About the Convention


Conference events and housing are hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago. For directions and public transit options please see the university’s city transportation guide.

Thursday check-in and events, as well as Housing check-in and check-out will be at Student Center East, 700 S. Halsted Street

Friday and Saturday check-in and events will be at UIC Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Road. Break-outs will be at Student Center East

Please see this map of DSA convention event locations.

Critical Addresses

  • University of Illinois Chicago- 1200 W Harrison St, Chicago, IL 60607
  • The Forum (Friday and Saturday only)- 725 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60607
  • Student Center East (Thursday to Sunday)- 700 S. Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60607
  • Parking- Halsted/Taylor Parking Structure, 760 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607

What will be decided at the convention?

You won’t want to miss this — it’s your chance to meet fellow DSA members from across the country, learn from and debate with comrades in a socialist environment, and have your say in the direction we take over the next two years. At the convention, we will:

  • Elect the political leadership
  • Set our priorities agenda for the next two years
  • Have substantive political debates about DSA’s perspectives
  • Attend interactive workshops about organizing
  • And much more!

Who can attend the convention?

There are two ways to attend:

  1. Any DSA member may attend convention events as a non-voting, non-speaking observer provided they pay the required registration fees. We will let in non-DSA members depending on space and needs of delegates. Please note that all observer spots have been filled.
  2. Any DSA member in good standing (that is, whose dues are paid through September 2017) may be a delegate to the convention. Delegates and alternates are selected from DSA local chapters. If there is not a chapter with a delegate allocation in the area, a member may be an at-large delegate. (Organizing Committee members should apply as at-large delegates.) The deadline to register as an at-large delegate was July 15th.

    Members of Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) are considered part of the nearby DSA chapter if they live in the same area. If there is no local DSA chapter, YDSers should nominate themselves as at-large delegates.

Why does DSA hold a national convention?

DSA’s national convention represents a key opportunity following our explosive growth this past year. This convention will bring together members old and new to make decisions about our future, connect with each other from across the country, and expand on our organizing skills. This convention contributes towards our wider goal to build progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly democratic socialist presence in American communities and politics. By providing members with the tools, knowledge, and connections they need to build socialism in their communities and in the nation, this convention will help push our movement even closer to our goal.

How can I learn more about DSA’s history?

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)— and its two predecessor organizations, the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC) and the New American Movement (NAM)— had their origins in the early 1970s, at the beginning of a long-term rightward shift of U.S. and global politics. You can read more here.