Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America

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Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America is affiliated to Democratic Socialists of America.

Sanctuary City Working Group

According to Promise Li, a member of the Sanctuary City Working Group of the Los Angeles chapter of DSA, since its inception in mid-February of this year, has secured major victories for sanctuary policies. The group was formed by a group of DSA-LA organizers who are intent on connecting the immediate fight for sanctuary cities to the larger struggle for a just and democratic society.

In March, the group planned and executed its first action – staging a protest at Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti’s election night celebration. By March, four months had passed since Trump’s election, and Garcetti had still refused to pursue sanctuary policies. The mayor had also refused to meet with the dozens of immigrants’ rights activist groups working towards sanctuary policies under the ICE Out of LA coalition. DSA-LA aimed to use direct action to pressure the mayor to pursue concrete sanctuary policies that would prevent federal immigration authorities from collaborating with local law enforcement officials.

Hundreds of activists joined DSA-LA outside Garcetti’s celebration venue to protest his inaction, and some DSA-LA members were able to interrupt Garcetti during his victory speech on multiple occasions. As Garcetti’s security forcibly removed DSA-LA members, the socialist organizers began to chant “ICE out of LA!” This action was widely covered by local media, from the Los Angeles Times to Variety magazine. And just two weeks after the DSA-LA action, Garcetti signed Executive Directive No. 20, a progressive executive policy document that begins to address some of the problems that immigrant rights groups in Los Angeles had been trying to bring up to the mayor for years.

The scale and effectiveness of the Garcetti action drew the attention of local immigrants’ rights organizations and workers’ centers. Since March, our members began to support community partners like the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON) to continue plugging in DSA-LA members to local actions and rallies for immigrants’ rights. One of those is the ongoing ”Free Romulo” campaign, waged in support of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, whose detainment by ICE agents right after dropping off his daughter at school in Lincoln Heights attracted international coverage. Eventually, the working group members were invited to the planning meetings of the ICE Out of LA coalition, composed of Los Angeles community members, immigrants’ rights organizations, legal advocates, and workers’ centers, devoted to fighting deportations and criminalization of immigrant workers. Participation with the coalition has allowed the group to develop closer connections with these community partners, through which we are able to learn more about the different fronts and tactics to combat anti-immigrant policies.

Since the Garcetti action, the working group has met weekly to develop organizational and theoretical capacity. In addition, members of the working group attend and participate in planning meetings with the ICE Out of LA coalition. These activities allow us to continue developing a socialist analysis of the sanctuary movement in the Left, researching relevant policy and local, state, and federal bills, and devising other actions and public events to support the efforts of undocumented immigrants and our community partners.

The group learned about the promising sanctuary policies in California State Senate bills introduced by liberal politicians like State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon – which however were subsequently revised to protect only a fraction of those the politicians claimed to defend. An example is California State Bill 6, or the Due Process for All Act, which would require California to pay for legal representation for those fighting deportation in court with a statewide Justice Fund. Under pressure from centrist Democrats and conservatives in the state senate, the architects of this bill rewrote it to deny access to this legal representation fund for immigrants with criminal records, subsequently renaming the bill “Expanding Due Process Act.” The Los Angeles City Council and the city’s Board of Supervisors followed suit, revising their LA Justice Fund bills to unjustly exclude countless more immigrants from the basic human right of due process.

Senator De Leon also introduced SB-54, another progressive piece of legislature that risks suffering the same fate. The original version of the bill would have dampened coordination between local enforcement and ICE by preventing local and state police from sharing information with ICE when they release any undocumented immigrant from detainment, regardless of the immigrant’s criminal status. But by April 3, when the State Senate approved the bill, SB-54 had been watered down so that this measure would apply only to undocumented immigrants who had not been convicted of an unreasonably long list of “serious” crimes – regardless of the time already served or the dates of those crimes.

With pressuring de Leon in mind, our most recent action was a teach-in right outside UCLA’s Moore Hall, where de Leon was invited to speak at the “Moving Forward in Education” symposium, an event hosted by UCLA’s chancellor to discuss how to counter the Trump administration’s repressive policies. The teach-in featured speakers from organizations encountered by the group in the past months, including NDLON, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), UCLA Chicana/o Studies department, UCLA’s Student Labor Advocacy Project (SLAP), DSA-LA’s Housing and Homelessness committee, our own Sanctuary City Working Group, and other undocumented student activists. Our teach-in, coordinated with a successful disruption by SLAP inside the event, attracted the attention of de Leon himself, who came out and personally offered to speak with the group further on the issue of the state bills.[1]

Nominations Committee

Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America Nominations Committee, in October 27 2017 was comprised of Maureen McDermott, JC Edualino, and Aaron Warner. [2]

DSA-LA 2018 Local officer election results

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Results released November 2017;[3]

Communications Director

Treasurer

Recording Secretary

YDSA Coordinator

At Large Officers

DSA-LA'S Steering Committee, 2017

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AT-LARGE

Council candidates

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Jessica Salans and Sylvie Shain are "two progressive candidates running for Los Angeles City Council District 13. Currently, there are members of DSA-LA working on both campaigns..."[4]

Healthcare Committee, DSA-LA

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Healthcare Committee, Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America closed Facebook group, as of August 30, 2017;[5]

Admin

Members

Climate Justice Committee, DSA-LA

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Climate Justice Committee, Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America closed Facebook group, as of August 30, 2017;[6]

Admins

Other Members

Racial Justice Caucus - DSA-LA

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Racial Justice Caucus - Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America closed Facebook group, as of August 25, 2017;[7]

LGBTQ+ Caucus, DSA-LA

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LGBTQ+ Caucus, Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America closed Facebook group, as of August 25, 2017;

Online meeting space for DSA-LA's LGBTQ+ Caucus![8]

Admins

Admins

Socialist-Feminist Caucus, DSA-LA

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Socialist-Feminist Caucus, Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America, closed Facebook group, as of August 22, 2017;[9]

Admins

Members

Executive Board 1989

According to Los Angeles Left October 1989, Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America's Executive Board consisted of Ben Dobbs, Brad Jones, Barbara Hooper, Claire Kaplan, Bob Niemann, Paul Schimek, Harold Meyerson, Steve Tarzynski.

Membership boost

In 1990/91 DSA gained over 150 new members in the last six months in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, bringing the LA membership to over 500.[11]

Ganz meeting

On March 17, circa 1990 Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America and the Socialist Community School organized a meeting at the Los Angeles Workmen's Circle with Marshall Ganz, Director of the Organizing Institute.

Ganz was described as in an advertising leaflet as;

Come and engage in a lively discussion about the future of the democratic party and the strategy for progressive activists working within the Party.

Forthman talk

Professor Will Forthman spoke to the Valley DSA January 28, 1991, on the War in the Middle East. His talk was followed by a film on CIA activity in the earlyfifties when the CIA helped overthrowthe Iranian government of Mohammed Mossadegh.[12]

DSA Council support

In 1991 the Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America local supported two winning candidates for the Los Angeles City Council — Mark Ridley-Thomas and Ruth Galanter.[13]

Backing Jackie

In 1993 Los Angeles DSA was active with endorsements and campaign work in Los Angeles City Council races. The local was especially supportive of the candidacy of Jackie Goldberg, a progressive, openly gay former school board member.[14]

Olney meeting

On September 18, 1993 Peter Olney of the Service Employees International Union Local 399 addressed the local's fall membership meeting, on defending immigrant workers.[15]

Socialists "challenge for power" in Los Angeles

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On March 11, 1998, Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America leader Steve Tarzynski wrote an email to another Los Angeles DSA leader Harold Meyerson.

Tarzynski listed 25 people he thought should be on an "A-list" of "25 or so leaders/activists/intellectuals and/or "eminent persons" who would gather periodically to theorize/strategize about how to rebuild a progressive movement in our metropolitan area that could challenge for power."

Tarzynski listed himself, Harold Meyerson, Karen Bass, Sylvia Castillo, Gary Phillips, Joe Hicks, Richard Rothstein, Steve Cancian, Larry Frank, Torie Osborn, Rudy Acuna, Aris Anagnos, Abby Arnold, Carl Boggs, Blase Bonpane, Rick Brown, Stanley Sheinbaum, Alice Callahan, Jim Conn, Peter Dreier, Maria Elena Durazo, Miguel Contreras, Mike Davis, Bill Gallegos, Bob Gottlieb, Kent Wong, Russell Jacoby, Bong Hwan Kim, Paula Litt (and Barry Litt, with a question mark), Peter Olney, Derek Shearer, Clancy Sigal and Anthony Thigpenn.

Included in a suggested elected officials sub-group were Mark Ridley-Thomas, Gloria Romero, Jackie Goldberg, Gil Cedillo, Tom Hayden, Antonio Villaraigosa, Paul Rosenstein and Congressmen Xavier Becerra, Henry Waxman and Maxine Waters.

Tarzynski went on to write "I think we should limit the group to 25 max, otherwise group dynamics begins to break down....As i said, I would like this to take place in a nice place with good food and drink...it should properly be an all day event."

New beginning

In 2010 Democratic Socialists of America set out to re-launch its Los Angeles local, dormant since the late 1990’s. A kick-off public meeting aiming to renew socialist activism took place on July 25th at the Workmen’s Circle building in West Los Angeles.

Jack Rothman was asked by national DSA to be the volunteer local organizer. With 300 dues-paying members in the area, and with the "dreadful, downwardly spiraling politics in California these days, it’s high time for an organized democratic socialist presence on the Los Angeles scene."

San Diego Democratic Socialists of America "has given priceless assistance to their Los Angeles big sister in getting organized". Virginia Franco and Herb Shore, members of DSA’s National Political Committee and its Local Development Committee who live in San Diego, sparked the Los Angeles start-up through phone calls, visits, and advice.

"Our kick-off meeting was a splendid event. 65 people – more than any of us expected – turned out. We had to put out more chairs, twice". Peter Dreier, distinguished writer, scholar, and activist from Occidental College delivered the keynote address.

Dreier, who was on the original DSA National Executive Board, held the audience in rapt attention on the topic of “The Inside/Outside Strategy” – which has guided DSA’s political thrust since the days of Michael Harrington. We had the good fortune of a second key address by National Director Frank Llewellyn, who trekked down (and back) from the Netroots Nation Conference in Las Vegas to participate in our event. He sketched a picture of the DSA national program for the audience, including its newly issued Social and Economic Bill of Rights.

25 people volunteered to join a committee to organize next steps.[16]

Film series

“The local’s birth was hard work,” says Chair Carol Newton, “but an ambitious effort was made to give it real meaning by writing a thoughtful statement of purpose for the bylaws, one that will inspire our efforts in the future.”

While working on local development, the Los Angelenos DSAers presented a film series, moderated by Jack Rothman, Professor Emeritus, UCLA School of Public Affairs. After they screened “Harlan County, USA,” directed by Barbara Kopple, about organizing a coal miners’ union in the 1930s, Kyle Arnone of the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment led a discussion for 18 attendees. Next was “The Corporation,”with a discussion led by Professor Howard Sherman, a progressive economist and former head of the economics department at UC Riverside. Last up was “Howard Zinn:You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train.” John Marciano,a professor emeritus at Cortland State University who led the discussion, had worked directly with Howard Zinn and is noted for his teaching of historian and activist Zinn’s book The People’s History of the United States.[17]

"The Left and the 2016 Elections"

"The Left and the 2016 Elections" was sponsored by the LA branch of Solidarity: A Socialist-Feminist, Anti-racist Network

Co-sponsored by the LA branches of: Democratic Socialists of America, Socialist Party USA, Socialist Alternative.

It was held at the Peace Center, 3916 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA, Sunday 31 January 2016, and was organized by : Gabe Gabrielsky.

Panelists were Charles Fredricks from the LA chapter Democratic Socialists of America , Michael Brown from the LA Branch of the International Socialist Organization, Hannah Zuckerman from the LA Branch of Socialist Alternative, Mimi Soltysik, Socialist Party USA candidate for President of the United States and Gabe Gabrielsky from the LA Branch of Solidarity: A Socialist-Feminist, Anti-racist Network, and moderated by independent activist Sarah Mason.[18]

Those indicating attendance on Wherevent included Hannah Zucherman, Gabe Gabrielsky, Janet Ann Young, Michael Bray, Robert Pond, Michael Pugliese, Dani Radek, Michael Brown, Liz Avendano, Sarah Mason, Matt Owen, Randy Childs, Henry DeGroot, Keyanna Celina, Arturo Sernas, Hanna Renee, Yvet Jacqueline Perez Enciso, Fernando Ramirez, James Robertson, Stephen Kemp, Martabel Wasserman, Mimi Soltysik.[19]

Meeting RSVPs

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DSA-LA 2ND CHAPTER MEETING, AFSCME District Council 36 , 514 Shatto Pl , Los Angeles, CA 90020

DSA-LA’s 2nd Official Chapter Meeting of 2017 will be held on April 15th from 12-3pm. The meeting will feature reports from committees and working groups along with campaign updates and announcements.

  • The Healthcare Committee will present an important seminar on the Healthy California Act - SB 562. Learn how we all can effectively fight for guaranteed healthcare.
  • The May Day Working Group will present an update on the planning and organizing for the May Day March & Rally.
  • The Election Coordinating Committee (ECC) will present the elections and nominations process for the newly formed 9-person Steering Committee.

RSVPs included Virginia Cotts, Paul Knechtges, Cameron Towne, Carl Listberger, Vida A, Thomas Hoffman, Robert Phillips, Shuvang Bhattarai, Teresa Barros, Sam Forman, Anita Anderson, Marissa Perez, Benjamin Master, Felipe Caceres, Andy Garcia, Anne Orchier, Austin Chanu, Ivan Chu, Brett Banditelli, Carol Newton, Aaron Doyle, Jason Netek, W. Gabriel Selassie I, Liska Ostojic, Alex Moyer, Ryan Langrehr, David Massey, Thomas Hollingsworth.

Demand Medicare For All in California

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Demand Medicare For All in California (Senate District 30) Public · Hosted by Democratic Socialists of America - Los Angeles.

Friday, April 7 at 2 PM - 5 PM PDT

700 State Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037-1210, United States.[20]

Invited on Facebook

Interested

Went

References

  1. [1]
  2. DSA-LA Newsletter October 2017
  3. OFFICER ELECTION RESULTS
  4. [2]
  5. [3]
  6. [4]
  7. [5]
  8. [6]
  9. [7]
  10. [8]
  11. Dem. Left MARCH-APRIL 1991, page 14
  12. Dem. Left MARCH-APRIL 1991, page 14
  13. DEMOCRATIC LEFT SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1991, page 23
  14. Democratic Left March/April 1993, page 12
  15. Dem. Left, Sept./Oct. 1993, page 26
  16. Democratic Left Summer 2010
  17. Dem. Left, Spring 2001, page 14
  18. [ https://www.facebook.com/events/517081271789232/ FB 31 JANThe Left and the 2016 Elections Public · Hosted by Gabe Gabrielsky and Sarah Mason]
  19. "The Left and the 2016 Elections"
  20. [%7B%22surface%22%3A%22page%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22main_list%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22page_id%5C%22%3A1510130519215490%2C%5C%22tour_id%5C%22%3Anull%7D%22%7D%2C%22has_source%22%3Atrue%7D]