The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) have been making headlines lately across the country! Whether it’s about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory, or flying massive banners reading “No More Cuomo” over Billy Joel’s fundraiser for NY Gov. Cuomo, or fighting for Medicare for All, or #AbolishICE actions, DSA is 40,000 members strong, and not slowing down anytime soon. Locally, Chicago DSA has been involved in the No Cop Academy campaign since November of 2017, most notably with prominent member Carlos Rosa, alderman of the 35th ward, being the first, sole “No” vote for the $95 million cop academy. Read on to learn more about how they’ve contributed to the campaign!
When did your organization, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, decide to join the No Cop Academy campaign? Why?
Chicago Democratic Socialists of America became an endorser of the No Cop Academy campaign in November of 2017. In the year leading up to us joining the campaign, CDSA had experienced a growth in membership and there was an energy to find and plug into anti-racist, grassroots campaigns in the city. No Cop Academy’s efforts to undermine the current, coercive system of policing used primarily against communities of color and in service of profit over people interested us. The campaign’s goal to see funds divested from oppressive structures and invested into people who need it fit within our purpose as a chapter.
How has your organization contributed to the campaign?
Our organization has collected petition signatures in the 32nd and 33rd ward as well as participated in meetings with Alderman Scott Waguespack and Alderman Deborah Mell. Members have volunteered at the youth summit and attended the May City Council actions in opposition to City Council’s efforts to secure financing for the cop academy. Also, we’ve made sure the campaign’s messages have been transmitted far and wide even reaching members of other DSA chapters.
What has been your organization’s highlight of the campaign?
When our comrades in Boston DSA protested outside a speaking engagement that Rahm Emanuel was participating in at Harvard University. Seeing cross chapter solidarity showed how our local chapters are interconnected and can show up for one another as a national organization.
Get more information on becoming a Chicago DSA member at chicagodsa.org!