Detroit DSA June Meeting: New Leadership, New Ideas
by Hank Kennedy
The June 1 meeting of Detroit DSA featured elections to represent the organization at the National DSA convention in August, frank discussions about ways to improve the organization going forward, and speeches from members running for local municipal office.
The meeting began with speeches from Nada Daher and Brian Stawowy, running for city council and mayor respectively in Ferndale. The candidates focused on concerns about real estate developers pricing existing residents out of Ferndale and the need to create a “Ferndale for All,” not just for a privileged few. Mike McDermott, running for city council in Westland, gave a fiery speech about the need for a civilian review board of the city’s police department.
The meeting continued with a brainstorming session on how to improve Detroit DSA as the organization grows. Ideas were proffered about promoting volunteerism, rooting the organization deeper in the labor movement, greater political education, campaigning for state ballot initiatives, heckler training, repealing SESTA/FOSTA, continued support for public education, and working with religious socialists. Two sex-worker activists gave an educational talk on the unique lack of rights and ever-present dangers for sex workers, with hopes of raising awareness and building relationships with Detroit DSA members. Though there were points of disagreement, the overall conversation was conducted in a comradely way, as befits a big-tent organization such as DSA.
The meeting concluded with a vote on the 10 delegates to be sent to Atlanta for the national convention. Those elected were Nada Daher, Michelle Emfinger, Natasha Fernández-Silber, Catherine Hoffman, Mel Herrera-Baird, Peter Landon, Kyle Minton, Jessica Newman, Jane Slaughter, and Dorthea Enrique Thomas. Alternates were Hank Kennedy and Roger Robinson. Those elected are sure to do our chapter proud.