Resolution to Censure & Investigate Jamaal Bowman

Whereas, the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed Lower Hudson Valley DSA member Jamaal Bowman for Congress in 2020; and,

Whereas, since election, Representative Jamaal Bowman has exhibited anticapitalist rhetoric and taken anticapitalist positions, such as calling out “American plantation capitalism” which permitted “corporations to hoard money like kingdoms,” among others; and,

Whereas, Rep. Bowman’s office has worked directly to advance class struggle causes, most notably by introducing a resolution to enact a Green New Deal for Public Schools (GND4PS) and working directly with DSA on a national campaign to realize this project; and,

Whereas, in recent months, Rep. Bowman has taken highly problematic positions on the issue of U.S. financial support to the settler-colonial Israeli military. On 28 July 2021, Rep. Bowman voted in favor of $3.3 billion of direct military aid to Israel. On 23 September 2021, Rep. Bowman joined the U.S. House’s majority to approve $1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, while every other Squad member voted no or abstained on the motion. Lastly, on 18 October 2021, Rep. Bowman tweeted to lament the passing of a top U.S. war criminal who helped engineer the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq, the late Secretary of State Colin Powell; and,

Whereas, on one hand, these actions contradict DSA’s implicitly anti-imperialist politics. On the other, Rep. Bowman’s these actions violate DSA’s explicit commitment in its 2021 Political Platform to “stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against apartheid, colonialism, and military occupation, and for equality, human rights, and self-determination, including the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement;” and,

Whereas, in response to these egregious actions, several DSA chapters have called for expulsion of Congressmember Jamaal Bowman from DSA [12345]. The National Political Committee (NPC) has responded by stating that working with the DSA BDS & Palestine Solidarity Working Group to address these grievances with Rep. Bowman directly is its highest priority at the moment, and that NPC will meet with Bowman very soon; and,

Whereas, we call attention to clauses in DSA’s Political Platform demanding abolition of the carceral state, abolition of white supremacy, endorsement of the 8 to Abolition demands, and the fact that DSA “rejects ‘alternatives to incarceration’ that are carceral in nature, including problem-solving courts and electronic monitoring and coercive restorative justice programs.” In toto, these positions amount to a rejection of retributive justice as a form of organizing criminal legal justice in the U.S., and by extension, in DSA; and,

Whereas, echoing those demands for abolition, we affirm the need to supplant the racist architecture of our current criminal injustice system with a liberatory, restorative justice system. We believe we must practice what we preach within DSA as well; so,

Therefore Be it Resolved, that Bloomington Indiana DSA finds calls to expel Rep. Jamaal Bowman excessively harsh and punitive. Our chapter feels that the path to justice in this instance is for the NPC to censure and investigate Rep. Bowman’s actions, directly addressing them with the Representative himself.

Be it Further Resolved, that Bloomington Indiana DSA calls on the NPC to affirm that these violations of DSA’s anti-imperialist, socialist, and liberatory politics are serious. The NPC should advise Bowman that further violations will constitute grounds for expulsion. Finally, the NPC should request that Bowman apologize for his transgressions and commit to avoiding further egregious mistakes.

Be it Further Resolved, that Bloomington Indiana DSA will, upon ratification, send copies of this resolution to the NPC and all chapters that have published statements calling for NPC action against Jamaal Bowman.

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