What is a Working Group?
The general mission of DSA is to build a movement for social change by confronting capitalism. However, there are a lot of ways we can approach that goal! We all have lots of interests and ideas about how to combat capitalism, and working groups offer an opportunity to take a targeted approach.
So, what exactly is a working group? Put simply, a working group is a group of DSA members working on a specific goal, project, campaign, or interest. Examples of working groups in other chapters include:
- Electoral – Coordinates work with elected officials and the legislature. Includes things like voter registration, agitating at town hall meetings, organizing voters, researching election issues, etc.
- Mutual Aid – Coordinates material support and solidarity efforts to the community. Includes things like meal distribution, winter snow shoveling, and brake light replacement clinics.
- Socialist Feminism – Works to advance the liberation of women. Includes things like coordinating action for the International Women’s Strike and working to improve internal DSA chapter culture.
- Transportation – Works to improve transportation accessibility. Includes things like coordinating rides and carpools to and from DSA events, court dates, and community actions.
- The list goes on… (Education, Racial Justice, Writing, Tech, Reading Group, Immigration, Housing, Ecosocialism)
Right now, Bozeman DSA has only one working group – Reading Group.
How do I Create a Working Group?
Nearly all chapters require that a working group:
- Is formed by at least two DSA members in good standing
- Submit a proposal that includes
- Objectives and strategy
- Time frame/duration
- Use of funds/resources
- Leadership/membership structure
- Is approved by vote by the general membership
Questions to think about before forming a working group are:
- What is the strategic objective of this working group? How does it advance the goals of DSA?
- What are the tactics that can be employed within the working group? Do they fit within the strategic objective/advance the strategic objective? How?
- How much time will this working group require, and am I able to commit that time? Can I change the objectives to be less ambitious? Should they be more ambitious?
- How long will this working group last? If it is meant to be long term, is it sustainable?
Let’s Get to Work!
Although there are endless possibilities with working groups, remember that they take work. Plan activities that help build the organization align with our Bozeman DSA 2020 Priority:
Some examples of working groups that members have expressed interest in or that might be helpful right now:
- Electoral – Organizing voters for presidential campaign, but also engaging with the community around Public Service Commission and House District races; bringing in Bernie voters as lifelong organizers
- Membership – E.g. reaching out to attendees to join DSA, and encouraging members to attend regularly; keeping up contact, hosting social events
- Mutual Aid – Snow shoveling is a great place to start
Remember, you must be a dues-paid DSA member to join, form, or vote on a working group – and you can join as many as you like!
To join DSA: https://act.dsausa.org/donate/membership/
Questions about working groups? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org