Meeting called to order at 7:00 by Chair David Ginsberg
7:01 Pledge of Allegiance.
7:02 Minutes and Adoption of Agenda MSP.
7:03 Chair’s Report – Hospitality and Membership Chairs are currently vacant. Chair related how his family has been affected by gun violence. This, along with jobs, housing and income inequality will all be topics raised in the debate tonight.
7:06 New Business – Proposal from the E-Board to pass a slate of Initiatives. I-940 (De-escalation training for Law Enforcement) I-1631 (Cleaner Air, Cleaner Energy) and 1639 (Gun Safety) – MSP.
7:08 Martha Koester spoke in support of King County Council Member Jeanne Kohl-Welles proposed budget amendment for affordable housing. Brooks Salazar raised the point that the issue is moot as this issue has already been addressed in Council.
A motion to table the issue until the next meeting was MSP.
7:11 PCO Chair Brooks Salazar announced that there would be a penalty against a PCO at the next membership meeting.
7:12 – Representative Eileen Cody arrived and was greeted.
7:13 – A Debate in the Lincoln Douglas format between candidates for State Senate Shannon Braddock and Joe Nguyen. Chris Porter moderated.
Joe won the toss and spoke first about how he would address economic inequality. Acknowledges that our tax code is regressive. Favors a Capital Gains Tax, and for reviewing those tax emptions that as of now will never expire. Points out that the amount of the exemptions is more that the budget of the state. Supports a State Bank. McCleary clearly did not address the inequality/achievement gap. We must support our teachers, and we need to make sure that our elected officials reflect our community and our community’s values. Lack of access to childhood early learning linked to inequality.
Shannon’s Cross Examination – Supports capital gains tax. What does Joe’s method of “naming and shaming” look like? Which tax exemptions would he target?
Shannon then gave her ideas on how she would address inequality. Hopes that her children would be able to live in Seattle if they wanted to. Limited by our regressive tax system. There are over 600 tax exemptions in the WA Tax Code. She would focus on Luxury/Consumer Services, international banking, prescription drug resellers, investment banking, and state sales tax on out of state residents are outmoded. Addressing these loopholes/exemptions could net us about a billion dollars. Capital Gains figures in there too. Working Families Tax Rebate, based on the Federal Earned Income tax. Capital Gains Tax would be a heavy lift in this state. Clearly, we are not paying our teachers enough. Let’s change this. Favors free tech school or c/c to get workers change. Better for COC. Child care affects the mother’s mood. Happy kid? Happy, calm mom.
Joe – He would not just name and shame. He represents the 34th, one of the most liberal districts in the state, if not the nation and is not interested in pandering to moderate Democrats or Republicans. Health care access is worth standing up for. We do not have a claw back mechanism for lost tax exemption or loophole funds. Boeing is an illustrative example. They were given many tax incentives to stay here in Washington State, yet they still moved to Chicago anyway. Would be in favor of taking another look to see if those are being used appropriately.
Shannon – Shannon cares just as much as Joe about the folks in our district, and our state.
Equity access is hugely important. Best Starts for Kids Levy has been remarkable. Spoke about involvement with the Somali community regarding health care. We must be prepared to be uncomfortable with what we don’t know and be willing to connect and learn about things that we may not know. Need to raise the Housing Trust Fund, it helps to leverage other dollars. We should be looking at surplus land, across the board, INCLUDING the State Department of Transportation. Homelessness is a complex issue, and we need to start giving front line workers more funds to help prevent it. When building shelters, we need 24/7 shelters. They are the most effective way to help the homeless, as there are often Navigation Centers at them as well.
Joe – How do we make sure that funds go to housing and not to stadiums?
Next topic was Schools, guns, and public safety. The statistics are sobering. There are more gun dealers in Washington than Starbucks AND Post Offices combined. What specific legislation will you introduce to address this? What is your plan to build support?
Shannon – Kids should not be worrying about how to defend against an active shooter. Supports I-1639.
The Legislature has failed us. Gun Violence IS a public health crisis. Have not done a good enough job in dealing with how domestic and gun violence inter relate, or for protecting families. How guns relate to suicide and mental health. For every dollar invested in mental health for children, $17 are saved later.
It isn’t about taking away people’s guns anymore than seat belts are about taking away people’s cars.
Getting I-1639 passed is not enough. We need to have a solid plan of how we will implement it.
If I-1639 doesn’t pass, she will introduce legislation to address every piece of it.
Joe – Mental health and suicide. Very personal for him, as his cousin committed suicide using a gun.
Supports I-1639. We do not need military weapons to go hunting with. Need more training in gun safety.
This is an issue that can be prevented.
Funding comes into play. $25 fee for gun purchases, to be used for gun safety education and to provide funding for prevention. We need to keep better track of people who have guns.
Joe would like to know how Shannon talks to people on the other side of the gun debate.
Shannon finds that a lot of them are motivated by fear. Individually, she finds more common ground. Observes that the NRA stokes the fear mongering. Taking a Public Health approach emphasizes SAFETY.
Joe recognizes that there is a cultural issue as well. We need to engage with people to find out what motivates them so that we can find a common solution. There should be training for the safe use of guns. Good place to start.
Shannon – Hopes I-1639 passes. If it doesn’t pass, there ARE legislators that are working on the issue.
Senator Frockt from North Seattle is one of them. She would reach out to him to come up with a plan to engage those on the other side. Would be relentless in keeping this issue at the forefront with other legislators.
What is the highest priority for the 34th?
Shannon – Passing Capital Gains tax and addressing our regressive tax system. Addressing Child Care access. This is very important. People should have the opportunity to make the life that they want for themselves.
Joe – Fixing the tax structure. Having an equitable environment for everyone. Standing with workers and the working class. Is not taking PAC money. The DISTRICT is his special interest.
Closing statements – Both Candidates thanked the membership for coming out and participating.
Shannon pointed out that she cannot self-finance.
8:13 Election in 55 days!
Britney from the Coordinated Campaign advised that we keep in mind the lessons of the 2016 election. Nothing is safe, and we need to make sure that we are getting people involved because that means that they will be more likely to vote next time.
Britney has some granular data about priority precincts that she would be happy to share.
Avi from Kim Schrier’s campaign came to talk about Kim. She’s been a pediatrician in Issaquah for the past 17 years. Saw what the Republican Health Care plan would do her patients. It is a tough race in a big district. Kim will need our help.
Hannah from the 47th LD (Our Sister District) was up next. She is the Campaign Manager for Mona Dawes for the State Senate. Debra Entenman is running as well.
8:25 King County Council Member Joe McDermott moved to endorse Seattle Proposition 1. Assures that it does not fund charter schools. It will inject a lot of money into Seattle Schools. It was Moved, Seconded and Passed by the membership.
Good of the Order: Seattle School Board President Leslie Harris gave a short talk about the state of the school Board and the school boundary changes that are being discussed. The Seattle School Board has a 20 Billion Dollar wish list, of which only 1 billion will be on the next levy. She appreciates the teachers and the staff for bargaining hard and avoiding a strike.
9/15 to 10/15 National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Martha Koester has info to help people get re-enfranchised. And for Domestic Violence survivors to vote anonymously.
Chris Porter reported on an outbreak of HIV in North Seattle, and that there has been a 17% uptick in sexual assault reporting.
8:40 – Adjourned to Whiskey West.