Relief Campaign

Resolution 2: Students’ and Workers’ Relief

Whereas, students and workers on campuses around the country face a political and economic crisis on the scale of the 2008 recession. The forces of capital aim to raise tuition and fees, to cut essential programs and services, and to lay off and furlough masses of workers. Even in the event of reduced economic activity, democratic input from students and workers can fundamentally alter how resources are managed so as to ensure an equitable and just economy;

Whereas, between the COVID-19 pandemic; an economic crisis on the scale of the 2008 recession, national uprisings protesting the racism embedded in our economic, political, and criminal justice systems; mass unemployment; and a crisis in our political system regarding the 2020 presidential election, our current moment’s extreme political volatility shows that YDSA needs a broad and flexible political orientation towards struggle;

Whereas, young, working class Black people all across the country have risen up to articulate a vision of racial justice that cannot be achieved with the current militarization and over-funding of the police.

Whereas, a socialist vision for people’s empowerment will lead us down that path of organizing the working class; and in order to achieve achieve that socialist vision we need to not only organize for the COVID relief we all deserve, but also plan a transformative campaign that will bring us closer to winning socialist change both at a local and national level. 

Whereas, YDSA can be a vehicle for class struggle on campuses around the country, and should aim to establish itself as such. We seek to win a majority of working-class people over to a program of Democratic Socialism;

Whereas, our ability to organize a successful mass movement that can win socialist demands is predicated on building deep ties and trust with non-socialist working class people, including those in unions, community organizations, and other student groups;

Whereas, our ability to wage a national campaign relies on effective local and regional action, which can take months to plan and execute;

Therefore be it resolved, that YDSA will build on the campaign begun by YDSA’s 2019-2020 NCC in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in establishing the following priority campaign, henceforth referred to as a Students’ and Workers’ Relief;

And be it further resolved, that YDSA shall focus on establishing local and regional pressure campaigns in each chapter around the common theme of a Students and Workers Relief seeking to win a material gain for the working class on campuses around the country;

And be it further resolved, that YDSA shall fight against austerity measures in our schools, for the protection and expansion of campus services and programs, for the redistribution of power and wealth towards the working class, and for the interests of the working class generally;

And be it further resolved, the NCC may set federal level guiding objectives of the campaign, related to the interests of the working class on campuses and in schools. These objectives may include, but are not limited to:

  • Universal $2000 monthly payments
  • Universal, single-payer healthcare
  • Debt cancellation
  • Monthly payment freezes for necessities like rent, utilities, and so on

And be it further resolved, YDSA shall orient itself towards the mass base of the working class on and around campuses, including:

  • Students who are working while studying;
  • Students who face financial, accessibility, or health burdens due to the COVID-19 crisis, or who are reliant on loans, financial aid, scholarships, and other support under threat of austerity;
  • Campus workers, including academic faculty, graduate workers, and service staff;
  • Off-campus workers and tenants who exist in the same general communities as campuses;

And be it further resolved, chapters are encouraged to work with their base in the development and execution of campaigns that address local issues impacting students and workers on their campuses. Proposed strategies for engaging with said base are as follows:

Students

Chapters are encouraged to survey and engage in one-on-one conversations with students at their campuses to discuss their learning and living conditions; engage in political education through graphics, Socialist Night Schools, town halls, and class raps; and use social media, press, petitions, and student government as platforms to disseminate their campaign ideas and goals. 

Workers 

Chapters are encouraged to invite student-workers and other campus workers to events to discuss their working and learning conditions, attend union meetings, and make joint demands with campus unions.

And be it further resolved, national YDSA will support local chapters in their efforts to run campaigns through one-on-ones, workshops/trainings, etc. This support will involve assisting chapters with different aspects of strategic campaign planning, including but not limited to: cutting an issue, developing strategies to pressure the administration, building local coalitions, and collaborating regionally in order to win local demands that address the needs of working-class young people related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to meet national and local needs, the following subcommittees are recommended:

Outreach, whose duties include having regular, strategic one-on-one calls with chapters to mentor them on their local campaigns, and mobilizing YDSA members to national calls and trainings  

Materials, whose duties include creating trainings, written guides, graphics, flyers, and other campaign materials to help chapters with their local campaigns and to publicize our campaign on the national level 

Coalition Building, whose duties include forming relationships with partner organizations who will sign on their support for our campaign on the national level. 

And be it further resolved, when strategic, YDSA chapters will be encouraged to research their local and/or school’s police departments and budgets in order to demand these police departments be defunded and those resources re-allocated to funding local demands that support the working class. 

And be it further resolved, YDSA chapters are encouraged to prioritize building a winning coalition with other youth and student organizations, labor groups, and elected officials who support our demands.

And be it further resolved, in the event of larger campaigns involving multiple campuses, such as those targeting governing boards or legislatures, YDSA looks favorably on chapters forming regional organizations and coalitions around campaigns;

And be it further resolved, a report on the campaign will be issued by National YDSA and made available to the membership of YDSA before the 2021 YDSA convention that details the state of the campaign, the number of chapters running pressure campaigns, and the successes and failures of chapters’ efforts.

Disclaimer:

This resolution was requested to be combined with a similar resolution proposed by non-Towards Power signatories. The Towards Power team agreed to update the resolution and has since posted the new version to this page.

If you would like to see our original proposal, feel free to get in touch with us individually!