Maria Svart

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Maria Svart

Maria L. Svart was appointed by the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America to be DSA's next National Director in June 2011. She succeeded Frank Llewellyn who announced earlier that year that he was stepping down after ten years. Maria Svart was scheduled to start on July 5, 2011. Llewellyn would stay on for a brief period to assist in the transition.

Maria Svart had been a member of DSA since 2004. She first joined as a member of the University of Chicago Young Democratic Socialists chapter and quickly became active at the national level, serving as the feminist issues coordinator on the YDS Coordinating Committee and then co-chair for several terms. Her campus activism, through YDS and other student organizations, focused on feminist, environmental, immigrant rights, anti-war and labor solidarity work.

"I grew up in a family that in one generation went from working class to middle class, and our combined experiences inform my political analysis." Maria said. "My grandparents and parents achieved upward mobility by using the kind of government programs that DSA fights to protect and expand -- like the GI Bill and other federal student loans. My immediate and extended family members are in unions (Mineworkers, Firefighters, Postal Workers, Teachers and other public employees) - in fact my grandmother went out on strike for over a year during the Great Depression. My mother is a first generation U.S. citizen with parents who walked across the border from Mexico during the revolution. And, my first protest was in a stroller at an anti-nuke rally in the 1980s, so I understand the importance of grassroots pressure!"

After college, Svart became a campus organizer with the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG), while simultaneously helping successive YDS organizers and leaders begin to bridge the generational gap between YDS and DSA. After MASSPIRG, Maria worked seven years for the labor movement, with the Service Employees International Union and the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare. At CIR, she organized resident physicians to speak out in support of Medicaid and funding for safety-net hospitals.

In recent years she served as chair of the New York City DSA local and was elected to the National Political Committee at the 2009 DSA convention. On the NPC, Maria has chaired the Program Committee, which has provided materials and guidance that have helped DSA locals and YDS chapters participate in the fight against state and federal budget cuts and to defend the rights of public employees. Throughout involvement in DSA, Maria has stressed the importance of understanding how patriarchy, racism, and other structures of oppression intersect with capitalism; the need to train more activists in the skills necessary to intervene effectively in politics; and the "crucial role of both public and internal socialist education in the building of our movement".[1]

Dispatches from the US left


Thursday, 04 April 2019 14:30 - 18:30 Venue: European Parliament:

Public conversation with leaders from the US left, including Maria Svart, David Duhalde, Alan Minsky, Alexandra Rojas, and Matt Duss (tbc) about the common challenges during the upcoming election cycle 2019/2020.

On the eve of the elections to the European Parliament, and at the beginning of the race to the US Presidential elections in November 2020, Western Democracy is at a crossroads. While we are facing an organised roll-back of libertarian achievements, there is a need to unite in our defence, and to win this struggle together in order to be in the position to prevent climate change, build prosperous post-growth economies, and organise inclusive and rights-based societies in a new technological environment.

Compilation: European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) discussion with American Socialists 2019

This event will provide information about the progressive candidates, including Bernie Sanders, who will successfully challenge Donald Trump, and the campaign techniques applied. The discussion will analyse the state of play of new political camps being constructed in Europe in the context of the elections for the European Parliament, and the diversity of the struggle inside and outside of Parliaments on both sides of the Atlantic.

Moderated by Barbara Spinelli, MEP and Ethan Earle.[2]

Guest of the European Left


After Bernie Sanders launched his campaign for Presidential candidacy last Saturday, we as Party of the European Left would like to point out, that we had invited leaders from the US left to Brussels.

03 April 2019 6:00 pm European Left Public Event in Brussels: DISPATCHES FROM THE US LEFT

A conversation with leaders from the US left about upcoming elections, Bernie Sanders, and the need for a new progressive internationalism.

Salle “L’Aurore” de l’Association Culturelle Joseph Jacquemotte, 162 Rue du Midi, 1000 Bruxelles / Belgique

Our Guests:

Additional to this public event there will be on 4th April 2018 a Seminar in the European Parliament organized by representatives of GUE-NGL in co-operation with the EL. If you want to take part in the GUE-NGL seminar, that is held in the premises of the European Parliament, you must register at the GUE site as soon as the seminar is announced in order to get a pass for entering the parliament.[3]

In the spirit of Bernie Sanders’ recent call to begin building an “international progressive front”, the European Left invited leaders from the US Left to Brussels to develop concrete working relationships.
Over two productive days, Maria Svart, National Director of the Democratic Socialists of America, David Duhalde, Political Director of Our Revolution and Alan Minsky, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America, met with leaders of the European Left and GUE/NGL, as well as with representatives from civil society, ETUC, and national parties across Europe.

We look forward to working together to combat the domination of the 1% and the rise of what Sanders calls the “new authoritarian axis”, and to developing positive alternatives together.

Maite Mola & Paolo Ferrero

Vice-Presidents of the Party of the European Left.[4]

Rosa Luxemburg connection


Stefanie Ehmsen, Maria Svart.


Maria Svart was, in 2006,[5] a Service Employees International Union organizer and co-chair of the Young Democratic Socialists-youth wing of Democratic Socialists of America.

Atlanta DSA convention

Young Democratic Socialists members Maria Svart, Nicole Iaquinto, Flavio Hickel, Jr., Chris Hicks and Alyssa Cundari (University of Miami) attended the Democratic Socialists of America National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia in November 2007;[6]

DSA contact

In 2009 Maria Svart was New York City contact for Democratic Socialists of America[7].

NYC DSA steering committee

In 2009 New York City Democratic Socialists of America elected a new steering committee, with Maria Svart as chair, Chris Maisano as secretary, Kenny Schaeffer as treasurer, David Yap as membership coordinator, and Jason Schulman as at large member.[8]

DSA NPC member

At the Democratic Socialists of America 2009 National Convention Evanston, Illinois November 13-15, 2009, a new National Political Committee was elected;[9]

"Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America Presents #485"

"Tax, Then Spend in New York State" Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America member Charles Dunaway draws on information presented in 2010 by James Parrott of the Fiscal Policy Institute, DSAers Michael Hirsch, Maria Svart and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton to show that New York State could easily afford to pay for what it needs, if only people would demand a return to earlier income tax rates on top incomes or a return to the stock sales tax that the state once had. Recorded Feb. 16, 2010, March 20, 2010, and February 7, 2011.[10]

Equality and Jobs for the 99%:Economic Justice for All

A public event sponsored by Democratic Socialists of America, "Equality and Jobs for the 99%:Economic Justice for All", was held November 11, 2011; 7:00 p.m. at St. Stephen and Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton NW, Washington, D.C.

Speakers were;

DSA, the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International, is the largest socialist political organization in the country, with more than 6,000 members and active locals in more 40 U.S. cities and college campuses. DSA Locals in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Wichita, among others, have taken an active role in the Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Freedom Plaza, and other Occupy protests in support of jobs and economic justice.

This meeting was organized in conjunction with the 15th National Convention of Democratic Socialists of America, which is being held at the Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner November 11-13, 2011.[11]

2011 11th Annual Douglass-Debs Dinner

Over 200 people attended the 12th annual Frederick Douglass-Eugene V. Debs Dinner on October 1st at UAW Local 600 in Dearborn. The dinner honored Reverend Ed Rowe, senior pastor at Central United Methodist Church, and the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan (ROC-Michigan). Reverend Rowe was honored for his lifetime commitment to social justice, civil rights, and workers’ rights. The event honored ROC-Michigan for its recent successful campaign to improve wages and working conditions at Andiamo Restaurant. Congressman Hansen Clarke presented congressional citations to both awardees.

The dinner co-chairs were Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO President Saundra Williams and UAW Vice-President James Settles, Jr. The Bill Meyer Group provided entertainment and led the audience in singing “Solidarity Forever” and “The Internationale.” Keynote speaker was William Greider, national affairs correspondent at The Nation.

DSA National Director Maria Svart also addressed the Douglass-Debs Dinner.[12]

Occupy panel

A Democratic Socialists of America at Occupy Wall Street panel was held at at Goddard-Riverside Community Center October 27, 2011 Goddard-Riverside Community Center

OccupyWallStreet We welcome a blue-ribbon panel of movement activists:

Left Forum 2012

Prospects for Left Unity in the Political Battles of 2012

Can a number of socialist and left organizations join together and achieve a critical mass in common projects during the complex battles throughout 2012? Representatives of several organizations – CCDS, CPUSA, DSA, Freedom Road and others – will discuss and debate matters arising from the OWS insurgency, the working class fightback and the 2012 elections.

Chair: Pat Fry, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism

Speakers: Randy Shannon, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Maria Svart, Democratic Socialists of America, Libero Della Piana, Communist Party USA

SI Congress, Cape Town


Maria Svart, Gerry Hudson, Mark Levinson and Skip Roberts attended the 2012 Socialist International Congress in Cape Town South Africa.

Healthcare call-in

On May 15th, 2013 a national call-in was convened to promote Rep. John Conyers' bill H.R. 676, that would establish a non-profit, universal, single-payer health care program, an improved "Medicare for All" act.

Participants were;

Mapping Socialist Strategies

Mapping Socialist Strategies was convened from August 1-4, 2014 in Briarcliff Manor, NY, by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office. It brang together 100 influential progressives and leftists from across the United States, Canada, and Europe for an “un-conference” on socialist strategies.

The "Advisory Group" consistied of Greg Albo, Laura Flanders, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Rachel LaForest, Sarah Leonard, John Nichols, Frances Fox Piven, Bhaskar Sunkara, Maria Svart, Sean Sweeney, Bill Tabb, and Steve Williams.[15]

People for Bernie

In 2016 Maria Svart Democratic Socialists of America, was a leader of People for Bernie.

Socialist Caucus at the DNC

Socialist Caucus at the DNC Wed, Jul 27, 2016 - William Way LGBTQ Center Philadelphia, PA.

The Democratic Socialists of America invites all DNC delegates, members and friends to the Socialist Caucus, featuring:

Cornel West resigned from the Platform Committee and didn't attend the Convention in protest against the Sanders’ campaign not filing minority reports, particularly on TPP and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

We will miss Brother West at the Socialist Caucus, but the other speakers are fantastic (and stay tuned to this page for additional speakers)! Bring your friends and fellow delegates![16]

Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward


Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward was a phone in webinar organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in the wake of the 2016 election.

Now what? We’re all asking ourselves that question in the wake of Trump’s victory. We’ve got urgent strategizing and work to do, together. Join Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Road, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Jodeen Olguin-Taylor of Mijente and WFP, Joe Schwartz of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Sendolo Diaminah of Freedom Road for a discussion of what happened, and what we should be doing to build mass defiance. And above all, how do we build the Left in this, which we know is the only solution to the crises we face?

This event will take place Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific.

Those expressing interest in attending, on Facebook included Maria Svart.[17]

The Anti-Racism Working Group of DSA

In February 2017, the Anti-Racism Working Group of Democratic Socialists of America consisted of Jared Abbott, Demitrius Callins, Adam Cardo, Duane Campbell, Elizabeth Henderson, Javier Miranda, Maria Svart.[18]

DSA Women's Caucus Facebook group


DSA Women's Caucus closed Facebook group, as of August 25, 2017;[19]