Opposing endorsement because the campaign will not build durable power for DSA-LA

We oppose the endorsement of Steve Dunwoody because we believe his endorsement reflects the growing tendency of the chapter to focus too narrowly on specific policies or politicians at the expense of building a mass movement that can challenge the power of capital.

If being a socialist is to mean more than policy outcomes that will improve material wellbeing within the framework of capitalism, we must ask what forms of organizing are capable of building the power necessary to democratize the economy. To us, this means actions that can create lasting solidarity between various groups in the working class, actions like fighting gentrification directly, fighting landlords directly, or fighting ICE directly. It does not seem to us that devoting chapter energy on a campaign for state assembly will lead to durable organizational strength.

We forsee that in the best case scenario, we spend a lot of effort helping Dunwoody win, and DSA-LA gets a nod from the Dunwoody campaign. Even without our support, Dunwoody will still advocate for the medium term policy objectives that we have in common. But the obverse does not seem true. That is, our support will not push Dunwoody toward extracting capital from those who currently possess it. The result of the campaign will be that Dunwoody goes to Sacramento while our organizers will then face the same problems that faced them before he ran: the local forces of state and capital that challenge the livelihood of our neighbors with no stronger institutional bonds to show for. If our goal is to engage Westside members, we believe we should seek local campaigns that will have lasting and immediate impacts for Westside communities.

To be clear, as individuals, we firmly support Dunwoody's policy objectives and his candidacy given the field of play in the district. We also appreciate all the work that the Electoral Politics Committee has put into this campaign. But we do not believe throwing our limited resources into Dunwoody's campaign is in the interests of our organization. We hope that this statement can help DSA-LA refocus its energies with a longer term vision in mind.

— Peishi Cheng, Charles Xu, Roman Corfas