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>> Call it the left's answer to the Tea Party. These progressive renegades are finding their moment in the sun in th age of Trump.>> I'm Justin Mitchell, in Detroit for the Michigan Democrats Spring Convention where the Democratic Socialists of America are out in full force, passing out literature, signing up new members, and trying to ride a wave of progressive energy coming in the wake of the election of Donald Trump.
The democratic socialists of America have been around since 1982 but after the Bernie Sanders campaign and Trump's stunning upset of Hillary Clinton, membership has nearly tripled to about 17,000 members, there one of one of several Left Wing groups catching fire and much like the tea party in 2010, their momentum is reflected in packed meetings and a host of new chapters popping up all over the country.
DSA National Director Maria Svart says the surge started almost over night.>> The day after the election, our membership coordinator turned to me when she looked at our computer in the morning And she said, I can see the moment when Donald Trump announced that he won the election.
People started joining online in massive numbers, but that growth was sustained for weeks and weeks.>> Trump's aggressive early push on a host of conservative policies from the travel ban to reigning in the EPA has left SVART and the DSA feeling this is their moment.>> We do offer a political perspective that has been silenced in this country, but, as Bernie demonstrated, really speaks to people's desires, and their fears, and their needs right now.
>> And here in Michigan, a host of new members are heeding the call. Matthew Howgan joined up just after the election.>> I just felt like I needed to finally get out and do something.>> Detroit chair David Green says the DSA applies in inside outside strategy. That means taking part in protests and advocating directly for big issues such as water quality, but also working within the democratic party.
>> We need a party that's open to progressive forces, and that's why we have to elect progressive leadership within the party, both at the national level and at the state wide level.>> DSA is one of many groups on the left backing Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison in early and staunch Sanders supporter to be the new chair of the Democratic National Committee over former Labor Secretary Tom Perez.
At the convention Green has been pushing candidates for party leadership posts. Getting several DSA members elected to the Democrat State's Central Committee. Between that and over two dozen new members signing up, Green declares the day a victory.>> It was a good day for DSA today.