As your newly elected Electoral Committee for 2022-23 gets acclimated, we’d like to take a moment to share the accomplishments of our campaign working groups so far. The working group from Phase 1 of our electoral endorsements, Hugo Soto-Martinez for CD13 has turned out over 40 members to its first DSA-LA led canvass and has a handful of members organizing turnout to even more canvasses. Our Phase 2 endorsements have seen the creation of the Eunisses Hernandez for CD 1 and Fatima Iqbal-Zubair for State Assembly working groups, now up and running, ready to turn out our members to canvasses and campaign work. These accomplishments are driven by our members and it is up to our membership to continue to drive members to canvasses, phone banks, and other working group projects to achieve the wins of our endorsed candidates.

As we approach the deadline for Phase 3 endorsements, which includes Los Angeles city-wide offices, California state-wide offices, and federal positions, we’d like to ask our members to consider recommendations for 2022 from DSA’s National Electoral Committee (NEC):

Chapters should approach federal races with caution, only engaging if a strong on-the-ground coalition or base exists before the election. In the absence of such a coalition, chapters should work to build one through state legislative electoral campaigns and issue-based organizing with an eye toward 2024.

The scope of a city-wide, state-wide, or federal race is enormous, each of these races having bigger win numbers than a Los Angeles City Council seat or State Assembly race. As DSA-LA members circulate endorsement petitions and consider candidates, the Electoral Committee asks membership to consider the capacity of our chapter to handle bigger races on top of our three already endorsed races. Elections are an important part of how we as socialists can wage class struggle, support transformative reforms, and win material demands, but when we cannot fully commit to such campaigns because of lack of membership capacity, we are doing nothing but hurting our ability to win such changes.

A DSA endorsement is not like those of Democratic clubs or NGOs—our endorsements come with hours of volunteer work and organizing, as our electoral strategy emphasizes that we organize to be a key player in a candidate’s victory. Accountability to our elected candidates develops from DSA’s vital position on campaigns, which is something beyond our chapter’s reach and capacity in all of the Phase 3 races. This is not a moral or value judgment on any of the candidates—all candidates will be considered for our voter guide, which has been widely used over the years—but done with a careful analysis and understanding of our chapter’s current capacities and constraints.