What is democratic socialism?

Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. This means that we reject capitalism, which is an economic order based on oppression, private profit, alienated labor, discrimination, gross inequalities of wealth and power, and brutal violence in defense of the status quo.

To achieve a more just society, the structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that working-class people can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives. We are organizing for a future in which the means and resources of production are democratically and socially controlled—a society based on popular economic planning, equitable distribution, gender and racial equity, and non-oppressive relationships.

What is dSA?

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States. DSA members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly democratic socialist presence in American communities and politics. DSA is a nonprofit political organization, not a political party. DSA is a "big-tent" organization, meaning that we welcome organizers from a wide spectrum of left tendencies to work together for a better world.

DSA primarily consists of local chapters, run by working-class community members who volunteer their time to organize for democratic socialism. DSA members democratically elect both our local and national leadership. The national leadership, in turn, hires staff for DSA's national office to coordinate efforts on our local and national campaigns. Every two years, DSA holds a convention with over 1,000 delegates, elected by their chapters, to set the direction of the whole organization.

YDSA is the youth and student section of DSA, and its members organize in high schools, colleges, and universities.

Salem DSA's structure?

As a local chapter of DSA as well as a 501(c)(4) organization, we operate according to our chapter Bylaws and the Constitution and Bylaws of DSA. We meet regularly as a full chapter to decide the overall direction of our work, and various self-organized committees within the chapter work to propose and execute the strategy of our local campaigns. All chapter members are challenged to learn from and contribute to the work of any or all of our internal groups. The following groups are currently active within the chapter, but members may always propose new groups or other changes to our existing structure.

Steering Committee—responsible for the overall functioning, legal compliance, and development of the chapter. This committee is elected by the chapter membership.

Communications Committee—manages the internal and external communications of the chapter. This includes the website and social media platforms.

Finance Committeereports on the chapter's financial status and allocates the chapter's budget to different causes.

• Resilience and Ecosocialism Committee—organizes, educates, and agitates for an ecosocialist future where the most vulnerable lives and ecosystems are protected first, and no one destroys the Earth for profit.

Labor Working Group —studies and educates about labor issues, while providing solidarity and support to the local labor movement.

Political Education Working Group —engages the whole chapter in our own political education process, so that we can act more effectively as an organization towards the goal of building a working-class path to power.

Say Gay Working Group organizes events for our LGBTQ+ allies and members while also uniting local leftist organizations throughout Salem

Social Events Working Group schedules social gatherings for chapter members, their families, and leftist community members who to become involved

Socialist Feminist Working Group —educates on the significance of women in socialist movements and helps maintain an inclusive environment for women within our chapter.

Contact us

If you are interested in learning more about Salem DSA or are ready to join, please fill out our interest form—we will help answer questions and get you involved!

For inquiries related to DSA at the national level, please visit DSA's national website.