Member Statements on Amendment to 2024-03-GR3: Choose Solidarity - Build the Left, Fight the Right

Statements from chapter members in favor and against the amendment to 2024-03-GR3: Choose Solidarity - Build the Left, Fight the Right will be posted in this thread.


From Chris Riddiough

Re: The Proposed Amendment to the Choose Solidarity – Build the Left, Fight the Right Resolution

I oppose the amendments to the resolution. The original resolution is a strong exposition of the position Metro DC should take regarding the 2024 election. The amendments weaken the original resolution. The proposed amendment would delete the second Whereas clause:

Whereas, a Republican trifecta government under Trump would be positioned to ban abortion nationwide, build vast deportation camps to expel millions of undocumented immigrants, forcibly detransition trans people across the country, purge the federal government of politically disloyal civil servants, escalate US support for the genocide in Palestine, and invoke the Insurrection Act to mobilize the military to police Democratic cities and states. A national right-to-work law and Trump NLRB would be disastrous for labor organizing and could chill the exciting uptick in labor organizing across the entire economy. A second Trump victory would be catastrophic for the international working class by risking an expanded war in the Middle East, a more aggressive economic and military posture toward China, a breakdown of relations with center-left parties in Latin America and more;

It is clear from recent local elections that abortion is important to many US Voters. From Ohio to Alabama, voters have turned out to defeat candidates who are supporting further restrictions. And LGBTQ Americans are the target of both legislatures and school boards.

I know from my own experience as a lesbian and a socialist feminist that we do not want to go back to the days when LGBTQ could be arrested just for socializing in a bar, could lose our jobs (perhaps most famously DC’s own Frank Kameny, one of the founders of the gay movement), faced threats of violence just for holding hands. I don’t want to return to the days when they ignored a health crisis for years simply because it was gay men who were most likely to have AIDS or when trans people were treated like freaks and denied the health care they needed. Nor do I want to return to the days when women had to call ‘Jane’ to get an abortion, when women went to jail for providing illegal abortions to other women, when it was illegal for women to get contraceptives, when women couldn’t get credit cards or own a house on their own. Have we achieved full equality and justice? Of course, not. But we are so much closer to it than when I first came out, some 50 years ago.

But that’s exactly where we’ll wind up if Trump is elected.

Why then does the amendment delete the whereas clause above. The original resolution clearly lays out the importance of defeating the right in this election and the impact Trump’s election would have on so many communities from women and LGBTQ people to undocumented people, labor, and so many others.

The amendment would also delete this language from the first Resolved clause:

Resolved: … We recognize that a second Trump presidency would be disastrous for working people, particularly people of color, queer people, immigrants, and residents of the District of Columbia;

This would also eliminate references to queer people and other who would be targeted by a Trump administration.

There are other aspects to the amendments that are problematic, but I wanted to focus on the impacts on women and LGBTQ of a new Trump Presidency. We must recognize that the fights of people of color, women, LGBTQ people, undocumented workers are fights that every socialist should be committed to. If we don’t fight the right and build the left, then all of us will be in jeopardy.

Vote NO on the amendments!


This amendment’s most impactful change to the base resolution is a removal of the following clause: “Following the 2023 Convention resolution mandate to defend democracy through political independence, opposing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign without endorsing Biden by openly criticizing Trump and his far-right agenda from an independent socialist perspective and not taking a national position that discourages people from voting for the Democratic nominee for President—a position that would make right-wing advances far more likely.” I disagree with this amendment because it is imperative that DSA takes a firm anti-Trump stance.

I am a socialist for a simple reason – I want to make the world a better place by empowering the working class and improving material conditions for those most marginalized by capitalism. A second Trump presidency would absolutely, without question, do the opposite. The queer and trans community is already facing aggressive rollbacks of our rights. Protections from the federal government are not nearly enough, but Trump would certainly roll them back further and put our community at further risk for hate crimes and discrimination. The anti-immigrant sentiment whipped up by the first Trump presidency led to increased hate crimes towards immigrant and non-white people, and Trump’s immigration policies tore families apart. A second Trump presidency would be worse, emboldening xenophobic sentiment and policies. And Trump’s mode of politics is corruption at its finest – he gutted the capacity of key federal agencies like the EPA by putting anti-government leaders in charge. A second Trump presidency would damage the very institutions we need to build to enforce anti-monopoly laws, pro-labor laws, and environmental protections, to name a few.

Of course, Biden is no hero on these issues. The Biden Administration’s failings are many, none worse than it’s shameful inability to call the genocide in Palestine what it is and stop the endless stream of American money for weapons for Israel. I do not have one drop of praise or even respect for Biden and will continue to support Uncommitted campaigns, participate in and organize protests against American funding for Israel’s genocide, and personally give what I can towards aid for Gaza. A second Biden presidency is by no means a win for socialism. A second Trump presidency would be a serious loss, particularly for the most marginalized among us. The working class understands the material stakes of this election – people’s rights, personal safety, and lives. DSA must take a firm anti-Trump stance that recognizes these stakes, and so I urge my fellow members to vote against this amendment to remove this position from the Choose Solidarity resolution.


I strongly support the original Choose Solidarity - Build the Left, Fight the Right resolution, and I encourage chapter members to do the same and vote AGAINST the Amendment.

For nearly a year now, I have spent my days working with frontline LGBTQI+ activists in some 80+ countries. Just before that, I worked for the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus throughout the 2023 legislative session, during which far-right legislators proposed (and sometimes passed) an onslaught of anti-LGBTQ bills, as well as legislation directly targeting many other groups such as immigrants and workers. I am extremely familiar with what a wide array of repressive, queer and transphobic governments are capable of and what that looks like on the ground here and abroad. To name just a few examples, I have queer and trans comrades in countries like El Salvador, where President Nayib Bukele’s policy changes and a recent tirade about “gender ideology” at CPAC has created a climate of fear among allies in the public university system who would otherwise support LGBTQI+ organizing on UES campuses; in Kyrgyzstan, where they cannot register (and can even be deregistered) as an organization if they defend feminist or LGBTQ causes; in the Philippines, where queer and trans organizations are maliciously “red tagged”; in Angola, where a homes, offices, and a shelter for LBQ women face raids by police, are ransacked and vandalized, residents are physically attacked, and a community leader was recently murdered; and most notoriously in Uganda, and perhaps soon other countries on the continent such as Ghana, where decades of evangelical missionaries and far right machinations from the US are resulting in the violent erasure of LGBTQI+ people, up to and including anyone who would support (or even so much as hide or ignore) them.

The far right political and religious organizations that attack us here are attacking our queer and trans comrades everywhere; they are extremely well connected internationally and operate with several times the resources we have available to us. Moreover, they are significantly aligned with (and often the exact same) anti-immigrant, anti-labor, and pro-Israel organizations. The return/rise of a far right government in the US will provide immeasurable resources — financing, networking, platforming, and political legitimacy — to an extremely dangerous global apparatus that is increasingly skillful in attacking, weakening, and destroying the ideas, peoples, and institutions socialists should be fighting tooth and nail to defend. The queer and trans colleagues, comrades, friends, and loved ones I have in a handful of Latin American countries are by and large a leftist bunch. They are critical of the US in general, and of Biden in particular, and yet because of the immense ripple effects our politics has on their countries, they often anxiously ask me what I think is going to happen in November. Almost all of them would prefer to have at least the amount of space for political maneuvering that they/we currently enjoy, and certainly over the twilight zone of regression and repression that we could very well end up in (and that some of them already live in and don’t want to spread).

The same could be said of almost any policy issue affecting marginalized and working class people. As other chapter members have already pointed out, we could lose any real fighting chance at preventing the worst effects of climate change, a virulently anti-union NLRB (with assistance from other agencies and state and local governments) could clip the wings of a resurgent labor movement, hundreds of state and local level attacks on trans rights and bodily autonomy would be joined and supported by the federal government, and so on. I would implore chapter members to not be so quick to dismiss these significant qualitative differences and the material consequences they entail. I also have not heard much acknowledgment of how much worse it will be the second time around. The far right now have detailed plans, thousands of extremists with experience in government, thousands more waiting in the wings in lobbying firms and PACs and think tanks, and more favorable courts and state and local governments than ever. In short, they’re not going to bumble through it for four more years and fail to bring about their vision this time. Regardless of the immorality and political failings of Biden as an individual and the Democrats as a party, what is in question is not a single person holding a specific office but the sum of all governments and institutions at all levels and how they relate to each other. This inevitably impacts our capacity to exact gains that benefit (or at least block or weaken draconian attacks on) marginalized and working class people at any given point within that political conjuncture. In this sense, it quite literally does not matter if any individual leftist thinks “they’re one and the same,” whether referring to parties or a politician. If one already believes bourgeois liberal democracy is failing us, the question is not which party or politician is better but which political conjuncture best serves us as socialists organizing to build a socialist movement and the power of the working class.

It is strategic to fight the far right, right, and center on all the fronts DSA has already outlined leading up to this election. There are meaningful ideological, material, political, and social battles to be waged and victories to be won in the face of dire present and future circumstances — these bring in members, build organizing capacity, forge new leaders, and give rise to more socialists. It is not strategic to take a position that could mean shooting ourselves in the foot and potentially hobble us for years to come, especially when there are other options such as those proposed in the original resolution, unamended. There are already groups “to the left of DSA” that will play the role of aggressively calling out the powers that be — which DSA also already does! Despite the important organizing many of these groups do, they live beyond the margins of US politics in electoral, governmental, and policy terms — akin to DSA before 2016. If they are gaining more members who will do more organizing, that’s great! However, at least for now, they are not political players in the same way DSA has been in recent years with some 80 thousand current members, tens of thousands of former members, and hundreds of thousands of observers and sympathizers who have supported our campaigns or voted for our (now hundreds of) candidates and electeds. The position we take matters because we actually win the fights we pick, and because of that there are a lot of people who take political cues from DSA. We don’t need to and shouldn’t actively advocate for supporting Biden or Democrats beyond fighting for our own campaigns and candidates, but we don’t need to waste resources on and potentially be the reason a few thousand people in a few states swing the election in a horrific direction either.


The chapter should reject the amendment to the Choose Solidarity: Build the Left, Fight the Right resolution and pass the resolution as originally introduced. The original resolution is a basic uncontroversial restatement of the DSA’s fundamental political strategy as we have practiced it for many years, while the amendment downplays the urgent threat of the anti-democratic right in order to depart from the strategy we have been following. The amendment restates the basic abstentionist error of the American ultraleft. Even as our direct opponent in most struggles in and around Washington, DC is the right wing of the Democratic party, we should never forget the principal enemy of working class politics in the United States: the pedophile Nazi Republican party.

Since our rebirth during the first Trump administration, DSA has followed a policy of uncompromising resistance to the right. I doubt I would have joined if I hadn’t seen Democratic Socialists all over the early resistance protests, and I was not alone: our period of fastest growth came when we were leading direct actions against family separations at the border. We built a base in part by fighting Trump, but unlike other progressive organizations that swelled at the same time, like Indivisible or SURJ or the Women’s March, we were willing to fight Democrats. As such, we have continued to fight and advance a positive program under a Democratic administration, and have held together much more than those groups. Our strategy of fighting within the Democratic party and against the RepubliKlan party has worked: we have advanced important reforms, built mass organization, participated in a promising renewal of the labor movement, and generally restored the socialist left to a level of political power, intellectual seriousness, and cultural influence not seen since the beginning of the Cold War. We haven’t made revolution, but neither has anyone ever in any liberal capitalist democracy. We can point to important successes and promising trends while most of the global left is in disarray and retreat. We should stick to the general political orientation we have followed over the last 7 years.

Right now, at every level of government across the country, the Nazi pedophile Republicans are working to make our lives worse. They are always fighting to ban abortion, institutionalize homophobic discrimination, take away healthcare and social insurance, legalize child labor, smash unions, poison our air and water, sell off our public lands, abuse transgender children, criminalize homelessness, entrench racial segregation in housing and employment, persecute immigrants, and above all, to cut taxes. They perpetrated wars of aggression that killed millions, established a global network of illegal torture prisons, and constructed an inescapable system of digital surveillance that we still live under today. In the face of crises like COVID and climate change, they peddle denialism and promote self-destructive egoism, leaving millions more to die. They propose to abolish home rule in DC and restore the direct rule of a Congress where we aren’t even represented. Today they openly declare their intention to roll back the sexual revolution, the civil rights movement, and the new deal in order to re-institute the barbarous social order of the 19th century. They frankly oppose democracy, and they have successfully carried out one coup d’etat to overturn the results of an election and attempted another.

Of course far too many Democrats have collaborated in these crimes, but at every turn, it is the RepubliKKKans who take the initiative and chart the path liberals walk down regretfully. In some ways, the most damning indictment of the Democratic party establishment is that it has failed to see the Nazi pedophile Republicans for what they really are and fight them accordingly. When we want to insult a particularly reactionary Democrat, we say they are a Republican. There is no question of which party is worse.

Even so, at the national and local level we have repeatedly voted not to endorse Joe Biden, and we were correct to do so. While the Biden administration exceeded my expectations in some respects (for instance by installing the first NLRB since the 1940s to enforce labor law and intervening diplomatically to prevent a coup in Guatemala), its support for Israel’s mass murder campaign is disqualifying morally and strategically. Of course, even on the issue of the genocide in Palestine, Trump and the Nazi pedophile Republicans are much worse. Of all the members of Congress who have called for a ceasefire, not a single one comes from the GQP. The Trump administration didn’t just defend Israel, it spent substantial diplomatic capital bribing governments around the world to normalize relations. Trump encouraged the most fanatical Zionists to push the envelope and shut down any peaceful path to Palestinian self-determination. There is a reason Netanyahu and his allies openly campaign for Trump. This is not to say we should campaign for Biden, I repeat that we should not, we should support the uncommitted campaign, as we have. But we should not delude ourselves that a second Trump administration will be any better.

Even if we don’t have a candidate, any presidential election is important and it’s worth struggling for a sophisticated line. We should not endorse or campaign for Biden, but we should also not campaign against him, or draw false equivalencies in our public communications. If our line is that Biden and Trump are the same, most people will correctly conclude that we are stupid and ignore us. For reasons of institutional necessity, every labor union, every progressive organization we might conceivably want to work in coalition with, and frankly, nearly every DSA elected official is going to campaign for Biden. We should not join them, and we should tell them why, but we shouldn’t pick sectarian fights with them or call them genocidaires. Generally we should focus on opportunities to advance a positive program and win rather than grandstanding about an election where no especially positive outcome is possible.

I don’t know if Trump has any chance of establishing a hybrid authoritarian regime if he gets re-elected, but he’s clearly open to the idea, and the Nazi Republicans will go along with it because it would help them cut taxes. What I do know is that in every case of severe democratic backsliding in the last century, whether in Europe in the 20s and 30s, or South America in the 60s and 70s, or Egypt and other corners of the Middle East in the 2010s, sectarianism on the left and divisions within pro-democratic forces have been extremely helpful to aspiring fuhrers. And the maxim that “after Hitler (or Pinochet or Sisi), our turn” has never proved true: under reactionary authoritarian regimes, what left survives has no choice but to align with certain capitalist interests that prefer the rule of law to tyranny for the sake of a stable investment climate. When and if democracy is reestablished, the left that remerges tends to be domesticated. There are reasons to think that it can’t happen here, but there are concerning signs on the horizon and we shouldn’t rule it out and think about how we can prevent it. At the very least we should avoid the most obvious mistakes of the past.

Vote no on the amendment, vote yes on the original resolution, oppose reactionary Democrats without conceding an inch to the pedophile Nazi RepubliKKKan party.



-Gary zZz

I urge socialists to SUPPORT this amendment!

This amendment would set a stronger chapter orientation towards the Presidential elections, rooted in our actual organizing conditions. The original resolution is a good accounting of our chapter’s approach and capacity for interacting with Presidential politics. However, it fails to anchor a political analysis that explains why our socialist organization organizes for structural independence from the Democratic Party. We have a responsibility to project this sort of political clarity. This amendment corrects this oversight in the original resolution.

This amendment does not “anti-endorse” Biden. It does not draw equivalence between Biden and Trump. It does not downplay the threat Republican flirtations with fascism presents in our political system. It does, however, acknowledge fascism as a system that will exist regardless of who wins the Presidential election. The Democratic Party is less fertile for fascist proliferation, but as we’re seeing Democratic politicians, with tacit support from Biden, crackdown on support for immigrants, boost the power of police, and rev up the international war machine, we see how the political party can launder fascism in even “blue” constituencies. We must call this out, and this amendment does that!

Trump, a decrepit 80-year-old gameshow host, is not a unique threat — fear-mongering about his power and those behind him risks strengthening the fascist position by legitimizing their propaganda and posturing. We cannot enable the fascist spectacle by shrinking our analysis and demands. Fascism is not a system that relies on unique politicians or political parties to operate. Fascism is a social movement that grows specifically to counter organized labor power. When socialism is strong, fascism will rise to counter it! This amendment recognizes that!

The amendment also has a stronger analysis of DC’s orientation towards the Presidential race. District autonomy has been rolled back more under Biden than under the previous Trump regime. Biden and the Democrats abandoned this city and still see it as a bargaining chip for federal politics. As an organization deeply rooted in the fight for District statehood, we need to resolve and demand for more from the Democrats. This amendment does that.

Messaging resolutions like this can seem perfunctory, but they matter in that it marks a history of our positioning and analysis. Many other smaller chapters of the DSA, as well as satellite activist organizations, unions and anti-capitalist collectives, look to us for guidance on orientation and analysis. We have a responsibility to demonstrate a socialist analysis rooted in principles, resolve and class independence. This amendment makes this resolution something I would be proud to project, and I believe our organization is well primed to boost this position.

Vote YES on this amendment, comrades!


As a former Steering Committee member, and a DC area trans community organizer frustrated with the lacklustre efforts of this administration to defend equality, and as a woman who spent 26 hours in a jail cell (not a women’s one) in protest of the Biden administration’s support for Israeli genocide in Gaza, I hope you will indulge me in assuming that I do not write this out of any great love for Joe Biden or his administration.

I, too, fear that continuing to nominate uninspiring and bland candidates will eventually lead to the victory of another far-right President. I agree with comrades who place the principal share of the blame on the Democratic establishment for their complacency and inaction in the face of a fascist danger that threatens not just our interests, but our lives. I am proud that DSA helped lead the dissent against Biden over Palestine in the primary elections by playing a central role in “Uncommitted” delegate campaigns.

But this does not mean we are entitled to sit on the sidelines in the general.

DSA is one of the largest organizing forces in the metro DC region. We move voters and we move opinions, and we are accountable to the people who look to us for advice in our recommendations about the election that will determine our organizing conditions for the next four years. DSA should tell the truth. And the honest truth is that Trump is worse.

Trump would seek to ban all transgender healthcare in America – whether for children or adults. He would prosecute parents and teachers who allow children to socially transition. His administration would ruthlessly target state governments which attempt to retain protections for trans Americans and aim to eradicate us from public life, as conservative leaders pledged to roaring crowds in front of CPAC. I cannot stress enough that these people want to put me in a death camp.

His administration would shut down any hope of undoing the new Jim Crow violations of democracy seen around the South and other red states. DSA itself would likely be subject to political policing, as part of his promised anti-socialist and anti-communist crackdown. Far from easing up on US support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza, Trump’s administration would be staffed by Christian Zionists who seek to force all the world’s Jews to settle in Palestine in order to trigger their vision of apocalyptic war. Unquestioning support for Netanyahu – not just cowardly complicity – would be assumed as part of this policy.

Our greatest gains of the last several years – in the labor movement – would be undermined by a state that is committed to breaking the backs of any alternative centers of power. Business lobby groups would demand the dismantling of progressive NLRB rulings and federal intervention to break strikes and unionization campaigns in the private sector. Advances in Starbucks and campus organizing, which were aided significantly through judicial rulings, could be overturned rapidly.

And this is just the beginning – his pledge to fully purge the federal bureaucracy would do to administrative governance what the conservative movement has already done to the federal judiciary – that is, turn it into an entrenched bulwark of reaction. The consolidation of a fascist federal state is not something that can be undone as easily as it can be put in place. Nor will his efforts to remake the world remain within the United States’ borders – a tide of support for Latin American fascists like Bolsonaro will unfold and nuclear brinksmanship with China will be thrown into overdrive.

The question before us is whether we – an organization that represents a major current in our region’s politics – should weigh in to say that you should vote against Trump. You should vote against Trump. You should have the courage to tell your friends in swing states that they should vote against Trump. And so should DSA.

Vote against this amendment, which attempts to use the cause of DC statehood to carry water for Donald Trump, who would repeal the Home Rule Act. Vote against this amendment, which strikes mention of the Trump administration’s attacks on transgender Americans. Vote against this amendment, which seeks to allow national DSA leaders to call an election boycott – a measure which would turn DSA into a voter suppression campaign in favor of Donald Trump, given that the doors we knock on are primarily registered Democrats.

Forget about the slogans for a second. In your heart, do you really want DSA telling Virginia’s Bernie voters to boycott the election? Will that make you feel proud to be a socialist, if it leads to Trump winning? Don’t get it twisted - the people who voted for Nader might have convinced themselves they didn’t care whether Bush or Gore won, but innocent civilians in Iraq paid the blood price for their moral purity. You joined DSA and not the Green Party because you understand that we need to build power through organizing, not purity politics. Some people think a Trump victory will make DSA grow like it did in 2017. They forget that we grew because people like you and me believed that Bernie would have been the best candidate – that democratic socialism would have been the best program – to beat Trump, not because we believed Trump was better than Hillary. Abstaining from clear, directed opposition to Trump will not position us to lead the opposition, it would make us complicit in his victory and unworthy to carry the mantle of leading the democratic socialist opposition.

Trump is worse. Vote for the underlying resolution and AGAINST the amendment to remove its meaningful content.


Comrades, I urge you to vote AGAINST this amendment. First and foremost, I believe it takes the focus away from what we are facing in the 2024 election: a possible victory for an ascendant right wing flirting with, and possibly outright dating, fascism. Striking the whereas clause that lays out the likely outcomes of a Trump victory, as well as the second sentence of the first resolved clause, is a mistake to me: we should be clear eyed at all times about the political realities we face. As Marx says, “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.” I’d much rather we had Rashida Tlaib on the ballot, but we don’t; and I think this amendment will actually make it harder to possibly run a socialist candidate for president in the future and win. Simply wishing that Trump doesn’t represent a truly frightening crackdown on the socialist movement, on the freedom of LGBTQIA+ people, immigrants, and people of color doesn’t change the reality that he is; this is the historical circumstance we must organize in. Especially in the context of DC, an outright rejection of both parties is a tacit acceptance of losing home rule, such as we have; this would be a crushing blow to the work the chapter has done shifting DC government to the left in already restrictive circumstances.

I also believe it’s key that we retain point 6 under the 5th resolved clause. The chapter should commit itself to the national convention’s ratified approach, and that is directly and explicitly opposing Trump. I find it quite important, as a DC resident, a family member to immigrants and trans people, and someone from a republican controlled state who is deeply personally aware of what full Republican control looks like, that the chapter oppose Trump: he will go after us, and the communities we are all a part of, in a way that should genuinely scare us. To strike out this section is, to me, a grave error. We shouldn’t endorse Biden, but that’s already there in the struck language, and opposing Trump doesn’t mean we need to do so, either - we should clearly and explicitly lay out a socialist perspective opposing Trump while remaining honest about what a second Trump presidency will mean for our movement. Striking this language takes out that important honesty, and I believe we should retain that perspective when considering the 2024 election.

Straightforwardly, I think it’s key we reject the dichotomy presented here: either you’re for Trump or for Biden. This amendment uses exactly that liberal mindset the Democratic Party loves to throw around - and I personally am not interested in it. We’re socialists: we can think dialectically and recognize that campaigning against Trump - but NOT for Biden - offers us the chance of denying a fascistic Right the levers of state repression while expanding our capability to challenge the Democratic Party in the future. This is why I’m in DSA: I’m sick of being told there are only two options, and I want to build something different - offering something to the hundreds of thousands of workers in the DMV alone who want someone to stand up against fascism is part of building something new. I assume that’s why most of us are here; let’s stick with that thinking.

I urge you all to reject this amendment and stand against Trump and for an independent, socialist line opposing him.


I am writing in opposition to the proposed amendment to the resolution titled “Choose Solidarity - Build the Left, Fight the Right”. My opposition stems from my view that the amendment takes a dangerous and incorrectly flattening view of the current political stakes and dynamics. While the author’s whereas clauses are not inaccurate in total - indeed we all know that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats offer any real meaningful positive change for the working class - the view that they are therefore the same is, I believe, incorrect. Let’s take the actual changes to the Resolved clauses in turn.

  1. Removal of “We recognize that a second Trump presidency would be disastrous for working people, particularly people of color, queer people, immigrants, and residents of the District of Columbia”: This removal speaks to the exact flattening that I mention above. By every measure a Trump presidency would be worse than another Biden term. Removal of this language does not result in acknowledgment of the ills of Biden’s presidency, but simply removes a truth that can be objectively measured.

  2. Insertion of “uniting and organizing the section of the working class ready to reject the genocidal capitalist parties around the For Our Rights action program” and deletion of “in the event of a Trump victory”: This, in my view, ignores what I see as our primary vehicle of change, namely a mass movement of the working class. Instead, the amendment relies on a subsection of the working class who is already advanced beyond the majority of the working class. I don’t disagree that we should be organizing this section, but focusing solely there is misguided. Plenty of everyday residents of the DMV are interested in growing into socialism but are perhaps not fully ready to turn their nose up at the Democratic party.

  3. Insertion of “Example language from the national Choose Solidarity campaign kickoff: ‘The establishment tells us that we have to choose. Between immigration or safety. A strong economy or a green transition. Standing against genocide in Palestine or protecting Trans lives. Between two candidates, once every four years.
    But as socialists, we know it’s all a false choice. That in the fight for our future, there’s only one real choice. To Choose Solidarity, and build the independent power it takes to make our own choices.’”: This in itself is fine, in my opinion.

  4. Removal of “Following the 2023 Convention resolution mandate to defend democracy through political independence, opposing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign without endorsing Biden by openly criticizing Trump and his far-right agenda from an independent socialist perspective and not taking a national position that discourages people from voting for the Democratic nominee for President—a position that would make right-wing advances far more likely.”: This is another case of flattening and the crux of my disagreement with this amendment. I have family and friends whose lives will undoubtably be more dangerous under another Trump term. We’ve already seen messaging about Project 2025 of plans for large and centralizing changes from Republicans should they seize the executive branch again. As socialists, we need to defend what little democracy we have while simultaneously pushing for better. We need room to organize in. This is not to say that we need to or should endorse Biden. Pushing Biden, particularly on his genocide in Gaza, is good, and the uncommitted campaign is an excellent way to convey popular anger. Attempting to use this moment to jolt to life some viable third party or some equivalent effort is misguided, in my opinion.

In closing, I believe the proposed amendment offers little upside while opening the door to major downsides. Those downsides of course include the potential second Trump term, as discussed in detail above, but also include a reputational risk. While it is possible that messaging as suggested in this amendment sees an increase in recruitment among a certain section of the working class, I do not believe that this section of the working class is the largest. In fact, I suspect that the section of the working class likely to join with this targeting are already leftists, potentially in smaller organizations. We risk our reputation with the broader public, the greater masses, who may (through media latching on to the proposed messaging) blame DSA for another Trump victory. Whether or not this is true, we gain very little by offering ammunition to that line of attack.


Vote no on amending Choose Solidarity
Tim Smith

We owe it to the working class to be ruthlessly effective. That means choosing tactics, strategies, and campaigns that create new socialists, build working class power, and alter our material conditions, and eschewing those that do not, it means putting in long hours on tasks that are often invisible and thankless, and it means having rigorous debate about our course of action, to ensure that we make the right choices. This amendment effectively asks us to agree that we don’t see a meaningful difference between Trump and Biden, and to make the bet that condemning Biden and Trump in the same way will be effective because it is a costly demonstration of our principles, which will, the argument goes, appeal to politically-disengaged members of the working class who agree with us. I think both of these premises are nearly precisely backward, and it is because I think we need to build DSA into a self-conscious party of and for the working class that I urge you to join me in voting no on this amendment, and yes on the unamended base resolution.

For the purposes of building DSA and using it to win victories for the working class, Biden and Trump aren’t the same, and frankly aren’t particularly similar. This is clear even in Biden’s indefensible support for genocide in Palestine: Trump would have been at least as bad on the merits, but our response – large protests in progressive cities, the No Money for Massacres phonebanks, and now Uncommitted campaigns – would have been nearly totally ineffective under Trump, because a Republican government can simply welcome our hatred. Even if our tactics had been totally ineffective materially (they have not been, flipping house votes and scaring the Biden camp does matter), the significant effect that they have had on acting like a party would have been blunted by the lack of earned media and enthusiasm over visible victories, which DSA hs used to recruit, recommit, and develop its members. Furthermore, Trump will absolutely undermine the institutions we’ve used to build power – labor unions, tenant unions, elections, perhaps even DSA itself – which Biden has not and will not do. Especially in the DMV, this is hugely relevant, because the institutional landscape we face in DC and Maryland is actually quite favorable, and this changing very quickly – especially in DC, where a second Trump administration is a direct threat to all of home rule, not just what Democrats are willing to degrade – would make us much weaker, not stronger.

I also see no evidence that there’s some significant mass of politically-disengaged workers who will respond to our unflinching moral clarity in campaigning against both Trump and Biden by joining us in building DSA as an independent mass party. If this is true, I have yet to see persuasive evidence that it is: Bernie’s 2020 campaign bet big on a softer version of the argument, in its attempt to bring non-voters into the Democratic primary, which did not work, and many on the organized left argue that our focus should be on the advanced sections of the working class, often in reference to recruiting from microsects with significantly worse records than DSA. We absolutely should be more intentional about recruiting outside of our de facto social base – downwardly mobile college graduates with white collar jobs – but I’m not familiar with any evidence that tells us that campaigning against both Trump and Biden would actually do this for us. It seems far more likely that this course of action will alienate the base we’ve been steadily turning into committed socialists since 2016, because they’ll correctly read it as a choice of aesthetic purity over feasible political impact, while getting us no credit whatsoever from the vanishingly small number of organized leftists who are currently unwilling to join. This is to say nothing of how it will alienate the unions and community groups who have helped us win genuine victories: I won’t shed a tear for losing the respect of the John Fettermans and EMILY’S Lists of the world, but our tactical alliances with UAW, UNITE HERE, and Casa, to name a few, have been good for us and for them, we shouldn’t toss them aside unless we’re sure to get something very valuable out of it, and that isn’t the case here.

This chapter won’t affect the national election directly, but we can make ourselves stronger, by practicing campaigning against fascism while recruiting and onboarding members who share this concern, rather than weaker in this general election season. We shouldn’t campaign for Biden, but we should campaign for Uncommitted, TRBA, TOPA, and other things Republican fascists hate while clearly saying that a second Trump presidency would be a disaster for the policy goals that motivate us to do those things. Please join me in voting against this amendment, for the underlying resolution, and then building the left we need to fight the right, because no one – not corporate Democrats, not progressive Democrats, not PSL – is as well positioned as we are here in Metro DC DSA.


Comrades, I urge you to vote AGAINST the Amendment to Resolution 2024-03-GR3 Choose Solidarity - Build the Left, Fight the Right and, instead, maintain its original language. The base resolution simply reaffirms our position as socialists to fight fascism in all of its forms and take seriously the real threat of a second Trump term. Based on some debate at the March GBM, there seems to be some confusion about what the base resolution actually entails. Some people seem to think that merely acknowledging the dangers of a Trump presidency and taking a public stance to prepare ourselves for the reality of having a target on our backs signals tacit support for Biden. However, the original text clearly avoids endorsing Biden, and, in fact, encourages people to vote “Uncommitted” if it’s an option in your state for the primary explicitly to “…register discontent with Biden’s actions and to encourage him to change course on Palestine and/or to step aside.” To me, this is uncontroversial and aligns with our values as socialists to fight fascism, with the National DSA endorsement of the Uncommitted campaign, and with reality.

Additionally, the amendment strikes out any mention of Trump and the horrifying impacts an empowered fascist party would have on our chapter specifically, our marginalized comrades, DC home rule, working class people all across the country, etc. To be frank, I don’t understand the point of this at all. Removing this language doesn’t carve out some new, or radical, position as a chapter, nor does it provide any substantive clarity to action we would take in the case of a second Trump term. It actually obfuscates what our local orientation is to fascism — which is not only morally corrosive, but would likely indicate a weak and quixotic stance to our local coalition allies. They may even distance themselves from us, which would weaken our organizing efforts locally.

I think the vast majority of DSA members recognize the Democratic Party is feckless, weak, and has failed working class people time and time again — this is what makes DSA unique within left organizing spaces and why we often focus our efforts on defeating centrist Dems locally. Their ineffective policy making and moral ambiguity pushes people to the right and increases the likelihood of working class people being subsumed by a nascent fascist movement. Which is why we should constantly be pushing them to take seriously the threat of what an empowered Republican Party represents to democracy. This is precisely the motivation behind the Uncommitted campaign: Biden’s disgusting position on Palestine has alienated a significant segment of his base and could cost him the election unless he calls for a permanent ceasefire. The notion that socialists recognizing the risk of a second Trump term is somehow a tacit endorsement of Biden is just as silly as centrist Dems positing a vote for “Uncommitted” is a vote for Trump. It is completely false. I reject the premise and so should you.

The original resolution makes clear that we need to take material steps in gearing up for what will be tumultuous political terrain under Trump without endorsing Biden. The amendment fails to strike this balance and, in fact, obscures our position.

For these reasons, I urge you to vote AGAINST the Amendment to Resolution 2024-03-GR3 Choose Solidarity - Build the Left, Fight the Right.


I’m Julian A (he/him), an SOS organizer and undergrad student activist at GW. I want to highlight one particular line in the amendment:

“Growing the socialist movement by uniting and organizing the section of the working class ready to reject the genocidal capitalist parties around the For Our Rights action program”

This March, we had some incredible turnout at the SOS anti-eviction canvass. A big part of the reason for that was the participation of college students at GW and AU, which I (along with the AU comrades) have been pushing this year. While I can’t claim to speak for the conditions at AU, many of the people who turn out for these canvasses from GW belong to the advanced section of the working class referenced in that line; they are active in protesting against Joe Biden’s genocide in Gaza. Moments of crisis like these, where the ideological hegemony of the two-party system begins to crack, should be an opportunity for us to build DSA and draw people into a long-term commitment to the struggle for socialism and against empire.

But unfortunately, I haven’t seen that happen on the student front. Despite a resurgent student movement, active around Palestine, but also labor, climate, and reproductive justice, we see little growth of YDSAs (in fact, the GMU one recently collapsed, leaving only AU and UMD). Instead, at least among radical students and youth, there’s been growth of other groups, perceived (often incorrectly) as more “principled” or “further left” than DSA. And if we pass this resolution unamended, we must be honest about what it is, even if it’s hidden behind a set of double negatives: a soft endorsement of Joe Biden. People will see this for what it is, and it will only push these advanced sections of the multiracial working class away from DSA.


During his Administration, Donald Trump came close to busting federal sector unions and weakening critical job protections of federal workers. He ultimately failed because he ran out of time.

The federal government is the largest employer in the Washington, DC area. Federal workers include higher paid white collar workers as well as blue collar workers. They are members of the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Treasury Employees Union, the National Federation of Federal Employees, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and other unions.

Through many administrations federal employees have faced attacks from Republicans and neo-Liberal Democrats in Congress and the White House. These forces tried to solve fiscal issues on the backs of the workers, while weakening federal unions and giving tax breaks to the super rich and corporations. However, none went as far as the Trump administration.

During his Administration Trump issued anti-worker executive orders which:

-weakened federal employee job protections and limited grievance and collective bargaining rights, while making it easier to fire workers.

-made it difficult, if not impossible, for union shop stewards to represent their co-workers by eliminating “official time,” which allows union activists to represent their co-workers on the clock with no loss in pay.

-eliminated the right of workers and their shop stewards to file EEO complaints through their negotiated grievance procedures.

-kicked local unions out of negotiated office space on government property, making it more difficult for workers to meet confidentially with shop stewards. These offices also allowed local union rank-and-file officers a place to meet away from the eyes and ears of management. (The federal government is “right-to-work”/”open shop,” meaning workers don’t have to pay dues to the union, giving it limited funds for important expenditures, including rent in a private building.)

Trump also issued an executive order that would have eliminated the civil service job protections of thousands of federal workers, making them at-will employees who could be fired at any time without a reason. This would have allowed the Administration to fire current workers and replace them with others who would follow Trump’s dictates, legal or illegal. This executive order, which was issued too late in his term to be implemented, would also have eliminated these workers right to be a part of a union.

What was the effect of these executive orders? Many local unions had a hard time functioning. In many, local steward systems broke down. In some, national or regional union staff tried to pick up some of the slack, but this didn’t solve the problem.There are not enough staff reps to do all the work of a dedicated cadre of local union shop stewards. And by reason of necessity, it pushes local unions in the direction of staff domination at the expense of rank-and-file control.

What stopped this? Trump lost the election and, once in office, Biden revoked the executive orders. With another 4 or 8 years as President, Trump will reissue these executive orders and successfully break federal unions while eliminating vital worker rights and protections.

I have no illusions about Biden. His support of Israel’s murderous attacks on Gaza is beyond the pale. We must continue to demand a permanent ceasefire, build the uncommitted movement and work for Palestinian freedom.

We must build a mass movement for workers’ power, racial justice, LGBTQ rights and win others’ to our side on Israel-Palestine while working together for justice.

And we must remember that Donald Trump is a fascist.

I urge you to vote AGAINST this amendment and FOR the underlying resolution “Choose Solidarity - Build the Left, Fight the Right.


I’m writing in opposition to this amendment. I appreciate the author for bringing this forward, but I think the amendment is too focused on understating the harms of a Trump administration and making an equivalence between Biden and Trump. I believe that is a dangerous position for socialists to take and support the underlying resolution unamended. I urge you to vote against this amendment.

As socialists, opposition to fascism is a core tenet. This presidential election unfortunately provides us with two terrible options, both devoted to big corporate donors and abetting genocide. I don’t endorse either side– I fully support Uncommitted in MD, and I’ll be writing in Rashida Tlaib in DC. And that’s why I support the original resolution unamended- one that doesn’t endorse Biden, but calls for us to support uncommitted ballot campaigns and socialist legislators and to fight the right. A Trump presidency would be markedly different than Biden and would threaten our lives and the lives of vulnerable communities across the country. To see what a second term under Trump could look like - look at Florida and Texas, where kids are losing gender-affirming care, where people are going through forced births, where border crossings are being criminalized, and where construction workers are being forced to work in 100 degree heat without water breaks because the state strips back every possible protection. I do not want any of that to become a nationwide trend. As difficult as our work is under the current administration, it would become even more difficult under a fascist one.

A second Trump term could lead to a nationwide abortion ban and possible bans for the abortion pill and birth control. It would accelerate deportations even more and Stephen Miller has indicated that he would target millions more immigrants living in the US. Trump would likely take away Home Rule in DC, which would get rid of our local government and what little autonomy we have. One of the small bright spots of the past four years has been an emboldened NLRB that has made it easier for workers to organize in a hostile legal environment– with a second Trump term, those gains would be lost and workers’ rights would be stripped even further. And if Trump wins, he plans to clear out the civil service and replace them with people loyal to him.

We are all under attack as visible socialists under a Trump administration. Project Veritas has already infiltrated the chapter and ruined livelihoods and brought death threats to our members. There will not be an org to bring people into if every apparatus of the state, from the IRS to the National Guard, turns on DSA.

Trump winning again won’t send a message to Dems to move left- we know that because him winning in 2016 didn’t do that. The Democratic establishment can survive a second Trump term, but so many people across the country can’t. All a Trump win will do is put a fascist administration in place off the backs of our most vulnerable communities. People came to DSA in 2016 and 2020 because of Bernie, not because of Trump. They saw a national campaign and a mass movement that provided us with the possibility of a better world. A 2024 Trump presidency would be devastating for our country and for every single one of us. Please vote against this amendment.


To my fellow Comrades of Metro DC DSA,

Are you still fighting for someone you don’t know?

I am writing to you today as a former member of the chapter’s steering committee, a proud fourth generation union member, and a bonafide transgender. Vote ‘no’ on this amendment.

This discussion reminds me sincerely of the conversations going on amongst comrades within my union. Which is to say I think this is a legitimate question that our class is wrestling with. The biggest determining factor in one’s orientation to this question, as I see it, is whether they perceive their own personal material conditions to be threatened by a second Trump term. This, I believe, is a grave problem and represents a lack of reflexive solidarity. It further removes the elements of class from our politics and makes it even more into a team sport.

By this, I mean that the state of affairs that lay before us are so devastating that many would prefer to fully reckon with ‘doing politics’ amongst these conditions. Absence of an affirmative choice does not remove the agency of elements such as preferability.

Does a second Trump term threaten access to Transition medication to you or someone you love? Does a second Trump term threaten the ability of you or your coworkers from forming a union? Does a second Trump term threaten the immigration status of you or someone you care about? Does a second Trump term threaten the reproductive freedom of you or someone you care about?

My answer (as someone who would be deeply affected by a second Trump term): It doesn’t matter if you or someone you know would be affected. As socialists we should be fighting for people, even those whom we do not know.

I don’t need to tell any of you comrades that Trump sucks. This question of whether Biden not being good implies we ought to sit out this election. My answer: No we shouldn’t do that. For the sake of ourselves, for the sake of those closest to us, and most importantly for the sake of the people who are not.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on this.

In Solidarity,

-Hayden Gise


I am firmly opposed to the amendment. Some of the changes to the WHEREAS clauses raise questions that the chapter should consider further. In a yes-or-no vote on these amendment as a whole, however, I am far more concerned with the RESOLVED clauses, which define what we will actually do. The strength of the original resolution is that it lays out our approach for all of internal DSA work (Choose Solidarity), the primaries (Uncommitted), down-ballot elections (Save the Squad), and the Presidential election. The amendent would change our approach to the Presidential election from a concrete plan to oppose Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to a vague, non-actionable set of postures. This would be a terrible move. As much as we all hate it, the Biden vs. Trump contest is going to happen, it’s going to dwarf all the other campaigns and contests in the general consciousness, and we need to do something about it.

Without the resolution’s current point #6, we are effectively going to sit out the Presidential election, as the amendment offers no alternative to the “oppose Trump without endorsing Biden” path. First and foremost, I object to taking this path because it would be a dereliction of our values not to speak up about the disaster that a second Trump presidency represents. Secondly, refusing to be a forceful anti-Trump voice will cause us to waste a massive opportunity for recuitment, mobilization, and positioning. We are not going to generate a membership/interest bump by defending the Squad - potential DSA supporters will want to know what we’re doing about Trump. Our path to success is to emphasize that the Democrats do not offer a forceful, long-term alternative to Trumpism, and we do. That path starts with coming out loud and clear that we reject everything Trump stands for.


This proposed amendment deletes anti-Trump language from the original resolution. I believe DSA must clearly stand against Trump in the 2024 election and not discourage people to vote for the Democratic nominee for President. I think it is very important for DSA to create a political brand and community separate from the Democratic Party. However, in the US, we have lots of formal barriers to presenting a meaningful electoral alternative, the same barriers that have doomed countless efforts to create new political parties and independent electoral campaigns. For now, we are stuck in the crucible of the two-party system. In the Electoral College swing states which will decide the outcome, we have two meaningful choices in the 2024 election for President. They are both bad, but one is obviously better and will result in less harm. Biden has sponsored horrific genocide in Gaza, but a Trump presidency would be even worse. A Republican Congressman from Michigan just said Gaza should be approached “like Nagasaki and Hiroshima."

A second Trump presidency would be disastrous for the working class, marginalized populations, and our Left political project. Trump will likely mobilize the US security state to further surveil, harass, and attempt to crush the Left. Another Trump presidency could deal a death blow to our democratic institutions and crucial public services. These are, of course, flawed and insufficient, but we will miss them when they’re gone. Trump, among lots of other horrific things, wants to dismantle the merit-based federal civil service and fire committed public servants (like me) who are trying to improve public services and the welfare state. We may lose the workforce and institutions that are the really existing bones of the robust welfare, regulatory, and planning state we envision building. DSA must clearly communicate the stakes of this election to its members and the public. I urge my fellow members to vote against this amendment to remove it from the Choose Solidarity resolution.


I am writing to urge my comrades to vote NO on the proposed amendment to ‘Choose Solidarity: Build the Left, Fight the Right’. While some additions in the amended language are positive and clarify our positions, the overall amendment weakens the underlying resolution significantly and could negatively impact our organizing efforts both locally and nationally.

The original resolution clearly states our position: Joe Biden has not served the interests of the working class, domestically or internationally, but a second term for Trump would be disastrous. It acknowledges that both can be true at once and emphasizes that while condemning the outright fascist threat Trump poses. During Trump’s previous term, his actions emboldened fascist and far-right movements both in this country and around the world, leading to detrimental consequences globally.

As socialists, we are engaged in a battle against both fascist and neoliberal influences within a deeply flawed political system. The circumstances under which we organize are crucial, and enduring another term under Trump would exacerbate already dire conditions. It’s important to clarify that our stance is not an endorsement of Biden but a recognition that neither major political party truly supports the working class. We must mobilize a mass movement of workers to achieve the power necessary to establish a system that serves everyone, and our approach to national politics and presidential elections holds significant weight.

The unamended resolution effectively communicates these principles. However, with the proposed amendment, I fear our adopted stance would become less coherent, potentially rendering us fringe and less effective in rejecting fascism while advocating for socialism. It’s imperative to understand that Joe Biden and liberalism do not present a genuine alternative to fascism—socialism does. We must assert this unequivocally.


Voting No On the Amendment to “Choose Solidarity - Build the Left, Fight the Right”

I’ll be voting NO on the proposed amendment to the “Choose Solidarity - Build the Left, Fight the Right” resolution. I hope fellow Metro DC DSA members join me in voting NO on the amendment, and then voting for the unamended “Choose Solidarity - Build the Left, Fight the Right” resolution.

Much like the national DSA strategy during the 2020 presidential general election, the base resolution language of “Choose Solidarity - Build the Left, Fight the Right” outlines a vision and actionable steps for our chapter and national DSA’s presidential-level electoral strategy in 2024. In short, the base resolution ensures that, from now until the presidential election in November, Metro DC DSA will be ready to fight the right, build independent working-class power throughout our region, and—in the event of a Trump victory—defend our right to continue organizing.

However, I’m voting against the amendment to this resolution because the amendment removes most specific references to how and why a second Trump term would be so dangerous for so many people—including DSA members, progressives, and labor union activists. I joined Metro DC DSA in 2017 and saw this danger during the first Trump administration. Most notably, in 2018, far-right operatives infiltrated our DSA chapter and targeted several chapter members with nationally-coordinated doxing campaigns, which resulted in sustained death threats to our members (including me) and members’ families. It’s entirely possible—and, I believe, highly likely—that a second Trump presidency would be a harbinger for similar attacks.

I therefore cannot vote for an amendment that strips language highlighting the unique threat posed by a second Trump administration. Trump and his allies are already discussing plans to purge the federal civil services of “unloyal” workers and wield federal law enforcement against political opponents, reinstate even more restrictive immigration bans, deport students who stand in solidarity with Palestine, and punish doctors who provide medical services to trans people. This list is just the tip of the iceberg.

It’s true that the Biden administration has done its part to further systemic oppression both in America and around the world. That said, Trump and his allies represent a near-term existential threat that we must address head-on. As DSA members, we therefore need to be absolutely clear-eyed in standing against Trumpism. Because this amendment removes much of the language referring to Trump and his dangerous policies, I’m voting NO on the amendment and urge others to do the same.