This Week in the CDSA (June 17 – June 23)

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Good Morning Chicago DSA,

Hello everyone! I, as you may have expected if you read last week’s email, am not Zach Shearer. I am Caleb Nordgren, and I was elected the new CDSA Communications Coordinator this past week. Technically, my term doesn’t start until July 1st, but as Zach is currently off backpacking across the Spanish countryside with his dad, I’ve taken over his duties a little early. We would never abandon you lovely people entirely. Everything should proceed pretty normally, at least for the time being, but if you have any questions, comments, criticisms, or complaints, feel free to shoot me an email.

Speaking of Zach and his dad (how’s that for a transition?), today is Father’s Day! Hopefully those of you who can are celebrating with your families today. I’ll be grilling with mine later. But for now, if you’ll indulge me, I want to talk about my dad for a moment.

My dad and I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye over the years, but I don’t think I’d be sending you this email right now if not for him. My dad is a lawyer who specializes in family law; divorces and custody battles and such like. But something I’ve always admired is that he eschewed the sort of fame and fortune some high-powered divorce lawyers can find to focus on those less fortunate, spending much of his career working to provide legal aid to marginalized people here in Chicago, particularly on the West and South Sides.

I think it’s growing up with that kind of example that pushed me toward progressive politics, and eventually socialism. My dad is not, nor has he ever been, a socialist, but he believes in a lot of what we in DSA stand for, and he’s not afraid to stand up for what’s right. Our lives might be easier if he’d chosen differently, especially these days as my parents are pondering retirement and I struggle to find a job, but I’m not sure they’d be better. But he chose to try to make the world a better place, and now decades later, here I am with CDSA doing the same thing. So thanks, Dad. For everything. (He won’t read this, but just go with it.)

Anyway, if you’d care to join me in that mission, we’ve got all sorts of fun stuff happening this week. Thanks for humoring me, and I’ll see you out there as we work to build a better world.


Monday, June 17 – Friday, June 21
  • #FreeHeartlandKids Week of Action; 11 AM – 1 PM; Heartland Alliance HQ; 208 S LaSalle St.

    Hundreds of immigrant children are being detained in our backyard. Heartland Alliance is a Chicago-based nonprofit org that has historically focused on anti-poverty and immigration issues. Heartland currently operates 5 child detention centers and, until recently, 2 in Des Plaines. Currently, over 350 children are detained by Heartland. The Chicago DSA Immigrants Rights Committee is fighting back. Join us for a week of action, June 17-22 to engage Heartland leadership and staff to convince them to commit to ending child immigrant detention and demonstrate against Heartland’s detention operation, distribute informational material, and educate the public on the state of child immigrant detention in Chicago and why it needs to come to an immediate end. ALL ARE WELCOME! We will have signs, banners, leaflets, petitions, chants, and more depending on the time and day. You can show up with nothing but your principles, and we will have material and information to offer you. If you would like to bring your own signs, banners, leaflets, petitions, chants, and more, we welcome them! If you are interested in the Week of Action and future #FreeHeartlandKids campaign events, please fill out this form.

Monday, June 17
  • Community Councils Working Group Meeting; 6:30 – 9 PM; Harold Washington Library, 5th Floor South

    Community Councils Working Group is a catalytic space to facilitate discussion and development of self-governing neighborhood assemblies as a platform for collective democratic empowerment. Our approach involves coalition building within our own communities while using group meetings to share best practices and improve our local organizing strategies. Contact us to receive notifications about other CCWG events: ChicagoCCWG@gmail.com | 872.760.4616

  • Medicare For All IL-9 Campaign Meeting; 7 – 8:30 PM; Pub 626 (Teal Room); 1406 W. Morse Ave.

    Join members of Chicago DSA’s Health Care Working Group as we plan our fight for Medicare for All in Illinois’s ninth congressional district! Help us build the movement that will defeat the health care profiteers and win a future where health care is a universal human right. All are welcome, including those living outside the ninth district and non-DSA members. Please note, the meeting will take place at Pub 626 in the Teal Room. The location is just off of the Morse Red Line CTA station. The pub has tasty drinks/food for purchase!

Tuesday, June 18
  • Socialist Feminist Working Group Meeting; 7 – 8:30 PM; CDSA Office; 3411 W. Diversey Ave.

    Time for another meeting with your friendly Socialist Feminist Working Group. Join us to learn more about the projects we’re working on and how you can get involved. The CDSA office is located at 3411 W Diversey. There is a buzzer next to door, look for CDSA on the menu to call and someone will buzz you in. (If no one picks up, you might be early!) Once you’re inside take the elevator to the second floor. The meeting will be down the hallway to your left when you exit the elevator. It is wheelchair accessible.

Wednesday, June 19
  • Solidarity Economy Working Group Meeting; 7 – 9 PM; Harold Washington Library 6th Floor

    At this month’s meeting, we will recap recent developments in Chicago’s solidarity economy landscape, discuss personal projects we are pursuing in furtherance of the solidarity economy, and brainstorm projects to grow the public understanding of a solidarity economy.

  • Health Care Working Group/ Medicare For All Meeting; 7 – 8:30 PM; Co-Prosperity Sphere; 3219-21 S Morgan St.

    Come check out Chicago DSA’s efforts to fight for health justice and make Medicare For All a reality! This will be the monthly meeting of our Health Care Working Group and chapter Medicare for All campaign, where we will be discussing our ongoing work to canvass, support community health, build coalitions, and more! All are welcome, including non-DSA folks.

  • Environmental Justice Working Group Meeting; 7 – 8:30 PM; UE Hall; 37 S. Ashland Ave.

    Please come to the monthly meeting of the Environmental Justice Working Group! We will continue ComEd campaign on-boarding and discuss new ways to get involved with the working group.

Saturday, June 22
  • Anti-Crisis Pregnancy Center Review-a-thon; 3 – 5 PM; CDSA Office; 3411 W. Diversey Ave.

    Join Chicago DSA’s Socialist Feminist Working Group for an Anti-Crisis Pregnancy Center Review-a-Thon to fight back against misleading, anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers.” Learn more about CPCs and why this is a socialist feminist issue, then hang out with your comrades and write accurate reviews about the services provided (or not provided) at CPCs to combat the misinformation they spread online. If you want to join our work for reproductive justice, this is a perfect way to get involved. We’ll have some snacks and beverages on hand, but feel free to also BYOS/BYOB. And definitely BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop)!

Sunday, June 23
  • American Socialists — A Live Podcast Event; 6 – 8 PM; Volumes Bookcafe; 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave.

    Socialism is often framed as a foreign ideology, but the United States has its own history of socialist politicians and movements. Midwest Socialist Podcast host Sarah Hurd talks to two authors about their explorations of socialism and American identity. Paul Buhle guides us through the graphic novel he wrote about the life of midwestern socialist politician Eugene Debs, and what we have to learn from those days. And Victor Grossman will share the experiences he included in the memoir he wrote about his time as a McCarthy-era exile living in communist East Germany. Books and snacks will be available for purchase.


  • The Socialism 2019 Conference is in Chicago from July 4th-7th. This year the DSA is sponsoring numerous talks throughout the weekend, and the Democratic Socialist Labor Commission is organizing a series of panels on the labor movement. DSA members from chapters all over the country will be in attendance, so it’s a great opportunity to meet other DSAers without even leaving Chicago!
  • The minutes from the May Executive Committee Meeting have been published.
  • The Strike and Solidarity Committee is looking for strike captains! If you’re interested in being a strike captain (no experience required!), fill out this survey about the times and areas where you could help. They have also set up an SMS system to keep people posted about strike and solidarity actions. People that want to get updates should text SOLIDARITY to 55222.
  • If you aren’t on the CDSA Slack Channel yet, but would like to be, shoot me an email at cdsacomms@gmail.com and I’ll get you set up with it.
  • Grievance Policy. If you ever feel you are being harassed by another member of DSA, or made to feel uncomfortable by a member, or have a conflict with another member, please reach out to hgo@chicagodsa.org to get in touch with our chapter’s Harassment and Grievance Officers.

As Always:

  1. Fill out this form immediately if you have CDSA organized/sponsored event you want on the calendar. Submissions must be in by the preceding Friday at the latest to make this email.

  2. Check out the events page on our website for the most up date list of events.

  3. Forward this email to your friends!

In solidarity,
Caleb Nordgren

If you have an event that you want promoted on CDSA calendar & social media accounts, please fill out this form as soon as possible.