Hi Silas, thanks for contacting us. We’ve been hoping for a Portland SPUSA local (office/organization) for a long time, but it’s never quite come together. The SPUSA is like traditional political parties, except we’re kind of tired of the “traditional” values in American politics today. The first step to starting a local in your town is to become a member of the party. If you like our platform, and you think our Statement of Principles makes sense, we like you too and we can use your help seeing our ideals come to fruition. With no Local in your neighborhood, you can apply online, or show your support for the USPS and send it in the old fashioned way to our National Office in NY.
We’ve got locals in different cities in many states for more effective action and organization. Instead of asking members to trek 200 miles to their nearest organizing meeting every month, we encourage members to grow their own locals and get active with their likeminded neighbors. Trekking is sometimes worth it though. Utah looks to be closest to home for you. Meeting members of an active local can help you generate ideas for your own. It’s tough to start a revolution all by yourself. Joining forces with existing locals can help you figure out what it takes to start your own (besides the paperwork end of things, which the National Office can help you with), and maybe more importantly – the dedication it takes to sustain one.
What happens at our meetings? Sometimes they’re educational, sometimes they’re action oriented. Sometimes they’re potlucks or barbeques where comrades come together with plans and ideas. SPUSA members have been active in local, national and international campaigns that support the party platform. SPUSA members have run for elected office in their communities (and won!) and are sharing their experiences of how to get involved in their communities and represent the Socialist platform. It depends on your local, but they should always be a time for nurturing the seeds of revolution. The meetings are often open to prospective members, so they can see what an alternative to political activism can look like.
This spring, the SPUSA has been busy all across the nation. The world we live in presents with boundless opportunities to get involved and make a change, and organizing efforts across the country this year have been focused on how to dive in.
So, my advice, sit down for a contemplative read of our principles and platform. If it jives with you, join the National Party. If you know of others who might feel the same way, encourage them to join, and start gathering to see what your local might look like. The broader our network, the stronger our membership, and the more committed our locals are, the closer we all get to living in a more just and peaceful world.