Nominated For: At-Large Organizer
What is your organizing experience? What is your plan for growing power in 2019 should you be elected to your position?
I was vice chair of Seattle DSA’s activism committee from mid-2017 through February 2018. From March through November of 2017, I was an intern on Jon Grant’s campaign for city council. As of this fall, I am the outreach chair of YDSA UW. I have also been involved in various other smaller efforts, the most notable of which being the successful campaign to replace Tim Burgess’s city council seat with Kirsten Harris-Talley (also known as #transparenSEA).
My work will mostly be concentrated around building a socialist presence at our region’s high schools and colleges. When organizing students, our aim should be to bring people outside of the campus to do political work, developing them enough where they wish to stay involved in socialist politics following graduation. We would do this through the Medicare for All and College for All campaigns that thousands of YDSA members are already involved with across the country. These are concrete and popular demands popular with all demographic groups, enabling us to build a strong and diverse socialist student movement.
Why are you running? What do you want to accomplish, create, or change should you be elected?
In 2019, my main concern is growing our student operation. With Bernie Sanders’ impending campaign for the presidency, we must have an independent, socialist organization ready and eager to absorb the thousands of young people who will be politically activated by his campaign. The past few months, I have assisted my fellow YDSA UW members in establishing a presence on campus by holding events and meeting with other potential allies like the student employee union (UAW 4121). It is my firm belief that for a youth arm of a political organization to be successful, it must leave the insular campus and have its members engage with the real world through initiatives like labor organizing, Medicare for All, and eventually, Bernie 2020. If I were to be elected to the at-large position, I would continue to build and grow YDSA at UW and assist efforts to create YDSA chapters at other colleges and high schools in the area.
As we saw during the head tax saga, the ruling class can easily defeat a small group of people, or even a municipal government. The only way we can effectively challenge capitalism is through mass movements of a united working class, and our role as socialists must be to build a movement around issues that workers care about. One such issue the American people have clearly embraced is Medicare for All, and we must embrace this as a way to unite people around a clear, decommodifying demand. Our mass movement must not exclude people based on purity tests, but seek to bring more people in by meeting them where they are at politically. With the rest of our slate, I hope to use this issue and others to advance class-consciousness in 2019, and build socialism in our lifetimes.
You can see the full list of commitments I’ve made as part of Solidarity 2019 at solidarity2019.org.