2020 is coming to a close. We hope you enjoy these updates from our chapter officers and active working groups.
The DSA Ventura County Steering Committee
PS: Welcome to the 15+ new members who joined us in November!
RSVP for Upcoming Events
New Member Orientation
Before the General meeting
Thursday, January 7
Working Group Meeting
Monday, December 28
Thursday, January 7
Coffee with Comrades
Saturday, January 9
Hi there! I’m Keith, the chapter chair. With our attention shifting from national politics to local action, it’s been refreshing to take a closer look at our working groups and all the projects in the pipeline.
At the November Chapter meeting, we tried something new - a Working Group Spotlight discussion. Thank you to the Police Oversight Working Group, who shared a great presentation to show members what’s happening in the community and how to engage with their work. We will be rotating through our other working groups, so be sure to attend a general chapter meeting and get involved.
Discussions around forming a statewide California DSA organization continue to progress as more chapters have passed their own resolutions of support. I am drafting a resolution for our chapter, using DSA-LA’s resolution as a starting point. If you have thoughts or feedback on the resolution - please do not hesitate to reach out (by chapter email or Slack). I am happy to talk to anyone about the chapter resolution of support or about statewide organizing. Looking forward to presenting a draft resolution at our next meeting - stay tuned!
Howdy. I’m Rae, the chapter secretary. It’s hard to believe it’s already December. As we work our way through winter, I am so excited to be kicking off a 4-month chapter project to update our bylaws. From January to April, I’ll be working with members to craft a proposal for the membership at large.
The goal of completing this process is to help define some of our longstanding practices, like working group functions, to help the many leaders in our chapter get shit done. We hope to have it completed by April, to allow time for adoption before we kick off leadership elections for 2021 in May.
If you are interested in getting involved please email me: [email protected]
Hope you all are ready to end 2020 -- cause I sure am. I’m Michelle, the chapter treasurer, and here is a mini financial report for you: for a small and growing chapter our bank account is looking outstanding!
In November we had 16 new monthly due paying members join our chapter. Since DSA National is committed to helping small chapters grow, we get ~ 20-25% of monthly due shares back as a chapter every 3 months. This is significant for us because it really helps us fund chapter and community projects. You can become a monthly due member here.
We will now need to keep track of noncash contributions. Common examples are donations of food, clothing, equipment, pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Help us keep record of our chapter’s noncash contributions by letting me or your working group Co-chair know. This is a new annual reporting requirement our nonprofit will be making to the Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts. Feel free to reach out with any questions.
Working Group Reports
Outreach has been working on member mobilization and community outreach efforts.
Thank you to all our members who signed the 100k pledge drive to help DSA reach its goal of growing our multiracial, working class socialist organization to 100,000 members by 2021. In the last two months DSA has grown by more than 85,000 members, and our Ventura County chapter has grown by more than 43 members. To help us mobilize, our working group is working on putting together some new resources to help our new members get involved easier. Also, congratulations to our pledge signer who referred three new members first -- you will be receiving a special prize from the DSA online store.
In an effort to reach out to VC residents, we sent two statements to the local press, elected officials and progressive orgs. Three news outlets posted our letter expressing the need for our communities to work together during the pandemic and listing our chapter’s mutual aid efforts. We also sent out a letter demanding the county sheriff clarify the statement they posted on Twitter in reaction to the governor’s pandemic curfew, which the Ojai Valley News is considering posting.
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, January 9 - and every Saturday after our monthly chapter meeting!
Mutual Aid is planning two outdoor work parties in January! We’ll be clearing space and constructing garden beds on two consecutive Saturdays, the 16th and the 23rd. This will be a joint project with Restore Ventura and will take place on the site of their free community orchard. Come by to wield a hedge trimmer, push a wheelbarrow, spread some mulch, and build class consciousness and community resilience all at the same time.
We’re also excited to welcome our new co-chair Shannon Lopez, who joins Steve Pinsky in guiding the activities of the working group. As always, mutual aid is member-led and works best when everybody contributes what they can, so please don’t hesitate to initiate your own projects or propose ideas to the group.
Join the slack channel: #wg-mutualaid
Want to get involved?
Mutual Aid Working Group Meeting
6:30PM-7:30PM | Thursday, December 17 - and every 3rd Thursday of the month!
Sign up to volunteer: https://forms.gle/ufH4acmKsKN7th9n7
We continue to fight the good fight to promote universal single payer healthcare. Members have been attending national webinars to bring suggestions and data back to the working group. In fact, we decided to cancel the December meeting to allow members more time to attend the many informational sessions online this month (see our slack channel for details if you'd like to attend any of these sessions) and to recharge in preparation for our 2021 actions.
Our bimonthly statewide DSA Healthcare Justice meetings are gaining momentum, providing a great place to share thoughts and ideas and to get practical advice from experts. Right now, we are focusing on a plan to promote CA single payer because it's improbably achievable sooner than a national plan. We plan to work alongside HealthyCA, as an affiliate, to assist in this statewide effort.
We are continuing our efforts to get Ventura County City Councils to pass resolutions supporting Medicare for All. We are also continuing to learn as much as possible about Medicare for All and universal single payer to help us in our efforts to educate the voting public and to put pressure on elected officials.
Join the slack channel: #wg-healthcarejustice
Want to get involved?
Healthcare Justice Working Group Meeting
7:00PM-8:00PM | Monday, January 18 - and every 3rd Monday of the month!
The Police Oversight working group have presented Ventura City Council with our Recommendations for meaningful police oversight. This came about as a response to information about the VPD’s own plan to build an oversight body. This is a conflict of interest. We know that the police can’t police themselves and efforts made in the past to do so have only resulted in the police being protected at the expense of the community they serve. While we do not anticipate that our demands will be met or even seriously considered, it is a first step.
In addition, our group has continued its collaboration with local activists. There, we will help push the county to build an independent oversight body. Meaning police oversight is but one way we can wrestle power away from the police. We recognize that our work will not end there. Re-allocating funding appropriated from the police towards schools, healthcare, and public safety is paramount to building a socialist future. It’s a long road ahead. Join us! We can travel together towards a future free from the shackles of institutional violence, coercion and incarceration.
Join the slack channel: #wg-policeoversight
Want to get involved?
Police Oversight Working Group Meeting
7:00PM-8:00PM | Monday, December 28 - and every 4th Monday of the month!
This month, we started reading 𝙄𝙣 𝘿𝙚𝙛𝙚𝙣𝙨𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙇𝙤𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜: 𝘼 𝙍𝙞𝙤𝙩𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙃𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮 𝙤𝙛 𝙐𝙣𝙘𝙞𝙫𝙞𝙡 𝘼𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣. We had a riveting conversation about the first chapter, the Racial Roots of Property. We're diving back in next weekend with chapter two. We hope you'll join us.
Join the slack channel: #readinggroup
Join us for our next Reading Group meeting!
𝙄𝙣 𝘿𝙚𝙛𝙚𝙣𝙨𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙇𝙤𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜: 𝘼 𝙍𝙞𝙤𝙩𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙃𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮 𝙤𝙛 𝙐𝙣𝙘𝙞𝙫𝙞𝙡 𝘼𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝗯𝘆 𝗩𝗶𝗰𝗸𝘆 𝗢𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘄𝗲𝗶𝗹
Chapter 2: Looting Emancipation
11:00AM-1:00PM | Saturday, December 19