East Bay DSA Statement on the 2020 Elections

November 09, 2020 19:52

As of writing Joe Biden has been declared the next President of the United States. Thanks to the relentless work of union members, grassroots organizers, and millions of working-class people, especially people of color, Donald Trump has been defeated. This is the victory of the many, not the few. The Democrats have failed to capture the Senate and have lost seats in the House of Representatives. It goes without saying that Trump has been an incredibly dangerous President: for workers, for BIPOC people, for immigrants, for women, for queer people, and for the environment. We celebrate his defeat. But, while Biden has won, Trump has still not conceded, claiming the election was stolen from him while mobilizing his xenophobic base; DSA and our allies in labor are mobilizing to make sure that every ballot is counted and will continue to do so through his remaining term and beyond.

The material conditions that gave rise to Trump have not gone away. We are in the middle of a global pandemic, mass unemployment and evictions are the norm, and the richest men in the world are expanding their fortunes by billions while workers are constantly exposed to the virus that puts their and their families lives at risk. The Democrats do not have the inclination to stand against Trumpism; even in a state as progressive as California, the Democratic party is still beholden to capital, especially finance and big tech. We are already seeing the threadbare successes of Tuesday night being celebrated as a vindication of centrism and all the significant loses in the House and Senate blamed on the left, on BLM, Medicare for All, and socialism. We know that the opposite is true and it appears that the on-the-ground organizing of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib is what actually delivered the Upper Midwest for Biden. The US state and system of government continue to be extremely undemocratic. The absurd system of the electoral college means that the presidential election votes of the majority of Californians are de facto thrown away. Long lines at polling places are not a sign of a healthy democracy, they’re a sign of institutional failure and of massive, racist voter disenfranchisement. As we prepare for a government of gridlock, centrism and austerity we stand by our commitment to foster mass movements for racial and economic justice and to build an independent workers party, one that serves and is governed by the working class, not the capitalists who exploit us.

Locally, East Bay DSA celebrates the many successes of our endorsed candidates. Jovanka Beckles has won her race for the AC Transit Board. Carroll Fife has won her Oakland City Council race for D3. All three Richmond Progressive Alliance candidates have won their Council races, restoring a progressive majority to Richmond City Council. Mike Hutchinson has won his race for Oakland School Board in D5 and voting rights have been expanded to Oakland youth. In Berkeley, a majority of the pro-tenant Rent Board slate has won. We’re still waiting on final results for Ben Tapscott’s race for Oakland School Board in D7, the Challenger Slate and Nestor Castillo for Hayward City Council, as well as Prop 15 with roughly 5 million ballots left to count state-wide. Unfortunately, Prop 22 has passed on the back of $200 million in advertising from Uber, Lyft and Doordash; tech companies are already talking about how this strategy can be employed in other states and across the country. Both campaigns fought hard against billionaire cash and raised the expectations of the working class, uniting DSA chapters across the state. We also celebrate the wins of other DSA chapters, in CA and not, including free childcare in Oregon, a minimum wage increase in Florida, a corporate tax to fund public education in Arizona, and we welcome Cori Bush to the House of Representatives. All this as DSA surpasses 80,000 members nationally.

While we can claim many victories this election that will materially benefit the working class and shift power and wealth out of the hands of capitalists, we know that the material conditions that give rise to conservatism and corporate control of society are nowhere near defeated. We will continue to organize, for real democracy in our workplaces, communities, and government. As socialists, we know that the working class has the power and structural position in society to build a better world, and its empowerment will always be our goal: not just to fight for what we have, but for a world governed by the interests of the many, not the greedy few.