B&R Members Will Give Our 1% to DSA

The 2023 DSA National Convention endorsed an ambitious agenda. DSA members need to step up to make it possible by giving more. B&R members will do our part.


Since our founding, Bread & Roses has been committed to building DSA into an effective, mass organization rooted in the working class. In recent years, as DSA has struggled to continue growing in the post-Bernie moment, we’ve also argued that we should increase our outward facing mass work, and deepen the democracy of the organization, by hiring our top elected leaders to be full-time organizers for the duration of their terms. We were therefore thrilled that at the 2023 convention, delegates across different political tendencies approved proposals that would create full-time, paid, and elected National Political Committee (NPC) co-chair positions, make the National Labor Commission (NLC) co-chair positions full-time, paid, and elected roles, and increase stipends for YDSA National Coordinating Committee (NCC) co-chairs. Additionally, the 2023 convention coincided with the announcement of the first five chapters to receive matching funds from national DSA in accordance with a B&R-sponsored resolution from 2021. The Growth and Development Committee resolved to continue the program at this year’s convention, with a goal of helping at least ten more offices open by 2025, as well as begin to implement a matching funds program to hire chapter-level organizers.

Now that we’ve made the exciting leap as an organization to invest in our leadership and chapter growth, we need to come together and increase our fundraising, to make this financial commitment possible. Fortunately the convention also passed a resolution, drafted by comrades from the Groundwork NPC slate, to ask members to voluntarily switch to monthly dues equalling 1% of their income (a lower level of dues will still be an option, so that DSA continues to be a home for tens of thousands of supporters).

We wholeheartedly support this initiative, and encourage all members to participate in carrying it out. The history of the workers’ movement demonstrates that not only are income-based dues feasible on a mass scale, but that they’re crucial in allowing elected leaders to grow mass movements to build working class power. 

Dues for Democracy

In unions and mass socialist parties alike, pooling resources collectively via dues has always allowed workers’ membership organizations to grow and organize effectively in a capitalist economy where the bosses have all the money. Not only do dues allow institutions like political parties to hire staff, pay for space, and publish materials, they also ensure that democratically elected leaders of those organizations are able to carry out the will of the membership. Union leaders often temporarily leave the job on ‘lost time’ to be able to act as full-time leaders and organizers, and most mass political parties have full-time elected leadership as well to spread their political message. Most unions ask working-class members to pay 1% of their income in dues to make the union work. DSA can and should do the same, on an opt-in basis, to raise our capacity.

Giving leadership time to carry out the campaigns and projects that members choose to prioritize gives the democratic decisions made at conventions more weight, and allows campaigns to be more successful. Seeing that DSA is carrying out the will of the majority will give members more confidence that their dues are being well spent, incentivizing members to increase their dues. Mass campaigns also bring in new members. Now’s the time to push this positive feedback loop into action, and it’s incumbent on all of us as active members to make it happen. If we switch to percentage based dues and raise enough money, we can set DSA on the path to becoming a mass proto-party organization, by enabling the NPC and NLC to quickly hire their elected leadership.

Meeting the Moment

Full-time paid political leadership will allow our elected leaders to carry out DSA’s priority campaigns. The increasingly sophisticated work that DSA does requires not just the additional time afforded by doing DSA work as a full-time job but also the authority to take initiative that comes with being elected and democratically accountable to your comrades.

Paid NPC co-chairs will with time be able to become tribunes for socialism, touring the country and speaking to media to evangelize for democratic socialism. Paid NLC co-chairs will be able to coordinate ambitious national campaigns from managing nationwide strike solidarity to advising local rank-and-file jobs programs. Increased YDSA NCC stipends and YDSA dues share will lighten the load that YDSA members take on as they juggle being students, workers, and DSA organizers.

This investment will eventually generate returns when DSA is able to meet the moment with our paid political leadership. Instead of scrambling to react to world events — as our organization did when Bernie first ran for president in 2016 or when the George Floyd uprisings convulsed the country — we can be prepared to anticipate them and present DSA as a beacon for a better world at the outset.

We, the undersigned members of Bread & Roses, have committed to contribute 1% of our income in monthly dues to DSA. We encourage all other members to join us in strengthening our organization in this crucial moment, by increasing your monthly dues to 1% of your income.

P.S. In the spirit of comradely socialist competition, we challenge other caucuses to encourage your members to switch to 1% dues. We will commission a Bud™ Trophy for the caucus that signs up the greatest percentage of their members for 1% income-based dues.

Signed (so far) by…

  1. Kristin Schall, Mid-Hudson Valley DSA, National Political Committee 
  2. Alex Pellitteri, NYC-DSA, National Political Committee
  3. Laura Wadlin, Portland DSA, National Political Committee
  4. Richie Floyd, Pinellas DSA, St. Petersburg, FL City Council Member, Chapter Steering Committee
  5. ​​Jesse Brown, Central Indiana DSA, Indianapolis City County Councillor candidate
  6. Sarah Hurd, Chicago DSA, National Labor Commission Steering Committee Co-Chair
  7. Emma G., At-Large, National Labor Commission Steering Committee, Strike Ready Campaign Co-Chair, Rank-and-File Teamster
  8. Honda Wang, NYC-DSA, National Labor Commission Steering Committee, AFSCME Local 1549 Steward
  9. Alex Bruns-Smith, Chicago DSA, National Labor Commission Steering Committee, UAW 2320
  10. Liam Kelly, Philly DSA, National Labor Commission Steering Committee
  11. Ryan Cowles, Inland Empire DSA, National Labor Commission Steering Committee
  12. Nick Conder, Louisville DSA, National Electoral Commission Steering Committee, AFSCME Local 3425
  13. Michaela Brangan, River Valley DSA, Growth and Development Committee Matching Funds Subcommittee Chair
  14. Sveta Stoytcheva, Chicago DSA, Chapter Co-Chair
  15. Robert LeVertis Bell, Louisville DSA, Chapter Co-Chair
  16. Ella Teevan, East Bay DSA, Chapter Co-Chair, SEIU 1021
  17. Laura C., East Bay DSA, Chapter Vice Chair
  18. Isaac Jimenez, North New Jersey DSA, Hudson County DSA Co-Chair, AFT Local 1766
  19. Ramsin Canon, Chicago DSA, Executive Committee
  20. Elliot Lewis, NYC-DSA, Union Power Campaign Co-Chair, Teamsters Local 804 Steward
  21. Emily Lemmerman, NYC-DSA, Union Power Campaign OC
  22. David Purucker, University of Oregon YDSA, UO Student Workers
  23. Stephen Mahood, Boston DSA, AFSCME Local 1526 
  24. Neal Meyer, NYC-DSA, Editor for The Call
  25. Desmond O’Halloran, Boston DSA, UNITE HERE Local 26
  26. Sarah Richmond, Chicago DSA, Chapter Executive Committee, Fix the CTA Steering, UAW 2320 NOLSW
  27. Alec Hudson, Chicago DSA, Chapter Treasurer, SEIU Local 73
  28. JP K., Chicago DSA, Teamster Steward
  29. Cyn Huang, East Bay DSA, Cal YDSA, UAW 2865, UAWD, Rank-and-File Project Steering Committee
  30. Will Bloom, Chicago DSA, Labor Branch Co-Chair
  31. Wes Holing, Portland DSA, EWOC Lead
  32. Labiba Chowdhury, NYC-DSA, Rank-and-File Project 
  33. Justin Roll, Seattle DSA, IFPTE Local 2001  
  34. Luca P., At-Large
  35. Will Shattuc, Los Angeles DSA
  36. Danny Noest, Mid-Hudson Valley DSA
  37. Oren Schweitzer, NYC-DSA
  38. Jane Slaughter, Detroit DSA
  39. ​​W. Smith, Chicago DSA
  40. Cerena Ermitanio, Houston DSA
  41. Griffin Mahon, At-Large
  42. Zach M, East Bay DSA
  43. Kate Murray, NYC-DSA
  44. JP Lyninger, Louisville DSA
  45. Hallie Lyninger, Louisville DSA
  46. Kayla Sharpe, Metro Detroit DSA
  47. Waleeta Canon, Chicago DSA, Socialists In Office Committee
  48. Emilie Rausch, Chicago DSA, Chicago Teachers Union
  49. Jamie Partridge, Portland DSA, Labor Secretary, NALC 82
  50. Michelle Jones, Snohomish County DSA, Washington Education Association
  51. Miguel Duarte, East Bay DSA
  52. Yoni Golijov, NYC-DSA
  53. Zach Lewis, NYC-DSA
  54. Laura Gabby, North New Jersey DSA
  55. Richard Marcantonio, East Bay DSA, Co-Chair, East Bay Labor Solidarity Subcommittee 
  56. Marsha Niemeijer, NYC-DSA, Rank and File Project, USW Local 9544
  57. Michael Stenovec, DSA Los Angeles
  58. Simon G., NYC-DSA
  59. Keith Brower Brown, East Bay DSA
  60. Jack M., NYC-DSA
  61. Nicholas Fiora, Portland DSA
  62. Molly Morley, Boston DSA
  63. Milo Keogh, NYC-DSA, Hunter College YDSA 
  64. Andrej M., NYC-DSA
  65. Paul DeMuro, NYC-DSA
  66. Ana Perez, NYC-DSA
  67. Allie Howard, North New Jersey DSA, Rank-and-File Teamster
  68. David Coburn, Portland DSA
  69. Steven Coco, North New Jersey DSA, Hudson County Branch Co-Chair
  70. Andrew Porter, NYC-DSA
  71. Ann Finkel, Chicago DSA, Chicago Teachers Union
  72. Matt Cummings, Detroit DSA
  73. Anthony Dellicolli, Detroit DSA
  74. Whitney Lewis, NYC-DSA, Rank & File United Federation of Teachers
  75. Thomas Ham, Inland Empire DSA, CWA 9588, CWA SCC OC Chair
  76. Jared Cassity, Louisville DSA, Teamsters Local 89
  77. Elijah Snow-Rackley, River Valley DSA
  78. Ethan Hill, Philly DSA
  79. Austin LaVigne, Metro DC DSA
  80. David Vibert, NYC-DSA
  81. Sean Duffy, Chicago DSA, Executive Committee
  82. Frances Reade, Detroit DSA
  83. Leah Bannon, NYC-DSA
  84. Finn Cooley, NYC-DSA
  85. Ian McClure, Detroit DSA
  86. Eddie Strumfels, Boston DSA
  87. Zev Reisman, NYC-DSA
  88. Seán McGovern, NYC-DSA, Teamsters Local 804 Steward
  89. David Grosser, Boston DSA, Massachusetts Teachers Association (Retired)
  90. Arrison J. Warner, Portland DSA, AFSCME 328 Steward-Community Liaison 
  91. Jake Colosa, NYC-DSA, United Federation of Teachers
  92. Paul Steiner, Austin DSA, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  93. Greta Smith, Louisville DSA, Socialists in Office Committee 
  94. Peter Landon, Detroit DSA
  95. Tristan Bock-Hughes, Chicago DSA, OPEIU Local 9
  96. Nick Ratto, East Bay DSA, Starbucks Workers United
  97. Kenny Farver, Olympia DSA
  98. Robert Hughes, Central Indiana DSA, Chapter Co-Chair, UNITE-HERE Steward & State VP
  99. Chris Viola, Metro Detroit DSA, UAW Local 22
  100. Isaac Wagnitz, Olympia DSA, UFCW Local 367
  101. Riley Woodward-Pratt, Olympia DSA
  102. Keefer Dunn, Chicago DSA, Art Institute of Chicago Workers United Steward (AFSCME)

This is a call to increase dues payments to DSA that 102 B&R members signed on to.