Nationally, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) now has over 50,000 members. Here in the Portland, Oregon area, we have over 1,000 members, and there are new chapters forming across the nation.
Since 1982, the DSA has advocated for a society based on democracy, respect, an economy that works for the worker, and health care as a human right. In 2012, the DSA’s national membership was about 6,500, but the impetus for change was growing. The collapse of the financial markets and the ensuing economic crash exposed the flaws of neoliberal capitalism. The “recovery” that followed created jobs for many, but only created wealth for a few. As the costs of everything from health care to housing to education increase while wages stagnate, many people now realize that the status quo is failing them.
Bernie Sanders’ openly socialist campaign brought national awareness to a socialist alternative. By November 9, 2016, the DSA’s membership had increased to 8,500. On November 10, 2016, over 1,000 new members joined, with more following every day. Today the Democratic Socialists of America still stands for the ideals that every person should be provided high-quality health care as a right, that the lives of the people who actually create wealth (the workers) should not be dictated by an untouchable few, that elected officials should answer to voters and not donors, that people should be able to freely choose how they want to develop as individuals, limited only by principles of mutual respect and the absence of exploitation and oppression.
Locally, the Portland chapter is advocating for a wide range of issues, including Medicare-For-All, tenant rights, immigrant rights, racial justice, clean energy, and universal preschool. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!