Monthly roundup: November and December

Around the chapter:

School Funding Hearing

GBDSA members helped pack the house at City Hall on December 3, when the Education and Youth Committee heard testimony urging the city council to fund Baltimore’s schools. Baltimore Teachers Union president Diamonté Brown’s testimony was especially powerful, reminding us amidst all the budget math that we’re fighting for the city’s children.

PILOT Hearing

Our chapter has been working with a coalition of other local groups to pressure Mayor Young to renegotiate the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program that lets large nonprofits like Hopkins get away with not paying property taxes. In December we showed up with dozens of other coalition members to rally before the city council held a hearing about the program.

Several coalition members, including our chapter’s co-chair Joel Pally, testified before the council committee. Pally pointed out that Hopkins workers are the source of the institution’s immense wealth, and that the city’s lawyers themselves said the agreement is not binding on the current council so it is unenforceable.

Debate Watch Party

Some of the chapter’s members went to sweet27 on Dec. 19th to watch the democratic debate! It was a true treat and we’ll be planning more in the future as the debates continue. Be sure to keep an eye on the calendar for information!

Baltimore Child Care Collective

We are excited to announce that Baltimore Child Care Collective will be offering child care for our January General Body Meeting on Sunday, Jan. 19th from 2:30pm-4:30pm. No advance notice necessary, so bring the kids!

Updates from DSA Committees:

  • The Political Education Committee has been hosting movie nights (Black Power Mixtape was the first and there’s going to be another on January 24th -- film TBD!) The Salons have been discussing the platform and coming up with planks.
  • The Electoral Committee has been knocking on doors for the two chapter-member city council candidates our chapter endorsed in October-- Logan Endow and Dave Heilker! So far, they've knocked over 2,000 doors in the cold. Additionally, they’ve been organizing the debate watch parties and incorporating some Bernie Sanders messaging into city council canvasses. The fair election fund bill made it through all the rounds of city council hearings, so they expect the ability to use public funds in elections in a few years.
  • The Ecosocialist Committee has supported Sunrise Baltimore at the December 6th Climate Strike. One of our members had a speech on the inability of capitalism to deal with climate collapse, the coup in Bolivia, and the ecosocialist horizon.