Branches

Queens

The Queens branch has pulled out all the stops in its effort to elect public defender and DSA member Tiffany Cabán as Queens District Attorney. In the first 3.5 weeks of petitioning to get Cabán on the ballot, 143 volunteers worked a total of 278 shifts at subway stops, green markets, and other public events, as well as door to door. Eight new field leads have directed an average of 25 petitioning events each week, which have included DSA members from all over the city and nearby suburbs.

On April 1, the persuasion phase of the campaign will begin. The Queens Electoral Working Group encourages everyone to join in. Momentum for this campaign has been building, with endorsements rolling in from Queens, citywide, and national organizations, including the Real Justice PAC, which will organize volunteers from around the country to text Queens voters.   

Meanwhile, the Queens Housing Working Group is planning to convert its successful fight against Amazon to other anti-gentrification work, while continuing to table with tenant rights information.

The Queens Political Education branch is hosting an event titled “Everyday Antifascism: History and Practice” in collaboration with Outlive Them NYC on Saturday, March 30, from 1 to 4 p.m. at 30-18 Crescent Street. The event will include a panel and workshop; presenters will include comrades from Boston DSA, MACC, Red Bloom, a Communist Collective, NYC DSA Socialist Feminist and the Afro socialists and Socialists of Color Caucus. RSVP to everydayantifascism@protonmail.com with your name, pronouns and any affiliation.

In April, Queens Political Education will host a reading series, the ABCs of Capitalism. Email queenspoliticaleducation@gmail.com to get location details and the readings.

Labor

The NYC-DSA’s Labor Branch will be celebrating the fight that nurses are taking on by holding a strike kick-off party on Monday, April 1 from 7-10 pm. (This is the rescheduled and updated event that was originally going to take place March 19!) There will be speakers from NYSNA members (in both the private and public sector) about the upcoming NYSNA Private Sector Nurses’ Strike. The branch will also be fundraising for their strike fund and making signs to use on the picket lines.

This will all take place at Verso Books at 20 Jay St in DUMBO. All proceeds of raffle ticket sales will go to nurses going on strike, and there will be a cash bar, with snacks and appetizers by donation. Come out, support nurses, and learn about their struggle! Find up-to-date details on the Facebook event page—Otherwise, reach out to any Labor Branch OC member you’ve been in touch with!

The next regular Labor Branch Meeting will be Thursday, April 9, from 7-9 pm with breakouts before. Location TBD.

We’ll also have a public event on Thursday, April 25th, where we will delve into what the Rank-and-File Resolution means for DSA, and why it is gaining such popularity as a strategy for reinvigorating the labor movement.

Bronx/Upper Manhattan

This month, the Bronx/Upper Manhattan branch hosted a series of neighborhood potlucks designed to get new and returning members together in an informal setting to get to know one another and the branch better. Other B/UM opportunities for discussion included the Political Education WG’s series of reading groups on libertarianism and the branch’s new member orientation, followed by a happy hour. The branch also continued canvassing for the Save Allen Psych campaign in Inwood and Universal Rent Control in the Bronx.

B/UM voted to adopt the bylaws put forth by the bylaws committee as well as a number of amendments proposed by members. At their upcoming branch meeting in Central Harlem, there will be a presentation on network mapping and proposals on energy rights from the Ecosocialist Working Group. The branch will also hold Mobilizer Training on March 30th, which also serves as excellent organizer training for anyone looking to sharpen their skills. Finally, the branch meeting in the Bronx will be on April 30th!

North Brooklyn

NBK had about 20 of their members participate this month in NYSNA’s informational picket. At the NBK March branch meeting, updates were presented from the public banking, energy justice, and mutual aid disaster relief committees, followed by further discussion of those campaigns in breakout groups. Membership also voted to ratify new bylaws, including one that broadened the definition of membership in the branch.

Here are some upcoming NBK events:

Central Brooklyn

At the last branch meeting, 10 working groups and caucuses held breakout discussions centering around current campaigns and issues close to their work and offering opportunities to get plugged in. After the discussions, a quick poll showed nearly half of those in attendance had found something new to get involved with!

The CBK Base Building committee met this month to explore ways to connect Central Brooklyn residents with the DSA's mission through engaging with our shared material needs. Representatives from Red Bloom and Silk City Socialists were invited to share their methods and experiences.

Central Brooklyn is also setting up a text banking system to mobilize members for upcoming events, namely the upcoming NYSNA strike.

Central Brooklyn is beginning to draft updates to its branch bylaws. Throughout April, a special bylaws committee will facilitate discussion, culminating in a vote at the end of the month. The current bylaws are available here. Members are invited to submit comments, amendments or additions to the bylaws using this form; submitted comments will be circulated to inform the discussion and vote. Join the Bylaws Committee here.

South Brooklyn

South Brooklyn DSA’s March branch meeting will be on Monday, March 25th, from 7- 9 PM at Park Slope United Methodist Church. Representatives of NYC-DSA's Labor Branch will be doing a presentation on the Rank-and-File strategy, highlighting the connection between the labor movement and socialism as well as providing members a pathway into rank-and-file jobs.

On March 27th, there will be a New Member Orientation at Cherry Tree Bar in Park Slope.

Staten Island

Some really exciting news: this month Staten Island was officially approved as a branch of NYC-DSA, meaning the NYC chapter now covers the whole city!

In the middle of March, the branch held its first SI DSA Karaoke Night which went extremely well, advancing the important message that socialists know how to have a good time. The night featured some very on-brand choices, such as “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” and revered working-class anthem, Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.”

In another first for the now-legit SI branch, it will held its inaugural reading group on Saturday 3/23, discussing the Jacobin pamphlet “The ABCs of Socialism.” The hope is that this kickoff event will lay the foundation for ongoing political education and new member orientations in the branch.

The March branch meeting will be held on Wednesday 3/27 from 7-9PM at Hub17, 73 Wave Street in Stapleton, about a 5 minute walk from the train station. The branch will be holding a Medicare for All 101 session in preparation for local work as part of the Healthcare Working Group’s citywide campaign.

Branch meetings are held on the last week of the month on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday nights, alternating between North Shore and South Shore locations. For those in other boroughs, it is a trek to get here, but Brooklyn comrades report that the pizza is worth the trip.

Lower Manhattan

The Lower Manhattan branch had a really fantastic meeting last month where they hosted a panel on the Green New Deal featuring Nancy Romer, Kate Aronoff, and Patrick Robbins. LoMan members got to ask important questions about what a transition away from fossil fuels will look like and what likely obstacles will stand in the way, along with various means of overcoming them.

With the 2020 election taking shape, New Yorkers will be looking for concrete answers to massive problems and LoMan is committed not only to striving to make socialism a plausible solution, but a necessary and understandable one. The branch aims to help develop members' knowledge and communication skills as they put forth demands for a more just, equitable, and sustainable society.

One of their ways of doing that is through their political education reading series. The next series will take place during April and will cover the book, Why Marx Was Right by Terry Eagleton. It's a highly enjoyable and digestible introduction to Marxism that provides answers to many of the persisting questions we often hear regarding the socialist worldview. Meeting information will be coming shortly on the NYC-DSA calendar and Facebook page.

The next LoMan branch meeting will continue the branch's efforts to demystify and explicate on the Sanders' 2020 campaign platform by exploring both why socialists want to break up the banks and fight for public financing. It will take place at the Sixth Street Community Center from 7-9 pm on March 28th.