The Brooklyn Housing Working Group’s citywide tenant organizing subcommittee has held several successful meetings, and is helping DSA members and their neighbors citywide organize in their buildings and fight for tenants' rights. The group’s research subcommittee has also been revived, and is working to profile politicians, challenge landlord talking points, and track real estate influence in Albany.
The campaign for #UniversalRentControl continues to gain momentum! With the Brooklyn Electoral WG, they talked to local residents about housing and encouraged them to contact their state representatives about universal rent control during two canvasses in North and Central Brooklyn. The working group has also been phonebanking members in Brooklyn to let them know about #UniversalRentControl campaign and ways to get involved.
Every week, members of DSA and other groups are sharing stories on social media for #TenantTuesdays. Let's keep tenants' rights trending! Please watch and share this great explainer video on universal rent control, featuring DSA's own Jabari Brisport!
The Brooklyn Housing WG's next monthly meeting will be Monday, March 4 at 7PM, at Local 61, 61 Bergen St. For any questions, email email@example.com.
The Healthcare Working Group is escalating a pressure campaign for universal healthcare by presenting at DSA branches, meeting with various target legislators, conducting research, planning direct actions, and compiling canvassing resources. In this campaign, they are continuing to collaborate with coalition members including the National Nurses United, New York State Nurses Association, Physicians for a National Health Program, Campaign for New York Health, and many others.
This month, the working group has established formal representatives for the Labor Branch and Electoral Working Group. In March, they will be electing an official Organizing Committee, which will replace the interim OC.
On March 3, from 11AM-1PM they will hold a combination picket, rally, and march, starting at 235 E. 42nd St. If you'd like more specifics on the action, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Immigrant Justice Working Group is continuing to work with coalition partners for the ICE Out of the Courts campaign. Additionally, group members are preparing a strategy to support the passage of the Protect Our Courts Act.
The next meeting is on March 11, in the CUNY Grad Center, at 6:30PM.
The Racial Justice Working Group is currently focusing on campaigns to limit school suspensions and create an Elected Civilian Review Board, which will replace the current ineffective and insulated Civilian Complaint Review Board, which does almost nothing to hold police accountable.
The working group has partnered with Organizing for Equity, NY to hold weekly petition canvassing days in support of the campaign to revise the NYC school disciplinary code to limit school suspensions.
On March 2, the campaign against school suspensions will hold a public delivery of petition signatures on the steps of City Hall. Members are encouraged to sign the petition online here.
In partnership with The Campaign for the Elected Civilian Review Board, the working group has attended every hearing and meeting of the Charter Revision Commission to pressure the commissioners to include an Elected Civilian Review Board in their proposals.
On March 7, The Elected Civilian Review Board Campaign will have a speaker at the police-accountability-focused Charter forum at City Council Chambers, and hopes to pack the chambers with at least 50-100 campaign supporters. A big showing would prove that NYC supports a board empowered to do something about police accountability. With enough pressure, we could push them to propose this historic reform to voters in November 2019.
Religion and Socialism
The Religion and Socialism working group is excited to announce multiple upcoming events:
On March 4, the working group will hold a group discussion led by Rabbi Michael Feinberg on religion and violence, at 124 Washington Place at 6:30PM.
On March 7, DSA members Steve Max, Paul Buhle, Henry Rose, and Maxine Phillips will be on a panel with political artist Nick Thorkelson for the launch of Eugene V. Debs A Graphic Biography, at Verso Books, 20 Jay St., Suite 1010, Brooklyn, New York 11201, at 7PM. RSVP here.
On April 3, DSA member and theologian Gary Dorrien will participate in a panel discussion centered around his newest book, Social Democracy in the Making at Union Theological Seminary, 3041 Broadway, New York, NY 10027
The Tech Action Working Group helped beat Amazon! NYC-DSA Tech Action is proud to have played a part in the fight to keep Amazon out of Queens, and wants to commend all the members who stood in solidarity with their neighbors to stop Amazon’s plan to subvert democracy and take billions in public money, as they crack down on unions and workers’ rights, increase deportations of our immigrant neighbors, and fuel gentrification, housing speculation, and skyrocketing rents.
Despite some media reports and finger pointing at "rogue politicians," this win was the direct result of collective action. In leaked internal reports, Amazon itself said they feared "with little sign that the opposition was dissipating, it was staring down a decades long commitment to a political climate in which everything the company did would be scrutinized." This is a credit to the activists who came together around this issue, and a reminder that when we fight against the negative impacts of capitalism locally, we are fighting back against the system of oppression and exploitation it requires and propagates wherever it exists.
While this is a big win, there is still work to do. Amazon maintains a physical presence in NYC in the form of warehouses, Whole Foods, their corporate office in Midtown, and more, where they actively oppose unionization of their workers. They still dominate online retail, ad sales, and the fundamental infrastructure of the Internet. We know Amazon will continue to make incursions into our public schools, our healthcare, our local government, and our daily lives. Tech Action plans to continue the fight to keep pressure on Amazon in NYC.