Following Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise victory, over 85 members and prospective members come out for “Intro to DSA” at Bushrod Park
Last Sunday was a beautiful day in Oakland, and a beautiful day for democratic socialism. Over 85 current and prospective East Bay DSA members turned out to Bushrod Park to meet one another, share snacks, learn about socialism, and get plugged into the work of our chapter at our first “Intro to DSA” event.
The meeting had been organized after over 180 people joined East Bay DSA (a 20% bump in our membership!) in the week following DSA member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s thrilling win in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th congressional district. Ocasio-Cortez, who took no corporate donations and relied heavily on New York DSA’s canvassing operation to win, beat long-term incumbent, presumed Pelosi-successor, and bank-deregulation enthusiast Joe Crowley.
Like our own local DSA-endorsed insurgent candidate Jovanka Beckles, AOC’s platform connects with a broad base of working people: Medicare for All, tuition-free public college and trade schools, and a universal jobs guarantee. The flood of media coverage following her upset brought tidings of the revival of American socialism to millions of people and inspired over 4,000 to join DSA. The media coverage was awesome, unprecedented, exciting -- bewildering even. Socialism is back, in a big way, and it’s up to us to capitalize on this upswell of anger at capitalism and hope for a better world.
Back in Bushrod Park, event attendees and curious passersby listened to Jeremy G give a crash course in the basics of democratic socialism (watch the video below), Molly A describe her experience as a member and leader in East Bay DSA, and Abigail GG and Zach M outline the work of our committees and political campaigns. Everyone then broke into small facilitated groups to meet one another, share what brought them to the event and to East Bay DSA, and discuss socialist strategy.
As a democratic and volunteer-run organization, East Bay DSA is only as strong as our members’ commitment and political development. That’s why we put so much emphasis on meeting, learning, discussing, and debating face-to-face. We hope to see everyone from Sunday's meeting at one (or all!) of our many upcoming events, and for those who couldn’t make it, we’ll be holding our next Intro to DSA meeting in Aug – watch our Facebook and website for details!