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.
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.
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.
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 Times, New York Daily News, USA Today, the Nation, and Vice News. He has made appearances on NPR and NY1.
For the release of the book last year, author Vitale participated in a book launch panel discussion (available to watch here).
We hope to see you on Monday for what promises to be a great discussion.
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.
Houston DSA is firmly committed to organizing to #AbolishICE and #AbolishDHS. We encourage our members and allies to participate in the following actions. Please follow us here on our website, HoustonDSA.org, and on Facebook and Twitter, @HoustonDSA, to be kept up to date as future actions are announced. Community Action No Baby Jails – FIEL …