View the full agenda and access Zoom links. Preview listed below
Amendments to resolutions and Constitution/Bylaws changes
Union-made shirts, hats, and stickers. Store open through January, 2021
Starting the evening of Friday, January 22nd with social events, our convention will go through the weekend of January 23rd – 24th and include lots of workshops, important Chapter business, and elections for 2021 Steering Committee Officers and Harassment & Grievance Officers.
Unlike last year’s, this convention will be held remotely over a series of Zoom meetings. But just like last year’s, this convention is gearing up to be a fun, educational, and productive time for all attendees. Don’t miss out, RSVP today!
Preview of Convention Schedule
Friday, January 22
6PM-9PM – GAME NIGHT
Join your comrades for a night of puzzles, games, and solidarity. We’ll be meeting on Zoom to play Pictionary, Jackbox, and other easy-to-learn amusements for comrades of all ages. If you have a great game for medium-large groups that can be played virtually, bring it along!
8PM-10PM – PARENT SOCIAL
Tuck the kids in and come hang out and unwind with other lefty parents for the evening. You’ve earned it!
Saturday, January 23
Zoom Welcome Room
9AM-10AM – BREAKFAST SOCIAL
Early bird gets the socialism! Join us for some pre-convention banter and catch up with comrades over breakfast.
10AM-11AM OPENING PLENARY
We kick off our convention by welcoming everybody with an ice breaker. We’ll go over community agreements and the day’s agenda, and introduce folks to the candidates for our Steering Committee. Agenda Co-Chair Aaron B will deliver a brief welcoming speech and then folks will be sent off to attend the day’s workshops and business.
11AM-12PM – WORKSHOP 1
Membership Orientation (For New Members and Nonmembers)
Come one come all! This workshop is an orientation for our new members and anyone who is interested in becoming a member and/or working with Maine DSA. This orientation provides a brief summary of our chapter, including info about our different committees and their projects, chapter-wide events (ongoing and future), and it ends with ways we can all plug into our chapter’s activities.
This workshop will be a conversation about why capitalism makes it hard to care for and cook for ourselves, and how to implement more socialist practices in the kitchen. Learning to turn to ourselves for wisdom and guidance, rather than to corporations who have only profit in mind is the goal, along with opening our hearts and minds to different forms of mutual aid. Let’s rely on each other for emotional support, knowledge and resources as we enter a particularly trying Maine winter
Radicalization of the Right
We’ll join our comrades from CPUSA for a workshop that aims to go over a brief history of how the right has gained traction and methods of how they gain new followers. We then break out into discussion over ways we can combat the rise of the right.
1PM-2PM – WORKSHOP 2
Mutual Aid Retrospective
We’ll host a panel with friends from Presente! Maine and Maine People’s Housing Coalition to discuss the challenges and lessons learned from organizing mutual aid projects, and look ahead to how we can support our community in the months to come
Social Reproduction and the Crisis of Care
What if our society were organized around care, not profit? Social Reproduction Theory enables us to understand the contradiction between capitalist profit-making and human life-making. This workshop will introduce the theory and discuss its application to child care, education, and elder care as examples of labor — usually gendered, often racialized, largely unpaid — that capitalism strains to the point of crisis. The workshop previews the upcoming Study Group on Social Reproduction Theory.
2:15PM-3:15PM – WORKSHOP 3
Electoral: Looking Back
In this workshop we will be taking a look back at the last year’s work for People First Portland. We’ll discuss challenges, successes, and what we learned in the process of passing four of five referendums in Portland this year.
Q&A With Maine PMA Union
Join us for a panel with the organizing committee of the Maine PMA Union. We’ll be talking about the important lessons we learned, and answering questions about what it’s like to start a new union.
3:30PM-4:30PM – WORKSHOP 4
Electoral: Looking Forward
In this workshop, we will be discussing short and long-term planning for the future of electoral work within the chapter. We’ll discuss current activities, brainstorm future strategic “big picture” plans with attendees, and hold officer elections for the Electoral Committee.
This workshop begins with a know-your-rights conversation about renter laws specific to Maine and Portland. We’ll cover rental application fees, vouchers, building maintenance issues, rent, evictions, and of course, landlords. Our aim is to hold an interactive conversation where presenters and participants share skills and stories, and we all leave with a stronger understanding of why and how renters organize.
4:45PM-5:45PM – WORKSHOP 5
Come join the newly started Public Power group as we discuss the first steps toward a campaign to democratize Maine’s electrical grid! Teams will be reporting back on research into legislation, technical/grid infrastructure questions, coalition possibilities and state political power mapping. These will help inform the Maine DSA membership and lay the groundwork for developing a statewide campaign over the next year.
6:30PM-8:30PM – CHAPTER BUSINESS
We’ll kick things off with a 20 minute primer on ROBERT’S RULES to get everyone geared up for some chapter-wide discussion and VOTING! Up for consideration tonight:
– Chapter Name Change Bylaw Amendment
– Communications Policy
– Motion to revoke Comms Policy and Press Release Policy and pass the Community Building Policy and Data Security Policy
– Diversity Requirement Bylaw Amendment
Sunday, January 24
Zoom Welcome Room
9AM-10AM BREAKFAST SOCIAL
Early bird gets the socialism! Join us for some pre-convention banter and catch up with comrades over breakfast
10AM-11AM DAY 2 PLENARY
We’ll begin by going over the day’s agenda and we’ll welcome a special guest speaker to address attendees. After the talk we’ll give a final reminder to vote for the 2021 Steering Committee. We’ll be electing two co-chairs to each subcommittee. Ballots and candidate bios will be made available to all members in good standing prior to the SC election. Voting is open to members only.
11AM-12PM – WORKSHOP 1
Drugs Under Capitalism
We will discuss and explore what a socialist informed drug policy looks like. We will also look at current Maine laws and ways in which we can advocate for change.
Maine Labor Trail Project
Why is so much of our local history focused on lionizing industry leaders and bosses? Join in to discuss a new project intent on connecting modern Mainers to their radical roots. Come chat about mill workers, immigrants, child laborers, striking students, and the militant working class of yore. We’ll share some hidden history and gauge interest in creating an interactive online map inspired by the Chicago Labor Trail.
1PM – 2PM WORKSHOP 2
Time for a Maine Socialist Publication?
An informal team of comrades will present preliminary plans for launching a Maine socialist publication (including whether or not to do so and, if so , how), nothing is set in stone and ideas and questions are welcome. If we decide to pursue this venture, we will be looking for reporters, editors, writers, designers, columnists, translators, etc. If you have any of these skills, or would like to learn them, please attend.
3PM – 5PM CHAPTER BUSINESS
It’s that time again – gather ‘round your device for some virtual deliberation and voting with your comrades. On the agenda tonight:
– Coalition Policy Proposal
– HGO Policy Amendment
– Priority Campaign Proposal
5PM CLOSING PLENARY
To close out our jam-packed weekend we’ll turn our eyes toward the future. Votes will be tallied and we will announce the results of the Steering Committee election, followed by a speech looking ahead to the year to come and the next steps for our chapter.