Meeting Notes

Archived notes from our business meetings, WSDCC meetings, KCDCC meetings and our newsletters.

Meeting Minutes January 11, 2017

150 150 Carrie Alexander

34th District Democrats

District Reorganization Meeting

1/11/17

The Hall at Fauntleroy

Meeting called to order at 7:02 by Temporary Meeting Chair Bailey Stober, KCDCC Chair.

Flag Salute, led by Bailey Stober.

Appointment of temporary officers for the reorganization meeting.

Secretary: Chris Porter

Parliamentarian: Marcee Stone-Vekich

Sergeant at Arms: Ivan Weiss

Tally Committee: Steven Jamison

Adoption of Agenda and Meeting Rules.

Moved and seconded and passed by acclamation.

First Credentials Report: 62 PCOs signed in and eligible to vote.

Reading of Rules

Adoption of District Organization Bylaws and Standing Rules

Moved and seconded and passed by acclamation.

Election of 2017 District Chair:

David Ginsberg nominated by Marcee Stone-Vekich. Ivan Weiss spoke in support of David’s nomination. David delivers speech asking for membership’s vote.

David Ginsberg is elected by unanimous acclamation.

David Ginsberg is installed as chair and takes up the gavel of the 34th District Democrats. New Chair

makes a plea for unity after a divisive primary and general election season.

Election of District Officers by PCOs:

First Vice Chair: Treina Aronson by unanimous acclamation.

Second vice Chair: Michael Taylor-Judd by unanimous acclamation.

State Committeewoman: Lisa Plymate by unanimous acclamation.

State Committeeman: Chris Porter by paper ballot.

KCDCC Female Delegate: Carrie Alexander by unanimous acclamation.

KCDCC Male Delegate: Les Treall by paper ballot.

KCDCC Female Alternate: Martha Koester by unanimous acclamation.

KCDCC Male Alternate: Ted Barker by unanimous acclamation.

Appointment of District Credentials Committee is moved, seconded and passed by unanimous acclamation.

Second District Credentials Report regarding Non PCO members. 31 present. 68 PCOs signed in and

eligible to vote.

Election of Secretary: Jason Cheung nominated by Steven Butts, seconded by Gina Topp.

Elected by unanimous acclamation.

Election of Treasurer: Gina Topp nominated by Karen Chilcutt , seconded by Jason Cheung.

Elected by unanimous acclamation.

Committee Chair Slate submitted to the membership. Each candidate made a short

introductory speech before the vote was taken.

Finance: Michael Taylor-Judd

Digital Communications: Carrie Alexander

Diversity and Inclusion: Sean Riley

Finance: TBD

Fundraising: Elisabeth Atwood

Hospitality: Kate Riley

Legislative Action: Ann Martin

Membership: Joy Pakuluk

Outreach: Karen Richter and Steven Butts, Co-chairs.

PCO: Kathy Marshall

Program: David Ginsberg

Event Planning: Jacob Holt

Volunteer: Treina Aronson

Web Editor: Nick Bohall

Newsletter Editor: Steven Butts

Parliamentarian: Jacob Holt

Data and Technology: TBD

Old Business:

None

New Business:

Martha Koester (?) submitted a resolution to oppose Medicare Privatization. ________________ spoke against, Chris Porter spoke for. Moved, seconded and passed

by acclamation.

Nick Bohall unveiled new 34th District Website.

New PCOs appointed:

Chris Langeler in Precinct 1511

Ryan Kuehn in Precinct 1499

Lynn Randal in Precinct 1047

Good of the Order:

Rachel Glass spoke about the Women’s March and the West Seattle Democratic Women and Hate Free Delridge sign making party on Sunday, 1/15 at Treina’s house, running from 11am-2pm.

Lisa Plymate spoke about the Health Care Rally at Westlake Park, also on 1/15

Ann Martin spoke about the 34ths volunteer efforts at the White Center Food bank, every fourth Wednesday evening.

Chris Langeler spoke about the benefit concert for the West Seattle Helpline on 1/13 at Alki United Church of Christ.

Chris Porter spoke again in favor of the Medicare resolution. Warned of a dilution of benefits by incoming administration.

9:04 Meeting adjourned to Elliott Bay Brewery

chairs message logo

Chair’s Inaugural Message

1024 328 David Ginsberg

First, I’d like to thank all of the PCOs who elected me Chair by acclamation at the reorganization on January 11th (my late mother’s birthday). It is an esteemed honor to serve as Chair of one of the strongest LD organizations in Washington State. The challenges ahead are daunting and will require more of all of us. Rest assured that I and the new Executive Board are already hard at work preparing to make the 34th even stronger, better organized, more representative of the population we serve and even more effective politically so we can meet those challenges head on.

A Catastrophic Election

Many of you were at the Hall at Fauntleroy on November 9th when I announced I would run for Chair, less than 24 hours after the most catastrophic election in U.S. history. I didn’t have a prepared speech, but I spoke to you about my 14 year-old twins and how this was the first election they’d really paid attention to, how that morning my daughter Anya woke up, grabbed her phone to check the results and sat in bed and cried. It was heartbreaking as a father, and as I struggled to figure out how to explain why and how this had happened I realized I couldn’t because I didn’t understand it myself, but what I could do was show how we respond when everything we care about, democracy, civility, equity and even life itself are threatened: and how we respond as Democrats is we stand up and fight!

Depths of Despair

I don’t mind sharing with you that the next several weeks were not easy. As Trump put together his transition team and small bands of the worst of his supporters went about attacking people who didn’t look like them, didn’t worship like them, didn’t love like them, I sank as far into the depths of despair as anyone. I’m a gay father. My kids are Jewish. Nearly half of my neighbors in High Point are immigrants, and a third are Muslims. We’ve kicked the can on climate change to the very last yard, even the Paris Agreement isn’t nearly enough. And here we are faced with a neofascist wrecking crew with unfettered power over our once great democratic institutions. I’d lay in bed at night with my mind racing, wondering “where do we go from here?”

Developing a plan: What can we do here in the 34th to resist?

Despair, like doing nothing, was not an option. I got to work developing a plan to realize the full potential of the 34th. I started with our PCOs because I knew anything substantive we hoped to accomplish depended on our PCOs, who are the most important part of an effective Democratic party. So, drawing on my previous experience as 34th District Captain for the Neighborhood Leader program of the Obama ’08 campaign, I came up with a plan to recruit a PCO for every precinct, to build a precinct committee in as many precincts as possible, to build a structure to support our PCOs including 12 PCO Area Coordinators, and to ask our PCOs to engage in their precincts not just at election time but on at least a quarterly basis. I also resolved to personally participate on the PCO Committee and in its activities. But would our PCOs be willing?

Calling PCOs

I started calling PCOs to introduce myself and these plans, and to let them know that if I was elected we’d be asking more of them than we ever had before, and what I found was remarkable. Everyone I spoke with realized that we all need to do more, that business as usual is no longer enough. Not a single PCO pushed back – not one. Out of those conversations I began to get a sense of hope that we could rise to this challenge. That hope has grown stronger every day.

Executive Board

While those conversations with PCOs were happening, the beginnings of a new Executive Board started to come together. A handful had stepped up by the last meeting of the outgoing Executive Board in November. In early December I got the outgoing Board and candidates for the new Board together at my home, and after that started meeting weekly with the candidates so we’d be prepared to hit the ground running. I’m thrilled with our new Executive Board. Many of you had the opportunity to hear from each of them on January 11th, and I’m confident you’ll be as thrilled with this Executive Board and their work as I am. As we’ve worked together my hope and confidence have continued to grow, and I’ve no doubt at all we’ll accomplish great things here in the 34th, and beyond.

We provided a sneak preview of our new website at our January reorganization, and it went live the next day. Please check it out, it’s beautiful and easy to navigate, includes a search function, and you can sign up to join one of our Executive Committees right on the site – and, by the way, please do – we need all hands on deck! Here are the new logos designed by our Digital Communications Chair Carrie Alexander:

This one is for use in places where we want a rectangular logo:

34 Dems rectangular logo, two-tone blue with "34" circled and "Dems" to the right of the circle

And these are for use in places where we want a square logo (such as profile pictures on our Social media accounts):

34th Dems square logo. Blue circle with text "34th Dems" inside, also in blue.                  

I absolutely love them, they look great on our new website and other digital communications. I really appreciate the clean, modern design and I hope you do too.

Ready to Roll!

So here we are. On January 20th Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. While this was a dark day in our nation’s history, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

First, this is NOT Donald Trump’s America, and the Republicans have NO MANDATE for their draconian agenda. Trump received only 46.1% of the vote, Republican House candidates received 49% of the vote, and their Senate candidates received just 42% of the vote. The approval rating for the new “President” is at 37% – a historic low, and the approval rating of the Republican Congress is just 13.8%. Even Republican gerrymandered districts can come into play with numbers like that.

Second, despite Hillary Clinton’s hopeful words after the election we no longer owe Mr. Trump a “chance to govern.” That goodwill quickly evaporated as this administration began shaping up to be nothing more than a fascist kleptocracy, a threat not just to beloved programs and policies, but to our republic itself and to the future of life on this planet. We owe them NOTHING. Accordingly, there will be no ‘honeymoon’. As Democrats we will fight to block or delay every one of his unqualified and corrupt nominees. We’ll organize and fight to defeat every piece of draconian legislation. We’ll lose many of these battles, but we’l win this war for our nation’s future. Here in the 34th, we’re already hard at work recruiting PCOs for every precinct, building an infrastructure to support them, and reaching out to the 31st and 45th LD organizations to see how we can help them win the special elections in their districts later this year so we can take back our State Senate and finally meet Washington State’s paramount duty and fully fund our schools.

Please stay tuned, we have great things in store. Our first program, on February 8th, will focus on resistance and what we can do locally to resist the Trump agenda and support communities marginalized by Trump’s policies. Among the confirmed participants are the ACLU of Washington and the West Seattle chapter of the newly formed Seattle Neighborhood Action Coalition, members from Seattle Indivisibles, and the founder and Executive Director of the American Muslim Empowerment Network. It should be quite a program, you won’t want to miss it!

The road ahead won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding, and we will win.

Forward together,

David Ginsberg,

Chair, 34th District Democrats

WSDCC Report on June 6, 2014

150 150 Nick Bohall

By Lisa Plymate

We can be proud of our energized 34th LD delegation to the state convention this year. Thanks to our chair Marcee Stone, for the first time we hosted a hospitality suite Friday night, then we really let it rip for one of the major speakers that evening, one of our own, Dow Constantine. And to top it all off, because of Dow (and Shirley!) we had perhaps the youngest delegate-to-be ever, 6 week old Sabrina Constantine, showing off in their hospitality suite a floor below, definitely a major hit!  (Photo at right shows some of the 34th District Democrats at the convention, including Ted Barker and his son, Tamsen Spengler, Karen Chilcutt, Martha Koester, Carol Frillman and Jimmy Haun).

At the banquet the night before the Convention, our main speakers were Jaxon Ravens, whom everyone agrees is off to a roaring start as our state party chair; our own King County Executive Dow Constantine; U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and as keynote speaker, former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell. Governor Rendell emphasized the importance of knowing our values and sticking to them, being proud of them, even if it means losing an election. Remember why we’re Democrats and be proud of it. Say yes to hard work, and yes to investments. The key to building a robust economy is to invest in education, research and innovation, and infrastructure. Dow spoke of our core values, our belief in a more just society. We should be concerned about the undocumented guns (not workers) in our communities, increase the minimum wage to a living wage and expand our environmental protections. Jaxon
quoted JFK: “We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

Since we have no major statewide candidates for national election this year, our focus is on returning the state Senate to a Democratic majority. Those of us fortunate enough to live in districts in which a Democratic victory is virtually assured should work to help other districts. We need a majority to be able to get our agenda through. House Speaker Frank Chopp listed the bills passed by the House but axed by the Senate, including major bills in education, transportation, reproductive parity and many more. State Treasurer Jim McIntyre stated our two key issues for putting our budget in order are investments in education and transportation. Our Attorney General Bob Ferguson, whose job is to defend and enforce state laws pointed out that he hopes the legislature provides him good laws in the first place. As an example of the problems we have, he cited the florist in eastern Washington who refused to sell wedding flowers to a man for his upcoming (gay) wedding. Ferguson sued the florist on the basis of our law against discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. The state Republicans in the Senate put forth a bill that would have eviscerated these protections….

The state party supports three major initiatives: (1) I-594 to extend the requirement of background checks for purchasers of guns; (2) I-1329 to amend the U.S. Constitution to clarify that free speech is a granted to people not corporations; and (3) I-1351, to fund schools to reduce class size. (The 34th LD has endorsed the first two, but has not yet considered the third.)

Governor Jay Inslee spoke next on how we are about ACTION to get our state going.We should be proud that >600,000 Washingtonians gained health care, putting us at #1 per capita in the nation for adding citizens to health plans. We are a state of leaders; we embrace, rather than ignoring, challenges. We are proud that we passed a Dream Act this year.  We have tried – and will continue to work on moving forward to give our kids the resources they need in terms of following our state mandate and the McCleary decision to improve our educational system.  The debate in Olympia has been over how to finance the improvements we need.  It would be wrong to take funds out of social programs, as the Republicans suggest; it is right to close loopholes in taxes on corporations.  It is a Washington principle, Inslee states, that if you work a 40 hour work- week, you ought to be able to support yourself and your family with a living wage.  We need a com- prehensive transportation plan, including finishing the 520 bridge, joining in to build a new bridge across the Columbia River.  Finally, he took up the key issue he has worked hard on nationally: im- proving our environment and combatting climate change.  Because of carbon pollution acidifying the Puget Sound and climate change, we are seeing major threats to sources of livelihood in our state, from oyster farms where oysters cannot live and grow, to increased forest fires, ski areas without snow, wineries without irrigation.  We will be energy entrepreneurs, finding ways to solve these prob- lems and creating new jobs by embracing new technologies.  We must lead in education, transporta- tion, and clean energy.

We heard riveting speeches by our three freshman (the “tres amigos”)in the U.S. Congress:  (1) Susan DelBene, in the 1st CD, who is focusing on agricultural issues, women’s economic agenda (equal pay for equivalent work, expanding access to affordable child care) and fixing our broken immigration system; (2) Denny Heck, from our new 10th CD, who emphasized the need for strong voter turnout for us to win and who serves on the Finance Committee in the House; and (3) Derek Kilmer of the 6th CD, who feels strongly that the President needs a Congress that works with him.  He believes in equal pay for equivalent work, fighting for the mid- dle class, supporting those who are suffering, improv- ing our science (we cannot be the first generation to feel the effects of climate change and be the last to do something about it), government that works (we don’t govern to win elections; we win elections to maxim- ize our ability to govern effectively).  Derek stated he is frequently asked back home in his district, why do you want to go to Congress when you have two young kids and it’s such a mess?  His answer:  Because I have two kids, and it’s such a mess!

Jaxon Ravens and Joe Pakootas

We next met several impressive candidates running to turn our Congressional delegation fully blue:  Jason Ritchie is running in the 8th CD against Dave Reichert; he is a small businessman with a well-greased cam- paign, out to “make this a better world for my kids to live in.  Tony Sandoval is running for the open seat in the 4th CD, home to Doc Hastings, who is retiring.  He is the son of farm workers, raised from age 7 in fos- ter homes, eager to protect agriculture, vote on immigration reform, promote jobs, and clean up Hanford.  Also putting his hat into that race is Estakio Beltran, an accomplished young man also raised in numerous foster homes in eastern Washington who went on to get his MA from Columbia University and who pointed out that 50% of the 4th CD is young and 37% are Latino.  This will be a great race to watch, as there are 8 Republican candidates as well.  Finally, Joe Pakootas, CEO of the Colville tribal federation, is working to unseat Cathy McMorris-Rogers in the 5th CD (Photo at right is Jaxon Ravens with Joe Pakootas)..

We also heard from U.S. Senators, Patty Murray, who has been in the Senate since 1992,  longest of any woman serving, who spoke of our clear choice in the upcoming elections.  Democrats are for jobs, opportunity, growth and families.  Seventy-seven cents on the dollar is not good enough for women.  We need universal pre-K, affordable child care.  No one who works full time should live in poverty.  We must reduce the crushing bur- den of student loan debts.  We must fight back against Citizens United, including supporting a Constitutional amendment if necessary.
Our main business beyond these speeches was to ratify our state party platform and to pass resolutions.  Both can be found at the state party website:  www.wa-democrats.org.  I think all of us serving as delegates enjoyed the camaraderie, the spectacular Spokane scenery in our perch beside the roaring river and the rousing speeches.  Now it’s time for all of you to join us in the fight to take back our state Senate and expand our Democratic U.S. Congressional delegation!

WSDCC Report from Sept. 2014

150 150 Nick Bohall

By Lisa Plymate and Chris Porter

WSDCC Quarterly Meeting WSDCC met September 12-13, 2014 at the Silver Reef Hotel Casino in Ferndale. Call to Order by State Party Chair Jaxon Ravens at 1:36pm. Flag Salute led by Julie Johnson (Clallam County); Justin Finkbonner performs the Lummi National Anthem. Welcome by Whatcom County Chair Mike Estes. Roll Call by State Party Secretary Rob Dolin.

There are 45 County and 76 Legislative District State Committee Members present, for a total of 121 individuals. Al Garman (41st LD) receives a standing ovation. Welcome back, Al! The 4 WDSCC officers, 4 DNC members, the President of the Federation of Democratic Women, the Chair of the Chairs’ Organization, and a representative from the Young Democrats of Washington are also present. Adoption of the Agenda M/S/A. Approval of the Minutes M/S/A

Chair’s Report – Chair Jaxon Ravens Chair Ravens thanks a number of individuals for their support in his first seven months in office, including the Executive Board, the Chairs of the Committees and Caucuses, the staff, the members of the SCC, chairs, vice-chairs, and PCOs. Chair Ravens reports on his attendance at party, campaign, and other functions throughout the state. Chair Ravens reports on a variety of State Party programs and recognizes the department directors for Party Affairs, Fundraising, Compliance, Digital Media and Technology Campaign Director Rob Dible and Organizing for Washington Director Max Brown report on the 2014 campaign.

Rob Dible reports on the importance of data – elections are all about targeting the right voters. Max Brown says that this election will be all about turnout–Washington State has enough Democrats for us to win the election. State Party Executive Director Karen Deal and Vice Chair Valerie Brady Rongey announce the State Party’s new DEM (Donate Every Month) program, and encourage SCC members to become sustaining donors.

DNC Reports

  • David McDonald – the DNC Rules Committee has passed its preliminary guidelines for the 2016 Delegate Selection Process; the number of delegates have been reduced across the board, dropping Washington State’s likely delegate count from 103 to 86. DNC Rep. McDonald reports that we were successful in retaining our ability to have SCC members from LD’s elect our at-large delegates as we did in 2012. Iowa has been under pressure to adopt an absentee ballot – they will have a single statewide telephone caucus for military service members. Federal funding for national convention has been stopped; the DNC is taking over direct management of the convention and will be raising money directly.
  • Ed Cote–the DNC has retired its debt from 2012; all campaign committees are out-raising their Republican counterparts The 2016 National Convention will be in one of the following cities: Columbus, OH; Phoenix, AZ; Philadelphia, PA; Brooklyn, NY; or Birmingham, AL; the final decision will likely be made in January 2015.
  • Sharon Mast—is now Secretary of the Western States Caucus; the Western Caucus is especially concerned with Hispanic/Latin issues.
  • Lona Wilbur—was not able to attend the Atlanta meeting, because of a death in a family; she is glad that Chair Ravens attended the Native Caucus with Rion Ramirez, an At-Large DNC member who lives in Washington and is Chair of the DNC Native American Caucus.

Committee Reports

  • Affirmative Action—report from Alec Stephens (37th LD & Affirmative Action Committee Chair) for 2016.
  • Elections Committee report from Roger Erskine (Thurston County & Elections Committee Chair)
  • Technology Committee report from Rob Dolin (State Party Secretary & Technology Committee Chair)
  • Eastern Washington report from Ed Wood (4th LD) for Eastern Washington Committee Chair Valerie Brady Rongey
  • Rules report from Ann Martin (34th LD) for Rules Committee Chair Todd Nichols

WSDCC Reorganization Meeting on Jan. 24, 2015

150 150 Nick Bohall

By Lisa Plymate

Festivities began Friday night, with a welcome reception at the state capitol rotunda featuring Governor Jay Inslee. After Saturday morning caucus and committee meetings, we attended a truly stimulating lunch session with an expert labor panel: 1) Joe Kendo, legislative and policy director of the Washington state labor council; 2) Mike Martinez, head of the state building trades council, also AFL-CIO; 3) Lily Wilson-Podega, political director for the Teamsters; and 4) Dennis Eagle, director of legislative and political action for the Washington Federation of State Employees.

Governor Inslee Speaks to the Washington DemocratsThey discussed the status of “Right to Work” in Washington state. This is of course, a notorious misnomer, as it is not about a “right,” but is instead about undermining worker security rights by destroying labor unions.

Historically, the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 was designed to protect the rights of employees by encouraging collective bargaining and curtailing management practices which could harm the welfare of workers, employers and the overall economy. These rights were then curtailed with the Labor Management Relations (Taft-Hartley) Act of 1947. This act allows states to carve out portions of the NLRA. Initially, such restrictions were applied primarily in the South, but labor is being weakened by Right to Work laws in 24 states at this point, including former labor strongholds of Michigan and Ohio. RTW laws, pushed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Koch brothers, allow workers to opt out of paying union dues, even though they may be benefiting from the work of the unions. The facts are that in states with RTW laws, wages are $5,000 less annually than in non-RTW states; less money is spent on education; and there is an increase in work-place deaths. Such laws not only harm workers but they also weaken the progressive movement in general.  [Photo at left, Governor Jay Inslee speaks to the WSDCC.]

Marcee Stone-Vekich and Max VekichWashington state has been a strong union state. Our wages are an average of $10,000 more per year than wages in RTW states, and we rank 4th lowest in workplace deaths. But our workers’ rights are threatened by an exponentially-expanding Olympia think tank known as the “Freedom Foundation.” Their new CEO, Tom McCabe,was former CEO of the Building Association. Their modus operandi is to “educate – activate – legislate – litigate.” They aim their propaganda directly at workers and unions. They promote members for school boards and other community offices. Much of their current focus is on public sector unions, with a new campaign to defund these unions. Their end-agenda is classic right-wing: lower wages, lower taxes, smaller government, decreased regulations. Their political aim is to elect Republicans.   According to the speakers, “the dark forces are upon us.” This is a “right to work – for less.” They implore us, as progressives, to “give a damn!” – and speak up in support of labor issues. We need non-union people speaking up for labor. In addition to pointing out that with RTW laws, wages, health benefits and pensions decrease, we should emphasize the safety aspect. Our state has the best health and safety laws in the country, and we don’t want to lose them. The panelists implored us to fight hard for local elections; recruit voters and get them to understand and to care.  [Photo above right right, 34th Democrats Chair Marce Stone-Vekich and Max Vekich]

In the afternoon business meeting, we first elected our slate of officers for 2015-16: Chair Jaxon Ravens; Vice-chair Valerie Brady Rongey; Secretary Rob Dolin; and Treasurer Habib Habib. Javier Valdez will remain our 7th CD representative to the state committee. Jaxon, our chair for the past year since Dwight Pelz resigned early from his position, gave his state of the state party evaluation.  He was proud that we passed our initiative for expanded background checks on gun sales. The party worked with 104 campaigns, made 1.9m phone calls and had >700K contacts with >400m people. Turnout rate for those contacted was 64%. We are improving our efficiencies with better technology, with an uptick in our use of social media, while continuing our grassroots footwork. We invested $1.5m in campaigns. We now have $285K in the bank. We need representation in every county. We are actively recruiting a state party communications director, and we plan to put new offices in 3 locations in eastern Washington. Our party is not only about electing candidates, but also about fighting for our values. We should be inspired by Obama’s state of the union speech: make the first 2 years of community college free; everyone deserves a fair shot; raise the minimum wage; ensure equal pay for women; improve our infrastructure. Our governor understands the damaging effects of climate change. We are the party for families and for immigrants. Here, dreamers are eligible for state grants. The SeaHawks were down 16 points at half-time, yet they had faith, and they won. We may have been down after this last election, but we will prevail.

Our state has 8 members in the DNC, including 2 selected by Obama. At this point we know the date of the next national convention, July 25, 2016, but the location remains a choice among Columbus, Philadelphia, and NYC. In our state, we have to decide whether to continue holding caucuses or to have a primary. Since changing to a Presidential primary would cost the state $11m, it is unlikely we will change to that system.

We considered only resolutions our interim resolutions committee felt would apply directly to our current legislative system; others were tabled until our next meeting in April 2015. The biggest debate was over a resolution opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty; it was finally decided that this should be held until April.

We passed resolutions supporting progressive new revenue measures for the state; the Washington Health Security Trust (for single payer health care); oil transportation safety measures; equality in record-sealing processes for previously confined youths; study of economic impact of noxious weeds; and –finally – a Seahawks win in the Super Bowl…. “Go Hawks!”

State Party’s Jan. 2015 Meeting Highlights

150 150 Nick Bohall

By Lisa Plymate and Chris Porter

A summary of the meeting from Greg Haffner is here (PDF document).  The summary includes the titles of all the resolutions passed at the January, 2015, reorganization meeting, and a list of the party officers.  Chair Jaxon Ravens reports on a variety of State Party programs:

  1. In 2014, the State Party worked with 104 campaigns to make 1.9 million phone calls and knock on 900,000 doors totally 700,000 verbal contacts with 400,000 different voters; voters contacted by the campaign turned out at 68%, far above the statewide turnout of 54%.
  2. VoteBuilder was scrubbed of 250,000 wrong phone numbers and 16,000 bad addresses; 20% of primary phone numbers we updated in 2014.
  3. The State Party Facebook page has twice as many followers as the State GOP page; the State Party’s Twitter feed has 150% as many followers as the State GOP feed.
  4. Many programs exceeded their income targets, including the 2014 Crab Feed (30% more than budgeted), Holiday Party (10% more) and State Convention (20% more); in addition, the entire digital media program exceeded its projected income by 30%.

WSDCC Report from April 17 in Pasco

150 150 Nick Bohall

By Lisa Plymate

Headlines  We approved our delegate selection process and for the next national convention, to be held in Philadelphia, July, 2016.  The body voted to continue the caucusprocess rather than changing to a Presidential primary.  By doing this, we will gain an additional 11 delegates to the convention.  We also approved our affirmative action plan, to be turned in to the DNC for final approval.  The DNC gave us baseline guidelines; we wish to do even better in terms of diversifying.  Our distinctions include:  1) youth selection – DNC considers this category 17 – 36 years old, corresponding with the Young Democrats, and we wish to focus on the group 17 – 24.  We propose our total youth goal of those 17 – 36 to constitute 10% of our representation, with a ‘sub-goal’ that 1/3 of these should be between 17 – 24.

2) In addition to our mandated ‘representational goals’ for assuring those groups traditionally considered under affirmative action plans (African Americans, Hispanics, Enrolled Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders), in Washington we have also developed ‘inclusion goals’ for groups commonly under-represented.  These include the LGBT, people with disabilities, the very young and now, new this year, new citizens eligible to vote.

Our lunch talks always revolve around issues local to the area in which we hold our meetings. In Pasco, we heard about agricultural and rural issues.  Key issues in eastern Washington include agriculture, water needs, fighting fires, land use and immigration.  If the debate is properly framed, farmers and ranchers should be Democrats.  Yakima City Council races promise to be quite interesting this year.  Last summer, in a case filed by the ACLU on behalf of Hispanic voters, a district judge found Yakima’s system ‘suffocated’ Latino voters.  No Latinos have been elected in the last 37 years, and Yakima is >40% Latino.  He ordered the city to change from at-large to district elections.  Members are excited that Latinos may soon be elected to city council.

Our afternoon business meeting began with a moving presentation put together by Alec Stephens, chair of the Affirmative Action committee.  We started with recitation of Ella’s Song, “We who believe in freedom cannot rest….Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons, Is as important as the killing of White men, White mothers’ sons.”  In minority communities, we give our children “the talk,” to explain what they should do if caught up by the police.  A shooting happens, and the police are exonerated, whether it be immediate, or after an inquest, or even after a trial.

In Pasco, Antonio Zombrano-Montes, a migrant worker who threw rocks at police, was shot 17 times by a police officer from a force that lacks diversity.  We heard from members of the TriCity Community Solutions group, who continue to be involved, discussed how the police perceive Latinos as “either gang members or illegal immigrants.”  #BlackLivesMatter.  #AllLivesMatter.

Chair Jaxon Ravens talked about the challenges of our Olympia budget.  House Dems have put forth a budget that strengthens middle class families, builds better classrooms vs the Senate Republican bill that will raise health care premiums and shortchange public employees, cut taxes on the rich, cut programs, end collective bargaining and turn back the clock on women’s health.  We have a new director of our communications team, Jamal Raad.  We need to amplify our message, taking information in press releases and turning it into letters to the editor.   New for the budget:  The state party will ask candidates to pay for use of our voter files, which will not be popular, but is necessary for the budget.

DNC report – Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy will be resurrected.  We should focus on the entire nation, not just battleground states.  Prepare for next re-districting.  Staggering losses in 2014:  69 House seats, 13 Senate seats, 11 governorships plus 910 state legislative seats and 30 state legislative chambers.

Amendment to rules for resolutions passed, to require 14 rather than 10 days of notice for a resolution to be considered.    For full list of resolutions passed, see state party website.

Next meeting:  September in Wenatchee.

WSDCC Report from Sept. 19 in Wenatchee

150 150 Nick Bohall

By Lisa Plymate

It was truly a pleasure to drive across the Cascades in our suddenly fall-colored hillsides to reach Wenatchee, a surprisingly sophisticated central Washington town set along the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers in apple-orchard country.  Much of our ‘local focus’ at the State Dems meeting was on winning this part of the state for Democrats.  As Holly Cousens, candidate for Yakima City Council, put it, “Out here, if you pull away the label of R or D and focus on values, you’ll find there are a lot of Democrats out there.  They don’t realize it, and they may even be afraid to admit it.  You have to educate them on our issues, and get them to realize they’re really Democrats.  Then you have to get them to vote the way they believe.”  Fellow candidate in Yakima and Maggie Award winner for “rising star,” Dulce Gutierrez, explained the strategy that is working amazingly well in their district, and I am including details, as we could use this in Burien:  1) Make sure instructions are printed out in Spanish.  2) Pair volunteers so that at least one member speaks Spanish.  3) You will be working mostly with 20-40 year olds.  This age group orders on line – Teach them where to get stamps.  4) Make sure they can understand the ballot and how to sign it. 5) Educate them on how to vote.  Explain issues.  6) Do not be soft and sweet.  PUSH them.  Tell them “we NEED you to vote.”

This year the Party hired Gabriel Munoz to do outreach in the Yakima valley to increase the vote.  Their three-pronged tactic is:  friendship, engagement, and knocking on doors.  Gabriel skillfully proceeded to ‘auction off’ chances for audience members to get to make phone calls.  In doing so, he got volunteers at our lunch meeting to agree to make1000 phone calls for his candidates.  For all these efforts, Yakima Valley Dems won LD of the year at the night’s Maggie awards.  (Recommended reading Mobilizing Inclusion: Transforming the electorate through get-out-the-vote campaigns by Lisa Garcia Bedolla.)  Their tactics in Yakima increased voter turnout by 40%; more people voted in the primaries than had voted in the general election 2 years earlier.  Dulce had an impressive 80% win in her primary in August.

At the Progressive Caucus, which had endorsed Bernie Sanders for President last meeting, we endorsed Vandana Slatter for Bellevue City Council.  From Seattle, Bill Bradburd requested endorsement, but did not receive it, mainly because those who support Lorena Gonzalez felt she would have received their endorsement had she asked.

The Affirmative Action plan for selection of our delegates to the National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016 was approved by the Democratic National Committee.  Since our delegate selection process will be held concurrently with Hawaii and Alaska, we have been granted 10 “bonus” delegates, for a total of 119 delegates and 7 alternates.  At the DNC, our state chair drew a number for us for our position in Philadelphia, and we drew #13 out of 57, which means our state delegation should have a great position on the convention floor, and we should have convenient hotel accomodations.  So those who are interested in attending, this should be a great year to go for many reasons….

The Affirmative Action Committee also discussed new recommendations for including persons with disabilities. Our plan will be taken up by the Executive Committee, and all LD and County Chairs as well as caucus leaders will be urged to follow the guidelines re ADA accessibility for wheelchairs, hearing deficits and sensitivity to fragrances or smoke when selecting sites for caucuses and other meetings.

Peter Goldmark, our Commissioner of Public Lands, expressed that his agency knew in advance that they needed more assistance from the state, but the legislature did not address their needs.  Public safety is one of his office’s largest concerns, and they need sufficient resources to address problems such as the wildfires that destroyed many homes and much of the forest in eastern Washington.  Our host LD chair and Joe Pakotos of the Colville tribe told us of people who are now unable to get homeowners insurance, which means they lose their mortgages and in some cases even their car insurance and their ability to drive, so these fires have far-reaching implications beyond the obvious.  We had a moment of silence for all those injured or suffering losses from this summer’s devastation.

In his Chair’s report, Jaxon Ravens emphasized that we all need to work for Carol Gregoryin the 30th LD.  Her election is a state election; if we lose 2 seats, we lose the state House.  We want all hands on deck to get out the vote for Carol in Federal Way, just down the road from the 34th!  We are also pushing for Claudia Balducci, winner of ‘elected official of the year’ Maggie, in Bellevue, Zach Hudgins for King County Elections Director, and Teresa Taylor in Ferndale.   Senator Patty Murray will have at least one competitor: state Republican Chair Chris Vance, who wants to “channel George W. Bush when he goes to Washington”; he supported the war in Iraq, privatizing social security and the government shutdown as an effective tactic. Governor Jay Inslee will be challenged by Bill Bryant, now Port Commissioner, former lobbyist.

We met our coordinated campaign director, Max Brown.  With his help, Washington is the first state to have our coordinated campaign plan approved and filed.

The party has just put out a simplified version of our state’s delegate selection and convention process – see PDF document on the WSDCC website here.

For a list of resolutions passed, please see the state website.

In my opinion, our state is in excellent shape with its current top leadership and outstanding staff.  Many thanks to those who support this by becoming WADem members!

Chair’s Message 2015/2016

150 150 Carrie Alexander

34th Legislative District Democrats Chair’s Message for December, 2016

On this day after Thanksgiving, I feel thankful for the honor to have led the 34th District Democrats. Challenging and rewarding to be sure but the 34th Dems’ work is far from done. Now, more than ever, we need to re-commit to fight actual evil poised to lead our country to ruin. Abuse of power in our nation is not new but the hubris of this newly-elected President is unparalleled and should challenge us to action. A stranger to truth and civil discourse, he can’t be fought with resolutions or infernally slow process. We must challenge him door-to-door, neighbor-by-neighbor. We live in a blue district but we can make a difference in the 2018 Congressional and state house elections.

What can you personally do to help local party organizations? Do you have the energy, the funds, or the time to engage? Did you help this year in the 41st or the 30th, where out-of-district volunteers really made a difference? If you didn’t help, I hope that bubble you live in has permanently burst because the country can’t afford you now. Recently, I’ve been contacted by many new folks who want to find out how they can help the local party. Each conversation, I’ve had to start from scratch. It takes more than one person. What can you do to help your neighbor, your district, your country? Show up. Just show up.

Out of many, one.

My sincere thanks to everyone whoever did anything to help during my terms! You know who you are. Please celebrate the season with the 34th Dems on December 14th at 6:30. Please bring a main dish, appetizer, or dessert to share. If you picked up a Navos Giving Tree card, please remember to bring your unwrapped item.

The last Drinking Liberally of 2016 is December 6th. Please join me at Pizzeria 22 in Admiral for conversation and great food and drink.

Marcee

34th Legislative District Democrats Chair’s Message for November, 2016

I’ve given 10 years of my life to an organization that I love – the 34th Legislative District Democrats.

But what is this organization? It’s a society of like-minded people who often agree to disagree. It’s a membership that makes decisions collectively and by majority vote. It’s a body composed by law and run by rules that they have collectively created. Anyone can join – anyone. Anyone can be involved.

PCOs are automatically members whether they’ve paid dues or not. The point is that the door is wide open to new membership. Somewhere, either in this newest elected group of PCOs that start their term immediately after the November 8th election, or a longstanding or new member, is the person who will lead the 34th Dems next. It’s time for new fresh leadership. I am proud of the work that this organization has done. I’m so very proud of our executive board and thankful for their kinship. But my biggest disappointment is that I’ve been unable to develop a likely Chair in January 2017. I know you’re out there. No matter what wing of the Democratic Party you are in, I’d like to talk with you. I’d like to help you get elected. I invite you to meet with me at C&P Coffee on November 12th.  I’ll be there from 10 to 11:30 to answer your questions. Our re-organization is 3 months away. Help me get some sleep after the election by letting me know you’re interested.

There’s an election on and please contact me or Drew Estep vial email here to find out how you can get our down ballot Democrats elected. It’s very close for Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor.

The last Drinking Liberally before the November 8th election is on Tuesday, November 1st. Please join me at Pizzeria 22 in Admiral for conversation and great food and drink.

34th Legislative District Democrats Chair’s Message for August, 2016

This is an historic time for our country. After electing and re-electing an African-American President, the Democratic Party has nominated a woman to run for the White House. I celebrated last night with my daughter and thought often of my mother. She was no Hillary Clinton fan when she was alive. She was fully on board with Barack Obama in 2008. She passed away right before she received her ballot and was unable to vote for him. As she suffered through lung cancer, she would say, “I can’t believe, I’m not going to be able to vote for Barack Obama.”  But I believe she would have come around to support Hillary Clinton this time, just as I did. She didn’t tolerate bullies. She hated injustice. And as I cried and applauded, I wished I could have seen my mom’s face, my grandma’s face, and my great-grandma’s face. I did see my daughter’s face. She, who gave money for the first time in politics, a Sanders’ supporter, was so excited by the possibilities of his candidacy. Who was sad and angry over the DNC’s crap, but knows that she can’t turn her back on the country and future now. And I swear, she looked proud and amazed to see this day. There is hard work ahead and we will be stronger together.

Our August 10th meeting will have a panel on the relationship between our police and our communities of color. Our panel is still forming but includes: Sheriff John Urquhart, Retired Judge Anne Levinson, and Sili Savusa, Executive Director of the White Center Community Development Association. We will also have a post-election wrap-up and will introduce our Coordinated Campaign Field Organizer Drew Estep.   See also our August Newsletter which is online here.

Don’t forget to join us on Election Day, August 2nd at Drinking Liberally at 6:00 p.m. at Pizzeria 22 before you hit those election night parties.

Many thanks,
Marcee Stone-Vekich
Chair, 34th District Democrats


34th Legislative District Democrats Chair’s Message for April, 2016

Together we gathered to choose a Democratic nominee for President of the United States. 12,000 strong! The votes for delegates were approximately 70% for Sanders and 30% for Clinton. Neighbors were engaged with each other and passions were strong. Not a single person was removed for being disagreeable. Not a single ID was checked in order to participate. There were cheers for candidates and no jeers at anyone. How different is this from a Trump rally?

All of this accomplished by volunteers! There is no way to thank each one personally. So many did so much! I don’t want to leave anyone out, but here’s a few names that really stand out! Ann Martin, Steve Butts, Ted Barker, Les Treall, March Twisdale, Carol Frillman, Karen Chilcutt, and each of the 14 area caucus coordinators! These folks really stepped up and spent hours in meetings working towards a successful caucus.

We saved for 3 years and spent it all on outreach, rent, and supplies at 14 locations. Thank you to all who have contributed approximately $11,000. A lot for sure but less than a dollar a person was given. If you took a contribution envelope with you, please return it with what you can afford. We still have expenses this year and a legislative district caucus coming up! Make a contribution online here now. Any amount will help. We need your support to get out the 2016 vote – up and down the ballot! Can you make your contribution today?

The Legislative District Caucus is on Sunday, April 17th at West Seattle High School at 1 p.m. Doors will open by Noon. We have partnered with the White Center and West Seattle Food Banks and ask you to bring a non-perishable food item that day. At this caucus, the precinct level delegates will likely choose 38 Delegates and 19 Alternates to go to the State Convention (May 1st) and 7th Congressional District Caucus (May 21st). All delegates and alternates will be contacted with more information as soon as possible.

Our April 13th meeting will feature a candidate forum for Lieutenant Governor, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and State Auditor. We will also feedback session on the Precinct Caucus and a preview of the Legislative District Caucus.  See the full agenda here.

Many thanks,
Marcee Stone-Vekich
Chair, 34th District Democrats

34th Legislative District Democrats Chair’s Message for October, 2015

The three most dangerous words in Washington state politics:  Progressive Income Tax.  From the McCleary decision to the November 3rd levy measures; our governments eternally search for funding for basic needs of society.  The first sentence of the Supreme Court of Washington’s Order, dated August 13, 2015, states:  “The Washington Constitution imposes only one ‘paramount duty’ upon the State:  ‘to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.’”

By far, an implementation plan to achieve full funding for our schools, would positively affect a multitude of social inequities.  Imagine what ills robust funding of our public education system could prevent:  The school to prison pipeline, joblessness, homelessness, mental illness and unintended pregnancy.  The search for creative solutions for the climate crisis, energy, transportation, and hunger could be found through fully educating our children.  Our overwhelmed social programs would be less so if we were to provide our children, the education they need to succeed in life.  Thriving children results in a thriving society.  We can’t continue to blame the institution of education and its teachers; we need to set the blame upon ourselves because we, the people, don’t demand tax reform.

The Supreme Court’s leadership is needed by all our political leaders.  Our paramount duty is to drive them there.  The future of our state depends upon it.

Marcee Stone-Vekich
Chair

Visit the timeline of events for McCleary v. State of Washington: http://www.courts.wa.gov/content/publicUpload/Supreme%20Court%20News/McCleary%20v%20State%20Timeline2015.pdf

A brief history of the fight for a state income tax please see: http://depts.washington.edu/depress/washington_state_income_tax.shtml

34th Legislative District Democrats Chair’s Message for August, 2015

Is it only because the party process is so foreign to the average person?  Or that it’s fashionable to be non-partisan?  Or because the cultural divide is so hard to breach?  Could it be that the prism of white privilege thwarts us from prioritizing the goal of a more diverse organization?  Or that we’re too uncomfortable with it?  “Hey, I’m an approachable, friendly face of the party.  Who wouldn’t want to be part of it?”  Perhaps someone who has never voted before, speaks English as a second language or not at all, or is already on the fringe of the pervasive culture that benefits from the status quo.  Pessimism isn’t the way I operate.  As Chair, I will keep seeking a better way, and I urge you to do the same.  If you’ve never participated on one of our committees, I urge you to consider helping the 34th Dems with this one.  The party can be a candidate pipeline and with the upcoming Presidential caucuses, we owe it to our country to work harder to be more inclusive.

Election night, August 4th, is also West Seattle Drinking Liberally, Pizzaria 22 at SW College and California Ave. SW in the Admiral District.  Join us there to toast the hard working candidates!

Marcee Stone-Vekich

34th Legislative District Democrats Chair’s Message for July, 2015

We will never have a perfect President to lead this country.  Democrats push candidates as far to the left as possible during the election but they always seem to gravitate toward the center once they’re in the White House.  I recognize that governing requires the art of compromise.  But I still react grim-faced when an elected official I’ve supported makes a move that is 100% opposite of what I value.  It can be crazy-making and dispiriting.  Then this morning the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act again.  The ACA has made a huge difference in my family.  Without it, a family member would be truly without hope, lost and ill.  I’d be thousands of dollars in debt and grief-stricken.  So I’m not happy about TPP, drilling in the Arctic, or Charter Schools, but knowing that one of my loved ones, and millions of others like her, are thriving because of what one politician had the fortitude to do, is better than finally getting a pony any day.  So yes, we did the right thing, and yes, we need to do this again in 2016.  Because who sits on the U.S. Supreme Court is by far the most important reason to work for, vote for and elect a Democrat to the White House.  I want to win.  We need to win.  We can do it together or we can flail at each other from our respective issue silos and lose.  Let’s win!

At our July 8th meeting, Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon, Senator Sharon Nelson will give us their legislative wrap-up and I imagine some choice words about what was passed and what wasn’t.  I am assured that there is hope that the 2nd session will adjourn in time for our meeting so there will be something to report.  Many thanks to our Olympia delegation!

Our program at the meeting will focus on diversity in the 34th.  Matias Valenzuela from the King County Office on Equity and Social Justice will help us get to know our communities better and inspire us in our outreach efforts.  The program is being organized by Lois Schipper, our Diversity Chair.  Thanks, Lois!

It’s parade and festival season!  Check out the website and the newsletter for further details.

Remember Drinking Liberally West Seattle is on July 7th, 6:30 p.m. at Pizzeria 22 (Admiral District)!

34th Legislative District Democrats Chair’s Message for June, 2015

Why do the 34th Legislative District Democrats’ endorsements matter?  One of the many reasons is to shine a light on the candidates and issues we feel represent our values the most.  I know what a Democratic candidate should stand for and what a republican stands for and I have no idea what an independent stands for.  A non-partisan office doesn’t preclude someone from identifying with a party.  Just because the system obfuscates the issue doesn’t mean we should capitulate on party identification.

Party building is another reason our endorsements are important.  We will supply our PCOs and other volunteers with our sample ballots which will highlight the candidates and issues we support.  Then our feet hit the pavement to meet the electorate at the door.  We introduce not only who and what we support but also the organization itself.  This is an important step towards building our GOTV (Get Out The Vote) framework for 2016.  Talking to your neighbors is the best way get out our message and to find out what’s on their minds.  We will have a PCO training starting at 6:30 prior to our July 8th meeting where we will arm them with walk lists and our sample ballot for the primary.  If you’ve never knocked on doors but would like to, contact me or Les Treall so we can team you up with a PCO who has.

More Endorsements:  At our June 10th meeting, we will hear from candidates for King County Elections Director, Port of Seattle and Burien City Council.  The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will start promptly at 7.  We will also consider endorsement of these candidates that night.  You can suggest a question to the forum committee by email at:  34thforumcommittee@gmail.com.

2014 members may renew their membership up through our endorsement meeting on June 10th to have the right to vote.  Anyone who became a member in May will be able to vote.  Become a member now (click here). Come out and support your candidates!

Remember Drinking Liberally West Seattle is on June 2nd, 6:30 p.m. at Pizzeria 22 (Admiral District)!

Cheers,

Marcee Stone-Vekich
Chair

34th Legislative District Democrats Chair’s Message for May, 2015

Did you ever think that Burien would fling itself to the center of a controversy that would cause the ACLU and its members to write thousands of letters to the City and threaten it with millions of dollars of litigation? I didn’t. Learn more about what their City Council deems important and attend a meeting on Monday nights, that is if they haven’t locked the door to keep the public out. And make sure that if you bring a latte along that it has a top on it because that’s against the law in public spaces now in Burien. And better shower first, make sure you’re not a homeless young person or mentally ill. Burien City Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz will attend one of our meetings soon to help us understand where this is all going.

Democratic candidates need to run for local office. It’s important for them to run as Democrats especially when the positions are non-partisan. They become the leaders of tomorrow and transform such ludicrous attempts in the name of public safety as these. This is where our role in endorsing candidates makes the difference. Showing up is what we need you to do. We should all be proud of our 2013 endorsement of Ms. Berkowitz.

Our next forum on May 14th presents candidates for Seattle School Board race for Pos. 6 and Seattle City Council At-Large Positions 8 and 9. It’s co-sponsored by the 11th, 34th, and 37th Legislative District Democrats.  We are honored to have Ross Reynolds, a long time presence on KUOW and the co-host of The Conversation, as our moderator. It will be held at South Seattle College Georgetown Campus. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the forum will start promptly at 7.  You can suggest a question to the forum committee by email here.

Endorsements:  Our 34th District endorsements take place on May 20th, the third Wednesday of the month, at the Hall at Fauntleroy.  Come early to meet the candidates at 6:30.  The place will be packed and we’ll do our best to squeeze in every bit of Democracy we can.

2014 members may renew their membership up through our endorsement meeting on May 20th to have the right to vote. There is no meeting on the 2nd Wednesday this month.Become a member online now. Come out and support your candidates!

Remember Drinking Liberally West Seattle is on May 5th, 6:30 p.m. at Pizzeria 22 (Admiral District)!

Cheers,

Marcee Stone-Vekich
Chair

34th Legislative District Democrats Chair’s Message for April, 2015

One year from now the 34th District Dems will be holding its 2016 precinct caucuses to begin the process of selecting delegates to the Democratic National Convention*.  When I decided to run for a second term as Chair, I thought the 2016 Presidential election cycle would be the most exciting part of it.  After all, electing a woman to the White House would be historic.  But this year turned that expectation upside down with the thrilling race for Seattle City Council Position 1.  Barring something unforeseen – It’s Hillary 24/7, definitely historic (no matter how you feel) – but with the constant change in the Seattle race, who knows what to expect? There are well-regarded candidates and our decision as to who to endorse will be key to who will first represent West Seattle and South Park on the Seattle City Council. Our forum for Position 1 and for King County Assessor is on April 8th. You can suggest a question to the forum committee by email here.  I promise you quality questions, an entertaining and revealing evening of historic proportions.

I can’t stress this important reminder enough: All new members must pay their dues by the April 8th meeting to vote at our May 20th endorsement meeting. 2014 members may renew their membership up through May 20th to have the right to vote. Our endorsement meeting replaces our normal meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.  Become a member (or renew your membership) online now. Come out and support your candidate!

Stay tuned for upcoming co-sponsored forums with other legislative districts for the races for Burien City Council, Seattle City Council At-Large Positions 8 and 9, Seattle School Board and Port of Seattle. To be scheduled in the weeks after the April 8th forum but prior to our endorsement meeting on May 20th.

Now is the time to get involved. We need volunteers to help at the endorsement meeting and plan the 2016 precinct and legislative district caucuses. Please contact me to be a part of it.

Gather the night before the forum for Drinking Liberally in West Seattle, April 7th, 6:30 p.m. at Pizzeria 22 (Admiral District) and convince someone to support for your candidate!

Cheers,

Marcee Stone-Vekich
Chair

*Please see the post about the draft delegate selection and affirmative action plan on the website here. This plan will be voted on at the State Committee Meeting on April 18th


34th Legislative District Democrats March Vice-Chair’s Message

(Chair Marcee Stone is out of town this month so Vice-Chair Ted Barker is writing the monthly message to members.)

Former Speaker of the United State House of Representative Tip O’Neill is widely credited with the phrase “all politics are local”.  By that he meant if you want to be a successful politician you need to understand how issues, regardless of their scope, affect your constituents.  In our March meeting we will be examining both ends of the “scope” spectrum.  At one end, we will be learning about the Trans Pacific Partnership, a proposed trade agreement among the nations of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.  Although, the TPP covers a large part of the globe it will have impacts locally.  At the other end of this spectrum, we will have a teaser to our candidates’ forum next month, and hear from the candidates running for the new District 1 of the Seattle City Council.  We will have them pick questions on issues of importance to local residents at random to answer.

Reminders for upcoming events:  Our April meeting will be a full forum for candidates running for District 1 on the Seattle City Council.  The May meeting will be held on a different day than normal.  We will have this meeting on May 20th.  We will vote on our endorsements at this meeting.  Also, in accordance with our bylaws you must be a member in good standing (dues paid) by the end of the April meeting to be eligible to vote for endorsements.  Our the Earth Day Fundraiser will be on May 3rd from 4:00 to 6:30 at the home of Russ Brubaker’s.  Representative Joe Fitzgibbon will speak.  More details will be on our website.

Finally at our upcoming meeting we will be asking for volunteers to help put on our annual Garden Party.  It is a big event, but if we all pitch in a little it will be much more manageable.

Thank you for supporting the 34th!

Ted Barker
First Vice Chair, 34th District Democrats


Updated January 30, 2015

Marcee Stone-Vekich is the Chair of the 34th District Democrats.  Contact her via email or at 206.465.1963.

34th Legislative District Democrats February Chair’s Message

On Friday, January 23rd, Tom Rasmussen declared he would not run for the Seattle City Council in 2015.  What a stunning development!  A good listener, Tom seemed to be everywhere in our community, checking on citizen issues and helping wherever he could.  If you reached out to him, you would hear back and that set him apart. Thank you, Tom, for your many years of committed public service to seniors, transit and parks, and your longstanding support of the 34th District Democrats.

We can expect many qualified candidates will throw their hat in the race for Seattle District 1. One candidate forum will be held at our April 8th meeting. We have 3 races in Seattle and 3 in Burien. We may hold forums co-sponsored with other districts as well.

Important reminder:  All new members must pay their dues by the April 8th meeting to vote at our May 13th endorsement meeting.  Any 2014 member may renew their membership up through the May meeting to have the right to vote. Become a member now at  the highest level you can. Can you provide your dues on a monthly basis?  Five bucks a month can be more effective than a one-time payment!  The 34th needs your continued financial support as well as your voice!

February 11th Meeting:  An excellent program is coming together on the housing crisis in our communities.  Hear discussion regarding tenants’ rights, microhousing and homelessness.  Many thanks to Brianna Thomas for facilitating this! We will also discuss our proposed budget and hear the State Committee report.

More action:  February 16th in Olympia attend KCDCC Lobby Day — Contact Tamsen Spengler to get busy with legislative action and meet with our legislators.  Or attend the Washington State Democratic Party Grass Roots Forum, then grab a beer and awesome seafood at the Crab Feed.  Get your tickets here. Car pools can be arranged.  Would you like to be the contact?

New Business:  Some 34th friends have founded a new Drinking Liberally in West Seattle, First Tuesday of the month, 6:00 p.m. at Pizzeria 22 (on College and near California Ave SW)!  Join co-hosts Steve Butts, Carol Frillman, Max Vekich and myself for the inaugural gathering on February 3rd.  

Thank you for your support of our newly-elected Executive Board.  Let’s work together for great outcomes.
Marcee Stone-Vekich
Chair of the 34th District Democrats

 


Messages from Previous Months

34th District Democrats December Chair’s Message

I don’t believe there are any people I know whose lives have not been touched in some way by mental illness. Whether it’s personal, a family member, co-worker or friend; we all see the effects of untreated mental illness. The most insidious part of it is that the future is forever changed and the damage is exponential. We know this and yet can’t calculate the toll on our society. The loss of life, creativity and knowledge, the cost to us as a nation is more than mere dollars. The 34th District Democrats the last few years have donated to the Navos Toy Drive during the holidays. It’s a small gesture but we also do this so you’re aware of the work that they do in our community. Please go to their website and learn more about their work.www.navos.org.

So in the spirit of the season, please bring an unwrapped gift for a Navos family. If you did not pick up a gift tag at our November meeting, contact Joy Pakulak (206.380-5448), or go to www.navos.org to donate or shop online. Special thanks to Joy who is coordinating our efforts to support Navos, an organization that benefits the most vulnerable in our community.

Our annual holiday party is Wednesday, December 10, 6:30 PM at the Hall at Fauntleroy. All members and their guests (partners, spouses, children, & parents) are welcome to attend. This is a party so there are no speeches or asks, just fun! Entertainment is the Elliott Brothers Jazz trio.

Please bring a potluck side dish or dessert or two to share, along with any special dietary restricted foods your family may require. The District provides hams, turkey, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

We’ll present our 2014 Membership awards and a very special Lifetime Achievement award.  (There’s still time to nominate someone http://www.34dems.org/org_recognition.htm).

Stay tuned for our 2015 membership drive now with the added capability of contributing monthly.

Thank you for your involvement and support of the 34th Legislative District Democrats.

Happy Holidays!

Marcee Stone-Vekich
Chair, 34th District Democrats
206-465-1963

34th District Democrats November Chair’s Message

I so wish I had a crystal ball right now! My October message was all about getting out the vote for the November 4th election and that is still what”s on my mind. But by the time you read this, it will be all but over. I hope you”ve made a difference to take back the State Senate, fund our busses and schools, and pass a statewide initiative to protect vulnerable populations from gun violence. In November, we will be poised for future battles whatever the results on the 4th.

November 12th is our last business meeting of the year. What better time to assess where the district is and where it needs to go. Here”s my point of view. Send me an email with yours.
•  Held a joint-LD candidate forum with the 11th and 37th Democrats
•   Added a new fundraiser celebrating Earth Day to raise early campaign funds
•   Raised the bar on our signature fundraiser, the Garden Party
•   Cut newsletter mailing costs by sending an email link to the newsletter while still mailing one to those without email
•   Raised significant funds for candidates and campaigns
•   Rolled out NGP database, finance control and email system
•   Increased our membership on the District Facebook page from 91 to 370
•   Revised and updated our bylaws

More to do:
•   Get the most out of NGP, our technology provider
•   Update our more than 10-year old website
•   Increase our membership and PCOs
•   Add geographic, ethnic and generational diversity
•   Find and involve more volunteers
•   Intensify outreach and voter registration

If I”m re-elected Chair of the 34th District Democrats in January 2015, I promise to keep us moving forward to 2016.

Marcee Stone,
Chair, 34th District Democrats