2018 At-large Candidate Statement: Sue M

I’m running for Local Council At-Large because I believe that the next year will be a critical one for New Orleans DSA, and I want to work to ensure that we are building the systems and structures that will serve us well moving forward. Over the past year, we’ve grown from a small group of committed organizers into the largest socialist organization in the state, aided by a political context that is generating broad support for our ideas and driven by a tremendous amount of hard work, enthusiasm, and commitment by our membership. Together, we’ve built and expanded strong programs like the brake lights clinics, Medicare for all canvassing and health fairs, while creating new points of entry through socials, political education events and our Socialists of Color Caucus. We have proved ourselves to allies by consistently standing in solidarity with other groups and organizations working towards a better world.

In taking on new programs and projects as an organization, we’ve also consistently learned from our missteps, reflecting with honesty, critiquing with compassion, and choosing to improve together; which is the mark of an organization with the capacity to grow a healthy movement. If elected to the At-Large position, I am committed to supporting that growth by working with comrades on the Local Council and our membership in the development of a chapter program and solid strategies to achieve that program.

I will work with committee chairs and stewards to support their efforts and nurture emerging leadership, while working to help connect our activities to resources both within and outside of our chapter. Because our political project is a collective and radically democratic one, I am committed to making ongoing education and praxis a central part of our efforts, accessible to our entire
membership, and to our broader working class base.

Externally, I think that there are opportunities for our chapter to play a meaningful role in coalitions that build power and directly engage with working class people in New Orleans to shape a place and a politics rooted in our collective capacity. Critically, I believe that to take advantage of those opportunities, we must improve our shared analysis of the political ecosystem of our city, be able to assert a socialist position on a given issue or campaign, and approach potential coalition partners with a clear eyed assessment of our chapter’s capacity. We are not just boots on the ground, nor are we necessarily junior partners in a given coalition. Where we decide to join with or support others, however, we must have already done the work to ensure that we can articulate the reasons why we are coming to the table and the roles we are prepared to play, while holding that our central goal is to grow our organization and, through doing so, to build power.

Our chapter has been, and remains, in a period of tremendous potential for growth. As a political organization, that growth is both necessary and affirming, and carries with it new challenges and opportunities. Growth is always uncomfortable. Growth requires constant work and our recommitment to the idea that a better world is possible and that we can and must help to make that world manifest. Growth means holding space for the fact that no one comes to the revolution perfect, not even ourselves, and sustaining an organizational culture that holds each of us accountable while honoring that we are all also learning, reflecting, and trying to do our best.

As we grow as a chapter, the ways in which we work together will have to grow as well; creating or expanding systems to support analysis and learning, intentionally building solidarity and common purpose among our membership, and reinforcing the internal culture of kindness and mutual aid that has been so carefully stewarded by our elected leadership and that truly defines New Orleans DSA as a very special organization.