Third General Assembly

I just can't wait for the fall of Capitalism!


September 21


@


11:00 am



1:00 pm

We are welcoming in Autumn with our last General Assembly (GA) of 2019 on Saturday, September 21 at Community Voices Heard’s office at 388 Ann St, Newburgh, NY from 11AM-1pm.

This GA will be less formal than usual. We’ll work together to figure out what sorts of events and actions we want our chapter to do over the next three months. Please bring your calendars – we’ll be making plans!

We do have some business to discuss, including whether to incorporate the chapter and formally voting on the establishment of some chapter working groups. Please review the agenda below, and email organize@mhvdsa.org if you have anything you’d like to add.

Agenda

  1. Welcome
  2. Adopt Rusty’s Rules for meeting procedure
  3. Approve minutes from our first and second General Assemblies
  4. Incorporating the Chapter into a 501c(4)
  5. Workplan & Working Groups
    1. Working Group Charters (please take a look at the proposed charter for our Recruitment, Onboarding, & Culture Working Group)
    2. Breakout sessions
    3. Report back/Work plan drafting
  6. Working Budget
  7. Reminder: Officer elections in February
  8. Member announcements

NY Health Act/Medicare for All Canvassing!


September 15


@


11:30 am



2:00 pm

Come join the fight for healthcare as a human right with the Mid-Hudson Valley Democratic Socialists of America! We will be talking to residents in the neighborhood around Mansion Square Park about the need for a single payer system with no cost at the point of service for all people regardless of income, health status or citizenship.

We will be meeting at the corner of Clinton and Mansion St in the park.

Mansion Square Park,

N Clinton St & Mansion Street, Poughkeepsie, NY

Poughkeepsie,

New York

12601

United States

+ Google Map

2019 DSA Convention Report

From August 1-4, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, the Democratic Socialists of America held our bi-annual national convention, gathering 1000 elected delegates from chapters in all 50 states. It was by far the largest DSA convention ever, and the largest socialist gathering of its kind in generations. Although DSA has existed since 1982, the 2017 convention represented a new beginning after the 2016 surge that took our membership from around 6,000 to 25,000. DSA’s size has doubled again since that time, with the 2019 delegates representing an membership that is now close to 60,000 strong. Mid-Hudson Valley DSA sent a delegation of five, three of whom were attending a national convention for the first time.

The core objective of the convention was to set national political priorities for the next two years, to direct the use of national DSA’s approximately $4 million budget (which comes mostly from member dues), and to elect the 16 member National Political Committee (NPC), which is the governing body that oversees the day to day operation of the national organization. In addition, there were speakers including Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour and Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants. Delegates also attended breakout groups where we learned skills and made cross-chapter connections to aid our work on everything from tenant organizing to operational security.

DSA is a big-tent, multi-tendency organization, and that diversity made itself felt on the convention floor. There were differences over both external organizing priorities and the internal structure of DSA, which were debated and voted on over the course of the weekend.

An official accounting of all the resolutions passed is still forthcoming. However, key priorities that were approved include eco-socialism and the Green New Deal, labor organizing (both within existing unions and among unorganized workers), organizing for affordable housing, and opposing mass incarceration. Anti-fascist organizing and anti-imperialism also received a boost, as new national committees were formed to concentrate on each. And the centrality of reproductive labor was recognized, as we passed a measure to concentrate on child care, both by ensuring that child care is provided at our own DSA events, and by allocating resources to the national fight for guaranteed paid parental leave. In addition to all of this, DSA will continue its support of the Bernie Sanders campaign and Medicare for All, which have been two of our most prominent projects in recent years.

The resolutions that were passed create national working groups and allocate staff time to our priorities. This will help to support local work in our chapters. For example, MHVDSA’s efforts to secure tenant protections in places like Kingston and Newburgh, alongside allies such as the Kingston Tenants Union and Community Voices Heard, will be aided by national support and connections to ongoing housing work in other DSA chapters from New York City to Washington DC to Omaha to Des Moines.

The convention also adopted a resolution stating that national DSA will not endorse any 2020 Presidential candidate in the event that our current endorsed candidate, Bernie Sanders, fails to secure the nomination. While some argued that the overriding imperative of defeating Trump should make us open to other candidates, the majority were apparently swayed by the argument that no other candidate aligns with DSA’s values and objectives in the way Sanders does. This does not, however, prevent members or local chapters from working on another candidate’s campaign, as many undoubtedly will in the event that Sanders loses.

Some of the most contentious proposals at the convention concerned how DSA is organized: how the dues paid by every member are used and distributed, and how national bodies are organized and connected with local chapters. Delegates rejected several measures that would have decreased spending on national staff in favor of redirecting money directly to chapters; we also declined to adopt resolutions that would have replaced the NPC with an “assembly of locals”, or supported regional organizations to mediate between the local and national.

However, we did pass a measure on “Grassroots Fundraising and Small Chapter Growth” that should help small chapters like Mid-Hudson Valley DSA. This measure sets up a national dues drive to encourage members to switch from annual to monthly dues. Any member reading this is encouraged to go monthly if you can! Doing so provides a more reliable stream of funds to DSA, but it also helps chapters: chapters can directly receive a share of dues according to the portion of their local members who pay monthly, and this share is doubled for the first 50 chapter members, which is especially helpful to small chapters like MHVDSA.Towards the end of the convention, the assembled delegates elected our new National Political Committee. Of those elected at the 2017 convention, only one was successfully re-elected to the new body (most chose not to run again). The previous NPC struggled with personal animosity and factional infighting–time will tell whether the new body, which includes representation of all of the main political tendencies in DSA, will be able to work together more productively. However, the convention was promising on that score: the constructive debate and well articulated political visions displayed on the floor showed that DSA, which has filled up with young and inexperienced organizers over the past few years, has taken great steps forward in political maturity since 2017.

Predictably, the right attempted to ridicule the conference proceedings, which were live-streamed for anyone to watch. Failing to find the chaotic convention and outlandish resolutions they no doubt hoped for, the likes of Fox News seized on particularities of the convention’s ground rules. Simple and sensible requests that delegates not clap (so as to respect those with certain disabilities and to make the proceedings speedier and less divisive) and that we use gender-neutral language (such as “comrades” rather than “you guys”) were portrayed as outrageous fringe ideas rather than simple agreed-upon norms of efficient and respectful debate. That the reactionary media (along with a few fellow travelers among “left” critics) were reduced to such meager sniping suggests that the truth of the convention was closer to the impression it left on this author: it was a remarkably disciplined and well-run meeting, where delegates experienced true democratic participation at a scale that is rarely found anywhere else in contemporary life, even in most unions and progressive activist groups.

The real test, of course, will come over the next few years, as local chapters including MHVDSA attempt to follow through on the commitments made in Atlanta. But we return from the convention energized, and reminded that our struggles in the Hudson Valley are not just are own, but that we are part of a broad movement for socialism in the United States and around the world.

Second Member Assembly


July 13


@


11:00 am



1:00 pm

Family Partnership Center

29 N Hamilton St

Poughkeepsie,

New York

12601

United States

+ Google Map

Come help build socialism in the Hudson Valley by attending our next General Assembly on Saturday, July 13 from 11AM – 1pm at the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie (29 N Hamilton St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601).

We much much to discuss and lots of reports about the work we have been doing (Medicare for All, Housing, Brakelight Clinics, Education, etc.). What should we continue to do? What new projects should we tackle to help build a more cooperative, kinder society with no exploitation or oppression and where workers are in charge?

Nominations Now Open for DSA National Convention Delegates

The Mid-Hudson Valley DSA is currently accepting nominations for delegates to represent our chapter at the DSA national convention to be held August 2-4 in Atlanta.

The convention, held every two years, is where DSA elects its national leadership and sets strategic and resource-allocation priorities for the next two years. It is a great opportunity to influence DSA’s direction, advocate for our chapter’s needs, and meet the hundreds of members from around the country who will be in Atlanta.

Nominations are currently open, and will remain open through Sunday, June 9th. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else, please email organize@mhvdsa.org by Sunday!

All nominations (and candidate statements, if candidates wish to provide them) will be posted on the MHV DSA web site at mhvdsa.org/2019/06/03/2019-delegate-nominations. Note that you must be a DSA member in good standing in order to run or vote for convention delegate positions.

For further questions and discussion about the nomination process or the nominees, please join the #nominations channel of the MHV DSA Slack; email organize@mhvdsa.org if you need help accessing Slack.

In addition, a conference call is currently being organized to take place at approximately the beginning of balloting, so that members can meet and ask questions of delegates; stay tuned for further information.

After nominations are closed, balloting will take place online from Monday, June 10th through Sunday, June 16th. An email with the final list of nominees will be sent at the opening of the balloting, with instructions on how to vote. Although the roster of delegates will be set as of Monday, June 17, there will be a further opportunity prior to the convention for all chapter members and delegates to learn about and discuss the convention at our July membership meeting.

Delegate Election Details

The Hudson Valley Chapter is entitled to ten delegates at the convention. Because the process of forming a Lower Hudson and a Mid-Hudson chapter was not completed prior to apportionment, Mid-Hudson and Lower Hudson will be splitting those positions. Lower Hudson (261 members) and Mid-Hudson DSA (230 members) are holding separate elections, each electing 5 delegates.

In addition to Mid-Hudson’s five elected delegates, the next two highest vote getters will be elected alternates and should plan to attend the convention.

All candidates are expected to be able to attend the convention if elected, and to help with fundraising to cover the costs of their travel. The steering committee and the elected delegates will jointly allocate any travel funds raised, according to need. We anticipate that all delegates will have to pay some portion of their travel and lodging costs. Receipts will be required for all expenses to be paid for by the chapter, and any unused funds must be returned.

Timeline

  • Thursday, May 19: nominations opened
  • Sunday, June 9: deadline for nominations and candidate statements
  • Monday, June 10: ballots emailed
  • Sunday, June 16: balloting closes, ballots counted
  • August 2-4: DSA national convention

2019 DSA National Convention Delegates Nominations

To submit a nomination, email organize@mhvdsa.org. Nominations are currently open, and will remain open through Sunday, June 9th. Voting will take place from June 10-16.

For further questions and discussion about the nomination process or the nominees, please join the #nominations channel of the MHV DSA Slack; email organize@mhvdsa.org if you need help accessing Slack.

Delegate Nominations

Peter Frase

Nominated by Niklas Moran.

Lisa L.

Hi I’m Lisa, and I am interested in being a delegate. My work (doing shareholder proposals at big companies to try and make them less evil) spikes in March-June so I have not had much time to devote to DSA but will have more time over the summer.  I’m trying to extricate myself from the local Democratic committee to free up more time also (although I acknowledge that I might be able to use my position to attempt to shift that committee to the left!).

I live in Gardiner (south of New Paltz). I grew up in Texas, went to school in DC & lived/worked all over Latin America. I was a Wall Streeter and have been moving leftward since 1995 (but I had a long way to go!) I ran for supervisor in my town 2 years ago & am on the local Dem committee. I’m active in protests in the HV thru a band I’m in & other groups. I now do investor organizing to try to use the tools of capitalism to hold corporate executives accountable.

Niklas M.

I, Niklas Moran, do hereby nominate myself to be a delegate for the MHVDSA branch. I am a founding member of both the Hudson Valley Democratic Socialists of America chapter and the MHVDSA chapter. I’ve taken imitative in many of our chapter activities and was influential in getting our only chapter DSA member elected in the City of Peekskill. I attended the Chicago convention as an observer with our only at-large delegate, Peter Frase.

I would be honored to serve as a delegate for the MHVDSA chapter.

Lauren S.

Nominated by Peter Frase.

Casey B.

My name is Casey, I’m a resident of Dutchess County and currently serve on the Steering Committee of Mid-Hudson Valley DSA. While I’ve only been actively involved in organizing for a little over a year, I’ve been a member of dues-paying member of the Democratic Socialists of America since November of 2016. During my time with the chapter I’ve organized several Medicare for All canvassing events, a member forum regarding the Bernie Sanders campaign, and have actively participated in the brakelight clinics.

I would be honored to represent our chapter at the national convention in Atlanta. If selected to serve as a delegate, I’ll do my utmost to ensure that the will of our members is well represented at the convention. Frankly, I do not think I am uniquely qualified to represent our chapter but I am deeply committed to making sure our chapter members feel heard and that we have a positive role to play in shaping the future of DSA.