Is being a Democratic Socialist becoming a thing?
Very proud to announce we surpassed 20,000 comrades today. Keep building, keep organizing, keep fighting. Our socialism is irrevocable. pic.twitter.com/0bFCxyewf3
— DSA (@DemSocialists) April 4, 2017
The S-word is supposed to be something respectable people don't say in civilized company.
But the fact that Bernie Sanders used that word - and almost no one cared - it broke the taboo.
Since 2015, DSA membership has increased by more than 200 percent and now stands at more than 20,000. The number of chapters has increased from 43 to more than 120 in 42 states. In the remaining eight states, local DSA groups are working toward chapter status. The biggest change, however, has been demographic. In 2015, only a third of DSA’s members were in their twenties or thirties. Today, thanks to the influx of young Bernie supporters, people under 40 are the vast majority.
Still, 20,000 is nothing. It's a drop in the bucket.
Even if the DSA continues to grow like this for another two years, it will still only be a tiny minority party.
OTOH, if this keeps happening then the DSA could rapidly shake up the political establishment.
More than a dozen DSA members now serve in local posts across the country, and their numbers are growing.
Early this month, Quad Cities Democratic Socialists of America member Dylan Parker was elected to the city council in Rock Island, Illinois. A 28-year-old diesel mechanic who was a Sanders delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Parker came home and mounted a city council campaign in the city of 39,000. He focused on open government, citizen engagement and economic justice issues and he got specific. Steering attention to the role that an equitable approach to economic development could play in strengthening the whole community, he talked about providing universal high speed broadband internet access for residences and businesses and about expanding Rock Island’s publicly-owned hydroelectric power plant. The campaign resonated with voters. Parker won 68 percent of the vote on April 4.
Two weeks later, in South Fulton, Georgia, another DSA member, khalid kamau, won an equally striking victory. A #BlackLivesMatter and #FightFor15 organizer who was also one of the many young Sanders delegates to last year’s Democratic National Convention, kamau (who lower cases his name in the Yoruba African tradition that emphasizes the community over the individual), outlined an economic and social justice vision that proposed to make the newly incorporated community of South Fulton “the largest Progressive city in the South.” On April 18, we won 67 percent on the vote.
I have family in Rock Island. This is the land of the right-wing Megachurch.
If a socialist can win there of all places, and win BIG, then a socialist can win anywhere.
Same goes for suburban Atlanta.