Member Statements on Resolution 2021-08-R03

Statement from Stu K IN FAVOR of Resolution 2021-08-R03

I’m submitting this statement in support of the resolution to approve a candidate questionnaire for Metro DC DSA. I urge all members to vote YES on resolution #2021-08-R03 and approve changes to our chapter’s candidate questionnaire.

My rationale for supporting this resolution is below:

  • A standard endorsement questionnaire is a prerequisite for a serious electoral program. As the current chair of the chapter Steering Committee, the former chair of our chapter’s Political Engagement Committee (PEC), and one of the coordinators for much of our chapter’s political work over the last five years, I have seen first-hand the value of having a standard endorsement questionnaire that our chapter can send to candidates interested in our chapter’s endorsement. A standard questionnaire ensures that chapter members can equally compare all candidates who pursue a Metro DC DSA endorsement. The questionnaire up for approval would continue our chapter’s practice of using a standard questionnaire for all candidates.

  • Members of the chapter’s Political Engagement Committee (PEC) have sought and incorporated input from chapter members. In April and May of this year, PEC members facilitated six different meetings for chapter members to make suggestions about how to reform the chapter’s candidate endorsement process. Two of those sessions were focused specifically on changes to our chapter’s candidate questionnaire. I shared the link to notes from those six meetings at a previous general body meeting.

  • Members of the chapter’s Political Engagement Committee (PEC) have also sought and incorporated input from other DSA chapters. Nicole Z, a two-term PEC member, has met with representatives from the Pittsburgh and New York City DSA chapters about how those chapters structure their endorsement questionnaires. Considering the electoral success that both Pittsburgh and New York City DSA have achieved in the past five years, any advice from either chapter on questionnaires would be valuable.

  • The sponsors of this resolution are skilled and successful electoral organizers in their own right, and I trust their judgement in updating our questionnaire. This resolution’s sponsors have all led successful electoral efforts and, as a result, I believe they understand the utility (and limits) of questionnaires as a way to engage with candidates. Based on my read-throughs of this questionnaire, the changes that the sponsors of this resolution have made to the questionnaire will put our chapter in a better position to evaluate candidates for endorsement and hold those candidates accountable if our chapter chooses to endorse them.

For these reasons as outlined, I wholeheartedly support the changes to the questionnaire as included in the resolution put forth by current PEC members. Also, I would like to thank Nicole Z for leading on the updates to our questionnaire, along with the other current members and previous members of the PEC who assisted. And as I said above, I urge all Metro DC DSA chapter members to vote YES on resolution #2021-08-R03.