I’m new here and I don’t want to read this whole page. What should I do first?
- Visit our website. We have a public calendar and everyone is welcome to attend any of our events, actions, committee meetings, regular meetings, etc.
- Join our Slack. Slack is a group messaging app which helps keep us connected between meetings. Forward us a copy of your membership confirmation email from National to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you an invite link.
- Attend a Regular Meeting. We host Regular Meetings every month, usually the second Saturday of the month. This is where we discuss chapter business and have an education event or an activity for members to participate in. Check our calendar for the next Regular Meeting.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
What is DSA?
DSA RGV is a political organization funded and run democratically by its members that seeks to build a mass movement and transfer power from the ruling elite to the working class, and gain freedom and democratic control over all aspects of our society.
Why do members pay dues?
Just like a labor union, we are supported by dues-paying members, which means that we are accountable to ourselves, rather than large foundations or grant money. No establishment politician, corporation, or non-governmental organization (NGO) can dictate what we do or how we organize, or threaten to cut our funding. This gives us autonomy.
What do dues pay for?
Dues go toward funding meeting spaces, internal costs like maintaining our website and technologies we use to keep in contact with membership, regular chapter activities, and new projects and initiatives proposed and adopted by the general membership.
How do I get involved with the organizing that’s currently happening?
- We send out emails with campaign updates. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive regular updates from our chapter.
- Join our Slack.
- Check out our calendar and join us at an upcoming event.
- You can also find events on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
What happens at a Regular Meeting?
- Regular Meetings are regular wide chapter meetings that happen once a month.
- We’ll hear updates from our various organizing efforts.
- We’ll include some political education or discussion.
- We’ll take up formal business and make collective decisions about the political work we are doing.
Roles and Responsibilities
Who is in chapter leadership?
- You are! DSA’s highest decision-making authority is the membership.
- Big decisions are voted on by membership at Regular Meetings or special called meetings.
- We also elect an Executive Committee, which is made up of elected officers. The Executive Committee takes care of the administrative business of the chapter. Want to chat with the Executive Committee? Email us at email@example.com.
What is a committee/working group?
A committee/working group is a dedicated organizing space within our chapter, usually focused on an issue or set of issues. Committees must carry out a program as described by their statement of purpose and bylaws. Committees elect their own coordinator to steward the committee and report on the committee’s activities to the membership at Regular Meetings.
What happens at a committee/working group meeting?
- Committee/working group meetings are where most of the work of the chapter happens.
- Agendas are posted in the Slack channel the day of the meeting.
- Every committee has a different way of arranging their meetings, but all of them use meetings to plan for upcoming events, discuss strategy, vote on actions, etc.
What are our current committees?
- Mutual Aid Working Group (MAWG)
- Labor Working Group
- Eco-socialist Working Group (ESWG)
- Membership Onboarding and Retention Committee (MORC)
- Socialist Feminism Working Group
- Electoral Working Group
How do I join a committee?
- Join the committee’s channel on Slack.
- Introduce yourself!
- Look for meeting times in the channel or on the calendar and come to a meeting.
How do I start a committee? Do I need to?
Committees are for standing or ongoing projects or fronts of organizing. If you’re looking to start work that is long-term or involves larger projects a committee might make sense. To start a committee:
- Check whether a committee exists where the work you’re proposing would fit. E.g. Any electoral work would take place within the Electoral Working Group.
- Write a Statement of Purpose to propose the creation of the committee and have 10 members in good standing sign the proposal.
- Present to the Executive Committee for addition to the next Regular Meeting agenda.
- Present to General Membership for a vote.
- If approved, work with committee members to elect a committee coordinator.
- Committees must be created by vote of the general membership, and must elect a coordinator. Each committee has a dedicated channel on Slack, our internal digital organizing space. Committees organize their own internal elections. Some committees are extremely active, and some are more or less defunct, but until and unless the committee is abolished by the Executive Committee or general membership, it remains an organizing space within our chapter.
How do I run for leadership in a committee?
Committees hold elections on their own schedules. Upcoming committee elections will be called by committee leaders and announced in committee meetings, on committee channels on Slack, and at a Regular Meeting.
How do I run for the Executive Committee?
Officer elections are held yearly during a General Meeting held in January. In order to run for an officer role you must be nominated by another member, then a member of the outgoing Executive Committee will reach out and ask if you’d like to accept the nominations. The Executive Committee will announce the date of the General Meeting and the nomination period.
What is progressive stack?
- We use “one mic” principles, this means if you’d like to speak, raise your hand and the chair or facilitator will recognize you and call on you.
- The stack keeper will keep a list of names of those who’d like to speak. This list is the “stack”.
- Progressive stack means that the facilitator or stack keeper will prioritize people who haven’t spoken and people from marginalized communities.
- This has the effect of meaning that not everyone will speak in the order they raised their hand or asked to be added to stack, in order to balance the conversation and favor other voices.
How can I get something posted on chapter social media?
- Find the committee that organizes around the statement or event you want to amplify.
- Check recent discussion and meeting minutes to see if there has already been a discussion around what you want posted.
- If nothing has been discussed, pose the question of posting in the committee Slack channel.
- The Committee Steward will coordinate the post with any social media officers.
How do I get training to be a better organizer?
- Our chapter offers training through all of our committees. Check our calendar for upcoming training sessions or reach out on Slack to inquire about upcoming training opportunities.
- DSA National hosts training and events regularly too. Check out their calendar for upcoming events.
How can I get involved with DSA National?
DSA National has several priority committees, working groups, work committees, and caucuses members can participate in, including:
- Medicare For All
- Democratic Socialist Labor Commission
- Green New Deal
- National Electoral Committee
- Abolition Working Group
- Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus
- Anti-Fascist Working Group
- Disability Caucus and Working Group
- Ecosocialist Working Group
- Housing Justice Commission
- Immigrants’ Rights Working Group
- International Committee
- Mutual Aid Working Group
- Queer Socialists Working Group
- Religion and Socialism Working Group
- Socialist Feminist Working Group
- Veterans Working Group
- Communications Committee
- Design Committee
- Political Education Committee
- Tech Committee
Find out more about national committees and working groups on their website.
Have a question about something that wasn’t covered?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.