DSA-LA Bernie 2020 Campaign

  • Night School: All for All - Fighting for Transformative Reforms in a Liberal System

    • Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 7:00 PM
    • UTLA in Los Angeles, CA

    New and long-time comrades are invited to join a Night School series that engages with Bernie Sanders’s insurgent candidacy within the broader history of socialist strategies and perspectives on electoral politics. Each session features a brief, informal presentation followed by facilitated discussion designed to engage all levels and connect current events to foundational socialist concepts and debates. Comrades are encouraged (but not required) to review recommended readings linked below, aligned with the session topic detailed here. 

    Bernie is the only person running in the Democratic primary who is proposing universal programs — Medicare for All, College for All, and Housing for All, to name a few. This session asks us to consider why universal social programs are important, as opposed to the means-tested programs advocated by the Democratic establishment. We’ll also explore how, as socialists, these programs offer us the means to move beyond the goal of reforming capitalism, to the final goal of abolishing it. 

    Recommended readings:

    Reform or Revolution (Introduction, Chapter 5: The Consequences of Social Reformism and General Nature of Reformism, & Chapter 8: Conquest of Political Power), Rosa Luxemburg (1900)

    Targeted Social Programs Make Easy Targets by Meagan Day (Jacobin, 2018)

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  • Night School: Beyond Roe v Wade—The Socialist Feminist Case for Bernie Sanders

    • Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 7:00 PM
    • UTLA in Los Angeles, CA

    New and long-time comrades are invited to join a Night School series that engages with Bernie Sanders’s insurgent candidacy within the broader history of socialist strategies and perspectives on electoral politics. Each session features a brief, informal presentation followed by facilitated discussion designed to engage all levels and connect current events to foundational socialist concepts and debates. Comrades are encouraged (but not required) to review recommended readings linked below, aligned with the session topic detailed here. 

    This session will review a brief history of abortion politics, from Roe v. Wade to present. Studying subsequent laws, Supreme Court decisions, and strategies deployed by feminist movements will be a lens through which to understand the failure of liberal electoralism and over-reliance on the judiciary. We’ll ask crucial questions such as: 

    —Why did the left cleave ‘abortion rights’ from the broader push for decommodified healthcare? 

    —What implications did the Roe v. Wade decision (and subsequent Supreme Court decisions) have for the abortion rights movement? 

    —How should a socialist feminist approach to abortion rights differ from a liberal approach? 

    —Why should socialist feminists prioritize Bernie’s policies like  Medicare for All, The Green New Deal, and Housing for All?

    Recommended readings:

    Roe v. Wade (Excerpt from the Majority Opinion), (United States Supreme Court, 1973)

    Article on 47th Anniversary of Roe,  by Kate Smith (CBS News, 2020) (where we learn the Prez of Planned Parenthood is at Davos and interestingly links abortion access to the '4th industrial revolution' )

    No More Compromise on Abortion, An interview with Jenny Brown (Jacobin, 2019)

    Capitalism's Crisis of Care, Sarah Leonard & Nancy Fraser (Dissent, 2016)

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  • Helltrap Nightmare + DSA-4-Bernie Fundraiser

    Helltrap Nightmare and DSA-LA Bernie Working Group team up to raise money for DSA-LA and signup new members. Buy tickets, $15!

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  • New and long-time comrades are invited to join a Night School series that engages with Bernie Sanders’s insurgent candidacy within the broader history of socialist strategies and perspectives on electoral politics. Each session features a brief, informal presentation followed by facilitated discussion designed to engage all levels and connect current events to foundational socialist concepts and debates. Comrades are encouraged (but not required) to review recommended readings linked below, aligned with the session topic detailed here. 

    Bernie’s campaign has served as a platform for working class politics in the US for the first time in decades—supplying energy and excitement to the Democratic Party while simultaneously piquing the interests of unengaged voters on a scale that could promise a fundamental change in the political electorate. But what does that change look like, practically? How does that change become permanent? And how do we avoid breaking the promises of political change made by Democrats before? This session will explore what political change could look like under a Sanders presidency and how to take advantage of political opportunities locally. Discussion will also include consideration of forces necessary for social change outside of friendly administrations and within hostile political climates—with a focus on the alliance of labor and immigrant activists that took place in Los Angeles during the 2000’s.

    Recommended readings:

    Obama’s Lost Army by Micah Sifry, (New Republic, 2017)

    How Immigrant Activists Changed Los Angeles, by Manuel Pastor (Dissent, 2015)

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  • Night School: The Nature of the Two-Party System and a Vision of a Labor Party

    • Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 7:00 PM
    • UTLA in Los Angeles, CA

    New and long-time comrades are invited to join a Night School series that engages with Bernie Sanders’s insurgent candidacy within the broader history of socialist strategies and perspectives on electoral politics. Each session features a brief, informal presentation followed by facilitated discussion designed to engage all levels and connect current events to foundational socialist concepts and debates. Comrades are encouraged (but not required) to review recommended readings linked below, aligned with the session topic detailed here. 

    Though Bernie Sanders won his Senate seat as an Independent, he’s vying for the Democratic Party nomination for President. This session interrogates why United States politics is dominated by a two-party system, and how exactly this system functions. Within this framework, we discuss the relationship between organized labor and the Democratic Party, why the Democratic Party is not a Labor Party, and what a truly mass Labor Party would look like. 

    Recommended readings:

    The Crises of Labor and the Left in the United States, by Mark Dudzic & Adolf Reed (Socialist Register,  2015)

    A Left Strategy for 2020 and Beyond, Carl Davidson & Bill Fletcher Jr, (TRUTHOUT, 2019)

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  • Night School: Socialist Strategy & the Democratic Party

    • Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 7:00 PM
    • UTLA in Los Angeles, CA

    New and long-time comrades are invited to join a Night School series that engages with Bernie Sanders’s insurgent candidacy within the broader history of socialist strategies and perspectives on electoral politics. Each session features a brief, informal presentation followed by facilitated discussion designed to engage all levels and connect current events to foundational socialist concepts and debates. Comrades are encouraged (but not required) to review recommended readings linked below, aligned with the session topic detailed here. 

    Given the structural limitations of the American electoral system, organized socialists’ orientations toward the Democratic Party have long been an important and contested topic. This session situates DSA’s support for the Bernie campaign within the broader landscape of socialist perspectives towards the Democratic Party—ranging from those who seek to ‘take over’ the party, to those who abstain from Democratic Party politics entirely, to those to seek a strategic engagement with the Democratic Party. Recommended readings offer distinct perspectives on whether or not strategic engagement with the Democtratic Party is possible, and what forms it may take. 

    Recommended readings:

    The Democratic Party Cul-de-sac (Chapter Nine from On New Terrain: How Capital is Reshaping the Battleground of Class War), by Kim Moody (Haymarket Books, 2017)

    It’s Party Time: DSA and Post-Realignment Electoral Strategy by David Duhalde (DSA Socialist Forum, 2019)

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