Statement by Ricardo Gaona
Hi everyone! I’m one of the new peeps. I’ve spent years floating around different groups peeking in and seeing nothing but stasis. A lot of self-congratulatory nonsense. I could ramble on about it for pages, but I’ll leave it with a very simple realization… there’s a whole lot of talking and not a dash of doing. Except newspapers. Never met a group that didn’t love them a poorly written newspaper. Nothing to actually improve the material needs of people now… or, honestly, frankly, ever. Unless theory is a thing that will put food on a table or keep a roof over a head.
I joined DSA, because, frankly, it seemed like an org with its shit together. While I’m far to the left of almost everything I’ve read, and definitely now, everything I’ve seen, I still can find many programs and working groups absolutely essential. From the brake light clinic to street watch to canvassing for Prop 10: all wonderful things that actively make life more tenable for the masses suffering under capitalism.
F4S just seems like the next step in a good direction the org is already going in. This is also the kind of program that people reading about an org will want to join. It is inspiring. It will attract the right kind of people. Either those that are already radical or those ready to be radicalized.
I just got here and I'm already down for it. It's a bold move.
The only concern I have is to ensure that we stay on the right side of the law and ensure this doesn’t turn into a “buying votes” program. Which, to my knowledge, a lawyer is one of the leads on the project, so I’m sure care will be taken to stay in the right place. Besides, the project has been structured to insulate itself from the org as a whole. Any problems and it can dissolve without hurting the larger whole. A bold move with a built-in failsafe? I like it.
Granted, failure can happen anyway whenever bold moves are taken. It’s learning from that failure that matters and implementing those lessons towards future projects. Besides, no one will care if we fail. Literally no one. And what would the “they failed” narrative look like? “Group works to feed people, runs out of capital to succeed at task”. Damning. DAMNING. However, people will care if we succeed. Success leads to recruiting people from communities vastly underrepresented by our organization. And it doesn’t just extend to the people getting the bags of food.
So, let me spell it out: THIS. IS. LITERALLY. GOING. INTO. DSA. ACKNOWLEDGED. UNDERREPRESENTED. COMMUNITIES. AND. ADDRESSING. THEIR. MATERIAL. NEEDS. WHICH. IS. GENERALLY. A. GREAT. RECRUITMENT. TOOL. WHILE. ALSO. BEING. THE. RIGHT. THING. TO. DO.
I hope that, as I am a newbie, this isn’t overstepping my bounds, but I felt it’s of some value from the perspective of a somewhat outsider looking in.