This collection of resources, made for chapters of the Democratic Socialists of America organizing around Medicare for All, were created by DSA members from around the country who have organized these events, actions, and canvasses in their own chapters over the last year. Here we aim to articulate why Medicare for All is our top national priority, to provide a framework for thinking about organizing and leadership development, and to offer “how-to” guides for a variety of political tactics. We have tried to identify best practices and to create a guide that will be maximally helpful to chapters who want to launch a Medicare for All campaign, but we recognize that there is no one way to organize an event and that there will always be room for improvement.
In fact, we hope that this organizing guide will keep expanding to include sections on getting your City Council to endorse Medicare for All, coalition building, strategically fighting for Medicaid expansion in your state, and other important strategies and tactics that DSA chapters can take up to fight for universal healthcare. You can also check out our blog for reports from chapters from around the country on their actions.
There is no one way to get your campaign off the ground, and the actions you choose will largely depend on local factors. To figure out how to launch your Medicare for All campaign, you’ll need to assess what’s happening in your community, what kind of resources you have in terms of money and people, who your most important constituency outside of your membership is, and how you can reach out to working-class people and their organizations. Also, think about more practical concerns: Is there someone in the state legislature or city council who might be willing to support Medicare for All, Medicaid expansion, or paid sick days? What other organizations are working on this or related issues? Are there large community events coming up you could table at?
And above all, ask yourselves: How does our chapter reach people who are not already politically engaged in order to build a mass movement capable of taking on the monied interests who profit off of our inhumane healthcare system? Our movement will only be won by having the hard conversations with people outside of our circles and getting them engaged in struggles that will benefit the vast majority of Americans.
DSA’s Medicare for All Steering Committee is here to help your chapter develop the tools to join in the fight for universal healthcare. Feel free to reach out to us at any time at [email protected].
Contributing Authors and Editors
Nick Bunce, Meagan Day, Benjamin Fong, Jeremy Gong, Dustin Guastella, Taylor Hines, Scott Jenkins, Ari Marcantonio, James McCormack, Alex Nagle, Melissa Naschek, Christie Offenbacher, Chris Riddiough, Alex Salta, Jed Slaboda, Megan Svoboda, Luke Thibault, Micah Uetricht, Amy Zachmeyer
For more information, you can always contact the national coordinating committee at [email protected].