3/23: Resolutions, Leadership Updates, Education, and More

Our Chair Erin Parks ably led our March membership meeting (open to all), with help from Resolutions and Elections Working Group Chair Jen Garcia for items requiring votes.

We elected Catie L. to be our third harassment and grievance officer, along with Anaia Jolie and Rachel Kahn Please see their message in the Slack Announcements channel. More info will be coming soon about their roles in keeping our organization a safe and comfortable place for everyone.

Some leadership spots have opened. We encourage members to nominate themselves or others.
The officers appointed José Perez interim treasurer following Speck’s resignation, and we have one possible candidate for a longer-term commitment.
Gregory McKelvey is Membership Secretary following Lisa Ashway’s decision to concentrate on working group functions instead, leaving his at-large officer position open.
Alexander Hernandez has also stepped down from an at-large slot due to greatly increased travel at his job. We wish Alexander well in his work with the union!
José nominated Eric Robertson for one of the at-large positions. We will continue with the election process at our April meeting. Don’t be shy, contact Erin, Gregory, Barbara, Jeff or Jose to volunteer, or to ask questions about what any of the positions entail.

A resolution and two motions on electoral work passed:
1) “Poor People’s Accessibility,” tabled in February for lack of time, commits us to provide food and travel subsidies at meetings. It was amended to allow for food contributions and potlucks as well as cash outlay.
2) One motion calls on all of us to “consider whether there are opportunities for themselves, other DSA members, or working-class leaders to run for office” in 2019.
3) The second motion encourages MADSA members to volunteer for the Bernie 2020 presidential campaign and help revive the Georgia for Bernie Sanders network, but postpones consideration of formal structures and other issues pending further information about the official Bernie 2020 campaign, what our national organization is doing, and how these relate to Georgia and MADSA.
The full text of all our resolutions and motions (including those passed in February) should be posted elsewhere on our website soon but can be found in the Member section of the Forums and in the Electoral WG forum.

Q Benford presenting. Photo: Reid Freeman Jenkins

Starting a new tradition of including a brief political education presentation at each of our general meetings, our new Communications Secretary Q Benford spoke on the definition of democratic socialism In the discussion which followed, Q said members expressed great interest in “how to combat propaganda, how to convey our vision to people who are on the other side, and generally what to say to people in those crucial interpersonal moments.” Q’s points included the central importance of democracy; social ownership, including cooperatives (not a centrally controlled economy); meeting people’s needs: food, healthcare, housing, education, transportation, energy, income, jobs and WiFi for all. “Socialism will be what we make of it. We need a new constitution, built from the ground up, not from slave owners on down.”

The working groups on Medical Justice, Eco-Socialism, Mutual Aid and Labor reported on their activities. From Labor: Please continue to call to protest the unfair firing of DeKalb County school bus driver James Haggins (see MADSA Facebook event).

Finally, three committees were introduced to carry out our responsibilities as host chapter for the 2019 national DSA convention, to be held at the Westin Hotel in downtown Atlanta August 2-4, following a Young Democratic Socialists of America national convention during the previous two days. Some 1,200 people are expected to attend: Delegates — mostly elected by chapters, expect more on MADSA’s delegate election process at the April meeting; staff; media; and some observers from other organizations. See the national DSA site for more information as it is released.
1) Evan Seeds will head up “Air Bread and Roses,” to plan housing solidarity for delegates who can’t afford the hotel (more info at our April meeting).
2) Catie L. will lead a committee to research and produce two information pieces for delegates: A handout on places near the hotel where they can “eat, drink and be Marxist”, and a “people’s radical history tour” of Atlanta sites (thanks to GSU history prof and long-time MADSA member Ian Fletcher for offering to help). These will be distributed in hard copy at the convention but also posted on the national website.
3) Wendell Bohannan will lead a group to hold a social and fundraising event on the Friday night of the convention. they are already exploring an exciting possibility TBA.
Stay tuned — we will need volunteers for all these committees, especially the third.

Our growing AfroSocialist contingent. Photo: Reid Freeman Jenkins.

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