Member Statement on 2024-03-GR2: Pleasure Activism or Resolution for a Regular Social Event

Statements from chapter members in favor and against 2024-03-GR2: Pleasure Activism or Resolution for a Regular Social Event will be posted in this thread.


Socialists should be discussing sex and pleasure, but not with $800 of chapter funds. We all pay dues to the chapter and we expect that money will be used wisely to advance socialists goals and grow DSA. This resolution does not accomplish either of these goals and makes no effort to get specific with what these meetings would accomplish. I urge members to vote against this resolution to ensure chapter funds are being used most effectively in collectively defeating capitalism not indulging in our own personal projects.


I am writing in opposition to the resolution submitted to the chapter titled “Pleasure Activism or Resolution for a Regular Social Event”. While I agree with a number of the whereas clauses included in this resolution, I am strongly against dedicating chapter funds for this project. My opposition boils down to three primary points: 1) lack of organizational buy-in, 2) the financial situation of the chapter and, more broadly, national DSA, and 3) alternative paths to fundraising.

Comrades will notice that there are no co-sponsors listed on the resolution. Putting procedural concerns aside (was this properly seconded?), this indicates a lack of member interest, either from true non-interest or from lack of sufficient conversations. Putting together a resolution and doing research can be a one person effort, but hosting an event, any event, and particularly an event that intends to be recurring cannot be a one person effort. I understand that organizational buy-in can be a bit of a chicken/egg scenario, but any resolution ought to come forward only after relational organizing of support. There are plenty of formations within the chapter that lend themselves to conversation around this exact resolution - the Socialist Feminist Section (and the associated reading group around gender justice) and the Reproductive Justice Working Group jump to mind immediately. I cannot tell from what I’ve seen and heard whether or not these groups were even approached about this resolution, let alone if they support it.

For those following National DSA news, comrades are likely aware that our organization is in a tight bind financially speaking. The National Political Committee are putting forth resolutions to lay-off 12 staff as we debate, and dramatic cuts have occurred across the board. While our chapter has thus far been able to avoid the worst of the financial challenges facing National, we are not immune to the same factors - recruitment and retention declines in particular. While supporters of this resolution may argue that this is an avenue to reverse those declines, I am skeptical. In any case, no or low cost variations of the types of events that are proposed within this resolution ought to be tested first before the chapter commits funds.

To that end, I want to note that direct chapter funding is not the only path forward for folks interested in pursuing an event of this kind. Our chapter has been successful in directed fundraising efforts, such as those put on by the Reproductive Justice Working Group, Stomp Out Slumlords, the Labor Working Group, and the Electoral Working Group. This is an avenue that should be explored before chapter funds are requested, especially off-budget cycle. It’s not an easy avenue, but it is one that measures organizational interest and one that protects our democratically determined budget.


I’m writing against the Pleasure Activism resolution. While I appreciate and agree with the subject matter, I don’t think it makes sense for us to spend $800 on it. Sex and pleasure have been previous topics for reading groups and I would encourage members to attend those for deep discussions with chapter members about how those topics are intertwined with capitalism and our role as socialists in unpacking what pleasure means and who it’s for. I would love for us to organize a Socialist Night School or walking tour or some other deeper discussion around these topics, especially in coordination with our Socialist Feminist section or Reproductive Justice working group. There is a lot of room to dig deep into this topic before committing $800, especially considering National DSA’s finances and how strategic we need to be with every financial decision. This event also does not seem to engage any of our working groups that are already doing work or having discussions around these topics. It seems to be a standalone event, with no connection to existing structures in the chapter or to ongoing relationship building or organizing. For these reasons, I am opposed to this resolution to commit $800 for this event.