Chapter Structure

Who are the leaders of Cleveland DSA? Its members.

Who makes decisions for Cleveland DSA? Its members.

We’re Democratic Socialists. We’re pretty serious about that democracy part.

As a chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, Cleveland DSA is structured according to democratic principles and based on democratic rule. Cleveland DSA is led by our members, and decisions are made by our members at our general meetings.

MEMBERSHIP makes all the decisions. Any member can propose a new idea, create a new committee, organize a campaign. Every member has a say in what we do and how we do it. We openly discuss, debate, disagree, and deliberate. Our regular general meetings include time for conversation, education, and socializing, but they are most importantly the place where democratic deliberation and decision making takes place. Leadership, governance, and administration all depend on our members. It doesn’t matter if someone has been a member for 20 years or two hours, it doesn’t matter if a member has read every single Marxist text or is new to socialism, it doesn’t matter if a member has an elected role or heads a committee or just shows up to meetings: every member has a say and every officer, committee, and activity has to answer to our membership. The only qualification is to be a member of DSA.

Cleveland DSA is governed by bylaws approved by the members, and members can amend and change them at any time. Our meetings and our democratic process follow rules of order which ensure that the members of Cleveland DSA are able to have full control and over everything we do.


Starbucks / labor solidarity campaign


Membership makes decisions, sets priorities, and determines the direction of Cleveland DSA’s work. The Officers and Steering Committee makes sure these decisions are carried out and works on the administrative tasks to keep our chapter running. Officers have specific roles and at-large members of the steering committee pitch in on everything else:

  • Treasurer: makes sure all that all of the chapter’s finances are in order and reports to the Steering Committee and the Membership about any expenses, income, fund raising, or other financial matters. The treasurer makes sure that funds are used in ways approved by the membership, and works with the Secretary to make sure all our records are up to date.
  • Secretary:  keeps all the records of meetings, decisions, and activities for Cleveland DSA. The secretary works with the Treasurer and Membership Coordinator to keep up-to-date records and communication with members. The secretary oversees communications and works on education, media, and related tasks.
  • Membership Coordinator: keeps our member rosters and contact information up to date and works on outreach and communication with new members. The membership coordinator answers questions from new members, plans outreach and recruitment, and organizes tasks focused on growing and developing membership.
  • At-Large Members: help coordinate the executive tasks of the steering committee and make sure the decisions of the membership are carried out. Unlike officers, who have more specific duties, At-Large members have more flexibility in how they contribute to managing the administrative tasks of Cleveland DSA. At-Large members help the Steering Committee carry out the tasks and priorities decided by the members. At-Large members can serve on committees, direct special projects, or any other tasks as needed. They make sure meetings are scheduled, ensure that we stay in contact with DSA’s national office, and work with other members of the steering committee to manage the work Cleveland DSA is doing.

Elections are held regularly according to our bylaws, and special elections are held when vacancies need to be filled or for special positions like Delegates to regional or national convention. If you’re interested in running for office, or want to know more about the role of our Steering Committee, Officers, or At-Large Members, please contact us!