Chapter Analysis of Proposed Political Resolutions

Analyses by Delegates


Chapter Meeting Breakout Group

Our group, with a majority, approved of this resolution however there was deep discussion about how to achieve or approach this goal. 

  • One member suggested that an amendment be made to clarify the strategy before adopting it.
  • The status of this resolution as a symbolic political resolution without strategy is a bit confusing, but it was generally agreed that this is a worthy goal. 

Most of the group came to the understanding that there needs to be thorough work in developing that strategy and it's not necessary to do first before adopting this position as a political statement.


Chapter Meeting Breakout Group

We unanimously voted for this resolution. One member was against and wanted each Local/Chapter to be responsible for a bail fund system, but after some discussion we realized that some chapters are very small and limited in resources and their limited fundraising efforts might inhibit them from doing radical actions if they can't establish a viable bail fund system. After that point was brought up it became unanimous to have the bail fund system be national. 
The language of the resolution goes into detail about a the formation of an investigative committee to determine implementation of the program, but there were a handful of people who were advocating for arrest training as a possible addition to the resolution.
We had other reasons for supporting this resolution. It would allow us to build coalition with other groups if we could support them with our bail fund system and would empower youth and members to get involved in more actions.

#21, #29:

Chapter Meeting Breakout Group

In weighing annual vs. monthly dues, supporters of Amendment 8 assume that $10 per month is the minimum feasible contribution, since anything lower would provide diminishing returns because of banking fees that cut into each transaction. We’re skeptical that a comprehensive investigation has been done on this - we’d like to know how much is taken out, what the losses would be overall, etc. There may well be ways to allow comrades to pay lower monthly dues, or to pay quarterly. 

The amendment seems to assume that a monthly dues structure will reduce member drop-off and keep our base engaged, but this may well be at the expense of “on paper” members who pay but aren’t active - this could amount to substantial loss in revenue. We suspect that “on paper” members would balk at the monthly commitment in a way they don’t at a one-time annual fee. 

In general, we feel that the amendment’s supporters are too dismissive of these “on paper” non-active members, whom they don’t seem to regret alienating with this change. We think this is misguided - not only could these inactive members could become more active at some point in the future, but many of them likely support DSA and want to contribute even if they can’t spare any time. We should actively consider the needs of all types of members then deliberating the impact of this amendment. 

We are concerned that higher national dues paid monthly might make members less willing or able to contribute to their local chapter. 

We believe that DSA National should not impose a significant dues hike without also releasing a budget and plan for using the money. 

Monthly dues are already an option on DSA’s website - if this payment structure is indeed preferable, there are marketing strategies to push people in that direction without mandating they do so. 

As socialists, contributing based on ability is a shared core value - we believe our comrades with higher incomes would gladly pay higher dues based on an honors system. 

We disapprove of the fear-based reasoning behind this amendment - if we are so scared that membership will plummet in November, we should be reaching out to our comrades positively and proactively.

We are concerned this shift is emblematic of a top-down organizational structure that could limit our local autonomy. If political centralization is a concern, then financial centralization is as well. 

While our local and national priority, campaigning for single-payer healthcare, could benefit from centralization since only California has a remotely viable path to state-level single-payer, some of our most vibrant working groups - NOlympicsLA and Sanctuary Cities - are both local. 


Chapter Meeting Breakout Group

Unlike constitutional amendments, this Resolution can be thought of as a guiding set of principles that should inform decisions “should the DSA move in the direction of creating permanent staff positions with responsibility for organizing and political education, [and] that staff should remain independent from and not beholden to particular leadership but to the organization as a whole.” In the past, (80s and 90s), there was part-time staff at the local level; and this discussion focused on what types of roles would be appropriate for staff and thoughts on to whom staff would be accountable.


Potential roles for staff:

  • “One thing staff could do is handle the grievance process. That process absolutely should be handled by an independent staffer.”

  • “It is vital to have people doing jobs like keeping track of taxes and financials, securing our databases, handling legal issues, we need to justify having qualified people in this positions for accountability.”


Thoughts on guiding principles for staff:

  • “Coming from a labor background as organizations grow they will need staff, the question here is what do they do and how do they interact with leaders and the rank and file members. In trade unions this often gets too authoritarian and is very top down in structure. We should look to empower the grassroots. Staff should say “my job is to help you do what you think is needed for us to accomplish our goals”.”

  • “This resolution is in response to platforms from NPC slates regarding regional organizers. The function of employees or staff is in many ways dictated by what role they are playing, whether that’s more logistical or political.”

  • “Strength comes from empowering membership. A good org has clear organizational structure to accomplish its goals. It’s important for us to say we want a seat at the table to determine how the process of staffing goes. We should be establishing relationships so we can be a part of that effort.”

  • “In a democratic union the measure of success is to empower membership and staff’s role is to facilitate those efforts. This is a key issue for organizations that blossom quickly.”


Chapter Meeting Breakout Group

Overall, we felt that this resolution represented good intentions that we are generally all aligned with i.e., building in more education and overall emphasis on immigrants’ rights and anti-racist organizing efforts in order to build a more inclusive DSA. However, we felt that the resolution as it is written right now is insufficiently worded, so we would want to see it developed and specified further. Some specific suggestions and areas for development that we identified included:

  • Combining this with DSA-LA’s Sanctuary resolution to make it more robust - although this may position the resolution as more of a Priority resolution than Political resolution.

  • Clarifying the specific practical ends for building in political education at the National level - is this to develop external organizing efforts, internal member education, or both?

  • Specifying the importance of coalition-building as part of any anti-racist community building work, and being careful not to position ourselves as experts or co-opt other groups’ work.

  • Clarifying resources it would make available to Locals.

We also spent some time discussing the general value of internal member education, and how we think a National-led effort to develop standardized anti-racist training material could be useful to our chapter. We also noted that, per our previous conversation around developing leaders from underrepresented or marginalized groups, it is important to approach internal education thoughtfully - first, by recognizing the “soft skills” necessary to train members as equally important those involved in external organizing work, and then by ensuring we are not asking members from underrepresented or marginalized groups to do all the labor (emotional and otherwise) of educating more privileged comrades.



Delegate Josh Androsky

Beyond the fact that BDS is, as a political strategy, based off past successes, beyond the fact that it is the non-violent solution arrived to by oppressed peoples, BDS has so terrified those in power, who almost uniformly oppose it, that they have begun the process to criminalize it. We as a socialist organization should be moved to stand in solidarity with all oppressed peoples in the world, and BDS is an intersectional rallying cry that we should not ignore, especially when so many vital organizations have already endorsed it or made it part of their platforms. I cannot think of a good reason to not endorse BDS. On a personal note, as a Jewish American, the way that Israel's conservative government dominates our country's middle east policy sickens me, and I cannot in good conscience watch them use my tax dollars to continue building an apartheid state in the name of my people. It is morally imperative to be on the side of BDS.

Analyses by Members


Member Rawan Masri

The sweeping statement that most DSA members do not comprehend BDS in all its complexity is one I see no evidence of being true, particularly among younger members, and with the enthusiasm around passing BDS that the author of this resolution derides as being "some members with strong feelings". While I am not against the notion of educating and arguing the merits of BDS publicly, I assure you all the concept of not buying Sabra hummus because the company behind it helps fund Israeli war crimes is not difficult to grasp, and most of us are already there and know enough to understand why we have such strong pro BDS feelings. I take great issues with the moral cowardice that is suggesting we "agree to disagree" on whether we exhibit international solidarity with a nonviolent resistance movement that as we speak is under attack in Congress with a proposed punishment of 20 years jail time and a $200,000 fine, and while activists are being barred from entering Israel due to their BDS support, including Alyssa Wise, a Jewish woman. In conclusion I stand against this attempt to halt momentum towards passing BDS, and urge you all to vote no on halting the BDS vote and to take DSA in the direction of true global solidarity.



Member Madison Zenzel

As a disabled member of DSA I strongly believe that we should vote yes for Resolution 42. I have heard our members promote countless social programs that would raise the quality of living for disabled persons and I believe our message goes hand in hand with their needs. We can only benefit as an organization if we eliminate barriers that prevent members from participation. Many of us feel we have so much to lose right now and rather than feeling helpless we want to be engaged despite our unique challenges. Every chapter I imagine will have different ways in which they can achieve this mission. I think ours has the potential to create a strong group to address and consider different members needs and seek the best solution within our chapter and in the context of a larger political landscape. I have had a difficult time finding ways that I can help our local efforts and attend events; I would like to see that change for myself and others in our organization.