Socialism in the News

Recently, socialism has been a buzzword in mainstream politics – here is a collection of articles that explore the idea of socialism in America, social democracy, and the left-moving political actions that DSA and other socialists have been taking on the larger political stage:

What would a Socialist America Look Like?

The Prison Strike is the Modern Day Slave Rebellion

California becomes first State to End Cash Bail

Democratic Socialism, Explained by a Democratic Socialist

 

 

 

A New Kind of Cure

DSA Note:  This is the first in our series of member-written blog-posts discussing their personal DSA story.  Enjoy!

I slept for maybe two hours on Election Night, 2016. My stomach twisted into knots as I tossed and turned, wide awake, my mind buzzing with anxiety. Like many, I was stunned by Trump’s seemingly impossible win. The media told me “not to worry,” that the “sane, moderate candidate” had the campaign “wrapped up.” I was confident as I cast my vote on the morning of November 8th.  Things would go according to plan. As the night wore on and states started calling for Trump one by one, a sick feeling grew inside me. This was not how it was supposed to happen. When the press called the election for Trump, I went outside to get some cool evening air and think. I will never forget looking up at the dark night sky, and feeling small, afraid, and confused. Something terrible was happening in America, but I didn’t have the knowledge or context to understand exactly what that was.

Over the next six months, I became obsessed with “figuring out” Trump’s election. Was it the Russians? Was it Facebook? Was it the genius strategy of Steve Bannon? I consumed article after article, spending hours on the internet trying to wrap my head around Election Night 2016. One day, purely by accident, I stumbled onto a socialist podcast. Listening to the hosts discuss current events from a socialist perspective was like a light switching on over my head. Finally, here were critiques that made sense, that offered more solid answers than “love more,” “work harder,” or “vote Democrat.” The more I learned about socialist history and theory, the more I recognized the grotesque effects of capitalism on our world.  I came to understand that Donald Trump – rather than being a unique threat – was a symptom of a sick society. The same capitalist system that created President Trump also produces gross inequality,  environmental catastrophe, and a racist criminal justice system. The only cure to that sickness is socialism: the reorganization of our economy and culture into something far more just and humane – a world where resources are owned by all, a society that works for the many, not the few.

I realized that I wanted to do more than just read about Socialism on the internet, so I decided to attend my first DSA meeting. I needed to meet up with people with similar views, who were passionate about making change in the real world. I truly believe we must organize to end capitalism, and that becoming a DSA member is a great first step towards doing so. The DSA is the largest Socialist group in the United States and is growing every day. In it I found friendly, like-minded people, as well as tools and resources to help us organize. The moment to start is now. We are building something new, something beyond capitalism, and we need everyone’s help. Together, we have a world to win.

 

Dylan Small

 

If you are interested in writing content for our DSA webpage, please contact us at dsalasvegas@gmail.com

 

 

Disability Working Group Solidarity Statement

Las Vegas DSA stands in solidarity with all individuals with disabilities. We support the national DSA Disability Working Group Steering Committee’s decision to resign for their own well-being, and are deeply regretful that committed comrades undertaking such great work — not only for this organization, but for people with disabilities across the United States — were met with harassment and marginalization. We firmly believe that as an organization, as a movement, and as people, we can — and should — do better.

Las Vegas DSA will take these unfortunate events as an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to our comrades with disabilities locally, nationally, and abroad.  We have always worked to ensure events organized by Las Vegas DSA are accessible, and we will continued to listen to and amplify the voices and needs of all of our comrades moving forward.

The now-resigned steering committee for the national Disability Working Group encouraged us all to initiate the change locally that they were unable to initiate nationally. To not take action on this call would be disrespectful to not only their struggle, but to the struggle of all similarly situated comrades. As leftists, it is not only our obligation, but our duty to build a better world for all people, including those with disabilities.

In an effort to make our chapter more accessible to all of our comrades, Las Vegas DSA is working to create a structure specifically for hearing and addressing the questions, concerns, and needs of our comrades with accessibility needs. In solidarity with the former national Disability Working Group Steering Committee, we not only encourage, but implore our comrades across the nation to express commitment to the construction of a just and equal world not just in word, but in action — we cannot leave  any of our comrades behind.

A better world is possible, and the change starts with us.

 

Community Agreements

The Las Vegas DSA is a community of individuals sharing ideas; as such, we have created a set of community agreements to ensure we are consistently meeting our own goals and each member of the community is being treated fairly.

Community Agreements

  • Progressive Stack – The Facilitator keeps a list of names from people who raise their hand
  • Why Am I Talking – When in discussion, please ask yourself “Why am I talking (wait)?”
  • Step Up, Step Back – When you speak, after you make your point, let others speak
  • Use “I” Statements – Speak from your perspective, rather than assuming that of other people
  • One Diva, One Mic – One person speaks at a time
  • Listen (Don’t Wait to Talk) – Genuinely pay attention to what others say
  • Assume Best Intentions, But Challenge
  • Acknowledge when you make a mistake

 

These agreements are in effect at all DSA meetings and events.

Las Vegas DSA announces endorsements for June 12th election

Clark County District Attorney Endorsement

The Las Vegas DSA Executive Committee supports candidate Robert Langford for Clark Country District Attorney based on his following campaign commitments:

1. Langford has made it a top priority to end cash bail. We believe that cash bail is ineffective in a transformative justice system and exists to solely to penalize poverty.

2. Langford is committed to vacating marijuana-related convictions. We believe that the criminalization of marijuana led to excessive arrests and incarceration within communities of color. For those who were convicted before the legalization of marijuana to continue to serve out sentences is untenable.

Throughout the country, we are witnessing a fight back against the criminalization of poverty, the disproportionate incarceration of communities of color and we hope to join in this fight.

Clark County School Board Endorsements

There are three Clark County School Board Seats up for election this year – depending on your address, you may or may not see a candidate on your ballot.

DSA Supports the following progressive candidates. All three of them are supportive of teachers, unions, and public education – best of all, they are familiar with the challenges public education is facing in Nevada.

District D – Irene Cepeda
District F – Kali Fox Miller
District G – Linda Cavazos

If you see a School Board Candidate on your ballot, these three candidates support our agenda!

Clark County Judicial Endorsements

Nevada Supreme Court – Judge Elissa Cadish is one of the most progressive judges in Las Vegas and would be a strong progressive voice for the NSC.

The same is true of Melissa De la Garza (LV Township judge dept. 15).

James Leavitt (LV township dept. 1) has made statements against cash bail. Of the candidates for that seat, he is the only one that has made those statements.

Most of the other judicial candidates are running unopposed.

Las Vegas DSA Brake Light Clinic

We had a fantastic turnout of volunteers and participants during our first ever Brake Light Repair Clinic. More than 20 cars had their brake lights serviced and we included a few headlight repairs. Here is an article chronicling the event. We have more than half the raised funds left over to support another brake light repair event this year. Thanks again for your amazing contributions to making this happen.

Free brake-light event aimed at avoiding police interaction