Austin Democratic Socialists of America

Jake Jackson

Do you self-identify as a man?:
Yes

Do you self-identify as a person from a traditionally marginalized group?:
No

Please describe your involvement in Austin DSA:
Having previously organized with the North Texas and subsequently Fort Worth chapters of DSA, I joined the UT chapter of YDSA as soon as I heard about it during the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester. I became involved with the city chapter during the Prop A campaign, which impressed upon me the general dedication and enthusiasm of the rank-and-file of this chapter. As I have attended more committee meetings and general body meetings I have seen that Austin DSA has both the vision and the will to get things done and I look forward to continuing to organize and fight with DSA to create a better future.

What strengths would you bring to the leadership committee?:
As a student, I hope to be able to provide serve as a liaison between UT YDSA and Austin DSA and hopefully bring more students into the socialist movement in Austin. I hope to apply my experience with other chapters of DSA and other organizations to Austin DSA and to help create an environment in which DSA can succeed by furthering communication between the LC and the committees and the rank-and-file members.

If elected, what would be your priorities be for the leadership committee and Austin DSA?:
With 2019 being a non-election year, much of Austin DSA’s organizing power can be geared toward other issues and campaigns: continuing canvassing for Medicare for All, organizing around the fight for better public school funding in Texas, agitating for better tenants’ rights in Austin, supporting local labor unions, coordinating more internal education efforts, etc. Allocating our resources in a prudent and effective manner, constantly communicating with the co-chairs of the various committees, and organizing with other community activist groups in Austin will allow us to make considerable progress in the new year.

What is your approach to resolving conflict and achieving consensus among differing viewpoints?:
DSA’s status as a big-tent organization, which has people of varying opinions and approaches among its members, makes the ability to resolve conflict very important. Allowing for free and open discourse in such an organization is key to resolving many issues, especially if that discourse emboldens the voices of marginalized people who are often deprived of their chance to speak. While allowing for disagreements and grievances to be aired, it is also important for the chapter to be able to create consensus on issues by attempting to do what is best for the chapter as a whole and compromising and adjusting where needed.