Endorsing Jovanka & Gayle Is a Step Towards Power

  • Statement about: Jovanka Beckles and Gayle McLaughlin
  • For these candidates: I support a strong endorsement with a commitment to "boots on the ground" support from DSA.
  • Summary: Building Power Goes Through Canvassing on the Issues AND Our Candidates

Written by East Bay DSA member Michael Kaufman

Supporting the candidates from the RPA is necessary for EB DSA to gain significantly more power in the East Bay.

What do I mean by power? I mean being part of a leadership that can call out not 100 or 1,000 but 10,000 or 100,000 folks on the issues we've been working on. When we get to that phase, then a call for a general strike will mean real power, not just empty rhetoric.

I mean being able to put pressure on politicians who don't come out of our base, but can be pressured (made afraid for their jobs) by our base.

I mean being able to elect politicians who come from our base.

Joining with the RPA means joining with their coalition. That means the progressive unions, the grass roots caucuses, the housing and rent control movements, the homeless movements, the anti police movements, the anti-Chevron movements, the environmental justice movements, that have been bringing all of those community issues to our working class neighborhoods.

We have also been bringing our issue to the neighborhoods - the socialist basis of Medicare for All. Can we build our ranks further by breaking down the silos and forming alliances with all these other movements? Yes. By endorsing and working for the RPA candidates we are turning a key - opening a door toward building our leadership within this broader movement.

It's clear to me that weakening capital's power means educating and mobilizing tens of thousands, millions who are not yet socialists, who may never become socialists, but who are becoming class conscious, becoming anti-capitalist, becoming aware of their power.

Forming a strong alliance with the RPA is the path to leadership within these working class movements.

That is why there's a dialectical relationship between allying with other working class organizations, integrating our canvassing strategy and our literature with the messages of the candidates and the movements they represent.

In my opinion, it doesn't matter what the ballot line of the candidate is. What matters is if the candidate is corporate money free and runs on the issues that are motivating the mass of the working class.

These concerns in the East Bay are $15 or $20 minimum wage with a union, stopping police murder and prosecuting the murderers, fighting gentrification via rent control and public eminent domain of housing that owners are using to increase their profits by driving out poor and working class folks, pointing out the waste of war and military arms that keep austerity alive and choke social services - and of course single payer.

During an election year, the population is more tuned in to political messages. We must use this time to spread our messages and use our candidates and their messages.

To build a stronger, more powerful EB DSA, we must ally with the RPA and vigorously support Jovanka Beckles for District 15 and Gayle McLaughlin for Lt. Governor.

The statement above is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the opinions of East Bay DSA, its local council, or its members.