The Democratic Socialists of America, affiliated with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and other liberal leaders, is facing severe financial trouble, with the organization’s leaders calling for massive budget cuts and layoffs.
“The current deficit will force us to make 7-figure budget cuts. This will require us to make painful decisions that will impact all levels of the organization. … Given our current financial state, we do not believe we can have a healthy, democratic, and effective organization while spending the amount we currently do on staff,” members of the DSA National Political Committee Kristin Schall, Alex Pellitteri, and Laura Wadlin wrote in the budget proposal.
“DSA is in a financial crisis and staff-related costs account for 58% of our total expenditures and 72% of our projected income,” they continued.
The DSA will cut $500,000 in staff-related expenses by taking volunteers from the director and bargaining unit and offering them severance, according to the proposal.
Amanda Berman, the director of Zioness, a group of liberal Jewish activists who support Israel, said the DSA’s antisemitic actions have hurt the organization.
“DSA long ago fell into the trap of becoming so radical in the name of ‘justice’ that they abandoned the mission of the progressive movement,” Berman told the New York Post.
While many noteworthy liberals such as AOC and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) denounced the killing and raping of innocent Israeli civilians that took place on Oct. 7, the DSA reiterated its support for Gaza.
“Today’s events are a direct result of Israel’s apartheid regime—a regime that receives billions in funding from the United States.” the DSA wrote in an Oct. 7 statement.
However, under the headline “DSA Should be Thriving” in their proposal, DSA leaders expressed confusion about their financial decline.
“But how did this decline in revenue, membership, and overall excitement happen in the first place? This should actually be a really favorable time for DSA. We’re living in a moment when revived labor struggles and the fight for a free Palestine are galvanizing so many Americans, particularly young people,” they wrote on the DSA’s national caucus Bread and Roses.
One of the organization’s founders, Maurice Isserman, left the group in disapproval of the DSA’s actions following the Oct. 7 attacks.
“I left to protest the DSA leadership’s politically and morally bankrupt response to the horrific Hamas October 7 anti-Jewish pogrom that took the lives of 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and saw over 200 hostages carried off to Gaza, both groups of victims including children and infants,” Isserman wrote in a Nation op-ed titled “Why I just quit DSA.“