The Seattle Local of Democratic Socialists of America (SDSA) is dedicated to maintaining a vibrant and
healthy environment for organizing in solidarity with one another. We do not tolerate harassment of
members, guests, or visitors in any form. This Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for all those
who participate in our community, as well as the consequences for uncomradely behavior. We invite
everyone to help us create safe and positive experiences for everyone.
Why a code of conduct?
We would prefer to live in a society where we do not need Codes of Conduct. However, Codes of
Conduct are essential to establish spaces that are different from – and more inclusive than – general
society. If you don’t set up your own rules, you implicitly endorse those prevalent in society – including the unwritten ones – many of which we recognize as unfair to many people. When privileges are not explicitly addressed by the ethos of a space, the burden of education will often be placed upon the people who are living the oppressions. Moreover, since we still perform – consciously or unconsciously – behaviours that have oppressive potential (i.e. patriarchal, racist, sexist, capitalist, (neo)colonialist, etc.), it is essential to reflect on our privileges and on the ways in which they have an impact on our lives and the lives of others.
A code of conduct can help do just that: to bring awareness, consciousness, reflexivity, and
Whether you are a member, a guest, or a visitor to SDSA, we expect the following:
- Participate in an authentic and active way. In doing so, you contribute to the health and longevity of this community.
- Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
- Attempt collaboration before conflict.
- Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.
- Avoid making assumptions about someone’s identity. If you aren’t aware of what someone’s gender is, and you can’t figure out what pronoun to use by looking at their name tag, try to use pronoun-free language.
- For example, instead of “ raised a great point and…”, you could say “That was a great point and…”
- You could also use the non-gendered singular pronoun “they” (i.e. “They raised a great point and…”)
- Ask before touching anyone at our events. It’s easy, and the worst thing that happens is someone says no! This includes hugging — many people have different comfort levels around hugging, so please ask first.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and the other participants. Alert community leaders if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.
Uncomradely behaviors include: intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, intentional
misgendering, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions by any participant in our community online, at
all related events and in one-on-one communications carried out in the context of community business.
Community event venues may be shared with members of the public; please be respectful to all patrons
of these locations.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- trolling, i.e. sustained disruption of conversations, talks or other events
- non-consensual photography or recording
- inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation
- deliberate intimidation, stalking or following
- non-consensual physical contact
- unwelcome sexual attention
- microaggressions, i.e. small, subtle, often subconscious actions that marginalize people
from oppressed groups
- minimizing other people’s experiences
The reputation of our chapter is based on socialist ideals and accurate representation of our chapter
values. Uncomradely representation includes:
● Claiming to speak on behalf of, or represent the chapter, without local council’s approval
● Reporting on closed meetings or reporting without consent
Ask everybody in the picture if they agree to be photographed or filmed.
For group shots, ask if anyone wants to opt-out before taking any, or ask people if they need their face
obscured after taking photos. If you need help with this, speak with someone in the Tech /
Communications working group.
What happens in case of violations of our Code of Conduct?
Members and guests asked to stop any hateful or disrespectful behavior are expected to take that as a
clear signal to stop and consider the effects of their actions. Uncomradely behavior as outlined in this
Code of Conduct creates unsafe and hostile environments, which directly undermines the solidarity of our
organization, and by extension, the working class. If a person persists in such behavior, Local Council
may take any proportionate action they deem appropriate, including warning or removing them from the
event, communication channel, etc.
If you are being treated disrespectfully or harassed, notice that someone else is being treated
disrespectfully or harassed, or have any other concerns, please point out the problem to the Harassment
& Grievance Officers (preferably via email at [email protected]), a member of the Local Council,
or any member you feel comfortable talking to as soon as possible.
If you feel you have been falsely or unfairly accused of violating the Code of Conduct, you should notify
the Harassment & Grievance Officers via email at [email protected] Your grievance will be
handled in accordance with our existing governing policies.
Candidates’ Public Affiliation with DSA
SDSA members who are running as candidates for public office but have not received the chapter’s
endorsement are forbidden from advertising or publicizing their member status in a manner designed to
promote their candidacy. Uncomradely behavior includes, but is not limited to, publicizing the candidate’s
membership in DSA or SDSA in campaign materials or social media, or in public statements. Candidates
may state the fact of their membership in DSA or SDSA if they do so in a manner that a reasonable
person would not view as an attempt to use the fact of their membership to promote their candidacy. For
example, a candidate may normally discuss the fact of their membership in private settings and in limited
public settings (such as at a DSA meeting or event, or if directly asked about membership), or may list it
on a non-public social media profile.
This Code of Conduct applies to all in-person SDSA meetings and events. It also applies to SDSA online
activities, including mailing lists, Twitter and social media, as well as any future public discussion forums.
Anyone who violates this Code of Conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the
discretion of the Local Council and/or online moderation team.
License and Attribution
This Code of Conduct is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. It is based
on DSA-SF Code of Conduct, itself based on the Berlin Code of Conduct, and the Central New Mexico
DSA code of conduct.