2019 was a hugely successful year for DSA Los Angeles, thanks to you all!
What did we accomplish in 2019?
We stood in solidarity with workers…
In Los Angeles, our membership held the line in solidarity with 30,000 striking United Teachers of Los Angeles members, demanding smaller class sizes, more resources for public school kids, and better pay for teachers and school workers. We also organized #TacosForTeachers, which provided over $40,000 worth of tacos via local vendors, to striking teachers and their allies during the strike. The union won that fight.
We walked the line with striking UAW workers at the General Motors plant in Rancho Cucamonga as part of the first nationwide strike against the automotive industry in over a decade. The union won that round as well.
We also stood in solidarity with UFCW 770 grocery store workers, Amazon workers, the University Technical Professional Employees of the UC System, with the UCLA Medical Residents Union Organizing Committee, a local of SEIU, and with UNITE HERE! Local 11 in fighting against the overreach of big bosses, nefarious hoteliers, and other bad actors.
This past month, we joined over 4,000 striking mental health clinicians of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) across California in protesting severe wait times and accessibility issues for Kaiser Permanante’s mental healthcare patients. Our own DSA-LA members were among the rank and file leaders of the picket line, and DSA-LA stands by ready to join the NUHW on the line again when they ask.
We campaigned for socialist and progessive political leaders…
We campaigned for DSA-LA member, Jackie Goldberg, to take the open Los Angeles Unified School District School Board seat in 2019, and to flip the core of that body from charter school shills to public school champions. Jackie won that race and now we have a true, progressive and socialist hero on the LAUSD School Board.
We campaigned for climate scientist, Loraine Lundquist in the special election for the City Council District 12 seat. Although we came up short in that campaign, our membership helped build a campaign and public narrative focused on climate and housing justice. We hope to see Loraine win in the upcoming CD12 primary.
And now we are campaigning for another DSA-LA member, SELAH and #TimesUp veteran Nithya Raman for City Council District 4. Her opponent David Ryu is swimming in developer money and misleading the public about it. We aren’t having it. We’ll be hitting the streets in the coming months for Nithya. Join us in that fight!
Our organizing crossed borders…
Our Immigration Justice Committee sent delegations of our members across the border to Tijuana to provide aid and solidarity to Central American migrants and refugees. The committee also organized multiple, high-profile disruptions of corporate tech contractor Salesforce a vendor for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Our NOlympics working group sent a group of comrades to Tokyo, host of the 2020 Olympic games, to join a broad, international coalition of grassroots organizations that are exposing the abuses of “the games”. We strengthened international bonds and sent a clear message to the Olympics organizers, the IOC: we aren’t going anywhere.
And our members also participated in the global climate strike, calling attention to how the climate crisis is being fueled by capitalism. To grow and organize, we cosponsored and canvassed the youth climate strikes and co-hosted educational forums with organized labor and immigration justice groups.
We built solidarity across the left in Los Angeles…
Our Housing & Homelessness Committee co-founded the #ServicesNotSweeps coalition, which demands the city cease its unconstitutional abuse and mistreatment of our local unhoused community, and instead provide our neighbors basic governmental services, like access to restrooms and trash cans. To that end, our work helped lead to an ongoing federal lawsuit against the city and we gave regular comment at City Hall against the city’s many abuses of its unhoused community.
We were deeply honored in 2019 to be awarded a Freedom Now Award from the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN) for our work in advocating for Los Angeles’s unhoused community through Street Watch L.A., our joint initiative that seeks to empower and protect unhoused and poor residents across the county.
We stood in solidarity, week after week, with our allies in Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and White People 4 Black Lives to demand that Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey be held accountable for the more-than-500 Angelenos who have been murdered by police, without more than one prosecution of a killer cop, since her tenure began. Jackie Lacey will not win reelection in 2020.
Our chapter’s Mutual Aid Committee held several community building events around Los Angeles county, changing brake lights for free (and keeping folks out of local cops’ spotlights), offering free legal aid and debt clinics, and boosting the good work of our allies in Food Not Bombs, offering free meals downtown every Sunday night.
Our Climate Justice Committee led a coalition that won approval of the Eland project, one of the most prominent expansions of solar energy in U.S. history. We fought successfully for the passage of AB857, which authorizes public banking in California — a pivotal step in transitioning our infrastructure off of fossil fuels. The Rowena reservoir will soon be a public green space, thanks to our members' dogged advocacy.
And our NOlympics working group is leading the movement to expose the Olympics as a massive grift that leaves the working class people in its unfortunate host cities as its ultimate victims. This year, NOlympics also launched its Homes Not Hotels campaign in Hollywood.
And we continued to deepen the political and organizing skills of our membership…
Our Political Education Committee created and hosted a four-evening night school on the topic of imperialism. Over the course of two months, dozens of folks read and discussed key leftist texts on the role that capital and the state play in our global community.
And we successfully developed an organizer training focused on providing our members the language to talk about the root causes of oppression and key crises facing our world, and the organizing skills necessary to fight for a socialist future.
We have a world to win together in 2020, comrades!
Our chapter overwhelmingly passed a local Green New Deal chapter resolution for 2020, and is orienting our work towards building an ecosocialist Los Angeles. In 2019, we’ve been canvassing in support of Bernie Sanders every other week. In 2020, we’ll run Bernie canvasses every week through the California Democratic Primary, Super Tuesday, March 8. Please join us in our campaign for Bernie!
Happy New Year!