Phoenix DSA - July Newsletter
Updated: Jul 15, 2022
"Collective Action Requires Collective Effort"
Hello comrades, welcome to our first Phoenix DSA newsletter! It’s been a busy month, and now more than ever, it’s important organize, mobilize, rest and recover. Protests, socials, conventions, and new committee activities have decorated our calendar, and more is to come.
Here’s the scoop.
Photo taken by David
First off, welcome to our first Phoenix DSA newsletter! These monthly newsletters will be sent out via email blast and posted to our chapter website.
We hope this will be a helpful tool for keeping all of us more connected to the important work of our chapter—the work of fighting for a socialist future for ourselves, our friends, our families, and communities. And to that end, we also hope the newsletter will be a tool for keeping all of us more deeply connected to each other, because the fight for a socialist future will not be possible without each other.
And all of that work is ongoing in our chapter, occasionally in big ways, but most often through small and uncelebrated daily efforts. Through this newsletter we hope to not only highlight more of that work, but to facilitate it; and, most importantly, we hope to inspire others to get involved in their own small but significant ways, because we all need each other. Thank you for being part of our chapter and contributing what you can!
And of course, we’re excited to hear any suggestions or ideas you may have for improving this newsletter in the future. Please let us know!
Walter Rodney Screening | Saturday, July 16 1:00 - 3:00pm
Hybrid event (in person & online) - Register here
South Mountain Community Center 212 E Alta Vista Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042 US
Tabling for Repro Justice @ Changing Hands Tempe | Saturday, July 16⋅4:00 – 8:00pm
Changing Hands Bookstore 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283, USA
Recurring - repeats at this location on the 23rd, and the 30th
Labor Committee Meeting / Button-making Social | Monday, July 18 6:30 – 8:30pm
You can RSVP here
Pyle Adult Recreation Center - Yuma Room 655 E Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282
Tombstone Picket | Tuesday, July 19th at 6pm
A reproductive Justice Protest held at Tombstone Brewing Company 3935 E Thomas Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85018
For protest details, see the Reproductive Justice section below
Mutual Aid Meeting | Wednesday, July 20th at 6pm-7pm
Online Event - Organizing Action (stay tuned to Calendar for RSVP link)
General Chapter Meeting | Saturday, July 23rd 2:00pm-4:00pm
Hybrid event (in person & online) | RSVP here
Pyle Adult Recreation Center 655 E Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282
Communications Committee Meeting | Monday, July 25th, 6pm-7pm
Online Event (stay tuned to Calendar for RSVP link)
Supreme Court Decision Info Session | Thursday, July 28, 6:00 – 7:00pm (in-person)
Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283, USA
Housing Justice WG Monthly Meeting | Monday, August 8th from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Zoom Event - Register here
For additional upcoming events, please be sure to check our Slack,
our public calendar, and social media.
Labor committee is meeting next July 18th at 6pm in person for a special event. Learn how we've been supporting unionizing Starbucks stores and how we plan to further improve the lives of the working class in Arizona moving forward! We’ll be meeting in person to make buttons at the Pyle Adult Recreation Center.
Also, PHX DSA is fighting with and supporting Starbucks workers efforts in organizing! If you are a Starbucks worker looking for support in your efforts, email us at phoenixdsalabor@gmail. We are also asking everyone to sign this pledge to show support for Starbucks Workers United!
Get involved on Slack in #committee-labor channel.
Over the last month, our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube Channel) have blown up in growth, as we try to meet increasing demand both internally for a need for new content to signal boost events, and externally to reply to DMs, comments, and more. If you’ve messaged us over our DMs and we have not reach you yet, we recommend emailing any inquiries here: firstname.lastname@example.org. For internal media requests, please use our form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdB1KHkI6SYVwah6Ygx1GXfzoJfB9nsz75SF_G-o8HNwExKug/viewform
The communications committee has also elected to start this very newsletter you’re reading in the ongoing effort to keep us all informed and connected. This will be a monthly publication, and we’d like to expand it beyond once we have the capacity to.
Additionally, we’ve produced another video on our YouTube channel and are working on developing more material, and curating a set of recommendations and educational material from diverse backgrounds for our membership and community. Our next videos put out will be on the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), protest safety, and new member orientation.
If you’re interested in anything from writing copy/scripts/content, designing graphics, filming or editing video, or posting on social media, we’d love to have your support.
Get involved on Slack in #committee-communications channel.
Housing Justice [From Wil]
With the speculation-fueled housing market driving up rent prices and evictions on the rise, now is a crucial time to fight for safe housing for all. The Housing Justice Working Group (HJWG) knows that in a state dominated by the well-organized and powerful few, like those in the Arizona Multifamily Association (AMA), the dispossessed masses must organize to win the future we need. To that end, we've been hard at work organizing as tenants across the valley. The HJWG is currently helping tenants in 2 different apartment complexes organize their communities for the housing they deserve. We showed up in support of mobile home tenants who protested against being displaced by Grand Canyon University and who already won some concessions (donate to their relocation fund here). Several of us graduated from the second Emergency Tenant Organizing Committee (ETOC) training weekend, and we've been paired with experienced mentors to help us build a fighting tenants union city-wide. Two members also attended the Autonomous Tenants Union Network (ATUN) convention in Los Angeles, and are excited to share all they learned from tenant unionists across the country.
We meet every 2nd Monday at 7 pm, so we'll discuss these developments and more at the next one on August 8th. If you want to join in, sign up with Action Network here! Please read The Geography of Despair: Environmental Racism and the Making of South Phoenix if you plan to attend, as we will discuss the text together early in the meeting. Click here for a PDF of the paper! If you can't make it but are interested in joining the struggle, you can fill out our intake form or contact the stewards (Corey D and Wil M) with questions at email@example.com. Solidarity forever!
Get involved on Slack in #wg-housing-justice channel.
The Mutual Aid Committee met again after a hiatus on July 13th, and is restructuring their organizing efforts! Regular meetings will be held on Wednesdays, at 6pm for now, but are subject to change based on active member interest. The committee’s current short term goals are to open up a regular freestore, potentially in Chandler, continue the online skill share efforts, and expand people power to take on larger projects.
Doug B, the chair for the Mutual Aid committee will also be visiting Social Spin to talk about mutual aid efforts, time and date to be determined. Reach out to Doug on Slack for details.
Get involved on Slack in #committee-mutual-aid channel.
Brianna Westbrook is a Phoenix DSA member we are proud to endorse. She is running for state house of representatives in LD5 against a slew of establishment dems and will help to uplift our voices as organizers and activists on the state level. She has also been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, plenty of Unions, LUCHA, and many more progressive orgs in Arizona!
Want to help support her before elections on August 2nd? Click here to sign up to volunteer!
The last 30 days have been a busy month for our Reproductive Justice Committee; from tabling all over the metro, to organizing and mobilizing 3 protests, a community social, and phone banking, the fight has raged on since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24. The committee has been preparing for this since the leak, andhas been mobilizing efforts with other organizations across the valley in a broad coalition for Reproductive Justice.
These efforts will continue into the next week as the committee is tabling this weekend, and picketing an event hosted by the Federalist Society at Tombstone Brewing North on Tuesday, July 19th at 6pm. The Federalist Society is a national organization of far right lawyers Committed to propping up ultra conservative judges across the country. They are directly responsible for overturning Roe v Wade.
We ask that you please remember to be kind to the workers at Tombstone Brewing Co. when you call, as your calls won't necessarily reach management.
If you’re interested in signing up for action related to this committee, you can join the reproductive justice channel on Slack or click here.
Get involved on Slack in #iag-reproductive-justice channel.
Membership Engagement has had a busy couple of months. A big focus was the national recommitment drive. Several members led the effort for phone banking sessions in June. This helped National DSA in recommitting over 5000 members and raising $174K. Other activities included welcome call invitations to new members, work in Airtable to organize membership lists, and a Spoke text campaign ahead of the chapter elections. Phoenix DSA has added over 60 members since the beginning of the year, 24 of those in the past couple of months.
Upcoming plans include a new member social, more list organization to support committee work, and a push to contact the over 85 sign-ups gathered by the reproductive justice tabling efforts.
We appreciate any suggestions for how we can do a better job of reaching out, welcoming new members in, and helping to strengthen our community.
Get involved on Slack in #committee-membership-engagement channel.
The Political Education Committee is focused on facilitating all forms of political education within the chapter—not only by organizing our own educational events, but by helping other committees organize events and by curating and organizing educational materials within the chapter. And most of that work is just barely getting started, so please join us if you want to help!
Our next committee event will be a screening of "In The Sky's Wild Noise", a documentary on Walter Rodney, along with a discussion of his writings and how they relate to organizing here in Phoenix. This event will be held on Saturday, July 16, at 1pm, and you can attend in person at South Mountain Community Center or over Zoom. Sign up here if you want to attend!
Get involved on Slack in #committee-political-education channel.
Photo taken at the second capitol protest on July 1st by Ramona; Alt text: “Safe + Accessible Abortions for ALL GENDERS.”
Roe v. Wade Overturned - Phoenix makes their Voice Heard with a Broad Coalition
A Turning Point
On June 24, 2022 the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and on that same day, people all over valley mobilized with the help of local organizations to protest at the State Capitol building. We made a video covering the events of that day, which ended in police violence.
This undoing of 50 years of precedent is just the beginning. They've also successfully gutted EPA protections and Tribal Sovereignty. Up next on the chopping block? Gay Marriage, Contraception, Election Integrity, and more. It does not look good.
Check out our video on the first protest, the day of decision for more information:
Report on the Labor Notes Conference
By Alex S (Labor Committee Chair)
For the past four decades Labor Notes has been a central hub of activity for the militant wing of the labor movement, but until recently this has been in the context of a continual decline in the strength of that movement. Since the 2008 crisis led to a renewed fightback, beginning with the Occupy movement, the inextricable link between social issues and the labor movement has also meant a renewed interest in labor organizing. This year’s Labor Notes conference in June was a highly energized display of that interest combined with the rapid succession of significant wins over the past year, leading to the largest conference ever with over 4000 labor militants in attendance!
The headline speakers reflected this shift. Over the past year we’ve seen John Deere workers strike, reject bad deals from their union’s bureaucracy, and ultimately win both a good contract and the right to directly elect their own union’s leadership, thanks to the tireless work of the labor reform caucus UAWD (Unite All Workers for Democracy). We saw the first ever successful unionization at Starbucks which quickly spread like wildfire across the country. We saw the first ever union at an Amazon warehouse, won by the class struggle methods of ALU (Amazon Labor Union). The TDU (Teamsters for a Democratic Union) -endorsed Teamster President Sean O’Brien, who just ousted the corrupt Hoffa bureaucrats from the largest private union in the country, has pledged to take UPS on strike if they don’t get rid of their two-tier system that divides the workers and if they don’t get a good contract once their current one expires at the end of 2023. Even Bernie Sanders made an appearance to give his usual stump speech.
As a socialist in attendance, I was incredibly inspired by the conference, but I do wish there had been more of an effort to answer the political questions facing the labor movement. For example, Roe v Wade was about to be overturned, but there was no discussion as to what the labor movement could do to stop it; likewise, there was almost no discussion of the relationship between the labor movement and the Democratic Party.
One highlight was the conversation around Joe Burns’ new book, Class Struggle Unionism, which goes a long way toward revealing the difference between a narrow militant organizer mentality and a truly effective class struggle approach to labor. I would recommend that anyone interested attend the Phoenix DSA Labor Committee’s meeting/social on July 18th, where we’ll hand out copies of this important book for discussions at our following meetings (while supplies last, of course). You can register for that meeting here!