Drafted by Heather H, Brynne O, Alyssa F, Carl K, and Matt M.
Cosigned by following DSA members in good standing:
Stephanie B, Nick G, Tyler B, Carrie W, John J, Eric M, Drew R, and Shane F
Passed by membership: June 16, 2021
Nina Turner is running for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District. This district predominantly includes areas covered by Cleveland DSA, but includes many of our members. On January 15, Akron DSA contacted Tara Samples, the Turner campaign’s Political Director for Summit County, to initiate our organization’s endorsement process. Our chapter approved this endorsement unanimously. Due to our chapter’s interest in this special election, a campaign supporting Nina Turner’s candidacy was approved by Akron DSA members during their first priorities vote in February.
Although National DSA ultimately declined to also endorse Nina Turner via the National Electoral Committee’s endorsement process, a number of the committee members supported her campaign. One takeaway from this vote was that membership is invested in electoral politics, as shown by their unanimous vote for the campaign and in their discussions.
With the Congressional race already halfway through and many major milestones achieved for our chapter, finishing the campaign strong would continue to build power for our organization and solidify Akron DSA as a major player in the regional political arena.
This campaign has thus far been written as an “independent expenditure (IE)” campaign, as opposed to a coordinated campaign.2 “IE” campaigns keep internal targets, and all data collected are retained in-house within Akron DSA. Instead of outsourcing our members’ labor and data to a political campaign, the chapter would benefit from explicit outreach by our members as part of DSA. This IE designation will continue for the duration of our campaign.
Build the capacity of Akron DSA members and exercise our political muscle by:
- Engaging Akron DSA members in political education on CD11 in order to develop a stronger race-class analysis of the majority minority district and map political opportunities to engage in conflict with ruling class interests (i.e. What about this election does and does not represent class conflict?)
- Building new leaders in the chapter by asking members to step into new roles, and supporting them as they take responsibility for chapter tasks and action items.
- Reaching DSA members across the chapter via 1:1 engagement and making requests to participate in chapter activities.
- Engaging non-DSA workers where they are through phone banking and canvassing, and building experience talking about why socialism will win.
- Actively collaborating with CLE DSA and DSA members nationwide engaged in this race.
- Establishing our presence within the political community.
Akron DSA members and the unorganized working class community.
Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chair Shontel Brown will rely upon high-income, high-turnout Democratic primary voters. This provides a strong opportunity for the Left to target low voter turnout precincts, especially locally, with our organizing message.
Should the chapter endorse our campaign proposal, from the General Meeting on June 26th until Tuesday, August 3rd, Akron DSA members in the campaign will directly call to our successes in ecosocialist organizing and making community connections as a chapter, and take up a “Socialism Will Win”-style message. We must emphasize that the only way Northeast Ohio will realize any of the agenda being proposed by Nina Turner (e.g. “Housing is a human right” or Passing the PRO Act) is to engage with Akron DSA.
It is nearly certain that the Democratic candidate will win OH-11. By focusing on the primary election, Akron DSA has an opportunity to target its outreach prior to other major local elections, absorbing more public attention. Should the chapter wish to continue this work through the general election, a vote may be taken during our August General Meeting.
Tactics (Highest Priority first):
- Text bank and phone bank all DSA members in CD11 for a commitment to vote for Nina.
- Establish a consistent point of connection with CLE DSA, Our Revolution Ohio, and other interested 501(c)4 organizations that we are permitted to coordinate with for the purposes of this campaign.
- Train on VAN and other tools to identify turf, based on criteria such as historic Nina voters, Bernie voters, and members of unions that have endorsed Nina.
- Include outreach specifically to Akron DSA union members.
- Continue to identify canvass turfs in consultation with VanGuard.
- Fundraise sufficiently for Akron DSA expenses using Nina Turner positions to promote organizing.
- Host at least three additional canvasses before the primary.
For the remainder of the primary, Akron DSA will expend the bulk of its organizing efforts on the DSA for Nina priority campaign.
Proposed to Akron DSA General Membership on Wednesday, June 16 and was successfully passed by the chapter.
Campaign Planning Meetings are being held on Mondays at 8:30 PM, and notes can be found via this link.