Democratic Socialists of America

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Democratic Socialists of America
National DirectorMaria Svart
Founded1982; 42 years ago (1982)
Merger ofDemocratic Socialist Organizing Committee
New American Movement
Headquarters75 Maiden Lane, Ste 702
New York City, New York
NewspaperDemocratic Left[1]
Student wingYoung Democratic
Socialists of America
Membership (2020)Increase 90,000[2]
IdeologyDemocratic socialism[3][4]
Social democracy[6]
Socialist feminism[7]
Libertarian socialism[10]
  •  • Communist Caucus[13]
  •  • Libertarian Socialist Caucus[14][15]
  •  • North Star Caucus[16]
  •  • Refoundation Caucus[17]
Political positionLeft-wing[18][19]
Colors  Red

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is an organization of democratic socialist and left-social democratic and labor members in the United States. It is a member of the Socialist International (SI) from its founding in 1982.[20]

DSA has its roots in the Socialist Party of America (SPA), whose most prominent leaders included Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas and Michael Harrington.[21]

Overview[change | change source]

The organization has at times endorsed Democratic electoral candidates such as Walter Mondale, Jesse Jackson, John Kerry, Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders as well as Green Party candidate Ralph Nader.

By the end of 2017, DSA membership had risen from over 6,000 to over 32,000, due to the youth reaction to the presidency of Donald Trump, hence becoming by far not only the largest socialist organization in the United States in the 21st century.[22] Many of the new members were relatively wealthy millennials.[23]

On June 26, DSA member and endorsee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary against incumbent Representative Joseph Crowley in New York's 14th congressional district in a surprise upset.[24][25] As a result of her win, 1,000 new members joining the organization the next day, approximately 35 times the daily average[26]

The DSA resolved not to campaign for any candidate in the 2020 United States presidential election other than Bernie Sanders; however, many members encouraged people to vote for Joe Biden, even though he was not endorsed.[27][28]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Democratic Left". Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  2. "DSA Twitter".
  3. "9 questions about the Democratic Socialists of America you were too embarrassed to ask". 5 August 2017. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  4. "Democratic Socialists of America". Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  5. "Climate and Environmental Justice Working Group". Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  6. Meyer, Neal (July 20, 2018). "What is Democratic Socialism?". Jacobin. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  7. "DSA Constitution and By-laws", Article II.
  8. Speedy, Sam (27 May 2017). "The movement behind the rose emoji that you probably don't know about". Mashable. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  9. Bryan, Rob. "Why the Democratic Socialists of America Vote for BDS Is a Turning Point in American Left Politics". AlterNet. Archived from the original on November 17, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  10. "DSA Libertarian Socialist Caucus". DSA Libertarian Socialist Caucus. Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  11. CNN, Analysis by Gregory Krieg (8 August 2017). "Democratic Socialists are taking themselves seriously. Should Democrats?". CNN. Retrieved August 10, 2017. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  12. Chacin, Susan (Winter 2021). "A New Vision for DSA: The Socialist Voice in a Progressive United Front". Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  13. Caucus, DSA Communist (September 6, 2017). "DSA Communist Caucus: Our Statement". Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  14. Weaver, Adam. "A Turning Point on the Left? Libertarian Caucus Debuts at Democratic Socialist Conference". Truthout. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  15. "DSA Libertarian Socialist Caucus". Archived from the original on December 7, 2019. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  16. "DSA North Star: The Caucus for Socialism and Democracy". DSA North Star Caucus. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  17. "Program". October 15, 2017. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  18. Weigel, David. "The socialist movement is getting younger and turning into a left-wing force". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  19. "DSA Left Caucus: Who We Are, Where We Stand". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  20. "DSA Votes for BDS, Reparations, and Out of the Socialist International". 5 August 2017. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  21. Svart, Maria (November 7, 2011). "Let's Talk Democratic Socialism, Already". In These Times. Archived from the original on October 30, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  22. DSA North Texas chapter (April 30, 2018). "With about 37,000 dues-paying members spread across 200 local groups, DSA now dwarfs all other far-left organizations in America. There are at least 11 chapters in Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso." #Yallidarity".
  23. Last, Briana (2020-05-11). "Whither the DSA?". The Bellows. Archived from the original on 2020-05-12. Retrieved 2020-11-14. The data on DSA's demographic composition, though limited, are striking. According to the 2017 membership survey, DSA is composed of wealthy, college-educated millennials, with few ties to the organized labor movement. Nearly a third of members (29%) earn over $100,000 a year. Moreover, only 6% of survey respondents were union members—just over half of the unionization rate in the US in 2017, which was 10.7%.
  24. "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, Might Just Be the Future of the Democratic Party". Vogue. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  25. "A top House Democrat just lost his primary — to a socialist". Vox. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  26. "Democratic Socialists of America Membership Surges After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Stunning Victory". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  27. "Elections: Democrat President, Divided Congress". Workers Power USA. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  28. Sernatinger, Andy (2020-10-11). "Biden pledge spits at DSA's democracy". Tempest. Retrieved 2020-11-14.