Leadership Committee Nominations

Leadership Committee Nominations

  • Nominations are now closed.
  • Nominees are listed below, in the order their nomination was received, with the answers they provided. Click someone's name to read their responses.
  • Relevant bylaws: Article 5. Leadership Committee, Section 12.6 Leadership Committee Elections, Special Provisions

seneca s.

  • Do you identify as someone from a traditionally marginalized group? (based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, religion, nationality, etc.): No
  • How long have you been active within Austin DSA or DSA in general? Do you organize in any other spaces?: February of 2018. When outside of a high-mobilization period, I also organize alongside Austin Justice Coalition, doing advocacy at City Council or the Lege session. I've also helped write position papers for other criminal justice organizations in town.
  • What committees if any, have you been involved with? What were your roles in those spaces?: Leadership (At Large), Housing (field for the Prop A campaign), Criminal Justice (Chair) Electoral Research Group (at large), Bernie Committee (distributed canvassing)
  • Are you a member of any DSA caucuses? If so, which ones?: Local Branch of LSC, although I didn't caucus with them at the national convention
  • Why do you want to be on the Leadership Committee?: I want to make sure i apply the lessons i learned from what did and didn't work last year to this next cycle, working on developing organizer training and integrating it in campaigns- more clearly defining how we manage multiple campaigns at once, and generally picking powerful targets in Austin and mugging them for meaningful policy changes.
  • What skills would you bring to the LC?: Frankly, a customer service skillset from years in contact center hell. I don't care about people arguing with me, I'm willing to take intense criticism, and address grievances to move forward in a project. I've also been nose-deep in most of our pressure campaigns for the last two years
  • If elected, what would be your priorities be for the leadership committee and Austin DSA?: 1) A pipeline for organizer development 2) clear strategic campaigns with timelines planned out so that we can more effectively juggle multiple projects over the course of the year, and allow multiple issues to be worked on more effectively at once.
  • What is your approach to resolving conflict and achieving consensus among differing viewpoints?: 1) Focusing on goals, outcomes and resource limitations over personality, blame, or winning the argument 2) Moving decision making form informal networks to explicit group decisions
  • Is there anything else you'd like to add?: The chapter has massively grown, and our ability to mobilize and target power structures has been frankly incredible. The next stage will be to develop skilled organizers, who know how to have deep conversations, map power structures, design a campaign, and train other volunteers. The only way forward is to make sure that none of us are irreplaceable. Also if Don runs for LC, y'all should vote for him.

Ashkan J.

I am running on the Grow slate with Trish, Madeline, Jack, Cerena, and Alex. See our website at GrowAustinDSA.com


Madeline D.

  • How long have you been active within Austin DSA or DSA in general? Do you organize in any other spaces?: I officially became active in January 2018.
  • What committees if any, have you been involved with? What were your roles in those spaces?: I first got involved with the Paid Sick Campaign and M4A. I was the cochair of the housing committee during the Prop A campaign. I have been serving on the Leadership Committee since 6/19.
  • Are you a member of any DSA caucuses? If so, which ones?: Bread and Roses
  • Why do you want to be on the Leadership Committee?: I think this is the time for socialists to seriously move on our agenda. I want everyone in Austin DSA to have the confidence to say that what we are doing in the next year will impact the direction of human history. Rising inequality, endless war, mass incarceration and police brutality that devastates black and brown communities, and an imposed deadline of climate catastrophe--the cracks have never been more apparent. But socialism is not inevitable. If our society drifts to chaos as these set, of circumstances suggest it will, the center will crumble, and it's up to socialists to bring the vast majority of people on this planet onto our side. We can overcome creeping fascism and overwhelm the capitalist class if we organize and fight.
  • What skills would you bring to the LC?: Socialist organizer skills. I want this movement to bring new people and train them up to be socialist organizers. We need millions of people organized to take on capital even for demands that seem obvious like Medicare For All and a Green New Deal. I believe this is possible, and I think it starts by creating a culture of organizing. I will model that on the LC and train people.
  • If elected, what would be your priorities be for the leadership committee and Austin DSA?: I am running on the Grow slate with Trish, Madeline, Jack, Cerena, and Alex. See our website at GrowAustinDSA.com

Cerena E.

  • Do you identify as someone from a traditionally marginalized group? (based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, religion, nationality, etc.): Yes
  • How long have you been active within Austin DSA or DSA in general? Do you organize in any other spaces?: 2 years; UT Austin YDSA, UT Students For Bernie
  • What committees if any, have you been involved with? What were your roles in those spaces?: Housing: assisted with HomesNotHandcuffs campaign through YDSA
  • Are you a member of any DSA caucuses? If so, which ones?: No (not yet!)
  • Is there anything else you'd like to add?: I am running on the Grow slate with Trish, Madeline, Jack, Ashkan, and Alex. See our website at GrowAustinDSA.com

Alex S.

  • Do you identify as someone from a traditionally marginalized group? (based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, religion, nationality, etc.): No
  • How long have you been active within Austin DSA or DSA in general? Do you organize in any other spaces?: Since end of 2016
  • What committees if any, have you been involved with? What were your roles in those spaces?: Co-chair of health justice committee 2018-2019, co-chair of Bernie events subcommittee 2020. Active participant in many other projects
  • Are you a member of any DSA caucuses? If so, which ones?: Bread and Roses
  • If elected, what would be your priorities be for the leadership committee and Austin DSA?: We have our priorities listed on growaustindsa.com, but central to all of them is developing organizers and political education.
  • What is your approach to resolving conflict and achieving consensus among differing viewpoints? I believe in democratic deliberation as core to our organization. We should take our chapter’s political debates seriously and encourage more members to participate. Disagreement is inevitable and, ultimately, often healthy, so we should build up the systems that best facilitate political and comradely debate.
  • Is there anything else you'd like to add? I am running on the Grow slate and the answers to all of these questions, as well as our priority proposals and biographical details, can be found at growaustindsa.com. I’ve intentionally left the answers on this form a bit light on details because I believe it’s important that we as a slate have worked through these questions and have collective answers.

Jack M.

  • Do you identify as someone from a traditionally marginalized group? (based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, religion, nationality, etc.): Yes
  • How long have you been active within Austin DSA or DSA in general? Do you organize in any other spaces?: 4 months
  • What committees if any, have you been involved with? What were your roles in those spaces?: DSA for Bernie and Heidi Committee
  • Are you a member of any DSA caucuses? If so, which ones?: Bread & Roses
  • Why do you want to be on the Leadership Committee?: I want to use our class struggle campaign for Heidi Sloan to build Austin DSA into a political home for thousands of socialists in Central Texas in 2020.
  • If elected, what would be your priorities be for the leadership committee and Austin DSA?: Priorities at growaustindsa.com
  • What is your approach to resolving conflict and achieving consensus among differing viewpoints?: I believe in democracy. We should try to achieve consensus as much as possible and allow space for differing viewpoints to be expressed, but our chapter and the work we do should always follow the democratic will of the body.

Don J.

  • Do you identify as someone from a traditionally marginalized group? (based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, religion, nationality, etc.): No
  • How long have you been active within Austin DSA or DSA in general? Do you organize in any other spaces?: Since spring of 2017. I am also a member of AFSCME Local 1624. I have volunteered in co-op development and advocacy for about a decade, and still serve on the Austin Cooperative Business Association.
  • What committees if any, have you been involved with? What were your roles in those spaces?: Housing (Prop A campaign, national Housing priority resolution), Ecosocialism (helping organize canvasses and work on Green New Deal campaigns), Bernie/Heidi Committee (canvassing)
  • Are you a member of any DSA caucuses? If so, which ones?: Local Branch of LSC
  • Why do you want to be on the Leadership Committee?: I want to support the incredible work of our chapter. The explosive growth of DSA has made socialist organizing real again in America. With around 50,000 members, we have become a pillar of the Sanders campaign, and as a result we may see the most reactionary country in the western world helmed by a pro-union socialist from Vermont. We have provided crucial support in major strike waves across the country. We have made rent control a national political demand, something unthinkable even 2 years ago. Universal single-payer health care was used as a bogeyman by red-baiting plutes and their lap dogs until recently. DSA helped change that, and turn cries of “we can’t socialize health care “ to “yes, and why don’t we do the energy sector next”?
    • We’ve done all this with 50,000 members nationally. What can we do with 100,000? A million? Our chapter alone has helped field major electoral campaigns that put socialist values and demands front and center, win flagship city initiatives, and support new unions in Austin. I want to help support our chapter growth and organizing, for our candidates, our issue campaigns, and our mass movement-building. I want to support expanding our organizational capacity so we can field more campaigns concurrently.
  • What skills would you bring to the LC?: I have a project coordination and planning background. I have also been involved in many of our campaigns and think I can support the work of our committees. I also have a great deal of experience on Boards and leadership committees, and have a pretty good track record for working collaboratively with comrades.
  • If elected, what would be your priorities be for the leadership committee and Austin DSA?: 1) Ensuring we have well-organized infrastructure that allows for member recruitment, leadership development, and community building and education. This would include making sure all of our members and contacts are regularly contacted and engaged for organizing and mobilization efforts. 2) Developing a pipeline for structure-based organizing in and with local labor unions (such as my own), schools, and community groups, especially in support of the Green New Deal.
  • What is your approach to resolving conflict and achieving consensus among differing viewpoints?: I believe strongly in maintaining a collaborative, respectful dialogue during conflicts between comrades. I also like to focus on clear goals and evidence in discussion, and keep shared goals in mind.
  • Is there anything else you'd like to add?: I want to say that I’m grateful to all the organizers in our chapter, on LC, in committees and working groups, and in our campaigns, for they work they’ve done and continue to do sustaining a crucial socialist organization. I also want to support and endorse the other candidates for LC, including my fellow LSC member Seneca Savoie, and the GROW slate and their platform.

Trish N.

  • Do you identify as someone from a traditionally marginalized group? (based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, religion, nationality, etc.): Yes
  • How long have you been active within Austin DSA or DSA in general? Do you organize in any other spaces?: I joined DSA in July 2017. I am also a rank and file member of my union local, AFSCME 1624.
  • What committees if any, have you been involved with? What were your roles in those spaces?: I am currently the co-chair of the Ecosocialism Committee and have been involved with various other committees, including Health Justice and Labor.
  • Are you a member of any DSA caucuses? If so, which ones? Bread and Roses
  • Why do you want to be on the Leadership Committee?: DSA in position to be the most effective leftist organization in modern history. We stand a real chance of having a candidate who shares our values in the white house and our very own candidate in congress. In order for these candidates to succeed in winning or even governing, they will need a groundswell of support. Building our movement means building power for the multi-racial working class.
    • I have sincerely enjoyed organizing with all the amazing members of this chapter. I am humbled every day at how when we fight, we can win! I want to help DSA become unstoppable in the goals the general body sets its mind to.
  • What skills would you bring to the LC?: Strong organizational and communication skills.
  • What is your approach to resolving conflict and achieving consensus among differing viewpoints?: We must be willing to have healthy and open political deliberations regarding our various organizing goals. Facilitated debates will make democracy flourish in our chapter.
  • Is there anything else you'd like to add?: I am running on the Grow slate with Ashkan, Madeline, Jack, Cerena, and Alex. See our website at GrowAustinDSA.com. Detailed information on our platforms and biographies can be found there.

Katie H.

  • Do you identify as someone from a traditionally marginalized group? (based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, religion, nationality, etc.): No
  • How long have you been active within Austin DSA or DSA in general? Do you organize in any other spaces?: I have been active in DSA since September 2018. I also organize with Sunrise Movement Austin. In Sunrise, I have planned meetings, facilitated discussions at educational events, and organized to advance our campaign to pressure Austin Energy to decarbonize our energy grid.
  • What committees if any, have you been involved with? What were your roles in those spaces?: My experience in DSA began with the Housing Committee’s campaign to pass the City of Austin’s $250 million affordable housing bond in November 2018. I attended multiple canvases and became familiar with the campaign. I learned about DSA’s role in pushing for the bond to be as big as possible. I also participated in the Health Justice Committee’s campaign for Paid Sick Days. I was a part of a three person team that went to Hancock Center multiple times to talk to workers on their shift about how Austin City Council had passed an ordinance that could guarantee them access to paid sick days. I also canvassed many times for the Health Justice Committee’s pressure campaign to get Lloyd Doggett to sign on to Medicare For All. Through these campaigns, I have learned how to articulate the socialist analysis in terms of what people are actually experiencing. I learned the power of raising the expectations of the people we canvas. I have watched my comrades become empowered through learning how to canvass.
  • Are you a member of any DSA caucuses? If so, which ones?: Not at this time.
  • Why do you want to be on the Leadership Committee?: I want to help ensure DSA continues to grow into an organization that redistributes power away from the capitalist class and to the multi-racial working class on a local, state and national scale. I want to help make DSA a launching pad for socialist organizers, where we take people from cynicism with the status quo to action against the capitalist system.
  • What skills would you bring to the LC?: I am a hard worker and willing to do the dirty work it takes to execute events and campaigns. I know how to translate broad goals into action items. I know how to have hard conversations about complex issues while maintaining a working relationship with everyone involved.
  • If elected, what would be your priorities be for the leadership committee and Austin DSA?: My priorities would be
    • building the power of DSA to win victories for the multi-racial working class, and
    • educating people about the socialist analysis and the power of organizing.
    • Building power means making demands of our government officials, and disrupting the flow of capital until our demands are met. Getting to that point involves training our members as organizers, and building coalitions with the network of working class multi-racial activists and unions in Austin and the world.
    • Education is an essential tool to mobilize people to commit to the working class struggle. We need to teach people about the processes and struggles that have produced the world we live in, so that people can imagine a way forward.
  • What is your approach to resolving conflict and achieving consensus among differing viewpoints?: DSA’s community agreement of assuming good faith in others is essential to conflict resolution. Debate is an essential part of a socialist organization that embraces nuance and change, and conflict is an opportunity for us to grow individually and as a group. When navigating disagreement, both parties need to feel heard, understood and acknowledged if we plan on reaching consensus. Tensions can run high because we are tackling essential issues and facilitating debate requires we manage those tensions and maintain focus on resolving the heart of the issue.
  • Is there anything else you'd like to add?: Thanks for considering me!