DSA Praxis endorses the YDS Forward slate, Spencer Brown and Hannah Zimmerman, for Young Democratic Socialists co-chairs because their vision for YDS aligns with our own proposals. Like Praxis, Spencer and Hannah are a diverse slate that will bring both a Marxist and a democratic socialist perspective to YDS. Despite ideological differences, they have come together for the common project of a reinvigorated and organizationally strong YDS.
They bring the sort of varied experiences and leadership both YDS and DSA need to continue to grow. Spencer has served on the coordinating committee as co-chair. Hannah was the youngest Bernie Sanders delegate to the DNC, giving her real credibility among millions of Bernie Sanders voters.
The YDS Forward vision aligns well with our own. It lays out concrete methods to strengthen YDS by better defining its relationship to DSA and by offering ways in which YDS and DSA can work together.
Praxis intends to work with YDS Forward to:
1. Set a budget for YDS. Currently, YDS dues go directly to DSA national, which makes it difficult for YDS to act as an independent yet unified national organization. Praxis is committed to making sure that YDS has the necessary resources to build power on campuses across the country.
2. Include YDS leaders in the proposed regional training programs. YDS leaders should be sent to regional trainings where they would build skills for campus and community organizing. This will help build a base of new militants — those with both the organizing skills and the transformative vision to fight for socialist politics long after graduation.
3. Assist YDS with better record keeping of YDS membership.
4. Encourage collaboration between chapters, national leadership and campuses, through mentorship programs and inclusion in regional caucuses.
5. Work to give YDS a clear connection to DSA in both on-the-ground organizing and political messaging. In place of the “Activist Agenda,” YDS should take on a campus-revised version of the DSA national priorities.
We strongly encourage YDS delegates to vote for Spencer Brown and Hannah Zimmerman.
Zac Echola (Red River Valley, ND & MN)
Ravi Ahmad (New York)
R.L. Stephens (Chicago)
Leslie Driskill (Oklahoma City, OK)
Celeste Earley (Anchorage, AK)
Michael Patterson (Anchorage, AK)
Allie Cohn (Knoxville, TN)