Chapter News

Solidarity with students against McCarthyist School Board intimidation!

Steering Committee
April 11, 2021

Democratic Socialists of America (dsausa.org) supports student organizing for democratic control over their learning and working conditions, particularly through our youth and student section Young Democratic Socialists of America (y.dsausa.org). Salem DSA (SalemDSA.org) is the local chapter for all DSA members in Marion and Polk County, and we all volunteer our time to organize for economic and social justice.

We absolutely support the reporting by Salem-Keizer student Eddy Binford-Ross about the many problems with our current School Board, just as we continue our full support for the years-long campaign led by Salem-Keizer students in Latinos Unidos Siempre (LUS) to end the school-to-prison pipeline. Building knowledge and building unity is what changes the balance of power, and the work of these students is a model for all students in the District.

Chair Chandragiri is not fooling anyone: he’s choosing to deny recognition to one of Salem-Keizer’s most accomplished students because she criticized his politics. This is not new for the Chair, who has a history of silencing all voices who disagree with him or his far-right financial backers, although he has gone to new depths of pettiness by singling out one student in this case.

In December 2020 he shamefully equated public accountability of elected officials to domestic violence, hoping he could ignore LUS’s calls to end the SRO contract (a fight he eventually lost). His new strawman argument is textbook red-baiting. Fred Hampton said, “socialism is the people. If you're afraid of socialism, you're afraid of yourself.” So far Chair Chandragiri has made it clear that he’s afraid of socialism and that he’s afraid of the people—at least the ones who don’t agree with him.

Eddy Binford-Ross has nothing but support and solidarity from Salem DSA. If simply sharing her reporting on Facebook is enough to make Chair Chandragiri and his rich donors nervous, we will feel even better about continuing to do so. We are confident that she will continue to uphold her journalistic integrity in the face of the Chair’s petty rudeness, which is nothing compared to the police violence she faced while reporting in Portland through clouds of teargas last summer.

We urge the Salem-Keizer community to read the March 21 article “Scandals, Special Interests And Dysfunction Plague School Board” and to join with us in winning the School Board back for students, school workers, and the community by voting for all four progressive candidates by May 18th: Osvaldo Avila, Ashley Carson Cottingham, María Cecilia Hinojos Pressey, and Karina Guzmán Ortiz. Send an email to info@SalemDSA.org for ways to get involved.

In solidarity,

Salem DSA Steering Committee