Affordable Housing Committee

We aim to help the community gain housing that is affordable to low-income and to working people. Both rents and house prices are rising, and longtime residents are being forced to move farther and farther from the city where they work—a hardship for people and a disaster for the the environment. We speak at meetings of government bodies and in small meetings with individual officials to point out counterproductive tax abatements for luxury housing.

Trickle-down does not work. Increasing the supply of affordable housing will require some combination of public ownership, public financing and regulation.

Meetings are irregular, based on needs and local events. If you’d like to work with us, email ithacanydsa@gmail.com or attend a monthly general meeting.

Abolition Committee

Our mission is to dismantle oppressive state institutions and replace them with community based alternatives and de-commodified universal public goods. Around 70% of people in the county jail are unsentenced, awaiting trial or sentencing. The county must determine how to reduce this population & avoid the cost of “boarding out” to other facilities.

Ithaca is putting in place Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, which allows officers to refer to a case worker instead of making a low-level arrest. While promising, it could reproduce the same dynamics that have undermined most criminal justice reforms. We need the freedom of abolition: the elimination of the violent regulation of behavior. We need the dignity of socialism: a public infrastructure that decommodifies health, welfare and housing guaranteeing them for all.

We meet regularly with Decarcerate Tompkins County. For more information, email ithacanydsa@gmail.com.

TV & Radio

Ithaca DSA has a weekly tv program titled “Ithaca DSA Presents,” a 1/2 hour talk show covering local, national and international politics, economics and labor. DVDs can be borrowed from the Alternatives Library in Anabel Taylor Hall on the Cornell campus, and some recent videos are online at ithacadsa.blogspot.com. Ithaca DSA Presents airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and Thursdays at 11 p.m. Time Warner Channel 13 in Tompkins County.

Our members also produce a half-hour program on WRFI Community Radio called The Inquiring Socialist. The program airs at 6:30 p.m. on alternate Tuesdays. See wrfi.org to hear recent episodes.

Electoral Committee

DSA is a big-tent socialist organization, not a political party. The national organization supports volunteer work and priorities at the local level. Our electoral committee plans how best to support local and state politicians who will work to implement projects such as Medicare for All, fight against rampant economic inequality, support racial justice and effect broad social change.

Ithaca DSA’s members have recently held training workshops on local election rules and practices. We’re collaborating with potential candidates and building towards a stronger, better and more inclusive left.

Meetings are irregular, based on our members’ availability. If you’d like to work with us, email ithacanydsa@gmail.com or attend a monthly general meeting.

Jacobin Reading Group

Jacobin reading groups bring leftists together to engage with ideas in a lively and open environment. The groups are valuable intellectual spaces that cut across organizational boundaries.

Our own reading group, which operates independently from the chapter, has discussed topics including:

  • The ABCs of socialism
  • Questions of violence in revolutionary movements
  • The Paris Commune
  • The Rojava Revolution in Syria
  • The year 1968 and various radical and revolutionary movements of the time

Participants help select monthly readings and start the conversation by presenting their own take on the literature. Find out when the next meeting is by joining the Google group at jacobin-reading-group-ithaca@googlegroups.com.

Other Opportunities

We’re currently looking for members to lead a working groups on Medicare for All, to coordinate with YDSA on local campuses, to contribute to our social media platforms, and more. If you have a passion or talent to contribute, we’ll support it.