East Bay DSA Local Council Meeting, August 20, 2017
Approved September 17, 2017
1 – 4 p.m.
Introductions and Opening Statements
The council explains the committee of the whole and the use of the committee of the whole for clarification. Introductions of the members followed. All members of the LC were present and the secretary Benjamin Fife was taking notes.
Co-chairs Molly A. and Mary Virginia W.; vice-chair Frances R.; treasurer Jeff L.; secretary Benjamin F.; at-large members Jeremy G. and Meagan D.; elected external organizers Jamie G., Jess D.-A. and Ari M.; and elected internal organizers Hannah K., Robbie N., and Ahmed K. were present.
Approval of Agenda
5 minute break at 2:30 p.m., unanimously approved
Approval of Minutes
Result: The minutes were unanimously approved.
The treasurer gave a report. The treasurer notes the focus of his work has been on reimbursement and 501(c)(4) status. He is also working on recruitment of a team to address incorporation status. He discussed our current financial situation and expected costs. Monthly local donations on the website have begun. He pointed out the need to get better at passing the hat at events. Our rate of burning through money is higher than our rate of taking money in. We need to have more large fundraisers if we are going to be doing ambitious work. The secretary issued a reminder that requesting pre-approval of expenses is helpful.
The secretary reported on the development of the archive team and noted the confusion surrounding caucus formation. All caucuses that have asked for recognition have been recognized but no official notices have been sent out as there is still work being done to develop web resources so that caucuses can publicize their work.
External Organizing Committee's Report
The first open external organizing committee (EOC) meeting is next week. Please talk to Jess, Jamie, or Ari if you have questions. They can be reached at email@example.com. The meeting will be 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on August 29. The meeting is public. Primary focus is on the single-payer campaign, upcoming direct actions, and the endorsements process.
Internal Organizing Committee's Report
Appointments have been part of the work of the past months. The member mobilizers project has made progress. There has been collaboration with the communications committee on absorbing that work, and there has been progress on the development of the education program ("socialist school"). The next big internal organizing committee (IOC) meeting is Wednesday, August 30, at 7 – 9 p.m.
East Bay DSA Complaints Procedure Proposal
Motivated by Ben F., approved by unanimous vote of the local council (LC)
Context for the proposal:
Since April, 2017 EBDSA members on the conflict resolution subcommittee have met to discuss the need for a clear, direct, and decisive process for addressing conflicts and serious issues when they arise within the local. Initial drafts of a conflict resolution procedure were brought to the Local Council and the feedback was given that a simpler process for complaints was needed at that a complaints process should be to some degree separated from other work around conflict resolution.
With that feedback in mind, and with the Local's shift to following the recently adopted bylaws, the conflict resolution team makes the following proposal for a system to assess and refer complaints to the local council.
- Whereas EBDSA has been working to identify organic leaders within our organization
- Whereas these leaders have received varying degrees of training in providing 1:1s with members
- Whereas EBDSA members providing 1:1s are likely to be trusted and turned to when complaints or concerns arise
- Whereas a system for bringing serious complaints and concerns to the elected leadership for response is necessary to the health of our organization,
The EBDSA Membership will be informed via multiple channels that should they have complaints they can request a 1:1 meeting with an internal or external organizer (appointed or elected), local council member or another leader within the organization to discuss their complaint. If that member-leader cannot meet for a 1:1 with the member making the request the member-leader contacted will make reasonable efforts to find an appropriate person provide a 1:1 to the requesting member as long as the complaint is deemed appropriate.
EBDSA member-leaders who provide 1:1s will be trained and offered ongoing support by the LC in using the 1:1 process to assess the seriousness of complaints and to gauge whether complaints need to be referred to the Local Council for investigation.
- The assessment process will involve a semi structured interview.
- The Conflict resolution team recommends that member-leaders providing 1:1s be offered quarterly meetings where they can skillshare with other people providing 1:1s and discuss needed revisions or adaptations to the semi-structured interview.
Should a member-leader determine that a serious complaint is being made they are responsible to bring the complaint to the local council. The Local council will discuss the complaint in closed session and decide on an appropriate course of action. The Local council may appoint appropriate investigators to make further assessments of complaints they deem serious. The local council will be responsible for the maintenance of appropriate records of complaints.
These are recommendations to the local council that the committee would like to ensure are in the notes of the LC meeting. They are not intended to be part of the proposal before the council but to be considered as recommendations for future action (addendum 1) and to address questions regarding what form a semi-structured interview might take in a 1:1 meeting with a member leader (addendum 2).
This conflict resolution group recommends that in the next revision of the bylaws an elected role of ombudsperson be added to the Local Council and that this person be given oversight of complaints and investigations.
Semi structured interview:
Interviews by members conducting 1:1s in response to a complaint or in which a complaint arises should include these questions or variations on them.
- What do you want to have happen during this conversation?
- What is it that happened (that lead to this complaint)?
- When did that happen?
- Where did that happen?
- Who else was was there?
- What is the behavior that concerned you?
- What did he/she/they say?
- What did he/she/they do?
- Can you explain what was wrong with what the person/people did, or what harms were caused by what the person/people did/?
- Do you think that you or anyone else is in harm's way?
- What do you this should happen as a result of this conversation?
Consent Calendar Proposal
Proposal brought by Molly A.
Whereas the Local Council of the East Bay Democratic Socialists of America (EBDSA) is the representative body elected by the General Membership to consider important matters of policy affecting the structure and strategy of EBDSA; and
Whereas the LC strives to make all substantive debate on the most complex and salient issues affecting organizational structure and member empowerment transparent through giving sufficient time for debate in public meetings; and
Whereas due to the time constraints of meeting locations and volunteer LC members’ schedules, the time available to conduct such public debate is limited and therefore precious; and
Whereas in the course of doing the day-to-day business of the Local, some matters come before the council that are common sense, de rigueur, or uncontroversial, and therefore not a good use of the limited time available for debate in LC meetings;
Whereas other decision-making bodies use a consent calendar to address the issue of conserving limited debate time for important and substantive issues;
Therefore be it resolved that the Local Council shall adopt the practice of using a Consent Calendar to adopt proposals for which there are no objections or dissent, according the following rules:
- The proposed consent calendar shall be sent to Local Council members and published on the East Bay DSA website at least three (3) days in advance of the meeting where they will be considered.
- A proposal is eligible for the consent calendar if it: has no opposition from Local Council members and does not pose a major policy question.
- Any Local Council member may withdraw any proposal from the consent calendar at any time prior to the vote on the consent calendar. LC Members may notify the chairs before the hearing or withdraw a bill at the hearing. The chairs shall notify the motivator of the proposal.
- At the chair's direction, the committee shall vote on the Consent Calendar during the meeting. If a proposal is removed from the consent calendar, the chair shall agendize discussion of the proposal according at their discretion and based on time constraints, urgency, and importance of the proposal.
Result: The proposal passes unanimously.
Prospective Consent Calendar
All items on the consent calendar were Approved by unanimous vote of the LC.
Proposal to Formally Recognize Caucuses in East Bay DSA Media
Caucus space and resources proposal
Motivated by Ben F., August 15, 2017
Whereas in the last 3 months approximately 5 groups have requested recognition from EBDSA as formal member caucuses and,
Whereas the EBDSA bylaws specify that communications resources be granted to recognized caucuses and
Whereas to date there is not a formal system for allocating website or newsletter space for recognized caucuses,
The Secretary makes the following proposal.
EBDSA's website will have space available - herein referred to as the website’s caucus corner - for caucuses to publish materials and notify members of caucus activities.
- Caucuses listings on the website will follow the following format and be subject to the following conditions.
- Caucuses requesting listing on the website will be listed in alphabetical order on the caucus corner page of the website.
- At least five founding member names will be listed for each caucus so that members interested in joining a caucus can have a sense of who is already involved.
- Emailed permission must be received from each member of the caucus whose name will be listed confirming that they give permission for their names to be listed online as a member of the caucus.
- In order to be listed on the caucus corner of the website, caucuses must provide a contact email at which they can receive messages from interested members. It is strongly recommended that caucuses not provide personal emails but rather create email accounts for the sole purpose of receiving caucus related communications.
- A caucus does not need to be listed on the website, should caucus members decide they would rather not have a website listing.
- Website space will be limited to 75 words per website entry. No more than 1 entry per 2 weeks per caucus can be submitted to the website team per caucus unless special circumstances - as determined by the Local Council - apply.
Change to Bank Account Signatories in Accordance with Leadership Change
Proposal for changing signatories for the East Bay DSA account at Beneficial State Bank
Motivated by Jess D.-A., August 20, 2017
The East Bay DSA Local Council approves the removal of Jeremy G. (at-large council member) and the addition of Molly A. (co-chair) and Jeffrey L. (Treasurer) as signatories for our Beneficial State Bank business account.
Proposal to Appoint Internal Organizers
Motivated by Hannah K., August 20, 2017
The elected internal organizers move to appoint the following members as appointed internal organizers:
Proposal to Appoint External Organizer
Motivated by Ari Marcantonio, August 17, 2017
Motion to appoint external organizers, put forward by external organizers
The external organizers appoint Jackie Andrews as an external organizer.
District Group Budget Resolution
Motivated by Ari Marcantonio
Whereas the East Bay DSA district groups in North Oakland and South Berkeley typically hold one canvassing event per district per calendar month.
Whereas the long term aim of these groups is to expand across the East Bay and stable/clear budgets are key to doing so.
Whereas the current expenses for each district canvass typically total:
Be it resolved that that the Local Council issue a monthly budget of $50/month to each existing district group (currently $100/month total) for food, printing, and other expenses. With up to $50 rolling over from previous months.
Be it resolved that the district leaders will be tasked with maintaining receipts for all expenses incurred and reporting their expenses to the treasurer upon request.
Be it resolved that the district leaders for each group, or a district member appointed by them, will keep a spreadsheet of all monies spent and received and make monthly reports to the treasurer for bookkeeping and reimbursements.
Be it resolved that future district groups will be allotted the same budget, under the same conditions, upon their formation.
Motion to Petition Local Council for Debate
Submitted by Ari Marcantonio, external organizer
Whereas East Bay DSA has made a commitment to substantive democracy as well as membership participation and ownership over the chapter.
Whereas transparency in decision making and the ability of members to self-organize is essential to meeting the above goals.
Whereas the Local Council is elected to carry out the will of the membership at large and represent their perspectives, not those of select individual members.
Be it resolved that the Local Council will agendize and take up for debate any issue put forward by petition of 4% if collected in handwritten signatures and 12% if collected in online signatures from chapter’s membership, so long as it is in the purview of the LC as described in the bylaws.
Rationale for 8% - The delegates at the DSA 2017 National Convention passed a similar resolution, in which 8% of members and 20% of Locals may petition the National Political Committee to take up an issue for debate.
For reference, as of July 2017 with 673 members,
5% of EBDSA membership is ~34 members
8% of EBDSA membership is ~54 members
10% of EBDSA membership is ~67 members
The IOC will produce form document and instructions.
All relevant numbers will be rounded up in calculations of number of members needed.
Be it resolved that the Internal Organizing Committee will produce a form document for the purposes of such petition and make it available to all members.
Result: The proposal passes with 1 vote opposing and 12 in favor.
Communications Committee Work Redistribution Proposal
Motivated by Benjamin F., August 10, 2017
Whereas: The structure of the EBDSA bylaws creates two organizing committees, the internal and external organizing committees intended to be catchalls for the organizing work of EBDSA
Whereas: Prior to the adoption of the bylaws a communications committee was created and was under the direction and oversight of the secretary.
Whereas: The work of the communications committee has important implications for organizing, campaigns and strategy,
Whereas: The effort to institute a liasons model whereby representatives of the communications committee would collaborate with the organizing department to ensure that campaigns had their communications needs met effectively has had only partial success
Whereas: The secretary assesses that attention needs to be devoted to developing a more robust archive and minutes system for EBDSA and that this work is more in keeping with the mandate of the secretary as stated in the bylaws
The secretary proposes that all current functions of the Communications committee will be distributed among the internal and external organizing committees and that current subcommittee leads of the communications committees will serve at the discretion of and be answerable to the leads of the internal and external organizing committees as those elected leads deem appropriate.
The secretary proposes that a meeting of the communications committee be called for Sunday August 27 2-4 pm to inform the members of the new structures. The meeting will be co-facilitated by the secretary and at least one elected organizer from the Internal and External organizing committees.
The newsletter new member handbook website and ops will be part of the IOC
The video team press tam, and social media teams will be part of the EOC
The EOC and ICO will maintain a listserv of designers to call upon as needed.
There is also a recommendation within this proposal that a new position of communications secretary be added to the Local Council at the revision of the bylaws.
Result: The proposal passes unanimously.
Proposal for Electoral Endorsement Process for 2018 Electoral Cycle
Motivated by Jamie G.
Background context for the proposal
Members of the Local Council were approached by members of the Richmond Progressive Alliance about an EBDSA endorsement for two of their members: current Richmond City Councilmember Jovanka Beckles (running for CA State Assembly, District 15), and former Richmond Mayor and Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin (running for CA Lieutenant Governor)
At the 7/9 Local Council meeting, we authorized members of the Council to continue further conversations with the RPA of a purely informational nature. Since then, members of EBDSA have met with RPA and have gotten further clarification on the nature of their campaigns and candidates.
The situation produced by RPA approaching EBDSA has put us in a somewhat unique position, given that an already-active campaign has approached us for an early endorsement. We have not been approached by any other campaigns, much less any with an active electoral apparatus, and an early endorsement would potentially allow EBDSA to have greater impact on the content of the RPA campaigns, if the membership chooses to endorse either or both. For these reasons, we would like to begin the planning for a democratic decision-making process around these specific endorsements now, and have it occur as soon as feasible.
The submitters of this proposal would like to initiate, as quickly as possible, a multi-step process for having member debate and then vote on whether and/or how EBDSA might want to endorse the RPA campaigns.
The first of these meetings would take place sometime in September and would be an Informational Meeting under our bylaws (meaning no official business can be decided), to share information with members and offer space to debate the merits of this particular endorsement, as well as broader debates over electoral strategy. It would be ideal if the candidates, particularly Jovanka Beckles, could attend a section of this meeting to introduce themselves and answer questions.
The second of these meetings would take place some time in October or early November, and would be a Special Meeting used to determine if EBDSA will endorse either or both of the RPA candidates and what our strategy should be if we choose to endorse (as per Article II, Section 6 of our Bylaws on Electoral Endorsements).
Whereas, the 2018 election cycle is approaching, and EBDSA needs to have a democratic process by which to decide strategy, priorities, and potential endorsements
Whereas, we have been approached by members of the Richmond Progressive Alliance about potential early endorsements of Jovanka Beckles (running for CA State Assembly, District 15) and/or Gayle McLaughlin (running for CA Lieutenant Governor)
Whereas, we require broad and democratic membership engagement in determining our electoral strategy and priorities for the 2018 cycle and beyond
Be it resolved, the Local Council creates an Endorsement Process Team, housed in the Internal Organizing committee which must consist of, at minimum, one Internal and one External Organizer, as well as appointed Organizers and rank-and-file members
Be it resolved, the LC directs the Endorsement Process Team to carry out planning and execution for the membership endorsement decision process for Jovanka Beckles and Gayle McLaughlin. This will consist of, at minimum, one Informational Meeting in September/October and one Special Meeting in October/early November.
Be it resolved, endorsements are valid through one election cycle, including primaries and run-offs. For instance: If EBDSA endorses a candidate for a primary election and that candidate places in the runoff to a general election, the endorsement shall carry through the general election unless otherwise determined. A previous endorsee's re-election campaign would need to be endorsed via the normal process before EBDSA officially backs their re-election bid
5.a. Amendment to the proposal: Amendments to 2018 Endorsement Process Proposal - these amendments are accepted by consensus
Background context for the Amendments
Most of the submitters of the RPA endorsement process proposal also think that we should use the 2018 election cycle to design and pilot a more replicable and thorough process for deciding EBDSA endorsements and electoral strategy.
Given that we'd like to deliberate this second round of endorsement decisions in the context of a broader electoral strategy for EBDSA, this second round should culminate in a decision-making meeting that addresses both overall electoral strategy as well as particular endorsement decisions. We would recommend that this decision-making meeting happen in March or April. There are two options for this: either making our Local Convention the venue for this, or holding a Special Meeting that is empowered to decide both on strategy and endorsements.
Similar to the RPA cycle, this round will consist of at least one Informational Meeting and one decision-making meeting (Convention or Special Meeting). The intention of the Informational Meeting(s) is for members to educate their peers on the particularities of the issues, as well as to have a debate on overall electoral strategy with sufficient time before the decision-making meeting.
We also want to create a mechanism by which members can nominate candidates or ballot measures to consider for EBDSA endorsement. This will need to be a longer process, and many of the candidates or ballot issues for the 2018 cycle not been announced yet. We don’t feel that we’ve had enough time or member input to propose a specific process for member nominations yet, but this Proposal directs the Endorsement Process Team Steering Committee to make a recommendation to the LC for such a nomination process at or before the November meeting. External Organizer Jamie Gardner has volunteered to be the point of contact for member input on this process.
The submitters of these amendments came to consensus around the idea that whatever path is chosen for the second phase of the electoral endorsement cycle, the Local Council should emphasize that there will be opportunity for member-driven nominations.
Be it resolved, the process for deciding our strategic and political orientation towards the 2018 cycle, including any further candidate or ballot measure endorsements, will take place at our Local Convention.
Be it resolved, there will be a process by which members can nominate agenda items for that Convention, including endorsement nominations. This process must be approved by the Local Council
Whereas, we have no current mechanism for holding endorsed candidates accountable, and there is the possibility that they will reverse their positions on key policy, or will have engaged in some kind of behavior deemed unfit for an EBDSA-endorsed candidate
Be it resolved, that the Endorsement Process Team recommend a process for revocation of EBDSA endorsements, in the case of extreme or unusual circumstances, at or before the November LC meeting.
Result: The motion passes unanimously.
Proposal for Member Mobilizer Program
Motivated by Hannah K.
Whereas the Internal Organizing Committee (IOC) has been tasked with developing a system of Member mobilizers (referred to in EBDSA chapter bylaws as "mobilizers") who will act as an active conduit of information and engagement between the General Membership and the Local Council,
Whereas the size of the EBDSA and our continued rapid growth pose challenges around effective and timely communication between the Local Council and general membership,
Whereas to grow and maintain a fully democratic organization, members must feel that their participation is not only meaningful but essential, which requires that members be more efficiently informed of meetings, events, actions, and organizational discussions on the national and chapter level,
Whereas the health of EBDSA and the success of a mass working-class movement in the United States depends on nurturing individual members’ sense of shared self-interest through meaningful organizing work that will help them grow as socialists and leaders,
Whereas EBDSA requires a robust leadership pipeline to support both our ongoing structural transition and our overall aim to build working class power, particularly as we begin electoral endorsements and related organizing, as the district canvass program moves out of the pilot phase and into general adoption, and as our members' housing justice and anti-police terror efforts develop further,
Therefore the IOC proposes implementing a three-month Member mobilizer pilot program to begin September 2017. The IOC will evaluate the success of the pilot program on both quantitative and qualitative metrics, focusing on whether the program improves communication and fosters solidarity between members and the Local Council, and between members themselves.
Therefore, the Local Council empowers the IOC to scale up the Member mobilizers after the pilot phase. Before doing so, the IOC will share a report with the LC within a month of the end of the pilot program, detailing strengths, weaknesses, and particular issues that the IOC will address in the full implementation phase.
Member mobilizer Pilot Program Guidelines:
The IOC will appoint at least 9 Member mobilizers, who will be supported by three Head mobilizers. For the pilot program only, the four Head mobilizers will be appointed members of the IOC. Each Member mobilizer will be tasked with having initial 1;1 meetings with their cohort and maintaining regular communication with their Member Cohort, made up of 10 EBDSA members. The pilot program will run for three months from September 2017 through December 2017.
Member mobilizers and their assigned Member Cohort will share a geographic region. The IOC will select pilot regions based on: 1) covering a mix of low and high member concentration areas, and 2) the availability of potential Member mobilizers.
Member mobilizers will:
1) conduct ongoing outreach to their Member Cohort to inform and recruit members for the chapter’s events and organizing roles;
2) provide personal support for members to develop as socialist organizers in the chapter;
3) facilitate conversation between members on important chapter and national DSA discussions, to foster a culture of socialist political education;
4) serve as a conduit to bring input from rank-and-file members to chapter leaders.
Member mobilizers will check in with each member of their Member Cohort at least once a week. Member mobilizers may do this via phone, email, or a meeting for the entire Member Cohort.
At least once during the pilot program, Member mobilizers will meet with each member of the group for a one-on-one conversation about socialist organizing and the member’s interests in DSA.
Member mobilizers will organize one event for their Member Cohort per month, which may be coordinated with other Member Cohorts. Examples of events include a canvass, picnic, happy hour, strategy meeting, debate, or political education session.
Member mobilizers will attend trainings & debriefing sessions, while communicating regularly with their Head mobilizers.
The IOC anticipates the Member mobilizer time commitment will be 20 hours per month, or 5 hours per week.
Recruitment, Training, and Oversight:
The IOC will recruit and appoint at least nine Member mobilizers for the pilot, selecting for members with interest in expanding their involvement, capacity for supporting other members in the chapter, and demonstrated commitment to socialist politics. The IOC will appoint four Head mobilizers from within the IOC. These Head mobilizers, with the oversight of IOC leaders, will conduct a training for Member mobilizers that will mark the start date of the pilot. Head mobilizers will check in with their assigned Member mobilizers once a month after the training. Head mobilizers will support Member mobilizers by acting as leadership mentors, providing logistical help as necessary, and passing input from membership up to the IOC and LC as appropriate.
By the end of September, the IOC will devise an evaluation plan and assign an evaluation team (including Head mobilizers, IOC and non-IOC members) to carry out during and after the pilot. The evaluation will judge the success of the pilot towards its aims, based on both qualitative (e.g., interview responses) and quantitative metrics (e.g., counts of increased member participation). The IOC will produce an evaluation report, including recommended adjustments for the full implementation phase, and submit it at the January 2018 LC meeting.
Result: The proposal passes unanimously.
Proposal to Scale the District Program
Motivated by Ari M.
Whereas a priority was set by EBDSA to build infrastructure and systematize processes.
Whereas a priority was set by EBDSA to develop leaders.
Whereas a priority was set by EBDSA to engage a greater proportion of the membership on a regular and sustained basis.
Whereas the district program is currently the External Organizing Committee’s most viable option to achieve all of the above goals.
Whereas we have limited resources and cannot form district groups in every East Bay council district simultaneously.
Whereas, to engage the most members and develop the greatest number of leaders, priority should be given to those districts with the greatest proportion of interested members and competent/committed leaders.
Be it resolved that the primary focus of the External Organizing Committee, until otherwise mandated by the LC, will be to scale the district program based on the following plan:
The External Organizing Committee will organize EBDSA members who are interested in self-organizing social events (bar nights, potlucks, etc…) for other EBDSA members in their council district to get to know one another, learn about the district program, and gauge interest for a group in their own district. At least one member from an existing district group and/or someone who has been intimately involved in the program will be present at each of these events to give a short speech and answer questions. The EOC organizers responsible for the process will take quantitative and qualitative notes on each event, including but not necessarily limited to turnout, enthusiasm and the number of members expressing interest in rap trainings and other opportunities.
Following this process, a debrief will occur to discuss the results of the social events, and determine where there is interest and support for new district groups.
Resources will then be focused on developing groups in these districts.
The district program, the mobilizer program and the census program will think together about how we contact every member.
Result: The proposal passes unanimously.
Proposal for a Cal DSA Working Group Proposal
Motivated by Robbie N.
Whereas, members of East Bay DSA who are students and workers at UC Berkeley have been self-organizing for several months
Whereas, UC Berkeley students and workers comprise the largest concentration of EBDSA members in a single workplace/institution
Whereas, we do not yet have a clear process for approving a Branch, which is the possible goal for EBDSA members who are Cal students and workers
Be it resolved, that the Local Council approves the creation of a Cal DSA Working Group, open to any EBDSA member who works of studies at UC Berkeley or Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
Be it resolved, that the Cal DSA WG is empowered to hold meetings, host events, and create public materials. Outward facing events and statements require LC approval
Be it resolved, that the LC commits to providing some amount of resources for an initial campus recruiting drive, which will take place between now and the end of December.
Be it resolved, that in addition to Cal organizing activities this group will help to lay the groundwork for developing proposals for the EBDSA branch process.
Result: The proposal passes with 10 in favor and 3 opposed.
The meeting was adjourned at 4 p.m.
The following nine votes were taken by email between the August 20 meeting and the next local council meeting.
On August 31, 2017, co-chair Molly A. requested an email vote on the following resolution put forward by Ari M.
DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA, EAST BAY CHAPTER
RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT FOR A NATIONAL RENTER WEEK OF ACTION
WHEREAS the national Right to the City Alliance, through its Homes for All campaign, has called for a Renter Week of Action for the week of September 18th to 24th, 2017, with coordinated events in cities across the country.
WHEREAS the Homes for All campaign aims to organize millions of renters to fight back for our homes, our dignity and our future, while promoting a vision of a world free from displacement in which housing and communities are developed for people, not profit.
WHEREAS the Renter Week of Action asserts four demands: (1) for universal rent control, a living wage for all and a freeze on all unjust evictions; (2) for an end to Wall Street giveaways and for full federal funding to guarantee homes for all people; (3) for community control over land and housing in our communities; and (4) for the right of all tenants to organize and bargain collectively with landlords without fear of discrimination, retaliation or eviction.
WHEREAS the current global housing crisis has brought severe impacts to the East Bay and across the country.
WHEREAS the crisis is worsened by a global “financialization” of housing, which treats housing as a commodity valued primarily as an asset for the accumulation of wealth rather than as a social good.
WHEREAS displacement is devastating working class people, and falling especially hard on low-income communities of color.
WHEREAS displacement imposes serious impediments to organizing the working class.
WHEREAS the conflict between renters and landlords is a prominent site of class struggle.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that EBDSA endorse the national Renter’s Week of Action and its demands.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the External Organizing Committee be authorized to turn out EBDSA members and supporters to local actions during the Renter Week of Action, and to publicize the Renter Week of Action through official EBDSA channels, including but not necessarily limited to email and social media.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the External Organizing Committee be directed to share a draft resolution with DSA chapters in California and across the country to facilitate their endorsement of the Renter Week of Action.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the External Organizing Committee shall provide a copy of this resolution to the organizers of the Renter Week of Action as a sign of our solidarity.
Result: The measure passed unanimously.
On August 31, 2017, co-chair Molly A. requested a vote on the following proposal via email. The proposal was put forward by Jamie G.
Whereas East Bay DSA & DSA as a whole has committed to supporting workers rights to organize;
Whereas we seek partnerships at the rank-and-file level with workers & union members, and organizations which support union organizing drives;
Whereas the Alameda Labor Council, San Francisco Labor Council, & Fight For $15 are seeking community groups to endorse their Labor Day action, therefore:
Be it resolved: the Local Council of East Bay DSA hereby endorses the event "Strike and March in Oakland. Declare: America Needs Unions!" to be held on Monday, September 4, from 8:30 am-12:00 pm, consisting of supporting McDonald's workers at 15th and Jackson in downtown Oakland in their first-ever strike, followed by a short march & rally in front of Oakland City Hall
Be it further Resolved: The EOC and social media team will reach out to our membership about this event & invite them to participate, meeting at the corner of 15th and Jackson at 8:30 AM
Be it further resolved: Jamie Gardner or Claudette Begin will communicate this endorsement to the Alameda Labor Council, followed by a best estimate of our expected turnout, as per their call for support
Result: The proposal was approved by a vote of 11 in favor and 2 abstaining.
On September 5, 2017, co-chair Molly A. sent out the following email requesting a vote on endorsement of a speaking event coming up on September 16.
The email stated:
As Jeremy mentioned last week, he is on a panel on Sep 16 with Kshama Sawant and Gayle McGlaughlin. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/ events/2044033905831681
Andrew Richner has agreed to bottomline coordination for the event if we endorse it.
At this time, most of the planning has been taken care of so our endorsement primarily means doing turn out.
Calling for an email vote on this as we don't have time before the next LC meeting.
Result: The event was endorsed with a vote of 11 in favor and 2 abstaining.
On September 6, 2017, co-chair Molly A. put forward the following proposal submitted by treasurer Jeff L.
September 2017 t-shirt order
Whereas t-shirts are a popular thank-you gift for member donations collected during chapter events, and need to be periodically replenished.
Whereas EBDSA has, conservatively, at least $8000 in available funds, not counting funds allocated to outstanding checks for meeting expenses and convention reimbursements.
Whereas Zach McDonald has been a reliable coordinator of our swag items, but cannot continue in that role.
Whereas Alliance Graphics has provided EBDSA's t-shirts in the past.
Whereas t-shirts and other swag items have been distributed over many EBDSA events, but there is little to no available data on the associated donations.
Be it resolved that the chapter will provide $1580 to purchase new t-shirts from Alliance Graphics, per an order placed by Zach McDonald on 9/5.
Be it resolved that the IOC and treasurer will jointly appoint a new swag coordinator to oversee design, ordering, and inventory management.
Be it resolved that Finance Team will consult with experienced event volunteers to design a process for recording donation collections associated with the distribution of t-shirts and other swag items during events, and perform ongoing analysis on the budget-worthiness of the donations-for-swag program.
Be it resolved that event volunteers will execute the resulting process for recording donations and swag gifts during chapter events.
Result: The measure passed with 11 in favor and 2 abstentions.
On September 8, 2017, co-chair Mary Virginia W. called for a vote on the following measure put forward by Ari M.
WHEREAS a relationship to organized labor is key to socialist organizing.
WHEREAS East Bay DSA does not have any formal way of engaging and organizing union activists.
WHEREAS East Bay DSA does not have substantial information about which members are union members or staff.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the External Organizing Committee will be authorized to hold social events (happy hours, etc…) for EBDSA/community members who are involved in unions and/or labor organizing.
Result: The measure passed with 12 in favor and 1 abstention.
On September 8, 2017, co-chair Molly A. put forward for an email vote after it was submitted by treasurer Jeff L.
Fundraiser allocation for hurricane relief
Whereas many EBDSA members are seeking an opportunity for the chapter to raise funds for victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Whereas EBDSA is holding a general fundraising event (Motion from the Floor dance party) on September 14.
Whereas Houston DSA has reached its fundraising target for its Hurricane Harvey relief effort, and the damage caused by Hurricane Irma is still unknown. As a result, EBDSA leadership may need more time to assess the most effective way of allocating donations for hurricane victims.
Be it resolved that the chapter will allocate half of the September 14 fundraiser's net proceeds for donations related to hurricane relief. "Net proceeds" will be calculated as follows:
Add the total value of all one-time donations (cash and online) collected during the fundraiser
Add the total value of the first month of recurring donations to the local chapter that 1) are registered during the fundraiser, or 2) registered within one week of the fundraiser, as the direct result of pledges collected during the fundraiser.
Subtract the cost of all expenses and reimbursements associated with the fundraiser.
Be it resolved that the Local Council will use a future vote, no later than 9/28 (two weeks after the fundraiser) to determine the exact recipients of the donation funds.
Be it resolved that fundraiser organizers may advertise this donation allocation to the general membership and fundraiser participants.
Result: The measure passed with a vote of eight in favor and five abstaining.
On September 8, 2017, co-chair Molly A. put forward the following proposal for an email vote after it was submitted by Robbie N.
Whereas, the Local Council at its August meeting authorized the Electoral Process Team to make arrangements for meetings to discuss and vote on the potential EBDSA endorsements of Jovanka Beckles and Gayle McLaughlin
Whereas, we need to move quickly to reserve a space that works for the RPA candidates and a venue.
Whereas, the Endorsement Process Team will come with a more formalized budget proposal for food, printing, incidentals, and renting a venue for the second meeting within the next week.
Whereas, EBDSA has used Humanist Hall before, for the Asad Haider event
Be it resolved, the the Local Council authorizes the expenditure of $400 to reserve Humanist Hall on the evening on Monday, October 2, to hold the Informational Meeting for the RPA endorsements.
Result: The measure passed by a vote of 10 in favor. Quorum was reached with 3 people not voting.
On September 9, 2017, co-chair Molly A. put forward the following proposal for an email vote after it was submitted by Ahmed K.
PROPOSAL FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION EVENT WITH CHRISTIAN PARENTI
Whereas, capitalism is responsible for climate change, the destruction of fragile ecosystems, and endangering continued life on planet Earth. Therefore a socialist program must include struggles that have both an environmental and anti-capitalist component if we are to build a sustainable future. Ecosocialism starts with the premise that environmental degradation and social injustice stem from the same source: a world where profit is the highest goal. Ecosocialists believe that the emancipation of people from capital and its masters goes hand-in-hand with the emancipation of the earth and its biosphere from the cancer of capitalism
Whereas, there is considerable interest in ecosocialism amongst the members of the EBDSA as evidenced by the recent formation of a Climate Justice caucus. Additionally, the current edition of Jacobin magazine is dedicated to environmental struggle with the goal of drawing clear distinctions between the ecosocialist project and that of “green” capitalism. One of the contributing authors in this edition is Christian Parenti, Professor of Global Liberal Studies at New York University and author of Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence.
Whereas, Christian Parenti recently joined DSA and will be visiting the Bay Area later this month. He has graciously made himself for a public speaking event in the East Bay on 9/20-22.
Therefore, we propose that the EBDSA organize a public speaking event in the East Bay featuring Christian Parenti. Specifics as follows:
When: The evening of Friday September 22nd
Where: The Humanist Hall, Oakland, CA
Estimated Budget: $550; $500 to secure the venue, $50 miscellaneous costs (e.g. printing flyers, food and beverage) Note, we expect to recover a significant portion of this outlay via suggested donation at the door ($5-10), selling EBDSA swag, and cash bar
Expected Attendance: 100-200 people
Format: TBD (expect a period of prepared remarks and some Q&A)
Lead Organizers: Dan Deck and Keith Brower Brown (IOC)
Result: The measure passed with a vote of 11 in favor and 2 abstentions.
On September 12, co-chair Molly A. put forward the following proposal for email vote after it was submitted by Robbie N.
Proposal for Educational Event on Cal Campus
Whereas, the Cal Working Group of the East Bay DSA is attracting significant numbers of undergraduates, as well as grad students and campus workers.
Whereas, they have all expressed interest in hosting an educational event on UC Berkeley’s campus.
Whereas, one of the primary purposes of the Cal WG is to integrate members of the Cal community into EBDSA, and bring more EBDSA capacity to campus.
Be it resolved, that the Local Council approves an educational event on UC Berkeley's campus on the subject of "What Socialists Can Do to Fight Trump," to take place at some point during the months of September or October.
Be it resolved, that the LC selects three leaders from our chapter to speak on said panel.
Be it resolved, that the Cal WG is tasked with coordinating logistics, including room reservation, printing materials, and driving turnout.
Result: The measure passed by a vote of 12 in favor 1 abstaining.