A recent conference brought together democratic socialist elected officials from across the United States—including Bernie Sanders—to collaborate and strategize on advancing progressive public policy.

by David Duhalde, In These Times

Over the weekend of June 1680 democratic socialist elected officials and their aides from across the country came together for the first U.S. socialist policy conference since the 1980s. The event, titled ​How We Win: The Democratic Socialist Policy Agenda in Office,” was held at the Gallaudet University in Washington, DC and was hosted by Jacobin, The Nation and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) Fund, an educational sister 501©3 nonprofit of national DSA that is focused on pushing progressive policy, preserving socialist history and supporting left-wing activism.

The gathering was an in-person continuation of DSA Fund-led ​How We Win” series which explores how democratic socialist lawmakers, DSA chapters and their allies enact public policy to advance the lives of working people. Previous topics have included victories (and some failures) that have come through legislation and referendums such as right-to-counsel in housing, minimum wage increases, paid sick leave and much more. The audience for that educational series was largely made up of progressive activists, whereas this conference was hosted solely for the socialist lawmakers and their staff.

electeds sit at a long conference table

As chair of the DSA Fund, I was involved in organizing this in-person socialist policy gathering that was partly inspired by the Democratic Agenda conferences hosted by one of DSA predecessors — the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee — in the early 1980s to build resistance to then-President Ronald Reagan’s agenda.

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