Democratic Socialists of America

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The Official Symbol of the Democratic Socialist of America

Template:Socialism The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate (the Social Democrats USA and Puerto Rican Independence Party are also SI members, but they are much smaller) of the Socialist International, which includes socialist parties as diverse as the Swedish Social Democrats, Canada's NDP, Nicaragua's FSLN, Palestine's Fatah (associate), Israel's Labour Party and Yachad, and the British Labour Party.

DSA was formed in 1983 from a merger of Michael Harrington's Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (the largest remnant of the defunct Socialist Party of America) and the New American Movement, a coalition of writers and intellectuals with roots in both the "Old" and the "New" left. DSA is organized at the local level, and works with labor unions, community organizations, and campus activists on issues of common interest. Nationwide campaigns are coordinated by the organization's national office in New York City.

Among DSA's notable members are AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, feminist Gloria Steinem, actor Ed Asner, author Barbara Ehrenreich, scholar and activist Cornel West, and libertarian socialist Noam Chomsky. A few current and former members of Congress have, or have had, membership or other ties to the organization, including: Major Owens (D-NY), a DSA member; Ron Dellums (D-CA), a former member; Danny K. Davis (D-IL), rumored to be a member; and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has spoken to DSA conferences.

While many Democratic Socialists are also members of the Democratic Party, electoral politics have been a secondary concern throughout the history of the organization. The main aim of DSA is to promote socialist ideas within the broader progressive social movements in American politics. On electoral questions, the organization supports what it calls the "left wing of the possible" on a case by case scenario, which meant being neutral in the 2000 Presidential race and backing John Kerry in 2004. DSA members have at times been elected to public office at the local, state, and federal level, both as Democratic Party and non-partisan candidates. DSA's involvement in Democratic politics has been a matter of some controversy with other socialists, particularly in the Socialist Party USA, who would prefer to see it support only explicitly socialist candidates.

See also: List of political parties in the United States

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