Statement from Stu K IN FAVOR of Resolution 2021-08-R04
I’m submitting this short statement in support of the resolution to authorize a merchandise (or ‘merch’) store for our DSA chapter. I urge all Metro DC DSA members to vote YES on resolution #2021-08-R04 so that our chapter can add another tool–a merch store–to our messaging and fundraising toolbox. I would also like to thank Lauren K for her diligent work in putting together this resolution.
My rationale for supporting this resolution is below:
There is demand among chapter members for Metro DC DSA-specific merchandise distributed and/or sold by the chapter. Previous merchandising efforts in our chapter (e.g., Rusty the red panda t-shirts, Stomp Out Slumlords t-shirts, Defund MPD facemasks, etc) have been successful, with steady sales of the chapter-related merchandise to chapter members and non-members alike. The price tag to start a merch store may be somewhat steep, but based on previous merch sales in the chapter, we can be sure that there is demand to meet whatever supply the resolution authorizes for purchase.
Establishing a structure for developing and distributing chapter merchandise will improve our fundraising efforts. With a merch store in place, the chapter will have a system dedicated to the generation of non-dues revenue for the first time ever. If we hope to increase our non-dues fundraising totals, fundraising channels like a merch store will be key. Lauren K, the sponsor of this resolution, has also consulted with other DSA chapters and allied organizations about best practices for setting up merch stores.
Chapter merchandise will help promote the chapter and our democratic socialist values. When chapter members all show up to a protest, canvass, or organizing meeting while wearing old chapter-produced t-shirts or pins, non-members take notice. Producing and distributing more (and newer) Metro DC DSA merchandise will lead to even more instances of no-yet-DSA members becoming more familiar with the chapter through improved chapter visibility.
For these reasons as outlined, I resoundingly support the authorization of a chapter merch store. As I said above, I urge all Metro DC DSA chapter members to vote YES on resolution #2021-08-R04.