April 21, 2017
As the Boston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, we are committed to building a strong and vibrant socialist movement that fights for the liberation of all oppressed peoples. To do this we must create an environment that allows for all our members to be comfortable organizing together and to have a strong trust in their elected leadership.
It came to our attention on April 13 that a series of tweets were made by one of the recently elected co-chairs. These tweets were offensive, sexist, and unbecoming of an elected leader of Boston DSA. On the following day we questioned the accused about this incident. They admitted to the mistake and offered to resign if the Steering Committee deemed the resignation to be necessary. We decided to ask for their resignation. We also requested that they step back from other leadership roles until they have participated in an education process led by DSA members. On April 18 they accepted our requests. The accused posted a public apology on Twitter expressing regret for their actions. The text of this apology can be viewed here.
In the coming weeks, we will release a code of conduct for how we expect our members and elected leaders to behave. There will also be a clearly outlined grievance process to deal with any future incidents. To fill the vacant co-chair position there will be a special election in accordance with our local bylaws.
We feel it is vital to set a strong precedent demonstrating that we will not tolerate harassment, assault, and discrimination based on gender. We know there is a history of organizations on the Left failing to deal with accusations of sexism and sexual harassment appropriately. Given our organization’s recent growth, it is crucial that we set a high standard for ourselves in how we respond when incidents like this are brought to our attention. We want to make it clear that we are committed to a socialist future, which means not recreating the oppressive patriarchal structures and habits that we experience under capitalism.
If you have any questions or concerns about this statement please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Board of Boston DSA