Zac Echola is a North Dakota activist.
Red River DSA
In August 2017 Zac Echola stood for election to the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee, at the National Convention in Chicago, from Red River Valley Democratic Socialists of America.
- I’m a software engineer by trade (Minnesota public employee, MAPE 1502), but I initially studied Political Science and Journalism in college. Having worked summers and early falls with the ND Democratic-Nonpartisan League, I developed a distaste for it and switched my Political Science major to American Studies where I was freer to explore interconnections of American history, politics and culture.
- I am running with a slate of candidates, Praxis (dsapraxis.org) on a platform explicitly focused on two things: building capacity and building diversity.
- First, small and new chapters need representation in the NPC. New chapters will be small by definition of their newness. But as we grow to a massive organization, we need to understand that a large portion of our members are new. However, nobody is born with the skills to organize effectively. We need to learn from one another. We can do that by building a national culture of leadership.
- Most of my political action happens at incredibly local levels. I’m regularly referred to by a sitting city councilperson as a “rabble-rouser rouser” and a “far far far far far left-wing BernieBro” by a talk radio host. I’ve been on committees for everything from food cooperatives to arts programs to historical preservation projects. My latest organizing work has been around election reform that would expand the Fargo city council and introduce new, better voting methods. We are extremely close to being the first city in America to use approval voting.
- I have also organized around regional issues in North Dakota. We fought back—and won—against a measure that would have allowed corporate farming in ND. We fought back—and won—against a measure that would have granted personhood to fetuses. Progress is winning in North Dakota while the Democrats continue to lose. I understand that there is hope in the face of a daunting task.
- That’s why I joined DSA. DSA is one of only a few organizations that believes in places like this. I never expected to do more than build up a chapter and find other people to run it, but the more I work with DSA, the more deeply committed to its mission I find myself.
- Within DSA, I helped form my chapter: Red River Valley. I worked very hard to help discover and develop its leadership. I am currently the treasurer, but if elected to the NPC I leave my chapter in extremely capable hands.
- The Praxis slate of candidates (Ravi Ahmad, Allie Cohn, Leslie Driskill, Celeste Earley, Michael Patterson, R.L. Stephens and Zac Echola laid out a detailed platform for organizing on our website at dsapraxis.org. We believe in organization with key values and strategic thinking at its core, with discipline and orientation toward base-building and relational organizing..
2017-2017 DSA NPC members
Members elected to the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee, August 2017;
- Catherine Hoffman
- Chris Maisano
- Christian Bowe
- Christine Riddiough
- Danny Fetonte
- Dele Balogun
- Ella Mahony
- Jeremy Gong
- Joseph Schwartz
- Theresa Alt
- Allie Cohn
- Leslie Driskill
- Natalie Midiri
- R.L. Stephens
- Ravi Ahmad
- Zac Echola