The Athens chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America held its first meeting on Thursday, Aug. 23 2018, laying out goals to push for higher wages for professional full-time workers at the University of Georgia, building and educating a membership base, reaching out to local high schools and building coalitions.
The meeting was held in the Tate Student Center and was comprised of approximately 30 students and Athens locals eager to be a part of YDSA.
“[YDSA] is the Young Democratic Socialists of America in Athens. Socialist, because we believe in people controlling their own labor. Socialist, because we believe in people controlling the product of their labor. And socialist, because we believe in people controlling the full value of their labor,” said RF, co-chair of YDSA in Athens.
Following these beliefs, Findley said the organization’s “main project” is focusing on getting higher wages or a living wage for professional full-time workers at UGA.
“To be clear, this will probably take more than one semester,” said Harrison Finch, co-chair of YDSA in Athens. “The president of UGA is very passionate about not raising wages.”
Findley and Finch also mentioned the Athens chapter of YDSA’s secondary goals: building and educating a membership base, reaching out to local high schools and building coalitions.
“We are planning on tabling and trying to get new members through the traditional methods that most clubs do,” Finch said. “We’re definitely actively trying to expand, but at the same time, I’ll take 50 committed people who are ready to go to war with [UGA President [[Jere Morehead over 500 people who don’t care.”
Junior environmental economics major Quinn Webb said he is looking forward to holding Morehead accountable to provide a living wage to UGA employees.
“If you look at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, if you look at her campaign, she says, ‘yes, she is a part of Democratic Socialists of America,’ but she doesn’t focus on that. She focuses on the fact that what she does lifts up support,” Webb said. “Through that, those people can then have a better life.”