Message from John, Megan, and Sam, the Red Star NPC Members
Hello from Red Star! It’s been a month since the delegates to the DSA National Convention elected the three of us to the National Political Committee, and we’ve been busy working on implementing the good governance practices called for in our Leadership Pledge. John was elected to the Interim Steering Committee of the NPC and is serving as the Treasurer. Sam and Megan have been hard at work investigating the structure, composition, and culture of the National Committees and Subcommittees.
In addition, we’ve brought four resolutions before the Steering Committee, which met last week on 8/31. Resolution For A United 2024 Campaign for Democratic Rights, Trans Liberation, and Bodily Autonomy, which we wrote about in our Tasks for Leadership update, was referred to a vote before the full NPC at their first meeting. Megan's Solidarity Dues Speaking Tour was passed by a vote of the Steering Committee, John's Resolution for Robust Internal Communications was referred to the full NPC for a vote on Loomio, and the Internal Elections Schedule Resolution, proposed by John, Alex P, and Rose D, was sent to Loomio for a poll, with the outcome to be voted on afterwards by the full NPC.
Resolution for a United 2024 Campaign has sparked some debate about the merits of combining these different but related struggles into a single campaign, with some worried that doing so would result in a less sharp focus on Trans Rights in particular, and risk its being subsumed into a more vague and unfocused “Fight for Democracy.” We listened to that critique from comrades and made some changes to the resolution before bringing it to the Steering Committee to clarify that a campaign focused on trans liberation and abortion rights should be the opening salvo and political core of DSA’s fight for a socialist vision of democracy. We’re excited to work towards that goal, and we look forward to a united campaign that breaks factional silos. We want chapters across the country to fight on many fronts under the same banner between now and the November 2024 election.
The Resolution for Robust Internal Communications has also led to some debate about the proper roles of the National Tech Committee (which the resolution would task with moderation of the DSA forums), and the Comms Committee, which currently has that task. An amendment proposed by SC member Renée P would have left moderation work performed by Comms. Discussion focused on the structural and political makeup of both committees (Comms consists of 8 NPC members and various non-voting advisors from staff and elsewhere, while NTC is a much larger and more open membership committee) and on the capacity of each to perform the work, as well as the breakdown in functionality of the forums in the last several months, including strict rate limits preventing discussion during convention, and the difficulty of cross-committee collaboration. Ultimately, we believe that only the NTC has the transparency, skill set, and capacity to perform the vital work of ensuring that our membership across the country is able to have a functional and democratic forum for robust debate.
September Tasks and Goals
The three of us will continue to build consensus and buy-in for our United 2024 Campaign, ensuring that members across the organization have a say in how the campaign will look. Sam will take the lead on outlining some preliminary steps and framing and look forward to bringing it to the first full NPC meeting for a vote on September 17.
Megan will be working with comrades from the NPC as well as staffers and representatives of relevant committees (especially GDC and Development/Fundraising) to help plan a (virtual!) chapter speaking tour for NPC members to talk to chapters about the importance of Solidarity Dues. (Speaking of which, have you signed up for yours?)
John will be leaning into his accounting background and working to help decode budgetary documents as the Interim Treasurer for the NPC Steering Committee. The org is in a tough financial spot right now and we are committed to getting a handle on our financial constraints before our financial constraints get a handle on us.
We will all be watching closely to see where the UAW’s negotiations with the Big 3 Automakers lands, and if the UAW does decide to strike, Red Star members across the country will be standing in solidarity with our local striking workers. Those of us on NPC will be supporting our National Labor Commission and making sure they have the resources they need to help UAW members get a big win on their contract.
What We’re Reading
Megan: There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America by Philip Dray and The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu
Sam: The Coming Of The Third Reich by Richard Evans, Revolutionary Strategy by Mike MacNair (cosmonaut audiobook), and Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union by Vladislav Zubok
If you're interested in discussing this piece with other DSA members, head on over to the DSA Discussion forums at https://discussion.dsausa.org/t/a-message-from-the-red-star-npc-members-on-the-npc-term-so-far/26975.
The forums are open to all DSA members in good standing. If you haven't made an account, you can do so at optin.dsausa.org, and if you're not a DSA member in good standing, sign up or renew your dues at https://act.dsausa.org/donate/membership/