Proposed by: Members of the Immigration Justice Committee & Housing & Homelessness Committee
Summary: Creation of a network of responders and dispatchers to answer and deploy during different emergency situations, such as encampment sweeps, ICE raids, law enforcement presence, eviction proceedings, etc.
Description of the Chapter Resolution, including a detailed timeline, and Local resources required.
LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT The Chapter shall establish a Rapid Action Mobilization Network (RAMN, hereinafter pronounced r-a-m-e-n, like the delicious soup), which will involve the following components and resources:
- Creation of a network of responders and dispatchers to answer and deploy during different emergency situations by recruiting and activating current members through phone-banking, email and social media.
**See images of what the RAMN software (currently in use by other organizations) looks like here**
- Establishment of a “hotline” number available to all community members to report encampment sweeps, ICE raids, law enforcement presence, eviction proceedings, etc.
- Acquisition or development of specialized software to map out responders by location and enable dispatchers to send mass communications to activate responders and other technical resources (e.g. a digital cloud space for securing, storing and organizing sensitive footage).
- Trainings for dispatchers and responders. These shall focus on teaching skills directly applicable to multiple DSA projects (e.g. filming, interacting safely when engaging with law enforcement, interviewing community members and language lessons). RAMN will help create leadership in the chapter by training members who will then be able to take on roles training others. In this way, training skills and responsibilities will be shared among members.
- Creation of outreach materials such as flyers in various languages, “hotline” number cards, etc.
RAMN shall be a cross-committee initiative utilized by various committees and working groups throughout the Chapter, including Housing and Homelessness’ Street Watch, Immigration Justice’s Rapid Response Network, and direct actions, such as labor solidarity campaigns spearheaded by the Labor Committee, anti-eviction efforts, pack-the-court proceedings, and any demonstrations, protests, or events involving the potential use of coercion by law enforcement (or the state apparatus more broadly). Simultaneously, RAMN shall be used as a supplementary part of the Membership Committee’s efforts to activate latent “paper” members, by providing opportunities for involvement with a low threshold of engagement. Since members can participate in RAMN without having to attend weekly or monthly meetings at a specific location, it will play an important part in the Chapter’s efforts to activate and engage members with limited time commitments or in areas where meetings are not frequently held. To this end, we will hold trainings in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, the Westside and East and South Los Angeles. Finally, RAMN will be key in chapter-wide efforts to build solidarity with marginalized and vulnerable communities, especially those currently underrepresented in the chapter’s membership, by supporting them in challenging the coercive force of the state.
The timeline for developing this project will be as follows:
- Obtaining necessary technology, including 1) “hotline” number, 2) mapping software, 3) secure data storage.
- Finalizing internal training materials and external outreach materials.
- Phone banking and social media campaign to inform current members about RAMN.
- Holding at least 1 responder and 1 dispatcher training.
- June 1st RAMN goes live.
- Holding responder and dispatcher trainings in different LA regions.
- Community outreach such as flyering, meetings with community organizers, coalition partners and Sanctuary churches.
- Ongoing regular trainings for members and the community at large.
- By September 30 we aim to train 100 people across the LA area.
- Continue regular trainings (at least 1 in each region per month).
- December 1st assess progress and results of RAMN.
- Assess need for expansion of RAMN into additional campaigns, Chapter efforts or geographical coverage.
- By December 31 train an additional 100 people across the LA area.
Organizational Priorities with which this proposed resolution is aligned and motivation for the resolution.
Los Angeles is home to the most murderous police department in the U.S. The city maintains oppressive policies against unhoused populations. Additionally, sanctuary policies are limited, and ICE raids still happen regularly. The Trump administration has also threatened to target immigrant communities in sanctuary jurisdictions. Picket lines and labor solidarity events often suffer from police harassment and low turnout. We cannot rely on official policies and law enforcement to safeguard our communities, especially those without homes, the poor, racial and ethnic minorities, and others who have been marginalized under our capitalist system. Considering this, the motivations for this resolution are threefold:
- To actively work towards building a mass movement through solidarity with poor, working class and immigrant communities, especially those currently underrepresented in the Chapter’s membership.
- In the long term, to develop alternatives to police and other repressive apparatuses of the carceral state.
- To create opportunities for DSA members not actively engaged, or without the capacities to take on a large amount of committee work, to make meaningful contributions to DSA work, while receiving valuable skills training and opportunities to engage with other members in their region.
RAMN is closely aligned with the following Organizational Priorities
- Build an organizational culture that embodies our socialist ideals, and a welcoming community that supports all members to engage in collective work to dismantle systems of oppression, in accordance with our shared values.
- Maintain workflow systems that support and empower all members to take on significant responsibility for ongoing cross-chapter communication and collaboration.
- Build respectful relationships which allow DSA members to contribute to the broader movement both as leaders, and as allies, as appropriate.
- Work to develop partnerships with other organizations to challenge and transcend the stratifications that divide Los Angeles.
- Develop and implement training materials and protocols for a variety of skill sets that empower members to act as effective rank-and-file organizers and step into new leadership roles confidently.
- Recognizing that learning and growth as organizers includes and requires being challenged, encourage and support learning and growth in all members by offering opportunities to develop new skills and take on additional responsibilities.
- Develop internal capacity to recruit, engage and retain our members across the racial and socioeconomic divisions of Los Angeles, and connect members to each other regionally, while also challenging instead of reifying those divisions.
Across all applicable Committee and Working Group platforms, identify relevant goals which this resolution supports and advances.
Housing and Homelessness Committee:
The HnH platform indicates the committee's commitment to ending the criminalization of homelessness and poverty, and its adamant opposition to the enforcement of borders. According to the platform, the committee seeks “an end to excessive and oppressive policing of every person’s right to public space [and] an end to the continued criminalization of poverty and homelessness.” It continues:
“Those who have no choice but to sleep in the streets, or even in their cars, are subject to criminalization in the name of “public health and safety,” creating insurmountable obstacles for those trying to climb from the depths of poverty. Through legal means, such as “quality of life” citations, towing, and arrests (most often for petty offenses), law enforcement pushes people without homes into a cycle of street to county lockup to shelter and back to the street. People who experience mental or behavioral health issues — in some cases due to chronic homelessness — are frequently denied proper shelter and services, and instead are subjected to more interactions with police and prisons.”
RAMN will be an invaluable resource for HnH to make good on its commitment to combat the criminalization of poverty and homelessness. It will give the committee the means to immediately respond to law enforcement action in unhoused and impoverished communities across LA County with trained first-responders who can document police interactions and shed light on abuses all too commonly ignored. Moreover, the HnH platform also highlights the important ways in which the criminalization of homelessness and poverty exacerbates the abuses of a police state intent on criminalizing immigrants:
“Therefore, to truly fight for housing as a human right for all, we must work on two fronts: Fighting displacement due to gentrification, forced evictions, and rent increases — which disproportionately affect recent immigrants — and fighting the policing of immigrant populations, both on the local level from the LAPD and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and on a national level from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security.”
By empowering the members and committees of DSA-LA to respond to the criminalization of immigrants throughout the county, RAMN invests all committees—even those not solely or primarily focused on immigration—with the means to organize alongside immigrant communities disproportionately affected by such things as homelessness, poverty, and ruthless, incessant policing. To the extent that the HnH platform recognizes this important intersection between the criminalization of homelessness and immigration, and states its commitment to contesting both of these injustices, RAMN represents an important step towards accomplishing the committee’s goals.
Immigration Justice Committee
In an environment that is becoming increasingly hostile and dangerous for immigrant communities, RAMN provides an opportunity for DSA-LA to be at the forefront in fighting for safer conditions and a more just society for immigrants. Specifically, RAMN closely aligns with the following IJC goals and will become an essential part of the Committee’s work.
Los Angeles as a true Sanctuary City: We demand that local, state, and federal governments treat undocumented immigrants no differently than other Californians. We oppose the criminalization of immigrants, and the conflation of policing and immigration enforcement. We believe that everyone subjected to deportation proceedings deserves—as a bare minimum of civil treatment—due process and legal representation. This will not be sufficient to establish a just legal system in California, a state where police abuse and murder people of color of all immigration and citizenship statuses, but it will be a step towards justice.
Safe and fair workplaces for immigrants: We aim to decriminalize immigrant work via a “ban the box” inspired campaign to prevent employers from requiring social security numbers, electronic driver licenses, and all other barriers for undocumented immigrants to access safe and fair workplaces. In addition, we will fight for fair wages and legal protections from workplace abuses, and for the many immigrant workers in the grey economy, including street vendors, domestic workers, and sex workers.
Mass Working Class Movement Building: Working class immigrants need to be the center of the immigration justice movement. As such, this committee will organize inside coalitions led by working-class immigrant communities and engage in rank-and-file organizing and mutual aid to genuinely increase our membership and reflect the values of working class immigrants.