Chapter News

What is DSA?

March 1, 2020

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is a member-driven activist organization, not a political party, and Salem DSA is our local chapter! All across the country, DSA members are organizing for single payer healthcare, public housing and tenant unions, stronger and more democratic labor unions, transformative justice and the end of prison slavery, immigration justice and freedom of movement, sustainable society and a healthy planet, and much more. Salem DSA has been bolstering the Left presence here in Oregon’s capital through education and coalition work, primarily around immigration justice and environmental justice, for just over two years—and we’re only just getting started. Heading into 2020, we are organizing not just to kick Trump out, but to keep growing the working-class consciousness and power that we need no matter who’s in office.

We on the Left need to proclaim our big ideas and our fundamentally democratic values, and not simply rely on talking points approved by the Democratic Party’s wealthy donors. Democratic Socialists believe “we the people” should control not just the government, but also the powerful economic institutions that deeply affect our lives. We model our path to power on examples like the work of the Black and Chicano liberation movements, the strike organizing of the labor movement, the disruptions of the gay liberation movement at the height of the AIDS crisis, the moral clarity of Indigenous peoples who fight for land and self-determination, the mass organizing of the antiwar movements, and the anti-imperialist struggles that oppose capitalist intervention around the world. When we combine such movements and tactics with socialist thinking, we working-class people have the power to move the world.

DSA members know that socialist thought and action are central to struggles to advance our world. We are people who care deeply for others, and we look to deepen our solidarity with other workers to fight together against the systems that exploit and oppress all of us. We connect socialist ideas to meaningful work that teaches us more about the world and how to change it. We challenge one another to be better, we aren’t afraid to have a difficult conversation, and we know what it means to have someone’s back. We carry on this struggle as everyday people, your neighbors in small towns and big cities, across the country, every day.

Take the next step: join with us in imagining and building a world that values people over profit! Stand up with us for your socialist values. Work with us both to win immediate reforms that help everyday people, and to increase the capacity of the working class to bring to life a greater vision: a truly democratic society free from capitalist exploitation and oppression. We invite you to join us in an effort worthy of a lifetime commitment.