F4S CRITICISM: NEITHER EFFICIENT OR DECOLONIAL

Statement by Gloria Gallardo, DSA Member, Teacher, Union Steward; Member
Jax Arriola, Cosignee
Position: Opposed.

Food for Solidarity would not only entrench itself in the bureaucracy of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, but would also reproduce colonial structures of organization.

Food for Solidarity (F4S) would be another cog in the neo-liberal non-profit industrial complex. This style of organizing encourages piecemeal solutions to systemic problems without actually challenging the root. It is true that food insecurity is a real struggle in some communities within Los Angeles County but handing food and radicalizing materials to the underserved would not be addressing the root or provide an actual challenge to capitalism. As such, it is a waste of time. Moreover, why go through all the trouble of creating a non-profit if the actual goal of F4S will not be not to feed food insecure people? If the goal is to build DSA membership, please note there are cheaper ways to base build. F4S is not one.

Furthermore, in seeking to incorporate as a formal 501(c)(4) nonprofit, F4S would be beholden to funders, its Board of Directors and to the state bureaucracy, not DSA members. Organizing within a non-profit model can present a lot problems our young chapter is not ready to tackle. We need to imagine a movement that builds its base outside the NPIC. Food For Solidarity would be merely a bandaid for a problem caused by capitalism not actually a direct attack on capitalism.

Before embarking on a project of this breadth, whose desired aim is to spread DSA awareness and build membership (page 3), it would be more prudent to strengthen and activate more fully the membership we have now. Instead of using F4S to base build, let's participate more actively within other movements in Los Angeles that link directly to working class POC communities.

Aside from my concerns about the non profit structure of F4S, the project would not be, as some have put it, “building socialism from the ground up.” One reason is because it requires outsiders to organize in a community where they do not even live or work. Organizing in this way reproduces colonial structures because it suggests POC in the communities of Southeast Los Angeles are not radical or capable of organizing themselves and require outsider help. According to the proposal, the intent of F4S is the political ideological conquest of the Huntington Park community, afterwhich the plan is to withdraw DSA-LA entirely from the project and make the community responsible for sustaining what F4S started. This is not how socialism works. As a WOC, I would love nothing more than to see more diversity within DSA-LA, but F4S is simply not the way to do it.