DSA Spring Caucus is Here!

Photo by Katie Sharing

We are excited to announce the formation of DSA Spring Caucus!

This January, about 200 DSA members from around the country came together in Philadelphia to found DSA Spring Caucus. Many of our founding members are elected leaders in DSA chapters and organizers in DSA’s campaigns. All of us are committed socialists who have dedicated ourselves to building DSA through organizing around Medicare for All, rank-and-file labor work, the Green New Deal, electoral campaigns, immigrants’ rights, rent control, reproductive rights, and more.

The founding conference was the culmination of a thorough and intentional six-month process of caucus member recruitment, monthly national conference calls to debate our political vision and structure, and in-person meetings. During the conference, we debated the possibilities and significance of a Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, the teacher strike wave, internal democracy in DSA, and the mission of our caucus. We also elected a caucus leadership and unanimously adopted a new and updated “Where We Stand” statement and a “Tasks for 2019” document that lays out what we see as the most important priorities for socialists in the coming year.

Caucus members also had the opportunity to talk to comrades from around the country about their experiences and to generate ideas about meaningful ways to strengthen DSA’s campaign work, chapter infrastructure, and democratic decision-making processes. The conference was inspiring and productive, and helped build critical inter-chapter bonds while helping all of us refine our political vision for a strong and effective mass socialist movement.

What Do We Stand For?

Spring Caucus is a caucus open to all DSA organizers who agree with our basic politics and who want to build DSA into a mass organization that can help revitalize working-class power and lay the groundwork for a future socialist party that is run by and for working people. We are Marxists who believe in a democratic road to socialism. And we believe that we can help grow DSA, strengthen our movement, and bolster the power of the working class by pursuing a rank-and-file labor strategy, engaging in class-struggle electoral fights, and strategically organizing around concrete demands that challenge oppression and exploitation.

Our newly-adopted “Where We Stand” statement — which updates and expands on the original statement we launched The Call with — outlines our politics and our commitment to building a democratic socialist world. It also describes our vision for the caucus, DSA, and the greater socialist movement.

Our national “Tasks for 2019” document details specific tasks that we believe DSA should take up to advance class-struggle politics in the coming year. These tasks include supporting labor militancy (in particular the ongoing teachers strike wave), supporting mass movements to defeat racial, gender, and national oppression, fighting for Medicare For All, supporting a likely Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, and making the Green New Deal a major socialist demand.

Why Form a Caucus?

Spring Caucus members are committed to strengthening and maintaining the multi-tendency character of DSA. We believe that DSA will be most effective and democratic with a variety of formal caucuses that clearly state their political programs and their visions for our organization. Without such a range of formal caucuses, debates within a politically heterogeneous organization like DSA tend to lack political clarity and often take the form instead of procedural debates and personal attacks.

In order to empower DSA members to make meaningful, democratic decisions, we must have clear and open debates between different perspectives within our movement about our political demands and strategic orientation. We hope that other members of DSA will continue to form caucuses to articulate the full range of those perspectives.

We launched Spring Caucus to strengthen DSA as a whole and to help its reach its fullest potential. We look forward to collaborating with other DSA members on the important work of developing DSA into a mass organization that can be part of a larger working-class movement against the forces of capitalism.

What’s Next?

In the next few months we’ll be launching a process to invite organizers in DSA who see eye-to-eye with our caucus to join.

Until then, if you’re eager to learn more you can start by reading our “Where We Stand” statement and — if you agree with it or just have questions — you can email us at editor [at] socialistcall [dot] com. Solidarity!