First I’d like to thank all who attended our February program on resisting the Trump Agenda, whether in-person or by watching our livestream. As I said that night, you give me hope, and the sheer number of people who showed up in person and watched online up was inspiring. We hope to see you all again in March, when the topic will be protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from the Republican juggernaut.
It’s President’s Day and I’m taking this day to reflect on the presidents who’ve made America’s journey a journey of progress. From George Washington’s revolutionary role to James Madison’s central role in writing the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, to Abraham Lincoln’s freeing of the slaves, to Teddy Roosevelt’s conservation, to William Howard Taft’s trust-busting and establishment of the Department of Labor, to FDR’s New Deal, to Dwight Eisenhower’s sending federal troops to support desegregation, to JFK’s call to put a man on the moon, to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, to Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
And then there’s Donald Trump, a threat to everything these great presidents and many others have achieved.
The Dodgy Republican President
We’re one month into the Republican Presidency. And by February 9th – the last date for which information is available on www.whitehouse.gov, the former reality TV host had issued 23 Executive Orders, which if he continues at that rate works out to a rate of 399 per year, the highest of any president in history, and more than 10 times the rate of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans who were so outraged at the 129 Executive Orders signed by President Obama during his second term remain notably silent as the Republican President issues Executive Orders at more than 3X that rate. So where is the Republican outrage at “presidential overreach” now? Like most Republican outrage, it was nothing but false outrage manufactured for consumption by our facile and ratings obsessed television news organizations.
Meanwhile, as the Washington Post reports, the Trump family’s lavish lifestyle continues to cost taxpayers more than $1,000,000 per day, with much of that money being funneled into Trump businesses in New York and Florida. This is an unprecedented conflict of interest from a man who has refused to release his taxes, put his assets into a blind trust, or otherwise be honest with the American people.
As the Republican President continues to enrich himself at taxpayer’s expense, his ties to Russia continue to raise questions. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was forced to resign after admitting he’d discussed reversing sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration in violation of the Logan Act. Questions abound about what the president knew and when he knew it. Americans have a right to know if there is a Russian mole in our White House, and even Fox News has joined the calls for a full investigation.
The Center of the Resistance
Seattle and Washington State continue to establish themselves as the center of the resistance to the Republican President’s extremist agenda. Attorney General Bob Ferguson successfully blocked the Republican President’s travel ban, Governor Inslee has made standing up against Trump a hallmark of his Governorship, and both Seattle and Burien have passed legislation making them sanctuary cities in defiance of Republican anti-immigrant polices. Mayor Murray has been increasingly vocal in his critiques of the new regime in Washington D.C. as well.
Here in the 34th we’re building a resistance movement to be reckoned with. Our February program was attended by more than 700 concerned citizens while a similar number watched our first livestream on Facebook Live. We gained 111 new members, more than $4,000 in contributions, 15 new PCOs and 2 new Executive Board members. THIS is what the beginning of a successful resistance looks like, and here in the 34th we’re just getting started!
The Indivisible movement continues to grow, and there are now Indivisible groups in West Seattle, Burien and Vashon. The West Seattle group has organized a weekly meeting with the staff of Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell at the Federal Building downtown, which Indivisible groups from around the 7th and 9th Congressional Districts are now joining.
I hear this question frequently from people who’ve never been involved in politics in any way before but feel compelled to do something now. If you’re wondering what you can do to help empower this local resistance, here are some of my top suggestions:
1. Become a Precinct Committee Officer
The biggest impact you can have on changing outcomes is to become a PCO and help us reach out to your neighbors, get them registered to vote, help them stay informed and engaged, and hear their concerns. Our new Data and Technology Chair Kyle Prete has just built a wonderful map-based PCO Lookup Tool for our website to help you:
- Find out if there’s already a PCO for your precinct
- If there isn’t you can contact our PCO Chair Brooks Salazar to get appointed
- If there is a PCO you can look for a nearby precinct where you can become an Acting PCO
Also, this feature will be coming soon:
- Ability to contact your PCO so you can offer to join their Precinct Committee and help in them contact voters in your neighborhood
2. Become a Member of the 34th District Democrats
The 34th District Democrats are one of the most powerful and well organized Democratic organizations in the State of Washington, but we’re only as strong as our members and PCOs. What does the 34th do?
- We partner with other community organizations and support our community
- We recruit candidates for open positions and help them get their campaigns off the ground
- We hold programs on topics of interest to the community
- We host candidate forums to help the community get to know candidates
- We endorse candidates and support them with our money and our ability to directly contact voters to get them elected
- We get out and talk to voters from Alki to Talequah to help keep them informed, engaged and help make sure their voices are heard
- We mobilize like nobody’ business to GOTV for Democrats at election time
- And much, much more
Many of these efforts cost money, and our Treasurer Gina Topp tells us that the current cost per member of running this organization is just under $10/month, so the best way to become a member is to sign up by selecting the $10 monthly contribution option here. Monthly contributions help us budget and plan, so please consider contributing in this way. I recently switched to monthly contributions myself, and I encourage everyone who’s able to do so as well.
3. Join one of our Executive Committees
The Executive Committees are the workhorses of the organization. Most of the committees meet monthly, and all of our committees welcome and encourage new members. You can learn more about each of our standing committees, including how to contact each Committee Chair, on our website here.
4. Sign up to Volunteer
We participate in community events, march in parades, host candidate forums and community-focused programs throughout the year, and we need your help! You can sign up to volunteer on our website here.
Other ways to help
As many of you know, we have several special elections coming up this year which will determine control of the Washington State Senate. Our neighbors to the South in the 31st District could use some help. Their new Chair Brian Gunn has made a plea to help raise the funds they need to take Pam Roach’s seat this fall. Please join me in contributing $25 or more to the 31st Legislative District Democrats to help out in this effort. You can do that here.
Also Dow Constantine’s campaign kick-off is coming up this Thursday. Dow’s leadership at the County has never been more important than it is today in the face of this national nightmare. I’m a co-host of this event, which will be held at the home of Maryanne Tagney and David Jones (a.k.a. the Coleman Mansion) in Fauntleroy this Thursday, February 23rd. Please join me there!
Thursday, February 23rd at 5:30PM
at the home of Maryanne Tagney and David Jones
9343 Fauntleroy Way SW
Seattle, WA 98136
Guest $100 | Friend $250 | Sponsor $500 | Co-host $1000
Who are the 34th District Democrats?
We are the Democratic Party of the 34th Legislative District. We work to elect Democrats, uphold Democratic values, and support Democrats in Seattle, White Center, Burien, Vashon/Maury Island and beyond.
We are our elected officials. We are our candidates. We are the activists who knock on doors in neighborhoods from Alki to Tahlequah and the voters who make their voices heard each election. We are all volunteers.
We are your neighbors. We are your co-workers. We are your friends. We stand up for the marginalized and the voiceless among us. We join arms with allies to fight against injustice and fight for equity. We are engaged in our communities and we are committed to a brighter future for all of us.
We believe in inclusion, that unity is better than division, that we are stronger and better when everyone has an equal shot at living up to their potential. We believe diversity is a source of strength and that inequality is a threat to democracy itself.
We believe it’s important to stand up to tyrants and bullies. We believe in the power of individuals working together to make great progress against incredible odds. We believe in you.
Join us in the fight of our lives. It might not be easy, but it will be rewarding.
And we will win.
Chair, 34th District Democrats