What is the “steering committee”? How does DSA set the agenda for meetings and choose which campaigns to develop?
The DSA membership makes decisions, sets priorities, and determines the direction of Cleveland DSA’s work. The Steering Committee makes sure these decisions are carried out and works on the administrative tasks to keep our chapter running. The steering committee is made up of officers who have specific roles: Treasurer, Secretary, Campaigns Coordinator, Education Coordinator, and two Membership Coordinators.
The general meeting agendas are assembled by steering and released at least a week in advance of the meeting. The chapter members and committee chairs suggest items for the agenda, and steering chooses what to prioritize. The membership has the opportunity to amend the agenda at the start of the meeting.
Are steering committee meetings open to the general body?
Steering meetings are open to all dues paying members of Cleveland DSA
How can I suggest an agenda item for a general meeting?
If you can, suggest an agenda item to any member of the steering committee more than a week in advance of the general meeting. In slack, the #ask-steering channel is good for this. If advance notice is not possible, the agenda item can be added at the start of the meeting by a majority vote — but generally it’s best to provide notice.
I want to participate in meetings as fully as possible. Is there a crash course on Robert’s Rules of Order you would recommend?
You can study up on Robert’s Rules through online sources like Youtube, or ask around to borrow a copy of the book Robert’s Rules in Brief. We try to use the minimum degree of Robert’s Rules that keeps meetings smooth, so we don’t compromise accessibility.
If I want to join in on a campaign, how do I go about doing that?
Simply show up! Meetings and actions are posted on our chapter calendar. Non-members are welcome at all of the meetings on our public calendar unless the event description says otherwise.
How can I get onto the Cleveland DSA Slack? What kinds of discussions can I expect on our channel?
The Cleveland DSA Slack is available to all members of the Cleveland chapter. Email email@example.com to ask for a slack invite, and forward your membership confirmation email. All sorts of discussions are had on slack, with channels for announcements, for each committee, for random memes, and more.
The national DSA site says would-be members can give any amount to join. Does Cleveland DSA have a suggested donation? Does it make a difference if I give a lump sum or a recurring monthly payment? What is the best way to support Cleveland’s DSA chapter?
DSA National shares 20% of member dues with our local chapter, but only if you choose to pay your dues monthly.
If you’re not able to pay dues, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help
If DSA is not a political party, what is it?
We are a membership-based political and activist organization. DSA members use a variety of tactics, from legislative to direct action, to fight for the working class.
Is there any ideological “litmus test” for DSA membership? (e.g. Do I have to endorse a platform? Do I have to campaign for Bernie Sanders?)
DSA is a big-tent multi-tendency organization and our members have different ideologies and perspectives. We wholeheartedly reject the idea of a strict party line and we’re proud of our diversity. We’re united, however, in our shared belief in radical economic democracy. That is to say, genuine socialism-from-below.
Does Cleveland DSA take any steps to make its meetings and events accessible to people with disabilities? If so, what? If I require a particular accommodation, who should I talk to?
DSA tries to hold general meetings in ADA accessible buildings. Please contact any steering committee member (or email@example.com) with any questions about access and accommodation.
Someone in DSA has made me uncomfortable. Who should I talk to about this?