Daraka Larimore-Hall is a California activist.
DSA Youth Section
Detroit DSA training
In 2000, Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America hosted National Director Horace Small, YDS organizer Daraka Larimore-Hall, and development expert Sue Karant at an organizing weekend, coinciding with the Black Radical Congress national meetings.
The goal of this workshop was to train local DSA members in the rudiments of organizing local campaigns and fundraising so that we may expand our efforts on Living Wage, Universal Health Care, and Globalization campaigns.
Battle in Seattle
- Paul Fitzgerald
- Geoff Kurtz
- Daraka Larimore-Hall
- Oscar Owens
- Michael Rabinowitz
- Dania Rajendra
- Jessica Shearer
Working through the Democrats
- Imagine an America in which socialism is part of our political landscape. Imagine an America in which the Right couldn't destroy any initiative for social justice by simply labeling it with the "s" word. Imagine an America in which the values of solidarity and equality are defended by politicians with the same vigor as liberty and security.
- We know what the alternative looks like. In today's America, it is difficult to fight for even limited progress against poverty, against hunger, against injustice in the workplace because mainstream politicians are not "able" to talk about the big questions of power and privilege without being denounced as "crazy", "radical" or worst of all, "socialist." We can blame the politicians, we can vote for the most radical option no matter their chances of winning, or we can go out and build the kinds of movements which would make progressive politics possible...
- Our job, as Democratic Socialists, is to help build a movement that will bring about a change in the political order. That means joining with and working beside communities and social movements which fight for freedom and justice. It also means arguing for the connections between those struggles, and helping to create a new, progressive majority in America. That majority won't be socialist. Not everyone will agree with us. However, it is only as part of that majority that our ideas can become part of the political debate. Our ideas must be linked to people's everyday experience, and our work must be rooted in struggles that help people take power over their own lives. Otherwise, we are just a coffee-shop collection of romantic idealists.
- We in the democratic left are not trying to "lead" people, or to tell social movements their business. A majority of activists of color, unions, feminists, queer activists and environmentalists have made the political choice to work within the Democratic Party. For that reason, democratic socialists should also work as Democrats. Of course, that's not all we do, but we share with these movements a belief that Republicans are worth beating, and that many (but not most) Democratic politicians are part of the progressive majority we hope to strengthen. Even those good Democrats need the pressure of people's movements to allow them to create policies which foster a long-term change in America's power structure.
- We must move beyond the "reform or revolution" debate, and understand that not all reforms are born equal. Some reforms are structural. A raise in the minimum wage is a good thing, but it doesn't change the power structure. Changing our labor laws so that it is easier to form unions is a reform that shifts the balance of power between employers and employees. Our role as socialists is to transform the political debate in America so that such "non-reformist reforms" can be fought for and won. Even if a majority of Americans are never socialists, without a loud democratic socialist voice within a larger progressive coalition, such deep changes will never make it onto the agenda.
- This is more than a strategic question, though. We believe that our values are shared by millions of Americans, and we can speak to them if we can speak a language which makes sense. Our brand of socialism is part of a long-standing American tradition- a liberal tradition. At the heart of American liberalism is a deeply progressive impulse, critical of corporate power, dedicated to democracy and human equality. As democratic socialists, we don't think that this impulse is enough. It must be backed up by a political commitment to equality. If you really want to insure prosperity, equal opportunity, racial and gender equality and global justice, you must address the problems at the root of the capitalist system. Liberalism is a great start, but in order to fulfill its own goals, it must confront the structural problems of global capitalism.
- Concretely, this means that our number-one priority between now and November should be defeating George Bush. The bottom line is that this will happen only if we elect a Democrat. However, while we are out campaigning for John Kerry, we should be arguing that there is only so much that he can do to help the cause of global justice. Social change comes from below, and we have a long road ahead of us. These two tasks do not stand in contradiction. We can believe that a better world is possible, and still understand that we live in the world of today.
Santa Barbara Democrat
In 2009 Daraka Larimore-Hall, chairman of the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party, responded to negative ads against the Democrat linked slate in the local council elections. He said that Preserve Our Santa Barbara’s ads were “increasingly gross” and that they were entering “Glenn Beck territory.”
- “We all worked hard to defeat the politics of the Bush era, where wealth beats democracy, scapegoating beats dialog and demagoguery beats discussion...Why should we let someone bring that nastiness to Santa Barbara? This is less about ‘going negative’ as it is about making sure people know where all these mailers and radio and TV ads are coming from.”
- ↑ Dem. Left, Sept./Oct. 1995
- ↑ http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng56.html#anchor1041945
- ↑  DSA website 1997, accessed May 27, 2010
- ↑ Dem. Left, Fall 2000
- ↑  Democratic Left 2001 Locals Report — DSA Activism at the Grassroots
- ↑ Democratic Left Summer 2001, page 1
- ↑ http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:gLmoyJLKzEsJ:www.ydsusa.org/taking_sides.html+daraka+larimore-hall&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=nz
- ↑ http://www.thedailysound.com/100909neg