Red Star NPC Monthly Newsletter - January

Red Star NPC Monthly Newsletter - January

NPC Updates

This month we had two NPC meetings and a steering committee meeting focused on the budget. The process of democratically aligning on a budget has taken up a tremendous amount of effort and work for our caucus, and really every DSA member deeply involved in the process. We want to acknowledge that our statement we published Saturday was rather close to the meeting time, which did not give the best opportunity for members to learn and digest our perspective on the budget. As we learn to be leaders on the NPC, we want to provide more timely positions and perspectives in advance of major decisions. We’re making that commitment to you and every other member and tendency of DSA. 

The Budget So Far

We were very heartened by a general consensus among the NPC around the need to institute a staff hiring freeze (saving ~$500K), to close the national office, and to suspend upcoming travel plans across the NPC, NLC, and IC, even if there were certain positions exempted we disagreed with on priority. And while there has been so much discussion about the decisions that happened, we are also heartened that the meeting–chaired for almost five hours by the unflagging Megan Romer–produced decisions that there was democratic buy-in for. We recognize that some of these cuts were painful, such as the reduced funding for YDSA and the NLC, we believe that a priority for DSA is making these decisions through a process that everyone can point to as clear and deliberative. We think the decisions and sacrifices made Sunday bought us valuable time to work to fundraise and grow our member dues base as well as plan for future contingencies.

What’s Next

At the January budget meetings, Red Star prioritized identifying cuts that reduced the deficit as much as possible without making major changes to the core function of the national organization or our chapters. This meant we pushed a hiring freeze, which adds a level of discomfort but does not significantly change the status quo of org function (for better or for worse), but we did not tackle any further staffing decisions, including layoffs, and we did not touch dues share (nor will we; we believe that they are critical to chapter function and chapters remain the primary location of the vast majority of DSA’s work). After Sunday’s meeting, we are left with an uncomfortable million-dollar deficit; we bought ourselves some runway, but this is not a sustainable deficit, and we have now reached the limits of cuts that maintain current core functionality. We recognize that we face even harder decisions coming up, which we hope to address through an audit of necessary organizational functions, figuring out where we can prioritize and reallocate areas of work, and collaborating with the DSA staff union to close the remaining gaps that we believe need to be closed in the near future. 

Ways to get involved 

Open Recruitment

We are thrilled to announce that Red Star is opening its application period, marking an exciting phase in our journey as we gear up for continued national expansion. For the first time, we are inviting DSA members who share our values and vision for the organization to apply to join the caucus. Applications will be open for four weeks from January 29th. Red Star’s principles encompass a commitment to anti-imperialism, militant unions, building a worker’s party, a scientific and intersectional Marxism, and a belief in DSA. As you consider applying to Red Star, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with our Points of Unity.

We look forward to everyone’s applications and those of you joining us for this next chapter in Red Star.

What We’re Reading

  • John - Black Scare / Red Scare by Charisse Burden-Stelly
  • Sam - Palo Alto by Malcolm Harris, Jet Lag: The Game (Note from Sam: “it’s a YouTube show but I had COVID, sue me.”)
  • Megan - If We Burn by Vincent Bevins, Yogurt & Whey: Recipes of an Iranian Immigrant Life by Homa Dashtaki, the Bible

Recipe Korner

Megan has a delicious pot roast recipe she makes every time there’s an NPC meeting! You can follow along and have the same dinner as your comrades next meeting by following along here. 

Further Discussion

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