Written by Miguel Duarte
At our first general meeting of the year, more than 150 East Bay DSA members came together and voted to launch a campaign to repeal a statewide anti–rent control law and approve a new set of bylaws for the chapter.
By near unanimous acclamation, our chapter joins with other DSA chapters across the state and coalition partners like ACCE in the campaign to repeal Costa-Hawkins, a state law that limits local government authority over rent control. By making many units ineligible for rent control, Costa-Hawkins has made our housing crisis worse and limited cities' ability to protect tenants against predatory landlords and evictions. Overturning this law is the first step towards ensuring universal rent control in California. As socialists, our goal is to de-commodify housing, make sure everyone has a place to live, and to protect and defend housing as a human right!
We also voted to approve a new set of bylaws. After DSA's explosive growth in late 2016 and early 2017, the chapter voted on and approved a provisional set of bylaws at the March 2017 general meeting; the provisional bylaws called for revision in a year. The chapter's bylaws are the organizational structure, the skeleton upon which we work to build the body of a mass working-class socialist organization. Due to time constraints, however, the chapter was not able to consider all proposed amendments to the bylaws revision proposal; we voted to table these remaining topics for our next general meeting and chapter convention in April. The new bylaws will be up on the website soon!
Many thanks to all our comrades who attended and did good democracy. A very special shout-out to the planning team, minute-takers, snacks-helpers, and to our comrades Graham and Frances for facilitating the meeting. We hope to see everyone at our next major event, March 10's big canvass.