Statement on Epic Systems Corp v Lewis Decision
DSA Madison


Democratic Socialists of America - Madison Rebukes the Epic Systems Corp v Lewis Decision

Madison, Wisconsin - May 21, 2018 - Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Epic Systems Corp v Lewis is a defeat for working Americans and a big win for large corporations. By ruling that employers can contractually obligate workers to forego class action lawsuits in favor of individual arbitration, the Supreme Court has shattered the power workers have to collectively dispute unfair working conditions.

Epic, located in Verona, Wisconsin, illegally classified certain workers as exempt from overtime pay, then expected routine overtime work from those employees. When these workers brought a class action suit for fair pay, Epic used money made by the labor of its employees to pay for lawyers and court fees in a case that will result in worse conditions for working people throughout our country.

Report on the Redevelopment of MATC's Downtown Campus
Jonathan Bartnik

by Jonathan Bartnik, DSA Member and chair of Homeless and Affordable Housing Working Group

The Meeting

On Tuesday, August 15, I attended the public comment meeting on the redevelopment of Madison Area Technical College (MATC)’s downtown campus at West Johnson St. and Wisconsin Ave. I arrived just before the meeting started, taking a rough census of the attendees. I counted 46 persons, all of whom were white: 11 women and 35 men; only seven appeared to be under 40. These numbers include myself, the alderpersons Ledell Zellers and Mike Verveer, and the presenters (all men).

I didn’t ask who were property owners and who were residents, but judging by appearances, comments, and behaviors, the body leaned heavily towards the former. Few people stated their names and affiliations before speaking. The silent young woman behind me was clearly a journalist — and Mike Verveer greeted her as such. A middle aged woman with a radiant smile identified herself as representing First United Methodist Church. An older gentleman with large hands and combed-back white hair in the front asked pointed questions with unclear motives…he occasionally seemed to be undermining the project in what might be called the public spirit even though his appearance suggested a villain from an ’80s children’s film. Another man a row behind me, lightly bearded in the classic urbane liberal way, interrogated the developers on street setbacks and the fate of the venerable ash trees along Wisconsin Ave. Though I disagreed with his — and the 80’s villain’s — obsession with preserving setbacks on Wisconsin and MLK avenues, I admired their persistence in questioning the presenters.

Statement on the NPC Decision regarding Danny Fetonte
Madison Area DSA Executive Committee

The Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee Interim Steering Committee decided on August 15 to enter mediation with elected NPC member Danny Fetonte, who is the subject of heated debate due to his past involvement with the police union organization CLEAT.

The Madison DSA chapter chose to make no statement on this matter before the decision because our executive committee was split, and we preferred polling our members to make a democratic decision on the stance that we as a chapter should take. We did not have a general membership meeting prior to the decision, however, and thus made no statement. We were asked by several other chapters to co-sign their statements, but declined for this reason as well.

Journey through the US Left, a personal note
Paul Buhle

The impetus of the ongoing Eugene Debs Comics project prompted a young activist, new to socialist ideas through the Bernie Campaign and DSA, to ask about my own small saga, now well past a half century in duration. I am happy to comply.

In the gap between Civil Rights and the campus peace movement, I joined the Socialist Labor Party, on my nineteenth birthday. We SLPers were a mostly elderly bunch, with deep roots in the early twentieth century. We believed reform of capitalism impossible, State Socialism unacceptable, and we passed out a million leaflets with this message every year. It was a great introduction to socialist history, and when I resigned, around the 1964 election, the National Secretary, who had held his post more than fifty years, sent me a sharp note: I had been expelled.

A Chicago Trip
Ted Glomski

I spent a couple days going down to Chicago (March 2–4, 2017) to participate in a few events that have DSA connections.

On Thursday evening I went to a Street Fight Radio live show at Township Bar. Street Fight Radio is a podcast based in Columbus, Ohio and dedicated to “spreading a message of egalitarianism and trying to create a completely horizontally organized worker’s party with global representation.” The hosts, Brett Paine and Bryan Quinby, have hosted the show more than five years and recently began participating in the DSA chapter in Columbus.