Harassment and Grievance Policy

Democratic Socialists of America: Harassment Policy
Written by The Harassment Working Group, passed as Resolution 33 at the 2017 DSA Convention on Aug. 4, 2017

On Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedure
Passed as Resolution 2 at the 2017 MDC DSA Convention on Oct. 7, 2017

“Dear Comrade Letter” implementation guidance and resources
Written by The Harassment Working Group, last updated Nov. 22, 2017

DSA is committed to creating a space that is welcoming and inclusive to members of all genders, races, and classes. This policy provides guidelines to ensure that everyone is able to organize without fear of harassment, abuse, or harm.

To file a grievance, contact a Metro DC DSA harassment grievance officer (HGO). Our two HGOs can be contacted via an email address that functions as a confidential reporting “hotline” and is only accessible by the HGOs: hgo@mdcdsa.org. Please include your contact information, the names of the parties involved, and a description of the incident(s) you would like to report.

The HGO(s) will conduct interviews and any other necessary investigation, determine if a report is credible, and make any recommendation of appropriate disciplinary action to the Steering Committee, in writing, within 30 days. (Per a Steering Committee vote on Aug. 20, 2018, if any Steering member either files or is the subject of a grievance, they will recuse themselves from any HGO communication to Steering regarding said grievance.)

In order to ensure an effective alternative option for anyone who does not have full faith and confidence that their report will be quickly and correctly resolved through the chapter’s HGO(s), National has also designated an HGO. To file a grievance with National, use this form.

Resolution 33 prohibits retaliation against any member for filing a grievance.

Metro DC DSA Forum Code of Conduct

In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we as community members and moderators pledge to making participation in this forum and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, education, socio-economic status, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.

Our Standards

Examples of behavior that contributes to creating a positive environment include:

  • Using welcoming and inclusive language
  • Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences
  • Gracefully accepting constructive criticism
  • Focusing on what is best for the community
  • Showing empathy towards other community members

Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include:

  • The use of sexualized language or imagery and unwelcome sexual attention or advances
  • Trolling, insulting/derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks
  • Public or private harassment
  • Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or electronic address, without explicit permission
  • Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a DSA setting.

Our Responsibilities

Moderators are responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable behavior and are expected to take appropriate and fair corrective action in response to any instances of unacceptable behavior.

Moderators have the right and responsibility to remove, edit, or reject comments, forum topics, post edits, and other contributions that are not aligned to this Code of Conduct, or to ban temporarily or permanently any participant or member for other behaviors that they deem inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful.


This Code of Conduct applies both within this forum and in public spaces when an individual is representing the forum or its community. Examples of representing the forum or community include technical calls about the forum, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event.


Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior may be reported by contacting an HGO as described in the Harassment and Grievance Policy. All complaints will be reviewed and investigated and will result in a response that is deemed necessary and appropriate to the circumstances. Handling reports will happen in line with the process the grievance committee implements as part of Resolution #33 passed at the 2017 convention.

Moderators who do not follow or enforce the Code of Conduct in good faith may face temporary or permanent repercussions as determined by other members of the forum’s leadership.


This Code of Conduct is adapted from the DSA National Discussion Board Guidelines, available at https://discussion.dsausa.org/faq, which was adapted from the Contributor Covenant, version 1.4, available at https://www.contributor-covenant.org/version/1/4/code-of-conduct.html

Terms of Service

In addition to our Code of Conduct, we also have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behavior and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.