This Week In The Chicago DSA (December 8 – 15)

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Good Morning Chicago DSA,

It’s official: CDSA is All In For Bernie Sanders.

Hopefully you were among the 200 people or so who were at yesterday’s biggest Chicago DSA meeting ever but if not, we heard from a number of people about what a potential Bernie presidency would mean to them, the CDSA For Bernie campaign laid out the proposal for re-orienting the chapter toward doing everything we can to make sure Bernie wins the Illinois Democratic Primary on March 17, and we had a healthy debate about it. The proposal, which you can read here, passed with a huge majority.

What does this mean for you? As much or as little as you want it to. There will be a whole host of opportunities to plug in for Bernie work, and the #DemocratizeComEd and #MedicareForAll campaigns have already committed to folding their work into the All In For Bernie framework, but if you’re in CDSA and you have other work you think is important, please keep doing it. “All In For Bernie” doesn’t mean everything else within the chapter stops.

We’ll have more information for you as the proposal is implemented, so keep an eye out for that. For now, though, we’ve got three months to make a victory for socialism happen in Illinois, so it’s time to get to work.

Keep up the good work, comrades. I’ll see you out there.

Sunday, December 8
  • Phone Banking to Help Elect the UK Labour Party; 9:30 AM – noon; In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee Ave.

    With just days until the pivotal UK election on December 12th, come and help with the final push to get a Corbyn-led Labour government. ALL NATIONALITIES CAN PARTICIPATE – you do not have to be British. On behalf of Labour International, and endorsed by Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, we will be phone banking as volunteers for Momentum, calling Momentum volunteers in the UK to help co-ordinate the people-powered push for a Labour government. What do you need to do? Bring a laptop (with chrome installed) and headphones, let us know you’re coming by e-mailing Grant at [email protected], and get set-up as soon as you can, before you come, by signing up to be a volunteer, joining the Slack – once you’re signed up through the link above you’ll get an automatic invitation to join the Momentum Volunteers Slack — and filling out this form.

  • Free Heartland Kids Protest at David Sinski’s Residence; 11 AM – 1 PM; Thorndale Red Line Stop, 1118 W. Thorndale Ave.

    Free Heartland Kids is ramping up the fight against child immigrant detention in Chicago by coordinating a protest outside the residence of David Sinski. Sinski, the Executive Director of Heartland Human Care Services and Vice President of Heartland Alliance, heads the department that detains immigrant kids in a concentration camp network full of inhuman abuses. We will be meeting at the Thorndale Redline Stop at 11am and marching to his residence to protest the children’s continued detention. We will let Sinski know how we feel about the detention. We will let Heartland Alliance know that their cooperation with ICE is not welcome in our city. We will #FreeHeartlandKids.

  • Socialist Night School: What Will Socialism Look Like?; 12 – 2:30 PM; Hairpin Performing Arts Center, 2810 N. Milwaukee Ave.

    At this Socialist Night School we will dive into theories of what a socialist society will look like and the paths to get there. Socialism is not just about critiquing capitalism and its failures, but painting a vision for a new, more just and freer world for all people. What goes into that vision though? Is socialism a specific vision of particular things, or a world built on a set of principles that can look any number of different ways? Join us to discuss how we even build a vision of a socialist future and some of the ways people have thought about–and dreamed out–this in the past. The readings can be found at the link above.

  • Campaigns Coffee Hour; 3 – 5 PM; Build Coffee, 6100 S. Blackstone Ave.

    Join Chicago DSA at Build Coffee for this opportunity to socialize and learn about our chapter campaigns! New members and interested non-members are welcome!

Tuesday, December 10
  • Free Heartland Kids Boycott Project Meeting; 7 – 8:30 PM; Chicago DSA Office, 3411 W. Diversey Ave.

    Join the Free Heartland Kids campaign to work toward the abolition of child immigrant detention in Chicago and beyond! This is a meeting for the Boycott Project, one of the current priority projects within the Free Heartland Kids campaign. The Boycott Project is focused on leveraging Heartland Alliance’s donors to pressure Heartland to close their detention centers, free the kids, and reunite them with their families. Come to this meeting to learn about the project, get involved and discuss strategy!

  • Labor Branch New Member Orientation; 7 – 8:30 PM; U.E. Hall, 37 S. Ashland Ave.

    This fall, the Labor Working Group and the CDSA Executive Committee voted to turn the Labor Working Group into a Labor Branch. This month, the Labor Branch is holding a special monthly meeting that will be an introduction to the brand new Labor Branch! Learn about how the branch started, what our work entails, and get plugged into our Rank and File Committee and/or our Strike and Solidarity Committee. If you are new to CDSA, if you are a union member, if you are looking to form a union at your workplace or find a rank and file union job, or if you’re just curious about CDSA’s labor work, please join us at our regular place and time for a special meeting.

Thursday, December 12
  • Democratize ComEd Communications Committee Meeting; 7 – 8:30 PM; Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St.

    This will be the first meeting of the communications committee for the DemComEd campaign! The main goal of this meeting is to create a collaborative strategy for the committee moving forward. The purpose of the communications committee will be to help build support and increase engagement with the campaign. We will be on the 6th Floor, in the South Study Room. This location is ADA accessible but does not have gender neutral bathrooms.

Saturday, December 14
  • CDSA For Bernie Logan Square Canvass; 10 AM – 2 PM; Chicago DSA Office, 3411 W. Diversey Ave.

    Join CDSA For Bernie as we knock doors in Logan Square for Bernie! This location is accessible but unfortunately doesn’t have gender neutral bathrooms.

  • Executive Committee Meeting; 3 – 5 PM; Teamster City, 1645 W. Jackson Blvd.

    If there is a proposal you would like to bring to the EC, please email both Chapter Co-Chairs ([email protected] & [email protected]) or fill out this form ( before the end of the day Sunday 12/8/2019. As a reminder, all CDSA members are welcome to attend, but only EC members can vote.

  • Creative Writing Workshop: An Ode to a Socialist Chicago; 12:30 – 2 PM; Conrad Sulzer Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave.

    Join us for the second half of a two-part creative writing workshop focused on celebrating our city’s radical history and envisioning its Socialist future! The first workshop on November 16 will include reading and discussion of a few published works for inspiration, followed by a facilitated writing session to get you started on a piece of your own. Continue working on your draft at home and bring it back for the second session on December 14 to get feedback from the group. Then submit your writing for publication to Midwest Socialist and an upcoming zine. All forms of creative writing are welcome, including poems, short stories, song lyrics, protest chants, and anything else your creativity desires!

Sunday, December 15
  • Capital Reading Group, Meeting #4, Chs 4-6; 6 – 8 PM; U.E. Hall, 37 S. Ashland Ave.

    Join us for the next meeting of the Capital Vol I reading group! The reading group meets once every three weeks or so, with about 50 pages a session. It hopes to be an opportunity for active organizers and activists to deepen their socialist analysis and broaden their strategic horizons. The next session will discuss chapters 4 through 6. Copies of the reading can be provided if you don’t have a copy of the book. Also, as an optional supplement to the reading, you can check out this video from David Harvey. Given the occasional difficulty of Marx’s texts as well as the complexity of his ideas, the discussion will be facilitated according to feminist processes. We aim for the reading and discussion to be text-based, inclusive, comradely, and above all democratic in spirit. The reading group is not for experts to flex their chops, it is a space for active socialists to discover one of the most important texts in the socialist tradition — and to become better socialists in the process. Note about membership: To keep the reading group welcoming and practical, we will be aiming for attendees who are active DSA members engaged in work in our chapter or nationally. We will also be working to maintain a welcoming gender balance in the space. If you would like to join, please join us, but bear this in mind. The reading group is organized by the CDSA political education committee.

  • The US Healthcare system sucks. That’s not news. But we want to hear from you on exactly why you believe we need Medicare For All. Tell us your story of how insufficient or exploitative or expensive healthcare radicalized you! We will be publishing some stories on Midwest Socialist, so be sure to keep an eye out!
  • If you would like to receive our Red Star Bulletin, providing you with news and analysis from all over Chicago, fill out this form.
  • The Strike and Solidarity Committee is looking for strike captains! If you’re interested in being a strike captain (no experience required!), fill out this survey about the times and areas where you could help. They have also set up an SMS system to keep people posted about strike and solidarity actions. People that want to get updates should text SOLIDARITY to 55222.
  • The Electoral Working Group would like to announce that its endorsement questionnaire is now available! Requests can be sent to [email protected].
  • If you are a CDSA member but aren’t on the CDSA Slack Channel yet, and would like to be, shoot me an email at [email protected] and I’ll get you set up with it.
  • Grievance Policy. If you ever feel you are being harassed by another member of DSA, or made to feel uncomfortable by a member, or have a conflict with another member, please reach out to [email protected] to get in touch with our chapter’s Harassment and Grievance Officers.
  • No Sanctions, No War on Iran Ad Hoc Committee Update: The Ad Hoc committee held an educational at the CDSA general membership meeting on September 29. Thanks to all who attended. We have developed both basic background reading and a more developed reading list on Iran, the history of the development of the Gulf states, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, oil and the geopolitics of oil. You can find these here. Please visit, like and invite others to our Facebook page. We are planning to hold more educational and organizational meetings on a few campuses in the coming weeks. If interested, to find out more, or to work with the committee, contact: Saman at [email protected] and Sophie at [email protected]

As Always:

  1. Fill out this form immediately if you have CDSA organized/sponsored event you want on the calendar. Submissions must be in by the preceding Friday at the latest to make this email.

  2. Check out the events page on our website for the most up date list of events.

  3. Forward this email to your friends!

In solidarity,
Caleb Nordgren

If you have an event that you want promoted on CDSA calendar & social media accounts, please fill out this form as soon as possible.