance issues.
Porchlight is a non-profit organization that operates housing, as well as the Safe Haven day shelter and a men’s night shelter. Porchlight’s CEO receives a salary of over $100,000 while tenants face unsafe conditions. Porchlight has received paid contracts from the city to operate their facilities, and is about to receive another $24 million contract. Porchlight no longer accepts HUD-VASH vouchers from veterans.
Madison Tenant Power and Madison Wisconsin Homeless Union call on the City County Homeless Issues Committee and City and County government to investigate conditions at Porchlight properties. Porchlight tenants and their allies are asking the city to investigate abuse and neglect in Porchlight facilities, and for Porchlight’s city contracts to be pulled in favor of running these services as a public, common good.
Weekly Roundup: November 14, 2023
Wednesday, 11/15 (7:00 a.m.): Mobilize Against the APEC CEO Summit (In person at Powell BART Plaza)
Wednesday, 11/15 (6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.): HWG Reading Group: Mean Streets (In person at 1916 McAllister)
Thursday, 11/16 (10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.): Labor Event: SBWU Red Cup Rebellion (In person at 4094 18th Street)
Friday, 11/17 (12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.): Office Hours (In person at 1916 McAllister)
Saturday, 11/18 (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.): Homelessness Working Group Office Hours (In person at 1916 McAllister)
Saturday, 11/18 (1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.): Homelessness Working Group Sock Distro (Meet in person at 1916 McAllister)
Saturday, 11/18 (5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.): Film Screening: The Fall of the I-Hotel (In person at 1916 McAllister)
Tuesday, 11/21 (7:00 p.m.): Labor and Tenant Organizing Discussion: Spadework – On Political Organizing (In person at 1916 McAllister)
Wednesday, 11/22 (6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.): What is DSA? (In person at 1916 McAllister)
Check out https://dsasf.org/events/ for more events.
Events & Actions
Mobilize Against the APEC CEO Summit Tomorrow!
The Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) brings together CEOs and heads of state yearly to build trade structures and agreements. This year, APEC is meeting in San Francisco November 11th through 18th, and a large coalition of progressive organizations (including DSA SF and EBDSA) have given them a robust reception.
Tomorrow (Wednesday, November 15th), we will be gathering at 7:00 a.m. at Powell Street BART Plaza for a mass non-violent direct action. Join us and take a stand for climate justice, worker power, and against a status quo of corporate greed and imperial violence!
Labor Event: SBWU Red Cup Rebellion
Starbucks partners across the country will be going on strike on Red Cup Day—Starbucks’ biggest sales day of the year—to protest unfair labor practices, and are asking allies to stand alongside them in action.
DSA SF will be joining SBWU workers on Thursday, November 16th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 4094 18th Street. Come along and show your support for unionizing workers!
Film Screening: The Fall of the I-Hotel
Join the Tenant Organizing Working Group on Saturday, 11/18 at 5:00 p.m. at 1916 McAllister for a screening of The Fall of the I-Hotel.
“After a decade of spirited resistance to the razing of San Francisco’s Manilatown, America’s most dramatic affordable housing battleground ends in the August 4, 1977 brutal eviction of the elderly tenants of the International Hotel.”
Come join us for the film, then discuss this seminal piece of San Francisco communities’ fight against displacement, and what lessons we can draw from it today.
Labor and Tenant Organizing Discussion: Spadework – On Political Organizing
Labor and Tenant Organizing comrades will be hosting a discussion of the article “Spadework: On Political Organzing” by Allyssa Battistoni on Tuesday, November 21st at 7:00 p.m. at 1916 McAllister.
Eat pizza, sip beverages, and talk about doing and sustaining “spadework:” the critical and meaningful, often difficult, generally unsexy, sometimes frustrating, day-to-day work of organizing!
How Do People Get Housed?
Is San Francisco set up to actually help people exit homelessness and get into housing? What resources exist, and are they accessible? And how long does this whole process take? Join DSA SF member and City Hall worker, Jenbo, as she attempts to untangle the arcane bureaucracy of different city departments, nonprofits, outreach teams, shelter and housing systems that make up the City’s response to the homelessness crisis.
Join this Homelessness Working Group-hosted event on Thursday, November 30th at 6:30 p.m. at 1916 McAllister. Dinner will be provided!
Submit Your Nominations for Chapter Leadership!
Hello, comrades! We are now opening nominations for chapter leadership! Please fill out this form if you would like to nominate yourself or a comrade for a leadership position!
Leadership positions for the following chapter bodies are up for chapter-wide elections:
- Labor Board (5 seats)
- Electoral Board (5 seats)
- Mutual Aid Priority Leadership (3 seats total, 1 vacant)
- Chapter Coordination Committee Co-Chairs (2 seats)
- Education Board (3 seats)
- Ecosocialists Committee Co-Chairs (2 seats)
- Tenant Organizing Working Group Co-Chairs (2 seats)
The following chapter bodies will be holding internal elections, which will be ratified by the chapter:
- Homelessness Working Group Co-Chairs
- AfroSocialists & Socialists of Color Committee Co-Chairs
Elections and ratification votes will be held at our December chapter meeting!
Behind the Scenes
The Chapter Coordination Committee (CCC) regularly rotates duties among chapter members. This allows us to train new members in key duties that help keep the chapter running like organizing chapter meetings, keeping records updated, office cleanup, updating the DSA SF website and newsletter, etc. Members can view current CCC rotations.
To help with the day-to-day tasks that keep the chapter running, fill out theCCC help form.
Feedback? Questions? Something to add?
We’re always looking for feedback. If you have comments or suggestions, feel free to send a message to the #newsletter channel on Slack.
For information on how to add content, check out the Newsletter Q&A thread on the forum.
OSHA is a great resource for workers — but it’s no replacement for organizing.
What advice should we offer when a group of workers tells us that they have a safety or health concern at work?
The post OSHA is a great resource for workers — but it’s no replacement for organizing. appeared first on EWOC.
Remembering Jessica Balla
It is with great sadness we are sharing the shocking news of the passing of former Steering Committee member: Jessica Balla. She had been a lifelong socialist and was instrumental in the establishment and founding of our chapter. Since 2016 Jessica had been active in our chapter and additionally with the National Feminist Working Group, a coordinator in the many Rust Belt Caucus events, and had been a delegate to the 2019 national convention. Jessica worked tirelessly over the years to make DSA an accessible and welcoming space for new organizers and marginalized people to participate in. She was a commanding presence in the political sphere, a great comrade and an even better friend. She will be missed dearly, and her memory will continue to be a revolutionary guiding light to all who knew her!
Salt Lake DSA Endorses Michael Valentine for Salt Lake City Mayor
Salt Lake DSA is proud to announce our endorsement of chapter member and mayoral candidate Michael Valentine for the role of Salt Lake City mayor, with 88.5% of voting members voting in favor of endorsement. We strongly encourage our members and supporters living in Salt Lake City to rank Michael Valentine as their #1 choice in this ranked choice election and to share this announcement with their friends and family.
Michael joined our chapter in June of this year on the invitation of a member and after speaking at our local convention in May, and he has been an active member since. While he is known for his work in fighting to save the Utah Pantages theater, Michael’s activism goes beyond one building. Michael has stood in solidarity with Salt Lake’s union workers by gathering signatures and standing on the picket line with our chapter in support of Starbucks and UPS workers, he’s been gracious in letting us use his cider shop for chapter events, and he’s been on the streets with the community fighting for the international working class against police repression and Israeli apartheid. Michael understands that the issues facing Salt Lake City are all symptoms of capitalism, and he knows how to organize with socialist principles in order to enact positive change for the most marginalized Salt Lakers. He is the embodiment of democratic socialist values, and we are more than lucky to have him as a chapter member and mayoral candidate.
Throughout this mayoral race, Michael has consistently shown not only through his words, but also his actions, that he is the only candidate that understands the needs and struggles of working class Salt Lakers. He’s the only candidate who is a renter, he’s the only candidate who isn’t a millionaire, he’s the only candidate who has experienced homelessness, and he’s the only candidate that speaks up for the community, even if it’s politically unpopular. We know he’s the only candidate serious about curing homelessness, reforming the SLCPD, bettering the living conditions of the working class and saving the Great Salt Lake.
Voting ends on November 21st, and the last day to register is Monday, November 13th. Vote Michael Valentine in as the first DSA member and first socialist mayor in Salt Lake City!
The post Salt Lake DSA Endorses Michael Valentine for Salt Lake City Mayor first appeared on Salt Lake DSA.
Mon, Nov 13th, 2023
Election Day Results + FBI Seizes Adams’s Phone
The NYC Thorn is a weekly roundup of local political news compiled by members of NYC-DSA.
Eric Adams Scandal News
The FBI seized Mayor Eric Adams’s phone and other devices in connection to the same corruption investigation that led to a previous raid on his former fundraising chief. While Adams is not currently a target of the investigation, according to the FBI, the case relates to potentially illegal campaign donations from Turkish nationals.
The investigation into Adams’s campaign is leading to calls for a strong primary challenger to run against him in 2025.
In a relatively uneventful New York City Election Day, Kristy Marmorato became the first Bronx Republican to win a seat in the City Council since 1983, defeating incumbent Marjorie Velázquez (District 13, Throggs Neck).
Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn's decision to abandon Council Member Justin Brannan's re-election campaign and provide tacit support for his Republican challenger appeared to backfire, as Brannan won a commanding victory on Tuesday.
In a speech at Somos, a political convention in Puerto Rico, Governor Kathy Hochul seemed unconcerned about further Republican inroads on Long Island.
After Council Member Keith Powers (District 4, Upper East Side) easily won reelection, his Republican opponent posted on Twitter to call the City "irredeemable," saying it has "chosen its own suicide" and urging Jews to "get out while you can."
NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks sent a letter to teachers ahead of last week’s student walkout to demand a ceasefire cautioning teachers to keep their "personal political views" to themselves.
City Limits produced a video explaining the votes at NYCHA's Nostrand Houses over proposed PACT and Preservation Trust funding changes.
A report by New York Focus found that overdose deaths in New York State prisons have tripled, even as the overall prison population has declined by half.
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.
Same old fascists can’t co-opt our pro-Palestine movement
Don’t be fooled: failed politicians and Proud Boys tried to spread antisemitic bile at Harvard. DSA anti-fascists won’t let them
On November 11, 2023, several members of Boston DSA, a mix of non-Jews and Jews, disrupted Shiva Ayyadurai’s antisemitic, “anti-Zionist” rally in Harvard Square. As the flier advertising it made clear, this was no rally in support of Palestinians or anti-Zionism, but a rally to support Shiva’s particular brand of conspiracy theory and the idea of Jews as all-controlling oppressors of working people.
We carried signs reading “Antisemitism is the Anti-Zionism of Fools” (a play on the old quote “Antisemitism is the socialism of fools”), “Pro-Palestine, Pro-Jewish, Antifascist” and others. We did this because we find antisemitism repellent, and we find it repellent that Shiva would co-opt the suffering and death of Palestinians for his own ends in this manner. And, we did this to send a message, in deed and not just word, that principled anti-Zionists oppose antisemitism. Jewish, Palestinian, Muslim members of the Harvard and Cambridge communities—indeed, all members—did not deserve Shiva’s spectacle, or the stress and fear that they may have felt as a result of the rally fliers. Indeed, some passers-by thanked us for helping them understand what was happening. Several people who had simply heard about a Palestine rally in Harvard Square spoke to us and were upset and disappointed about the true nature of Shiva’s rally.
We are all experienced antifascists, and we understand the difference between principled anti-Zionism and antisemitism masquerading as anti-Zionism. John Medlar, a well-known Proud Boy who tried to crash a Drag Queen Story Hour in Fall River last year, was Shiva’s livestreamer. Another rallygoer told us that he too was a Proud Boy and a friend of Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, and called a member of our group a “homo.” One of us, a Jewish survivor of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017, was wearing Palestine colors with a Star of David necklace, and was asked multiple times by Shiva’s rallygoer fans what was around their neck. Another of us was told by a rallygoer that 60% of Congress has dual citizenship with Israel, a variant on a longstanding antisemitic myth. Several told us that vaccines are a “globalist” (a dogwhistle for Jewish) population control plot. In no way is any of this Palestine solidarity or helpful to the people being murdered in Gaza.
We encourage readers to attend rallies for Palestine and a ceasefire that are sponsored by legitimate coalitions and organizations such as the Boston Coalition for Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, and to contact their representatives in support of the Ceasefire Now resolution. Unfortunately, right now, with the increased attention to Palestinians’ oppression and many new people in the movement, the antisemitic far right will do what it often does, and try to inject its ideas into the movement through spreading them to well-meaning people (some of them new activists, English language learners, and/or people new to North American cultural contexts) who don’t realize the full implications of certain framings, terms, or images. If you see a friend repeating things that seem off (like suggesting that Americans need to be freed from Israeli dominance, or that Israelis or Jews are “unbelievers” in some way, or using Jewish symbols like the menorah to signify something bad, or using the neo-Nazi phrase “Zionist Occupied Government”), talk to them about it! That’s how we build healthy movements.
No to antisemitism, no to anti-Palestinian hatred, no to Islamophobia, no to fascism!
We repeat here the points from the educational fliers that we distributed on site:
We are supporters of a ceasefire in Israel/Palestine. Many of us are longtime Palestine solidarity activists. We oppose antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian hatred, and fascism.
The rally we are here to oppose claims to be an anti-Zionism, pro-worker rally. However fliers advertising it intertwined the Star of David with a dollar sign as the chain in a pair of handcuffs, accusing “Zionists” of enslaving workers throughout the world. The use of a plain Star of David in this way is unambiguously antisemitic.
While Zionism is an ideology and there is nothing intrinsically antisemitic in anti-Zionism, there is a long and unfortunate history of antisemites using “Zionist” and “Zionism” as antisemitic dog whistles, dating back to Willis Carto’s Liberty Lobby in the 1950s.
Shiva Ayyadurai, who called the rally that we are here to oppose, has spoken at several far-right rallies in the Boston area since 2017, speaking alongside notorious figures such as the violent neo-Nazi/former Proud Boy Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman, Proud Boy and convicted 1/6/21 Capitol attack leader Joe Biggs and Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson. For more on this era of fascist activity in Boston, see this 2019 piece.
One of the local rallies he spoke at was the 2018 Proud Boys rally in Concord, MA. The Proud Boys have become well-known as one of the groups that led the attack on the Capitol on 1/6/21. Massachusetts Proud Boy John Medlar is a long-time collaborator of Shiva’s.
We find it grotesque that Shiva is co-opting Palestinian suffering and death in this opportunistic, antisemitic way. As principled anti-Zionists, ceasefire supporters, antifascists, we say no.