Earlier in the year, the Steering Committee asked DSA-LA’s Local Subgroups to update their platforms. These updated platforms will be voted on, together, after the 2020-03-28 Local Meeting. We present them to be voted on as a package via the consent agenda. At the forthcoming Local Meeting we will present the consent agenda for amendments before preparing it for an online vote to follow the meeting. Please review the consent agenda here.
Agenda Item 1
Capitalism has taught us that a society structured around an endless quest for profit and the pursuit of individual self interest is natural; as socialists, we identify capitalism as an the artificially imposed set of relations that it is in which owners appropriate the value produced by society's workers. The Political Education Committee seeks to challenge what is understood to be “common sense” under capitalism and offer ongoing opportunities to expand our collective understanding of socialist concepts, histories, and strategies.
As an Internal Resource and Organizing Committee, we aim to revive socialist pedagogies that support the goals of the chapter as a whole. We are committed to dismantling hierarchical structures traditionally associated with education, and to providing opportunities for educating and learning to all people. As members of a multi-tendency organization, the Political Education Committee’s work will prioritize productive debate and the respectful exchange of socialist ideas and viewpoints rather than the pursuit of absolute political agreement among members.
We will work in partnership with all other DSA-LA committees and working groups to develop educational resources and programming which introduces the broader public to socialism, raises our own membership’s level of participation and knowledge, and expands ownership of our collective struggle for the fullest possible imagining of freedom, liberation, and power for all people.
1) Ensure that all DSA-LA members have ongoing opportunities to learn about and discuss socialist theories, traditions, and practices.
In order to ground the various projects within DSA-LA in the context of rigorous socialist politics, we will support and develop educational programming and resources focused on the meaning and history of democratic socialism, socialist analyses of power (along the lines of class, race, gender, origin, ability, and more), interpretations of pathways and solutions leading to socialism, common criticisms of socialism (and the respective rebuttals), and the current landscape of socialist and anti-imperialist politics here and abroad.
This will be made available to members in a variety of well-publicized and accessible formats, including but not limited to:
- One-time special events, such as day schools, debates, or teach-ins
- Ongoing educational series
- Thematic reading and discussion groups
- Film screenings
- Lending libraries
- Reading and discussion guides aligned with recommended readings
- Educational materials, such as newspapers or pamphlets
2) Provide members with practical skills in organizing, linked to ongoing chapter campaigns and priorities through regular training. Workshops will cater to all levels of involvement in the organization from new members to seasoned leaders.
3) 2) Forge strong connections across committees and working groups and work together to build and maintain emancipatory educational spaces that are welcoming and inclusive of all people—including non-members interested in socialism, members with marginalized identities, members new to socialist thinking, and long-time socialist members.
4) 3) Build and maintain intentional and reciprocal relationships with other entities—such as leftist groups, academics, journalists, and activists—who have a focus on political education and share our broad political goals.
5) 4) Provide ongoing opportunities to build members’ capacity to serve as educators, facilitators, and co-learners.
6) 5) Establish effective mechanisms for input from the membership to ensure educational programming and opportunities trainings are responsive to the needs and stated interests of the chapter.
Agenda Item 2
The Climate Justice Committee of DSA-LA recognizes the current moment as an historical apex; one that must end with the dismantling of capitalism as well as the reconstitution of society and its relationship to the Earth. In our dedication to a politics that places people and the planet before profit, the Climate Justice Committee of DSA-LA will work to agitate, educate and organize on the local, state and national levels for an ecosocialist future in which democracy and equity are united with sustainability.
In our analysis, capitalism caused the climate crisis. Capitalism requires continuous expansion and returns on investment. But you can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet. Capitalism tells us that our personal shopping choices are the only way to express our values. The climate crisis demands systemic, institutional change. Capitalism tells us that market forces make for the best outcomes. But decades of denial, deception and exploitation show how capitalism consolidates power at our collective peril. Capitalism pits workers against each other fighting for resources. But protecting ourselves and the planet requires solidarity, sharing resources and taking care of them.
Capitalism causes the worst outcomes for people who had no say or power to create them.
The climate crisis intersects with all of DSA’s work because the underlying problem is capitalism. In fact has a comprehensive plan to solve all of these under the Green New Deal.
Will we let market forces forge and accelerate our descent into cruelty and injustice, or will we seize this opportunity to reshape our economy and the way our lives are designed? This question is even more urgent in the wake of the pandemic. The pandemic is a microcosm of the larger crisis, a climate change will ensure and triple in our future if we don’t take action.
DEMOCRATIZATION OF THE COMMONS
We hold that land use and resource decisions should be democratically decided. We advocate for an urbanism based on human need rather than profit.
To best combat runaway ecological forces unleashed by man-made climate change, we will work for an immediate transition from fossil fuels to non-polluting renewable energy sources.
We will fight to transfer the means of energy production from private hands to local communities, which will democratically decide how best to utilize commonly-owned resources./span>
We hold that capitalism’s exploitative nature disproportionately impacts communities of color. We will work in solidarity with other anti-oppressive, liberatory grassroots movements for the collective reimagining of our society.
The transition to a sustainable future must prioritize the security of workers and their communities. For this reason we advocate for a "Just Transition," in which workers receive training and maintain their living standards throughout the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy resources, new jobs and livelihoods.
We advocate production for use, not for profit, to ensure social justice and equity in relationship with each other and the planet.
We hold that industrialized capitalism bears a historical responsibility for the destabilization of the climate. Accordingly, we advocate for the redistribution of resources and technology from those responsible for climate change to those vulnerable to its effects.
We will develop educational partnerships with working groups and committees within DSA-LA and the broader Los Angeles political left to further the goals of local, state, national and international ecosocialism.
Our long-term goal is to implement a real Green New Deal in Los Angeles. This includes:
- Energy — let’s decarbonize, democratize and create good-paying green jobs.
- Public transit — let’s make it free, fast, safe and clean. To raise mobility and equality as well as a clean planet.
- Land use — let’s prioritize people, nature and more humane use of our resources instead of private profit, rampant consumerism and destruction of the earth.
Our near-term goals:
- Agitate towards escalating climate campaigns, strikes in coalition with other climate groups and organized labor.
- Produce a series of short explainer videos about climate justice: what it is, what it means, how the issue intersects with the rest of DSA’s work, and how our strategy can win.
- Engage on political campaigns to elect leaders who will fight for and reenact a Green New Deal.
- Lobby legislators and administrators for climate justice. This includes ongoing efforts to shut down dangerous gas facilities such as Aliso and Playa Del Rey, as well as supporting statewide efforts to bring private utilities under public control.
- Host educational forums (online or in person) to connect climate justice and DSA-LA’s to our everyday struggles. Bringing internal DSA committees to work on these efforts.
Agenda Item 3
The DSA-LA Healthcare Justice Committee seeks to achievedemands a socialist health care system, clearfree from profit motives, as a human/moral right for all. In the immediate future Our committee advocates fights for a single-payer distribution system covering all residents of California and peoples of this nation funded through progressive taxation for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, emergency room, vision, dental, mental health, long and short-term care, reproductive care and any other indispensable health requirement. Medical supply and prescription drug costs would be better controlled and available to anyone in need. Through single-payer Medicare for All, patients would gain choice of provider and facility while medical practitioners would establish autonomy over care for patients. We seek to focus on attaining pursue this systemic goal change at both the local state and federal levels.
We endorse any reforms that challenge demand an end to existing frameworks designed to benefit the pharmaceutical and/or insurance industry at the expense of a person’s health, income, and/or livelihood. To achieve this, we will commit to working in coalition with a broad spectrum of the working class - in particular: healthcare workers, and rank-and-file members of labor unions (along with leaders when appropriate). We support labor actions, work strikes, and work stoppages in pursuit of a just, single-payer system. In addition We will fight for all people under our current systems who are faced with negative, disproportionate health outcomes and actively recruit them to our cause and promote their leadership within our struggle. These communities include but are not limited to people of color, womxn, LGBTQ+ people, undocumented immigrants and low income individuals/families. By building a people’s/worker’s movement fighting in solidarity toward single-payer health care, we can advocate for and work toward implementation of fight for a socialist distribution system that is accessible to everyone, more effective and focused on the ethics of public care as opposed to private profit promotes health and healthcare justice for all.
1. CANVASSING: Establish twice monthly canvasses and canvass trainings convene regular teach-ins for members to be effective in explaining and building community engagement around communicating single-payer, universal healthcare by the end of 2017. We aim to canvass every state senate/assembly Representative district in Los Angeles county, engaging at least 1000 community members by June 2018 ensuring that constituent pressure remains active/engaged in this struggle. This Doing so will allows us to build a movement around local single-payer health care initiatives, such as SB-562, the “Health California bill” power towards either a Federal program, currently best represented legislatively by the House and Senate Medicare-for-All bills (H.R.1384 and S.1129), or a State single-payer program, such as is being studied by the Healthy California For All Commission. In addition, we will recruit new members through each canvass outreach.
2. Designate liaisons and create avenues of communication for local coalition partners by the end of 2017 (e.g. The Healthy California Campaign, Physicians for a National Health Program - ‘PNHP,’ American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today - ‘ADAPT.’)
EDUCATION: We will educate the membership of DSA-LA about our socialist goal of single-payer, universal healthcare. This will be achieved by hosting educational events bi-monthly that are aimed towards the membership and broader public. Each member of the Healthcare Justice committee commits to being a liaison or participant in one other DSA committee/caucus to continue to illustrate the intersectionality of a single-payer, universal healthcare system.
3. Consolidate current committee membership lists and standardize processes for mobilizing one third of DSA Los Angeles membership by June 2018.
COALITION BUILDING: Designate liaisons and create avenues of communication for local coalition partners (e.g. National Nurses United - ‘NNU’, Health Care for ALL California - ‘HCA-CA’, Physicians for a National Health Program - ‘PNHP’, American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today - ‘ADAPT’).
4. Onboard new members with educational socialist healthcare reading-groups and talks by leading health professionals who are in favor of single-payer/universal coverage.
LABOR: We will look for guidance from healthcare workers on how the Committee can best assist their struggles. We will assist in union agitation, work stoppages, and strikes in coordination with the Labor Committee. Our work in particular will be informed by a knowledge of how healthcare workers’ dignity of work environment will be realized within a single-payer, universal program.
5. JUSTICE: Healthcare inequality will not disappear under a single-payer, universal healthcare program. Today, and after implementation of Medicare For All, we will fight hospital closures in our poorest communities, demand that reproductive rights be recognized by law, advocate for the publicly-financed building of medical facilities in every neighborhood, eradicate food deserts, advocate for building out capacity for the education of a robust healthcare workforce, and stand side by side with healthcare workers in every struggle.