DSA 2023 Internal Election Update:
Steering, YDSA Coordinator, and Branch Coordinator Statements



Nominations update and Candidate List:

The 2022 Nominations Committee is pleased to present the nominees and candidate statements for the 2023 DSA Steering Committee, Branch Coordinator, and YDSA Coordinator elections.

There were some offices that received only one nomination: All Branch Coordinators, YDSA Coordinator, as well as Communications Director, Recording Secretary, and Campaigns Coordinator. Nominations Committee received 6 Nominations for the 5 at-large Steering Committee seats.

 You can click on a candidate’s name to skip down to their statement, and use the back to top button to navigate back here.


Name Office Status
Geyker S Branch Coordinator – San Fernando Valleyuncontested
Juan L Branch Coordinator – Centraluncontested
David A Branch Coordinator – Eastside/San Gabriel Valleyuncontested
Alexander M Branch Coordinator – Central uncontested
Leslie C Branch Coordinator – Eastside/San Gabriel Valleyuncontested
Mark GBranch Coordinator – Westside/South Bayuncontested
Estefany C Branch Coordinator – South Central/Inglewood uncontested
Abdullah FYDSA Coordinatoruncontested
Andrew ESteering – Treasureruncontested
Lori DSteering – Communications Directoruncontested
Andre ASteering – Recording Secretaryuncontested
Ryan ASteering – Campaigns Coordinatoruncontested
Noah SS Steering – At-largecontested
Anher OSteering – At-largecontested
Aryn BSteering – At-largecontested
Haley PSteering – At-largecontested
Samuel S Steering – At-largecontested
Ryan D Steering – At-large contested

Don’t forget to check out the candidate forum as well Monday Dec 12 at 7pm.
Thanks so much for taking the time to look at your candidates and vote!

-2023 NomCom
dsa.la.nominations.committee@gmail.com







Candidate Statements:


Geyker S – Branch Coordinator – San Fernando Valley


When did you join DSA-LA?

I joined DSA-LA  on November 2020. 

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

My experience in organizing within DSA-LA has been getting involved in the electoral campaigns of Hugo Soto-Martinez, Eunisses Hernandez, Rocio Rivas, and Fatima Iqbal-Zubair. I’m also involved in the Childcare 4 all and the Green New Deal for Public Schools campaign. 


Why are you running for this position?

I’m running for this position because I want the SFV branch to be more active. 


Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I’ve been involved in organizing/striking with sex workers at Star Garden in order to tackle the stigma, labor exploitation, and sexism that in exist in that industry.


What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

I believed that the important successes that DSA-LA has achieved is our electoral victories in city council and LAUSD Board of Education. With the victories of Hugo Soto Martinez and Eunisses Hernandez, 20% of the Los Angeles City Council are now members of DSA and the victory of Dr. Rocio Rivas has shifted power back to UTLA. 


What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

The most important areas of improvement for DSA-LA is trying to get members more active. I believed the best way to achieve that is through personal engagement and guiding members to roles that they have an interest in. 


What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

I think DSA-LA should prioritized getting involved in the efforts of recalling Kevin de Leon and the special election in 6th district of  Los Angeles City council. 


What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

One of the biggest challenges that DSA-LA is that with 3 DSA members in city council and 2 DSA members elected to LAUSD, there need to be a way to continue building relationships even when elections are over and try to hold them accountable. 


What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

As branch coordinator, I believed that for campaign for the Green New Deal for Public School,  I would place a focus in canvassing area where school area nearby and trying to find UTLA members to involved in the campaign. For Childcare for All, canvassing/tabling events near parks and educating parents the need for childcare for all would be my priority as branch coordinator. For Membership Engagement and Development, I would prioritized social events/educations sessions in order to make members more comfortable and educating them into be effective organizers.   



Juan L – Branch Coordinator – Central


When did you join DSA-LA?

2016

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

I have mostly focused on the Neighborhood Solidarity Program but have been active across a number of campaigns.


Why are you running for this position?

I’ve been a neighborhood organizer in Echo Park since moving to LA in 2020. I believe strong branches are critical to a strong DSA-LA, and I’d like to support my comrades currently doing the Central Branch coordination.


Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

Used to work in nonprofits, and have experience in electoral work. 


What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

The dedication to do the job. Basic computing skills. Fluent in Spanish.


What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

Our electoral victories, the Housing and Homlessness work, revitalizing the org after COVID.


What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

Membership development and activation. The branch structure is, in my opinion, central to this goal.


What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

Activating members–getting more “paper members” involved at a higher level. 


What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

Activating members–getting more “paper members” involved at a higher level. 


What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

Not sure I understand the question. I support all of these resolutions and in my capacity as a branch coordinator would do my best to support any chapter priorities.



David A – Branch Coordinator – Eastside/San Gabriel Valley

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

2021

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

Previously on DSA LA Steering, At Large for 2022

 

Why are you running for this position?

I want to make sure that we have a strong East Side branch that can support the priorites of the chapter and be a training, recruitment, and leadership development powerhouse. 

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I am a lead organizer in the retail and grocery division at KIWA. Previously I worked for NDLON as a regional organizer in immigration. I also was a volunteer with Pueblo Sin Fronteras and ICE Out of LA, doing binational border organizing. 

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

I have been organizing on the east side for 6 years at this point and I think I have the ability to support building out the leadership of the east side branch. 

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

Getting 2 socialists elected to office, building more relationships with the labor movement, and beginning a process of a more formalized and solid leadership training and recruitment structure. 

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

Our branch work needs to be strengthened and our onboarding and recruitment process needs work. 

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

Housing and leadership development should be our priorities for 2023. 

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

Continued attrition of membership and developing an organizing program that keeps members engaged and develops leadership will be key to our success but is also our biggest challenge. Transitioning committee work to happen at the branch level will also be a big challenge. 

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

Membership Engagement and Development will be very important to the Branch Coordinator position because we will need to implement their recommendations and put it into practice.

 

Alexander M – Branch Coordinator – Central

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

Spring 2021 (was a paper member of DSA LB before I moved)

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

I was last years Branch Coordinator alongside Arielle S. I’ve canvassed for DSA-LA’s candidates, organized support for workers at the Little Tokyo Starbucks, and participated in efforts to improve DSA-LA’s organizing data.

 

Why are you running for this position?

I want to keep doing the work Central Branch has been focusing on, building more avenues for involvement for new members, supporting labor actions at places like Starbucks, and electing socialists to office like Hugo and Rocio! 

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I’m a union member and union organizer. I’ve spent the last seven plus years of my life building worker power in public education.

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

I’m a bridge builder. I’m comfortable helping build and organize a large tent organization. Union organizing by necessity requires a willingness to engage with every worker, even those who might not share your political alignment and I think that helps when balancing competing priorities and visions for the organization among DSA-LA members and leaders. 

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

I think on impact Rocio’s victory is incredible. She tips the balance of power in LAUSD away from billionaires and towards workers and families in a very big way. On a more personal note though I’m immensely proud of Central Branch’s work alongside the Labor Committee supporting the Little Tokyo Starbucks. I’ve been really happy seeing so many members turn out for the sip-in and later for strike support.

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

We (and I) still need to get better at onboarding members and honestly we need to demystify the organization’s structure for everyone. I’ve been active for a year plus now and still run into situations where I’m unclear who something should go to. I’m lucky we have experienced members in the Branch to lean on when those sorts of things come up. 

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

I’d love to see us make further inroads in our relationships with unions and workers. I also think a renewed focus on tenant organizing in light of soon to be expiring pandemic protections is a must!

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

The overwhelming dominance of capitalism, like it is every year. 

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

We need to make sure the branch is more directly involved with the priority resolutions either through a member representative or more regular check-ins with the chairs of the working group! I think we’re getting there but getting our branch to the capacity and involvement level where we become a clearinghouse for all things Central would be ideal!



Leslie C – Branch Coordinator – Eastside/San Gabriel Valley

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

March 2020

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

When I joined DSA-LA in March 2020, I was primarily involved with establishing and building out the Eastside + San Gabriel Valley branch. This included leading efforts to formalize our branch, serving on the provisional coordinating committee, and coordinating data needs to bring new local organizers into Neighborhood Organizing. From that experience, I joined the Admin Committee (AdCom) and coordinated our efforts to run the 100k Recruitment Drive locally, and helping Branch Coordinators organize around Resolution 3: In Response to Crisis (Neighborhood Solidarity Program). This past year, I built off these efforts as a member of Steering Committee. In my capacity as Campaigns Coordinator, I worked with Campaign Working Groups to develop campaign strategy; Branch Coordinators to develop workplans and build local organizing capacity; worked with our Events Production Team to hold chapter and branch meetings; drove content creation for our Local Convention; and developed chapter-wide trainings to further our membership’s understanding of how to build strategic campaigns. As a member of Steering, I also participated in our weekly meetings to support operations within our chapter. 

 

Why are you running for this position?

Having started my DSA-LA experience establishing the E+SGV branch and worked with branches and campaign working groups as a member of Steering for the last two years, I’m interested in going back to hyperlocal organizing and building up branches as the primary site of engagement for members. Having started my DSA-LA experience establishing the E+SGV branch and worked with branches and campaign working groups as a member of Steering for the last two years, I’m interested in going back to hyperlocal organizing and building up branches as the primary site of engagement for members. 

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

On the electoralism end, I’m an elected delegate for 49th Assembly District of the California Democratic Party (ADEMs) and I’ve led canvassing and phonebanking efforts for school board and city council elections. Outside of elections, I’ve previously organized with Greenpeace to fight oil drilling and advocate for setbacks from oil drilling sites around the Los Angeles area, including San Pedro, Wilmington, and Aliso Canyon. I currently volunteer with Wealth for Health at their free COVID-19 and flu vaccine clinics. 

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

My professional background is rooted in global health and development, and I have experience working in countries throughout the global south. Centering the community and building hyperlocal consensus and capacity was key for all of my projects. I bring a strong, bottoms-up organizing perspective and understand how to effectively communicate socialist ideals to a diverse and wide range of communities. My field experience and knowledge of the local organizing landscape will be extremely useful in identifying not only where we can execute winnable campaigns but also where we need to grow strategically to build out our overall capacity within the branch. 

In my current position, I set my company’s short- and long-term strategy, identify a clear Theory of Change, and articulate a pathway to achieving our overall vision. My work involves building out organizational capacity to better communicate both internally and externally, identifying clear metrics to evidence progress against goals, and ensuring that all stakeholders are collaborating effectively. I am uniquely qualified to support building out our organizational structure and ensuring that there are clear avenues for communication and member engagement across the branch and with other branches. 

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

What separates DSA-LA from other organizations is that we’re proud socialists. We have a unique vision for the world, one that guarantees equality of opportunity for all. As the progressive shift to the left continues to play out on the local and national spheres, we need to continue to build power over the ruling elite so that we have the power to make demands. As such, I believe the shift toward organizing at the local level is one of the most important successes we achieved over the last year–both as it relates to organizing at the branch level and as it relates to our capacity to host in-person meetings. With so many members organizing at the site of struggle, we will be able to materially demonstrate that socialist ideals and politics can work for people. 

As the demographics and politics of Los Angeles continue to evolve, I hope that DSA-LA has the vision and capacity to constantly bring in new comrades, consider our priorities as a chapter, and channel and direct our power productively. With so many new members organizing from different corners of our region, we now have the capacity to start engaging with local communities in meaningful and material ways.

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

I see three main, interrelated areas of improvement for our chapter. The first is building out a better process for onboarding new members to ensure that all comrades achieve political fluency in socialist ideas and praxis. As a relatively new member, I’m thankful for the comrades that helped me find my place within DSA-LA and want to ensure that all comrades have the opportunity to find their respective niches. This will ensure that our chapter is not only growing our active membership base, but also retaining comrades as well. I look forward to continuing helping guide the work that is being done on around new member onboarding and engagement in branches, especially through the lens of recruitment through our external campaigns.

The second main area of improvement is ensuring that all areas of the chapter are clearly communicating so that there is more transparency in all of our work. This hedges against duplicating work while ensuring that learnings and best practices are shared widely, provides another opportunity to bring new members into our work, and serves as an ongoing temperature check to ensure that we’re being accountable to our constituency and goals. 

Finally, our membership must recognize that our campaigns belong to all; not just specific committees or within the working groups. I hope that we can continue our shift toward organizing at the local level. Bringing campaigns and recruitment down to the neighborhood level gives us the opportunity to empower all members, not just a few, to build socialist campaigns.

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

DSA-LA should prioritize implementing priority resolutions, funnelling members to organizing at the branch level, growing our membership in traditionally underserved communities, clearly articulating a local strategy that is inclusive and responsive, and ensuring that we allocate resources accordingly.  

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

We need to bolster our onboarding process and political education so that our members are part of DSA-LA beyond just in name. Steering can be a stronger driving force in helping steer our membership and defining for members what it means to be part of a socialist organization. This includes clearly defining how our internal democratic processes work, why we only strategically identify three priority campaigns a year, and how we–as a chapter–can lead campaigns and build power in a way that is different from other political organizations or non-profits. There is a unique value proposition in the existence of our organization and we need to do a better job defining it for members so that we don’t continue to amass paper members without growing our core group of organizers. 

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

I look forward to working closely with GND4PS and C4A to organize members around our priority resolutions at the branch level, and working with the Growth & Development Committee to establish clear onboarding processes for our branch and the chapter

 

Mark G – Branch Coordinator – Westside/South Bay

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

I have been a member of DSA-LA since April 2017.

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

I served as Westside Branch Coordinator for 2022, and have organized and facilitated meetings, canvasses, phonebanks, labor solidarity actions, and onboarded new members and connected them to committees, working groups, and campaigns. Prior to that, I was a South Bay neighborhood captain in the Neighborhood Solidarity Network and a financial coordinator for Street Watch LA. I have helped organize tenant canvassing, and have canvassed and phone-banked for Measures H and ULA, Prop 15, Prop 10, AB1400, and SB562, as well as for several candidates DSA-LA has endorsed. I’ve done outreach and sweep monitoring with the Street Watch LA South Bay Local, and have helped organize DSA-LA’s labor solidarity actions with SBWU, UAW, and UTLA. I have been an occasionally active member in the Healthcare, Immigration Justice, Prison Abolition, Labor, and Electoral Politics committees. 

 

Why are you running for this position?

I am running because I think this work is important, that I have been doing it competently, and because I have failed to replicate myself. 

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I helped organize and lead canvasses with Bernie 2020, and after the primary, helped form South Bay Organizing in order to canalize the energy of Bernie supporters into something more sustained. We dedicated our efforts to mutual aid work (distributing PPE, outreach to unhoused folks, and food distribution with Long Beach Community Table), local electoral efforts (Fatima Iqbal-Zubair for Assembly 2020 and Jason Boxer for MBUSD School Board), anti-racist efforts, and became a small hub for interaction and coordination between local groups and organizers (Torrance for Justice, Street Watch, and DSA-LA’s Mutual Aid Committee, among others) and many of our members have since joined DSA-LA. I have also organized with National Nurses United on various campaigns for universal healthcare and labor protections for nurses. I am a member of LATU.

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

I have served in this position for the last year and have managed the role competently despite the position being designed for two people. I have good analytic and general problem-solving skills. I am a competent facilitator, with focus on democratically distilling and summarizing the thoughts of others. I am comfortable coordinating activities for large groups of people, providing direct one-on-one training to less-experienced comrades, mediating conflicts, and conducting post-action evaluations to determine where improvements can be made. I have experience drafting meeting agendas, recording clear and comprehensive minutes, and maintaining clear records of Branch-related work. I’m also committed to ongoing and frequent communication with members, and to collaborative planning and support of other members’ projects.

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

We’ve had significant electoral success over the past year, we’ve done good labor solidarity work, and our priority resolutions have helped expand and develop our membership and structures. The Westside Branch has built out its organizing committee and increased its active members over the course of 2022. We are building working class power and transforming the political landscape of Los Angeles. 

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

I think we have a lot of work to do activating and expanding our base to make it well integrated into working class communities across LA county, and in developing the particulars of a socialist political vision for Los Angeles. I think our priority resolutions and our commitment to developing the multiracial working class provide us with the seeds for doing this.

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

I think we need to continue the work of developing and growing a self-sustaining organizing culture, and I think our commitments to labor solidarity work and tenant organizing must be further developed. With fewer electoral campaigns in the coming year, I think we will have a lot of opportunities to do this.

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

The Westside Branch had a 96% member retention rate for 2022. I would like to see us grow our membership and develop new leaders over the next year.

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

I have worked with each of the priority resolution working groups to support and implement their programs, and will continue to be supportive of the chapter’s priority resolutions. Childcare for All provides us with an avenue for community consciousness raising and base building, as well as well as labor organizing around a fundamental need for social reproduction, Green New Deal for Public Schools has allowed us push for the development of community schools and a socialist vision of education, inform and support UTLA’s contract demands, and stand in solidarity with teachers. Our Membership Engagement and Development resolution has helped standardize and streamline member outreach and development.



Estefany C – Branch Coordinator – South Central/Inglewood

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

Late 2020/Early 2021

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

The first thing I participated in with DSA-LA’s support was ADEMS where I and my friend Ahmanise were the only progressives outside of a slate who were endorsed by DSALA to push the democratic party to uphold the values the party claims to represent. From there, I served as an Electoral Politics Committee member and last year’s SCI branch coordinator. 

 

Why are you running for this position?

I was born and raised in my unincorporated community of Lennox within the branch. As a native of the area I grew up in what’s considered “Little Tijuana” because of the culturually and physically dense latino community. This I think speaks to many parts of the South Central/Inglewood area, filled with first generation immigrant children, black and brown hard working class peoples. The entire branch is representative of the issues we’re trying to combat and the justice we seek for working class people. I’m running to help create a safe space for folks to empower themselves to take on structural inequities.

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

Unite Here Local 11 as a lead on their past political campaigns and currently as an organizer. ING Fellowship as a volunteer program director where I created and help facilitate workshops on social justice with a small cohort. Lennox-Inglewood Tenants Union as a core group member helping with the website and back end supports. ADEMs as a dem delegate. Centinela Valley Union High School District where I serve as a school board member of a district encompassing a lot of communities within the branch.

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

Community and labor organizing experience.

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

We’ve helped elect multiple democratic socialist across LA County and have been able to incorporate our priority resolutions in the process.

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

This branch needs to be built more and have a space where people from different cities can also work on smaller campaigns for the cities neighboring the city of LA. 

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

Building more access for other branches and structure to support communities outside of Los Angeles. 

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

Capacity building and engagement of working class people particularly in the South Central Inglewood Branch that houses a lot of working class people that keep the county running.

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

All the resolutions resonate with the needs of the people in SCI.

 

Abdullah F – YDSA Coordinator

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

August 2020

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

Over the last year, I have organized as YDSA coordinator for LA. As YDSA coordinator, I have engaged in consistent, 1:1 mentorship with multiple chapter leads across California. This mentorship consists of organizing skills, assistance with connection to the national organization, and political education. I also led an effort to raise money to send ~50 YDSAers from across California to the 2022 YDSA Winter Conference, and led a workshop at the conference on effective 1:1 mentorship.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade was a sickening political moment that galvanized thousands of young people into political action. I co-founded GSAN (Graduate Student Action Network) with another graduate student at Caltech to assist in organizing massive, nationwide protests in defense of abortion rights. In collaboration with YDSA, we organized protests at ~50 schools across 30 states, including at schools in “red” states. These protests received coverage in Teen Vogue, Jacobin, In These Times, and Higher Ed.

I also organized three political education events as YDSA coordinator. Two of these events were led by Keith Brower Brown, an EB DSA member and a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley. These events focused on the Brazilian left’s project of connecting to the working class, as well as the necessity of building worker power to fight for climate justice. Additionally, I organized an event with Navkiran Natt, an activist from the Indian farmer’s movement, who documented the year-long successful political protest by farmers and farmworkers against regressive price-liberalization policies.

 

Why are you running for this position?

I am running for this position because I believe YDSA is a highly strategic place for us to organize. Young people across the country are sick of capitalism, and are looking for an alternative. YDSA is well positioned to provide young socialists with a political home, but only if they’re able to receive regular mentorship, political education, and financial support to engage in meaningful organizing. I became a socialist through YDSA thanks to the amazing mentorship I received from the previous YDSA coordinator. My mission is to help build a militant student movement in LA and abroad that can connect to the labor, tenant, and social struggles. Socialism in our lifetime will require people who are committed to reconnecting the left to the working class – and YDSA is the place to recruit and train these people. 

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I was a lead within the Pasadena rent control campaign to put Measure H on the ballot and help it pass. During this time, I assisted in phonebanking, fundraising, and signature collection, personally collecting over 500 signatures for the measure. I helped to recruit staff members and to connect our tenant union-led campaign to DSA. I also helped to recruit many rank-and-file DSA members to the campaign, and spearheaded a fundraising campaign led by DSA members to raise $10k to help us hire a staffer. 

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

I like organizing 👍

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

I think the most important success of the Local has been Starbucks solidarity. We have engaged hundreds of DSA members in solidarity with young workers who are committed to fighting back against a very hostile boss and difficult working conditions. We have been able to play an active role in the organizing campaign and I hope that we will continue this work in the future. Additionally, electing Hugo and Eunisses to city council and Rocio Rivas to the school board were important successes – particularly if we can connect our elected leaders in office to union power to insulate them from attacks from the capitalist class and enable them to use their position in office to facilitate more organizing. 

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

I think that our chapter needs clarity about what its role is in the fight for socialism. We have to use DSA as a conduit to connect the struggles of the working class across labor, tenant, and electoral terrains. This must involve the development of new leaders from the rank-and-file of DSA who are involved in these struggles. Currently, much of our chapter membership is disengaged from decisions about how DSA-LA operates. There is no room provided for political debate. Our convention was focused entirely on procedural descriptions of campaigns from leadership instead of an attempt to encourage substantive political discussion. Without this political debate, it will remain unclear to many of us how the various priority campaigns and working groups are connected to each other. Many rank-and-file DSA members are only engaged to the point of being canvassers, but are not developed into leaders beyond this. Without engaging these DSA members in political discussion, we will not enable further development of this group to become future leaders of DSA. I will contribute to these improvements by improving political education for YDSA members and encouraging spaces for political debate. I will also run leadership development workshops at the chapters that I mentor to ensure that chapter leaders are well equipped to sustain productive political discussion and identify and develop new leaders.

In addition, it is absolutely critical that our chapter addresses the racial justice concerns of many Black members in the chapter. If we cannot connect the struggle for socialism to the struggle for Black liberation, we will be incapable of building a socialist movement that can fight and win demands for the entire working class. Currently, our chapter is not a welcoming space for Black socialists. I will focus on expanding YDSA membership in community colleges and state schools to bring more Black and Brown youth into socialist struggle. In addition, I will expand our political education curriculum to detail the successes and failures of the socialist movement in fighting for Black liberation.

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

I think that our chapter needs clarity about what its role is in the fight for socialism. We have to use DSA as a conduit to connect the struggles of the working class across labor, tenant, and electoral terrains. This must involve the development of new leaders from the rank-and-file of DSA who are involved in these struggles. Currently, much of our chapter membership is disengaged from decisions about how DSA-LA operates. There is no room provided for political debate. Our convention was focused entirely on procedural descriptions of campaigns from leadership instead of an attempt to encourage substantive political discussion. Without this political debate, it will remain unclear to many of us how the various priority campaigns and working groups are connected to each other. Many rank-and-file DSA members are only engaged to the point of being canvassers, but are not developed into leaders beyond this. Without engaging these DSA members in political discussion, we will not enable further development of this group to become future leaders of DSA. I will contribute to these improvements by improving political education for YDSA members and encouraging spaces for political debate. I will also run leadership development workshops at the chapters that I mentor to ensure that chapter leaders are well equipped to sustain productive political discussion and identify and develop new leaders.

In addition, it is absolutely critical that our chapter addresses the racial justice concerns of many Black members in the chapter. If we cannot connect the struggle for socialism to the struggle for Black liberation, we will be incapable of building a socialist movement that can fight and win demands for the entire working class. Currently, our chapter is not a welcoming space for Black socialists. I will focus on expanding YDSA membership in community colleges and state schools to bring more Black and Brown youth into socialist struggle. In addition, I will expand our political education curriculum to detail the successes and failures of the socialist movement in fighting for Black liberation.

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

The biggest challenge for the Local will be to connect ourselves to working class struggles. We have to build DSA-LA into a force that can collaborate with labor and tenant unions across the city to facilitate struggle. Our challenge will be how our elected officials use their positions in office to advance these struggles. Without the support of the organized working class, our officials will not be able to advance reforms in the face of opposition from the corporate establishment. We must ensure that our elected officials see themselves as organizers first, and politicians second. Advancing working class politics will often mean taking adversarial positions towards others on city council  or within the Democratic Party establishment. This may also mean establishing formal connections between DSA-LA and progressive labor unions such as UTLA, to ensure that our elected officials can take these adversarial positions without having to worry about being out-fundraised or out-voted. It is up to us to establish an effective, disciplined, and democratic process for determining how our elected officials will vote on political issues. If our elected officials can use their positions in office to advance working class organization, they will have the support of the working class at the ballot box, at the bank, and on the streets. 

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

All campaigns must be assessed by the following criteria: how are these campaigns contributing to working class organization? Currently, the working class is disorganized. Union membership is low, and many existing unions lack the militancy and democracy to engage their membership in fights with the capitalist class. The left currently is far away from the working class, and is primarily made up of upper middle class, college educated people. Because of our distance from the working class, we lack the strength and the creativity to implement socialist policies in government and in our workplaces. If we want to connect the left to the struggles of the multiracial working class, it is vital that we use our resources to build working class organization. These organizations are not charity organizations – they have to engage members of the working class in struggle against capitalists. It is through those experiences of struggle that members of the working class realize the power that they have through withholding labor, mass protest, and political action. 

The campaigns listed above have the potential to advance the construction of working class organization – but only if we orient towards them with that approach in mind. A Green New Deal for Public Schools campaign is an excellent campaign for us to connect the struggles for climate justice with labor struggles. I will use this campaign to underline the importance of building a climate justice movement fought for by workers. I will encourage YDSA members to connect to campus workers around demands for climate justice. At high schools, this may consist of connecting to rank-and-file leaders in teachers unions to advance climate justice demands to be a part of contract negotiations. A Membership Engagement and Development campaign may serve as an excellent way to cohere and educate disengaged DSA members about the importance of building working class organization. However, it is critical that this campaign be explicitly political, instead of lessons in a vague set of organizing techniques. This campaign should be used to engage members in struggles in their own workplaces or their own communities. I will engage new YDSA members in political education and encourage them to organize their workplaces and/or living spaces. I will invite them to engage in comradely political debate to enable coherent political strategy for what YDSA chapters should do to emerge. At the moment, I am not sure how the Childcare for All campaign can be used to advance working class organization, given that it is not connected to a coherent demand on the electoral, tenant, or labor terrains. Survey data about the importance of childcare may be helpful to encouraging union members to discuss childcare stipends as a part of contract negotiations, but this connection is tenuous at best. Again, we must be clear about the goals of our organization – we are not a research group or a charity organization. We are here to win socialism in our lifetime, through the power of an organized working class.




Andrew E – Steering – Treasurer

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

November 2016

 

Why are you running for this position?

In August 2022 several friends and acquaintances who are members of DSA-LA asked whether I would consider being nominated for one of the vacancies on the Steering Committee. Out of curiosity, I accepted. Upon discovering the internal processes of the Chapter, I have been interested to try to set DSA’s foundations in Los Angeles on a firmer footing in two ways: first, by preparing the Chapter to make financial commitments that will grow the organization and the tenants’ and workers’ movements in our city of which it is a part; and second, by reaching out to those organized parts of the Chapter who may have felt ignored in the recent rush towards the ballot boxes during this past year. Given that I have been asked to continue this work, I am running to continue to serve on the Steering Committee. 

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

In April or May of 2021 my apartment building in Koreatown was purchased by K3 Holdings, a large corporate landlord committed to evacuating the existing affordable housing stock in central Los Angeles. This began a long series of conversations with DSA-LA volunteers. While it is the K3 Tenants Council of the Los Angeles Tenants’ Union (LATU) that has seen most of my volunteer organizing time, I canvassed for CD13 and for BD2, in addition to the weekly meetings of the DSA-LA Steering Committee. On behalf of the Steering Committee and DSA-LA, I led a project to explore the feasibility of establishing an Independent Expenditure Committee for the 2022 elections. 

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

From 2018-2020, I was Trustee of UAW Local 2865 which represents teaching assistants in the University of California system. Before that I was a steward who voted to hire staff into that then-disorganized union. The November-December strike of that union would not have happened without those staff. Currently I am on staff with United Teachers Los Angeles, the NEA and AFT affiliate for the employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District. I also have a small publication record with various national magazines. 

 

My most direct organizing experience over the past eighteen months has been with the K3 Tenants Council, a group birthed out of LATU, which is organizing the 2,500-plus tenants who reside among the 45 buildings owned by K3 Holdings. This group has earned repeated local news coverage by ABC7, KTLA, Telemundo, and Capital and Main, among other news organizations. Over 400 complaints with the Los Angeles Housing Department have been filed by these tenants, and a rent strike is currently underway in one of the buildings. Challenging this corporate landlord’s abusive and malicious business model has been one of the most interesting and revealing projects I have ever been involved with. What it has shown me is that the affordable housing problem in Los Angeles is not merely a question of supply and construction; entrepreneurs who see great opportunities in acquiring rent-stabilized buildings, and who have no intention of demolition or development, evacuate these buildings through regular campaigns of lies and abuse. The rate of displacement has accelerated so greatly with the rise in real estate values that today it is young, english-speaking tenants as well as long-term immigrants who share the need for collective defense. I believe only a mass movement of tenants can undertake this defense and protect the existing affordable housing stock in Los Angeles from predatory investors. 

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

As trustee for UAW I had a brief working knowledge of Quickbooks. I have an existing working knowledge of excel. As Research Specialist for UTLA I am regularly employed in analyzing the financial disclosures of LAUSD. Therefore I am capable of reading an income-outgo statement and a balance sheet. My prior experience of UAW also taught me the importance of parliamentary procedure for collective decision making which I understand may be controversial but nevertheless is important to me to guide large meetings. 

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

The City Council elections were big, but these headline-grabbing events will only dissolve back into the pattern of business as usual unless there is a social movement to strengthen the enforcement of the existing laws regulating affordable housing and to expand the scope of municipal power over the real estate market and the predatory corporate landlords who dominate it. 

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

We must find and activate a new layer of leaders in parts of the City other than Silverlake and Echo Park. 

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

The City Council should strengthen the rent-stabilization ordinance and its enforcement. The revenues from the successful ULA ballot initiative must be devoted to the cause of public housing, whether by subsidizing the service of construction debt in the production of new public apartment buildings or through the acquisition of the existing affordable housing stock the private mismanagement of which is at the root of so many of our city’s housing problems. 

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

Reminding people of the myopia of the world of online debate and the importance of talking with one’s neighbors and coworkers about the live project of building working-class power in Los Angeles. 

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

This will depend on the composition of the next Steering Committee and, most importantly, on the participation of the membership in Chapter decision making and Steering Committee agendas.



Lori D – Steering – Communications Director

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

November 2020

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

As Communications Director in 2022, I organized emergency actions in defense of abortion rights, helped coordinate the chapter’s participation in May Day, canvassed for endorsed candidates and ballot measures, developed electoral educational material, and did a whole lot of back-end administrative work to keep the chapter running smoothly. I’ve trained and mentored a team of members to participate in comms work and worked on multiple public-facing statements to represent DSA-LA’s positions throughout the year (both written statements and interviews with the press). I’m keenly aware of our public audiences on social media and understand the nuances of how to drive engagement with our material. I’ve built relationships with organizers and leaders throughout the chapter to ensure that our comms resources are as helpful as possible. On the national level, I was a facilitator for a Political Education session on “how to talk to non-socialists” (a topic that any Comms Director needs to consider deeply). In 2023 I aim to keep doing all of these things and improve upon them (in addition to the other plans that I list below!).

 

Why are you running for this position?

I am simply so excited for what DSA-LA can do in the coming year and I am excited by the potential for comms work to build and win socialism. I genuinely enjoy comms and I’ve learned so much this past year (and still have so much to learn still!). I think my skills as an organizer are best suited to continue supporting DSA through this type of work. We are really growing as an org and it’s a crucial time for us to be clear and effective with our external and internal communications.

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I served as an Organizational Health co-chair for the Socialists of Caltech in 2020 and led a yearlong reading group on Black liberation and police abolition. With SoC I also hosted community bake sales to raise money for abortion funds. I also volunteered for Nithya’s campaign in 2020 as part of the Sunrise Movement. 

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

I do think a really important skill for an effective Comms Director is to listen with compassion and serve the members first and foremost—I’ve tried my best to do this and will continue to do so. My other skills include writing, editing, media relations, social media strategy, public speaking, and wielding those good ol’ administrative tools like Action Network and Canva.

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

Electing Hugo to CD13 and Eunisses to CD1 showed that we can make real wins when we strategically apply the power of our membership. This demonstration shows that we are a serious force to organize the multiracial working class, and enables us to build relationships and lead coalitions with worker and tenant unions. Another important success was rapidly mobilizing members (and nonmembers!) for actions around abortion rights and the leaked councilmember tapes—both were examples of the kinds of moments that DSA needs to seize and organize around. Finally, we successfully and safely returned to in-person branch and chapter meetings and enabled members to build and re-build relationships with one another.

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

We must build up capacity by implementing a robust membership engagement pipeline so that we can continue to grow and protect organizers from burnout—we can do this by completing the Membership Engagement and Development resolution passed at Convention 2022. This pipeline should help our branches to develop capacity, and then we can begin to implement deeper ties within local neighborhoods and communities through regular mutual aid. Additionally, we need to build deeper relationships and expectations with our endorsed elected officials so that DSA can influence and wield our hard-won power—we can do this by establishing a Socialists In Office committee. Other things that we need to keep improving on is: coordinating between priority campaigns and policy committees; completing implementation of the 2022 Black Liberation Proposal; making more skill/tool trainings available (ie Action Network, WordPress, Action Builder, Canva) to leaders and members. Finally, specific to the Comms Director position, I’d like to improve our regular communications with members and start a Members Bulletin email where we keep folks informed of what’s been going on (rather than simply focusing on turnout for what’s coming up next)—this should hopefully help free up space from report-backs at chapter meetings so that we have more time for interactive chapterwide discussions.

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

We need to finish building and implementing the membership engagement pipeline so that we can grow sustainably and have easy ways for new members to get involved. We need to build a Green New Deal coalition to thread the needle between the labor and climate movements—a Blue/Green alliance that coalesces around DSA’s socialist analysis. And now that we’ve won elected offices, we need to ensure that we can build and wield power to enact policies—particularly those around housing, policing, climate, childcare, and so on—that will materially benefit the multiracial working class both immediately and in the long-term. The ultimate goal is to dismantle capitalism and we have to build a mass multiracial movement to do so—this upcoming year will be critical for that.

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

We’re a large and growing chapter—it will be a challenge to stay cohesive and coordinated when lots of different issues are pulling our capacity and attention. The key will be to emphasize how all of the different fights are actually deeply connected in an anticapitalist framework, and to militantly organize *together* instead of silo-ing ourselves into small groups. This will mean having discussions about how to focus our time and resources, and that can be hard. But it’s necessary if we want to build a truly mass movement!

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

Communications around our external campaigns (GND and C4A) are absolutely critical to letting Angelenos know 1) what we’re fighting for and why, 2) how to get involved, and 3) the progress we’re making. Internal comms around MED is a main pathway for letting members know how to get plugged in—the engagement pipeline should be clearly communicated on our website and through our other comms tools.



Andre A – Steering – Recording Secretary

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

2020

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

From 2020-2021, I worked in Admin Committee to build out the group’s capacity.  I aimed to develop the chapter’s internal communication systems and create cohesion between disparate working groups. This primarily involved serving in a liaison role with Admin Committee and relaying communications and data needs between Comms and AdCom and working to bring more cohesion between the teams. Halfway through the year, I transitioned fully into AdCom after the committee completed its mandates, worked with the Events working group to create virtual meeting infrastructure during the pandemic, established processes for smoother chapter meetings, and worked as an admin on the DSA-LA Discussion Board. On a strategic level, I collaborated with comrades to re-evaluate AdCom’s role and laid the groundwork to better fit AdCom for continuous service to the chapter and for sustainable growth. 

As Recording Secretary in 2022, I assisted and led chapter-wide events such as local convention and various chapter meetings, and filled in where possible to support the development of branch, committee, and priority resolution work. This past year was definitely a year of learning and I aim to continue growing my capacity to better serve the chapter.

 

Why are you running for this position?

The Recording Secretary is also uniquely positioned on Steering Committee to hone in on the systems that keep our chapter functioning and organizers well-equipped. Currently, access to organizing tools and knowledge of its processes varies widely across committees, branches, and working groups. I will work to bring together all the administrative tools our chapter utilizes and create a robust training program for new organizers and arm them with the tools needed to succeed in their campaigns. In addition, I hope to increase chapter transparency by making chapter documentation and knowledge (meeting minutes, vote totals, etc.) readily available and easily accessible for our membership in a central location.

Despite our growth, DSA-LA is still an organization with limited resources. We need a method to determine where we can win the most with what we’ve got. This is why I will work to recruit and develop a robust data analysis group to work directly with committees and branches in order to harness the massive amounts of data our chapter takes in and distill it into clear avenues of action for our organizers.

Finally, I hope to collaborate with other chapter leaders to establish norms and expectations of working with member data to ensure we’re protecting the information of our members. 

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

Prior to joining DSA, I was involved in organizing with my hometown’s Democratic Club to canvass and phonebank for local candidates and actions. I also canvassed in Santa Clarita and in adjacent areas for Bernie in 2020 during his primary run. 

At my work, I’ve participated in employee resource groups which are centers of community that develop and provide resources for people who aren’t familiar or navigate the sometimes byzantine systems companies create.

In college, I worked with various on-campus groups to organize around issues such as fair pay for lecturers, volunteered to support local left candidates, and collaborated with liberal arts and STEM students to educate and raise awareness of the civic and ethical intersectionality of the two fields. 

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

I bring a passion for the systems and structures that prop up an organization’s strategic campaigns and for our organizers. I’ve also directly worked with the systems, programs, and tools that maintain the backend of our chapter’s platforms including but not limited to the website, Spoke, and Action Network and will use my position on Steering to make the chapter structures better serve its members. 

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

Our electoral wins, a concerted focus to build out a pathway for new members, and the start of a successful fundraiser are some of the great successes for our chapter, but I believe these are results of our most important success: the maturity and cohesion of our chapter to bring our full power to bear towards a goal. We’ve proven it’s possible and that in itself brings hope that our movement can rise to the occasion. 

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

Our chapter has opportunities to expand our work in communities. DSA-LA can do better to deepen our roots in communities and to meet those left behind by capitalism. We can achieve this by expanding the branches by implementing growth and development initiatives, mutual aid, and empowering our members to be confident socialists who can lead and organize in their neighborhoods, their work, their buildings, and much more.

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

The local is in unprecedented territory this year with numerous electoral wins and access to power that can shift the landscape of Los Angeles. As such it is imperative the local prioritizes co-governance as one of its first priorities for 2023 to ensure the city and county better serve the working class. We need to develop processes for what comes after an election by building and maintaining relationships with those who can enact real change for workers.

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

Organizations that gain and demonstrate power are frequently beset soon after by those willing to exploit it for their gain, and we’ll be tempted to over-commit to various areas of work. The local should and must continue working for a socialist Los Angeles, but we need to develop and iterate on proper strategy and tactics to reach those goals. This demands more from us as a chapter: more discipline to become a true political party, more focus and drive toward our goals, and more substantial discussion to determine the best ways to alloca​​te our limited resources.

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

I believe the local’s priority resolutions are some of the highest priorities for the chapter. Resolutions passed at conventions hold the democratic mandate of the chapter and thus it is Steering’s responsibility to execute the chapter’s will. As I had in the past year as Rec Sec, I intend to provide full support for these resolutions. 

All three campaigns have great potential to expand the capacity of the local, or in the case of MED, provide a pathway to welcome new members and connect them to work. As Recording Secretary, I hope to support these campaigns by ensuring they can effectively consolidate their organizing through effective member lists and outreach tracking. Additionally, I hope to work through campaigns to identify and develop not only engaged and informed democratic socialists, but also develop future socialist leaders who can continue the work. 



Ryan A – Steering – Campaigns Coordinator

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

I joined soon after moving to LA in 2018.

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

I’m active in the Education Workers Circle and was heavily involved in the DSA-LA for Rocío Rivas working group. 

 

Why are you running for this position?

I’m running because we’re at a pivotal moment as an organization, and I believe I’m well-suited help coordinate and scale up our efforts to build power and advance the struggle of working-class Angelenos.

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I joined DSA while living in Chicago in 2016, and served on the Chicago chapter’s North Side Branch and Labor Branch steering committees as well as its Executive Committee. I also organized a UE union recognition campaign with my fellow food service workers at the Second City comedy club and spent some time as a Fight for $15 organizer. After moving to LA, I was a volunteer coordinator for LA Labor for Bernie and went on to become a Regional Field Director for Bernie 2020. I’m currently teaching English at an LAUSD middle school, and I’m active in my union, UTLA. I organize with my coworkers on a daily basis around both our contract fight and school site issues as a union steward at my school. I’m also a UTLA delegate to the LA Federation of Labor.

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

I have 5 years of experience in labor and electoral organizing. During that time, I’ve become adept in setting priorities, creating and sticking to work plans, building coalitions, identifying and developing leaders, and managing conflicts. 

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

I believe the chapter’s midterm electoral wins are immensely significant, and have helped to put us firmly on the map in LA politics. Rocío’s election to the LA school board is particularly important not only because of what it means to me as a UTLA member in the middle of contract negotiations with LAUSD, but also because it’s helped to strengthen the relationship between DSA-LA and UTLA.

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

I’m excited for the chapter to continue moving toward opening an office and hiring staff, which was the intent behind the Matching Funds resolution which was passed at the 2021 DSA Convention. I also look forward to helping to build deeper and broader ties between DSA-LA and LA’s multiracial working class through class-struggle unionism and electoral campaigns.

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

The local should prioritize recalling Kevin de León, supporting UTLA, Starbucks Workers United, UPS Teamsters, and other workers in their contract fights, and building an electoral apparatus that can continue to pose a more and more credible threat to the ruling class in LA.

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

The biggest challenge will be coordinating and strategizing with and among our socialist city council members while also preparing for labor solidarity and 2024 electoral efforts.

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

The Green New Deal for Public Schools will require a Campaigns Coordinator who’s able to help harness the momentum of Rocío’s victory and the escalating UTLA contract fight in the broader fight to defend and fully fund public education. Member Engagement and Development is essential to our organization, and I intend to help facilitate the development of new leaders through engagement with our campaigns. I’d also look forward to exploring next steps for Childcare for All in the context of successful ballot measure campaigns DSA chapters have run elsewhere in the country.



Noah SS – Steering – At-large

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

I joined DSA-LA in early 2020

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

I am one of the co-chairs of DSA-LA’s Hollywood Labor circle; during my tenure as one of the group’s leaders, we increased the labor circle’s membership ten-fold, mobilized turnout for Hollywood related labor actions–such as UNITE HERE’s successful boycott of the Chateau Marmont, and TAG’s rally for increases in animation worker pay; provided logistical support for IATSE’s strike preparations, including developing a campaign in cooperation with National to help feed workers on the picket line; mobilized members to shut down film production on boycotted properties to support labor actions; organized community events with political education and agitation elements; coordinated with various other campaigns and committees across the chapter in order to both advance our priority resolutions and advance existing campaigns. I have also been in elected leadership as Mutual Aid Coordinator, during which I also helped ideate a new marshaling response structure, build our marshaling team during actions, did remote action support, and tried to facilitate chapter-wide engagement with other committees and working groups. 

 

Why are you running for this position?

I’ve been buoyed by the work that DSA-LA has managed to do recently, and see the organization as the only place that currently has enough power, membership, and will to actually change things for the better in this country. However, DSA is very far from where it needs to be in order to act as a functioning political unit, and suffers from an inability to involve the majority of its members in the struggle. Currently, we operate more as a federation of loosely linked committees, rather than a cohesive political organization commensurate with the power that we hold. Previous Steering took the first steps to lay the groundwork for a more functional DSA, and I’d like to expand on and continue that work–to really build DSA into a functioning organization that involves every member in its struggle, and is deeply rooted in the community. When people join this organization, I don’t just want them to think of it as a $15 charge on their credit card that abstractly improves something in their city–I want them to think of it as a community, to think of DSA as something that they are a part of rather than just pay for. I want people to build bonds of trust and connections across industries, racial divides, and geographical separations–because only when people are active members of this organization with a real stake in this fight can we leverage the power we’ve built together to topple the machinery of capitalism locally. 

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I canvassed for Bernie and also phonebanked for a couple of local Chicago candidates in my youth, but DSA-LA is where I learned to organize and came into my own in that capacity. It is, if you will, my organizing home. 

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

Primarily, I am a systems person: I was educated as a historian, and have spent my career working in various positions in the film industry, both on and off set, where I’ve needed to develop the capacity to create enduring organizational systems that help a production run. I’m very good at creating workable systems to run organizations, which are able to continue regardless of one motivating individual. One of the things DSA-LA needs most is to create a functional internal culture and internal structure, so that rather than being a set of siloed, isolated committees, we’re a cohesive organization that can function as a whole and carry out its priorities across the whole city. In addition to that, by virtue of my various jobs I’ve become very adept at scheduling, writing, graphic design, logistics, and have excellent interpersonal skills–plus a proven willingness to work across ideological and organizational divides to accomplish our objectives. 

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

Our electoral successes have certainly been important, and I commend all of our comrades that worked to make it happen. DSA is finally in a position to begin co-governing, and it’s here that we can start making an immediate difference in people’s lives and communities. However, I also think that DSA-LA has been extremely successful in the labor camp, vastly expanding our reach within unions and establishing new relationships with organizations that previously would ignore our calls. A key component of this was, of course, excellent work by the Labor Committee, but also our priority resolutions–GND4PS, for example, has made huge inroads with the building trade unions, such as the IBEW. As we continue to form the broad left-wing coalition we need to fight fascism and overthrow capitalism, it is these relationships that we build–and the material effects of our policies–that will help build our ranks and improve people’s lives. 

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

I think that we need to work on fully implement our Black Liberation resolutions, in their updated and revised form, to focus on creating an inclusive atmosphere in our chapter. However, we have to pair this with an increased commitment to on-the-ground organizing in affected communities, and a willingness to invest time and resources into historically under-resourced areas such as the SCI branch, or Palmdale and Lancaster in the Valley branch. I also think, as I’ve mentioned, that we need to work towards building an organization that is in touch with its various components, and is deeply embedded in its communities. I want DSA to become a real part of people’s lives, that helps them personally and also politically.

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

Ultimately, now that we’re moving away from campaign season, we need to work on developing co-governance with our electeds–how do we make sure they vote in line with our priorities? How do we work with them while acknowledging the realities of the political situation in the city? How can we use our new resources, and to what extent are they ours? These are all important questions we’ll need to figure out. And with that also comes–and I’m going to say it again–the embedding in our communities that we need to do. How can we get deeply rooted and involved in our neighborhoods, and bring more people to DSA–not just as paper members, but as active members of the organization? To me, this will involve a renewed focus on labor and tenant organizing, and using mutual aid as a tool of our priority resolutions and campaigns going forward. 

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

The main challenge will be what it always will be: engagement. We will need to keep people active, keep the org growing, and keep hope alive in the vision of the future that we hold. This will necessarily involve us doing deep introspection, and confronting uncomfortable truths about the way we operate and how we could improve. This is always hard, but if we care about building a better tomorrow–and I believe most of us do–then ultimately we will need to adjust to thinking of the org as a mass party, and seeing how we can change and reform it to follow that model. We need to build a DSA that everyone can be a part of, and able to involve everyone in making the tough calls that an organization of our ambition will have to make. 

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

I think all three resolutions will be an important part of making the org relevant in people’s lives; Childcare for All will help bring in families and explain the relevance of a socialist ideology; GND4PS will help build stronger ties with building trades and the teacher’s union, and improve the quality of schooling in under-resourced neighborhoods,; MED will help reform our new member pipeline so people start engaged and stay engaged. All of these are eminently compatible with what I’ve laid out above.



Anher O – Steering – At-large

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

September 2021

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

In my first year in DSA-LA I have participated in Child Care for All canvassing as well as canvassing for the campaign of Eunisses Hernandez. I was involved in phone banking for the Recommitment Drive, my first experience in phone banking. I regularly attended SFV branch meetings and joined the International Committee. In June I wrote a draft proposal concerning new/inactive members and how the chapter can improve in this regard. I was part of the Organizing Institute’s Working Group which set up the chapter’s first training series for organizers. 

 

Why are you running for this position?

My first year in DSA-LA has introduced me to the beautiful world of political organizing. I was not involved in any political organizing in college; upon joining I was completely inexperienced. One year later, I am now much more informed on the city’s political situation, and I have been inspired to become more involved in the organizing process. As a more recent DSA member, I have attentively listened to various member perspectives regarding the state of the chapter. I aspire to represent the spirit of consensus building and am motivated to help deliver solutions to the chapter’s shortcomings. 

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I have taken part in recent strikes at UCLA in support of academic workers. I have  participated in the Free Alex Saab campaign and helped raise awareness of the impact that sanctions have. I attended the June Workers’ Summit at Tijuana which had organizers from several Latin American countries speaking. 

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

As part of my academic background, strategic empathy is a technique I have developed as a way of understanding different perspectives. This has helped me talk with people who have a negative animus towards Leftist politics and help them appreciate the work that Leftist organizers do.

I am a native Spanish speaker and am fully immersed in Latino culture. I am flexible and can adapt in different situations, particularly adverse ones. I am a very prudent strategist that focuses on preventing crises before they happen. I am a creative thinker and I am an expressive communicator & writer.

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

The most important successes achieved over the last year have been the elections of Hugo Soto Martinez and Eunisses Hernandez to the city council. These successes have validated DSA-LA as a legitimate option for working class voters disillusioned with LA’s career politicians. I have also been impressed with the growth of labor circles such as DSA-LA Hollywood and how active they are. 

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

Externally I think the chapter struggles with recognition from citizens not engaged in politics. For the chapter to transcend and permeate LA’s collective consciousness an energized branding push is needed. Whether through social media, traditional media, or Mutual Aid efforts, every part of society should be familiar with the work that DSA-LA’s organizers lead and what the org stands for.

Internally members have often reminded me of the low engagement and alienation that is felt by several members past and present. Every member is equally valuable. To members who feel alienated, there exists a credibility/trust gap. To regain their trust, there needs to be an emphasis on transparency & trust building. I am in favor of frequent town halls & fireside chats similar to the ones NPC has recently done. I want rank & file members to feel empowered to talk more in meetings. Some of this can be addressed through the “Membership Engagement and Development” resolution. 

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

DSA-LA has had resounding victories in multi-racial working class communities, a testament to the relentless work of organizers. The challenge now is to keep building and not lose momentum. I think that identifying communities with growth potential is important. In my opinion, those would be Palmdale, Santa Clarita, and South Central.

Palmdale and South Central are multi-racial neighborhoods with a strong working class consciousness, whereas Santa Clarita is a rapidly growing city that is becoming more diverse and less conservative. All three have historically been at the fringes of DSA-LA’s strategy. It would be a great challenge, a bold statement of DSA-LA’s ambition across the entire county to take on the task.

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

Starting next year DSA-LA will have three members as part of the city council. That’s a big deal. It is a beautiful opportunity for the chapter and should be maximized. The focus must now be on empowering them in city council through constant communication and counsel. If this is not done they might feel overwhelmed by the broken culture of LA politics. If the chapter can effectively support Nithya, Hugo and Eunisses in city council there will be many more wins to celebrate next year. 

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

My position regarding the priority resolutions is to be committed but also realistic. I voted for all three and they have great potential for the chapter. The idea is for them to receive priority throughout the year, unless an emergency situation emerges that demands the full attention of members(as the rollback of Roe v Wade did). 



Aryn B – Steering – At-large

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

2019

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

Currently an At-Large Steering member

 

Why are you running for this position?

Would like to give a full year at Steering a try

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I do not.

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

Lots of ideas for the org that I hope to work on more in the next year.

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

The election successes were nice, beginning developing the branches is real nice!

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

Branch development, practical skills and political education/theory

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

Developing the branches and class consciousness 

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

Communication 

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

Childcare for All neighborhood captain & Membership Engagement and Development liaison for the Black Liberation Steering resolution



Haley P – Steering – At-large

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

2017

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

I served three terms as DSA-LA labor committee coordinator. As a member of labor committee leadership I helped create and implement DSA-LA’s labor circles program, strengthened DSA-LA’s relationships with our union partners, and coordinated strike support.

 

Why are you running for this position?

I have been involved with DSA-LA for many years, mostly through the labor committee. I believe it’s my time to step up and give back to the chapter, which has been my longtime political home, by serving on steering committee. 

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I am currently the Communications Director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), an organization that bridges organized labor and community to win policy fights for working families. Before landing at LAANE, worked in communications and as a field organizer, volunteer organizer, and canvasser for advocacy organizations and campaigns since 2009.

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

I’m a longtime leader in the chapter and have experience working with the labor movement and at city hall. I know what it takes to build the coalitions necessary to win, and I understand DSA-LA’s unique position in the local landscape. I can navigate relationships with unions and help the chapter strategize as we grow into our power.

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

DSA-LA has proven ourselves to be a powerhouse in local elections. Conventional wisdom used to be that city council incumbents were untouchable. In 2022 we unseated two council members, electing Hugo Soto-Martinez and Eunisses Hernandez. These successes showed that DSA-LA is strategic, committed, and formidable. 

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

DSA-LA must continue to deepen our community ties by building up our branch organizing. That means empowering and training our members to be effective and confident socialists. DSA-LA members should be leading organizing drives in their workplaces and neighborhoods, and stepping up to lead internal organizing efforts in our chapter.

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

Our hard-fought electoral wins have given DSA-LA an unprecedented opportunity to influence city policies. It’s time for us to strengthen our relationships at city hall and get a strategic plan in place to move our policy priorities through council.

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

With great power comes great responsibility! DSA-LA will need to rise to the challenge of our growing credibility and power. That means more discipline, more focus, and more hard conversations about where we should dedicate limited resources.

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

With the rest of my slate, I am running for steering in order to implement DSA-LA’s priority resolutions. Our platform includes: (1) Building a Green New Deal coalition by bringing together our allies in the labor and the environmental justice movements; (2) Developing our members into high capacity organizers capable of building a mass movement; and (3) Forming a Socialists in Office committee to work with DSA-aligned city council members on our policy priorities, including Childcare for All.



Samuel S – Steering – At-large

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

2014

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

Electoral Politics Committee, 2021-22

Neighborhood Council Project, 2021

Democratic Socialist Program drafting team, 2021

General member, 2014-present

 

Why are you running for this position?

DSA is a in a unique and difficult position – in the last two years, we’ve actively removed 20 percent of the LA City Council, formed a state council, and are becoming an organization seen as a potential partner – or threat – across the country in general and in LA in particular. With that in mind, I want to support our chapter *making sense* – being easily accessible to new members and new partners, having clear processes for outside partners and, of course x continuing our successes in a just and sustainable way.

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

Yes! I’ve been an ADEM and LA county committee delegate for the Democratic Party, a chapter steering committee member for the Working Families Party, a national political committee member for the Sierra Club ,and twice a member of neighborhood council in Wilshire Center/Koreatown, the second time with DSA’s support.

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

I know my way around our chapter’s processes (particularly electoral) well and can identify pain points for those engaging with them for the first time. I’ve got a good sense of how an socialist program can be applied regionally and statewide, and the sort of things we’d have to do to grow toward that.

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

We’ve “gone public” – not just electorally, but are identified as the main opposition to the corporate Democrats that run this city. While there are aotnof forces working together (and coming from different directions) for a Los Angeles for the many, our size, or skill, and our strategy have set us out front.

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

With recognition comes responsibility. We need to be able to speak with one voice to the politicians, organizations, and disenfranchised Angelenos who come to us looking for understanding, for support, or for a fight. 

That means clear responsibilities for our elected leadership, clear commitments to what we can and can’t do, and clear lines for our members to direct their resources towards the work they want to see done.

On Steering, it’ll be my job to make things clear when they come to this chapter’s elected leaders and clear when they’re communicated out to the world. 

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

Base-building and co-governance, through the lenses of our major campaigns – Childcare for All, Green New Deal for Public Schools, and member engagement.

 

What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

We’re big, we don’t always agree, and everybody in the city sees every action that happens (successful or not) as DSA when it might be People’s City Councoil, Ground Game, or even unaffiliated activists. Good fences make good neighbors. We need to wrap our hands around the work we do, the work we support that others do, and the work that others do that we aren’t involved in – and to understand and communicate that difference.

 

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold?

Clearly, as At-Large, I’d be a utility infielder thrown in to support the campaigns as needed and move their needs Ong quickly through the chapter.



Ryan D – Steering – At-large

 

When did you join DSA-LA?

2020

 

What experience do you have organizing within DSA-LA?

I have attended several political functions and actions in support of labor. I have also done two canvases, but those are a challenge due to my child care situation. I have also collaborated with a number of DSA members in my capacity as the Organizing Director of the ILWU.

 

Why are you running for this position?

As a union organizer, it is my philosophy that membership means more than paying dues. I want to support this organization in the capacity best seen fit. 

 

Do you have any experience organizing with other organizations?

I have been a professional organizer since 2003. I was a Coordinator with the SEIU for thirteen years and now as the Organizing Director of the ILWU for the past six. 

 

What skills do you feel you have that contribute to the position for which you are applying?

I am little ego when it comes to organizing. I can delegate or be delegated any task and work to the goal. I understand how to meet people where there at and provide structure to get them to a desired outcome, aka “organizing.” I also have a functional car to assist with actions or canvases provided my child care situation. (Single dad)

 

What are the most important successes the Local has achieved over the last year?

Electing Hugo Martinez to D13. Supporting countless contract fights: IATSE, working with the Hollywood Labor Committee (personal), and working to keep Star Garden supported through their recognition drive. 

 

What are some of the most important areas of improvement for the Local?

Expanding the demographics of the membership and educating the larger community on the efforts, victories and relevancy of the DSA.

 

What should the Local prioritize over the next year?

Ensuring the new City Council and Mayor push forward with their campaign – advertised agenda. 

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What will be the biggest challenges for the Local over the next year?

(See above) Also, as crime and inflation are likely to increase, engaging the community around holistic concepts outside “the norm” will be difficult.

What implications will each of the Local’s Priority Resolutions have on the position you may hold

Green New Deal: impacts my family’s health and my career as our union shifts to engaging and training membership to be ready for Green Jobs. 

Membership Engagement: I have seen unions and other institutions actively work to not develop their for education their membership. Prioritizing the opposite is essential for any organization to grow and achieve their goals in a meaningful and sustainable way. 

Childcare for All: I am fortunate to not have to worry about the cost of my child’s care/education. As a result I have seen him flourish in a supportive environment – in part, because neither of his parents have to worry about the cost associated with his care/education. That should not be a privilege and society as a whole would be better off if we prioritized Childcare for All.