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We’re the Houston local of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the country. We fight for more democracy — in our politics, workplaces, and communities. Our members are building and supporting progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly socialist presence in U.S. communities and politics through activism, political education, and community organization.

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Upcoming Events

Jan
20
Sun
Queer and Trans Working Group @ Kung Fu Tea
Jan 20 @ 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Queer and Trans Working Group
Join us as we plan future actions for Drag Queen Story Time, activism in the LGBTiQ+ political landscape in Houston, direct aid projects, a queer and trans friendly clothing swap, prison writing campaign (possibly in collaboration with OLTT), officer elections, and more.

The Houston DSA Queer & Trans Working Group is open to members and non-members alike and aims to be accessible to all attendees regardless of background knowledge or expertise. We are open to all LGBTiQ+ individuals as well as allies but request all in attendance to respect our community agreements including being a safe space that centers queer and trans people.

Jan
21
Mon
Reading Group: The End of Policing, Pt. 2 @ Bohemeo's
Jan 21 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Police are not the answer to all of our problems–what is alternative?

At the next Houston DSA Reading Group, on Monday, January 21st from 7:00-9:00pm, we will continue discussing Alex Vitale’s The End of Policing with a focus on what we want to put in its place.

So often our society’s first response is more police–in our neighborhoods, in our schools, in our communities–but maybe this isn’t how we should build the world we want to live in.  Let’s face it: the police endanger us and are frequently part of the problem.  But if we know the problems–we see it almost daily in the news–what is the alternative?  Can we reform the system by removing some “bad apples” or instituting more oversight, or are there deeper structural issues at work that we need to address?

Come join us to discuss these issues in preparation for our next Houston DSA Speaker Series, to be held on January 31st, featuring author Alex Vitale and specials guests Judges DaSean Jones and Franklin Bynum, and Tasha Jackson, Criminal Justice Director for the Texas Organizing Project.  The reading group will be a great opportunity to dive into the topic to discuss things first among ourselves.

Feel free to read as much (if any!) of the book as you wish for the reading group, but all are welcome to attend to participate in the discussion.
For non-distributional purposes, you can also download an electronic copy of the book here.


About the book

Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression. Among activists, journalists and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself.

This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.

In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to a decrease in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing.

About the author
Alex S. Vitale is Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College. His writings about policing have appeared in the New York TimesNew York Daily NewsUSA Today, the Nation, and Vice News. He has made appearances on NPR and NY1.

Further resources
For the release of the book last year, author Vitale participated in a book launch panel discussion (available to watch here).

The Houston DSA Reading Group is open to members and non-members alike and aims to be accessible to all attendees regardless of background knowledge or expertise.
 

We hope to see you on Monday for what promises to be a great discussion.

Jan
26
Sat
Queer & Trans Working Group Supports Drag Queen Storytime @ Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library
Jan 26 @ 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Houston DSA’s Queer and Trans Working Group will be helping and supporting Drag Queen Storytime. Join us and the greater community to show support for love, acceptance, inclusion, and reading skills for kids.

Story time starts at 2 but our working group is meeting at 1:00 so that we can welcome kids and families when they start to arrive.

Everyone is encouraged to be colorful, wear rainbows or drag, bring flags, signs, and messages that show love, support, appreciation for diversity, and acceptance.

Jan
30
Wed
State & Local Working Group @ Bohemeo's
Jan 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Since our last meeting, our members have been hard at work laying the foundation for the Houston DSA platform. This month, we’ll check in on each other’s progress, discuss what we’ve come up with so far, and set goals for next month. If you’re interested in policy work, learning about how things get done in our city, county, and state, and want to be part of envisioning how we can build a better world, come out!
 
The State & Local Working Group’s mission is to put DSA’s values into practice through policy, message, and electoral work. This meeting is open to members and non-members alike. Join us!

 

Jan
31
Thu
The End of Policing: Putting Abolition Into Practice @ SHAPE Community Center
Jan 31 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
In the past decade, we’ve seen a growth in organizing against police brutality. Long term community oppression has culminated a movement to challenge the status quo of policing. Houston DSA is proud to host a discussion with Alex Vitale, author of “The End of Policing”, on the history of policing as a tool of social control and what we can do to build a better world.
Panelists include:
Alex Vitale
Author, “The End of Policing”
Professor of Sociology and coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College
Franklin Bynum
Judge, County Criminal Court #8
Houston DSA member
DaSean Jones
Judge, District Criminal Court #180
Houston DSA member
Tarsha Jackson
Texas Organizing Project, Criminal Justice Director
You can find Vitale’s book from Verso Books here: https://www.versobooks.com/books/2817-the-end-of-policing

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