When members of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) met in Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 22-24, they were more than ready to debate ideas and plan strategy. After two years of online conferences, the energy from this year’s representatives of 53 high schools and college chapters was palpable.
Speaking under a banner that proclaimed “Stand Up, Fight Back,” Minneapolis Councilmember and DSA member Robin Wonsley Worlobah spoke on the first night of the convention with a rousing speech before members turned to debate on some 30 resolutions and amendments. Spirited discussions showed how serious our youngest members are. In light of recent legislation and rulings, YDSA resolved to launch a campaign in defense of bodily autonomy–both in regard to abortion rights and defending trans youth–for which there will be student actions this fall. Members asked incisive questions about internationalism and how we in the United States should relate to leftist movements and governments abroad. Moreover, a proposed leadership quota for disabled comrades offered the occasion to figure out how best to support those with little time, money, or energy as they participate in DSA.
DSA’s new co-chairs, Jake Colosa and Leena Yumeen, were elected by acclamation. For the remaining seven at-large seats on the National Coordinating Committee, there was a competitive election among thirteen candidates. That so many members ran this year is a sign that YDSA fosters political pluralism and motivates young organizers to campaign for Leadership.
In the tradition of U.S. socialists’ meetings, the convention adjourned after singing all six verses of “Solidarity Forever.”