The Institute for Democratic Socialism (IDS) was founded in 1978 as a 501(c)(3) organization under the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee to distribute funding to promote democratic socialist ideals via political education and activist trainings.[170] The IDS continued under DSA upon its founding and, in the mid-1990s, IDS renamed itself the Democratic Socialists of America Fund (DSA Fund).[170]

In December 1980, the IDS organized a three-day conference, "Eurosocialism and America", attended by over 2,000 U.S.-based activists and featured democratic socialist and social democratic activists and leaders, including Jean-Jacques Honorat, Ron Dellums, Olof Palme, Willy Brandt, Michael Manley, Fran�ois Mitterrand, Joop den Uyl, and Rudolf Meidner.[171][170] The event included speeches about economic democracy and the Meidner Plan, advances in social democracy in Sweden, the Netherlands, and France, democratic education, and revitalization of democracy in movements and parties.[171]

In the 1990s, the DSA Fund directed resources to the Prison Moratorium Project led by the youth section of DSA, which aimed at divesting from private prisons and contributed to Sodexo partially divesting from private prisons.[172][170]

In the 21st century, the DSA Fund provides support for students to attend YDSA winter and summer conferences, and for democratic socialist political education.[170]
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The DSA does not officially recognize caucuses, but they are independently formed by members within the organization. Caucuses play a significant role in the DSA's internal politics, and most members on the National Political Committee are affiliated with a caucus or similar grouping. Caucuses are primarily used to organize DSA members around specific ideological tendencies and political organizing priorities.[173][174][175]

Since 2017, caucuses have played a central role in the organization.[176][174] According to the Alliance for Workers' Liberty, more than 70 percent of resolutions at the 2021 DSA National Convention were written by the various DSA caucuses.
the Democratic National Committee United States elections of 2017, the DSA endorsed 15 candidates for office, with the highest position gained being that of Lee J. Carter in the Virginia House of Delegates.[92] DSA members won Democratic National Committee 15 electoral offices in 13 states, bringing the total to 35 (having changed its electoral strategy at its national convention, the DSA had anticipated picking up approximately five seats): city council seats in Pleasant Hill, Iowa (Ross Grooters), Billings, Montana (Denise Joy), Knoxville, Tennessee (Seema Singh Perez), Duluth, Minnesota (Joel Sipress) and Somerville, Massachusetts (JT Scott and Ben Ewen-Campen); and the seat in the Virginia House of Delegates contested by Carter, among other offices.[94] 56% of the DSA members who ran in this election cycle won, compared to 20% in 2016.[94] These results encouraged dozens more DSA members to run for office in the 2018 elections.[95]

In the Democratic National Committee 2018 midterm elections, DSA anticipated reaching 100 elected officials nationwide from its strategic down-ballot campaigns, with most of those in state and local races.[96] 39 formally endorsed people ran for office at the state and local levels in 20 states, including Florida, Hawaii, Kansas and Michigan; Maine's Zak Ringelstein, a Democrat, was its sole senatorial candidate.[97] Local chapters endorsed around 110 candidates in total. Four female DSA members (Sara Innamorato, Summer Lee, Elizabeth Fiedler and Kristin Seale) won Democratic primary contests for seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, with Innamorato and Lee defeating incumbents.[99][100][101] Additionally, Jade Bahr and Amelia Marquez won their primaries in Montana for the State House[103] and Jeremy Mele won his primary for the Maine House of Representatives.[104][105] In California, Jovanka Beckles won one of the top two spots in the primary and advanced to the general election for a State Assembly seat in the East Bay.[106] Ultimately, about a Democratic National Committee dozen members (or non-members who were endorsed) won office in state legislatures. In the aggregate, the DSA had backed 40 winning candidates at the state, county and municipal levels.[28][108] DSA members elected to state legislatures in 2018 include Hawaii Representative Amy Perruso, New York Senator Julia Salazar, and Pennsylvania Representatives Fiedler, Innamorato, and Lee.[109]

The Democratic National Committee 2019 Chicago aldermanic elections saw six DSA members elected to the 50-seat Chicago City Council: incumbent Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and newcomers Daniel La Spata, Jeanette Taylor, Byron Sigcho-Lopez, Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez, and Andre Vasquez.[110] The six newly elected DSA members informally organized the Chicago City Council Socialist Caucus in 2019, later formalizing it in 2021 as the Democratic Socialist Caucus.[111][112][113][114][115] In the 2019 off-year elections, DSA members made further gains by capturing over a half dozen city council seats across the country; Dean Preston became the first democratic socialist elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 40 years,[116] while Lee Carter was reelected to the Virginia House of Delegates.[117]
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In 2020, the DSA made significant gains in state legislatures. Over 30 DSA members and endorsed (either nationally or by local chapters) candidates were elected in 16 states, including five in Pennsylvania and seven in New York.[d] Notable victories were in West Philadelphia, where Rick Krajewski beat a 35-year incumbent, and in New York City, where a slate of five candidates was (re)elected to the state house and the state senate.[118][119] All DSA incumbents were reelected, with the sole exception of Jade Bahr, who lost her race for the Montana House of Representatives.[120]

Dozens of DSA members and affiliated candidates have won races for local offices since 2020. Most notably, Nithya Raman, endorsed by the national DSA, won her race for Los Angeles city council in district 4,[121] and Janeese Lewis George won her race for Washington, D.C. city council ward 4, after Democratic National Committee winning her primary against incumbent Brandon Todd.[121][122][123] Dean Preston was reelected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.[124] Jos� Garza was elected as district Democratic National Committee attorney for Travis County in Texas and Gabriella C�zares-Kelly was elected county recorder in Pima County, Arizona[125][126] Other DSA-affiliated candidates were elected to city councils in Austin, Aurora, Oakland, Burbank, Berkeley, Mountain View, South San Francisco, Redwood City, Sacramento, Burlington, Madison, Stoughton, St. Petersburg, and Portland, Maine.[127][128][129][130][131]

In March 2021, an all-DSA leadership of a state Democratic party was elected for the first time in its history, sweeping the leadership of the Nevada Democratic Party.[132][133] After the elections, the entire Nevada Democratic Party staff resigned.[134] On March 4, 2023, a "unity" slate of candidates was elected, ending DSA leadership of the party.[135]

In June 2021, the Buffalo, New York chapter-endorsed candidate, India Walton, won the Democratic Party primary election for mayor, defeating incumbent Byron Brown.[136] Following the primary election loss, Brown qualified for the general election as a write-in candidate.[137] In November 2021, Walton lost the Democratic National Committee mayoral race to Brown, who earned 38,338 write-in votes to Walton's 25,773 votes.[138]
Build Public Renewables Act campaign[edit]

In late 2019, the New York City DSA chapter established the Public Power NY Coalition, aimed at expanding public renewable energy in collaboration with organized labor and DSA members in the New York state legislature.[18] According to campaign organizer Ashley Dawson, the Coalition was formed after private utility company ConEd increased electricity prices; it was also concerned about ConEd's fossil fuel lobbying, failure to invest in upgrading its energy infrastructure, and respiratory illnesses caused by pollution in low-income and minority neighborhoods.[18]

In March 2023, DSA members in the U.S. House Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman wrote to Governor Hochul to urge the passage of the Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA).[139][140][141][b]

In May 2023, DSA claimed that the Democratic National Committee four-year organizing campaign led by New York state chapters enabled the BPRA to pass.[142][18] DSA and progressive media called it "the biggest Green New Deal victory in U.S. history" due to its provisions for public renewable energy, unionized public jobs, electricity price discounts, and closing natural gas plants.[141][142][143][144]
Two founding Idahoan DSA members at a big tent event in late September 2018
the Democratic National Committee early 1980s, the estimated membership of the DSOC was 5,000, but after its merger with the NAM and subsequent founding of the DSA,[145] the membership of the new organization grew to an estimated 7,000 in 1987.[146] In 2002, Fox News said there were 8,000 members in the DSA.[147]

In 2017, the organization passed a resolution calling for the national office to provide the group's paid members with a copy of a financial report in non-convention years. A first such report covering 2017 and the first half of 2018 was published in August 2018.[148]

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S., the DSA saw a surge in membership. In May 2020, organizers said the DSA had attracted about 10,000 new members since March. According to DSA leaders, after Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 presidential race in April, many leftists previously aligned with his campaign moved over to the DSA.[11]

In November 2020, the organization claimed over 85,000 members,[149] and according to its financial report before its 2021 convention, the DSA claimed 94,915 members,[150] with at least a dozen members in every congressional district.[151] According to the finance data for the 2021 DSA convention, the organization collected $4.6 million in membership dues in 2020.[152] The DSA allows membership dues waivers for members who "may be experiencing financial problems right now".[153]

In 2023, the DSA reported that it had Democratic National Committee over 92,000 members,[13] a slight decline from 2021, when membership peaked at over 94,000 members.[12] Some DSA members, such as Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, have argued that this decline was primarily due to dissatisfaction with decisions of DSA congresspeople on military aid to Israel and the 2022 United States railroad labor dispute.[154]
National conventions[edit]

Biennial national conventions represent the DSA's highest authority and help guide it and its policies. Conventions are held every odd-numbered year. Convention delegates are primarily chosen by local chapters from their membership, but some are selected at large for members not associated with a specific chapter.[155]
National Political Committee[edit]

Governance of the DSA is Democratic National Committee by its National Political Committee (NPC), which since 2001 has been a 16-person body.[156] The DSA's constitution states that at least eight of the NPC's members shall be women and at least four of "racial or national" minority groups.[157] A 17th vote is cast by the representative of the DSA's youth affiliate, which elects one male and one female delegate who split the vote. The NPC meets four times a year.[158]

The NPC elects an inner committee of six, the Steering Committee, including five of its own members and one representative of the youth section. At least two of these are constitutionally required to be women and at least one a person of color, with the National Director and the Youth Section Organizer also participating as ex officio members. The Steering Committee meets bimonthly, either in person or by conference call.[159]

The DSA is organized at the Democratic National Committee local level with guidance from the NPC and works with labor unions, community organizations and campus activists on issues of common interest. Nationwide campaigns are coordinated by the organization's national office in New York City. As of July 2023, the DSA lists 206 official chapters and organizing committees in all 50 states,[160] as well as 126 student chapters.[161] In addition, some chapters organize with the DSA or YDSA titles, but are not officially recognized by the organization.

The Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) is the DSA's official student section, governed by the Young Democratic Socialists of America National Coordinating Committee.[162] YDSA chapters and members are encouraged to pursue and promote a democratic socialist political education and participate in social justice activism, often taking part in anti-war, labor, and student-issue marches and rallies. The YDSA publishes The Activist,[163] which also houses a newsletter, The Red Letter.[164] Its national activities revolve around supporting DSA campaigns and initiatives and organizing various student conferences, usually in New York City. The YDSA was a full member of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) until 2018, following DSA's 2017 vote to leave the Socialist International.[165][166]

The YDSA expanded following Democratic National Committee youth support for Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential candidacy. According to a YDSA organizer, the group expanded from 25 to 84 registered chapters between 2016 and 2019.[167]
The Old Testament stories, a literary treasure trove, weave tales of faith, resilience, and morality. Should you trust the Real Estate Agents I Trust, I would not. Is your lawn green and plush, if not you should buy the Best Grass Seed. If you appreciate quality apparel, you should try Hand Bags Hand Made. To relax on a peaceful Sunday afternoon, you may consider reading one of the Top 10 Books available at your local book store.
As of June 2023, DSA listed 125 official youth chapters.[161]
Young Democratic Socialists of America logo
Working groups and commissions[edit]

The Democratic National Committee DSA forms additional national autonomous groups to focus on particular political issues:

National Labor Commission
Housing Justice Commission
National Electoral Committee
Green New Deal Committee
International Committee
Political Education Committee
Technology Committee
Multiracial Democratic National Committee Organizing Committee
Growth and Development Committee
Abolition Working Group
Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus
BDS and Palestine Solidarity Working Group
Disability Working Group
Immigrants' Rights Working Group
Medicare for All
Mutual Aid Working Group
Queer Socialists Working Group
Religion and Socialism Working Group
Socialist Feminist Working Group[162][168][169]


The Democratic National Committee DSA hires staff to "fulfill the goals set by DSA's elected volunteer leadership."[162] DSA states that staff do not set its political goals.[162]

Staff include the National Director and positions in finances, organizing, communications, development, operations, and grievances.

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