Prioritizing Growth And Development Of Stl Dsa Into A Mass Organization Priority
Cody B and Chris O | firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Louis DSA is approaching our 5th anniversary as a chapter in March 2022. In the five years of our existence, we have grown to one of the larger chapters in the country; with over 500 members, we are classified in the “large” category on the recent national member survey conducted by the Growth and Development Committee.
While this is no doubt a promising start to the chapter, we have by and large relied on passive recruitment of members hearing about us primarily online, and on recruitment in current members’ social circles. This means we do not have experience identifying strategic social bases of people and then intentionally recruiting those people into a campaign and ultimately the organization. Furthermore, we do not currently have a regular and strategic practice for onboarding new members, identifying and developing leaders, and strengthening our membership outside of the St. Louis City and County.
These realities weaken our chapter. These are vital barriers to overcome in order to build a democratic, powerful multiracial mass socialist organization capable of confronting and replacing racial capitalism. They are also not unique to St. Louis, but rather barriers for the whole national organization, as reflected in a number of resolutions passed at the recent 2021 DSA National Convention, specifically Resolutions #27 Beyond 100K: Building a Mass Socialist Organization and #31 Making DSA a Multi-Racial and Anti-Racist Organization. We made progress last year with the Strengthening Our Base priority resolution, however a chapter wide commitment to growth and development is now needed.
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