This forum is for the 2022 NoVA Steering Committee election candidate statements.
Candidate Statement: Farzad M. (1/4):
Hello folks, my name is Farzad Mansouri (he/him). I’m an Iranian asylum seeker who has lived in the USA for about 39 years. Currently I work in IT and live in the Herndon end of Northern Virginia. I became a socialist relatively recently around 2008. I did this after reading the communist manifesto, watching several Left leaning YouTube videos (The Young Turks in particular, GO TYT) and documentaries, and seeing the growing inequality in the United States economic, political, and legal system.
I’ve only recently joined the DSA about less than a year ago because I was interested in the defund and medicare for all programs. Defund interests because I am seeing that not only that police don’t care about the citizenry but they see us as a threat to suppress or oppress. Medicare for all because I hate the privatized death-care system we’re living under currently while politicians can afford the “Cadillac” plan on our dime. Of the two, I prioritized Defund because the cops, along with the FBI and CIA, are the biggest threat to our movement as they are the stormtroopers that capitalists will use against us.
Candidate statement: Kaiser F (2/4):
Hello comrades! I’m Kaiser (they/he) and I wanted to thank you for considering me for the NoVA Branch DSA steering committee.
I’ve been involved in DSA since early 2017, when shortly after the election I was looking for people who were actively involved in countering fascism and oppression. I joined (and remained with) DSA because I found people who were putting principles into actions and willing to try various things. Initially, much of my work was with the chapter’s migrant justice working group, particularly supporting the monthly deportation profiteer actions in 2018-2019. I also regularly did antifascist organizing (both within and outside of DSA in other coalitions) and organizing with the For Us Not Amazon coalition since before the HQ2 announcement. Internally, I was a delegate to the national convention in 2019 and 2021, and am currently one of the branch’s delegates in starting a Virginia-wide DSA structure.
Since 2020, most of my time is spent supporting the branch’s migrant justice working group as a facilitator. In that time, we’ve supported the campaigns to shut down the ICA-Farmville Detention Center and get ICE Out of Arlington, bringing people, research, information, and planning to those campaigns.
But I want to touch on something that relates to most of my past work in DSA, and is one reason why I want to run for the steering committee. I believe our strongest work is in coalition with others. Whether it’s loose affiliate networks, campaigns with a common goal such as organizing against Amazon HQ2, or ongoing coalitions such as the Free Them All VA coalition, we can accomplish a lot more when working together. And getting to that point requires ongoing relationship-building and mutual support. I believe most of us understand this point, and I’d like to make it easier for us to build these relationships as a branch.
I’m looking forward to working with the new steering committee (whether or not I’m on it) since I believe we’re all committed, in different and mutually-supportive ways, to making this branch a better organizing home and to advance socialism.
Candidate Statement: Hunter F (3/4):
Hello, I’m Hunter F. (he/him) and I am excited to be nominated for the Steering Committee! I am from Alexandria, Virginia and Fairfax County but I was born in Washington, D.C. I was previously a member of The SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) in my alma mater of Alexandria’s Northern Virginia Community College, and in this position, I would like to collaborate with different groups to get advertisement of membership roles up and running. You will find yourself in good company with me because what brought me to the NOVA Branch of DSA was a member of the Stop Police Terror Project DC who recommended that I join at a recent Anti-Asian Hate protest in Chinatown during the pandemic, around 2020.
I am a lifelong Northern Virginian and although I have more work that I hope to do with Metro DC DSA, I became interested in Socialism upon learning about it, starting in my high school, as a member of YDS (Young Democratic Socialists). After an internship with Governor McAuliffe’s campaign while in college, assisting with a voting rights campaign for a latter college campus I attended, and having witnessed Suffolk, Virginia’s use of Eminent Domain take my Great-grandma’s house from my family, I became interested in learning more about socialism. Likewise, I have recently helped my church with a voting rights campaign and researched starting a societal re-entry program for current and ex-Probationers in and outside of the City of Alexandria’s city limits. I have previously organized a benefit concert for the Stop Police Terror Project, as well as a Pan-African school specializing in STEAM, which my brother attended. The concert, set up by Positive Force DC, featured at least 10 bands, including but not limited to Wanted Man, BBC (Black on Black Crimes), and Death Cat.It happened at St. Stephen’s Church on 1525 Newton St., and raised hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars.
As a branch, we should be focusing on the goals we have set, to build alliances instead of tear them down. If elected, I will encourage different ideas that work towards a successful future in this region, if not as far as the advocacy will take us. I will support our branch by highlighting the importance of the work still needed to be completed. I will attempt to galvanize relationships with and power for marginalized people in the DMV-Area, and Northern Virginia, specifically. Lastly, I will beseech this branch to learn and grow by having educational events, like a teach-in or film screening at a unionizing business’ entrance, to inspire potential members and the public, to learn about U.S. and International Labor Movement(s), in the past and present.
Candidate Statement: Hector M (4/4):
Hi, everyone! My name is Hector M. (he/him) and I am honored to be nominated for a position on the new NoVa Branch Steering Committee. I was born and raised in Arlington, Va before moving to Richmond, Va for undergrad. Law school brought me back to the area. After attending DSA meetings and meeting events casually, I officially joined the Metro DC DSA Chapter at the end of 2021 after becoming involved with the work of the Palestinian Solidarity/BDS WG during the summer of 2021. Besides internationalism work, one of the things that drew me to DSA is the grassroots organizing the organization does among the many marginalized populations in the DMV. Having seen how drastically Arlington/NoVa has changed over the past 20 years and the increasing rate at which it is has become unaffordable and hostile for migrants, the working class, and other marginalized people, the work DSA has done locally to support these communities and make sure they remain intact inspired me to join and become more active in the Chapter and NoVa Branch.
In addition to working with the chapter Palestinian Solidarity/BDS WG, I have joined the Cuba Campaign under the Internationalism WG, and more recently have gotten involved with the NoVa Branch tenant organizers.
I currently work as an attorney in D.C. for a nonprofit and focus my practice on eviction prevention, tenant advocacy, and trying to create a more equitable District for the city’s most vulnerable communities.
Being a native Spanish speaker, I wish to continue supporting the tenant advocates who work in NoVA with the Spanish speaking community and work to strengthen the ties between the community and the organizers. My legal background includes immigration work and I hope to assist the Branch migrant justice group as much as I am able to.
Thank you all for your support and regardless of the outcome of this election, I look forward to continuing to work with the Branch.