Survival Questions and Hopes with the Detroit DSA

Emblem of the Detroit DSA

The Metro Detroit DSA is one of the country’s oldest Democratic Socialists of America organizations. I learned this and more from sitting in with them at a monthly general meeting, on July 8, 2023. As long as people strive to do their individual and collective best, the DSA will be mobilizing the working class. This group makes itself heard and promotes its shared interests in a healthy, no-nonsense way. They are not a political organization. Likewise, they are discrete about how they provide political support.

We the people see elected “leaders” reap everything they can and openly assault the tenets of democracy, etcetera. Hence, the steady truth of socialism has gained newfound importance, even urgency. So, to a newcomer, it might seem this DSA chapter might have that “good” problem of how best to deal with growth. The chapter is growing and there is continuing new interest. Thankfully, they work this “problem” as an organizational opportunity.

Detroit’s DSA is a vibrant group of people, diverse in every regard. Yet, they are the same in basic positive outlook and commitment. “Out and about socialists” was one description. So, by definition, they are inclusive. Of the fifty-two people present in the Wayne State University student center meeting room (more were on line), two-thirds or more were “young people”. Praise for these youngsters stepping up – as it should be and as the country needs. Still, this group is respectful of the older folks among them. Again, it is all about working together. Older relatively-established people must actively help shape a refreshed country and new leaders. The DSA channels and facilitates this growth.

Current Events with the Metro Detroit DSA

Detroit’s local DSA recently submitted its input to the National Political Committee and selected its representative attendees for the bi-annual convention in August. At once the group celebrated their preparation and looked closely at how to improve their representation going forward. These people have pointed practical concerns about how to finance the trip.

As working-class people addressing work interests, unions and strikes are a prime concern. The group reflected on current activities of the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) at a local university as impacts student workers. Also, they raised awareness of the potential Teamster strike at UPS (United Parcel Service).

My Survival Questions and Hopes

I went into the meeting with questions and hopes I wanted to share. But my concerns were too much too fast for any first session. They conducted a professionally-oriented meeting and they worked from an agenda. There was an underlying theme of organizing and improving throughout. They showed a natural understanding of the need to work issues on an individual local basis, as well as extending to the world community.

I wasn’t there to be judgmental, but of course I was. Any of us only has so much time, energy, or money. How can we make a difference when the big capitalist clock is relentlessly clicking, icebergs are raining from the sky, and war is boiling? At least I came away knowing these people care and it’s up to me (or any of us) to engage. They absolutely do provide an important forum for thinking caring people.

It was encouraging that the discussion referenced a high-level agenda and touched on theory of change, including collective capacity to change. It is admirable and important and often difficult to be positive, and these people showed this upbeat quality at the meeting. So, who is anybody to be thinking about survival at five years out? It was encouraging for the DSA to be recognizing their core of power and to be considering how best to use it.

The DSA has a wholesome will to Work and Improve the Quality of Life.

More than most, the Detroit DSA is capable and doing the elusive “right thing”. Let’s not take this refreshing vein of American life for granted. Go here to read more about the DSA, or if you can donate to their good cause, please do so here.