Fern DaSilva is a proven chapter leader and national leader in our organization. He serves on the Steering Committee for the DSA International Committee and formerly was the Membership Coordinator of North New Jersey DSA, where he was responsible for welcoming and onboarding more than 500 members. He was also responsible for starting NNJ’s Political Education Committee and helped establish the first curriculum for new member orientation. In both the IC and his work in NNJ, Fern has helped see our organization through necessary restructuring. He is also currently running lead on his chapter’s language justice work. Fern was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and after immigrating to the US in the late ‘90s, finished school in a predominantly-immigrant working class community in North Jersey, where he still is very involved. His organizing experience began in student movements in Brazil and he has long been inspired by Brazilian mass movement organizations like PT and MST. Fern is a carpenter, and though he is not unionized, he did help to organize a successful strike against an employer who was withholding overtime pay.
Blanca Estévez lives, works, and organizes in Arkansas, where she is a founding member of the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of DSA. Born in Puerto de la Libertad during the Salvadoran Civil War, Blanca’s current on-the-ground organizing focuses primarily on helping reunite families separated by ICE and fighting for vaccine justice and access. As an NPC member elected in 2019, she currently serves as liaison to the Immigrants’ Rights Working Group, the Mutual Aid Working Group, Personnel, and the International Committee. Blanca is committed to a DSA that is a home for Latinx workers, and was instrumental in drafting and passing a language justice resolution that commits DSA to offering all nationally-developed materials and trainings in both English and Spanish. She counts the restructuring of the International Committee, alongside Austin, as another win from her first term. The new IC is more open and engaging to members, and has hosted more events and actions in the last year than in multiple previous years combined. Blanca looks forward to further building out ways to intentionally organize Latine workers into DSA and to further organize DSA into the global left. She is also committed to ongoing improved relations between the NPC and the DSA staff, as well as NPC and individual chapter leaders.
Austin González brings together a host of life experience to his DSA organizing: he grew up in a Puerto Rican (colonial subject) household in rural central Virginia and was raised by Deaf parents. Austin was a founding member of the Richmond DSA chapter and assisted in the foundation of other chapters around the state, culminating in the first-ever VA statewide convention. Austin has experience as a union organizer in Virginia and is dedicated to expanding unions and workers’ rights in the South, as Virginia is often ranked ‘worst state for workers.’ He was a marshal for the DSA caravan that counterprotested the far-right in Charlottesville in 2017, witnessing the car crash, and has a strong belief in upholding antifascism in part due to this direct experience. As an NPC member, Austin worked with Blanca to restructure the International Committee to refocus it toward principled anti-imperialism. He also acts as NPC liaison to the Mutual Aid Working Group. He is a self-taught Marxist and lifelong anti-imperialist.
Kara Hall is a co-chair of Las Vegas DSA, one of the fastest growing chapters in the nation, with 150% membership growth last year. She was part of a leadership team who put massive effort into preparing for and locking in the tremendous Bernie 2020 caucus win in Nevada. Catapulting off that electoral success, LVDSA then coordinated a slate of leftists to take over the Nevada State Democratic Party. In addition to her incredible chapter work, Kara is also an active leader in National DSA. Kara helped to lead the DSA100k Drive as a core member of the Growth and Development Committee’s recruitment subcommittee, where she also leads Q&A calls and helps facilitate national New Member calls. She is also committed to providing DSA chapters and members with tools necessary for recruitment, retention, and leadership development while always centering specific local conditions and organizing struggles. Before joining DSA, she did extensive community organizing work, particularly around feminist issues, including reproductive rights and gender violence, and now currently serves on national leadership as a member of the Socialist Feminist WG steering committee. Formerly a Special Education teacher, Kara was an active member of her local teacher’s union, but then went on to work helping to elect leftist/socialist candidates to Congress. Kara has experienced organizing challenges as someone with a physical, mental, and intellectual disability and would like to prioritize that organizing spaces become more accessible to include a broader range of the working class.
Ryan Mosgrove came to organizing as a young restaurant worker, organizing his coworkers for a union in his hometown of Tampa Bay, FL. He joined DSA in 2016 and quickly organized DSA’s 2016 inauguration contingent in Washington D.C. In addition to his chapter work, Ryan served as DSA’s staff national campus organizer for DSA in 2017. He has been an active member of Metro DC DSA for several years, and served as secretary for the chapter since May 2020. In his time on Steering, Ryan has been instrumental in building out Metro DC’s well-regarded Administrative Committee (AdCom), which allowed for massive campaign and mobilizing infrastructure build-out during COVID, a complete pipeline for integrating new members into chapter work, and a common chapter-wide infrastructure for campaign work—a crucial tool for a chapter with thousands of members. Ryan was a DSA 100K captain and chaired the chapter’s 100K commission. Recently he’s also been involved in strategy and developing fieldwork for the DSA national PRO Act campaign. As he runs for NPC, Ryan hopes to bring the successful model he helped develop in his chapter to build a consolidated national organizing infrastructure to support strong chapter-driven campaigns for workers’ power.