Red ‘Runners: Socialists are organizing at UTSA

Heather Montoya

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, the Young Democratic Socialists of America at UTSA (YDSA) held a meeting in Study Room 13 in the John Peace Library where they discussed their goals and how to achieve them.

The YDSA, the youth wing of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), is a political organization that believes in transforming capitalism by implementing democracy into all aspects of life. The vision of the YDSA is democratic, feminist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist.

Chance Walker, a freshman geography major, was one of the few students who helped establish the YDSA at UTSA. “We were a very small group until Bernie Sanders ran for President in 2016; at that time, the DSA went from having 6,000 members at the beginning of 2016 to at the end of 2016 we had 20,000 members.” The DSA is currently gaining on 30,000 members.

Since the DSA membership has been growing, the UTSA chapter of the YDSA hopes their membership will reflect that growth.

The chapter was implemented this semester and currently has nearly 40 members. The organization hopes to gain enough members to qualify for a designated on-campus room for their meetings. “We want to be the largest left-wing student organization, not only on campus, but in the country,” Walker said.

“We’re not here to impose some idea on people. We’re here to tell people you have the power to change society if you, a working-class person, as a person who is marginalized for whatever reason, you have the power, if we unite together, to change things,” Walker said.

Some goals of the chapter are to be involved in and support the labor movement and unions around UTSA, work on environmental issues, educate people about inequality and resist Trump’s agenda. “We want a society where everybody is going to take care of each other.”

To chapter plans to achieve their goals by participating in voter registration, attending the Participatory Budgeting Meeting, asking Congressman Lloyd Doggett about medicare at a Town Hall meeting and block-walking for Planned Parenthood.

Through acts such as these, the chapter intends to inform people about socialism, reach out to politicians to get democratic socialism implemented and reach out to other organizations with similar views and goals.

The organization is looking forward to working with San Antonio’s DSA chapter, organizing teach-ins and growing as an organization.

Catherine Zavaletta, a freshman art history major, is a new member to UTSA’s chapter of YDSA. “I was really interested in seeing what socialism was really about, hearing it first-hand from a socialist versus hearing it from a capitalistic society,” she said. “I understand and agree with the need to push for socialism.”

For more information about the UTSA chapter of the YDSA, visit their Facebook page, Young Democratic Socialists of America at UTSA or Twitter account, @UTSA_Socialists.