Douglas Joerss Candidate Questionnaire

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Nominated For: External Organizer

What is your organizing experience? What is your plan for growing power in 2019 should you be elected to your position?

For much of 2018, I have been working on the Seattle DSA Medicare for All Campaign. This effort has primarily been focused on canvassing and connecting with people through our shared struggle within the for-profit healthcare system. It has also involved leading canvasses, training new canvassers, phone banking, and handling campaign logistics. I have also worked on bringing people into Seattle’s ongoing YesToSCS safe consumption site campaign as well as set up Seattle DSA community service events with Food Lifeline.

My plan for this coming year is to continue building the local Medicare for All campaign. While our campaign has concrete demands that would drastically improve the lives of all working class people and achieve the largest market decommodification in world history, it also serves as a strategic entry point for those not engaged in politics, let alone socialist politics, to participate in a mass movement around a shared struggle and build a motivated and diverse chapter. It will also help members in the campaign strengthen their personal politics and grow into leaders themselves.

Why are you running? What do you want to accomplish, create, or change should you be elected?

Please see the full list of commitments I’ve made as part of the Solidarity 2019 slate at solidarity2019.org

External organizing positions are best filled by those who are deeply involved in ongoing external campaigns. As Bernie Sanders is set to announce his campaign for presidency this year, Seattle DSA must be proactive in its efforts to harness the energy of the newly motivated. This must not only include an independent Sanders campaign facilitated by the chapter but extend beyond electoral politics into mass movements centered around working class demands like Medicare for All, ending mass incarceration, College for All, and labor organizing.

I will continue building the local Medicare for All campaign with the goal of expanding its capacity to multiple canvases across the greater Seattle area. This would mean training chapter members to become effective, confident leaders that are able to build and lead additional external campaigns. It will also bring motivated, working class people into the chapter and continue building class consciousness across Seattle.

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