On April 2, 2022, our chapter met in Long Leaf Park to celebrate the work that the organization has done and to look forward to a new set of elected officers and build on our existing work to create a campaign focused on tackling the housing affordability issues that are prevalent in our area. We enjoyed some lovely weather, good food, and each others company- a welcome break after what seems to be an eternity of Zoom meetings!
Christa led a political education discussion about Palestine and BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) to help educate members who may not have any familiarity with this topic and also facilitate discussion on the movement and tactics as a means for combating an apartheid state. We had one member who has a personal connection to this movement and was able to share their knowledge with the group. As Marxists, we should always seek to gather facts from a variety of sources and individuals who have lived experiences engaging in forms of class struggle, and we all appreciated having firsthand information during our political education discussion during the meeting.
Due to April being our annual General Meeting which requires us to elect new chapter officers, the formal agenda was kept to a minimum to allow for candidate statements. The major upcoming item of note was announcement of a canvass being done by the Housing Working Group to gather interest for its campaign and to advertise an April 28 interest meeting being held with tenants and potential organizers. The canvass was to be held during the Azalea Festival and involved placing flyers in the shops of local businesses downtown and also directly interacting with festival attendees.
Robert was running for Chair uncontested and used his time to recap the prior year in chapter development and presented a forward looking statement. He highlighted the crucial coalition building work that has been done to forge relationships with Sokoto House, Liberate ILM, and other groups and individual organizers in the area. Specifically, Robert underscored how these relationships have allowed us to successfully pursue actions that aid the community and draw in new members such as brake light clinics and river cleanups. It is with these coalition organizers that we can build future campaigns and gain a wider connection to the working class people of Wilmington. His final statement was to encourage the chapter to not only continue to support our current actions but to support the Housing Working Group in its endeavors because housing presents the largest challenge to improved material conditions in the Wilmington area.
David was running for Social Media Coordinator uncontested and promised to keep up the current quality level and frequency of posts.
Lindsay was running for Treasurer uncontested as a result of Christa choosing not to seek re-election in order to focus her efforts on the Housing Working Group. Lindsay used her time to share her enthusiasm for the chapter activities and for the future of our chapter as a political force in the area.
Connor was running for Secretary to unseat Kelsey who was also seeking a re-election bid. Although Connor was unable to attend in person due to being in attendance at the YDSA conference in Chicago, he had a prepared statement which was read. His statement outlined the need for Wilmington DSA to continue to build connections directly with the working class in the city and that we should take advantage of this critical moment in history with material conditions worsening while inequality rises. It was an inspiring statement and was an example of the caliber of members we have in our chapter and the focus our aspiring leaders hold for working class struggle. Kelsey provided a recap of the work that ADCOM has done over the prior year to create a process through which members can easily launch events and campaigns, as well as to collect member and event data for improved listbuilding. He underscored the importance of doing this work to make our organization scaleable and better able to handle the member growth that we desire.
We concluded the meeting by setting a date for May 7 and Lindsay took an action to find a similar location for an outdoor meeting.