This Week in the CDSA (September 22 – 29)

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Good Morning Chicago DSA,

Amid a series of strikes and in a political climate that continues to devolve into chaos, CDSA (and DSA as a whole) has the power to affect real change and push the world in a better direction. To that end, we’ve got our next general membership meeting coming up a week from today. Here’s a message from one of our co-chairs, Melinda Bunnage:

At our national convention last month, DSA discussed and set the direction for the next two years of our organization. Chicago DSA is eager to take the next steps in carrying out that work. Join us next Sunday the 29th from 1 to 4 PM at Crowne Plaza to participate in our first general meeting since the convention. We will be deciding on some electoral endorsements for the coming year and discussing next steps in our chapter campaigns, including our newly created CPS Strike Solidarity Campaign. Review the agenda here and come prepared to debate and discuss the next phase of our work. If you not have not yet RSVPed, please do so by Saturday, September the 28th!

Keep up the good work, comrades. I’ll see you out there.


Sunday, September 22
  • #DemocratizeComEd 11th Ward Canvass; 11 AM – 2 PM; Jackalope Coffee & Tea House, 755 W. 32nd St.

    Do you believe we should own our energy? Join us for a canvass in the 11th Ward for the #DemocratizeComEd Campaign! For the first time in 30 years, ComEd is renegotiating its contract with the city. Now’s the time for us to push for a city-owned electric utility with an elected board, aggressive renewable energy targets, progressive rates, and green, union jobs to maintain infrastructure. If we democratize ComEd, we can serve our communities and the environment instead of investors. We will be canvassing in the 11th Ward to talk to residents about their experiences and what we’re fighting for. Email DemComEd@gmail.com for more information.

  • Election Reflections: CDSA’s Role in Local Elections; 1 – 3 PM; U.E. Hall, 37 S. Ashland Ave.

    The CDSA Political Education & Policy Committee is excited to present a discussion of CDSA’s role in the 2019 elections–and elections in the future–in a candid discussion format with members who worked on all six campaigns. CDSA and 33rd Ward Working Families member Rebecca Burns (In These Times, the Intercept) will moderate a “fishbowl” discussion on the role of our organization in those elections and electoral work in general. Please join us for this open discussion that can help us understand what worked–what maybe didn’t–and how we can start to think of our role in the elections coming up right around the corner!

  • IL-5 Medicare For All Canvass; 1 – 4 PM; City Coffee, 5139 N Damen Ave.

    Join Chicago DSA’s Medicare for All campaign as we knock doors and talk to Chicagoans about Medicare for All and Democratic Socialism, and build pressure on IL-5 representative Mike Quigley to co-sponsor HR 1384! Don’t worry if you’re new to canvassing—we’ll provide a quick training at 1pm, and then hit the pavement to build the movement for Medicare for All!

Monday, September 23
  • Chicago DSA Does The UAW Strike; 9 AM – 9 PM; Chicago Parts Distribution Center, 1355 Remington Blvd., Bolingbrook, IL

    National DSA and National Nurses United (NNU) have called for a day of action on Monday, September 23, to support the nearly 50,000 UAW workers who are currently striking GM, and Chicago DSA is getting in on the action. A few days ago, GM decided to terminate health coverage for these workers and their families, who are all now suddenly uninsured. This has left members and their families worrying about how to pay for insulin, prescriptions and cancer treatments. Stand in solidarity with the UAW and striking GM workers this Monday to fight for healthcare justice and for a fair contract! We’ll be working to coordinate rides to and from the GM distribution center in Bolingbrook as best as we can. Email jenzyl@protonmail.com if you can offer a ride, or if you need one. We’ll have people on the picket line all day; come out for as much of the day as you can!

  • CPS Workers Solidarity Canvass; 6 – 9 PM; 33rd Ward Working Families, 3248 W. Montrose Ave.

    Join us on September 23 at 6 PM as we talk to our neighbors in North Center & Avondale about CTU and SEIU 73’s contract fight with the city against privatization and austerity and for Chicago schools for all! We will be meeting at 33rd Ward Working Families HQ, 3248 W Montrose Ave. for a brief training before heading out. RSVP here.

  • Democratize ComEd Outreach Committee Meeting; 7 – 8:30 PM; Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St.

    Join us in doing the work to #DemocratizeComEd! The #DemocratizeComEd campaign’s outreach committee is in charge of managing and engaging with a coalition of various entities and organizations that are all excited to redefine Chicago’s energy utility. Our campaign is city-wide, and its success depends on the connections we create with people and communities all across the city. Come to this session if you’re interested in building the power to fight for energy democracy with us! We will be meeting in the 6th floor South study room. If you can make it, please RSVP by emailing demcomed@gmail.com so that we can make sure the space is sufficient for our needs.

  • Communications Committee Meeting; 7 – 8:30 PM; Chicago DSA Office, 3411 W. Diversey Ave.

    Join the CDSA Communications Committee for our August meeting! We’ll be discussing social media, video, podcast, our print publication, and our new Arts & Culture team. We’ve got a lot of projects to work on, and if you’ve never been to a CDSA meeting before, the smaller working group meetings are a great way to get involved. Our meetings are open to members and non-members, and we hope you’ll join us!

Tuesday, September 24
  • Housing Working Group Meeting; 6:30 – 8 PM; National Public Housing Museum, 625 N. Kingsbury

    Join us for the Housing Working Group General Meeting for September. We will be electing a second co-chair (non-male, with a preference for someone from the South or West Side), as well as a Project Leader for our Rogers Park Tenants Union project group. There will be discussion of the new federal Homes Guarantee, Just-Cause Eviction ordinance, and more. The location is mobility-compliant, but it has fluorescent lighting. Also, we ask that you are fragrance-free for the meeting. Find the agenda here.

  • Environmental Justice Working Group Meeting; 7 – 8:30 PM; Chicago DSA Office, 3411 W. Diversey Ave.

    Please come to the monthly meeting of the Environmental Justice Working Group! We will be holding a reading group and continuing to discuss how to support the #DemocratizeComEd campaign.

Wednesday, September 25
  • IL-5 Medicare For All Campaign Meeting; 7 – 8:30 PM; Conrad Sulzer Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave.

    Join us for our monthly Illinois 5th congressional district Medicare For All meeting. We’ll be discussing recent canvassing efforts, upcoming events, and how we’ll continue to organize to flip Rep. Mike Quigley on this issue.

  • Electoral Working Group Meeting; 6:30 – 8 PM; 300 S. Ashland Ave.

    Join the EWG for our monthly meeting! We will discuss creating bylaws, building our presence in community groups and our role in local and national 2020 campaigns. We will be meeting on the third floor. This location is ADA-compliant but does not have gender-neutral bathrooms.

Thursday, September 26
  • CDSA For Bernie UIC College Canvass; 2 – 4 PM; UIC Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted St.

    Join Chicago DSA for Bernie and the UIC YDSA chapter as we talk to students about Bernie Sanders and democratic socialism. We’ll meet at the Quad entrance to Student Center East.

  • Healthcare Working Group Meeting; 7 – 8:30 PM; Chicago DSA Office, 3411 W. Diversey Ave.

    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.

  • #DemocratizeComEd 101; 7 – 8:30 PM; U.E. Hall, 37 S. Ashland Ave.

    What’s in your electric bill? What’s “the grid”? What’s an investor-owned public utility? What does municipalization actually mean? And what do working-class Chicagoans stand to gain by building energy democracy in our city? Join Chicago DSA’s #DemocratizeComEd campaign to learn about where our power comes from! You’ll leave this session with a better understanding of the energy infrastructure that impacts our daily lives and how we can come together to take control of our energy future.

Friday, September 27
  • Lift The Ban Campaign Meeting; 7 – 9 PM; CDSA Office, 3411 W. Diversey Ave.

    A meeting to plan how we will win rent control in Illinois. There’s lots of work to do, so join us to dig into: statewide strategy, union outreach, our upcoming Southside Town Hall, and more. Rent Control 2019-2020: Oregon > New York > California > Illinois!

Saturday, September 28
  • IL-9 Medicare For All Canvass; 10 AM – 1 PM; Ellipsis Coffeehouse, 1259 W. Devon Ave.

    Join Chicago DSA’s Medicare for All campaign for our first door to door canvass in the IL-9! We’ll be talking to Chicagoans about Medicare for All (which IL-9s Schakowsky supports), what it is and why Medicare for America (which IL-9s Schakowsky is also introducing), is an unacceptable compromise with the insurance industry! Don’t worry if you’re new to canvassing—we’ll provide a quick training at 10am, and then hit the pavement to build the movement for Medicare for All!

  • Chicago Democratic Socialists for Bernie Committee Meeting; 1 – 3 PM; U.E. Hall, 37 S. Ashland Ave.

    Why is DSA fighting to elect Bernie Sanders president? Why do socialists engage in electoral politics? And how can you get involved in Chicago DSA’s campaign for Bernie? All these questions and more will be answered at our Chicago DSA for Bernie Meeting. We’ll go over why we’re running this campaign, how to canvass and talk to voters about Bernie and his agenda, and how we can win Chicago come March. RSVP at bit.ly/bernie0928

Sunday, September 29
  • Medicare For All Tabling; 9:30 – 11:30 AM; Morse Red Line CTA Stop, 1358 W. Morse Ave.

    Come join the Chicago DSA Medicare for All Campaign in raising health justice awareness at the Morse Red Line CTA stop! Tabling will begin at 9:30am, and there will be an opportunity for those who are new or curious about the campaign to discuss Medicare for All. We will distribute literature and collect signatures from people interested in fighting for healthcare coverage for everyone.

  • September General Membership Meeting; 1 – 4 PM; Crowne Plaza West Loop, 733 W. Madison St.

    Check-in begins at 12:30 PM; please arrive early so that we can start promptly at 1:00 PM and end at 4:00 PM. This meeting is open to all, though only CDSA members are able to vote. Please RSVP by midnight on Saturday September 28.

    We also need volunteers! If you want to help phone/text bank before the event, or if you can help with setup, takedown, or other tasks the day of the meeting, please fill out this form.

  • The Strikewave Comes Home: 2012, the Red State Revolt, and 2019; 5 – 7 PM; In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee Ave.

    Join Eric Blanc (author of Red State Revolt), Rebecca Garelli (striking Chicago teacher in 2012 who helped lead her fellow Arizona teachers out on strike in 2018), and Micah Uetricht (author of Strike for America) as they discuss the role the 2012 Chicago Teachers Strike played in spurring forward the teachers strikewave of the last two years and how the potential CPS strike fits into this broader movement.

  • Marx’s Capital Vol 1 Reading Group: First Session; 6 – 8 PM; U.E. Hall, 37 S. Ashland Ave.

    The Political Education Committee of Chicago DSA would like to extend an invitation to all members to join a Capital Vol I reading group. The reading group will meet once every three weeks or so, with about 50 pages a session, and we expect to finish the book in about 6 months. This will be a great opportunity for active organizers and activists to deepen their socialist analysis and broaden their strategic horizons. It will also be a great way to engage in longer and open-ended discussions about the nature of our economic system and we can think strategically about challenging it. Note about membership: To keep the reading group welcoming and practical, we will be limiting spots to DSA members who are active and engaged in work in or chapter or nationally. We will also be working to maintain a welcoming gender balance in the space. If you would like to, please join us, but bear this in mind.


  • If you would like to receive our Red Star Bulletin, providing you with news and analysis from all over Chicago, fill out this form.
  • 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.
  • The Electoral Working Group would like to announce that its endorsement questionnaire is now available! Requests can be sent to electoral@chicagodsa.org.
  • If you are a CDSA meber but aren’t on the CDSA Slack Channel yet, and 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.
  • Announcing the No Sanctions, No War on Iran Ad Hoc Committee: The Trump administration pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement and imposing sanctions on Iran brought us to within minutes of a shooting war. The threat still exists and will continue to do so as long as sanctions and the US’s campaign of “maximum pressure” continues. Chicago can’t afford another war! The Ad Hoc committee plans to: 1) provide education on Iran, the history of the region and US intervention, the effect of sanctions, and how to avert war; 2) reach out to organizations like anti-war veterans’ groups and homeless advocates, labor unions, mental health advocates, and others who are affected by another potential war; 3) reach out to our DSA Alderpersons for a letter of support and a possible resolution introduced to City Council. The committee will officially start work in a couple of weeks. If interested to find out more or to work with the committee, contact: Saman at p70volkl@yahoo.com and Sophie at NoIranSanctions@gmail.com.

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.