Home


DSA


Sacramento DSA has a new home page.  It is here.


 Sacramento DSA's new website at sacdsa.org





Please go to www.sacdsa.org for information.

__________________________________________________________________________________







The remainder of this page is for other material.







































 
 Duane Campbell  Dolores Huerta

Active organizing for democracy is needed now                           

more than ever. For this to succeed, both working

and poor people – who are the majority – have to                    

have a voice. DSA is one of those voices.

-Dolores Huerta


See weekly updates on DSA activity at www.dsausa.org

See local DSA activity here  https://www.facebook.com/DSA.Sacramento

Local DSA active in the Our Walmart protests on Nov. 28.


Our Walmart arrests




Reach us at:
dsasacramento@gmail.com



DSA’s important, and unique, role in the progressive movement has never been more clear than in our student UC_Davis_YDS_arrest_1_(2).jpggroup, the Young Democratic Socialists. We bring activists and intellectuals of all ages together as a school on the history and theory of movements, and training the next generation of left-wing activists is central to that role. Can you help us build that movement by supporting our upcoming student conference?

Andee Sunderland (pictured along with two other YDSers) is one of the activists who cut her teeth in YDS. With your help, she has learned the importance of both a solid understanding of power dynamics in the economic system broadly and in specific activist fights.

“Going to a YDS conference gave me a great sense of camaraderie and support. It connected me with an organization made up of like-minded activists all over the country, and helped me to hone my skills as a Socialist organizer. It sparked conversations and friendships that have continued online, and sent me home with energy that I could lend to our local chapter.”


See prior post: “A Working Class View of Immigration Reform,” by David Bacon.

Get involved at http://www.dsausa.org/current_campaigns.

 

 


DSA is the major organization on the American Left with an all embracing moral vision, systemic social analysis, and political praxis rooted in the quest for radical democracy, social freedom, and individual liberty.

Cornel West.  DSA Honorary Chair

See the renewed, vibrant new DSA national web site.  www.dsausa.org


An essay on Martin Luther King Jr.’s developing view on democratic socialism.

Spencer Resnick

“Sharply breaking with his earlier social democratic aspirations, King entered 1968 with the firm belief that the evils of capitalism necessitated a project of redistributing and reconstructing economic power relationships. He also entered his final year with an equally firm belief that the government would not lead this project as asserted by social democracy. Both of these elements led King to a democratic socialist ideology in the vein of  “Socialism-From-Below.” Capitalism was unjust not simply as a system with a side effect of inequity, but as a system of enforced misery and curtailed autonomy, one imposed on the powerless by those with control over the means of production. The government, rather than the means of redress, simply mirrored the asymmetries of power and reflected the priorities of the privileged instead of amplifying the voices of the dispossessed. The rioting of Watts, the ghettos of Chicago, the failure of the Great Society, and the disintegration of the liberal coalition spurred an ideological evolution that led King to reject social democracy and embrace democratic socialism.

While King’s democratic socialism was firmly established in theory, he remained programmatically and practically rooted in social democracy. Abandoning social democracy meant moving into uncharted waters for King. His career had been founded on mobilizing a liberal coalition to pressure federal intervention in localized civil rights conflicts. He not only stepped out of bounds by criticizing the economic heart of injustice in America, he dissented from the most acceptable method of rectifying that injustice; top-down redistributive efforts. He critiqued not simply capitalism and government, but undemocratic concentrations of power. This radical democratic ideology left King isolated. Garrow notes King’s growing depression during the last few months of his life,[31] which was likely rooted in a lack of direction he faced as he dealt with the failures of social democratic solutions. Until the end of his career, he still advocated the implementation of a “guaranteed income,”[32] a massive government program, the very “neat package” he rhetorically rejected. King’s analysis had advanced beyond his tools as an activist. He suffered a crisis of praxis. King did, however, grope toward a solution: a Poor People’s Campaign.”

http://pages.vassar.edu/theoakdoor/issue-3-2012/spencer-resnick/

 

Dolores Huerta. California Hall of Fame – 2013. Honorary Chair. DSA.

Induction was  March 20, 2013

 

Dolores speaking at Sac State 2004.

 Dolores Huerta  was  inducted into the   California Hall of Fame (2013) for her labor and community leadership.  She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

 

 Huerta has contributed to movements for union rights and  social justice  since the founding along with Cesar Chaves, Philip Vera Cruz   and others  of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union and she continues  through her current work in supporting union democracy,   civic engagement and empowerment of women and youth in disadvantaged communities. The creation of the UFW changed the nature of labor organizing in the Southwest and contributed significantly to the growth of Latino politics in the U.S.  In her frequent public engagements at college, universities and high schools  she presents  a Latina feminist perspective to civil rights and immigration issues.  Dolores continues active as  a supporter on union picket lines and union struggles throughout the state.  

 

Achievements:

A staunch advocate for women’s rights and reproductive freedom, Huerta is a founding board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation and serves on the board of Ms. Magazine and she is an Honorary Chair of  DSA ( along with Cornel West).   She frequently speaks at universities and organizational forums on issues of unions,  social justice and public policy. Dolores  continues working to develop community leaders and advocating for the working poor, immigrants, women and youth as President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Some of her prior  awards.  Presidential Medal of Freedom
• U. S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor
• Smithsonian Institution – James Smithson Award
• National Women’s Hall of Fame
• American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty Award
• The Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award
• The Ellis Island Medal of Freedom Award
• Icons of the American Civil Rights Movement Award

For more on Dolores Huerta’s activism see  www.MexicanAmericanDigitalHistory.org

\Why I Joined DSA. ( from an editor of Marxism Today).

Joining Up

Posted on October 14, 2012 

Hi Readers,

I few months back I decided to join a socialist organization. I was a member of Socialist Alternative in college, and I enjoyed that. This time I’m joining up with the Democratic Socialists of America, which I’m starting to learn seem to get a little flack for not being as focused on revolution as other socialist groups. I haven’t been a member long enough to comment on that, but perhaps it will make for a good episode later on.

Anyway, the point of this post is to share a short article I wrote for the DSA newsletter upon joining, all about why I joined.

Why I Joined the DSA
I’ve considered myself a socialist for years. I starting reading Marx in college, but my participation in organized groups has always been limited. For only one semester, I joined the campus Socialist Alternative group, and now several years later I’ve decided to join up with another organized group, this time the Democratic Socialists of America.

For many leftists in the Millennial generation, mass organizations are intrinsically suspicious – corporations are money sucking con-men, the government drags us into war and bails out banks, churches seem most interested in controlling our beliefs, and our exposure to unions is either non-existent or consists of little more than paying dues. In a certain light it’s no wonder that the young left is sometimes resigned to individualistic sequestered actions: listening to radical rock or hip hop music, watching Democracy Now!, or reading the latest Slavoj Zizek book while never joining up with other leftists in their community.

I’ve made that step outside the walls of my own home to meet with others. To give up a portion of that precious commodity, free time, and joined the DSA. But why? Why now? And what am I expecting to get out of it?

I joined the DSA because, in short, I needed to. It’s been five years since the start of “the Great Recession” and little has been done about the challenges we face. Millions of people are looking for work but are left unemployed, and millions more are employed in jobs that are underpaid and unfulfilling. Because capitalism seeks only to create employment to the extent that it serves to produce average or greater profits for the 1%, it is incapable of putting together the unemployed with our country’s unused capacities (places of work and machines laying idle) in order to meet the great social need that we see all around us. Anyone in the millennial generation knows at least a few people, if not dozens or scores, that are unemployed or (more likely) grossly underemployed – their minds unstimulated by their jobs and their talents not harnessed.

I joined because we’ve had five years of recession and the banks have only gotten bigger than before. Because nothing has happened to change their basic structure or the structure of our economy. Because we’re all still waiting for a bailout for the middle and working class. At the very least we need to start discussing alternatives to a system that kicks people out of houses so they can sit empty, and workers out of jobs so workplaces can gather dust – a system that is prone to crises, that alienates us from the fruits of our labor and from each other, that barrels towards ecological destruction.

What we have is a social problem, a societal problem, a systemic problem, and attempting to solve a problem like this in and individual way is a recipe for frustration and resignation. I joined the DSA because I could not continue to individually read, think, and watch without sharing and talking with others. The first step in any movement or change is to simply talk to others. Without meeting with others we are divided and weak. We are made to feel crazy or like outcasts by the corporate media. The small and simple step of meeting and talking with others has profound psychological implications. Just knowing that you are not alone in your worries, thoughts, and struggles is healing to your psyche.

Of course, we know that while philosophers have interpreted the world, that the point is to change it, but we cannot change anything if we are divided and if we haven’t even taken the time to meet with others to discuss and work cooperatively. Only together can we save the world from the irrationality of capitalism.

-Red Wagner



Let’s Talk Democratic Socialism, Already

After 30 years of failed neoliberalism, we need a real alternative.

By Maria Svart November 7, 2011

"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." With all the right-wing hoopla about how President Barack Obama is waging class war, you might be surprised to learn that Warren Buffet said these words in 2006. The billionaire investor was acknowledging 30 years of a widening income gap--but I'll go a step further. I believe that unfettered capitalism is inherently undemocratic and that human action can significantly democratize our political system. That's why I'm a socialist.

Corporate America's assaults on working people--seeking profits through offshoring jobs, busting unions, paying politicians to slash corporate taxes and deregulating the banks--have ruined our economy. Meanwhile, millions of workers have been thrown from their jobs while unions are scapegoated for manufactured budget crises at the state and local levels.

The accident of birth should not determine the course of a person's life. Government expenditures are an indication of a society's priorities, and it is both economically and morally imperative to provide a safety net for those who suffer the most in a downturn. Without massive public investment in healthcare, education, infrastructure and green jobs--which could be funded by progressive taxation of income along with a tax on financial transactions--our future is bleak. With high unemployment and anemic demand, the economy will continue to limp forward. Those lucky enough to have work will likely remain afraid to agitate for better conditions.

Right now, we need more jobs and better pay for less work. In the long term, ordinary people need more power--through unions, worker councils and seats on the board in the workplace, and in politics, through a public campaign finance system that provides sufficient exposure to all candidates. We need a political economy that allows everyone space and time for personal growth and thoughtful participation in the decisions that profoundly impact their lives.

I feel so strongly about these values that I recently quit my job as an organizer for SEIU to become the national director of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which has its roots in both the Socialist Party of Eugene Debs, Norman Thomas and Michael Harrington and the New American Movement, a nonsectarian organization that grew out of the American New Left and whose founders were instrumental in establishing In These Times back in 1976.

DSA's strategy is to push American politics to the left by strengthening social movements such as Occupy Wall Street. Movements are the only force capable of making elites respond to popular demands. That doesn't mean we ignore elections. Among other races, the organization is looking forward to helping socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) win re-election.

I was raised in a union family that directly benefited from the kind of government programs that DSA fights to protect and expand--like the GI Bill. As a bi-racial woman, I experienced oppression and learned that the world isn't fair, despite what I was taught in school about the American Dream. When I attended a DSA youth section event at the University of Chicago, I realized that the patterns I had seen all my life signal structural problems. Capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy--they are linked structures of oppression that must be dismantled.

Analyzing these structures is critical to forging a political strategy to challenge corporate power. But doing so is not the only reason I decided to become DSA's national director. Some may argue that I should work in a more mainstream organization and "get more done," but without a clear alternative to the Tea Party narrative, national politics will continue to slide to the right. In the current climate, even the most moderate reforms are red-baited. We need a strong socialist organization in the United States to counter Republicans' (and often Democrats') dangerous buffoonery.

As 30 years of neoliberal economic destruction come home to roost, more and more people are beginning to question the wisdom of capitalism and becoming open to socialism--DSA's membership has grown 60 percent since 2003. I believe that someday soon American politicians will stop fearing the s-word, and start enacting systemic change.


Maria Svart, who joined the Democratic Socialists of America in 2004 as an undergrad at the University of Chicago, is now the group’s national director


DSA Mission

Democratic Socialists of America’s mission is to establish democratic socialism as a political force in the United States and around the world by training and mobilizing socialist activists to participate in a vibrant and diverse socialist organization at both the local and national level. DSA both educates the public about democratic socialist values and policies, and builds progressive coalitions to win victories that move the US and the world toward social democracy. In the near term, democratic socialists struggle for reforms that shift power andresources away from corporate elites and put them in the hands of ordinary citizens. In the long term, democratic socialists fight for a world in which all people share equally in the governing of the economic, political and cultural institutions and relationships that shape their lives.

The right wing is playing its usual role:  Race-bait and attack immigrants and the poor to justify cutting taxes for the rich and the corporations.  Block legislation so that people come to expect nothing from their government except pain. Demand arrests of the undocumented and  new fences at the border. Shift the economic crisis to the states to   cut  health services for women who can't otherwise afford care and to families who can’t afford to feed their own children.  Blame teachers and unions for  failures in education caused by childhood poverty. Ignore  the foreclosure crisis and the jobs crisis.

The right wing viewpoint has won another victory in the California budget crisis- even though Democrats control the legislature.  It is long past time for the various progressive  forces in the U.S. , each of which is being crushed by casino capitalism, to work together to defend democracy. This requires unions, teachers, academics, Democratic Party activists and others to recognize that what they have in common is the need for a powerful united front to defend against the right wing onslaughts.


Change the USA.  Join the DSA!

 Yes, I want to join the Democratic Socialists of America. Enclosed is my dues payment of:

 Introductory $35                  r Sustainer $65                  r Student $20                   r Low Income $20

For information on DSA and Democratic Socialism visit our web site: www.dsausa.org

Name________________________________________________________

Street Address____________________________________________________

City___________________________ State___________ Zip_______________

Email_________________________________________________________

Mail to: DSA, 75 Maiden Lane #505, New York, NY 10038



Democratic Socialists of America

www.dsausa.org