An Election & New Year for Labor Standing Committee

On Wednesday 18th of September 2019, DSA New Orleans Labor Standing Committee (LSC) held its monthly meeting. This was more than a standard meeting as the committee was electing its new leadership for the year ahead. Furthermore, committee members were greeted with pizza and drinks. The meeting was well attended as more than 15 members came out, but we must keep growing to demand better conditions for all the workers of Greater New Orleans. 

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Baton Rouge DSA Joins Fight for Justice

Baton Rouge is a city under siege. 


Whether it’s tax policy that throws away public resources, a carceral system that steals years of labor from citizens or demagogues aiming to divide with extremist right-wing rhetoric, the residents of the state capital face a constant barrage of reactionary politics.

In that environment, a new DSA chapter is working to bring socialist ideas to the fore. 

“We’re people doing what we can to change Baton Rouge for the better and promote a vision of politics that you just don’t get anywhere else,” said Billy S., treasurer and former co-chair of the Baton Rouge DSA.

The chapter, born out of a reading group in 2017, engages in a mix of mutual aid, direct action and canvassing to further that vision.

The canvassing program will be familiar to New Orleans DSA members. The state has highly gerrymandered districts that aim to concentrate minority votes in one district and deny disadvantaged groups representation. Because of that,  Baton Rouge shares Rep. Cedric Richmond with New Orleans. That means the DSA chapters in both cities have been able to coordinate a petition campaign for Medicare for All, with Baton Rouge contributing dozens of signatures to the effort. 

The group also mobilizes to feed the hungry with Famine is the Enemy, and coordinated with LSU’s YDSA to counter events by TPUSA, a group that sponsors ultra-conservative speakers on campuses in the hopes of generating publicity for their causes.

Baton Rouge DSA’s growth comes amid a campaign by capitalists to raid the public coffers and imprison the working class, Billy said.

Giveaways to the Rich

Baton Rouge has been the center of a statewide debate over the Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP), Billy said. The program allows businesses to avoid paying property taxes at the expense of public programs that rely on property taxes: schools and other local services. The program is a huge handout to the richest in Louisiana.

A study by Together Baton Rouge shows the ITEP cost East Baton Rouge Parish entities $770 million from 1998-2017. In that time, the top ITEP recipients cut 2,263 jobs in the parish. In a time where the parish schools are strapped for funds, East Baton Rouge Parish schools faced numerous cutbacks and budget crunches over that period.

A coalition of Baton Rouge groups have risen up to oppose these gifts to those who need them the least, and in 2018, the program was reformed to at least give local governments a veto over the state’s ITEP decisions. 

Inhumane Treatment

Another area of concern for Baton Rouge leftists have been the conditions at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, Billy said. 

The infamous prison has been called “deplorable” and “inhumane” by a Baton Rouge city councilor. Most prisoners live in a unit built in the ‘60s, and the “new” unit is 30 years old, according to the Advocate. Since 2000, the prison’s population has doubled. Thousands of the city’s poor have been held because of lack of bail money, losing jobs, housing and opportunities even though they had yet to be convicted. The prison has a death rate 2.5 times higher than the national average. 

Amid these injustices, the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition has formed to agitate for change. 

Looking to the Future

The city struggles with the malfeasances of the capitalist class, but Baton Rouge DSA hopes to join the growing leftist movement toward justice, Billy said.

“We have a voice ready and a space for alternatives,” he said.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Visit brdsa.org to sign up for updatesFollow BRDSA on Facebook and Twitter

An Interview with Pepper Bowen Roussel

Photo Credit: vote4pepper.com

Pepper Bowen Roussel is a food, water and environmental attorney running for State Representative of District 91 in New Orleans, the election of which will be on October 12. Ms. Roussel did not seek or receive the endorsement of the DSA, but agreed to an interview to explain some of her positions. To find out more about her campaign, visit her site vote4pepper.com. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

So how did you get to this day, to where you are now?

So I had not planned on running. I know and have known for a while that most of our legislature is going to be term-limited and so they’ll be aging out this go-around, and I expected that since there are some really crucial issues coming up, that somebody would have stepped up long before me who would be addressing them and nobody had. The sun has set on waiting for somebody to step forward and do the things that I want to see done.

The biggest thing is redistricting, and that hits so very many different levels of existence that I don’t think many people give it enough credit, because we are trained in many ways to respond to centrist politics, so when we hear healthcare and education and criminal justice reform, people rally around those things, which is great, but to me, even though I am fully in support of Medicare for All and we should all have healthcare, if I take off in order to go to the doctor and get fired, I don’t know if having healthcare is helping me too much. If I cannot return to my job because I was sick and needed a couple days to recuperate-again, not helping me too much. These are intertwined, these are interlocking systems. You can’t just move one and everything is going to fix itself.

So one of the big ones for you is making sure that representation is done in the right way?

Not just representation. Yes that is part of redistricting, so that everybody does have a vote but also the way that we get money for infrastructure, it is also the way that voices that believe they are not heard get heard. So, take a couple of steps back. Gerrymandering got to this place because we wanted to be sure that we had certain types of representation in certain areas. In 91 we are Irish Channel, Lower Garden District, Central City, Gert Town, Holly Grove, it cuts all the way through Fountainbleau to Marlyville, which is up in Carrollton, and it also hits a little swathe over in Mid-City. So essentially we are from the river to the parish line, right through the center of town, and just thinking about those different neighborhoods, they are not the same interests, so we can all say that we do have a concern with say, water management, but, in Irish Channel where it does not flood, the concern is ‘Why is my street not draining?’ as opposed to Gert town or Holly Grove and that issue is really more around ‘Why is it that every time there is a flood event that my house is completely underwater?’ So you can see those as the same, but they are very much not in the same vein. Levels or degrees as it were.

Instead of looking for a specific representative, if we were to start looking at the people who are there and what they might need, and maybe even encapsulate entire neighborhoods inside of a district, then those people can actually have a place. Suddenly it’s not about the folks who were in Mid-City competing with the folks in Lower Garden District over resources. They are voting with people who have the same basic interests as they do.

Additionally, for money coming in for infrastructure, when we start looking at the census, which is going to drive the redistricting in many ways, if we are not capturing citizenship, if we are allowing people to just say, ‘Hey you know what? I live here!’ Then we can stop this trope around a drain on resources. What ends up happening, is that especially in areas where we don’t have enough resources, there’s folks who are afraid to say ‘I’m here’. We don’t get money into those areas that reflects them, so there’s not money for schools there’s not money for streets, there’s not money for hospitals, there’s not money for anything because they just ‘don’t exist’. Conversely, in the Lower Garden District, you don’t necessarily have a high volume or a high concentration of folks who are looking for affordable housing, well, everybody there is having their voices heard. 

For me my platform is really about family, community and culture. Families, first and foremost, we need to have equality in pay, we need to have equality in criminal justice application, we need have equality in opportunity and that is well beyond an education system, that is really about starting at the foundation of things and saying if women are indeed heading most of the families in different areas then women need to be making more money period. They need control of their bodies, they need to be able to put their children in schools that are going to be best for them, they need transportation whether that be private or public transportation to be able to get back and forth to work in order to give them and their families an opportunity to grow. Their families are really the foundation of our communities and our communities are really disparately treated in this moment so we’ve got areas like Gert Town where there are really radioactive materials that have been found in the ground, where there are brown fields and brown lots in Central City. We don’t really hear about that in parts of Uptown that are closer to the river. The things we hear about there are potholes, which, believe me when I tell you I do feel the misery of the pothole, but it is certainly not the same thing as having some radioactive sludge running down the street every time that it rains. So ensuring that we have these healthful, safe, and environmentally friendly places for families and communities to be able to grow and to thrive is really just looking at how it is that each of us lives and works with each other.

Those communities are really the basis for our culture. The idea that we would have a preservation of culture as an economic driver really makes a lot of sense here, but what we’ve ended up with is folks who don’t really know New Orleans who are capitalizing off of what they do know about it. Knowing a lot of facts is not really the same thing as knowing and understanding a culture. For years the Black Masking Indians have been just that, Black Masking Indians, but they are having to re-brand themselves as Mardi Gras Indians in order to get any money out of it. Folks have been coming in and taking pictures of them and selling it for a lot of money, meanwhile, they spend an entire year putting together a suit, but get no money out of it. We’ve got restaurants that are popping up all over the place that are re-imagining things that have been food staples here for generations, and I’m not saying we should not have some sort of evolution of food, what I am saying is that if we do have people that are making money off of it, why are they not the people who have been cooking the food for all of these generations? So, putting protections around the culture as an economic driver, and making sure that the folks who are already in these spaces are not being driven out by further transitions of faces and neighborhoods.

So do you have a couple big priorities if you got elected as far as food and water in New Orleans goes?

So many things! The biggest thing for me is really getting people a space where they don’t just have “access” to things, because even if I live across the street from the Whole Foods and I can’t afford to buy anything in it, I have access. Growing becomes a very nuanced conversation because the whole idea around community gardens means that the community has to buy into it, and if the community is not ready or willing to support it then it fails, as I’m sure you’ve seen around town, lots of community gardens have just died because people don’t have the time or don’t have the interest. What I think would be really awesome would be to increase the opportunities in ways that are just a little bit off the beaten path in order to get people with money in their pocket so they can purchase this food.

Royce Duplessis was trying to change the [state] constitution so that we would no longer have preemption at a state level, where we could not set a living wage at a municipal level, and that did not work last session. I would really love to partner with Royce and maybe see if we could expand that a little bit more so that we could actually have a living wage created and set by a city or municipality so that then folk do have options to actually access.

Are you pro legalization of marijuana?

I am pro legalization of marijuana and I believe the taxation around that should be equivalent to whatever it is that we do around drugs and alcohol-over the counter drugs and alcohol. Again I think that it is disingenuous to create an entire industry around legalization of marijuana where it ends up looking like you’re walking into an apple store, meanwhile black and brown bodies are rotting away in prison as part of the industrial prison complex. So these are all interlocking systems, and in my mind we have to be able to, if not disentangle them, then to figure out a lynchpin so that once we start, we can hit all the different levels of oppression. What I would really love to see is a program where we don’t just release. So step one is that we release drug offenders into general society, but step two is that we find in some sort of a way a business incubator for these folks, because they are clearly entrepreneurial and have a very clear understanding of market demand, as well as product placement, so that they can then make money off of the very thing that has destroyed families and destroyed their futures. Just releasing people into general society doesn’t work, and just hoping they will get a job is putting them in a very difficult situation, but if we can make them business owners and put them into a place where they can self-support, and they then can then hire other people, I think that that is a reasonable way forward, in that way not only do we have opportunities for those folks to sell, but there’s also a growing aspect of it so we can not only cultivate them, we can cultivate land in ways we have not thought of before, and not just community gardens but maybe we have a lease program for urban areas that is far more supportive of these small businesses then it is just waiting for developers to come along and put another high rise on it.

We talked a little about people who are apathetic about voting, or don’t feel like they have a voice, what are your suggestions as far as getting out the vote, because I do feel like there are so many people who are like ‘Why would I bother?’ And they’re such an important group of people to reach.

So you’ve got a couple of groups there. One would be your formerly incarcerated folks and many of them may not know they can vote this go-around thanks to organizations like VOTE (Voices Of The Experienced) who worked really hard to make sure that they could. We also have folks who live in marginalized and depressed areas who are suffering from community trauma: if every day somebody is being removed, you don’t know when they’re coming back, if they’re coming back, it does create a sense of helplessness. That’s the lion’s share of folks who don’t vote because they don’t see how things are going to change. Getting out the vote is a little bit more difficult because they have seen over time how it doesn’t really matter the shading of the person who’s in elected office, it doesn’t really matter the gender of someone elected into office because they continue to be the ones who are trod upon, they continue to be the ones who do not have a voice necessarily that they really just have this treadmill that they’re on, which is unfortunate.

What I would love to see is when folks do go knocking on doors, and they’re talking about come and vote, that they are explaining what the numbers are. In [district] 91 alone we have somewhere north of 61 percent of black women. 61 percent of people who are in the neighborhood. In this district they alone could choose who represents them. I’m a factual kind of person, and if someone were to come to me and say “if all y’all just showed up and voted, then we can make real and lasting change, if all of y’all opened your homes to discussions around what does voting look like and how it is that I can actually have a voice, if more folks were actually engaged and invested in politics the same way that politics is engaged and invested in them, I think we would have much deeper and better discussions around how it is that these folks can move power and shift power from where it sits and take it back into the communities where it ought to be.


Marguerite Green Qualifies for State Ballot

Photo Courtesy Margee Green

By Scott A. 

Louisiana will officially have a DSA member on the statewide ballot on Oct. 12. 

Marguerite “Margee” Green has qualified for the race for Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry. She aims to unseat incumbent Mike Strain on a platform that will elevate all Louisianans, and she’ll need volunteers to do it

Green, the executive director of local nonprofit SPROUT NOLA, said a win would mean a complete shift in how the Department of Agriculture and Forestry operates.

“It would be a worker-first mentality in a state-level position,” she said. “We see industry-first leaders in these roles. We see people prioritizing financial gain of corporations.” Green’s policies would aid every worker in the value chain of agriculture: from the small farmers to the pickers to the sorters.

What would be on Green’s to-do list in her first 100 days? Working on legalizing adult access to recreational marijuana and limiting pollution from farming runoff.

An Ambitious Agenda

As Ag Commissioner, Green would have a hand in regulating and promoting new crops, and she would advocate strongly for one of those crops to be cannabis.

“We’re missing out on a new crop that could expand our tax base and keep Louisiana competitive,” Green said. 

Legalizing marijuana should also include expungement of criminal convictions for cannabis, Green said, ending an injustice that has derailed the lives of many Louisianans.

Green would also target runoff from farms that threatens Louisiana’s waterways. Fertilizer runoff from farms can contaminate drinking water, foul rivers and create algal blooms. 

Louisiana is already at the forefront of the climate crisis as rising temperatures are ruining the predictable patterns of rainfall and replacing them with cycles of disastrous droughts and floods. Green wants the state to play a large role in combating the effects of global warming.

“Trees are very effective at capturing carbon,” Green said. But in 2015, her opponent ended a tree nursery program that provided low-cost tree saplings and promoted sustainable growth. Green said she would work to restore that program as well as appoint a task force to ensure sustainable agricultural practices. 

Green also wants to make farming a viable career path for young Louisianans. 

“Farmers 35 and under are outnumbered by farmers 65 and older by 6 to 1,” Green said. “The majority of Louisiana farmland is going to change hands soon, and young people need to be comfortable and secure in starting new farms.”

A Welcome Endorsement

At the June convention, New Orleans DSA gave its first-ever electoral endorsement to Green. 

Green said it might have seemed strange a few years ago that a democratic socialist group would make its first endorsement one for Ag and Forestry Commissioner. But the endorsement shows that democratic socialists are building a movement that encompasses all aspects of creating a more just society. 

However, Green needs more than just endorsements. She’s facing an entrenched incumbent with a lot of moneyed interests on his side. Her plan to win is a people-powered campaign that spreads her message through one-on-one interactions.

“We need to outwork him,” Green said.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Volunteer on Margee Green’s site

Donate to her campaign

Join #green4agriculture in the Slack

Jane Place Fights Mounting Housing Crisis

$100 late rent fees. Evictions without warning. Refusing to fix collapsed ceilings.

These are merely a few of the myriad abuses New Orleans DSA member Breonne D. has seen in her time as an organizer with Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative.

For over 10 years, Jane Place has fought the deluge of gentrification, rent hikes, and landlord abuse in one of the most hostile regulatory environments in the nation. Their goal: decommodification of housing. Their method: community land trusts and expanded housing rights.

A New Theory of Housing
Jane Place began in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A group of activists, artists and agitators sought to influence the city’s development to make it a more just and inclusive place. Recovery planning had begun to privilege homeowners over renters in a classist and racist trajectory, Breonne said.

The Jane Place Initiative aimed to give refuge to families pushed out by opportunistic capitalists. It assembled a land portfolio to build a power base allowing Mid-City residents — mostly renters — to remain amid a push by the powerful to transform the neighborhood into a majority-homeowner area.

This land forms the basis for Jane Place’s community land trust, Breonne said. Jane Place develops property and rents it at affordable rates to lower-income families.

In the long run, Jane Place hopes to sell property to residents at affordable rates and retain ownership of the land the property resides. Then, the trust can protect the neighborhood in a number of ways, including placing restrictions on property sales, prioritizing low-income families as renters, and capping rental increase levels.

It’s a method that expands affordable housing and ensures it endures for decades to come. Jane Place owns four properties, including a 30,000-foot warehouse it aims to turn into co-operative housing with shared kitchens and living spaces.

But access to affordable housing doesn’t lead to housing justice, Breonne said. Benevolent land trusts are unlikely to own the entire city. Renters still need options to fight back against unreasonable landlords.

Fighting for Tenant’s Rights
The tenant laws in Louisiana are abysmal, Breonne said, better only than Arkansas, which allows renters to be jailed for being late with rent.

The issues for New Orleans stem from the state’s preemption laws, in which the state dismantles leftist reforms like the city’s rent control legislation enacted in the 1970s. For the time being, earning more rights for tenants is a statewide battle.


A City of Eviction
The state’s rules have allowed landlords to run amok, Breonne said. The eviction rate is double the national average, and in places like the Little Woods neighborhood, 1 in 10 renters is evicted every year. 5.2% of New Orleanians faced eviction in 2017. This only counts formal evictions, Breonne noted, and it fails to capture the times that landlords gave their tenants little-to-no warning.

It’s also legal for landlords to force leases that waive the right to an eviction notice, meaning the first notice a tenant gets of their eviction is from the court saying they have 5 days to vacate.

The damage from eviction is immeasurable: lives are upturned, children face instability, jobs can be lost, families end up on the street. Evictions go on a renter’s record, making future housing much more difficult to find.

Jane Place is mobilizing to combat rampant evictions by sending monitors to eviction court to record deeper data on who is being evicted and why. By monitoring the ways the court system abuses renters, Jane Place hopes to find new tactics to expose and prevent the mistreatment of vulnerable people.

Jane Place has scheduled a training session for Eviction Court monitors: Monday, July 22 from 6-9 p.m. Please email evictionmonitoring@jpnsi.org if you would like to get involved.


Organizing Renters
While evictions are a crisis, Jane Place also has its sights set on other abuses renters face in New Orleans.

There is no law forcing landlords to repair dilapidated units, and a tenant can’t withhold rent even if a unit is unlivable. This means a tenant with no running water has no way of forcing repairs and must continue paying to avoid the costly black mark of an eviction.

The city also has no rent controls or stabilizations. Capitalists had a field day after Katrina, vacuuming up properties for pennies against their actual worth. City policies have encouraged growth like the BioInnovation Center, sending rents skyrocketing. Across New Orleans, rents have risen 20 percent, Breonne said, with neighborhoods like the Bywater seeing 100 percent higher rent since Katrina.

In response, Jane Place has organized monthly renters’ rights assemblies. The autonomous organization is working to build a structure around which the renters of New Orleans can organize resistance to landlord abuses. The renters’ assembly meets the first Thursday of every month (except July, when it meets July 11) at 2533 Columbus St.


Reasons for Hope
Despite the desperate situation of many renters in New Orleans, Breonne sees reason for hope. The anger around housing conditions is growing, and she says New Orleanians are passionate about protecting the cultural heritage of their close-knit communities. Jane Place won allies in its fight against short-term rentals, and although the battle isn’t over, restrictions like the homestead exemption are likely to pass in the city council.

But to continue its fight, Jane Place needs help, and Breonne said she hopes New Orleans DSA members will be ready to sign on.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:
– Attend Court Watch training Monday, July 22 from 6-9 p.m. Email evictionwatch@jpnsi.org to RSVP.
– Attend the next meeting of the renters rights assembly on July 11 at 2533 Columbus St.
– Call your councilmember to demand the homestead exemption for STRs and an affordable housing match.

Chapter Elects New Leaders, Endorses 1st Candidate

Image of New Orleans DSA 2019 Convention by Ash Sechler
Photo Credit: Ash Sechler

DSA New Orleans members elected new leadership, approved new bylaws and made the chapter’s first campaign endorsement at the annual convention Saturday.

Over 60 attendees voted to change bylaws, including streamlining and clarifying the chapter’s endorsement process, clarifying the stance on nationally endorsed campaigns, establishing new credentials officer and alternate positions, and creating working groups for growth and diversity, as well as chapter conduct. The convention also resolved to prioritize Medicare for All and labor rights and to continue streamlining budgeting and finances for the coming year.

Another major milestone passed with an overwhelming majority, as Marguerite Green received DSA New Orleans’ first official political campaign endorsement as she begins her run for Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry.

A number of candidates ran for local council seats, with Jordan F. elected as a new co-chair alongside re-elected Co-Chair Michael E.

“We learned a lot talking about what campaigns were successful and which weren’t, and we’re in a great position to reorient our organizing around that. I’m looking forward to seeing how the chapter will grow by moving away from the activist model and into a place where more casual organizers can make meaningful contributions to our work,” said Jordan.

Michael echoed his sentiment.

“I’m excited to work with new leadership to strengthen and grow our chapter as we start to take up more ambitious campaigns for working-class demands,” she said. “It’s clear we’re becoming a serious, durable organization with real potential to fight for meaningful change in Louisiana, and I’m honored to serve our members in another term as chair.”

The entire elected Local Council includes Zach D. and Sophie K. as at-large Local Council members, Logan Y. as membership chair, Alli D. as treasurer, and Ryan S. as secretary. Michael E., Sue M., Frances G., Josh L., and Jordan F. were chosen to represent the chapter at DSA’s upcoming National Convention in August.

Following Saturday afternoon’s convention, DSA members met for a social at a chapter member’s home. We look forward to building a better world and New Orleans over the next year.

2019 Chapter Convention Candidate Statements

Co-chair:

Trey D:
Over the last several years, I believe we’ve witnessed a genuinely rare moment: for the first time in decades, we have the chance to truly build a unified, durable and powerful workers’ movement in New Orleans and nationwide. Generations of stagnant wages, the Great Recession, and the endless fiasco that is our political system have swept underfoot generations of old lies about socialism (and a lot of other lies besides). As a result, our organization has grown from a tiny sect to the largest anticapitalist organization in the country in at least 50 years.
I am running for co-chair because I believe our chapter, and DSA at large, now faces a profound and crucial question: what comes next? How do we turn this moment into a durable, powerful and multiracial workers’ organization?
I believe we must prioritize, above all, both sustained membership growth and democratic durability. Growth that will continue regardless of who is in office or what happens on election day; growth which actively and tirelessly reaches beyond the heavily white demographics of our current membership. Democratic durability that is built on creating opportunities for involvement in our movement beyond committee-centered, single-issue organizing; durability that is founded on making democratic self-organization a part of the fabric of working peoples’ lives.
I hope that some of my work over the last fifteen months as membership chair, such as creating the chapter Mobilizers Program to ensure every person expressing interest in our chapter is connected with an established member, leading development on the chapter website, and co-authoring the Collective Power Network’s Regional Representation plank, has contributed to beginning to address these goals. But as a chapter, I feel we must deepen our commitment to them, and if elected to co-chair, doing so will be my priority.

Michael E:

I’m Michael (she/her). I’m a restaurant worker and student who got my start in organizing as a rank-and-file labor activist, and later as an organizer for United Labor Unions, working primarily with school custodians. I’ve served as co-chair of New Orleans DSA for the past year, working on new member onboarding, navigating our coalition work in the Three Point Platform campaign, and helping to lead our chapter program process. For us to stand a chance in the struggle against the rich power players who run our state, and win working class victories that materially change peoples lives, we have to build our chapter. We’ve got to pair campaign activity with strong systems for growth & member development.

If elected to a second term as co-chair I’ll work to

  • Collaborate with the Labor Committee to build working class power through support for organizing in major industries
  • Team up with the Membership Chair and Mobilizers to implement a strategy for growth – one that emphasizes reaching and building trust with working class communities of color and working class women
  • Create tools to help incorporate political education and organizer training into all of our activity
  • Help guide our work in coalition with membership based organizations and working class communities whose priorities align with our own, especially on key issues like education, healthcare, labor and environment

Jordan F:

We are at a rare moment for the socialist movement. We’ve continued to grow through ongoing political crises because more and more people believe that we are going to win. Our role as organizers is to show people that we will win. We do this when we create material changes for our neighbors and coworkers. And we make these changes by building real power. We must always be thinking about our work in relation to how it builds power, and as co-chair I’ll continue to challenge the membership and chapter leadership to think in these terms.
I’ll do this by focusing my efforts on a small set of concrete goals:

  • Pushing the chapter to do more outward-facing events and outreach to build trust in our work and make it visible to our neighbors.
  • Creating and supporting an internal body focused on onboarding and welcoming new members.
  • Creating and supporting the Growth & Diversity Working Group to organize our neighborhoods beyond specific issue areas.
  • Developing a Leadership Development strategy. To identify informal leaders, create a succession plan for elected leadership, and create tools and trainings.
  • Centering political development and education in all our work.

Read Jordan’s full Statement


At-Large Council Member:

Zack D:

A year before joining the New Orleans Democratic Socialists of America, I read news articles on the internet and felt hopeless about the world’s situation. Shortly over a year later the issues seem no less dire, but I know that there’s a group of dedicated people that are fighting for a more equitable world. I want to expand our chapter’ base to include all of our working class allies, who may feel as powerless as I did. I also want to listen and learn from our chapter members, many of whom have ideas that can bring a more just world to fruition.

Sophie K:
No short statement.

Cate R:
I am Cate Root and I organize with New Orleans DSA because the members of this chapter have convinced me that we can win. Of all the beliefs we share — in justice, democracy, and kindness — that we can do something is what unites us. Lots of people share our politics, but they don’t think we can win. And we can change that. I believe that within the next year, we can double our active membership. If elected, I will propose that a new Welcoming Committee coordinate recruitment and onboarding, social planning, and accessibility (including child watch, meal preparation, and transportation).

I believe in leadership development through structure, such as creating “membership trustee” positions to maintain security of member data while creating for a smoother, centralized process for contacting new organizers. I believe in the members of this chapter. I believe that we can build a bigger and better organization here in New Orleans.


Membership Chair:

Logan Y:

I’m Logan (they/he), and for the last year I’ve been active in the mobilizers program and the Socialist Feminist Caucus. From running mobilizer cycles to organizing clinic escort trainings, I’m excited to bring new folks in and find ways we can help each other. I’m running for membership chair to structurally strengthen that work, to internally organize our growth towards a mass organization full of leaders. Specifically, that’s already happening in a few projects taking shape: organizing from within our neighborhoods, unifying a set of mobilizing tools with welcoming and welfare work, and improving the processes that maintain our community agreements. These will expand our concerns beyond the chapter, activate our members around chapter priorities, and help us struggle together through conflict safely. Beyond maintaining and cutting lists, I’ll take on this work as membership chair to set up multiple paths for our members to build their agency.


Secretary:

Ryan S:

I’ve been an active member in our chapter since August 2018. I’ve changed brake lights, helped execute last fall’s Statewide Summit, talked to people about their medical debt at our health fairs, and contributed writing and graphic design to our Communications Committee’s projects. As Secretary I’ll prioritize communicating our chapter’s decisions and actions to the membership in an equitable and accessible way. We are at a crucial point in our chapter’s growth where the people who helped build this chapter may not be as available to provide background and context to us, so we need good records. I want to provide summaries of our chapter’s decisions that give members a better way to keep up with our work and begin an archive of significant documents that chart our chapter’s history and growth. I will always look for ways to motivate democracy, transparency, and feedback through all aspects of our Local Council’s work.


Treasurer:

Alli D:
I’m Alli DeJong and I’m running for treasurer. Many of you know me, as I’ve been a member and leader in our chapter since the beginning. Our chapter is experiencing growing pains, and I can provide the support and stability to ensure that our chapter is an effective steward of resources that help us grow our organizing capacity.

Treasurer is not an exciting or sexy position, but it’s super important. We need to maintain compliance with our bylaws as well as with national governance documents. We have a lot of work to do to institutionalize policies and procedures that will keep our hard-earned dues money safe from misappropriation. The treasurer will have to lead the finance committee, develop and implement these policies, and work with each committee individually to make sure that they are planning, budgeting, and accounting for the funds they need to do their work. I also believe that the treasurer should lead a chapter-wide budgeting process, starting with the committees, and then coordinate chapter-wide fundraising pushes to raise the appropriate amount of funds for the year to accomplish our goals.

I’m the right person to do this because these are my skills, and I’m excited about this work. I have an MBA and professional experience coaching and supporting nonprofit organizations. I wrote our chapter’s bylaws, wrote the bylaw revisions to strengthen our financial controls, and have been serving as a treasurer trustee since January. If elected as Treasurer, I will not only keep our funds safe and transparent, but I will move our chapter to a budgeting and accounting system that will be a model for other growing chapters. We will learn and grow together as we develop budgets that show where and how we want to grow, and then we’ll raise money together to meet the need. Members will be reimbursed on time, and processes will be clear, documented, and replicable. Every dollar will be accounted for and every member will be able to access reports on the current financial state of our chapter.

Steve P:

Nobody joins the revolution to do the bookkeeping. What brought each of us to socialism were injustices that made us incandescent with passion and righteous anger, not the prospect of balancing spreadsheets. However, as we mature into a movement truly of the working class, we will need to grow into new strengths and capacities, indeed as many of us are doing every day in this chapter. Not least of these is managing our collective financial resources according to our socialist ideals, such as democracy and transparency.

I think the position of Treasurer has two sides. One side is being the person that prepares spreadsheets and reimburses people. The other is about being a part of a democratic effort to chart a shared future. This chapter needs to design and implement a participatory budgeting process that teaches self-governance. We need to raise funds as a collective, not as committees and caucuses competing over a limited donor base. We need to institutionalize knowledge so members aren’t continually reinventing the wheel. I want to have a hand in helping our chapter achieve all this. I hope you will consider voting for me and this vision of what we can build together.


Delegates:

Trey D:

I am running for delegate because I believe what is decided at this convention will have a profound impact both on our work here in New Orleans, and on the long-term health of our  organization nationwide. In talking to members of other chapters both as a chapter delegate to the recent Dallas and Atlanta regional DSA conferences, and as a charter member of the Collective Power Network (CPN), it’s become clear to me that urgent structural reform is needed if DSA is to continue to grow and build power.

DSA’s current national structure, which above the chapter level consists only of the 16-member National Political Committee and a small paid staff, has become increasingly more untenable as the organization has grown. Chapters large and small remain isolated and unable to effectively share resources, knowledge or workloads.

Climate-threatened chapters along the Gulf like ours need formal venues to share expertise and develop strategies for disaster relief; chapters along the border need venues to coordinate resistance to ever-escalating ICE raids; new and emerging chapters need venues to call on the resources or experience of larger ones. And all chapters lack a formal way to bring issues, projects, or requests to regional or national attention within DSA.

I co-authored the CPN Regional Representation Program to begin addressing these issues, by outlining a path to ensure representation for every chapter in a DSA Regional Organization by August 2020. CPN’s other planks address a number of concrete and much-needed reforms, which I have had the opportunity to help advocate for as a member of CPN’s Communications Team. If elected delegate, I will work to pass these reforms, and strongly support any other measures focused on deepening DSA’s commitment to democracy, diversity, and  uncompromising radicalism.

Alli D:

I’m Alli DeJong and I am running to be a delegate to the national DSA convention in Atlanta. I would be honored to represent this chapter again at the national level after also being a delegate in 2017. Delegates have two key responsibilities: voting on political resolutions and electing the next NPC. I am a member of Collective Power Network (CPN) and, like many others in our chapter, will be supporting our political resolutions and working to build support among other chapters. I also plan to support NPC candidates that align with the CPN platform. I’m experienced with Roberts Rules and parliamentary procedure, and actually get energized from long debates and amendments. Finally, I would like to represent this chapter as a delegate so that I can be a trainer for other chapters on financial policies and procedures. Financial management is a shortcoming of many chapters, and training other chapter leaders at the convention will be critical for building this capacity across the country. I’ve already been in touch with the national office about this and would like to represent our chapter in this capacity as well as through resolution debate and voting.

Michael E:

My name is Michael (she/her) and I’m running to be a delegate for our chapter at the 2019 DSA National Convention. Over the past year I’ve served as chapter co-chair and would be honored to represent our membership at the Convention. I’ve acted as a New Orleans delegate at regional DSA gatherings in Atlanta and in Dallas, I’ve chaired countless meetings in our chapter, and I’m familiar with the rules of parliamentary procedure that we use in DSA. I’ve also acted as a core member of the outreach team for Collective Power Network (CPN), the national political formation to which I belong, and in that capacity have organized one-on-one meetings with dozens of chapter leaders across the country.

If elected as a delegate, I would work diligently at the Convention to spread New Orleans DSA’s ideas, experiences and knowledge. I’d advocate for policies that would strengthen Louisianan and Gulf Coast chapters, as well as those that speak to the needs and experiences of DSA’s women and black members. I’d also work to support CPN resolutions — to establish regional bodies within DSA, to grow to 100k members by 2021 and more — that our members have played a key role in promoting, and that I believe will be critical for growing DSA into a mass, working class organization.

Jordan F:

Hello! I’m running for delegate to represent New Orleans DSA at the 2019 National Convention. I’ve been involved with New Orleans DSA since spring of 2018. I’ve contributed to the growth of our health fairs, brake light clinics, and helped write sections of the brake light clinic manual. I was also on the coordinating committee to help organize the first Louisiana Statewide Summit of DSA organizers. I’ve been a part of chapter leadership as one of  the At-Large Local Council Members since December 2018. I helped develop the process for the Chapter Program strategy sessions and facilitated strategy meetings in that capacity.

I want to represent New Orleans DSA at National Convention because we have an incredibly strong chapter and I want to share our organizing style and successes with organizers from across the country. Our chapter had a very strong showing at the preconvention conference in Dallas. We presented clear ideas of what organizing in DSA should look like and steps on how to get there in a cohesive and unified way. I want our chapter to be a leader nationwide.

I’ve also been organizing with all the candidates as part of the national formation, Collective Power Network. I’ve helped the team develop resolutions for the convention and was one of the principal authors of a resolution calling for DSA National to create a national plan for recruiting and retention. I drew heavily from conversations during our Chapter Program strategy meetings on this project. I’ve also been part of the team doing outreach and calling other chapters and delegates to share our resolutions with them and get them to support us. In doing this, I can say firsthand that our chapter has as a strong reputation and that organizers across the country are watching what we are doing!

Frances G:

I’m Frances (she/her). As a co-chair of the Health Care Committee, I have been deeply involved in our chapter’s Medicare for All campaign, and for the last year, I’ve been a regional organizer for the national DSA Medicare for All campaign. In this role, I have spent a lot of time talking to chapters all across the South about how to win Medicare for All. I have gotten to know DSA organizers working on M4A in vastly different political conditions, in chapters both big and small, amidst unique challenges and opportunities. But across the region and across the country, one thing rings true: DSA New Orleans’ Medicare for All campaign is an inspiration! Among other things, we have successfully paired a legislative pressure campaign (to push forward the Medicare for All Act) with powerful direct service (Health Fairs + Medical Debt Clinics). If I’m elected as a Convention delegate, I intend to use that opportunity to share what we’ve learned through our chapter’s M4A work with many more chapters, both throughout and beyond the South, because I believe that highlighting our chapter’s vision of organizing for health justice is key to strengthening and ultimately winning the national Medicare for All campaign.

Additionally, my regional work with the DSA M4A campaign has convinced me that developing strong regional infrastructure is a crucial next step for our organization. We need resources, strategies, skills, and decision-making to be disseminated meaningfully between chapters. If DSA is going to build and wield power on a national scale, we need to be strong locally and regionally. The Collective Power Network, which I am a member of, has put forth proposals for consideration at the Convention that will (among other amazing things!) prioritize building regional organizational infrastructure. As a former convention delegate, and as someone with two years’ experience as our chapter’s secretary, I am fluent with the parliamentary procedure that will be used at the Convention, and I will use that experience to ensure that these and other needed proposals are approved by the national membership.

Josh L:

Fellow members,
Important decisions will be made in August at our national convention. DSA grew dramatically over the past few years, and we are dealing with some growing pains. Many chapters are struggling to gain traction in their organizing, but we don’t have effective ways of supporting each other, sharing resources, or developing coordinated political campaigns. We are an organization that aspires to be a serious political force of the working class. To achieve this, we need to make some changes. I’ve been involved with others from New Orleans and elsewhere in to propose several resolutions and amendments that we believe can help DSA grow and diversify its membership in working class communities, and provide more resources for smaller chapters through regional networks and more staff at the national office to support these efforts.

After serving as  chapter co-chair for two terms, and attending the 2017 convention, I believe I can work effectively with others to advance these proposals. As a delegate I would also aim to build greater understanding amongst our fellow members of the issues facing our city and communities across the Gulf South. Our families, our schools, our environment, and our basic rights are under constant attack from the rich and the leaders they control. To transform the destructive system that brought us Katrina, charter schools, and sea level rise, we need members from around the country to understand what we’re up against and act collectively with us.

Sue M:

I’m running for convention delegate for much the same reasons I ran last year for At-Large council member for New Orleans DSA; because I believe that the next year will be a critical one for our organization nationally, and I want to work to ensure that we are building the systems and structures that will serve us well moving forward. Over the past six months, I’ve worked with members of our chapter and comrades across the country to build the Collective Power Network, a formation centered on developing national structures that will create new levels of democratic representation, strengthen southern and rural chapters, build regionally appropriate labor strategies, and grow DSA into a larger and more diverse organization that better reflects the working class of this country.

In the process of doing so, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to members and leadership from chapters across the country as well, a process that has truly brought home both how special New Orleans DSA is and how critical it is that our chapter’s organizing approach: creating systems to support analysis and learning, intentionally building solidarity and common purpose among our membership, and reinforcing an internal culture of kindness and mutual aid, inform the general body of DSA.  We’re a small chapter, but we have built tremendous reach and influence for our size, we have a critical opportunity to leverage that reach for the purpose of building the stronger and healthier national organization necessary to win the future we want to see. If you vote to send me to the national convention, I’ll be fighting for these necessary reforms, for systems and structures that make DSA stronger, and working to execute a floor strategy that helps to expand the influence of our chapter and its culture to punch above the weight of our limited delegate count.  

Cate R:

I am Cate Root and I am a writer. I am usually the person who starts the google doc. I have one of those brains where I walk in the kitchen 30 seconds before the timer goes off. I have at least 3 active notebooks at any given time. I am good at putting a lot of information into my head and turning it into sentences. If elected to go to Atlanta, I will work faithfully with our comrades to represent the best interests of our chapter and our organization.

Emmanuel S:

Hey y’all. I’m Emmanuel, I’m from Louisiana and plan on organizing in the south forever. I am currently organizing with a labor union and have been involved with rank and file organizing for about five years before going on staff. I joined DSA at the end of 2017 because my experience with labor organizing taught me that without a mass working class party our efforts will not be able to scale up in the way that we need. I organize with worker leaders, shop stewards, and organizing committee to put pressure on bosses and to further develop leaders to be able to organize themselves and to navigate their own union. As a labor organizer, I constantly have to work through workers fears, doubts, disillusionment, and hopelessness to be able to work together, push a plan through, and to win issues. I have experience with union elections and working through internal disagreements.

Free Abortion, On Demand, Without Apology

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signaled his intention to sign the “fetal heartbeat bill” (SB 184, HB 133, HB 484) that would criminalize abortion after a heartbeat is detected, usually at 6 weeks. This bill is the result of decades of work by anti-choice zealots to shut down abortion access state by state.

This bill won’t protect life in Louisiana. It won’t do anything about the maternal mortality rate that is the 2nd worst in the country. It won’t stop the 45% of pregnancy-related deaths that are preventable. It won’t address the fact that childbirth is 4x more deadly for black people in Louisiana, and 3x more deadly for parents over 35. It won’t provide greater access to healthcare. It won’t help a single person living in this state.

It won’t help parents provide for their children’s food, shelter, education, or healthcare. It won’t create jobs and livelihoods to sustain families. It won’t stop violence. This bill is meant to punish and dominate. To steal autonomy and choice from pregnant people. This bill is designed — as most of Louisiana’s abortion laws are designed — to punish working class people and make our lives harder. Already, 95% of parishes don’t have an abortion clinic (75% of Louisianans live in a parish without a clinic). People seeking abortions already have to arrange transportation and travel, take multiple days off work, receive medically unnecessary ultrasounds and state-mandated counseling, and self-fund procedures that cost hundreds of dollars — starting around $500 in the first trimester and getting more expensive as time passes.

New Orleans Abortion Fund has been bridging the gap between the women of Louisiana and access to abortion health care. NOAF has helped over 1,200 people access abortion healthcare, has trained and organized hundreds of clinic escorts, and has fought the Louisiana legislature’s continued attacks on reproductive rights. NOAF is hosting 3 actions this week:
1. Tuesday, May 21st, 5-7 p.m.: Abortion Action Happy Hour at 12 Mile Limit
2. Wednesday, May 22nd, 12 p.m.: Join NOAF and Women With a Vision for Just Laws or Outlaws: Take to the Streets at 1 Shell Plaza
3. Thursday, May 23rd, 6:30-8:30 p.m.: Abortion Action Happy Hour at Sidney’s Saloon

This fight for abortion access cannot be limited to protesting this single act of legislation. This bill is a result of decades of anti-choice cruelty disguised as morality, an encroachment made possible by the Democratic party leadership’s unwillingness to adhere to even the most basic of socially progressive ideals. The fight for abortion access should be understood as a necessary part in a broader movement for basic rights, freedoms, and justice for working people in Louisiana and beyond.

As our representatives in Baton Rouge fail to prioritize our city’s water, our streets, and our housing, they also systematically fail to protect our basic human needs for reproductive justice. This latest betrayal by Democrats stresses the truth that people of color, working-class people, and LGBTQIA+ folks have always known: Louisiana Democrats will hold our votes hostage with the threat of a MORE authoritarian right. They use our justifiable fear of Republican government to tether us to their weak positions while giving us the barest minimum in return. They want to keep us poor, in debt, pregnant, and clinging to survival so we will never have the energy to fight.

The right will continue to leverage exemptions for victims of sexual violence as compromise, and the Democrats will continue to cave and jeopardize the healthcare of people seeking abortions. We refuse this weak position. We demand free abortion, on demand, with no apologies. The capitalist system we live in consistently undervalues the labor of reproduction. It undervalues our children and our love. We see through this attempt to legislate our bodies that they justify as a commitment to human life. We know our value and our power. Our rage and fear are not useless or isolating, they are unifying and powerful. Together we will put our bodies in the streets and organize, not only against regressive attacks on abortion healthcare, but to build a better world with health justice for all.

JOIN OUR DEMAND FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL
We believe that we deserve health justice in Louisiana. We envision a future where children are raised by loving families with safe shelter, with food, with quality education and healthcare. A world where we fight back against climate violence. Where no one lives in a place nicknamed “Cancer Alley.” Where we aren’t in the top 5 states with the highest rates of death from gun violence. We want to replace violence with justice. It will take all of us working together to get there.

Our vision begins with expanded and improved Medicare for All: comprehensive health care that covers every single person in the country, for all medical, dental, vision, and mental health needs. For free, with no copays, premiums, or deductibles. Ever. Including free abortion, on demand, without apology.

JOIN US TO BUILD A SOCIALIST FEMINIST FUTURE
We believe that reproductive labor (the labor of rearing children, keeping a home, and caring for our elderly) has undeniable value. We believe in a future where decisions to have or not have children are never based on anything but the desires of the individuals involved. Where paid family leave, free universal childcare, living wages, equal pay, and good, reliable public education are standard.

Socialist feminism rejects the feminism that glorifies female billionaires who profit off the backs of working women or celebrates female military leaders while ignoring the women suffering under the bombs they drop. We reject a capitalist feminism that relies on the subjugation of women in the global south for the “freedom” of women in the global north.

We envision a Louisiana where all people have body autonomy, where legislators don’t mockingly toss dollar bills while voting to restrict adult’s access to work. Where all people, no matter their race, immigration status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, can seek reproductive healthcare free of harassment and state violence.

New Orleans DSA is here to fight with you for a better world. That includes defending abortion rights as well defending workers’ rights and the human right to clean air, land, and water. We can win if we build a movement together.

JOIN US
New Orleans DSA will host a free film screening of She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry on Saturday, June 1st at The Dragonfly (3921 St Claude Ave., New Orleans, LA 70117). Mary Dore’s powerful documentary features interviews with over 30 activists who were at the heart of the early women’s liberation movement (1966-1971), including women involved in the National Organization for Women, the Young Lords, and JANE, Chicago’s underground abortion service. Join us in learning from the work of activists before us and for discussions of how we can build on their legacy.
Doors at 6:30, screening at 7 p.m. Dinner provided (additional potluck contributions welcome!). Tea and soft drinks served. (BYOB if desired.) Children welcome. Please email hello@dsaneworleans.org about childcare, accessibility, or any other questions.

Learn more about how to donate, volunteer, and organize with New Orleans Abortion Fund here
Learn more about how to donate, volunteer, and organize with Women with a Vision here
Learn more about how to donate, volunteer, and organize with LIFT Louisiana here
Join the Democratic Socialists of America and fill out the ‘Get Involved’ form at the top of our page to connect with the New Orleans chapter.

Happy May Day! Film Screening, Caribbean Forum, Teachers’ Strikes

Upcoming Events

Happy May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day. This Wednesday, May 1st, DSA New Orleans will be joining the annual march organized by New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice. We’ll gather in Congo Square at 1:30 PM and we invite all of you to join us! Remember to wear red.

We have a ton of great events planned this month. In addition to our regular monthly Brake Light Clinic, we’re doing two Medicare-for-All canvasses. We’ve got a film screening about Anne Braden, a southern socialist organizer and civil rights activist. Our Socialists of Color Caucus is hosting a forum about liberation movements in the Caribbean. We’ve got a book event about the red state teachers’ strikes, and we’ll close out the month with a social.

Free film screening
Anne Braden:
Southern Patriot

Friday May 10th | 7:00pm
The DragonFly: Poetery &
Performance Ritual Space
3919 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans

*Upcoming June Convention*

Don’t forget we’ve got our chapter convention coming up in June. Our convention is one of our most important events of the year, where we elect new leadership and vote on important political resolutions. You can read a guide to the chapter convention here.
 


Upcoming DSA Events

Film Screening: Anne Braden, Southern Patriot
Friday, May 10th, 7 – 9pm
The Dragonfly: Poetry & Performance Ritual Space, 3921 St. Claude Ave

This riveting documentary tells the story of one of the South’s most important socialist organizers, with appearances by Cornel West and Angela Davis among others. Free screening, all are welcome. Dinner provided.

Gimme A Brake Light Clinic
Saturday, May 11th, 11am – 4pm
Kruttschnitt Place, 2437 Bayou Rd

Join us for our monthly brake light clinic, where we fix brake lights for free to prevent unnecessary traffic stops and speak out against police violence. Snacks and water provided, no experience necessary, family friendly. 

Comrades of the Caribbean
Friday, May 17th, 6 – 8pm
Community Book Center, 2523 Bayou Rd

Join DSA’s Socialists of Color Caucus for a forum on Caribbean liberation movements. From New Orleans to Cuba to Haiti, we believe that we must know and support each other’s struggles towards freedom. Food from CocoHut provided before hand and a brief Q&A with our panelists afterwards. Family friendly.
We’re raising funds to cover the cost of catering and hosting this event. Click here to donate. 

Medicare-for-All Canvass & Health Fair
Saturday, May 18th — Canvass from 10am – 12pm, Health Fair 12 – 4pm
A.L. Davis Park, 2600 La Salle St

Every month (or more!) we organize a canvass for Medicare-for-All, a policy to create free universal healthcare. Snacks, water provided. No experience or supplies necessary. 

We’ll follow up our canvass with a Health Fair + Medical Debt Clinic. We offer health resources, hot food, cool beverages, assistance with debt disputes, and talk to folks about Medicare for All. Email healthcare@dsaneworleans.org if you’d like to volunteer! 

Red State Revolt
Saturday, May 25th, 3 – 5pm
Musician Union’s Hall, 2555 Ursulines Ave

In 2018 a strike wave—the first in over four decades—rocked the United States. Inspired by the wildcat victory in West Virginia, teachers in Oklahoma, Arizona, and across the country walked off their jobs and shut down their schools to demand better pay for educators, more funding for students, and an end to years of austerity. We will be hosting former teacher, DSA organizer and author Eric Blanc for a discussion of his recently released book, Red State Revolt

New Member Social
Friday, May 31st, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Location TBD

Save the date, we’re having a new member social on the last Friday of May. This will be a great chance for new folks to meet New Orleans socialists and learn how to get involved in our work. Children welcome, dinner provided.

For the most complete, up-to-date information on all of our meetings and events, check out our calendar. 

Chapter Priorities Meeting Monday! Socialist Cookout Friday

We’ve got two big events coming up next week. On Monday we’ve got our April Chapter Program meeting. Friday we’re hosting a cookout on the bayou. More info below.

While you’re at it, check out this amazing op-ed our Healthcare-for-All Committee leader published in the Lens yesterday! She calls on Rep. Cedric Richmond to co-sponsor the Medicare for All Act. 

Local Dues have been re-established with a completely new system. We are an all-volunteer organization that is 100% member-funded, so local dues support our work and help keep us independent. You can sign up here.

Finally – don’t forget we’ve got our chapter convention coming up in June. Our convention is one of our most important events of the year, where we elect new leadership and vote on important political resolutions. You can read a guide to the convention here.

Upcoming Events

Chapter Program Meeting: Our Priorities
Monday, April 22nd, 6:30 – 8pm
2022 St. Bernard Ave

We’re working on our chapter program, which will help guide our work and focus our efforts as we organize for a better world. In February members identified four issues they want to focus more on: growing the chapter, labor organizing, healthcare justice and environmental issues.

We’re getting together to brainstorm and develop action plans for our chapter based on member feedback, and we want everyone to come! Dinner provided, children welcome. Wheelchair accessible building.

Socialist Cookout on the Bayou

Friday, April 26th, 6:30pm til late
On the Bayou between St. Ann & Dumaine

We’re having a cookout and everyone’s invited! Bring cold drinks or something to throw on the grill — or just bring yourself. Children welcome. Nearby bathroom available.

Wheelchair accessibility info: event will be held in a grassy area. The bathroom is, unfortunately, not wheelchair accessible.

There are plenty of ways to keep up to date with us as we try to build a better world:

We hope to see you soon!