Following are Candidate Statements from the three members running for election as Co-Chair of DSA New Orleans for the ’18-’19 term. Per our Bylaws, two Co-Chairs will be elected. The election will be held Monday June 18th, at 6:30PM at 2022 St. Bernard Ave. All members in good standing will be eligible to vote and are strongly encouraged to attend. In alphabetical order:
I’m Alli DeJong, a founding member of New Orleans DSA and the current co-chair. Over the past year I have led the bylaws drafting and revision process, represented us at the national convention, developed our incorporation paperwork, and assisted other organizers with our campaigns and actions. I’m running for re-election because I am proud of what we’ve accomplished together and I know we can accomplish even more in the next year: building our base through committee-led campaigns, growing our internal capacity, and becoming more involved in local struggles where a socialist perspective can shift public policy. I am a socialist with a MBA who can handle the regulatory, legal, and financial considerations, freeing our chapter’s organizer-members to accomplish extraordinary things. I will keep us connected to DSA National and other chapters, so that we can be a leading voice for socialist organizing in the Gulf South. I will do everything I can to make DSA New Orleans a powerful voice and force for socialism.
Read Alli DeJong’s Full Candidate Statement
I’m Michael Esealuka (she/her). I’m a restaurant worker and student. I got involved in socialist activity through my experiences in the Bacchanal Workers Union, a rank-and-file led union my coworkers and I founded. I’ve organized custodians and other low-income workers as a staff member of United Labor Unions. As a member of DSA I’ve helped lead the development of our Socialists of Color Caucus, and I was on the team that organized our Block out the Sun Yard campaign.As socialists and workers, we know that only an organized working class can leverage the power necessary to fight against capitalism. I believe that in order to become a force for poor and working people in both government and the streets, DSA must build a base of support by embedding ourselves into working class struggle through participation in rank-and-file labor activity, tenant organizing and the expansion of our mutual aid programs.
Read Michael I. Esealuka’s Full Candidate Statement
Throughout my first term as co-chair, my aim has been to uphold democracy within the chapter and aid and coordinate the work of our committees. While we have more than doubled our membership this year and enjoyed some victories, we face challenges in keeping our members engaged, our campaigns focused, and our tools of political analysis and strategy sharp and effective. I remain committed to a chapter culture that is welcoming and educational ȉ one that enables us to learn from each other, build shared understanding, and take action together. As more eyes turn toward our movement, we have an historic opportunity to articulate clear ideas and organize campaigns that advance a socialist vision of society. People are listening. If re-elected, I will work with comrades on the Local Council to deepen our efforts to grow our active membership, clarify our vision, and wage effective campaigns in New Orleans and the Gulf South.
Read Josh Lewis’s Full Candidate Statement