East Bay DSA General Membership Meeting February 26th 2023

I. Sign-In, Settle In

Opening Statement

Quorum is met

II. Approval of Agenda

Agenda Approved

III. OEA Solidarity Panel

  • Mayra A
  • Paul A L
  • Medb G

IV. OEA Solidarity Breakouts

V. Resolution Debates

A.1. Respect Internal Union Democracy and Support Independent Working Class Action

  • Motivate By Shane R. 
  • Resolution Q&A


By Shane R (EBDSA Co-Chair, SEIU 1021 Staff), John P (SEIU 1021 member), Vilma S (OEA Member), Tim M (OEA member), Daria MK (OEA Member), Zach McD (Teamsters 315 member), Ari M (SEIU 1021 member), Ken P (Co-Founder Teamsters for a Democratic Union), Sultana A (ATU 192 member), Brendan K (IATSE 16 member), Fred G (Retired CFT), Graham D (SEIU 1021 member, EBDSA Treasurer), Richard M (EBDSA Labor Solidarity)
Whereas, Karl Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto, “[Communists] have no interests separate and apart from those of the working class as a whole. They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mold the proletarian movement,” 
Whereas, various socialist organizations have gone astray historically when they have substituted their own beliefs for that of the majority of the working class, 
Whereas, we, as Democratic Socialists, aim to support and promote independent, democratic and militant working class organizations,
Whereas, the best way for socialists to rebuild fighting, democratic Unions is to join with other members of our respective Unions to form non-ideological reform caucuses whose primary aim is to strengthen the Union and fight the boss with the broadest set of troublemakers possible, for example Teamsters for A Democratic Union (TDU) and Unite All Workers for Democracy (UAWD). 
Whereas, interference by DSA in internal union deliberations and decisions risks tarring Democratic Socialists as sectarians, and is ultimately self-defeating, in that most union members have no reason to trust DSA over the Union leadership they elected, and with whom they often have direct material connection. Instead, DSA’s role as an organization is to provide political education and organizing tools for our members in Unions, and to provide solidarity to Unions and their members in their struggles with the bosses 
Whereas, independent, officially unsanctioned, and even minoritarian direct action, like wild cat strikes, can be strategic points of leverage or spur the majority to broader, more militant action, as we experienced in both the OEA strike of 2019 and the UC Santa Cruz COLA strikes, 
Therefore be it resolved, East Bay DSA will abstain, as an organization, from interfering in internal union decision making, such as strike votes or contract ratifications, 
Therefore be it resolved, East Bay DSA encourages its members in undemocratic unions to form or participate in reform caucuses that seek to rebuild their unions with the broadest set of reform-minded co-workers, 
Therefore be it resolved, East Bay DSA discourages its members in unions from taking lines on internal union matters as DSA members or socialists alone, but rather to organize in the broadest reform-minded group possible, 
Therefore be it resolved, East Bay DSA will encourage robust internal discussion and education regarding union struggles, particularly those impacting our members, in venues like the labor committee, leadership committees, night school, or stand-alone events. 
Therefore be it resolved East Bay DSA may endorse independent working class action against the boss, even when the action may be unsanctioned by union leadership or labor law, such as wild cat strikes. 

A.2.Motion to Substitute: Supporting Rank-and-File Dual Members


Submitted by: Abrar A., SRU member; Ian B., Steering Committee; Hillary C; Chris G., UAW 2865 member; Aaron H; Isaac H.; Zach H., UAW 2865 member; Kendra M., East Bay DSA Labor Committee Co-chair; Maura M.; Max M., Steering Committee; Carlos O., Chapter Steering Committee; Jake O. UAW 2865 member; Zach W, East Bay DSA Labor Committee Co-chair; Yari G., Steering Committee; Benny Z., Steering Committee 
Whereas our Rank-and File Labor Support & Solidarity priority campaign includes the following items that DSA will do:
Support campaigns that build strong, lasting relationships with rank-and-file workers in education, transit, healthcare, and logistics around reopening and anti-austerity fights;
Where possible, coordinate and develop labor solidarity work with an eye towards supporting projects like labor circles and the Jobs Program so that East Bay DSA members can be best positioned in the long term to aid in both external and internal union organizing;
Whereas our Rank-and File Labor Support & Solidarity priority campaign includes the following acknowledgment:
Though unions are the largest and longest-standing working class institutions in the country, we recognize that many unions today are neither democratic nor effective vehicles for working class power. Our task is to help build the power, democracy, and militancy of unions, and of the labor movement more broadly, so that it can fight for increasingly larger and more systemic classwide demands. At the heart of this strategy is empowering rank-and-file workers to lead and determine the course of union and labor struggles.
Whereas rank-and-file workers may need material support in order to be empowered to lead and determine the course of union and labor struggles;
Whereas DSA, and EBDSA specifically, has a large population of workers within the education, tech, and nonprofit sectors that lends to a perspective that can shape the course of labor struggles to progress socialist goals within said sectors;
Whereas for East Bay DSA has projects like labor circles, the East Bay Workplace Organizing Committee, and the Jobs Program so that East Bay DSA members can be best positioned in the long term to aid in both external and internal union organizing;
Whereas we should materially support rank-and-file workers fighting for increasingly bold and more systemic demands that increase the power and organization of the working class. These include, but are not limited to, cost-of-living adjustments exceeding inflation, strengthening the right to strike, advancing universal or public healthcare and childcare, paid parental leave, undermining mass incarceration, increasing workplace or union democracy, and rent support;
Whereas, sometimes maximizing victories against the boss can require winning an internal debate within a union about tactics and strategy, such as whether to continue or end a strike;
Whereas it will require material support for members in the above mentioned projects to be successful;
Whereas members in labor circles, Jobs Programs, and generally organizing in their workplace ("dual members" of DSA and their union) will have unique and important insight into which type of material support will most aid their organizing efforts;
Whereas in December 2022, members of the EBDSA Labor Committee helped organize an informal group of known UAW/DSA dual members by reaching out to those known to individuals and those who had filled out the labor census. This group decided to submit a resolution to the Steering Committee after much deliberation amongst themselves as well as with the Labor Committee and Labor Solidarity Subcommittee. The resolution resolved that the chapter would publicly support workers’ rights to vote down a tentative agreement and that we would continue to provide picket support and that the demands for a cost of living adjustment amongst other demands are reasonable. The resolution also resolved that EBDSA would provide funding for flyers and text banking. The funding would be used to help dual members organize an informational campaign on the TA and help workers feel comfortable to vote no. The resolution did not have majority support from the Steering Committee as written and was amended to focus more on undemocratic practices by UAW leadership and staff, and struck the request to provide funding for text banking or the use of the Chapter’s spoke account. 
Therefore be it resolved that East Bay DSA is in favor of publicly and/or materially supporting dual members organizing to win bolder and more systemic demands against the boss, especially when those demands benefit the working class as a whole and are in line with the chapter priorities and platform. This includes support for dual members organizing within their union, such as for leadership, strike or ratification votes, even if there is disagreement within the union about what course of action to take;
Therefore be it resolved that when organized dual members request support in a prudent course of action within their union that is aligned with our priorities, the chapter Steering Committee should provide and is authorized to provide such support, including financial support. In deciding, the Steering Committee should weigh whether doing so would jeopardize the chapter more than it helps militancy within the union, as well as the level of organization and majority opinion of dual members and any relevant labor circle.

  • Motivated by Zac W
  • Q&A
  • Motion Debate

  • Motion to extend meeting by ten minutes; seconded; PASSES via CLEAR MAJORITY

  • Motion Debate continues

  • Motion to postpone the vote and referrer it back to the promonets with an agreed amendment; seconded
  • Motivated by Richard M
  • Post pone motion debate
  • Post pone motion Vote
  • FAILS - 39 YES - 66 NO

  • MOTION VOTE: PASSES 68 yes 42 no

  • RESOLUTION VOTE: absatin 67 yes 50 no 3 principaled abstains

B. More Frequent Membership Meetings


Motivated By: The Chapter Steering Committee
Authors: Matthew L, Benny Z, Yari G
WHEREAS, in June, the chapter voted to reduce the frequency of regular membership meetings to a quarterly basis; and
WHEREAS, the primary reasons cited in support of doing so were:
Repeatedly not meeting quorum, and
Meeting Committee becoming defunct (resulting in Steering Committee members needing to do most of the work); and
WHEREAS, as soon as (and only after) the chapter resumed letting members participate in membership meetings through a Zoom option, we became able to reach quorum at every subsequent regular and special membership meeting with relatively little difficulty; and
WHEREAS, the authors of the June resolution did not foresee that we would continue allowing people to participate in membership meetings via Zoom; and
WHEREAS, the Meetings Committee has since been established and significantly helped with putting on membership meetings; and
WHEREAS, the Steering Committee intends to increase the contributions of the Meetings Committee by appointing a chair to coordinate its work; and
WHEREAS, since then, we have also hired a staffer. The staffer can provide additional support to the meetings committee if needed; and
WHEREAS, there are clearly downsides to quarterly membership meetings. For example, many members feel that opportunities for chapter-wide member engagement and democracy have been reduced; and
WHEREAS, although the Steering Committee can still call special membership meetings, special meetings are not a good substitute for an appropriate frequency of regular membership meetings. For example, unlike regular membership meetings, special membership meetings:
Are limited to those agenda items which were listed in the original notice. The inability of the membership to add time-sensitive matters that may have become apparent only after the agenda was sent out, when we are already coming together for a meeting, can hamper our ability to function,
Cannot include a “second reading” of a bylaws amendment, and
Do not offer the same predictability as a schedule of regular membership meetings; and
WHEREAS, an increase in meeting frequency will hopefully show that members are supportive of holding more frequent regular membership meetings by members building relationships with each other across the chapter, quorum being reached,and important political matters being discussed and voted on;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that East Bay DSA shall hold regular membership meetings at least once every two calendar months. The Steering Committee is authorized to change the frequency of regular membership meetings, provided that they are not less often than once every two calendar months; and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the schedule of regular membership meetings should follow a consistent schedule; and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Steering Committee shall promptly provide notice to the Chapter of the new schedule of membership meetings; and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that nothing in this resolution shall be deemed as affecting matters related to special meetings; and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that it is the intention of the Chapter to review the frequency of regular membership meetings by the end of the year.

  • Motivated by Mathew L and Benny Z
  • Q&A
  • Debate
  • Vote:
  • PASSES: 61 yes 36 no 

C. Closing remarks on debate

VI. Reports and Announcements

Finance + fundraising report

Dues pitch

Committee + member announcements (45 seconds each)

Thank you to MeetCom and Ops

VII. Meeting Adjorned

Social at Temescal Brewing Shortly