From Sanders to the Grassroots

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Join us for our unique summer gathering of young socialist activists and Bernie Sanders supporters this August 5-7, 2016, just 10 minutes outside of Washington, DC. The conference, “From Sanders to the Grassroots: Continuing the Political Revolution Among the Student Left,” will be held at the National 4-H Conference Center, 7100 Connecticut Ave, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

Registration is closed. If you are still interested in coming, email yds@dsausa.org.

Contribute to the scholarship fund. 

Full Program

Sponsors

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Political Context

Joint Statement by College Students for Bernie and the Young Democratic Socialists 

To the surprise of millions, the Democratic presidential primary produced a candidate worthy of your vote. Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist, had laser focus on economic inequality and political corruption. He was able to connect with the American working class, environmentalists, electoral reform activists, and, of course, students and millennials. He also was open to being pushed by Black Lives Matter unlike other politicians.

The Democratic primary produced exciting and progressive candidates, while the country’s social and economic inequalities fostered scary and reactionary politicians in the Republican field. In both primaries, millions of voters rejected establishment candidates, which is a credit to both the Tea Party Movement and Occupy Wall Street. How do we, as progressives and socialists, reclaim the bipartisan anger away from the right-wing into a meaningful transformation of the electoral process, economic system and social fabric?

College Students For Bernie and the Young Democrats Socialists are uniting in Washington, DC, the most politically corrupt city in the nation. Our goal is to strengthen the left and advance towards a more progressive and brighter future. As students across the country watch the primaries end, we need a space to strategize how to promote social and electoral change regardless of who is in the White House. This convergence of like-minded students and youth gives participants the opportunity to mix their ideas, their stances, and learn in-person from one another to continue the Political Revolution in our campuses and communities in the Fall.

Working Program

Subject to likely change

Friday

4:00 to 6:00 PM Venue opens for registration
6:00 to 7:00 PM: Dinner
7:15 to 9:00 PM: Opening Plenary:
Where Goes the Political Revolution on Campus: Presentations from College Students for Bernie, Student Labor Action Project,
and the Young Democratic Socialists.
9:00 to 11 PM: First Icebreaker and recreational time

Saturday

8:00 to 9:00 AM: Breakfast
9:00 to 10 AM: Second Icebreaker and Conference Rules
10 AM to 11 AM: Plenary
Socialist Vision TodayBhaskar Sunkara, editor of Jacobin magazine, and Joseph Schwartz, Vice-Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)
11:10 AM to 12:30 PM:Workshop Block #1
  • Power Mapping and Strategic Campaign Planning: Student Labor Action Project
  • Understanding Electoral Politics: Young Democratic Socialists and College Students for Bernie
  • International Socialism: Representatives of different global socialist organizations
12:30 to 2:00 PM: Lunch and Free Time
2:00 to 3:30: Plenary
Fighting the New And Rising Right: Bill Fletcher Jr., author and trade unionist, and Maria Svart, DSA National Director
3:30 to 3:45 PM: Break
3:45 to 5:15 PM: Workshop Block #2
  • Police Brutality and Capitalism: A representative from Black Youth Project 100 and Aaron Goggans, core organizer with BLM:DC.
  • Socialist Feminism: Chris Riddiough, former National Organization for Women & Chicago Women's Liberation Union leader and current Vice-Chair of Democratic Socialists of America
  • Sanders, Social Democracy, Socialism, and Students: Young Democratic Socialists and College Students for Bernie
5:15 to 6:30 PM: Dinner
6:30 to 8:00 PM: Plenary
The Labor Movement and Economy Today: Larry Mishel, President of Economic Policy Institute and Student Labor for Action Project leaders
8:00 to 10 PM: Candidacy Statements of the YDS Coordinating Committee (voting is for DSA dues-payers only) and Presentations on Activist Agenda Items (open to all participants)
10 PM to Midnight: Group Party

Sunday

7 to 9:00 AM: Breakfast
7 to 9:30 AM: Check-Out
9:30 to 11:30 AM: Workshop Block #3
  • Recruitment and Leadership Development: Student Labor Action Project
  • Best Chapter Practices: Young Democratic Socialists
  • Environmental Socialism and Your Campus: Young Democratic Socialists
11:30 to 12:30 PM: Elections Results and Final Group Unity Discussion
12:30 to 1:30 PM: Lunch and Goodbyes

Travel

The National 4-H Conference Center is conveniently located a few minutes outside of Washington, DC in the bordering town of Chevy Chase, Maryland. You can reach the conference center via public transportation. 4-H provides these helpful directions here, too.

By Public Bus: There are three lines that run on Connecticut Avenue that stop along the National 4-H Conference Center. These buses are the L8 (operated by WMATA) and 1 and 11 (operated by Ride On). The bus is $1.75 unless you are transferring from a public Metro train. Then the cost is $1.25.

By Metro (subway): The subway system (locally referred to as the Metro or WMATA) is fairly reliable, but runs much less frequently during the weekends and is often under construction. The closest subway stop to the conference venue is the red line’s Friendship Heights stop.

You can take a cab from Friendship Heights to the venue or a public bus (see above). A transfer will cost you an additional $1.25 on your SmarTrip Card. If you take the Metro from Union Station and take a bus to the venue, that should cost you $4.50 altogether. If you take the train from National Airport and transfer to the bus to reach the conference site, that should be $5.25 in total.

You can purchase a SmarTrip Card at the airport or in most metro stations. There is a $2 surcharge for any new SmarTrip Card.

A cab from the Friendship Heights Metro station should be less than $15 counting tip.

Union Station: Union Station is a major transportation hub for private buses (ex. Greyhound) and trains such as Amtrak and MARC (the regional line). You can easily take the Metro train to the conference center from Union Station. Both Union Station and Friendship Heights Metro stops are on the red line. To get to Friendship Heights from Union Stations, you will take the red line from in the direction of Shady Grove/Grosvenor. The ride should be roughly 15 to 20 minutes from Union Station Metro stop to Friendship Heights Metro stop.

A cab from Union Station to the conference center should be about $40 counting tip.

Union Station Address: 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002

National Airport (DC): National Airport is the closest airport to the conference venue. The airport is located in Virginia, but has its own Metro station called Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on the yellow and blue lines.

Taking public transportation from the airport to the conference venue should take about an hour depending on the time of day. The Metro Station is conveniently less than a five-minute walk from the baggage claim. To transfer to the red line, which is the best line for the retreat, you can take either the blue or yellow line trains from the airport. You should get on either the blue line towards Largo Town Center or yellow line to Greenbelt. Both will take you to train stations where you can transfer to the red line: Metro Center for the blue line and Gallery Place-Chinatown for the yellow line. When you get off at these stations, take the red line train heading towards Shady Grove/Grosvenor and get off at Friendship Heights Metro station. See the “By Public Bus” section for how to get to the venue from Friendship Heights.

A cab from National Airport to the conference center should be less than $50 counting tip.

BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport (Baltimore): Airlines often offer less expensive flights to the DC area if you fly into BWI. The airport offers a free shuttle service that connects to the MARC (the Maryland commuter train) and Amtrak station. Both have trains that go to Union Station in DC, a transportation hub that provides a transfer station to the Metro line that is closest to the conference venue. It would take about 45 minutes taking the MARC and 35 minutes taking Amtrak to get to Union Station from the BWI station. Please note this does not count shuttle time or any other transfer time from the airport to the BWI train station.

MARC: The MARC train is $7 one-way from BWI to Union Station.

Here is a weekend MARC schedule for the Baltimore/Washington route on the Penn Line.

Here is a weekday MARC schedule for the Perryville-Baltimore/Washington route on the Penn Line.

AMTRAK: Amtrak prices vary based on day/time of travel. They are cheaper with advanced (two weeks or more) purchase. Prices range from $15 to $50.

Here is an Amtrak schedule for both weekday and weekend.

A cab from BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport to the conference center would be around $90 counting tip.

Driving: If you’re driving from out of town, the 4-H offers free guest parking.


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