Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America

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Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America was re-established, circa 2006, largely due to the work of Milt Tambor, a "recently transplanted AFSCME union officer from Detroit who has utilized his considerable organizing skills to recreate a DSA local firmly linked to the labor and civil rights’ movements."[1]

Following an organizational meeting in January 2006, fifteen Atlanta DSA members petitioned the National Political Committee for a local charter covering the Metropolitan Atlanta Area. We formed a steering committee, adopted bylaws, and held monthly meetings. At those meetings, speakers discussed such issues as single-payer health care, environmental justice, and immigrant rights. We also contacted several DSAers who had been active in the Atlanta local in the 1980s.[2]

March for Life

March 2018, several Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America members turned out to support the Grady H.S. students who walked out as part of the nation-wide protest demanding effective gun control legislation in the wake of the Parkland, FL massacre. It seemed that the whole school, including teachers and the principal, participated in the demonstration, which they held in the Grady sports stadium. After a moment of silence a few students gave brief, eloquent speeches and then the whole group marched around the track a few times before returning to classes, well beyond the announced 17 minutes. Barbara Joye, Reid Jenkins, Evan Seed, Lisa Ashway, Lorraine Fontana, Cecelia Cantrell and Ann Mauney were there from MADSA; Cecelia Cantrell, Lorraine Fontana, Ann Mauney and Barbara Joye were also members of Atlanta Grandmothers for Peace, which had brought many of the supporters.[3]

Afro-Socialists Black Power Bowl

The Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America Afro-Socialists' first event, the Black Power Bowl, drew this great crowd to a get-together at the Phillip Rush Center, Feb. 4. 2018. Attendees included South Fulton Councilman Khalid Kamau; MADSA officer Erin Parks; BLM and Rise Up activist Dawn O'Neal; attorney and Atlanta NAACP Vice-President Gerald Griggs; attorney and political commentator Anoa Changa; and representatives of several other organizations, educators, and small business owners. The group came together for a moment of fellowship and trivia fun. Councilman khalid explained on FB: "#SuperBowl quarterback with a multimillion-dollar #NFL contract, took a knee — not just for a game, but an entire season — and brought a national conversation about police brutality and the #BlackLivesMatter movement into the homes of Americans desperate to avoid it. And when the NFL, in retaliation, stripped him of his career, it sparked an #NFLBoycott that cost the league 2 MILLION viewers. Around the country, #NFLBlackOut parties & protests are creating networks of new activists."[4]

New leadership

Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America new officers elected at Sept. 16, 2017 membership meeting They were: Chair - Adam Cardo; Membership Secretary - Michael Lavender; Recording Secretary - Jeb Boone; Treasurer - Seth Ellingson; At-large (3) - Anat Fintzi, Erin Parks, Eric Robertson. [5]

Campaigning for Fort


Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America, was out campaigning for Vincent Fort on October 16, 2017.

With Nate Knauf, Larry Pellegrini, Matthew Golden, River Grana, Megan Harrison, Krupesh Patel, Heather Marie Laveau, Josh Tuccio, Aaron Thorpe, Patrick Guinn, Matthew Wolfsen, Tyler Daws, Daniel Hanley, Barbara Landay, Bob Wohlheuter and Barbara Joye.

Sanders fundraiser

One of Atlanta DSA's first actions was a fundraiser for Senate candidate Bernie Sanders. . At the same time, there was some reluctance to take on an assignment that would be too difficult and demanding. DSA nationalleadership provided the necessary assistance to facilitate planning, with DSA PAC house-party organizing kits that included program suggestions and time lines for organizing the event. The locals drafted sample invitation and contribution forms, and DSA local representatives who were planning fundraisers in their own cities shared useful information in telephone conferences.

A DSAer and faculty member at the Emory School of Medicine with many ties to Atlanta’s "progressive community", Henry Kahn, accepted the invitation to co-host. Two other community leaders – an attorney and former city council member, John Sweet, and the president of the North Georgia-Atlanta Labor Council, Charlie Flemming – had worked together in past political campaigns and agreed to co-host as well. John and Midge Sweet offered to host the Sunday afternoon party at their home, a gathering place for progressive activists. The three co-hosts signed the letter of invitation that would be sent out four to six weeks before the meeting. The Atlanta DSA local PAC consisted of six members – Jeff Bragg, Kempton Haynes, Barbara Joye, Norm Markel, Austin Wattles, and Milt Tambor.

We began by compiling a list of invitees– DSA members, friends, names submitted by John Sweet, and a PAC member active with Atlanta’s alternative radio station. That list, however, was limited to only 125names. This changed quickly when we were able to secure from the Sanders campaign a list of 500 Georgia contributors – two thirds living in the Atlanta area.

The program for the party included Frank Hamilton – formerly of The Weavers – and Mary Hamilton who agreed to entertain with folk music free of charge. Following the entertainment, Sanders, who was to attend a Detroit DSA fundraiser that same afternoon, would call in. The fundraising and collecting of checks then followed.

The party raised over $3,000. The grand total, including checks received in the mail, reached $5,200 from seventy individual donors.

Beyond raising the $5,200, Atlanta DSA realized other benefits. They signed up several new members, our mailing list grew by fifty names, and, at a meeting following the party, we had our highest turnout. The fundraiser has set the stage for Atlanta DSA to become a serious player in the progressive community. We also feel proud that we were able to contribute to DSA PAC’s national effort to raise $50,000 for Bernie’s campaign.[6]

2008 officers

2008 election

DSA members in Atlanta worked separately with a variety of organizations on various aspects of the presidential and senatorial elections: canvassing with the Democratic Party, phone banking with the North Georgia Labor Council and True Majority, registering voters with Women’s Action for New Directions, dropping banners on expressway overpasses, and helping the NAACP monitor the voting process.

“The experience was good,” says Carol Coney, a poll monitor. “If I hadn’t been there when polls opened at 7 a.m. to report that the computers were all down, who knows how long it would have taken to get them on line? I had Election Protection at that precinct within 20 minutes. It was good teamwork, and I felt good that the computers were only down for the first hour.” Unfortunately, even with our help, neither Obama nor the liberal senatorial candidate Jim Martin – who could have helped the Democrats achieve a filibuster-proof majority – were able to overcome the superior Republican organization in the state. Jorge (Jorge A. Lawton) traveled twice to North Carolina during the primaries to organize Latino voter registration in Winston Salem and Charlotte and help deliver votes that proved key to the Obama campaign and later the governor’s and senatorial races in that state..”[8]

2011 DSA National Conference

Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America delegates attending the November 11-13, 2011 National Convention in the Washington DC area included Barbara Joye, Jorge A. Lawton, Minnie Ruffin, Milt Tambor and Bob Wohlheuter.[9]

2012 officers

2012 officers of Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America were Marcia Borowski, Barbara Joye, Barbara Landay, Norm Markel, Ray Miklethun, Barbara Segal and webmaster Bob Wohlheuter. Adam Shapiro died during the year.[10]

MLK Day Parade: DSA and Georgia for Bernie

Atlanta Monday 18 January 2016, MLK Day Parade: "DSA and Georgia for Bernie Contingent" organized by Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America

Those indicating intention to attend on Wherevent included Kelly Rhyne, Scott Darce, Angela Noel, Julian Harden, Julius John Hayden III, Erica Darragh, Mazlum Koșma, Kylee Reed Fulton, Dougie Hanson, Nick Langley, Daniel Hanley, Lamarcus Davis, Josh Thurmond, Barbara Segal, Melissa O'Shields, Adam Leonard, Adam Joseph Cardo, Steve Wise, Mandie Turner Mitchell, Asher Emmanuel, Tim Franzen, Joshua Collins, Jamie Mize, Rebekah Joy, Josh Martin, Steve Gill, Michelle Jones, Shelley Elise Berlin, Caroline Mask, Adriana Barros-Woodward, Debra Poss, Glenda Arrington Poindexter, Denise Woodall, Peggy Stentz Casey, Arletta Faheemah Saafir, Barbara Joye, Beth Ensign.[11]

DSA Street marchers

Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America marching October 2015. ·


With Rebekah Joy, Daniel Hanley, Keith Beaver, Nina Dutton, Barbara Joye, Adam Joseph Cardo, Leon Clymore, Bob Caine, Travis Reid and Scott Brown, Hope Adair, Brandon Payton-Carrillo Bob Wohlheuter, Steve Gill.

National Conference delegates

Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America elected a full slate of 13 delegates and 2 alternates to represent the group in August 2017 at the Democratic Socialists of America's National Convention! The delegates: Jeb Boone, Adam Cardo, Scott Douglas, Anat Fintzi, Chad Floyd, Daniel Hanley, Barbara Joye, Brad Lathem, Erin Parks, Eric Robertson, Maxwell Ruppersburg, Ron Spears, and Matthew Wolfsen, and alternates Reid Jenkins and Tom Ladendorf.[12]

Michael Lavender and Eric Robertson were also delegates.[13]

Peoples Summit delegates


Metro Atlanta Democratic DSA joined incredible activists and friends from Our Revolution Georgia and United Students Against Sweatshops at the The People's Summit 2017 this weekend! We strengthened our bonds with coalition partners around the country, articulated a positive platform for human rights -- beyond the resistance -- and attended trainings and workshops for movement organizers. — with Michelle Sanchez Jones, Anoa J. Changa, Emmanuel Morrell, Susana Duran Perez, JT Pennington, Erin Parks, Scott Brown, Daniel Hanley and Adam Cardo.

Eat, Drink, & Be Marxist


Eat, Drink, & Be Marxist. Hosted by Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America.

Friday, April 21 at 7 PM - 10 PM EDT

Georgia Beer Garden, 420 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30312.

Invited on Facebook



ABCs of Socialism


ABCs of Socialism: Identity and Intersectionality: Hosted by Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America

Saturday, March 4 at 2 PM - 4 PM EST

The Central Library 1 Margaret Mitchell Sq NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Invited on Facebook



Facebook discussion group

Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America Closed Facebook group, as of April 2017;

Discussion group for the Democratic Socialists of America—Metro Atlanta chapter. Orienting new members, coordinating Facebook outreach, and organizing, organizing, organizing![14]

Admin Scott Douglas


By September 23 2017, the group had almost tripled in size.