Introducing the Campaign for a Better Philly DSA

Philly DSA does great work, but it could be doing even better. We’re a group of Philly DSA members who want to make that happen.

We’re launching a campaign to achieve this goal.

We’ve got experience on the Outreach, Social, Electoral Evaluation, Political Education, and Bylaws committees.

We’ve seen what works with the Local Initiative/Local Action committee (LILAC), Socialist Feminist Working Group, and the Libertarian Socialist Caucus.

We’ve done local work across the board from Medicare for All to the Poor People’s Campaign to anti-ICE and electoral canvassing for Larry Krasner, Elizabeth Fiedler, and Kristin Seale.

We’ve built solidarity with other left groups in Philadelphia.

We have connections to national DSA groups like the National Electoral Committee, the Ecosocialist Working Group, and Build DSA.

And we’ve got some ideas for how Philly DSA could be better. This campaign is about making those ideas a reality.

The campaign is being run by a new group called Members for a Better Philly DSA, but we don’t think branding matters as much as organizing a mass movement to win socialism in our lifetimes.

In this document, you'll find our values and we'll be releasing a plan for action in the next year to make Philly DSA better.

Statement of Campaign Values

Our values are directed towards political vision and organizational execution. But like much of the social and political world, they are deeply interconnected.

1. Pluralism

We are committed to DSA as a multi-tendency organization.

Bridging ideological and tactical divides creates the space for everyone to struggle together as comrades. We want to protect and promote a diversity of socialist perspectives.  Disagreements are healthy. We celebrate being able to respectfully disagree with one another and cultivate a culture that is comfortable with working across differences.

2. Intersectional Socialist Organizing

We must fight economic exploitation, white supremacy, and heteropatriarchy in and through the struggle for socialism.

Each of these commitments should inform everything we do internally and externally. Our goal is to organize and fight with the working class, but to do this we need to create unity in extreme difference. Race, gender, sexuality, ability, nationality, religion...Organizing and fighting with the working class means organizing and working with these differences.

3. Multiple Approaches

We have one foot in institutions, and one foot in the street.

We recognize the value of electoral work, policy work, and collaboration with unions; we recognize the value of direct action, mutual aid, and the labor movement. For us, there are no either/ors—we should be doing both to fight the class war on all the terrains that capitalists fight on, or could fight on.

4. Strength in Coalitions

We need strong connections and collaboration with other groups to rebuild the power of the working class.

DSA has a lot to offer the struggle for socialism, but we must be humble. We do not have all the answers, and we cannot do everything alone. We can learn from those who are waging the battle now and have been for generations. The existing struggles in our city are key to building our base of support, trust, and interest. We should create and be a part of strong coalitions with other movements and groups in the Philadelphia area to learn from them and create solidarity to achieve socialist goals.

5. Process for people

We believe rules and bureaucracy should make our work easier.

We should only use organizational rules to the extent that they’re necessary, comprehensible, and generative for all members’ goals. If we saw our rules getting in the way of members working on projects they want to work on, we would ask not if our members are wrong, but if our rules were.

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