Reforming The Electoral Working Group Committee

Current Chair(s):

Chelsea M and Chris O | electoral@stldsa.org

Description:

Whereas National DSA has developed a National Electoral Strategy to grow the organization, to build class power necessary to challenge capitalism, and to transform our world;

Whereas the 2021 National DSA Convention body passed Resolution 8 which included the following clause: DSA commits to developing state-level organizations and orienting toward running candidates for state legislatures, both as a means to contest the power of state government and to build capacity for statewide and federal races;

Whereas as part of the National Electoral Strategy, DSA has prioritized electoral campaigns to communicate democratic socialist politics to a mass audience, to build support for transformative demands, to name capitalize enemies and their political cronies, and to draw the lines of contemporary class struggle;

Whereas National DSA has emphasized the need for local chapters to identify and run candidates with the goal to win—not purely symbolic races or just as opportunities to talk to people—because electoral campaigns are essential to building DSA and achieving our material demands;

Whereas DSA recognizes that real power comes from an organized working class and that our elected officials will rely upon DSA and the labor movement to achieve transformative reforms that shift the balance of power away from capitalism, and we will strive to elect working class leaders as “organizers in office” who will leverage their offices to fight for reforms and to continue organizing constituencies to build working class power from the bottom up;

Whereas the DSA chapters in single states can collectively target state governments to elect state representatives and senators, pass ballot measures, pass anti-austerity state budgets, defend public infrastructure, pressure the federal government for more spending, and win material gains for the working class through grassroots organizing;

Whereas the Missouri political landscape currently is dominated by the Republican Party, comprised of overt white supremacists, the most reactionary wing of capital, and a growing reactionary minority of working-class people; while the Missouri Democratic Party embraces primarily higher-income middle-class voters, is dominated by the political preferences of its capitalist donor class, and works to maintain the capitalist status quo that works for few Missourians;

Whereas socialists in Missouri need a political party to organize the working class in order to contest elections, to act as a vehicle to organize the thousands of working people who are not yet socialists, to win democratic socialism, and to function as a political North Star for democratic socialism; and

Whereas the unique nature of the Missouri two-party system requires that socialists continue to contest partisan elections chiefly on the Democratic ballot line and the Missouri Democratic Party is ineffective at achieving political goals that prioritize People over Profits;

Now, therefore, be it:

Resolved that STL DSA re-establish an Electoral Working Group (charter attached), to be chaired in the interim by the authors of this Resolution, but with permanent chairs to be elected or affirmed by the chapter no later than the November 2021 chapter meeting;

Resolved that the Electoral Working Group shall develop an updated candidate endorsement procedure for approval by the Chapter that establishes a transparent process and objective criteria for all political candidates seeking the endorsement of STL DSA, and further shall develop a policy reflecting that any candidate previously endorsed by the chapter may be re-endorsed for that same office prior to the completion of an re-approved endorsement procedure;

Finally Resolved that the Electoral Working Group shall develop an Electoral Strategy document, for approval by the STL DSA Chapter, that shall prioritize the recruitment and running of political candidates on a unified platform at the local, state, and federal levels; the training of skilled campaign organizers to work on campaigns and staff offices; the acquisition of access to financial resources and grassroots donor networks needed to fund campaigns; the development of working-class policies to be introduced and implemented at all levels of government; and the organization of new members and working class voters to support endorsed candidates and to engage in pressure campaigns around demands for non-reformist reforms;

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