Chapter Convention 2023 Results

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At our 2023 Annual Convention, members voted to endorse two Priority Campaigns: a Labor RnF Strategy and a Tax the Rich Campaign.

Membership also voted for a new Steering Committee. The winners are:

  • Co-Chairs: Keller S. and Kira M.
  • Secretary: Eric CK.
  • Treasurer: Emma D.
  • Membership Organizer: Jocelyn R.
  • Communications Organizer: TJ S.

Resolution and Bylaw Amendment Results

A New Approach to Organizational Structure – Passed (14-1-0)

Co-Signers: Keller S., Amber R., Mac C., Joe B.

Whereas, Syracuse DSA has undergone a change in membership engagement and committee involvement…

Whereas, the demands of Committee leadership are a significant strain on those individuals…

Whereas, several Syracuse DSA committees have dissolved or gone dormant in the last 12 months…

Whereas, there currently exists no formal mechanism for small working groups to engage in chapter work without full recognition as committees… 

Whereas, greater coordination between committees is a tangible and worthwhile goal…

Be it resolved that the Syracuse DSA Bylaws be amended to add the following language:

ADD:  Article IX, Section 5. Organizing Committee and Organizational Structure

  1. The Organizing Committee (OC) of Syracuse DSA (composed of Steering Committee members and co-chairs of all chartered committees) may elect, with a simple majority, to organize chapter committees under the structure of the OC. The OC and Steering Committee (SC) will convene regular meetings in which the work of standard committee meetings takes place, for all committees that are organized under this structure. Committee members may share their work and provide updates as necessary to the entire OC in order to facilitate greater connection between committees and reduce the overall burden of scheduling for committee members. 
  1. All chapter members in good standing are encouraged and welcome to attend and participate in OC meetings, and all chapter members in good standing in attendance at a given meeting will be considered voting members of the OC. 
  1. The chapter Co-Chairs are responsible for convening and facilitating OC meetings but may delegate roles as needed. 
  1. Regular minutes should be taken for all OC meetings, as well as for any breakout sessions that may occur. The chapter Secretary is responsible for recording minutes but may delegate responsibilities as needed. 
  1. The OC may, by simply majority, empower chapter members to form Working Groups under the guidance of the OC. Working Groups must be composed of at least 2 chapter members in good standing, and may engage in organizing work similar to a full committee. Working Groups will adhere to the same duties and responsibilities of a full committee, except for leadership roles. Working Groups will not have formal or elected leadership positions and must adhere to any guidelines laid out by the OC. Working Groups should be considered temporary structures, with a goal of either disbanding at a given date or event, or converting into a full committee. Working Groups are obligated to regularly report their work and provide updates to the OC. 

Proposal to add a Labor Officer Position to the Steering Committee – Passed (15-0-0)

WHEREAS, labor organizing is fundamental to any socialist strategy to build power;

WHEREAS, because of labor organizing’s importance to all aspects of our work, it is important to institutionalize a labor focus on our Steering Committee, the most central body of our chapter;

WHEREAS, Syracuse DSA needs a purposeful, thought out labor strategy and needs leadership who can prioritize the execution of this strategy;

WHEREAS, Syracuse DSA does not and did not, for most of 2022, have a functioning labor committee;  therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that in Article V Section 1 of our bylaws the list of Steering Committee positions be edited to include a Labor Officer;

RESOLVED, that in Article V Section 5 of our bylaws the list of elected local officers be edited to include a Labor Officer;

RESOLVED, that in Article V of our bylaws a new section will be added after Section 10 which reads:

Section 11. Labor Organizer:

The Labor Organizer will be a voting member of the steering committee who will be responsible for engaging the chapter in deciding and executing a labor strategy.;

RESOLVED, that the first election for Labor Officer will be held immediately should this resolution be passed; and
RESOLVED, should this election fail to result in the election of a Labor Officer then a new election for Labor Officer will be held at the chapter’s April general meeting.

Plan a Conference of the Local Left – Passed (13-0-2)

Endorser: Brian E.

Co-endorsers: Mac C., Marianna P., Jermaine C., Jocelyn R., Emma D.

Be it resolved that the chapter will initiate the planning of a conference of the local Left to be held in the second half of 2023 or early 2024.

Be it resolved that we will initiate conversations with other local Left organizations, with an encompassing definition of the Left, including all long-term coalition partners in addition to others we might like to be in coalition with and including a variety of kinds of organizations. Conversations will determine the level of interest of each organization reached out to and solicit initial thoughts about its goals, scope, timing, length, structure and content.

Be it resolved that interested organizations will be asked about the level of involvement they will commit to, with clear expectations for each level: a) planning and coordinating, b) promoting, or c) attending.

Be it resolved that organizations that join the planning will jointly determine the overall plan for the conference and will determine what kind of content should be prioritized.

Be it resolved that Syracuse DSA will seek to strengthen mutual understanding and relationships with other conference participants, that we will foster conversations about topics that inform our work but that do not naturally arise in the course of campaigns or other current coalition work. We will seek mutual recognition of points of agreement with other Left organizations and will seek comradely understanding of points of disagreement.

Be it resolved that Syracuse DSA will seek to foster greater cooperation among local Left organizations and unorganized Leftists.

Be it resolved that all parts of Syracuse DSA, be they committees or other projects, will participate in the planning and coordination of the conference and support its success.

Resolution for An Alternative Housing Model – Passes (14-0-1)

Author: Eric CK

Co-Sponsors: Max L., TJ S.

Whereas the American housing system is built upon structures of racism and inequality, which are exacerbated by capitalism; and

Whereas our current housing system will never be able to properly address concerns of tenants and at the very best provides limited and criminally unenforced protections to said tenants; and

Whereas Syracuse’s housing stock and quality are controlled by slumlords who have no intention to properly care for or maintain property conditions; and

Whereas Syracuse has one of the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning and poverty in the United States; and 

Whereas Syracuse DSA has been an active member of the Syracuse Tenants Organizing for Power (STOP!) alongside the Syracuse Tenants Union, Party for Socialism and Liberation and members of the Communist Party and;

Now, therefore, be it resolved that Syracuse DSA recommits itself to the STOP! Coalition and building tenant power across Central New York; and

Be it further resolved that Syracuse DSA will emphasize tenant organizing by sharing STOP! trainings and events regularly with DSA membership; and 

Be it further resolved that Syracuse DSA will encourage its members to work as part of STOP! and further the coalition’s capacity for form tenant associations and further the work of the Syracuse Tenants Union (STU); and

Be it further resolved that Syracuse DSA members who are actively engaged or become actively engaged with STOP! will commit to further discussion and creation of an alternative housing model; and

Be it finally resolved that members engaged with STOP! will continue to build upon established projects, such as creating a land trust, and will work in collaboration with the other coalition members to create a sustainable and long-lasting tenant movement across Syracuse. 

Proposal to Revitalize the Labor Committee – Fails (6-6-3)

Author: Eric CK

Co-Sponsors: Emma D., TJ S., Max L., Andrew B.

Whereas labor organizing and activism have been the heartbeat of DSA and other socialist organizations; and

Whereas Syracuse is one of the most union-dense areas in the United States, having three unionized hospitals and a dozen unionized grocery stores, and strong union representation in logistics, education, and other industries; and

Whereas there has been a wave of class-struggle from the Sysco Strike, and unionization of Communication Service for the Deaf, Syracuse University Graduate Students, TCGplayer Authentication Center workers, Hamilton College student admission workers, and Starbucks baristas in Liverpool; and

Whereas several important contracts are expiring in 2023 and workers may go on strike, from UPS workers with the Teamsters and 13,000 workers at Tops Friendly Markets across Upstate NY and Northern PA  with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW); and

Whereas Syracuse DSA’s Labor Committee has been inactive since March 2022; and

Whereas we must organize on the shop floor to transform our unions into democratic organizations capable of self organizing in conflict with the capitalist class; and

Whereas Syracuse DSA needs to create a space for union members in our chapter to come together to stand in solidarity and advance their own struggles against the boss and to transform their unions; and

Now, therefore, be it resolved, that Syracuse DSA commits to reactivating our Labor Committee to serve as the basis for supporting our labor work and recruiting individuals into ongoing labor campaigns; and forming a base for our socialist organization in the working class of Syracuse 

Be it further resolved that the Labor Committee will meet monthly in a union-business, a business or location that is unionized or in the process of unionizing, including but not limited to the Liverpool Starbucks and Tops Friendly Markets Fayetteville cafe; and

Be if further resolved that the Labor Committee will serve as a space to skill-share and provide community for workers and union-members; and

Be it further resolved that Syracuse DSA, through the Labor Committee, will assist in the strengthening of socialist aligned unions and the creation and maintenance of reform caucuses in different unions at the request of other Rank and File union members; and

Be it further resolved that Syracuse DSA and the Labor Committee will work in tandem with  reform caucuses, including but not limited to, RailRoad Workers United, Reform UFCW, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, and Unite All Workers for Democracy (UAW); and

Be it further resolved that the Labor Committee will coordinate solidarity actions with working-class individuals and union campaigns, and provide assistance with the implementation of the Rank-and-File strategy as laid out in the Labor priority resolution; and

Be it further resolved that the Labor Committee will focus on providing trainings for DSA members working in the healthcare and education sectors; and

Be it further resolved that the Labor Committee will implement the Strike Ready DSA 2023! program laid out by the National Labor Committee to aid striking workers in Syracuse, Central New York, and beyond; and

Be it further resolved that the Labor Steering Committee Officer should regularly communicate with and act on the advice of the Labor Committee. 

Be it finally resolved that the Labor Committee will involve local labor members in its work and work alongside other DSA committees to ensure that the priorities and needs of workers and union members are addressed in all of DSA’s work. 

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