Meeting Notes

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

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

KCDCC Meeting Notes for November 22, 2016

150 150 Carrie Alexander

By Martha Koester and Steve Butts

Robert Dickinson of the Sound Alliance (a coalition of labor, environmental and other organizations) has set up another coalition All In For Washington, dedicated to raising state revenue to fully fund education without sustaining cuts to other essential services. Their current efforts are devoted to enacting a capital gains tax (WA State is one of only nine states not to have one) which would apply to earnings over $50K, with income from a sale of a primary residence exempted. The B&O tax is highly regressive, penalizing small businesses the most, as is the sales tax. See http://www.allinforwa.org/ for more information.

Rich Erwin congratulated all of the people who helped with voter contact. We won two house seats in the 30th LD and a senate seat in the 41st LD, retained our senate seat in the 5th LD and came close in the house races. The KCDCC reorganization will take place on December 5th at the South Park Machinists Hall. Rich is running for reelection. He requested help for running the meetings which will be necessary to replace our legislators in the 43rd, the 37th and the 48th LDs.

Mary Wirta thanked all who participated in PCO and VoteBuilder use trainings this year, and brought some food to share in their honor.

The WSDCC reorganization will take place the last weekend of January. Ann Martin is running for her position again. Javier Valdez has stepped down after serving in this position for 16 years. Chad Lupkes of the 46th LD announced his intention to run for the position.

The Resolutions Committee presented a Resolution of Opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline and Resolution Supporting the Protection of Standing Rock Sioux Lands. Both were passes, the latter with minor modifications.

The Elections Committee reported a big increase in the number of qualified elections observers. We now have 57, and still more people want to take the training that will be offered in January. There were more than a million ballots cast in King County this year.

The Legislative Action Committee sought approval by the body of its 2017 legislative agenda (available at https://www.kcdems.org/tag/draft-2017-legislative-agenda/. This embodies some changes from 2016, removing items that were passed as legislation with some additions. The agenda was approved with minor modification. Lobby Day will be over Presidents Day as usual. After the first of the year, the committee will submit an amended agenda with actual bill numbers attached.

The Finance Committee reported that we raised $78K this year.

The treasurer reported a balance of $6700, after candidate expenditures. These went over the $25K limit due to last minute donations by the trial lawyers to support Justice Wiggins. A resolution to amend the approval process to deal with such emergencies in the future passed unanimously.

Under new business, it was proposed that we send a message to the Clinton campaign to challenge the vote count in MI, WI and PA. This passed unanimously.

KCDCC Meeting Notes for October 25, 2016

150 150 Carrie Alexander

By Steve Butts and Martha Koester

Rich Irwin launched into the chair’s report, as there were none of the usual campaign updates by candidates or their representatives. “Keep going” was his message, as Democrats find themselves in a great position to make gains this year. He also informed us that the KC Democrats reorganization will be 12pm Sunday, Dec. 4th at the Aerospace Machinists Hall in South Park.

The first item of business was the election of a new First Vice Chair. Cat Williams, the Female KCDCC Representative from the 45th LD, was nominated and elected. She brings her experience as an events manager, and will seek to expand the donor base and to propose additional fundraising events.

Sara Franklin had proposed several days prior to the meeting that we consider rescinding our endorsement of Erin Jones, candidate for Superintendant of Public Instruction. Jones had been given donations from a backer of Tim Eyman. Upon request, Jones returned the money and Sara withdrew her proposal.

We adapted the proposed agenda for the King County Democrats reorganization, and a recommended agenda could be used for the various legislative district reorganizational meetings. There was a motion for a requirement that KCDCC officer candidates submit a written statement prior to the election, but it was defeated. Later in the meeting we voted to establish a committee to recruit candidates to assure that all offices will be filled.

Renton City Council is to be soon voting on an ordinance to ban income-based eviction of renters. This move is in reaction to recent evictions of Section 8 housing recipients at a large apartment complex in the city. We approved an emergency resolution in support.

The state legislative session begins on January 9th. The Executive Board will need to approve the legislative action agenda for 2017 at our November 22 meeting. Prior to that, the LAC committee must finalize that plan at their November 20 meeting. It will take place at the Renton Highlands Library at 2 pm. Input is requested.

We discussed our campaign donations. At the September meeting, we agreed to spend up to $7,000 on a media buy to reach out to under-represented communities. During a tele-meeting on October 16 we voted to spend an additional $5,250 on this effort. We also voted to allow the Chair to spend up to $5,000 on Mark Mullet’s campaign, $20.000 for Jason Ritchie (a special 21-day rule applies) and $500 each to Kristine Reeves, Darcy Burner and Jason Ritchie. At the meeting, we agreed to add $2,500 to the amount for Jason Ritchie, as additional money has been received.

Good of the Order announcements included a big GOTV push in the 30th LD October 29 featuring Gov. Inslee, Sen. Patty Murray and Tina Podlowoski. Mike Pellicciotti and Kristine Reeves have both received the endorsement of Barak Obama.

There will be an election night party at The Berliner Pub in Renton. People from the South King County LDs are invited.

Congratulations to the 37th LD: They have filled all of their PCO slots.

KCDCC Meeting Notes for September 27, 2016

150 150 Carrie Alexander

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.

KCDCC Meeting Notes for August 23, 2016

150 150 Carrie Alexander

By Steve Butts and Martha Koester

The meeting began at 7:15 pm. As often is the case, the agenda was amended to allow for unscheduled speakers: Hanna Pickett, Jay Inslee’s Field Organizer, expressed thanks for our support during the primary campaign. A representative from Patty Murray’s reelection staff extolled the virtues of the Coordinated Campaign, and its support of the down-ballot races. Both campaigns are looking to expand their volunteer base. Cathy Moore, running for KC Superior Court Pos. 44, thanked the body for their endorsement. While not endorsed by the KCDCC, Jesse Wineberry addressed us near meeting’s end to thank the Democrats who helped him during his primary bid for Representative for WA-09. He has given his support to Adam Smith, and will use his influence in the district to help reelect him.

Rich Irwin’s chair report focused on the general election. He urged us to find 4 people that don’t vote and get them to do so, and to seek out volunteers to help make electoral gains this year. He has contact information for the 110,000 precinct caucus attendees, and will reach out to them.

We were to have pro/con presentations on both initiatives I-1491 (Extreme Risk Protection Orders) and I-732 (Carbon Pollution Tax). The pro I-1491 representative was unable to attend, but we proceeded with the vote. I-1491 failed to be endorsed. A second vote to recommend a “Vote NO” was also rejected.

We heard the pro I-732 position from Greg Rock, a lobbyist from Carbon WA, and the ANTI position from Jeff Johnson, President of the WA State Labor Council. While both speakers support the goal of lowering carbon emissions, they differed on potential state tax losses that I-732 may create, and the initiative’s ability to bring clean energy alternatives to market. A vote to endorse failed, as did the proposal for a “Vote NO” recommendation.

Candidate endorsements began with a vote on slate of the Endorsement Committee’s recommended candidates. State Representatives endorsed in this manner were: Zack Hudgins (11th), Mike Pellicciotti (30th), Cindy Ryu (32nd), Mia Su-ling Gregerson (33rd), Gael Tarleton (36th), Linda Wright (39th) and Brooke Valentine from the 47th LD.

Pat McCarthy, running for State Auditor, sought our endorsement as our previously-endorsed candidate, Jeff Sprung, failed to clear the primary. She received our endorsement.

US Representative candidates Brady Walkinshaw (CD 07) and Tony Ventrella (CD 08) were put forward. Neither received endorsement. Chris Reykdal (Superintendent for Public Instruction), and Kristin Richardson (KC Superior Court Pos. 52) also failed to reach the endorsement threshold.

Four resolutions were considered and approved: A resolution supporting a “Maintained” vote on taxes for State Advisory Votes 14 and 15, a resolution supporting an “Approved” vote on SJR 8210 to extend study and comment time for future Redistricting Committees, and a resolution to allow those of “non-binary gender” (not male or female) to replace either a male or female representative to the State Central Committee and in convention delegations. These were passed, and will be presented to the WA State Democratic Central Committee. Also passed was a resolution to the Seattle City Council, asking them to put forth a developer impact fee ordinance, the proceeds of which would be used for Seattle pubic school construction.

The Finance and Development report informed us that our Treasurer has resigned for personal reasons. Omaha Sternberg will serve in this office temporarily until a replacement can be recruited. Omaha also told us that the transition from NGP to Action Network has been completed, saving the KC Democrats. She will also be attempting to negotiate a better insurance contract for next year.

The LAC last met on Mercer Island August 21, and featured Patty Kuderer and Marilyn Chase. The next meeting date and location is to be determined.

WSDCC Report from Feb. 2014

150 150 Nick Bohall

By Lisa Plymate

Washington State Democratic Central Committee elects JAXON RAVENS new state party chair, Feb. 1, 2014

Following a spirited, mostly positive 2 month long, 4-way race, we elected Jaxon Ravens as the new head of our party, to succeed Dwight Pelz. Jaxon has served as executive director of the Washington state Democrats for the past 10 years and has chaired the National Association of Democratic Executive Directors. He won handily over his chief competitor, Dana Laurent, on the second ballot, despite Dana’s endorsement by Governor Jay Inslee a few days before the election.

Our quarterly meeting was held in Vancouver, WA, where the Clark County Democrats handed us “I’M IN – Democrats for Seattle Seahawks” pins, setting the tone for the blue & green “GO, HAWKS” weekend. State Committeeman Chris Porter and Committeewoman Lisa Plymate both attended the Affirmative Action Committee, where we learned that our plan for delegate selection process in 2014 will be at the level of the districts. As we have already started doing in the 34th, LDs are to reach out to community leaders and translate our flyers regarding caucuses into the predominant local languages. An issue that arose is that of Native Americans; our state NA caucus wants only members “enrolled” in federally-recognized tribes to count officially as Native Americans. This is a tricky situation, as it does leave out others with Native American ancestry, such as the Duwamish.

At our Saturday luncheon, we heard from a local 3 person panel on proposed Columbia River bridge, which has passed in the Oregon State House, and has federal funding to support extension of light rail from Portland to Vancouver. Our State Senate failed to pass it, unprecedented for a project 15 years in the planning. If we cannot turn this around, Oregon may go it on their own. They would hire the workers, collect the tolls and collect ticket fees on the light rail. So much for Washington’s support of our infrastructure…

In our DNC report, we learned the priorities of the national party, beginning with major efforts to protect voters’ right to vote. Our “Red to blue” project will target Texas and Arizona. (Texas has >400,000 eligible to vote who are not registered.) In selecting the location of national conventions, we will stop going to right-to-work states and use only union hotels. This means we will have a smaller venue and fewer (around 3000) delegates. The Rules Committee pointed out that the Republican Party is changing its nominating process and wants to move their convention up to May or June, although it is felt more likely that they will hold it in July. Both parties would like to rotate which states are “front out”; Iowa and New Hampshire are hardly typical of our national electorate.

One of our goals has to be running candidates across the state, particularly in red areas. Great news: We have an excellent candidate to run in the 5th CD against Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers. We were happy to meet Joe Pakootas, who has served for 16 years on the Colville Confederated Tribes governing council and 4 years as their CEO. GO, JOE!

Our Technology Committee reported on a new mapping tool available for the next 6 wks at https://surveymonkey.com/s/WashDemsMaps. These maps allow us to map Obama-win margins, the voter registration opportunity comparing numbers of registered to eligible voters, census demographics and many other features in our precincts and district.

We next passed a group of twelve resolutions which are available on the state party website. Of interest, we passed a Resolution from Labor Caucus to have $15/hour minimum wage, even though our Democratic caucus is behind a bill to gradually expand minimum wage up to $12/hour over several years. Also of note, we failed to pass either of two resolutions encouraging voters to sign onto I-1329, expressing state support of a Constitutional amendment to limit recognition of corporations as people in regard to campaign financing. Nonetheless, Ann Martin and other members of WAmend did a great job of collecting signatures on this new and important campaign to try to get around Citizens United.

A further disappointment (pardon my editorializing) was that the body failed to pass a proposal to change our bylaws to include a new committee, an advocacy committee, similar to our legislative action committee, but on a state level. This was proposed by Andrew Villeneuve of the Northwest Progressive Institute and chief techy of our party. Rather than voting it down after our Chair spoke against it, we deferred it to our next meeting at the state convention in Spokane this June. Delegates to the state will have a chance to vote for the formation of this committee, which would see that our state party functions not only to elect Democrats, but also works to see policies enacted into law:

8. The Advocacy Committee shall work to turn the party’s platform into law. It shall propose a legislative agenda to the SCC each year, organize lobbying activities in support of the agenda adopted by the SCC, issue timely recommendations to the SCC on all statewide ballot measures that advance to the signature gathering stage or get placed directly on the ballot for a vote, and help the Chair communicate with the public and elected leaders through traditional and new media. Ballot measure recommendations may accompany related resolutions placed before the SCC by the Resolutions Committee for consideration, if the two committees wish.

We can take the opportunity at our precinct caucuses to let our neighbors know that if they become delegates to the state convention, they will be able to vote on adding this new state committee. And we can all get our neighbors to sign I-1329 as well!