Co-chair (2 positions)
I’ve grown up in Santa Barbara loving its beauty and dreaming of how most of the people who live here can make a good life. After spending years working in the service industry and education, I believe that any socialist project that wants to build power must figure out how to organize to offer all working people the most immediate necessities that their bosses and landlords don’t: living wages, access to free healthcare, and safe and affordable housing. My goal as co-chair of DSA-SB will be to continue building our capacity to run campaigns that achieve these things, and to make our processes approachable and accessible so that everyone who wants to win these fights can join us.
I am running because I want to build on the great work our chapter has done so far joining in campaigns to stop Cat Canyon oil projects, see our congressman sign on to Medicare for All, win California for Bernie, and tax the rich with Prop 15. To further our work and strengthen our organization I believe we need to continue our focus on external campaigns with felt consequences for working people, foster an open and communicative democratic process for members, and work towards an organized working class in Santa Barbara fighting in itself and for itself. We have a very long way to go to reach that goal and I don’t think we’ll get there without the energy of socialist organizers on the ground, in their workplaces, marching, chanting, commenting, entering data into spreadsheets, canvassing, writing, and striking. As co-chair I hope to cohere with the fellow socialist organizers we have in Santa Barbara in an effort to create more so we can fight with one voice, in one direction, and win.
I have been a democratic socialist most of my life, though I only fully realized it while canvassing for Bernie Sanders in 2015 and learning about DSA. I believe that democratic socialism should and must replace predatory neoliberal capitalism as the dominant form of socio-economic organization in the USA and worldwide if human, animal and plant life is to continue to survive on the planet, and if all human beings are to live in justice, equity and peace as a species. DSA’s principles and mission align with my values, and I want to educate the public about those values and advocate for changes that embody those values.
I have been an active member of Santa Barbara DSA since it was founded and have been serving as the chapter secretary for a year. I am passionate about the work that our chapter is doing and have been actively involved in many of our campaigns (Medicare for All, Prop 10 in 2018, Bernie 2020, and Prop 15). Through my work on our Bernie 2020 campaign, and Prop 15 campaign I have learned a lot about organizing and feel that I could use the knowledge that I have gained to help our chapter grow and get organized. As the current chapter secretary I have been working on getting our membership lists organized as well as our processes and I would like to continue to do this work.
It has been so meaningful to be a part of this chapter with you. I’ve learned a great deal from organizing with each of you in our chapter meetings, working groups, events, the Bernie 2020 campaign, and from working with the Santa Barbara Tenants Council. I am running to be your treasurer because I am committed to the growth and longevity of DSA SB. I would apply my background in 501(c)3 fundraising and budget management to secure our 501(c)4 status, which would allow us to expand funding streams and member engagement in the coming year.
I have experience with 990s, reconciling actuals vs. budgets, tracking donations, creating financial reports as well as establishing sound financial systems to preserve sensitive data and streamline fundraising efforts. When we establish 501(c)4 status and begin receiving a share of our monthly member dues, we can increase our visibility, grow our chapter, and broaden our partnerships (through sponsoring coalition events, Facebook ads, banner drops and flyering, membership software, merchandise, etc.). If our chapter were interested, I would also love to lead quarterly phone banking efforts to deepen our member engagement by calling less active members and discussing their interests and our current initiatives.
Since I arrived in Santa Barbara in 2001, I have remained very active in the local community & know quite a few leaders, board members, and “rank-and-file” members of various groups and non-profit agencies in the SB area. I have worked closely in the past (as a rank-and-file member, a board member, or a grant writer) with Freedom 4 Youth, the SB Alternatives to Violence Project, La Casa de la Raza, the SB Teen Legal Clinic, SB Immigrant Defense, etc. I am certain these contacts and relationships I’ve built with these individuals over the years would be extremely valuable in doing outreach/liaison work for DSA.
I am also a full-time teacher for students diagnosed with emotional disturbance at Goleta Valley JHS. My work has only put me in touch with more and more people from a variety of fields, which has only widened my network of connections in the SB area, which is crucial to effective coalition-building.
At Large (2 positions)
I would like to advance the progressive work of DSA in Santa Barbara and think my skills in writing, organizing and speaking would be helpful. I recently served as a DNC delegate to Bernie Sanders, during which time I collected over 450 delegate signatures on a letter urging Biden to hire new foreign policy advisors, and organized a delegate foreign policy team and education team to submit DNC platform plank recommendations, some of which–ending US support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen, fully funding the IDEA for special eduction–were incorporated into the final party platform.
Regardless of who wins the Presidential election, we will need a strong anti-war, anti-militarist and pro-environmental movement to propel urgently needed change. I appreciate that DSA is involved in grassroots movement building, as well as electoral politics because both are essential to a more redistributive and just society. My roots in the labor movement include volunteering with the UFW in the fields of Delano, walking the picket line with striking LAUSD teachers and volunteering with the IWW to organize beach maintenance workers in Santa Monica. A former congressional peace candidate, I blog at LA Progressive and have contributed commentaries on Palestinian rights to The Independent.
I did not submit an application for Communications Secretary because of the comprehensive and demanding nature of that role, though I would be happy to take a piece of that work, perhaps overseeing and growing DSA-SB’s twitter account. I divide my team between Santa Barbara and Santa Monica.
My name is Patrick M., and I’m running for the DSA-SB At Large Representative position.
Since moving to Santa Barbara, I have enjoyed learning and engaging with our local DSA chapter through the Bernie campaign organizing and canvassing, as well as working with the DSA Labor Group on Prop 15. It is my hope that through the At Large Representative position, I will be able to continue to promote the progress and efficacy of our small chapter in Santa Barbara!