Authors: Marianela D’Aprile, Megan Svoboda, Jack McShane, Lillian Osborne, Jeremy Gong
Be it resolved that DSA will use elections, public offices, and legislation as vehicles to encourage working-class organization, promote progressive legislation, and build support for democratic socialist ideas. This class-struggle electoral strategy will employ the following criteria to make national endorsements of candidates who:
1. Openly identify as socialists.
2. Through their election campaigns, and once in office, see mobilizing and fighting alongside working people as one of their primary responsibilities. They will use their public profile to popularize a class struggle perspective, one that sees the working class as the agents of change and capitalists and capitalist politicians as the main barrier to change.
3. Actively and explicitly oppose racial, national, gender, and other forms of oppression and discrimination and repudiate support from oppressive or bigoted figures.
4. Commit to using their campaigns and elected offices to help build and unite socialist, union, and other worker organization and militancy independent of candidates’ campaigns and of the Democratic Party.
Be it further resolved that DSA is committed to building political organization independent of the Democratic Party and their capitalist donors. Our immediate goal is to create a “candidate pipeline” program for qualified DSA members and potential class-struggle candidates. Such a candidate pipeline will require the allocation of national staff time to build out the program. In the longer term, our goal is to form an independent working-class party, but for now this does not rule out DSA-endorsed candidates running tactically on the Democratic Party ballot line.
Be it further resolved that DSA will adopt a class-struggle approach to the Bernie Sanders campaign. This includes creating independent socialist political propaganda; building a strong DSA for Bernie campaign; supporting Labor for Bernie efforts to democratize union endorsement processes and win union backing for Sanders; and preparing to build working-class organization beyond the Sanders campaign, whether Sanders wins or loses.
RATIONALE Whereas electoral races have given DSA opportunities to further galvanize the socialist movement, popularize our political program, bring attention to our organization, build our organizing capacity, and grow our membership,
Whereas the National Electoral Strategy adopted at the 2017 convention prioritizes a grassroots approach at the chapter level for electoral campaigns but does not outline an approach to national electoral campaigns,
Whereas DSA has nationally endorsed several dozen electoral candidates across the country in the last two years and will continue to receive requests to do so,
Whereas DSA’s national electoral strategy should work toward building working-class power and spreading socialist ideas across the country, taking advantage of the attention garnered by electoral races to further highlight the difference of interests between the capitalist class and the working class, therefore...
BUDGET OR STAFF IMPLICATIONS One electoral organizer dedicated to develop candidate pipeline after Sanders campaign ends; no new hire required.