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Home / US / DSA shows her muscles in New York congress crash

DSA shows her muscles in New York congress crash



Republican MP Joe Crowley's main defeat, DN.Y., who was both a high-ranking parliamentary democrat and head of one of New York's last political machines, is an upset that still sends shockwaves through the Democratic Party

Crowley was arrested by a 28-year-old political rookie named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who partially denounced Crowley's old-school brand policy. But she had her own campaign machine, an outgroup known as Democratic Socialists of America. In the avalanche of coverage of Ocasio-Cortez's victory, the logistical support and manpower she received from the DSA have received relatively little attention. But the group is ready to make itself felt in the middle.

More than 100 DSA volunteers had flooded the streets of the 14th Congressional District for months, encompassing parts of Queens and the Bronx.

Ocasio-Cortz will be the first DSA member in Congress since the Republican Ron Dellums resigned in 1998, but she is not the first candidate to make a dramatic surprise with the help of the left wing organization. And if it's up to you, she will not be the last.

"Our recent electoral successes show that people are tired of being ignored and ready to fight back, and that includes the political arena." DSA National Director Maria Svart wrote in an e-mail to Yahoo News.

"Democratic socialist ideas are going to win and we are doing the hard work of knocking on doors to make that happen."

That's good news for Progressives, but mainstream Democrats are watching the group cautiously. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, dismissed the Ocasio-Cortez annoyance as "an election made in a district" that should not lead anyone to be "carried away". For some Republicans, the rise of the DSA is a dream come true and give them fresh ammunition for their claim that the left has been radicalized.

In the Ocasio-Cortez & # 39; race, DSA organizers say their volunteer squad tapped more than 13,000 doors to spark enthusiasm for their offer. This level of support is important in primaries, which traditionally have a low turnout. Ocasio-Cortez defeated Crowley with just over 15,000 votes in a district with a total population of more than 700,000. The district is overwhelmingly democratic, and it will almost certainly win the place in the general elections in November if unforeseen factors are ruled out.

Vigie Ramos Rios, manager of Ocasio-Cortez's campaign, also warned Yahoo News against other organizations supporting their bid, including Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats. Nevertheless, Ramos Rios said that the impact of DSA's work in this area was clear.

"They were strong supporters," she told the DSA. "There were areas they inquired that came out for us."

Ocasio-Cortez undoubtedly needed all the muscle she could muster to defeat Crowley, who spent nearly two decades in Congress and had no primary challenge in 14 years. In addition to his local powers, he was a high-ranking member of the Democratic Party Democrats, and several sources have confirmed Yahoo News that he would maneuver the party's long-time minority leader, Nancy Pelosi.

Crowley was hardly a household name At a national level, his political influence was immense. Together with his seat in Congress, Crowley led the Queens Democratic Party for more than a decade and led a system that selected district judges – including those in coveted positions that gave them control over funds from residents who died without heirs. Crowley, whose campaign manager did not respond to multiple petitions for a comment on this story, was widely rewarded for selecting the spokespersons leading the city council, and hopeful people regularly paid him personal visits. Late last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Crowley literally made six of the eight youngest spokespersons dance on stage for him while playing the guitar at an event. The newspaper noted, "very little is done in the city without its blessing." And in Washington DC Crowley led the House Democratic Caucus, and several sources confirmed Yahoo News that he would maneuver the party's long-time minority leader, Nancy Pelosi.

This kind of backroom power is half of what makes a traditional party boss. The other element of the old school's political machinery is a robust fundraising campaign to host events, to attract attention, and to attract influential allies, such as trade unions, political clubs, and local officials, who rely on their networks to ensure that Voters come in droves. The support of the DSA ensured that Ocasio-Cortez had their own devices in the field.

And the teams of street volunteers were not the only way DSA coined Ocasio-Cortez's campaign. Ramos Rios is a DSA leader recommended to Ocasio-Cortez by another member of the group who previously competed in a race with his support. The campaign's treasurer was former DSA National Director Frank Llewellyn, who came aboard after Ramos Rios asked the organization if they knew anyone who could help the campaign with their finances. In addition, two DSA members stood behind "Means of Production," the company that posted a video for Ocasio-Cortez last month and, in Business Insider's words, was "completely viral" and more than 300,000 in one day Views received support for nationwide attention for the campaign. According to Naomi Burton, one of the co-founders of the company, she moved to Ocasio-Cortez by supporting the organization and her "unreflected socialist platform and articulating the needs of the working people who caught our attention."

Campaign Manager Vigie Ramos Rios, left, with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, middle. (Photo: Scott Heins / Getty Images)

In many ways, Ocasio-Cortez was the ideal example of a model that tries to reproduce the DSA across the country with unabashed socialists from diverse, unconventional backgrounds logistic support of a robust organization.

Founded in 1982, DSA has been operating on the political fringe for a long time. However, the organization saw a rise in membership in the last presidential elections. A national DSA official told Yahoo News that they have just met 40,000 members. The most visible manifestation of this growth for outsiders could be the true garden that emerged on Twitter, where many DSA members identify with a rose emoji, a reference to a battle cry from the working-class movement of the early 1920s.

Yahoo News He spoke to more than a dozen DSA leaders and candidates for this story, and they described the growth of the group's combination of widespread indignation among the Liberals after the election of Donald Trump and the excitement of Vermont's presidential campaign Sen. Bernie Sanders to democratic socialist who had the organization's support. The group is not a political party and does not have its own place on the ballot – like the Libertarians or the Greens. Instead, the DSA generally leads candidates as Democrats or Independents.

Many of the new DSA members, like Ocasio-Cortez himself, cut their political teeth for the Sanders campaign. When they joined forces, they drove the organization to become more involved in campaigns. In January 2018, the group launched a "National Election Strategy" in which it formally committed to develop and lead "viable open socialist candidates for office (either in Democratic primaries or as independents.") It is one of the group's main priorities , together with a nationwide call for a Medicare for All-Health program and support for labor movements

The strategy document made it clear that DSA's ambitions are fully realized.

"This work will be crucial to the development of a real alternative to the neo-liberal third party policy of the establishment within the Democratic Party," reads the document.

And all of this happens in a group where some members are so far left that they do not even agree. Election Policy Idea

Supporters of Democratic Socialists in America protest in front of New York's Republican office in New York York on July 5, 2017. (Photo: Erik McGregor / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images)

Federal candidates seeking the support of the organization must undergo an extensive process involving several meetings with DSA executives and includes a questionnaire to clarify their positions on the core components of the group's platform. These include "a single-payer, universal health plan," minimum wage increases, protection of "immigrants and their families from deportation," tax increases for the wealthy, "legislation that makes public colleges and universities school-free "and marijuana legalization. The support for a candidate comes only at the end of this process and requires votes at several levels of the organization.

Aaron Taube, who co-ordinated the field operation of the DSA for Ocasio-Cortez, said that the volunteers of the group work for them after receiving their confirmation in April.

"A DSA confirmation is not just a stamp, we're not just saying that you should vote for these people," Taube told Yahoo News. "If DSA supports you, it's like, yes, we're going to knock 13,000 doors … we'll mobilize."

Dove is representative of supporters who come aboard as soon as a candidate has the group's approval. He is 29 years old and, like Ocasio-Cortez, who was a bartender before taking office, a relative political freshman who became a journalist and was a self-employed marketer (previously he worked with one of the authors of this story in 2014). He is also a pro-wrestling fan who said he discovered the DSA in the more liberal neighborhoods of the sports Twitter community after he was "radicalized" by Trump.

Khader El-Yateem (Photo: Squishcap via Wikimedia)

The phenomenon goes far beyond New York. Overall, the DSA reported explosive membership growth after the fury of Ocasio-Cortez over Crowley. The organization currently supports dozens of candidates across the country and many of them have operations that draw similarly from the group and their experience of collecting campaigns over the past year or so. These efforts began to yield results before the race of Ocasio-Cortez brought national notice.

Last year, 30-year-old Marine veteran Lee Carter angered the Republican majority whip in the Virginia House of Representatives. Carter had been injured in his job by installing lighting controls and the fact that he was lacking occupational injury compensation and his medical bills inspired him to run. He joined the DSA during his campaign, earned their support, and eventually hired Jacquelyn Smith, a recent graduate of the American University and a member of the DSA Washington, DC area chapter, to lead his campaign.

Carter's success was followed by further victories for the Metro DC DSA chapter this year. Two of its members won Democratic primary elections for the Maryland Parliament building, another passed a strict vote count for the executive of Montgomery County, and three others lost in a crowded county-day race. It is a particularly surprising success story for a local organization that did not even have a process for creating endorsements prior to Carter. According to Smith, the Metro DC-DSA chapter was largely moribund, reminiscent of a book club rather than a strong political organization prior to the 2016 elections.

Lee Carter, a socialist, who won a seat during this year's election in the Virginia House of Representatives for the 50th district. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images)

DSA & # 39; s Chapter "Metro D.C." is not alone when it comes to barely having a pulse and supporting the winners. The DSA in Pittsburgh was similarly weak until a meeting in November 2016, which attracted 100 participants, according to Dave Greve, a member of the group's steering committee. The group found electoral successes within their first year, two for two in their promises in 2017, and won seats as District Judges and District Councilors. Their goals were raised in this year's Democratic primary with three campaigns for seats in the state house.

One of the Pittsburgh DSA candidates lost her primary but two DSA members, Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato, won comfortably with the help of the organization's advocacy and field operation. These victories were even more remarkable as they held two seats in the legislature held by one of the most powerful political dynasties in the Pittsburgh political scene. Now Lee is ready to become the first black woman to represent Southwestern Pennsylvania in the State House.

Throughout the state, the Philadelphia chapter also had success when first-time candidate Elizabeth Fiedler won a competitive Democratic primary. Both Fiedler and her campaign manager are members of the DSA, which was one of many progressive groups that supported her candidacy. In Fiedler's race, DSA helped with her expansive knocking operation, which, she said, reached 55,000 homes.

"I think that health care and education and clean water and clean air, these things are obvious to me human rights and things to which we should all have access, regardless of how much money we have or where we live or who Color of our skin or gender, "said Fiedler. "I do not use labels for myself or for my politics, but I share much of my vision of the world with them, I knew many people who were quite active in DSA and I was really lucky that they got support Part of the puzzle for me, along with other groups such as teacher and sister unions. "

DSA Success Stories, from left: Sara Innamorato , Elizabeth Fiedler and Summer Lee. (Photos: SaraForPA on Facebook, Fiedler4Philly on Facebook, SummerForPA on Facebook)

Along with the DSA core game and electoral campaigners who come from the ranks of the group, many of these races showed another hallmark of the organization's ballot – Increase minority votes. In New York City alone, DSA candidates have included two Latinas, Ocasio-Cortez and Salazar, El-Yateem, a Palestinian, and Brisport, an African-American. It is part of a deliberate effort with the DSA's National Election Strategy stating that "only truly mixed-race electoral coalitions can build political power of the working class."

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Nevertheless, the stereotype of the group is that A May New York article on Lee's campaign in Pennsylvania described her volunteers at an event by mentioning "the most bearded white millennials." And a source from Crowley's campaign with Politos Laura Nahmias said Ocasio-Cortez & # 39; victory as a result of a "hipster uprising." "Data-reactid =" 150 "> Nevertheless, the cliché of the group is that it is mostly filled with young white men New Yorker article about Lee's campaign in Pennsylvania described her volunteers at an event called "the most bearded, white millennials." And one source from Crowley's campaign, which somewhat mockingly described Ocasio with Laura Nahmia's Politico Corte z wins as a result of a "hipster uprising".

The DSA said it does not track demographic information about its membership. In August 2017, Jared Abbott, a member of the DSA Steering Committee, Vox, said that the group is "still a strongly white and strongly cis-male organization, as were most socialist groups in US history." While Abbott He said the organization is trying to improve diversity, and have seen some progress.

"The percentage of colored people has risen from a relatively low percentage to a slightly higher percentage," said Abbott [19659059SalacademySanatcandidateforLatinainNewYorksagainstSDSA"whenpredominantlywhitepovertyisperceived"saystherealityoftheother

Not all local DSA local associations have entered elections. Instead, some have opted for local initiatives and political initiatives. The Cincinnati Chapter, which was established in December 2016 and has nearly 200 members, has not supported a single candidate, but has partnered with local activist groups. Last year, the Cincinnati DSA pushed for a needle exchange in nearby Newport, Kentucky, and launched a month-long campaign to prevent officials from selling part of downtown Cincinnati.

An unidentified man holds a sign behind a makeshift wall in a protest camp on a property in front of US Immigration and Customs in Portland, Oregon, June 25, 2018. (Photo: Don Ryan / AP)

The Austin, Texas chapter has endorsed only one candidate (a County Commissioner challenger who lost in elementary school) but has worked with interest groups to get paid sick leave from the city council, pushing a local detention center to sign his contract with Stop ICE and try to get an affordable housing loan. Portland, Oregon, DSA protesters forced the closure of an on-site ICE office.

"Most people see politics, listen to politics and think exclusively about what will happen in November, after the horse race between the two parties," said Simon Powell, co-chair of Cincinnati DSA. "What we tell the members "No, politics is much more than that."

And DSA's campaigns are not the only company in the organization that made headlines nationwide. They were members of the DSA's Metro D.C. chapter, who indicted Homeland Security secretary Kristjen Nielsen at a Mexican restaurant in Washington on June 19, during a climax of the controversy over President Trump's separation policy. The move helped spark a debate on "politeness," which still dominated political conversation and, according to local DSA leaders, increased recruitment.

As the DSA gains momentum, it gains seats and develops a key game in key battlefield countries such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, which could become a presidential race in 2020. This is a position that involves both power and danger.

Several sources told Yahoo News that there is currently an internal debate about what role the group should play in 2020. Some members are anxious to repeat Sanders' support when it runs again, while others wonder if their efforts for this mission would be wasted instead of focusing on more direct action at the local level.

The bitter 2016 presidential election between Sanders and the future nominee Hillary Clinton took a look at a gap between progressive and centrist elements of the party. With its increasing influence, the DSA could play a role as the leading progressive voice, turning its advocacy issues into a litmus test for the left wing. Ocasio-Cortez & # 39; victory has already strengthened the discussion on the abolition of the ICE, which was a core component of their platform.

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. (Photo: Carlos Osorio / AP)

However, if the organization comes to the fore or pushes potential democratic candidates to the left, this could offer opportunities for the Republicans. In the days since the victory of Ocasio-Cortez, conservative media voices, including Sean Hannity, have described their platform as extremist and tried to bind the national Democratic Party to it.

DSA candidates who spoke with Yahoo News said they were not worried

Jacquelyn Smith, a member of the DC DC DSA who led Lee Carter's riot campaign in Virginia, said they focused on issues facing voters important in the area. She said that while they did not make the "s-word" a big part of their campaign and focused on issues, Carter did not hide his affiliation when asked.

"If you're to the left of Barry Goldwater, Republicans will call you socialists anyway, so you can only own the label," Carter said shortly after his victory. "The issues that matter to me and the issues the Democratic Socialists are working on in America are the issues that interest the constituency of the Democratic Party."

Salazar, DSA Senate candidate in New York, was not worried Conservative and projected socialism is becoming more mainstream.

"Ultimately, I'm sure Sean Hannity will continue to freak out when socialism, the word socialism, normalizes," Salazar said. "But I think that suggests that some experts probably are not capable of what Americans … actually care about."

<p class = "Canvas Atom Canvas Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Not all DSA reviews came from the right At its 2017 session, the DSA voted in favor of the Boycott, Disposal and Sanctioning Movement (BDS) against Israel – a position that some pro-Israeli US politicians have attempted to criminalize. Ocasio-Cortez has left the Palestinians but was silent about BDS, which could possibly conflict with many in their caucus. "Data-reactid =" 189 "> Not all DSA reviews are from the right. At its 2017 meeting, the DSA voted to support the boycott, disinvestment and sanctioning movement (BDS) against Israel, a position that some pro-Israeli US politicians attempted to criminalize. Ocasio-Cortez supported the Palestinians but remained silent about BDS, possibly bringing them into conflict with many in their faction.

Then the Democratic Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on the right, during Bengali parish work in New York, 6 May 2018. (Photo: Corey Torpie / Kind Approval of the Alexandria Ocasio Cortez Campaign via AP)

Given the energy around the DSA and the potential for friction with more traditional elements of the party, a Democratic activist who spoke with Yahoo News on condition of anonymity , fearing that the mainstream elements of the party would not be able to cover the newly emerging socialists. 19659086] "I feel like we're seeing Napster again, and Leadership is like the record industry, refusing to admit what's happening," the agent said.

Jon Reinish, a Democrat veteran trategist, is far less worried and thinks the DSA might be good for the party.

"If there are candidates in certain districts of certain races attuned to DSA or any other organization that inspires voters, then that's great and that's valuable." Reinisch said. "If there's energy and enthusiasm and if new voters jump in, that's just a net plus."

While the 2016 presidential election regularly saw Sanders and his supporters, Clinton clashed with Clinton and finally protested against the Democratic Convention, hinting that she was favored by the party, Reinisch predicted that the DSA would be easier to deal with Platform "over a series of questions rather than dedication to a person" is.

"Bernie's main problem was Bernie. DSA people are over politics," said Reinish.

He also predicted that the Left would avoid power struggles by "staring at the barrel of Donald Trump's America."

"Democrats and people whose positions are linked to the Democratic Party have made that mistake," said Reinisch. "I do not see it happening again."

<p class = "Canvas Atom Canvas Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" Type = "Text" content = " Correction: This History was updated to find that Ron Dellums was a member of the DSA who served in Congress from 1971 to 1998. "data-reactid =" 209 "> Correction: This story has been updated to determine that Ron Dellums was a member of the DSA who served in Congress from 1971-1998.

Arielle Cohen, co-chair of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, leads a call outside the office of Rep. Tim Murphy, in response to President Trump's plan, to end the program "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals". 6, 2017. (Photo: Andrew Rush / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on AP)

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