Working Groups

 

A working group is a group of Tampa Bay DSA members working together on a specific topic or issue. Each of our working groups applies focused effort to some facet of TBDSA’s broad anti-capitalist program.

 

Working Group Meetings

Once a month we hold space for a working group meeting. Working groups generally work independently, but we schedule monthly meetings to make it easier to find a meeting space and to maintain momentum in action.

Our main working group meetings in Tampa are held on the 4th Wednesday of each month.

Pinellas-based working groups meet separately at our Pinellas branch working group meetings, held on the 3rd Sunday of each month.

 

Join a Working Group

We encourage all members to join a working group that interests them, or start one if it doesn’t exist! To join a working group or propose a new one, fill out our Working Group Interest Form.

 


 

Socialist Feminist

 

This working group aims to bring a feminist perspective to the DSA as well as a class analysis to modern day feminism. We recognize intersecting factors of male-dominance, racism, and imperialism as inextricable with women’s oppression, all of which are both driving forces and tools of capitalism. Through fighting for equitable redistribution of wealth and resources, reproductive rights, overturning of traditional gender roles, and zero-tolerance for and answerability of sexual assault and rape, we hope to abolish the oppression of cis women, trans persons, and gender nonconforming.

As socialists, we acknowledge that cultural and economic oppression of women are linked and perpetuate one another, and that therefore the patriarchy is intersected with capitalism. Cultural oppression of women manifests through our patriarchal society; due to our dominant worldview ingrained from childhood, the assumption of women as inferior is insidiously but deeply ingrained in both men and women. This assumption seeps into the economic value of women, as women, particularly women of color, have greater representation in low-wage jobs and have lower lifetime earning, and also bear the burden of the vast majority of unwaged labor which sustains the capitalist economy. This unequal economic power dynamic in turn reinforces the patriarchy.

Additionally, due to the inherently exploitative nature of capitalism which strips the individual of self-worth, autonomy, and self-determination, a number of economically-disadvantaged men turn to the oppression of women in order to bolster their self-image and regain some semblance of control. However, both men and women have a stake in upheaving this power dynamic, and women’s liberation is essential to working class liberation.

In order to uphold our mission as a working group, we aim to hold regular safe-space workshops at general meetings, distribute socialist feminist zines, and host a Women’s Day event elevating women’s voices in through art.

 


 

Healthcare

The Healthcare working group is dedicated to advocating for health care as a human right with a class analysis. As socialists, we advocate first for the elimination of a profit-driven private insurance industry, to be replaced by public funding of health care through greater taxation of the top income earners. This would ensure accessible and free care to all, including those most marginalized and devalued by capitalism. Approximately 45,000 annual deaths are associated with lack of health insurance in the United States, and medical bills account for about 50% of all personal bankruptcies (75% of which had health insurance at the onset of illness or injury.) Under capitalism, the basic human right of health care is rationed to the upper class, which translates effectively to a right to life; for persons over 50 years old, the life expectancy of the top 20% income earners is 13 years longer than the life expectancy of the bottom 20% income earners.

We also believe that we should not stop here, and that we must replace privatized health care delivery (for-profit health care providers and hospital and pharmaceutical corporations) with a nationalized health program, where health care delivery would be public, democratic, and transparent. It has been well demonstrated that for-profit channels of health care incur higher costs but produce lower scores on health care measures and have higher death rates.

This DSA working group aims to petition, canvass, host town hall meetings, put pressure on elected officials, and strengthen community coalition in order to advocate for prompt and sustainable transition to a single-payer, and subsequently nationalized, health care program.

Current legislation this working group supports:

  • The Medicare-for-All Act of 2017, S. 1804
  • The Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act, H.R. 676
  • Infectious Disease Elimination Pilot Programs, SB 800
  • HB 579: Infectious Disease Elimination Pilot Programs

 


 

Political

 

The Political Working Group is formed to engage in political action in an effort to reorganize society and the economy along democratic socialist lines. We recognize that the current political system at all levels; local, state and national, maintains the interest of capital as the prime objective at the expense of the interest working class, the poor, racial, sexual and religious minorities, the undocumented and the vast majority of those living with the U.S. borders. One of the most insidious lies of neoliberalism is that we can have a politics void of ideology. That politics prostrates itself before the desires of capital is treated as a natural fact like gravity. That the only place political disagreement can take place is at the fringes where no threat can be made to the status quo is assumed. The fact that what is considered the left wing party in this country adheres to this notion while the far-right and the neoliberals themselves pay it no mind should only serve to hasten our efforts. We reject this prescription and assert to organize ourselves politically around an ideology focused on class struggle.

We recognize that, at its heart, our political struggle is not spiritual or cultural; rather it must be focused on improving the material conditions of the people. Our political action must be focused on this goal while fighting to dismantle the concentration of wealth and power that create the conditions where health care, housing and food are not 100% guaranteed conditions of life. Neoliberalism seeks to commodify and privatize all aspects of human life and so as socialists we must support actions which seek to reverse this process.

We recognize that democracy is a tactic as much as it is a goal. We must build radically democratic structures and flatten hierarchical systems wherever possible. We must reflect the society we wish to create. We must operate in an open democratic fashion and have mechanisms for members to address failures in this area.

The main mission of the Political Working Group is to take political action to improve material conditions for the vast majority and to increase democratic and open participation in this struggle. While our ultimate goal is a fundamental reorganization of the political, economic and social system, we are mindful that there are many small steps along the path to this goal. Therefore, we must build coalitions with diverse partners, and use a diverse set of tactics to take the steps necessary to fulfill our stated mission and to reach our ultimate goal.

 


 

Environmental Justice

 

The Environmental Justice Working Group is a platform for organizing local activism for environmental issues, stewardship, and outreach. This group believes that the complications and injustices arising from the ways which people are embedded in their society is as much a concern as the injustices arising from ways their society is embedded into the greater natural world.

 


 

Labor

 

Coming soon!

 


 

Community Campaigns (Pinellas)

 

This working group is focused on establishing local campaigns or supporting existing campaigns that empower working class people. We are currently working with other members of the TBDSA chapter to start offering free brake light repair clinics to residents of the local community. This is not an electoral working group, however, we would support openly socialist candidates for office.