Salt Lake DSA Statement in Support of Palestinian Liberation

“When we revolt it’s not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe.” – Frantz Fanon

The Salt Lake Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America stands in unwavering solidarity with the people of Palestine in their decades long fight for national liberation and urges the people of Utah and the United States to stand up against settler-colonial, Zionist apartheid.

The Palestinian people have been held in apartheid since the establishment of the so-called State of Israel and the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) that followed. Millions of Palestinians have been removed from their homes, denied their basic human rights, and killed when they stood up against this tyranny upheld by the Israeli occupation. Israel is, per its constitution, an ethnostate, and it is not terrorism or anti-semitism to fight against this injustice.

The Palestinian people have shown us that no matter what walls Israeli forces may try to build to push the indigenous peoples out of their homeland, those walls can and will come down. We see this with the Palestinian people using bulldozers to tear down the fences surrounding Gaza, we see this every time Palestinians and their allies stand up in the face of violence, and we see this every time a smile crosses a Palestinian’s face. The Palestinian people are resilient people, and it is our duty as Socialists to stand with them. Apartheid structures will come down, and we will stand with the Palestinian people in their fight to tear down every structure used to uphold the apartheid they face.

Anti-Zionism is a principled Socialist position, and one that Salt Lake DSA takes seriously. Some of our members have worked with the DSA BDS and Palestine Solidarity Working Group and have relatives from Palestine themselves. It is also important for us because we are the only DSA chapter in Utah. Utah has its own history of settler colonialism, and much of the tactics and rhetoric modern day Israel uses in their attempt to eliminate the indigenous Palestinians, the European Mormon settlers used against the indigenous Ute, Paiute, Goshute, Shoshone, Dine (Navajo), and Timpanogos peoples. It is an issue personal to us, and to our history as a multi-racial, socialist organization in Utah.

From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free! 


New Member Handbook

Welcome to the Democratic Socialists of Salt Lake! (DSSL)

This document is specific to our local, the DSSL and does not go into much depth about the workings of the national DSA. For questions about the national, refer to their FAQ. You can always contact them directly. If you haven’t already, check out our educational resources on socialism.

You should have already read our About page and if you have just joined, followed the steps on our Contact page. It’s good to read up on the national bylaws as well as our local ones before joining. Also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on all things DSSL.

After you join, you will be able to vote in chapter meetings as long as your dues are current. You will receive a New Member Survey and after you submit it, a Co-Membership Coordinator will reach out to you for a 1-on-1 onboarding. You will be contacted once per month for a check-in, to update your membership information and help you into a more fitting role within DSSL.


General Meetings. Where all of the committees present a status report. Where bigger things get voted on like amendments, committee formations, etc. Meetings for committees generally follow the same process as general meetings.

Special Sessions. When something needs to get done quick! Article 4, Section 3 of our bylaws state that: “When an urgent and important matter requires deliberation outside the purview of regularly scheduled meetings, the Coordinating Committee or ten (10) individual members may call a Special Session of the Local on five (5) days notice”. Reasons for holding a special session may include:

Local Conventions. An annual meeting coinciding with our elections between May 1-15. Members will get a 3 weeks written notice with the agenda. It’s where we set official policy and can adopt an annual budget. The highest legislative body of our local.

Our Social Contract. Meetings are more productive — and more fun — when the conversation includes everyone. Respectful discussion guidelines are helpful for keeping things focused too. You can read these before meetings and forums.

Assume good faith in your fellow comrades

Assume good faith in each other. Please try to speak from experience, speak for yourself (use “I” statements), and actively listen to each other. When someone makes a point, repeat what you heard, summarize, and ask clarifying questions like “did you mean X” or “what makes you say that” to get more information. Encourage yourself and others to maintain a positive attitude, honor the work of others, avoid defensiveness, be open to legitimate critique and challenge oppressive behaviors in ways that help people grow. We want to “call each other in” rather than calling each other out — in other words, if you are challenging someone’s ideas or behavior, do it respectfully, and if you are being challenged, receive it respectfully. Remember, mistakes will be made, nobody is perfect.

Know whether you need to “step up” or “step back”

Help create a safe and inclusive space for everybody. Please respect others by recognizing how often, much, and loud you’re speaking and whether or not you’re dominating the conversation. Step back to leave space for others to voice their opinions and feelings. If the facilitator of the meeting asks you to wrap up, recognize that you should step back. This especially applies to participants who have privileged backgrounds. On the other hand, if you don’t often speak up, we encourage you to do so now!

Please ask yourself “Why am I Talking?”

We have a limited amount of time for discussion and to accomplish the tasks before us. When in discussion, please ask yourself “Why am I talking (WAIT)?” Consider whether or not what you want to say has already been said, whether what you want to say is on topic or if there’s a better time and place to say it, and other methods for showing how you feel about the conversation (nodding your head, etc.)

Please recognize and respect other’s feelings, background, and cultural differences

Many people have different levels of experience, knowledge, and feelings in social justice and radical activism and all participants should respect and embrace this diversity. Many people from different backgrounds have different definitions of what it means to be an “activist” or “radical.” While we all don’t have to agree on everything, we should respect our diversity of opinions. Recognize that everyone has a piece of the truth, everybody can learn, and everybody has the ability to teach and share something. Don’t use language that’s clearly oppressive or hurtful. Please, refrain from using acronyms or complicated language that could exclude others.

We have “one mic” so do not interrupt or speak while others are talking

Many of us will have different opinions on matters. However, speaking while others are talking or adding comments when they cannot respond appropriately does not build community. If you have a disagreement, wait for your turn to address it. This is basic politeness.

Respect the facilitator when they use Progressive Stack

Progressive Stack is a form of leading discussions which involves a facilitator keeping a list of names of people who wish to speak. The facilitator scans the group during the discussion, and if someone wishes to speak, they raise their hand and catch the facilitator’s eye. The facilitator nods and makes eye contact to indicate the person is now put on the list to speak, and then the person can put their hand down so it does not distract other discussion participants. However, the facilitator does not simply write a list of names in the order that people raise their hand. Rather, if someone who has not spoken raises their hand, they go to the top of the list. If someone who is of an oppressed group raises their hand, they go to the top of the list unless they have already contributed significantly to the discussion.

If you have the permissions to edit an agenda and see where it needs improvement, feel free to take the initiative!

Robert’s Rules of Order

We (try to) use Robert’s Rules to help us run votes and debate. Having an agreed on set of procedures allows us to make decisions as efficiently and fairly as possible. Example Source link.

Voting. As mentioned before, only members who have current dues may vote. Some examples of what we vote on: bylaws amendments, Coordinating Committee, delegate positions, whether we sponsor an event, and endorsements for ballot measures and candidates. We use online voting for time-sensitive and less contentious items like event endorsements and sponsorship.

Steps for a basic vote

The member rises and addresses the chair.
The chair recognizes the member.
The member makes a motion.
Another member seconds the motion.
The chair states the motion.
The members debate the motion.
The chair puts the question, and the members vote.
The chair announces the result of the vote.

Motions. When that light bulb goes off in your head and you have a great idea, you make a motion to get your idea discussed and a decision made. Until a motion is made, seconded, and stated by the chair, no discussion is in order. This rule of “motion before discussion” saves valuable meeting time. When you start off with a definite proposal — “I move that . . .” — your group discusses the motion’s merits and all the details necessary to make a decision. And during the discussion, you and the other members are free to alter your motion as much as necessary before reaching the final decision.

Amendments. Don’t like something in the bylaws? Add the idea to our reforms list. Write out your amendment, link it to the reforms list. Submit it to the CorCom 1 month before it would be voted on at a General Meeting.

Committee Formations

The Local may establish standing and ad hoc committees for specific organizational functions, political issues, or campaigns, or any other reason approved by the membership. Members who wish to form a committee must submit a statement to the Coordinating Committee that includes 

  1. a committee name; 
  2. a mission statement and objectives; 
  3. the scope of the committee’s work;
  4. and at least five (5) committee members. 

A proposed committee may be created with the approval of the Coordinating Committee or General Meeting. Mission statements for proposed committees may not conflict with these Bylaws or with the charters of existing committees.

Chapter Elections

These happen every May 1-15th.

Nominations. Nominations for Coordinating Committee Members and delegates to the National Convention will be opened 10 days before the election. The call for nominations will be announced to members in advance of the General Meeting.

Running for CorCom. Ideally, you will be trained in your desired position BEFORE you run for it. Then, there should be a 2 month “mentoring” period where previous CorCom helps ensure the proper functioning of new leadership.

How to get training: Reach out to the person in your desired position and ask when they would be available for a 1-on-1 training.

Before you run for a CorCom position, get training and find a way to make time for your new responsibilities. Ask yourself, “Can I do this for a whole year?”

If you are running for CorCom, get elected, and soon find that you are too busy to perform your duties, you NEED to let the chapter know. Prioritize what you need to get done, make it work, or step down. This helps us avoid the awkward situation of petitioning for someone’s removal from a position of leadership. We understand that people get too busy sometimes. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Capitalism takes it’s toll. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

How to recall: Any three (3) committee members may request the recall of a committee officer via written petition to the Coordinating Committee, after which time new committee elections will be held in a timely manner. If a position is uncontested, the nominee will be declared elected by acclamation. Members may petition for the removal of a Coordinating Committee Member or for the dissolution the entire Coordinating Committee. Such a petition requires signatures from at least five (5) percent of the membership and will be delivered to the Coordinating Committee.

Vacancies and Special Elections to fill them. In the event of a vacancy of a Coordinating Committee Member position, a special election for the remainder of the vacant officer’s term will be held within sixty (60) days after the opening of the vacancy, unless the remaining term of the former officer is less than two (2) months. Written notice of the special election and solicitation of nominations will be published to all members of the Local no less than two (2) weeks before the date of the special election. A special election may take place at a Local Convention or a General Meeting.

Salt Lake DSA Endorses Michael Valentine for Salt Lake City Mayor

Salt Lake DSA is proud to announce our endorsement of chapter member and mayoral candidate Michael Valentine for the role of Salt Lake City mayor, with 88.5% of voting members voting in favor of endorsement. We strongly encourage our members and supporters living in Salt Lake City to rank Michael Valentine as their #1 choice in this ranked choice election and to share this announcement with their friends and family. 

Michael joined our chapter in June of this year on the invitation of a member and after speaking at our local convention in May, and he has been an active member since. While he is known for his work in fighting to save the Utah Pantages theater, Michael’s activism goes beyond one building. Michael has stood in solidarity with Salt Lake’s union workers by gathering signatures and standing on the picket line with our chapter in support of Starbucks and UPS workers, he’s been gracious in letting us use his cider shop for chapter events, and he’s been on the streets with the community fighting for the international working class against police repression and Israeli apartheid. Michael understands that the issues facing Salt Lake City are all symptoms of capitalism, and he knows how to organize with socialist principles in order to enact positive change for the most marginalized Salt Lakers. He is the embodiment of democratic socialist values, and we are more than lucky to have him as a chapter member and mayoral candidate. 

Throughout this mayoral race, Michael has consistently shown not only through his words, but also his actions, that he is the only candidate that understands the needs and struggles of working class Salt Lakers. He’s the only candidate who is a renter, he’s the only candidate who isn’t a millionaire, he’s the only candidate who has experienced homelessness, and he’s the only candidate that speaks up for the community, even if it’s politically unpopular. We know he’s the only candidate serious about curing homelessness, reforming the SLCPD, bettering the living conditions of the working class and saving the Great Salt Lake.

Voting ends on November 21st, and the last day to register is Monday, November 13th. Vote Michael Valentine in as the first DSA member and first socialist mayor in Salt Lake City!

DSSL Stands in Solidarity with the Writers Guild of America During their Strike!

DSSL Public Statement Regarding the WGA Strike

As of midnight today, May 2nd, 2023, the 12,000 movie and television writers in the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are striking to demand appropriate compensation pre- and post-production, more pay for experienced writers, and basic benefits and protections for all industry writers. WGA members voted overwhelmingly to authorize this strike, with 96% of members voting and 97.3% of members voting YES. The Democratic Socialists of Salt Lake are proud to stand in solidarity on the picket line with these artists and demand that studios reward the brilliant minds of the WGA for all they contribute to the companies they work for and American arts and culture as a whole.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed the world, whether they realized it or not, that the role of the artist is one of the most important roles one can undertake as a human person. With the world in lockdown, millions of people passed the time with their favorite movies, TV shows, music, and literature. Hundreds of thousands of people took up painting or ceramics as a hobby, and some even dabbled in creating jewelry. When the world came to a stop, and many people found themselves in the darkest times of their life, we turned to artists for guidance, for comfort, for joy. Even if it was just for a moment.

Which is precisely why artists, like these WGA movie and television writers in Hollywood, deserve fair compensation for the art they produce and the culture they cultivate. These media CEOs, who reap the benefits of art they did not produce to the tune of billions of dollars, are not the backbone of this business; they are not the creative, visionary innovators, they are corporate oligarchs who don’t have an artistic bone in their body. It is criminal that these capitalist leeches have treated these WGA artists so poorly that they are in the position where they have no other choice but to strike.

Because of this, the DSSL demands that these companies, including Disney, Netflix, HBO, and NBC Universal, to bargain in good faith and give in to the writers’ demands. We call on other workers and unions in the entertainment industry, including directors, actors, and crew, to stand in solidarity with these writers and not cross the picket lines. The DSSL also recommends our members and people in the community follow these good practices until a collective bargaining agreement is met:

  • Cancel subscriptions to any streaming platform you don’t use/don’t frequent often. Hollywood has a backlog of content waiting to be produced, so they will still theoretically be able to produce content for a while, and in turn make money. Cancelling you subscriptions puts economic pressure on these companies and shows them that we will not support them until they give in to workers demands
  • Refrain from watching late night series on television or Youtube until an agreement is met. These series will be most affected by the strike, and a huge drop in viewership will put pressure on the companies.
  • Refrain from watching reality series. Media companies lean on these during labor strikes, and will force more of these on viewers if they are shown to be popular. Besides, The Apprentice gave us Donald Trump, and nobody likes Donald Trump.
  • Publicly show your support for WGA on social media and share information about it to sympathetic peers!

DSSL is first and foremost a socialist organization fighting for working people, and we are proud of WGA members for taking things into their own hands and sticking it to the man!!


The Democratic Socialists of Salt Lake

DSSL Proudly Supports the Unionizing Efforts of the Workers at the SLC Public Library

An open letter of solidarity with Salt Lake City Public Library Workers United

April 22nd, 2023

To the Salt Lake City Public Library Board of Directors, and to library patrons,

The Democratic Socialists of Salt Lake (DSSL) is first and foremost a socialist organization formed in the spirit and practice of working class solidarity and labor organizing.  Workers’ unions and collective bargaining are foundational pillars that hold working class power stable. Along with these pillars, public libraries are also necessary for the survival of democracy and working class people. Because of this, the DSSL is writing this letter on behalf of the 400+ members of the chapter to show public and proud support of the Salt Lake City Public Library workers’ efforts to unionize with Local 1004 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) as SLCPL Workers United.

Our chapter is an active and proud patron of the SLC Public Library (SLCPL). Since August, we have held each of our monthly hybrid general meetings at the main branch (including our next one on 4/24), we held our “Know Your Rights” tenant organizing trainings at multiple branches across the city over the past year, and our members have participated in events other community organizations have hosted at the library. Our chapter has several members who work with the SLCPL, and we have enjoyed utilizing the non-book materials, such as the button and sticker maker, that are accessible through the SLCPL.

Beyond the scope of our chapter, the SLCPL does vital work that this city would not be able to function without. The free Seed Library program is an imaginative success in the fight against food deserts and for sustainability across the valley. Hundreds of community members enjoy the book clubs, public forums, educational programs, youth programs, guest speakers, and author meet-and-greets the library puts on every year. But most importantly, the SLCPL is one of the last places in the city that every Salt Laker can go to and be welcomed, regardless of race, gender, class, ability, sexual orientation, immigration status, language, or age. The SLCPL is one of the only places in the state that is wholly democratic and equitable to all people. And it does all of this free of charge to everyone.

But it’s not “the entity” of the SLCPL who executes these wonders; the SLCPL would vanish in an instant without the intelligent, hardworking librarians, custodians, educators, and other workers who pour their heart and soul into their work and this city everyday. It is the workers that provide all the valuable resources there. It is them that create and execute all the innovative and world-class services and events the library puts on. These workers are positive examples to all people in our community; they embody the ideals the DSSL, and many Americans, hold very seriously: free speech, appreciation of the arts and humanities, community outreach, education, and social and economical justice. The SLCPL workers are the keepers of democracy and prophets of a better, more equitable and just, day.

The SLCPL is the embodiment of collaboration, so it is for these reasons and more that we demand that the SLCPL Board of Directors voluntarily recognize SLCPL Workers United upon demonstration of majority support and bargain in good faith with the representatives elected by the workers. We also demand that the Board passes resolution that solidify these collective bargaining rights and prevent any union busting any future board may consider. We also demand that the Board addresses the workers’ concerns regarding wages, benefits, equality, and their workplace democratic processes, as they know their own work situation better than anyone. The SLCPL workers are currently the only group of public employees in Salt Lake City who are not covered under any bargaining agreement, and this directly contradicts the main ideals this very institution stand.

The DSSL asks the Board to submit to workers’ demands, and will stand by the SLCPL workers’ through every success and struggle they endure; up to and including joining them on the picket line. Solidarity with the library workers now! And solidarity with them forever!

On behalf of our members,

The Democratic Socialists of Salt Lake Coordinating Committee

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!

DSSL Resolution For an Internationalist DSA

DSSL Resolution For an Internationalist DSA

Whereas the State of Israel has carried out a regime of occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people; and

Whereas the U.S. government continues to fund and arm the Israeli settler state, sending billions of dollars in military aid with congressional approval; and

tweeted image
Tweet from March 22, 2022 https://twitter.com/slcDSA/status/1506334080937254912?s=20&t=rXsahYzG-NWVq4pWPfCzag

Whereas our position as a left, anti-imperialist, working-class group striving for the freedom, peace, and safety of oppressed peoples here within the imperial core, ourselves residents of a settler colonial state, is only strengthened by principled and active solidarity with Palestine; and

Whereas an array of Palestinian civil society organizations has called for a policy of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to pressure Israel to comply with international law by:

  1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall.
  2. Granting Palestinian/Arab citizens of 48’ (‘Israel’) their right to full equality.
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194; and

Whereas the Democratic Socialists of America national convention voted to support the BDS movement in 2017, reaffirmed its commitment in 2019 by establishing a BDS & Palestine Solidarity national working group, and in 2021 included BDS in our National Platform; and

Whereas this struggle is critical to those of us here in Utah, which is one of 32 states with an anti-BDS law on the books; and

Whereas our state capitol (Salt Lake City) currently engages in police exchanges and training programs with Israeli occupation forces [SLCPD in Israel]; this training has been happening in cities across the state and country for more than two decades; and

Whereas our state currently sends $24,031,816 of our tax dollars to fund the Israeli military, instead of investing in our communities in the forms of, for example, 297 elementary teachers, 15,970 people receiving food assistance, or 324 clean energy jobs [https://uscpr.org/militaryfunding].

Whereas our lives are already negatively intertwined with our comrades outside the US, through our government’s contributions to apartheid structures in the Israeli state, and as socialists it is our responsibility to redirect that harm within the imperial core away from our comrades, reinvest that money and energy in our own communities, and foster solidarity by joining Palestinian civil society’s call for a US policy of BDS of Israeli apartheid.

Whereas the illegitimate vote by the National Political Committee to decharter the BDS & Palestine Solidarity Working Group was the latest overreach (according to the national Bylaws, the NPC does not have this authority) and continues a pattern of crossing the BDS picket line in defiance of DSA’s stated mandate to support BDS.

Whereas the illegitimate vote to decharter overrode the decisions made by the majority of convention delegates at the 2019 Convention that established this Working Group in the first place, and was won by only a simple majority, lacked credibility, and will harm our larger organization if any part of it is allowed to stand.

Therefore be it resolved that we, the Democratic Socialists of Salt Lake, stand in active solidarity with the DSA BDS and Palestine Solidarity Working Group, and while we approve of the NPC’s recent decision to reverse its attempt to decharter, we call for the reinstatement of the leadership of the Working Group, reversing the NPC’s one-year ban on members of the steering committee from participating in national positions.

We concur with the Working Group’s Statement in response to NPC’s egregious and illegitimate punitive acts and the authors of the For An Internationalist DSA in their support of dissenting NPC members when they write: “we invite you to commit to struggling through conflict, to remain true to our anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist values, and support us in standing with our Palestinian and Palestinian-allied comrades against censorship.” 

Be it further resolved, DSSL will publicly announce the resolution in the form of this statement on its website and social media accounts, and send a brief notification of the resolution statement to NPC.

March 2022

Graphic Design Workshop Jan 3-4

DSA Graphic Design Workshop Agenda

 ZOOM LINK for Jan 3rd: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/77276225625?pwd=czR1bHZlSVRpR1hwK0Z0bWI4NVdadz09

 ZOOM LINK for Jan 4th: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/73597738848?pwd=bXcySTZ0enJDYzF6R05wYWFiQ2MrUT09  

In the chat please introduce yourself, pronouns, what skill level and what software you use. If you could please turn on your cameras Thanks! 

Feel free to type questions in the chat- we will have someone answering questions along with the presentation and demonstrations!

Day 1  Sunday Jan 3rd 6:30-9pm MST

Introduction 5 mins

What is Graphic Design 15 mins

Ten Graphic Design that will improve your designs Tips  25 mins

Design Project I Instagram post 45 minutes 

(Gimp/Photoshop, Free Templates. RGB color space, pixel perfect file formats, working with type. Instagram engagement tips) 

This exercise is about quickly making eye catching infographics with text.

 Break # 1 10mins reconvene around 8pm MST

Design ethics and Fair Use 10 Mins

Design Project II Print Poster 45 mins

 ( Photoshop,Indesign,  DPI, CMYK color space, Print file formats, Working with images)This exercise will focus on making print posters that communicate messages from afar.

Q&A  10 mins

Closing Day 1

(optional) Overview of Day 2 content for those who can not make it. 15 mins

 Day 2  Monday Jan 4th 6:30-9pm MST

 Introduction 5 mins

 How to brainstorm, work collaboratively, and think creatively 15 mins

 Printing things on a budget.  10  mins 

Design Project III  Using Design a projector to make a giant banner (30 minutes)

(Gimp/Indesign, Tile Printing, Projection tracing, Screen Printing overview)

Question and Answers/ Help and advice on your own work! 30 mins

 Break #3 10 mins

 Design Project IV Memes, Image Macros, GIFS 40 mins

(Gimp/Photoshop, Animation)

 Closing notes.

All About Socialism (In Progress)

Many new members are just getting their start in socialist philosophy. For them, we aim for all of our members to understand socialism and feel comfortable talking about it with their friends.

Here are some resources for that:
What is Democratic Socialism?
ABC’s of Socialism
Fundamentals of Marxism
An Anarchist FAQ

We know that not everyone is keen on reading large books about politics, so we have a few videos to show as well.

How to talk about socialism.

You’re already an expert on talking about Socialism. Think about why you, personally, are a socialist. What made you realize you were a socialist? What have you seen or learned that has crystallized the need for Socialism and made it real to you?

The most effective way to talk about socialism happens in 2 parts:

A personal story about a problem caused by capitalism.
The socialist antidote to the problem. 

Here are some examples:

Personal story: I’m a Socialist because I was volunteering in a free clinic and realized that I could be there for ten years and there will be even more people who can’t afford co-pays then than now. I still do it, but we have to change the capitalist system.

Socialist antidote: In a socialist society, health care, along with other basic needs like housing and education would be a right that everyone enjoyed, not something only the very rich can afford.

Personal story: I’m a socialist because of my student loans. I’ve paid about $27,000 in interest on my student loans, but only $3,000 towards the principal. I’ve been paying for 10 years. I feel like an indentured servant that will never be free from my debt.

Socialist antidote: In a Socialist society, education would be seen as a right and available to everyone without needing to go into enormous debt.

Sometimes you’ll get folks with honest misconceptions about socialism asking a question you don’t know the answer to. Or bad faith folks might try to “red bait” you by asking something like “but what about Venezuela?” Here’s are some great lines that set you up to share your vision for a better society.

“I don’t know about that but I’m a Socialist because…”
“I hadn’t considered that but here’s my personal experience trying to survive under our current capitalist system…”

Talking About DSA

You’re talking to some socialist curious friends and they ask you why you joined DSA. Don’t panic – you’re already an expert on talking about socialism. Here’s a quick explainer about what DSA is.

DSA is the largest socialist organization in the United States. We’re an activist organization, not a political party. It’s a big tent which welcomes many different anti-capitalist perspectives. We use a variety of tactics, from legislative to direct action to win a better world for working people.

After that, a really natural place to is talk about how you first heard about DSA and why you joined. Here are some common examples:

I knew about DSA for awhile but I was really impressed with their fight to win a universal right to counsel for all tenants in San Francisco. I joined because I wanted to work on things that make life easier for working people.
I heard about DSA from a friend. I used to think that socialism was a good idea, but impractical because the United States seems so conservative. Then I saw Alexandria Ocasio Cortez win her primary on a socialist platform and I decided that I wanted to get involved.
I heard about DSA because someone was canvassing for Medicare 4 all. Talking with them made me feel like we can win universal healthcare in the United States. I joined and started volunteering after that.
I saw a DSA contingent at a rally. It was refreshing to see a lot of people my age organizing and I started going to meetings to see what I could do to get involved.