For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
David Duhalde, Deputy Director, Democratic Socialists of America
Dylan Parker, 5th Ward Alderman, Rock Island, IL
Democratic Socialists of America hits 20,000 members same day as DSA Member Elected to Rock Island, IL City Council
Washington, DC (April 5, 2017) –
Tuesday, April 4th was a huge day in the history of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). DSA passed 20,000 members – making it the third largest socialist group in US history – and DSA member Dylan Parker was elected to Rock Island, IL’s City Council as 5th Ward Alderman. Parker is now the thirteenth DSA member holding elected office in the country. With his victory, Parker joins a list that includes Carlos Rosa, Chicago’s 35th Ward Alderman, Mike Sylvester, of the Maine House of Representatives, and Julie Ann Nitsch, Austin Community College Board of Trustee in Texas.
“DSA is very excited about our own member Dylan Parker being elected Alderman of Rock Island, Illinois” DSA National Director Maria Svart Said. “You can now find DSA chapters in nearly every state in the union, and our public electoral activity and success can only grow from here.” In addition, DSA hopes that Khalid Kamau, a member running for city council in South Fulton, GA, will win the next DSA electoral victory on Tuesday, April 18th.
Dylan Parker serves as the Vice Chair for the newly formed Quad Cities Democratic Socialists of America Organizing Committee. Nearly all of his campaign volunteers were DSA members. While the election was non-partisan, Parker called for equitable economic development in the city of Rock Island via universal residential broadband internet access, and campaigned on expanding the municipality’s publicly owned hydroelectric power plant. Dylan Parker was also a Sanders delegate for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Dylan Parker looks forward to serving Rock Island’s 5th Ward as Alderman and exploring socialist concepts such as neighborhood land trusts, cooperative business models and Municipal Banking. “Thank you to all volunteers, neighbors, friends and voters over the past several months that made tonight’s electoral victory a reality.” said Parker. “We presented a clear vision of a strong Rock Island built on empowered neighborhoods, a transparent government and an economic development policy dedicated to fostering innovation and 68% of 5th Ward’s electorate agreed.”
Rock Island is a small metro city (population 39,018) located in northern Illinois. It is one of the Quad Cities, a cluster of four municipalities located along the Mississippi River. It is a racially diverse community with a struggling local economy since farm equipment manufacturing plants left town in the 1980’s. Rock Island is the home of Augustana College and individuals of notoriety such as John Looney (a gangster with connections to Chicago’s Al Capone) and Sauk American Indian warrior Black Hawk, for whom the Black Hawk War (1831-1832) and Chicago’s NHL team, receive their name.