DSSL 2022-23 Year in Review

Updated on 4/20/2023 at 12:03pm

Our chapter’s annual convention is less than two weeks away, and with that comes the beginning of a new year in the DSSL. It feels like society has been crumbling before our very eyes the past 12 months, but DSSL has stood strong in the face of capitalist oppression in lots of exciting ways. Before the excitement and chaos that is our chapter convention and the corcom elections, campaign and resolution proposals, and putting the “social” in socialism at the park that come along with it, we would like to take a look at the past 12 months and celebrate the successes we as a chapter had.

Chapter Growth

Our chapter has grown like a weed as many Utahns become motivated to call out and fight the problem: capitalism. In the last 12 months:

  • 72 new members have joined our chapter
  • Over 100 people have joined our email list, meaning over 1,000 people throughout Utah receive frequent updates from our chapter
  • 2,487 people viewed our website 5,391 times
  • Over 500 people have followed our pages on Instagram and Twitter, and our posts and profiles were viewed by 119,117 accounts across the country and world

The DSSL also joined other revolutionary organizations in becoming a founding member organization of the Utah Coalition of Leftists and continues to work with groups such as the Communist Party of Utah, the SLC branch of the Party of Socialism and Liberation, and the Armed Queers of SLC, along with many more.

Along with all that, our members have talked with countless working class Utahns about the failings of capitalism and American bourgeoise politics. DSSL members know that socialism is the solution, and we look forward to continuing another year of working with our neighbors to realize that dream.

2022-23 Strategic Campaign: Housing Justice

At our 2022 chapter convention, members voted to focus on housing justice and tenant’s rights as the strategic campaign for 2022-23. The campaign was focused on organizing “Know Your Rights” trainings to inform renters of their legal rights and identifying groups that could potentially form tenants unions through frequent canvassing events.

Needless to say, the campaign committee knocked it out of the ballpark! In the past 12 months,

  • The canvassing team knocked on the doors of over 900 renters across Salt Lake valley.
  • We held 5 Know Your Rights trainings
  • Over 100 community members attended those trainings throughout the year
  • Members donated dozens of items to aid our unsheltered neighbors during the scorching summer and frigid winter

The hard work of our comrades in fighting the massive housing crisis (and in turn, the homelessness crisis) in Utah has paid off, and we are incredibly proud of the campaign’s success

Labor Work: Starbucks Success

In the past year, two Starbucks locations in Utah (Cottonwood Heights and 9th and 9th) voted to join the ever-growing Starbucks Workers United union, and our chapter is proud to have supported and celebrated the baristas sticking it to Howard Schultz and his unprecedented union-busting campaign. In the past 12 months

  • We as a chapter showed solidarity with Starbucks workers by participating in 6 “sip ins” and drive-thru caravans at both unionizing locations, ordering our coffee “UNION STRONG!”
  • Our members also joined the baristas on the picket line during all 4 strikes SBWU held, including the most recent one at 4th and 4th in March

Along with that, after Cottonwood Heights became the first unionized Starbucks in Utah, our chapter held a day in the park to celebrate their well-earned union win.

But Starbucks workers aren’t the only workers we’ve supported:

  • Multiple members have organized/are in the process of organizing their workplaces in sectors such as healthcare, academia, retail and dining, and the public sector
  • We canvassed for and supported the workers at Via Pizza in Utah County as they fought to form a union
  • We stood in solidarity with workers at Clever Octopus as they continue to struggle against the company’s illegal and aggressive union busting practices
  • We supported and continue to support railroad workers after Congress and Joe Biden assaulted the working class by forcing the workers to accept a contract they did not want. We still condemn the DSA members in congress who voted against the workers and the lack of action on National DSA’s part to hold these members accountable

As a socialist organization, DSSL will always stand with working people, and we will look forward to supporting the expansion of SBWU in Utah and work with all union workers throughout Utah.

Getting in Good Trouble: Protests, Rallies, and Dissent

Our chapter is proud to have either participated in or co-sponsored 16 rallies, marches, protests, and solidarity events in the past 12 months including:

  • We protested SCOTUS’s undemocratic and human-rights-violating overturning of Roe v. Wade the day the decision was released, along with the UCL and thousands of fellow Utahns.
  • Our chapter was an official co-sponsor of the Save Our Great Salt Lake rally in January
  • The Armed Queers’ rally opposing the GOP’s genocidal gender affirming healthcare ban for minors in February
  • UCL’s anti-war rally protesting the Russian war in April.
  • The Stop Cop City protests in March to show solidarity with our comrades in Atlanta as they fight to prevent the tyrannical and violent police training facility from being built.

But socialists don’t merely participate in protests, we lead them. Chapter leaders spoke at multiple rallies and protests, including the Armed Queers’ trans rights and the UCL’s anti-war protest.

Protests are democracy. They get things done. DSSL will always practice this human right and will continue to help organize rallies and marches over the next year.

In Conclusion…

We are incredibly proud of our member’s work over the past 12 months. Our chapter is in a great place, and we can’t wait to continue this positive trend. DSSL is excited for the next twelve months, and we’re looking forward to our 2023-24 work, including:

  • Sending delegates to DSAs national convention in August to represent our chapter and Utah on a national scale
  • Standing in solidarity with UPS Teamsters during their contract fight that began April 16th and their potential strike this summer
  • Mobilizing Salt Lakers for the 2023 SLC municipal elections this November
  • And much more!

Thank you for a great year of socialist organizing. Solidarity forever, Salt Lake!

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