Democratic Socialists of America

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Democratic Socialists of America
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{{Third-party|date=August 2019}}{{pp-blp|small=yes}}{{short description|American political organization}}{{use mdy dates|date=August 2018}}

| abbreviation = DSA| leader1_title = National Director| leader1_name = Maria Svart| founder = Michael Harrington!Year!Average total paid circulation!Issue where statement appears!style="text-align:center;"|2001!style="text-align:center;"|2002!style="text-align:center;"|2003!style="text-align:center;"|2004!style="text-align:center;"|2005!style="text-align:center;"|2006!style="text-align:center;"|2007!style="text-align:center;"|2008!style="text-align:center;"|2009!style="text-align:center;"|2010!style="text-align:center;"|2011!style="text-align:center;"|2012!style="text-align:center;"|2013!style="text-align:center;"|2014!style="text-align:center;"|2015!style="text-align:center;"|2016 !style="text-align:center;"|2017 !style="text-align:center;"|2018
Democratic Socialist Organizing CommitteeNew American MovementNew York City, New York (state)>New York, United States| newspaper = Democratic LeftYoung Democratic Socialists of America>Young DemocraticSocialists of America| membership_year = 2019| membership = 56,000Joel Meyerson, weblink" title="">"What the Socialists Just Did — And Why," The American Prospect, Aug. 9, 2019.| ideology = Democratic socialismEco-socialismSocialist feminismAnti-capitalismAnti-imperialismAnti-racismAnti-fascismLeft-wing politics>Left-wing{{Democratic Socialists of America/meta/color}}|border=darkgray}} Redweblink}}| country = United States}}The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is an organization of democratic socialist, social democratic and labor-oriented members in the United States.The DSA has its roots in the Socialist Party of America (SPA), whose most prominent leaders included Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas and Michael Harrington.WEB,weblink Maria, Svart, Let's Talk Democratic Socialism, Already, In These Times, November 7, 2011, In 1973, Harrington, the leader of a minority faction that had opposed the SPA's rightward shift and transformation into the Social Democrats, USA (SDUSA) during the party's 1972 national convention, formed the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC). The other faction that split following that convention was the Socialist Party USA (SPUSA), which remains an independent democratic socialist political party. The DSOC, in Harrington's words "the remnant of a remnant", soon became the largest democratic socialist group in the United States. In 1982, it merged with the New American Movement (NAM), a coalition of intellectuals with roots in the New Left movements of the 1960s and former members of socialist and communist parties of the Old Left, to form the DSA.
  • NEWS, Socialist Party now the Social Democrats, U.S.A., The New York Times, December 31, 1972, 36, Anonymous,weblink February 8, 2010, harv,
The New York Times reported on the Convention for three other days:
  • NEWS, Young Socialists open parley; to weigh 'New Politics' split, The New York Times, December 27, 1972, harv, 25, Anonymous,weblink
  • NEWS, Young Socialists defeat motion favoring recognition of Cuba, The New York Times, December 28, 1972, 15, Johnston, Laurie, harv,weblink
  • NEWS, 'Firmness' urged on Communists: Social Democrats reach end of U.S. Convention here, The New York Times, January 1, 1973, 11, Anonymous,weblink harv,
Initially, the organization consisted of approximately 5,000 ex-DSOC members and 1,000 ex-NAM members. Upon the founding of the DSA, Harrington and the socialist feminist author Barbara Ehrenreich were elected as co-chairs of the organization. The DSA does not run candidates on its own ballot line in elections, but instead "fights for reforms today that will weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of working people". These reforms include decreasing the influence of money in politics, empowering ordinary people in workplaces and within the economy and restructuring gender and cultural relationships to be more equitable.WEB,weblink What Is Democratic Socialism?, Democratic Socialist of America, January 10, 2014, The organization has at times endorsed Democratic electoral candidates—notably Walter Mondale, Jesse Jackson, John Kerry, Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders—and the Green Party candidate Ralph Nader.(File:DSA Atlas.png|alt=map of DSA chapters|thumb|263x263px|Map of DSA chapters as of January 2019)The DSA is not only by far the largest socialist organization in the United States in the 21st century, it is also the largest socialist organization in the United States in over a century.WEB,weblink DSA North Texas chapter's twitter account, April 30, 2018, With about 37,000 dues-paying members spread across 200 local groups, DSA now dwarfs all other far-left organizations in America. There are at least 11 chapters in Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso." #Yallidarity, WEB,weblink The Kids Are All Red: Socialism Rises Again in the Age of Trump, Otterbein, Holly, November 18, 2017, Philly Mag, December 13, 2017, By the end of 2017, membership in the organization had risen to 32,000, primarily because of the influx of youth in reaction to the presidency of Donald Trump.{{citation needed|date=June 2019}} As of September 2, 2018, membership stood at 50,000TWEET, 1036383982743695361, DemSocialists, It's official -- we now have 50,000 members!, DSA 🌹, September 2, 2018, September 2, 2018, and the number of local chapters had increased from 40 to 181.NEWS,weblink 'Yes, I'm Running as a Socialist.' Why Candidates Are Embracing the Label in 2018, Stockman, Farah, April 20, 2018, The New York Times, April 20, 2018, {{as of|2017|December|}}, the median age of its membership was 33, compared to 68 in 2013.WEB,weblink Since Trump’s Victory, Democratic Socialists of America Has Become a Budding Political Force: Why an army of young people is joining DSA., Heyward, Amy, December 1, 2017, The Nation, December 25, 2017, In the 2017 election, fifteen candidates who were members of the DSA were elected to office in thirteen states, most notably Lee J. Carter in the Virginia House of Delegates, adding to the twenty members already holding elected office nationwide.NEWS,weblink Revenge of the Obama Coalition, Goldberg, Michelle, November 10, 2017, The New York Times, November 10, 2017, In November 2018, two DSA members, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, were elected to the House of Representatives while eleven were elected to state legislatures.WEB,weblink Democratic Socialists Rack Up Wins in States: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib made headlines for their congressional wins. But a number of Democratic Socialists also won state-level races this election., Vyse, Graham, November 9, 2018, Governing: The States and Localities, January 19, 2019, A member of the Socialist International (SI) from its founding in 1982, the DSA voted to leave the SI in August 2017 over its acceptance of what the DSA perceived as neoliberal economic policies.WEB,weblink DSA Votes for BDS, Reparations, and Out of the Socialist International, August 8, 2017,


missing image!
- Dorothy Healey.jpg -
Dorothy Ray Healey, "The Red Queen of Los Angeles," was an important link from the Old Left of the far left organized labor oriented Young Workers League of the '30s to the CPUSA during the Cold War and then to the New Left of the Vietnam War protest era.
{{see also|History of the socialist movement in the United States|List of Democratic Socialists of America who have held office in the United States}}Formed in 1982 after a merger between the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC) and the New American Movement (NAM),BOOK, 2002, Hunt, E.K., Property and Prophets: The Evolution of Economic Institutions and Ideologi, 260–261, M.E. Sharpe, NEWS, Mitgang, Herbert,weblink Michael Harrington, Socialist and Author, Is Dead, The New York Times, August 2, 1989, November 5, 2009, the DSA is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization."Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Democratic Socialists of America Inc. Guidestar. December 31, 2015. At the time of the merger of these two organizations, the DSA was said to consist of approximately 5,000 former members of the DSOC, along with 1,000 from the NAM.John Haer, "Reviving Socialism", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 1, 1982. Retrieved November 9, 2009. The combined Old Left and New Left heritage of the DSA was created from this merger (Dorothy Ray Healey served as Vice Chair in 1982).Dorothy Healey and Maurice Isserman, Dorothy Healey Remembers: A Life in the American Communist Party. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990; pp. 245-249. The DSOC was founded in 1973 from a minority anti-Vietnam War caucus in the Socialist Party of America (SPA)—which had been renamed Social Democrats, USA (SDUSA) while the NAM was created as a successor organization to the disintegrated Students for a Democratic Society. At its start, the DSOC had 840 members, of whom 2% had served on its national board—approximately 200 of whom previously held membership in the SDUSA or its predecessors (the Socialist Party–Social Democratic Federation, formerly part of the SPA) in 1973, when the SDUSA stated its membership at 1,800 according to a 1973 profile of Harrington.BOOK, O'Rourke, William,weblink L: Michael Harrington, Signs of the literary times: Essays, reviews, profiles, 1970–1992, 195–196, SUNY Press, The Margins of Literature (SUNY Series), 1993, 0-7914-1681-X, {{ISBN, 9780791416815, |ref=harv}}Originally: NEWS, O'Rourke, William, Michael Harrington: Beyond Watergate, Sixties, and reform,weblink 6–7, SoHo Weekly News, 3, 2, November 13, 1973, harv, (File:Democratic Socialists of America hand logo.svg|thumb|left|upright|Earlier iteration of the DSA logo)The red rose is part of the official logo of the DSA,WEB,weblink What Is Democratic Socialism?, December 15, 2015, Democratic Socialists of America, having traditionally been a symbol of socialismWEB,weblink The movement behind the rose emoji that you probably don't know about, Speedy, Sam, May 27, 2017, Mashable, March 26, 2018, since the 1886 Haymarket Affair and the resulting May Day marches from the 19th century to the current day.WEB,weblink The Rose and the Fist, August 27, 2006, The Fruits of Our Labour, March 26, 2018, It was drawn from the logo of the DSOC, its precursor organization, and previously of the Socialist International, which shows a stylized fist clenching a red rose, the fist being substituted with a bi-racial handshake pertaining to the DSA's staunch anti-racism.WEB, Miguel, Salazar,weblink Do America’s Socialists Have a Race Problem?, December 20, 2018, January 4, 2019, The New Republic, WEB,weblink Where We Stand, February 26, 1998, Democratic Socialists of America, March 26, 2018, The fist and rose logo had been originally designed by Didier Motchane and others for the new French Socialist Party founded in 1971{{fr}} Michel Noblecourt, "Mort de Didier Motchane, cofondateur du Ceres", Le Monde, 2 November 2017. and was later shared by socialist and labor political organizations worldwide.In electoral politics, the DSA was very strongly associated with Michael Harrington's position that "the left wing of realism is found today in the Democratic Party". In its early years, the DSA opposed Republican presidential candidates by giving critical support to Democratic Party nominees like Walter Mondale in 1984.Mike Davis, Prisoners of the American Dream: Politics and Economy in the History of the US Working Class. London: Verso; pp. 256–260, 275–276. In 1988, the DSA enthusiastically supported Jesse Jackson's second presidential campaign.Manning Marable, Beyond Black and White: Transforming African-American Politics. London: Verso, 1996; p. 61. Since 1995, the DSA's position on American electoral politics has been that "democratic socialists reject an either-or approach to electoral coalition building, focused solely on a new party or on realignment within the Democratic Party"."Where We Stand: The Political Perspective of the Democratic Socialists of America" {{Webarchive|url= |date=January 8, 2013 }}. Section 5. Retrieved March 24, 2006. During the 1990s, the DSA gave the Clinton administration an overall rating of C-, "less than satisfactory"."Progressive Groups Issue Report Card on Clinton" {{Webarchive|url= |date=February 26, 2012 }}. Retrieved November 3, 2008.The DSA's elected leadership has often seen working within the Democratic Party as necessary rather than forming or support third parties. That said, the DSA is very critical of the corporate-funded Democratic Party leadership."Electoral Politics As Tactic — Elections Statement 2000" {{Webarchive|url= |date=January 8, 2013 }}. Retrieved November 3, 2008. The organization has stated:"Where We Stand — The Political Perspective of the Democratic Socialists of America". Retrieved November 3, 2008.

Electoral positions

In 2000, the DSA took no official position on the presidential election, with several prominent DSA members backing Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader while others supported Socialist Party USA candidate David McReynolds and others voting for Democratic nominee Al Gore.BOOK, Elteren, Mel van, Labor and the American Left: An Analytical History,weblink April 24, 2016, August 29, 2011, McFarland, 9780786488803, 168–, In 2004, the organization backed John Kerry after he won the Democratic nomination. In its official magazine, the DSA's Political Action Committee declared:"DSA PAC Statement on Kerry Campaign" {{Webarchive|url= |date=January 8, 2013 }}. Democratic Left. vol. 32, no. 4 (Fall 2004). p. 8. While we have no illusions about how a Kerry administration would govern — absent mass pressure from below — and are not impressed with his delayed criticism of the war and his earlier commitments in favor of 'free trade,' we also realize that the Bush administration is as reactionary as Reagan's. A Kerry defeat would be taken not as a defeat of the US political center, which Kerry represents, but of the mainstream Left. As a result, it would embolden the Right and demoralize the Left (as well as trade unionists and people of color) as much as Reagan's 1984 defeat of Mondale did. On the other hand, a Kerry victory will let us press onward, with progressives aggressively pressuring an administration that owed its victory to democratic mobilization from below.The only resolution on upcoming elections at the DSA's 2005 convention focused on Bernie Sanders's independent campaign for the Senate in Vermont."Convention Resolution: DSA Priorities," {{Webarchive|url= |date=January 8, 2013 }} Democratic Left, vol. 33 no. 3 (Winter 2006), p. 4. The organization's 2007 convention in Atlanta featured record-breaking attendance and more participation by the organization's youth wing. Sanders gave the keynote address.Michael Hirsch, "Economic Justice Agenda Adopted," {{Webarchive|url= |date=January 8, 2013 }} Democratic Left, vol. 35 no. 3 (Winter 2008), page 4.In 2008, the DSA critically supported Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in his race against Republican candidate John McCain. In an article written in the March 24 edition of The Nation, senior DSA strategists Barbara Ehrenreich and Bill Fletcher Jr., along with Tom Hayden and Danny Glover, announced the formation of Progressives for Obama.WEB,weblink Progressives for Obama, August 8, 2017, The Nation, In the article, the four issued a joint statement arguing that Obama was the most progressive viable Democratic presidential candidate since Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.File:Lee_Jin_Carter_at_volunteer_appreciation_event_(cropped).jpg|thumb|upright|Lee Carter, member of the Virginia House of DelegatesVirginia House of DelegatesFollowing Obama's election, many on the political rightNEWS,weblink Huffington Post, Jason, Linkins, NYT Peppers Obama With Questions About Socialism, March 8, 2009, began to allege that his administration's policies were "socialistic", a claim rejected by the DSA and the Obama administration alike. The widespread use of the word "socialism" as a political epithet against the Obama administration by its opponents caused National Director Frank Llewellyn to declare that "over the past 12 months, the Democratic Socialists of America has received more media attention than it has over the past 12 years".Frank Llewellyn and Joseph Schwartz, "Socialists Say: Obama is No Socialist," {{Webarchive|url= |date=November 9, 2009 }} Chicago Tribune, November 1, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2009.For the 2016 presidential election, the DSA endorsed Sanders as the favored presidential candidate. While making it clear that Sanders' New Deal-inspired program did not fulfill the socialist aim of establishing social ownership of the economy, the DSA considered his campaign as a positive development in the context of contemporary American politics.WEB,weblink A History of Democratic Socialists of America 1971-2017,, July 2, 2018, The DSA noted the importance of his candidacy as a self-identified democratic socialist candidate as well as "a lifelong champion of the public programs and democratic rights that empower working class people".WEB,weblink #WeNeedBernie - Democratic Socialists of America,, January 29, 2016,weblink July 9, 2018, dead, The DSA managed the #WeNeedBernie campaign, an internally focused initiative directed towards mobilizing DSA supporters for Sanders. After Sanders' defeat in the 2016 Democratic primaries, the DSA called for the defeat of Donald Trump, but it did not officially endorse Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.WEB,weblink Dump the Racist Trump; Continue the Political Revolution Down-Ballot; Build Multiracial Coalitions and Socialist Organization for Long-term Change, August 16, 2016,, January 1, 2018,

2017 off-year election gains

In the United States elections of 2017, the DSA endorsed fifteen candidates for office, with the highest position gained being that of Lee Carter in the Virginia House of Delegates.NEWS,weblink 15 DSA Members Elected!, 2017 election, Democratic Socialists of America, November 10, 2017,weblink" title="">weblink December 16, 2017, dead, DSA members won 15 electoral offices in thirteen states, bringing the total to thirty-five (the DSA, having changed its electoral strategy at its national convention, had anticipated picking up approximately five seats): city council seats in Pleasant Hill, Iowa (Ross Grooters), Billings, Montana (Denise Joy), Knoxville, Tennessee (Seema Singh Perez), Duluth, Minnesota (Joel Sipress) and Somerville, Massachusetts (JT Scott and Ben Ewen-Campen); and the seat in the Virginia House of Delegates contested by Carter, among other offices.WEB,weblink The Democratic Socialists Scored Some Big Wins. Here's What They're Planning Next. A conversation with Christian Bowe, national political committee member of the Democratic Socialists of America., Aronoff, Kate, November 10, 2017, In These Times, February 27, 2018, 56% of the DSA members who ran in this election cycle won compared to the 20% previously in 2016.WEB,weblink Yesterday Was a Good Day, Marcetic, Branko, November 8, 2017, Jacobin, February 27, 2018, These results encouraged dozens more DSA members to run for office in the 2018 midterm elections.

2018 elections

File:Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Official Portrait.jpg|thumb|upright|Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congresswoman from New York's 14th congressional districtNew York's 14th congressional districtFile:Rashida Tlaib, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg|thumb|upright|Rashida Tlaib, Congresswoman from Michigan's 13th congressional districtMichigan's 13th congressional districtIn the 2018 midterm elections, the DSA had anticipated seeing the first DSA member in Congress and reaching 100 elected officials nationwide from its strategic down-ballot campaigns. 42 formally endorsed people were running for offices at the federal, state and local levels in 20 states, including Florida, Hawaii, Kansas and Michigan; Maine's Zak Ringelstein, a Democrat, was its sole senatorial candidate.WEB,weblink Democratic socialism, with Kaniela Ing in the mix, surges in the age of Trump, Peoples, Steve, July 21, 2018, Honolulu Star Advertiser, July 22, 2018, Local chapters have endorsed 110 candidates.WEB,weblink Why the Democratic Socialists of America Won't Stop Growing: The inside story of DSA's dramatic ascent., August 9, 2018, Kate, Aronoff, In These Times, August 12, 2018, Four female DSA members (Sara Innamorato, Summer Lee, Elizabeth Fiedler and Kristin Seale) won Democratic primary contests for seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, two of them defeating conservative male Democratic incumbents.WEB,weblink A Democratic-Socialist Landslide in Pennsylvania, Eliza, Griswold, May 16, 2018, The New Yorker, May 17, 2018, WEB,weblink Four socialist-backed candidates win Pennsylvania legislative primaries, Anapol, Avery, May 16, 2018, The Hill, May 17, 2018, WEB,weblink Pittsburgh DSA Celebrates Success of Endorsed Candidates Sara Innamorato and Summer Lee, May 16, 2018,, May 17, 2018, NEWS,weblink Democratic Socialist women score big wins in Pennsylvania, Krieg, Gregory, May 16, 2018, CNN, May 18, 2018, Additionally, Jade Bahr and Amelia Marquez won their primaries in Montana for the State HouseWEB,weblink Billings DSA on Twitter, and Jeremy Mele won his primary for the Maine House of Representatives.WEB,weblink Press Release: Southern Maine DSA Endorses Jeremy Mele in June primary for Maine State Representative, District 19, March 22, 2018,, June 19, 2018, NEWS,weblink Maine Primary Election Results, The New York Times, June 19, 2018, In California, Jovanka Beckles won one of the top two spots in the primary and advanced to the general election for a State Assembly seat in the East Bay.WEB,weblink RELEASE: Jovanka Beckles Wins State Assembly Primary, June 14, 2018,, June 19, 2018, On June 26, DSA member and endorsee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary against incumbent Representative Joseph Crowley in New York's 14th congressional district in a surprise upset, virtually guaranteeing her the congressional seat in the heavily Democratic district which spans parts of the Bronx and Queens.NEWS,weblink Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, Might Just Be the Future of the Democratic Party, Vogue, June 27, 2018, NEWS,weblink A top House Democrat just lost his primary — to a socialist, Vox, June 27, 2018, However, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed the win as "not to be viewed as something that stands for anything else"WEB,weblink Nancy Pelosi Is In Denial: Socialism Is Where It's At In 2018: It's hard for Red Scare language to stick when socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are pushing popular policies like universal health care., Haider, Shuja, June 28, 2018, BuzzFeed News, June 29, 2018, and argued that it only represented change in one progressive district.WEB,weblink Pelosi on Ocasio-Cortez's win: They made a choice in 1 district, DeMarche, Edmund, June 28, 2018, Fox News, June 29, 2018, Conversely, head of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez proclaimed her to be "the future of our party"WEB,weblink DNC's Perez: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez "Represents The Future Of Our Party", Schwartz, Ian, July 3, 2018, Fox News, July 28, 2018, whereas the Trotskyist International Committee of the Fourth International critiqued her and the DSA as being a "left" cover for the "right-wing Democratic Party", particularly in regard to foreign policy.WEB,weblink The Democratic Socialists of America: Providing a "left" cover for a right-wing Democratic Party, Martin, Patrick, July 21, 2018, World Socialist Web Site, July 28, 2018, Six weeks after Ocasio-Cortez's primary victory, DSA member and endorsee Rashida Tlaib won the Democratic primary in Michigan's 13th congressional district.NEWS,weblink There Will Now Likely Be Two Democratic Socialists of America Members in Congress, The Daily Beast, Resnick, Gideon, August 8, 2018, August 10, 2018, Both Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib went on to win their respective general elections to become members of Congress. Ultimately, about a dozen members (or non-members who were endorsed) won office in their state legislatures.WE,weblink How One Socialist Lawmaker Is Trying to Change His State's Pro-Business Policies, Stockman, Farah, January 17, 2019, The New York Times, January 16, 2019, In the aggregate, the DSA had backed 40 winning candidates at the state, county and municipal levels.WEB,weblink NPC Statement on 2018 Elections, November 7, 2018,, January 19, 2019, Ocasio-Cortez's victory and the subsequent publicity for the DSA led to more than 1,000 new members joining the organization the next day, approximately 35 times the daily averageNEWS,weblink Democratic Socialists of America Membership Surges After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Stunning Victory, The Daily Beast, June 28, 2018, and their largest ever one-day increase in membership.TWEET, 1012357786569756673, @JStein_WaPo, The Democratic Socialists of America report their biggest single-day jump in membership ever following @Ocasio2018's victory Tues., w/ over 1,000 joining in 24 hours. @DemSocialists' two next biggest days -- after Trump's election & after J20 -- were about 800 each, Jeff Stein, June 28, 2018, These signups helped boost the organization to 42,000 members nationally in June 2018.TWEET, sunraysunray, 1012413836337479681, June 28, 2018, Thought I'd live to see the day that @DemSocialists hit 42,000 members. Just didn't think it'd happen in my 20s., Sunkara, Bhaskar, That number increased to 50,000 by September 1, 2018.TWEET, DemSocialists, 1030642870183763968, August 17, 2018, DSA now has 49K members. We're building the strong democratic socialist movement we need right now!, July 25, 2018,

2019 off-year election gains

{{see also|Chicago City Council Socialist Caucus}}The 2019 Chicago aldermanic elections saw six DSA members elected to the 50-seat Chicago City Council: incumbent Carlos Ramirez-Rosa as well as newcomers Daniel La Spata, Jeanette Taylor, Byron Sigcho-Lopez, Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez, and Andre Vasquez.NEWS,weblink Chicago City Council Election: Democratic Socialists gain seats on Chicago City Council, ABC 7 Chicago, June 28, 2018,


File:Democratic Socialists Occupy Wall Street 2011 Shankbone.JPG|thumb|Members march at the Occupy Wall StreetOccupy Wall StreetMembership in the DSA can be obtained through the payment of annual dues, but no one is turned away for lack of funds.WEB, Join DSA. Become a member today.,weblink Democratic Socialists of America, September 30, 2018, Every member receives a paid subscription to the organization's quarterly newsletter, Democratic Left."Change the USA! Join the DSA!" {{Webarchive|url= |date=January 8, 2013 }} Democratic Left, vol. 37, no. 3 (Winter 2009), page 16. The organization also offers "family memberships" at the rate of $80 which includes only one subscription to Democratic Left"Join Us," Retrieved September 26, 2010. and sells subscriptions to the publication to non-members for $10 per year."Change the USA! Join the DSA!" {{Webarchive|url= |date=January 8, 2013 }}. Democratic Left. vol. 37. no. 3 (Winter 2009). p. 3.In the early 1980s, the estimated membership of the DSOC was 5,000, but after its merger with the NAMNEWS, Haer, John,weblink Reviving Socialism, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 1, 1982, November 9, 2009, the membership of the organization grew to an estimated 7,000 in 1987.NEWS, Oreskes, Michael,weblink Jackson to Shun Socialist Backing, The New York Times, December 4, 1987, November 5, 2009, In 2002, Fox News said there were 8,000 members in the DSANEWS, Baker, Harlan,weblinkweblink Group Accuses Socialists of Voter Fraud, Fox News, October 17, 2002, November 5, 2009, February 5, 2011, dead, and three years later the organization announced on its website that its membership had increased by some 13% since July 2003 as the result of a direct mail campaign.WEB,weblink Direct Mail Yields Membership Increase, Democratic Socialists of America, August 6, 2005, November 5, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink January 8, 2013, dead, The DSA does not release annual membership numbers, nor do officials of the organization state them with precision in the press. However, it does publish annually its sworn declaration of "Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation" in its official magazine so as to qualify for subsidized postage rates from the United States Postal Service. As this publication is sent out to paid members, with few copies sold through other channels, this provides an excellent proxy for paid membership. The total paid distribution numbers of Democratic Left over recent years are as follows:
5,846weblink" title="">Vol. 29, no. 3, p. 15
Not published
4,890weblink" title="">Vol. 31, no. 3, p. 2
4,535weblink" title="">Vol. 32, no. 3, p. 2
4,622weblink" title="">Vol. 33, no. 3, p. 15
4,883weblink" title="">Vol. 34, no. 3, p. 3
5,443weblink" title="">Vol. 35, no. 3, p. 3
5,710weblink" title="">Vol. 36, no. 3, p. 3
5,707weblink" title="">Vol. 37, no. 3, p. 3
5,874weblink" title="">Vol. 38, no. 4, p. 15
5,707weblink" title="">Vol. 39, no. 3, p. 12
6,204weblink" title="">Vol. 40, no. 3, p. 3
Not published
6,445Vol. 42, no. 3, p. 13
6,216Vol. 43, no. 3, p. 10
6,745Vol. 44, no. 3, p. 11
19,594Vol. 45, no. 3, p. 8
31,271Vol. 46, no. 3, p. 7
File:BoiseDSAMembersAtABigTentIdahoanDemocratEvent.jpg|thumb|Two founding Idahoan DSA members at a big tentbig tentFollowing the election of Donald Trump as President, the DSA experienced a rapid expansion of its paid membership. In 2017, the organization passed a resolution calling for the national office to provide the group's paid members with a copy of a financial report in non-convention years. A first such report covering the whole of 2017 and the first half of 2018 was published in August 2018.Theresa Alt and Sasha Hammad, 2017 Democratic Socialists of America financial report, Democratic Socialists of America, Aug. 2018.According to this August 2018 report, DSA membership was "consistently about 6,000" for the 2011 to 2015 period before experiencing the following growth pattern:
!Date!Event!Membership!style="text-align:center;"|June 1, 2016Just before Democratic National Convention6,500!style="text-align:center;"|November 1, 2016Just before 2016 general election7,600!style="text-align:center;"|November 17, 2016Just after 2016 general election10,000!style="text-align:center;"|January 30, 2017Just after inauguration of Donald Trump15,000!style="text-align:center;"|April 4, 2017Date membership milestone reached20,000!style="text-align:center;"|July 31, 2017Date membership milestone reached25,000!style="text-align:center;"|October 16, 2017Date membership milestone reached30,000!style="text-align:center;"|June 29, 2018Date membership milestone reached40,000!style="text-align:center;"|July 12, 2018Date membership milestone reached45,000!style="text-align:center;"|August 16, 2018Closing date of National Office report49,000
Source: Theresa Alt; Sasha Hammad (August 2018). (iarchive:2017DsaFinancialreport|2017 Democratic Socialists of America financial report). Democratic Socialists of America.
This rise comes mainly from supporters of Bernie Sanders (the Senator from Vermont who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 as a self-described "democratic socialist") as well as a growth in interest in left-wing politics amongst American youth, spurred on by social media organizing on Twitter, publications such as The Baffler and Jacobin and the popular podcast Chapo Trap House.WEB,weblink Democratic Socialists make headway in U.S. after Trump's win, February 21, 2017, Reuters, August 8, 2017, Independent of the Sanders effect, polling indicates that Americans under age thirty have been warming up to the idea of socialism since the Obama administration and the Occupy movement.WEB,weblink So... About Socialism., Donovan, John, January 4, 2018, The 1A, January 6, 2018, WEB,weblink Little Change in Public's Response to 'Capitalism,' 'Socialism': A Political Rhetoric Test, December 28, 2011, People-Press, January 6, 2018, Given its burgeoning membership, the DSA faces several tactical and strategic issues, such as its relationship to the Democratic Party (particularly electoral politics vis-à-vis base building), the administrative and ideological role of the national leadership in a bottom-up, deeply democratic organization, and its own demographic representation in an increasingly diverse country.WEB,weblink Are the Democratic Socialists of America For Real?, Aronoff, Kate, August 7, 2017, The New Republic, December 15, 2017, WEB,weblink Is Democratic Socialists Of America The Future Of The Left?, Newman, Nathan, April 24, 2017, The Huffington Post, December 15, 2017, As a big tent on the left with an emphasis on inclusivity,WEB,weblink Come for the socialism, stay for inclusivity, Lilygreen, Deena, January 10, 2018, LEO Weekly, January 11, 2018, the DSA is not politically monolithic and its decisions are often made by topic-specific committees.WEB,weblink Seeing red: Membership triples for the Democratic Socialists of America, Pearce, Matt, March 13, 2017, Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2017, Furthermore, chapters may organize themselves as horizontally or vertically as they see fit,WEB,weblink For a Truly Pluralistic, Big Tent DSA: A response to Jared Abbott and Momentum,, 2018-12-28, 2019-10-07, a matter of some contention.WEB,weblink On Internal Organizing and the Momentum Document Leak,, 2019-10-07, While DSA chapters may choose to follow national initiatives, they sometimes focus on local, on-the-ground concerns such as brake light clinics to reduce interactions with the police,TWEET, 1023205252810592256, @CvilleDSA, thank you @banditelli for your help with our amazing new banner! it’s hung up out here at edgecomb’s for our very first brake light clinic, @CvilleDSA, July 28, 2018, disaster reliefWEB,weblink DSA North Texas chapter's twitter account, April 30, 2018, "With about 37,000 dues-paying members spread across 200 local groups, DSA now dwarfs all other far-left organizations in America. There are at least 11 chapters in Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso." #Yallidarity, or Medicaid expansion.WEB,weblink Ups and Downs: Week of March 28, March 28, 2018, The Public, March 29, 2018, In late March 2018, for example, as a matter of policy the Denver Democratic Party adopted an anti-capitalist plank thanks to fifteen DSA members who had been elected at their caucus earlier that month. Issues ranging from municipal Wi-Fi to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel had been discussed, but ultimately "something along the lines of the original Clause IV of the British Labour Party's constitution, which explicitly advocated for common ownership of the means of production" was decided upon.WEB,weblink The Denver Democratic Party Platform Now Has an Anti-Capitalist Plank, Thanks to Socialists, Kampf-Lassin, Miles, March 28, 2018, In These Times, March 29, 2018,


The DSA is organized at the local level and works with labor unions, community organizations and campus activists on issues of common interest. Nationwide campaigns are coordinated by the organization's national office in New York City. {{As of|2017}}, the DSA website listed 85 local chapters, two statewide chapters, 29 Young Democratic Socialist chapters and 63 organizing committees.WEB,weblink Chapters, August 8, 2017, {{as of|2018|April|}}, 181 chapters were extant.Governance of the DSA is by the group's National Political Committee (NPC), which since 2001 has been a 16-person body."Convention 2003," Democratic Left, vol. 31, no. 3 (Winter 2003-04), pg. 12. The DSA's constitution states that at least eight of the NPC's members shall be women and at least four members of "racial or national" minority groups."DSA Constitution and By-laws", Article VIII, Section 2. A 17th vote is cast by the representative of the DSA's youth affiliate who elect one male and one female delegate who split the vote. The NPC meets four times a year."DSA Constitution and By-laws", Article VIII, Section 1.The NPC elects an inner committee of six, including five of its own members and one representative of the youth section, called the Steering Committee. At least two of these are constitutionally required to be women and at least one a "person of color", with the National Director and the Youth Section Organizer also participating as ex officio members. This Steering Committee meets bimonthly, either in person or by conference call."DSA Constitution and By-laws", Article VIII, Section 3. The DSA has a Religion and Socialism Commission in which Cornel West has played a leading role. John Cort was a founding editor of the Commission's magazine Religious Socialism.The DSA publishes Democratic Left, a quarterly newsletter of news and analysis. This publication continues in an uninterrupted run from the original Newsletter of the Democratic Left published by the DSOC (the DSA forerunner) since its establishment in 1973. In 2008, DSA members active in the American labor movement founded Talking Union, a blog that focuses on labor politics, working class struggles and strategies.WEB,weblink Talking Union: A Project of the DSA Labor Network,, November 8, 2009,

Student section

File:YDS logo.svg|thumb|upright|Young Democratic Socialists of AmericaYoung Democratic Socialists of AmericaThe Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) is the official student section of the DSA. The YDSA chapters and members are encouraged to pursue and promote a democratic socialist political education and participate in social justice activism, often taking part in anti-war, labor and student-issue marches and rallies. The YDSA publishes a newsletter called The Red LetterWEB, Betsy Avila,weblink The Red Letter: Spring 2015 - Young Democratic Socialists,, January 30, 2016, and until recently also a blog titled The Activist.WEB,weblink The Activist - Young Democratic Socialists,, January 30, 2016, The organization's national activities revolve around supporting the DSA campaigns and initiatives and organizing various student conferences, usually held in New York City.National conferences have taken place in February 2016 in BrooklynWEB, Betsy Avila,weblink Young Democratic Socialists 2015: Toward an Intersectional Left - Young Democratic Socialists,, January 30, 2016, and August 2015 in Atlanta.WEB, Betsy Avila,weblink YDS IN ATLANTA: Southern Regional Conference,, January 30, 2016, The DSA received an unexpected boost in membership the very day National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre excoriated socialism in general and the YDSA in particular at the Conservative Political Action Conference session of February 22, 2018, whereupon more than 100 people signed up, three times the daily average.WEB,weblink Democratic Socialists of America Get Membership Boost Thanks to NRA Smack Talk: They signed up three times their average on the day of Wayne LaPierre’s remarks., Gideon, Resnick, February 23, 2018, The Daily Beast, February 23, 2018,

National conventions

The highest decision-making authority of the organization is the organization's national conventions which are held biennially. These gatherings of the organization are as follows:
!Year!Dates of convention!Location!style="text-align:center;"|1999November 12–14San Diego, CA!style="text-align:center;"|2001November 9–11Philadelphia, PA!style="text-align:center;"|2003November 14–16Detroit, MI!style="text-align:center;"|2005November 11–13Los Angeles, CA!style="text-align:center;"|2007November 9–11Atlanta, GA!style="text-align:center;"|2009November 13–15Evanston, IL!style="text-align:center;"|2011November 11–13Vienna, VA!style="text-align:center;"|2013October 25–27Emeryville, CA!style="text-align:center;"|2015November 13–15Bolivar, PA!style="text-align:center;"|2017August 3–6Chicago, IL!style="text-align:center;"|2019August 2–4Atlanta, GAA student and young adult outreach conference hosted by the YDSA took place on February 13–15, 2015 in Manhattan.WEB, Betsy Avila,weblink Young Democratic Socialists 2015: Toward an Intersectional Left - Young Democratic Socialists,, January 30, 2016,

Political ideas of Michael Harrington

{{American socialism|Active parties}}Throughout his life, Harrington embraced a democratic interpretation of the writings of Karl Marx while rejecting the "actually existing" systems of the Soviet Union, China and the Eastern Bloc. In the 1980s, Harrington said: Put it this way. Marx was a democrat with a small "d". The Democratic Socialists envision a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning [...] and racial equality. I share an immediate program with liberals in this country because the best liberalism leads toward socialism. [...] I want to be on the left wing of the possible.Harrington made it clear that even if the traditional Marxist vision of a marketless, stateless society was not possible, he did not understand why this needed to "result in the social consequence of some people eating while others starve".Bella Stumbo. "A Socialist Utopia". Los Angeles Times. April 12, 1987. Retrieved November 8, 2009.Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the DSA voiced opposition to that nation's bureaucratically managed economy and control over its satellite states.Michael Harrington and Barbara Ehrenreich. "In Spirit of Glasnost, a Half-Toast to Perestroika; U.S. Left Supportive". The New York Times. June 16, 1989. Retrieved November 8, 2009. The DSA welcomed Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms in the Soviet Union. Sociologist (Bogdan Denitch]] wrote in the DSA's Democratic Left (quoted in 1989):NEWS, Michael Harrington, Harrington, Michael, Barbara Ehrenreich, Ehrenreich, Barbara),weblink In Spirit of Glasnost, a Half-Toast to Perestroika; U.S. Left Supportive, The New York Times, June 16, 1989, November 8, 2009, The aim of democrats and socialists should be [...] to help the chances of successful reform in the Soviet bloc. [...] While supporting liberalization and economic reforms from above, socialists should be particularly active in contacting and encouraging the tender shoots of democracy from below.Harrington voiced admiration for German Social Democratic Chancellor Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik, which sought to reduce antagonism between Western Europe and Soviet states.Isserman. The Other American. pp. 351–352. As co-chairman of the DSA, Michael Harrington wrote: [Willy Brandt] launched his famous ostpolitik (Eastern policy), and moved toward detente with the Soviets and Eastern Europeans--a strategy that was to win him the Nobel Peace Prize. Disaster came in 1974. There was a spy scandal--a member of Brandt's inner circle turned out to be an East German agent--and the chancellor resigned his office.NEWS, Los Angeles Times, Michael, Harrington, Michael Harrington, Willy Brandt May Even Yet Manage Resurrection No. 5, March 31, 1987, harv,weblink

Social democracy and welfare

One older leaflet detailing the group's official ideas, "What is Democratic Socialism? Questions and Answers from the Democratic Socialists of America", states that "no country has fully instituted democratic socialism". Nonetheless, according to the DSA there are lessons to be learned from "the comprehensive welfare state maintained by the Swedes, from Canada's national healthcare system, France's nationwide childcare program, and Nicaragua's literacy programs".NEWS,weblink What is Democratic Socialism? Questions and Answers from the Democratic Socialists of America, Democratic Socialists of America, February 24, 2010,weblink" title="">weblink July 1, 2009, dead, The "tremendous prosperity and relative economic equality" established by the social democratic parties of the countries of Scandinavia and parts of Western Europe are lauded.

Policy and ideology

The DSA's ideas are somewhat influenced by those of its first chairman Michael Harrington, Chairman of the League for Industrial Democracy (1964) and member of the National Executive Board of the Socialist Party of America (1960–1968). Opposed to capitalism and then-existing versions of socialism alike as cruel and anti-libertarian social systems, Harrington advocated working for a realignment of the Democratic Party, transforming it from an amorphous amalgam of conservative, centrist and left-liberal politicians into something like a Western European social democratic party, within which the DSA would be the anti-capitalist left-wing. The DSA Constitution outlines the basic notion behind its ideology as follows:WEB,weblink DSA Constitution & Bylaws, The DSA sees itself as a big tent and multi-tendency organization with members expressing a wide range of socialist and anti-capitalist views.WEB,weblink DSA 🌹 on Twitter, WEB,weblink Coalition Politics and the Fight for Socialism, DSA members have views ranging from eco-socialism,WEB,weblink Climate and Environmental Justice Working Group, democratic socialism,WEB,weblink What is Democratic Socialism?, Meyer, Neal, July 20, 2018, Jacobin, July 21, 2018, revolutionary socialism,WEB,weblink Program, October 15, 2017, libertarian socialism,WEB,weblink DSA Libertarian Socialist Caucus, DSA Libertarian Socialist Caucus, and communism,WEB,weblink DSA Communist Caucus: Our Statement, DSA Communist, Caucus, September 6, 2017, to social democracy. Some of these views are represented in different working groups and caucuses within the DSA including the Communist Caucus, the Refoundation Caucus and the Libertarian Socialist Caucus.The DSA regards the abolition of capitalism and the realization of socialism as a gradual long-term goal, therefore the organization focuses its immediate political energies on reforms within capitalism that empower working people while decreasing the power of corporations:WEB,weblink Democratic Socialists of America, 29 June 2018, About DSA, WEB, Haltiwanger, John, Here's the difference between a 'socialist' and a 'Democratic socialist',weblink Business Insider, 12 July 2019, WEB, Stein, Jeff, 9 questions about the Democratic Socialists of America you were too embarrassed to ask,weblink Vox, 12 July 2019, 5 August 2017, DSA believes in the abolition of capitalism in favor of an economy run either by “the workers” or the state, WEB, The Week staff, Rise of the democratic socialists,weblink The Week, 12 July 2019, 30 July 2018, DSA's national platform calls for abolishing capitalism, As we are unlikely to see an immediate end to capitalism tomorrow, DSA fights for reforms today that will weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of working people.


On its website page "What is Democratic Socialism? Q & A", the DSA characterizes its vision of socialism as an economic system based on maximum decentralization that can be supportive of a range of models for social ownership, including publicly owned enterprises and worker-owned cooperatives. The DSA rejects centralized economic planning in favor of a combination of democratic planning and market mechanisms:WEB,weblink Democratic Socialists of America, 29 June 2018, Doesn't socialism mean that the government will own and run everything?, Social ownership could take many forms, such as worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises managed by workers and consumer representatives. Democratic socialists favor as much decentralization as possible. While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives.Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods.Because the DSA does not believe capitalism and private corporations can be immediately replaced with socialism, it is favorable to using government regulations and organized labor to make private businesses more accountable to the public interest:WEB,weblink Democratic Socialists of America, 29 June 2018, Private corporations seem to be a permanent fixture in the US, so why work towards socialism?, In the short term we can't eliminate private corporations, but we can bring them under greater democratic control. The government could use regulations and tax incentives to encourage companies to act in the public interest and outlaw destructive activities such as exporting jobs to low-wage countries and polluting our environment. Public pressure can also have a critical role to play in the struggle to hold corporations accountable. Most of all, socialists look to unions to make private business more accountable.


File:DSAEnvelope&LetterheadLogos.jpg|thumb|The DSA uses both its former and current logo on its stationery in sending out its membership cards, with the latter on its letterheadletterheadAt the 2017 DSA Convention, the group announced its withdrawal from the Socialist International (SI). The resolution passed states that the DSA will "[build] direct relationships with socialist and left parties and social movements around the world that we can learn from and which share our values. [...] Our affiliation with the Socialist International hinders our ability to develop stronger relationships with parties and social movements that share our values and which, in many cases, are bitterly opposed to their country’s SI affiliate(s)".WEB, 2017 Democratic Socialists of America Convention: Results of Resolutions,weblink WEB, Menu,weblink DSA Votes for BDS, Reparations, and Out of the Socialist International,, August 5, 2017, August 5, 2018, It also passed a resolution which solidified the DSA's solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people and with the movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: "Democratic Socialists of America condemns all efforts to deny the right of Palestinians in the United States and their allies to free speech, assembly, and academic freedom". The resolution further condemned Israeli actions, comparing those actions to apartheid.The DSA has shown its solidarity with Ahed Tamimi. The organization called for immediate release from detention. The statement also reiterated the DSA's support for the liberation of the Palestinian people.WEB,weblink DSA Statement on Ahed Tamimi, In 2016, the DSA issued a statement of solidarity with Venezuela. The statement called the sanctions placed on Venezuela by the Obama administration unjust and illegal. It called for the United States to cease its interference in Venezuelan affairs, saying: "We call on the President and Congress to reverse these actions and stop seeking to undermine the Venezuelan people and their legitimate, democratically elected government".WEB,weblink DSA Calls for Ending Sanctions Against Venezuela, The DSA opposes United States intervention in the Syrian Civil War. A statement issued in April 2017 called the intervention by the Trump administration both a violation of domestic and international law. In the same statement, the DSA called for protests of Trump's actions and for the lobbying of Congress to halt any further intervention.WEB,weblink Democratic Socialists of America Condemns the U.S. Bombing of Syria, At the 2019 DSA Convention, the group announced its support for Open borders.WEB,weblink AOC’s Democratic Socialists of America Endorses Open Borders,, 2019-10-07,


The DSA maintains itself as an anti-racist and anti-fascist organization.WEB,weblink DSA 🌹 on Twitter, Twitter, Members have been present at various anti-fascist marches and protests, including counterprotests against the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Boston Free Speech Rally and many other right-wing rallies surrounding the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials. The DSA positions itself with other left-wing groups who fight fascism in the United States, including the Industrial Workers of the World and groups involved in the antifa movement.WEB,weblink DSA Statement on Nazi Violence in Charlottesville, The organization also criticizes the police in the United States for their handling of anti-fascist activities and activities of such groups as Black Lives Matter.The DSA connects this fight with fascist groups to its broader struggle against capitalism, saying on its website: "We believe that the terror unleashed on our comrades can be defeated. We also believe that the wider system of racist oppression can be defeated, but only with the ending of the capitalist system which birthed it". The organization believes in defending communities from neofascist violence and building a multi-racial working class movement.WEB,weblink Emergency Post-Charlottesville DSA Organizing Guide, This involves deplatforming reactionary and racist groups and events, believing that a united front of left-wing organizations needs to confront these forces wherever they appear.WEB,weblink Statement on Nazi Violence in Charlottesville,

Labor movement and workers' rights

The DSA has long been a supporter and defender of the labor movement in the United States and has also argued for the increase of international worker solidarity.WEB,weblink A History of Democratic Socialists of America 1971-2017, The DSA believes in a livable minimum wage for all workers, but it notes that this fight only goes so far and is only the first step in building a more humane economic system: "Ultimately the minimum wage only works for those lucky enough to find a job - even a low paying one - and it doesn't really "work" for them, because it doesn't come with health benefits, adequate schools, or enough money to set aside for retirement".WEB,weblink The Minimum Wage: From Barely Tolerable to Basically Criminal, June 26, 2018,weblink June 26, 2018, dead, The DSA members have been supporters and active participants in fights to increase the minimum wage across the country, including the Fight for protests,WEB,weblink Working Fast Food: Can Low-Wage Workers Be Organized?, WEB,weblink Low-wage Workers Rise for Pay Equity, Justice on the Job, stating: }}The DSA opposes right to work laws, which are seen as an attack on the rights of workers and the historic advances or the labor movement.WEB,weblink We Must Now Work to Overturn the Court’s Undemocratic Attacks on the Rights of Women and Workers, It is argued that the enactment of these laws reduces the efficacy of collective bargaining agreements, putting workers at a disadvantage. In a statement released in 2014, the organization said: "Such "right to work" laws consciously aim to weaken union strength; they are the main reason why the "right to work" is, as Martin Luther King, Jr. put it, "the right to work for less".The DSA argues that financial elites have consciously fought to destroy union power in an effort to solidify the hegemony of markets and corporate power. The organization believes that for an equitable and sustainable economic system that the production of wealth should be under the democratic control of those who produce it. The DSA also emphasizes the role played by immigrants, women, disabled workers, LGBTQIA+ and workers of color in the broader labor movement, believing that all barriers between working people must be broken in order to help create and maintain a broad and unified labor movement.

LGBT rights

The DSA is committed to the rights of the LGBT community, connecting anti-gay prejudice to capitalist exploitation. This includes pushes for equal rights and protections for all those who identify as LGBTQIA+ as well as rights to housing, jobs, education, public accommodations and healthcare. The DSA recognizes that those who are most discriminated against based on identity are disproportionately women and people of color. The organization also seeks to ensure public schools are safe places for LGBTQIA+ students and that students should have total access to facilities which reflect their gender. The DSA supports protection of same-sex marriages, but it "views marriage as only a first step in recognizing the diversity of human relationships".WEB,weblink Statement on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights,

Socialist feminism

The DSA aligns itself with the socialist-feminist movement. The organization holds that capitalism is built on white supremacy as well as male supremacy. The DSA maintains that reproductive rights are central to the feminist movement. Connecting democratic socialism and socialist feminism, the DSA says "that birth control and safe abortion should be provided as part of a comprehensive single-payer healthcare program". Believing that electoral politics can only take socialist feminism so far, the organization also says that the emphasis must be on community based grass roots movements. The DSA further says that socialist feminism must include the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.WEB,weblink Uniting to Build a Socialist Feminist Movement,

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

{{seealso|Israeli–Palestinian conflict}}The DSA is opposed to Zionism and the current form of the State of Israel. Members view them as imperialist and a form of ethnostate.WEB,weblink Why the Democratic Socialists of America Vote for BDS Is a Turning Point in American Left Politics, Bryan, Rob, AlterNet, June 18, 2018, NEWS,weblink How the DSA Went From Supporting Israel to Boycotting the Jewish 'Ethnostate', Riesman, Abraham, 2018-12-02, The Daily Beast, 2018-12-27, en, The DSA formerly supported Israel throughout much of its history, including socialist and progressive individuals and movements inside the state. In 2018 Jo-Ann Mort, former vice-chair of DSA, described the group as formerly having been "the place to go on the left if you were a socialist and you were pro-Israel". Alternet noted that this has been a dividing issue, with older members "tried to reconcile socialism with Zionism" while younger members recognize the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as a "time-tested means of nonviolent protest" and "the most powerful force to combat Israeli apartheid in the 21st century". On August 5, 2017, members of the organization voted almost unanimously to pass a motion to formally endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Jewish Solidarity Caucus, a subgroup formed by Jewish DSA members prior to the motion, stated in their founding declaration that "Zionism cannot vanquish antisemitism" and "as socialists we detest all exclusivist nationalisms".

Gun control

The party has criticized the Second Amendment calling it a threat, in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida and claimed that the working class has done nothing to prevent mass-shootings, while also claiming Americans have become accustom to mass-shootings due to their frequency and lack of action regarding gun control.WEB, February 19, 2018,weblink The Second Amendment is a Threat to us All - Democratic Socialists of America (DSA),, 2018-02-19, 2019-10-07,

See also



Further reading

External links

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