In the Media
Coverage of East Bay DSA
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"A third of [Buffy] Wick's donors come from out-of-state. Among Buffy's in-state fans is 'Govern for California,' an independent expenditure committee 'largely funded by hedge fund managers and venture capitalists.' East Bay DSA researchers estimate that $34,000 worth of her campaign cash has come from 'neo-liberal Democrats—PACs and individuals—dedicated to closing public schools, busting public employee unions, and stealing public pensions.' And local advocates of tenant protection are alarmed that Wicks has taken $4,400 from Warren Spieker, Jr. a former Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio supporter, whose family real estate firm spent nearly $50,000 trying to defeat rent control measures in multiple Bay Area cities."
Flush With Cash: Will Buffy the Bernie Slayer Win in Pro-Sanders District?, Steve Early, May 9, 2018
"The nurses' association isn’t the only organization in the Bay Area advocating for the catch-all remedy. The East Bay DSA (Democratic Socialists of America, a socialist organization focused on progressive politics) charged forward with their own campaign in late February, performing door-to-door visits to collect pledges supporting the bill. Sue Bergman, the Alameda County representative for the DSA, frequently holds social hours to attract residents into info sessions about the bill, claiming it will revolutionize healthcare in the Bay Area."
"DSA members believe the single payer plan would be geared towards actual consumer health needs, and criticize the current healthcare model because they say it has private investors tied up in profit-mongering. Speaking on a DSA-led podcast called Rose Radio regarding the single payer plan, DSA member Jeremy Gong said, 'Right now, healthcare is treated like a commodity, and there's all sorts of companies that are making enormous profit on it. What we want to do is take health insurance off the market and basically abolish the private health insurance industry in this state, and hopefully around the country.'"
California nurses push for a single payer health bill, Alexa Hornbeck, May 8, 2018
New York Times
"'The new, younger people are much more willing to say "We're not going to tie ourselves to the Democratic Party,"' said Frances Reade, 37, an education researcher who joined the East Bay D.S.A. chapter in California on Mr. Trump's Inauguration Day. 'At the same time, we're nowhere near being able to launch a third party.'
"Ms. Reade, who made campaign calls for Hillary Clinton in 2016, said she joined D.S.A. after experiencing a 'profound disillusionment with the Democratic Party' in the wake of Mr. Trump's victory. The organization gave her an outlet to pour her energy into: door-knocking in a 'Medicare for All' campaign, and discussing political texts in free evening classes put on by members of the group. The classes, known as socialist school, included readings by Karl Marx and articles in Jacobin, a popular new socialist magazine. Ms. Reade has become a class instructor and vice chairwoman at the East Bay chapter, which has about 1,000 members.
"'If, after the election, I had tried to join the Democratic Party, what would I have done?' she asked. 'There's no night school to learn more about ideas. The Democratic Party is essentially a fund-raising apparatus.'"
‘Yes, I’m Running as a Socialist.’ Why Candidates Are Embracing the Label in 2018, Farah Stockman, April 20, 2018
"'Politics is about identity whether we like it or not now,' said East Bay DSA organizer Jess Dervin-Ackerman, who worked as a digital organizing manager at NextGen Climate during the 2016 campaign. 'For me, it's about the issues. So when we go out and talk about single payer -- we chose that issue for a reason: it will help mostly working people and marginalized people more than everyone else.'
"When I asked her colleague at the East Bay chapter, Jeremy Gong, how DSA planned to persuade Democrats that socialism could advance the ball on what many identify as social issues, he pointed to abortion -- and sought to frame it as a fundamentally economic one.
"'There is a false dichotomy between identity and class that has been leveraged by liberals (like those in the Clinton campaign),' Gong said. 'We can say that abortion is legal, but unless they are free and universally provided, so people don't have to drive very far to get them, like they do in places like Texas, then they are not actually guaranteed.'"
Democratic Socialists are taking themselves seriously. Should Democrats?, Gregory Krieg, August 8, 2017
The Daily Beast
"'We decided that we should actually just start building a base and start developing our members into good organizers,' Mary Virginia Watson, a member of the East Bay chapter, told The Daily Beast. 'We also looked at it as a leadership development program as well.'
"The first canvas held by that the East Bay chapter featured about 25-30 people, according to Watson. The next one brought in some 200 people. East Bay DSA said they ended up getting some 1,600 people to pledge their support for single-payer and are still active in the recruiting and door knocking efforts."
The Democratic Socialists of America Are Dreaming Big but Acting Locally, Gideon Resnick, August 7, 2017
"'We need a concrete political campaign that people can plug into immediately,' Ari Marcantonio, an organizer with the East Bay DSA told members in a speech closing out the convention. 'A door they can knock on, a conversation they can have with their neighbor about the shared fight for medicare for all and how we as working people are going to fight together to liberate ourselves from the private insurance industry oligarchy.'"
Chicago Just Hosted The Largest Democratic Socialists Convention In Years, Aaron Cynic, August 7, 2017
"That is a common refrain among Socialists, too. 'We are in favor of increased urban housing density,' says Robbie Nelson, a member of the East Bay DSA who serves on its housing caucus. 'It's dishonest for people to claim that the left doesn't want those things. The point is, if that program of densification is controlled by capitalist developers and landlords, only the rich have access to those conditions, and the working class and poor get pushed out to car-dependent suburbs.' When the long-term goal is the 'decommodification' of housing, bowing to developers' expectations of return-on-investment does not feel like a step in the right direction."
San Francisco's Civil War, Henry Grabar, Jun. 28, 2017
"Hosts Hannah Allison, Jhari Der-Hill and Maria Svart speak with East Bay DSA activist about their work around Medicare for All, give updates on preparation for the DSA 2017 convention, and answer crowd-sourced questions from DSAers."
"East Bay DSA's commitment to campaigning for SB562 is a tactic in service of a larger strategy to build good internal structures in our burgeoning group and effective organizing skills among a new generation of grassroots leftist activists. We also seek to strengthen ties between socialists and the labor movement — in this case the women-led and substantially non-white nurses' union — and win reforms that will strengthen the power of the working class."
How Socialists Can Fight for Single Payer, Meagan Day and Keith Brower Brown, Aug. 2, 2017
"Democratic congressman John Conyers reintroduced his single-payer bill in the House earlier this year. And most importantly, activist groups are organizing with muscle and creativity throughout the country."
Five Lessons from Trumpcare's Collapse, Adam Gaffney, Mar. 27, 2017
In These Times
"The power of single payer as an organizing tool seems to hold true across the nation. As with many DSA chapters, the East Bay DSA has seen a spike in membership since the election, and much of the new energy is being channeled into the push for single payer. The chapter sends hundreds of volunteers each month to canvass on behalf of the Healthy California Act, which would create a state single-payer system."
The Surprising Cross-Partisan Appeal of Single-Payer Healthcare, Theo Anderson, May 22, 2017
"'Are y'all ready to crush the private health insurance industry? Are you ready to make healthcare a human right in America?"
"These questions from Ari Marcantonio, a single-payer organizer for the East Bay chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), were met with raucous cheers at the organization's national convention in Chicago this weekend."
The First Priority for the Resurgent U.S. Socialist Movement? Single-Payer Healthcare, Miles Kampf-Lassin, August 7, 2017
"And I know the East Bay chapter of DSA, Oakland and Berkeley, they've already started, they're out canvassing and getting people to sign petitions and what not. So their membership is canvassing, they're organizing canvasses, they're recruiting volunteers, and they're developing relationships with people in the community by talking to people and recruiting them."
If the Question Is Trump, the Answer Might Be DSA, Noah Berlatsky, Mar. 21, 2017
Shadowproof and MintPress News
"Jeremy Gong is the co-chair of the East Bay chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). The chapter is part of the Campaign for a Healthy California (CHC), a statewide coalition spearheaded by the California Nurses Association (CNA), which fights for a single-payer healthcare system.
"'It is essential that, as socialists, we fight to decommodify goods and services that address basic needs, like health insurance, housing, education, clean water, and food,' Gong said. 'These should all be guaranteed to everybody as a human right, not traded on the market like any other commodity, or sliced up and means-tested as are Medicaid or food stamps.'"
Activists Mobilize For Universal Health Care As Republicans Propose Limiting Coverage, Roqayah Chamseddine, Mar. 13, 2017
Activists Push For Single-Payer Health Care As Republicans Dismantle Obamacare, Roqayah Chamseddine, Mar. 15, 2017