DSA Disability Caucus/Working Group

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DSA Disability Caucus/Working Group is a disability caucus and working-group for members and friends of Democratic Socialists of America and Young Democratic Socialists.

Personnel

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As of July 16, 2017;[1]

Admins

Members

Conference delegates

During the weekend of August 4-6, nearly 1000 people took part in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) 2017’s national convention, where we deal with issues large and small. This year, we voted to leave the Socialist International, endorse BDS, and more.

On Sunday, the Disability Caucus and Working Group wanted to insert phrasing referencing disabled comrades in the national priorities resolution, a document that articulates the political and social focus of DSA’s work in the next two years. Specifically, we wanted to have our disabled comrades recognized as an important identity group within DSA, alongside our comrades of color and our comrades in the LGBTQIA+ community.

The convention’s schedule was jam-packed and little time was reserved for debate on the national priorities resolution. The convention itself was riddled with disability access issues and lacked speaking time for disability rights issues. The Afro-Socialist and People of Color Caucus, Socialist Feminist Working Group, and Queer Socialists Working Group have all had ample time to present their issues to our organization, including at the convention, and while we are glad that they did, we did not. While we appreciate the overwhelming support that allowed our resolution (Resolution #42) to be added to the consent agenda, this prevented us from ever having the opportunity to motivate our resolution and discuss issues of disability ignorance within (and, clearly, outside of) DSA. Moreover, due to accessibility issues, members of our group were consistently unable to be on the convention floor, let alone participate actively in the proceedings of the convention.

All of us in DSA have learning and unlearning to do. We have been conditioned by capitalism to sacrifice solidarity and camaraderie in the service of abstract progress. We love our comrades, and we want to “call in” rather than “call out”; in order to do so, however, we must be full members of this organization. We cannot call our comrades in when we are not in the room and we are not given the opportunity to speak.

In light of this, the Disability Caucus and Working Group members at the convention decided to make a series of motions on the floor of the convention, including the aforementioned motion to add reference to disabled comrades to the national priorities resolution.

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References