By Martha Koester and Steve Butts
The meeting was called to order and the agenda approved. Representatives the campaigns of Patty Murray and Suzan DelBene gave brief updates. Bob Eugene is running for County Commissioner of Pend Oreille County. He said that it would be most helpful if Democrats from western Washington gave more support to those in eastern Washington so that Democrats could establish more of a presence there. http://www.electbobeugene.com/
Rich Irwin gave the chair’s report, discussion 88,000 emails that he had sent out to caucus attendees, and asked that people volunteer to be elections observers. He requested up to $7,000 to support media outreach to underserved communities. This was approved unanimously. There will be a teleconference on October 18th to approve dispensing money to candidates received through the email outreach.
Andrew Villeneuve reported on the Joint Legislative Task Force, a group of Democrats from King and Pierce Counties focused on recruiting and supporting candidates in likely legislative districts to regain control of the senate and expand our majority in the house. We will focus on the swing districts of the 41st and the 5th LDs.
Endorsements were made on a number of local bond issues and initiatives. Guy Palumbo was endorsed as the state senate candidate from the 1st LD. For a full list, see the King County Democrats website. https://www.kcdems.org/endorsements/ The endorsement for the Sound Transit initiative was pulled for further discussion. Opponents mentioned the Smart Transit group’s point that there will not be enough new ridership gained and that rail is an expensive way to move people. Proponents argued that we have to prepare for regional growth, that rail has less carbon emission, and that the package includes more bus rapid transit routes. The motion to endorse passed 34 to 9.
Ann and Javier reported on the state central committee meeting in Yakima. Three resolutions passed by King County were approved by the state. There was a charter amendment passed allowing the Rules Committee to review proposed charter amendments for impact, so that representatives can understand them better before voting. Jaxon Ravens wants to set up a committee to review to option of having primaries rather than caucuses.
No new resolutions were submitted. Joel and Dean requested that we send any proposals to the King County Democrats Bylaws Committee as soon as possible.
Steve Zemke reported on the last LAC meeting featuring former state representative Marcie Maxwell. She wants people to know that the odds of the legislature acting on anything are greatly affected by how many constituents contact them. There have been zero to 20 contacts per week on education, as opposed to more than 3,000 on oil trains. The next meeting will be October 16th, location TBD.
Nancy Podschwit was elected as the new treasurer. Sara Franklin of Community Outreach requested that we focus on improving relationships with underserved communities as on ongoing effort, not just in presidential election years.
Ginamarie of the DisAbilities Committee reported that many medical marijuana users were negatively impacted by folding medical and recreational use together, making it harder for her to get the pure Indica strains that she needs. We should fix this during the next legislative session.
Omaha Sternberg proposed rescinding her earlier resignation as 1st Vice Chair, but this is actually not relevant, as whether or not the resignation is official, she is entitled to run for the office again in October.
Meeting adjourned at 9:45pm.