Leo H (he/him)
Greetings, comrades! I’m a relatively new member of the chapter, and have been very pleased to be welcomed into this community. This past year, I dove right in, joining in with the electoral committee in our fight to win our People First Portland ballot initiatives. From my desk at my job as a campground reservation clerk this summer, I crafted fun and engaging social media posts, pissed off landlords and businesspeople on twitter, and made short videos debunking misleading ads from the anti-democratic PACs that opposed us. And, through it all, I had a blast.
In my role in communications, I am fully committed to expanding the successful internal communications techniques that we’ve used in the electoral committee. In an effort to create a more inclusive movement, electoral has made a serious effort to conduct meetings and communication in a way that is accessible to everyone who wants to be involved, even those who can’t make it to every meeting. (This is super important to me, as a wholly committed member who’s new school schedule may very well conflict with our meetings.) This means ensuring that we have well-formed agendas that respect members’ time and comprehensive, easily-found notes so that everyone can get up to speed as soon as they are able.
I look forward to serving this community if you all see fit to choose me.
Sarah C (they/them)
Prior to making the decision to join DSA last year, I had been looking for an organization that was both socialist and its own community. I want to not only be connected and bond with others, but to actually be present when change is being made and the work is being done. I want to actually contribute to something greater than myself.
I decided to make DSA my home in 2020 and will continue to be a part of it indefinitely.
In the small time I have been a member of this chapter, I have formed connections with many members that I have grown to love and trust. It is now my goal to continue collaborating with comrades and reaching out to our communities here in Maine. As Communications Co-Chair I will continue the work of my predecessors by connecting with our communities and taking on the responsibilities that come with this position. I would be honored to take on this important role in our chapter and represent SMDSA.
Corey B (he/him)
I joined the DSA in 2016 and got involved with the Maine chapter shortly after. As a prospective member, I saw a lot of room for improvement with our outward-facing digital media presence, and a lack of accessibility with respect to our communication channels. Instead of being turned off, I saw this as an opportunity to be the change I wanted to see, and the rest is history.
While I was originally based in the greater Portland area, I have since relocated to central Maine and have a unique perspective of the contrasts of urban vs rural membership. I’ve served as an At Large Executive Board Member in 2018, and would love to be a part of leadership again to bring some of my historical knowledge of our organization to a lot of fresh faces in 2021.
Create Communication Sub Committees, Attempt to Address Membership Attrition, Re-engage Disengaged or Lapsed Members, Increase Diverse Membership via Social Media Outreach, Engagement
Howa M (she/her)
I live and work in Portland as a restorative justice facilitator. I’ve been a member for just over a year and would love to serve again as a membership co-chair.
I want to continue with new member engagement and allow for more low-barrier social activities to take place in the chapter. I would love to continue making structures for different affinity groups so people can feel like they have a place in the chapter.
Joe D (he/him)
Like many others, I joined DSA after the 2016 presidential election. Politically I would define myself a democratic socialist first. I moved to Maine in 2019 for an Americorps year, and currently live in Bayside Portland with my fiancee, dog, and two cats. I was voted in as a Membership co-chair in September 2020.
There is a lot of work ahead of us if we want to build real working-class power in Maine. I also think as a socialist organization, DSA is uniquely situated to do this. Solidarity forever!
Improve New Member On-boarding – Reboot the outreach team that will be in charge of welcoming new members with a text/call and continue the monthly orientation sessions, improving them by adding themes and empowering other members to lead these calls.
Create Welcoming Spaces – Our focus should be on building non-cis white male membership, which can only happen when spaces feel welcoming for all. Action items include more affinity groups, coordinating on meaningful feminist projects, and further enabling our non-cis-male members to take leadership roles.
Empower Members to Organize – Joining a new organization can be difficult. I want to make sure members feel comfortable enough in our chapter to jump into an ongoing project or build something completely new. After all, we are organizers first! This goal could take form in regular ‘organizer training’ meetings, better written/video resources, or just making myself more available to ask questions. “
Wes P (he/him)
I am extremely disorganized, bad at numbers, have never written a budget before in my life, and am looking forward to my third year of being a beneficiary of uncontested elections.
Make a budget, get us an office space
Sarah L (she/her)
Hi, my name is Sarah L. (she/her), and I am new to SMDSA. Although I grew up in Portland, I spent the majority of my adult years living out-of-state, including most recently in NYC. The past year and a half I participated in multiple campaigns and projects in North Brooklyn DSA, where I primarily contributed to electoral work (data-entry, turf-cutting, phone-banking, petitioning, & canvassing) for both national and down-ballot races. Outside of DSA, I also organized with IfNotNow (a progressive Jewish American org that opposes the Israeli occupation) and on a project called “Jews Against White Nationalism” where I likewise engaged in national electoral work; outreach; research; and helped lead political education workshops. Currently, I’m working in K-12 education and I am thrilled to be part of a union again (!) Needless to say, I am excited to be back in Maine and I’m looking forward to meeting more DSA (and future DSA) members and contributing my time and energy to the incredible organizing work that is being done here locally. In addition to supporting finance, I am excited to join SMDSA to push forward continued work on tenants’ rights; diversify membership; expand people power and workers’ rights; and pursue an active approach to outreach alongside member retention and chapter growth.
Chelsea B (she/her)
Hello! My name is Chelsea, I’m an art school dropout with a mountain of student loan debt and spent most of my 20s barely scraping by on minimum wage. I have been exploited by landlords, loved people through their struggles with substance abuse, and nearly lost my life to intimate partner violence exacerbated by the conditions of poverty. I got my first taste of organizing as a teenager putting on basement shows and pop-up art exhibitions with friends. I am older and more boring now but my leftism is firmly rooted in the anarcho-punk and DIY ethos of my youth. I finally decided to join DSA last year after coming to the realization that it’s currently the best vehicle to build actual leftist power in this country. A better world IS possible! These days I am most interested in antifascism, housing & anti-poverty activism, and the revival of the labor movement. I like pro-wrestling, reading offbeat modern fiction, collecting records, and learning about hidden history. I lived in Portland for many years but grew up in Sanford, spent a few years in Seacost NH, and recently moved to Saco with my husband and our pet rabbit. I knit A LOT!!!
I hope to help feminize our chapter over the next year and beyond and will work to create more space for femme and GNC comrades to feel welcome and supported. Although I have spent much of my time so far in SMDSA on electoral projects, I am interested in working to build socialist power outside of government by inserting ourselves in all sectors of society and improving our community through direct action. Thank you for considering me for SC!
Aaron B (he/him)
Art school grad, tabletop board game nerd, and now socialist. Aaron Berger joined DSA in 2018 after news broke of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory. In his first year Aaron was heavily involved in the Earn Paid Sick Day campaign, coordinating with the Southern Maine Worker Center. Since joining DSA, Aaron’s interests have shifted from electoralism to more tenant and worker based organizing. He recently helped his co-workers at Portland Museum of Art start an organizing drive for a new union. Aaron joined the chapter Steering Committee in late 2019 as an at-large member, and then in 2020 as Agenda Co-Chair.
1.) Continue to cultivate a culture of learning and growth within the chapter. DSA is often the first radical space people have experience with, and its important that newcomers feel confident in stretching outside their comfort zone and making mistakes.
2.) Finding ways for the Steering Committee to better support our chapter’s external campaigns. Often committees aren’t aware of the tools the chapter has available for them to use. Through coordination we hopefully can find ways to reduce administrative labor across the chapter.
3.) Finding ways to be more intentional with leadership development, with the goal of creating a leader-full organization. Fostering open political discussion about the best ways to use our chapter’s current capacity to continue to grow, and make sure institutional knowledge is passed on.”