March 2021

March 2021

Hot off the presses. We hope you enjoy these updates from our chapter officers and active working groups.

In Solidarity, 

The DSA Ventura County Steering Committee

🌹✊🏿🌹✊🏻🌹✊🏽🌹✊🏼🌹✊🏾🌹 


RSVP for Upcoming Events


 New Member Orientation

 Before the General meeting

 6:00-6:25PM

 Thursday, April 1

 Link to RSVP

General Meeting 

 Right after New Member Orientation 

6:30-8:00PM 

Thursday, April 1 

Link to RSVP 

 Coffee with Comrades 

 11:00AM-1:00PM 

 Saturday, April 3

 Link to RSVP

Reading Group 

11:00AM-1:00PM 

Sunday, March 28 

Link to RSVP 


Officer Reports


Chair

Hi there! I’m Keith, the chapter chair. This past month, we’ve seen some great work happening across Ventura County. From working with comrades around Medicare For All or the local community garden - it’s really amazing when we put our feet in the street and take action to directly impact our neighborhoods. The statewide CA DSA exploratory committee has completed a first draft of bylaws which details how a statewide group of DSA chapters will work. This initial draft will be presented at the next General Meeting. If you’d like to dive into the nitty gritty, or even if you want a short breakdown, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at the chapter email - I’ll be happy to talk about how we can build statewide working class power in an equitable manner that represents all Ventura County residents. Pa’lante Siempre!

Secretary

Howdy. I’m Rae, the chapter secretaryThis month, the Bylaw Update Committee’s continued our work to write new bylaws for our ever growing chapter. We discussed ways to codify decentralized leadership and began drafting our new bylaw document. During the March Chapter Meeting, I presented the proposed leadership positions in the new bylaws. Checkout the March General Meeting minutes to review the details. Thank you to everyone who’s contributed so far. We have one more meetings scheduled before we present the full bylaws to the chapter during the May general meeting. If you'd like to join us, please let me know!

Treasurer

Hello. I’m Michelle, the chapter treasurer. Checkout last month's treasurer report. Our chapter is really growing, both in membership and in funds. Monthly membership (vs annual) dues allow our chapter to receive a percent back from DSA national four times a year--last month, we received $684 from our quarterly due shares. This is the largest lump sum we have ever received to date; it beats last years’ quarterly due shares combined. This means we are growing. More funds translates to more chapter supplies and projects. We now officially have a megaphone and a DSA flag. I also want to thank all individuals that help our chapter grow with your donations. Individuals can make monthly donations, one time donations, or mutual aid donations on our website.


Tech Help Wanted!


Are you a comrade who gets down with the 1s and 0s?

At our last chapter meeting, we voted to kickoff a short project to update our technical infrastructure. We are seeking someone to lead this project, and volunteers to help complete the project.

Tech Update Committee

Purpose: Create a proposal for our chapter to update our technology infrastructure

Membership: Any active DSA Ventura County member may participate

Timeline: April-June

Potential Areas of Definition

  • Goal: Determine the best hosting solution for our needs
    • Maintain contact with comrades
    • Build our website and events calendar
    • Email hosting
  • Goal: Services should cost no more than $500/year
  • Goal: Utilize services and providers that align with our values

If you’d like to get involved, email [email protected] or join the slack channel: #wg-tech


Working Group Reports


Outreach

Our Outreach working group had a very productive month.  We interviewed some new dues paying members to find out what they are passionate about and where they would like to work within our organization. We found that new member Dylan was happy to take on leadership of our Reading Group.  Please join him and the chapter on the last Sunday of each month at 11am.  

We also are reaching out to the broader population by sending out a letter to the editors of the local newspapers.  We are making yet another plea that our representative, Julia Brownley, co-sponsor the Medicare For All legislation currently being considered in the House of Representatives.

Join the slack channel: #wg-outreach

New to DSA? Interested in meeting other members?

Join us for Coffee with Comrades! 

11:00AM-1:00PM | Saturday, April 3 - and every Saturday after our monthly chapter meeting!

Link to RSVP


Mutual Aid

The Mutual Aid working group continues work on the Restore Ventura community garden site behind EP Foster Library in Ventura. What started as an effort to build a few raised beds has transformed into a much involved terracing project that will stabilize the slope and create about 400 square feet of new garden space to feed our community. After taking the weekend of March 7th off we’ll be back at it to finish up the half-completed terrace system on Saturday, March 13th and Saturday, March 20th. If you’d like to get involved with this effort please RSVP for either or both dates, and byo water, gloves and gardening tools if you can. These are masked, socially-distanced outdoor work days.

Have a mutual aid project idea and some time to pitch in to help make it a reality? We welcome any and all contributions that uphold mutual aid principles of community solidarity and building networks of support outside the capitalist system, just speak up in the Slack or attend a working group meeting and let us know how we can help.

Join the slack channel: #wg-mutualaid

Want to get involved?

Mutual Aid Working Group Meeting

6:30PM-7:30PM | Thursday, March 18 - and every 3rd Thursday of the month!

Link to RSVP

Sign up to volunteer: https://forms.gle/ufH4acmKsKN7th9n7


Healthcare Justice

February was a great month for Healthcare Justice. March is turning into a productive month, as well. We are discussing with Mayor Rubalcava the possibility of introducing a Ventura City Council resolution in support of MedicareForAll as has been done by many cities now, including Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Assemblyman Ash Kalra has introduced AB1400 CalCare with 19 sponsors so far, virtually identical to MedicareForAll for all residents of California. NNU & CNA have been offering trainings and strategy sessions to work on building support and sponsorship for AB1400 and members of DSAVC Healthcare Justice wg have been in attendance to learn strategies and build alliances.The deadline to build support for AB1400 is June 4 so we have our work cut out for us!! We have reached out to Senator Límon, Assemblyman Bennett, and Assemblywoman Irwin to ask where they stand on AB1400. Now we need to bombard them with calls, emails, and letters in support. And NNU/CNA are forming plans for the next caravan/rally (date TBA). We definitely have our work cut out for us!!

Join the slack channel: #wg-healthcarejustice

Want to get involved?

Healthcare Justice Working Group Meeting

7:00PM-8:00PM | Monday, February 15 - and every 3rd Monday of the month!

Link to RSVP


Police Oversight

Breathe Act

We have drawn inspiration from a teach-in presented by the Movement for Black Lives about the introduction of the Breathe Act into the Illinois state legislature. Our group is hoping that we can gain important tools from other organizers that have worked on Breathe Act related events. We are planning a town hall type meeting at some point in the near-future discussing the Breathe Act.

Abolition House Party

Another online meeting about police abolition was presented by White People for Black Lives & the LA chapter of SURJ recently. We are hoping to host our own “Abolition House Party” in coordination with local comrades. We are hoping to connect with our local SURJ chapter at the very least.

Police Oversight

We are continuing our efforts to bring an independent police oversight body to Ventura county. We discussed different ways to make this happen. One way we recently considered is amending the city charter. Other big cities have achieved oversight in this way. We will present this idea to COPE, the local collaboration created to advance this project.

Join the slack channel: #wg-policeoversight

Want to get involved?

Police Oversight Working Group Meeting

7:00PM-8:00PM | Monday, March 22 - and every 4th Monday of the month!

Link to RSVP


Reading Group

We're switching things up with reading group! Starting this month, our Socialist Reading Group will be meeting from 11-1 on the 4th Sunday of the month.

In an effort to increase our collective political literacy, and to better understand the nature of the beast we are fighting, this month’s reading group will focus on the essay “Ur-Fascism” by socialist writer Umberto Eco. By discussing Eco’s fourteen tendencies of fascism, we will work on understanding how fascist ideologies are born and how they function. Afterwards, we will all be able to make connections between Eco’s dissection of fascism and the real life examples of fascism we see today.

Join the slack channel: #readinggroup

Join us for our next Reading Group meeting!

Socialist Reading Group

11:00AM-1:00PM | Sunday, March 28 - and every 4th Sunday of the month!

Link to RSVP