WSDCC Meeting Notes

Sound Transit Engaging Communities

287 175 Carla Rogers

Sound Transit is engaging Seattle communities in a conversation about the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions project, which will deliver light rail connections to West Seattle and Ballard with stations in between including SODO, Chinatown-International District, Midtown, Westlake, South Lake Union, Denny, Seattle Center, Smith Cove and Interbay.

In late October, the Sound Transit Board identified additional alternatives to study in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), in addition to the preferred alternatives and other alternatives the Board identified in May. The Draft EIS is the next step in the environmental review process, where we will evaluate potential impacts and benefits of the alternatives on the natural and built environment, and identify potential mitigation measures. The Draft EIS is anticipated to be released in late 2020 for public review and comment.

As part of our continuing commitment to engage communities and future riders, we’re hosting five Neighborhood Forums to share the alternatives we’ll be studying in the Draft EIS, what happens next in the environmental review process and how communities can stay engaged. There will also be opportunities to participate in small group activities to share your unique neighborhood context and discuss how that might relate to future light rail stations.

The event details are below:

  • Downtown Seattle (Includes stations at Seattle Center, South Lake Union, Denny, Midtown, Westlake, Chinatown-International District, Stadium and SODO)
    Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 | 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
    Central Seattle Public Library (Washington Mutual Room)
    1000 4th Avenue, Seattle
  • West Seattle (Includes stations at Delridge, Avalon and Alaska Junction)
    Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019 | 6 – 8 p.m.
    Alki Masonic Center
    4736 40th Avenue SW, Seattle
  • Chinatown-International District station (Includes the Chinatown-International District station only*)
    Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 | 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
    Union Station (Great Hall)
    401 S Jackson Street, Seattle
  • Interbay-Ballard (Includes stations at Smith Cove, Interbay and Ballard)
    Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 | 6 – 8 p.m.
    St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
    5710 22nd Avenue NW, Seattle 
  • Delridge Station (Includes the Delridge station only*)
    Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    Delridge Community Center (Gym)
    4501 Delridge Way SW, Seattle

*Events will build upon the community engagement and collaboration approach outlined in the Racial Equity Toolkit. Interpreters will be available – see web link for more details.
Learn more and RSVP today

If you’re not able to attend in person, we’ll have opportunities to participate online and learn more, starting as early as November 18th.

Participate in our Giving Tree at the November Meeting

866 728 Carla Rogers

Again this year we will again support the Navos Holiday Drive. Pick up a card at our November meeting/Town Hall and support Navos’ clients by donating a gift card in a value that is personal and meaningful to you. Cards from Target, grocery stores and VISA are requested. Bring the donation back to our December holiday party.

Navos’ Holiday Drive supports our Emergent Needs Fund. At Navos, 90% of the clients we serve are low-income or even homeless.  In many cases, our clients do not have the means to meet their basic needs, so we help support them by collecting gift cards that they can use to purchase necessary items, such as diapers, hygiene items, clothes for a job interview, or food for a family that just had to move out of their home due to a domestic violence situation.  This fund also helps support our clients by providing items necessary to reaching their treatment plan goals, as well as bus tickets so that clients can get to and from their scheduled appointments.  The Emergent Needs Fund covers a wide range of needs, allowing us to help provide our clients whatever they may need to help them reach recovery, from rain ponchos for our homeless clients to weighted blankets to help soothe anxiety for the kids in our Youth Residential Treatment Program.

2018 WSDC Meeting Minutes

150 150 Steve Butts

Meeting called to order at 7:00 by Acting Chair Michael Taylor-Judd

7:00 Pledge of Allegiance.

7:02 Acknowledgement of VIP’s – Representative Eileen Cody, State (and endorsed) Senate Candidates Shannon Braddock and Joe Nguyen.

7:07 Minutes and Agenda (M)oved(S)econded(P)assed.

7:08 Recognition of the nominations of Rashida Tlaib and Sharice Davids, the first Muslim woman and one of the 2 two first Native American women to Congress respectively.

Need to get our PCO#s up. 2020 Caucuses are expected to be very well attended.

7:10 Treasurer’s Report –
Garden Party raised $23,000, expenses for it were $8,000
There is $15,000 in the caucus fund and $19,641.56 in the savings account.

7:12 KCDCC Report – Martha Koester reports that there is a new Treasurer.

7:13 Chris Porter expressed his thanks to the Garden Party Committee.

7:14 Recognition of Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.

7:16 – Program – Things you can do to get involved!

Help with the Outreach Committee to get people signed up to vote!

Get involved and help with other districts and campaigns.

Some organizations worthy of your consideration:

Voter Registration and Engagement:
Latino Community Fund of Washington (info@latinocommunityfund.org) – Works on growing
Latinx community involvement.

Code Blue Washington (www.codeblue.team/) – Kim Ricketts reiterated that STATE LEGISLATIVE
RACE MATTER. She invited the membership to join the Code Blue Facebook Group. They are not
A fundraising operation in this state yet. They try not to favor any candidates in primaries.
Voter Registration is NOT their focus. It is more on engagement. Don’t have an iPhone? Prefer
pen and paper to tapping on a keyboard? Check out https://postcardstovoters.org
You can help from the comfort of your own home! The Code Blue team does work with
MiniVan, the state parties and candidates.

Knock 10 (itunes.apple.com/us/app/knock-10/id1241443399)

Homelessness:
Facing Homelessness (www.facebook.com/HomelessInSeattle/)
Low Income Housing Institute (https://lihi.org/tiny-houses/)
Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (http://WLIHA.org)
Real Change (http://realchangenews.org)
West Side Interfaith Network (https://sites.google.com/site/wschristianchurches/) Provides
meals and funds

Timothy Harris from Real Change spoke about the paper.

Also discussed were the Facing Homelessness Facebook Group, the Pike Place Senior Center,
Camp Second Chance, Low Income Housing Alliance’s Tiny Houses program, support for
Veterans, the America’s Promise program.

Observed that centralized services were not as efficient as de-centralized services were.

It was also pointed out that School Districts define homelessness differently than the
government does, and that tough conversations were needed about prioritizing funding.
Teams? Theaters? Or…People?

Other:
Bathrooms that are safe for all (www.refugerestrooms.org)
Assist Citizenship Seekers
Planned Parenthood (www.istandwithpp.org
Volunteer to help pass Initiative 1639.
Check out www.volunteermatch.org

8:10 New Business – Martha Koester introduced a Resolution in support of Councilmember Kohl-Welles’s Amendment to invest an additional $184 million into affordable housing for King County residents. It is a compromise on stadium funding and funds for the homeless.

A point of order was raised of the necessity of suspending the rules to consider the motion.

Moved and Seconded to vote to suspend the rules. Motion failed. Steve will publish it in the newsletter.

8:20 Recognition of newly Elected PCO Julie Whitaker from Vashon Island.

8:23 Good of the Order.

8:25 Adjourned.

February 2019 Board Meeting

150 150 Carla Rogers

Board Meeting Minutes

February 20, 2019

Attendees: Gina, Ann, David, Tai, Max, Steve, Karen, Nick, Les, Jacqui, Sofia, Ben, Dawn

7:04 Call to Order and Introductions

7:06 Photoshoot

7:16 General Announcements from the Chair

  • KCDCC Bylaws Meeting is this weekend.
  • Joe McDermott invited us to attend the Alliance for Gun Responsibility Luncheon on April 30 at noon at the Sheraton downtown.
  • Still seeking a membership chair.

7:20 Communications Report

  • Carla presented the committees goals for 2019.
  • Committee plans to survey the membership via google docs to solicit input on the 34th communications (web, newsletter and social)
  • A request was made to have Hotspot at the Hall of Fauntleroy for meetings. Board members with Hotspots will share this information at the next meeting.

7:33 Caucus Committee Report

Ann Martin gave a report for Rachel Glass. There are significant changes being discussed for the upcoming election cycles. The group held a lively discussion.

DNC provided the new rules and they are being reviewed.

At April State Party meeting, Ann and Chris will vote to determine how we will do the next election. Several board members requested the ability to give input on this to our representatives.

Suggestion made by Karen and Gina to have this topic on the March meeting agenda to share status with the membership.

  • Historical Context of the Process
  • Options being considered
  • Ask for input to be submitted during the public comment period in March

8:11 Outreach Committee Update

Karen and Steve shared the Outreach Committee events calendar and invited the board to jointhe Outreach Slack channel. Next Outreach Committee meeting March 21. Adopt-a-Street sign is up and will be shared in communications channels when a picture is available.

8:19 Treasurer’s Report will be posted on Slack as Ben wasn’t able to attend the entire meeting to give a report.

8:20 Glen Morgan lawsuit status – Gina provided updates under closed executive session. (No  minutes.)

8:26 Events Committee Report

Jacqui stated she has not been in touch with Lacey (co-chair) yet. Earth Day is in April and she is beginning to plan an event. Her suggestion was to hold it at the West Seattle Nursery.

Jacqui would like to rename the Garden Party to the annual fundraiser.  The group mentioned that this event must be held before the Primary. Jacqui will move forward with a June date for the fundraiser. She proposed a June date with an indoor location (potentially the Eagles hall on California or the Burien community center.

The annual picnic will be held in August.

8: 34 A spirited discussion of the 34th endorsement calendar was held.

Jordan suggested that we have a Policy Roundtable along with the usual debate format.

The endorsement schedule/plan will be defined by Gina and shared at the next meeting.

The South King County Democrats organization is holding a spaghetti feed on May 18. They have asked us to partner on the event providing auction items (10 items), attendance, and someone to attend planning meetings. Nick Bonazza volunteered to represent us.

8:54 Bylaw changes

David shared that we need to update bylaws to align with the DNC bylaws.

Work was done in the past but never pursued. David will bring recommendations to the April Board Meeting.

8:56 Program for March

The group agreed on the following program items for the March 13th membership meeting.

  • Democracy Vouchers
  • Caucus Decision Updates

9:00 Good of the Order

Dawn suggested that state level budget/new revenue discussions be a topic for a future meeting.

9:06 Adjourn

34th District Democrats ⛄❄ Holly Jolly Holiday Party 🎉

150 150 David Ginsberg

Celebrate the holidays and everything we’ve accomplished this year with the 34th District Democrats!

By tradition the 34th District Democrats, like most other local party organizations, does not conduct business in December. Instead we get together at our regular meeting time and location to celebrate our accomplishments and cheer in the next year.

POTLUCK! We’ll have turkey and vegetarian main courses – please bring a dish to share if you can (not required, we’ll have plenty of food)!

GIVE! We’re also collecting food for our local food banks, please bring some canned goods to share the abundance of the holiday season with those less fortunate.

6:30PM-9:30PM
Hall at Fauntleroy (Old Fauntleroy School)
9131 California Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98136

Parking lot available behind building
Transit Rapid Ride C Line

Report from Washington State Democratic Central Committee Meeting 4/22/17, Walla Walla

150 150 Lisa Plymate

Report from Washington State Democratic Central Committee Meeting 4/22/17, Walla Walla

Structural changes in our function under new leadership

In overview, our meetings have a new format under our new chair Tina Podlodowski, and so far it’s a real improvement. Previously our Friday nights were devoted to socializing at “hospitality suites” run by various groups or individuals (often candidates). Then our time to meet in caucuses of various groups and interests was condensed and overlapping on Saturday AM, allowing for only an hour-long committee meeting before the business meeting that afternoon. Under our new system, caucuses begin Friday night, and it would be theoretically possible to attend a series of 3 caucuses, from 5-8PM before hospitality suites. On Saturday morning, we were able to attend special training sessions and hold longer committee meetings of 1h45min each, making our work far more meaningful. Plus, our committees will be much more active than they were in the past. We formerly met for an hour three times a year. We now meet for 1:45 in person, plus hold at least monthly conference calls for work, and we have much more extensive goals than in the past. This is exciting, and it reflects a commitment on the part of our new leadership to really get the job done of electing progressive Democrats in Washington state!

Our training program starting this meeting was on “Heroes’ Narratives.” The aim is to teach us to take the long view of identifying stories that excite our base at the moment, while building our base over the long term. What is our best progressive story, and how do we tell it? Unfortunately, when it comes to using a values-based narrative, thus far the conservative voices have been defining the message; we have been battling their narrative. Story-telling over a long period of time delivers a strong message that captures and holds the audience’s attention, stimulating the desired action. A good narrative, however, helps different campaigns tell a common story and builds power over time. A given campaign may have many messages, but these should all support a long-term narrative. We discussed the importance of making messages resonate, using values-based language; we need to speak to peoples’ hearts to change their minds. People cherry-pick what facts they will believe based on the emotional parts of their brains. We want to increase participation of our base and grow our base at the same time. 

In this era of sound bites, we need to return to developing “epic stories,” as, over time, that is what will resonate with people. The story elements include:

1)a hero who makes 2) a quest which should be real, tangible and urgent. The hero faces 3) a threat which may not necessarily be true, but which resonates and mobilizes. The hero uses policies as 4) tools to accomplish goals. It’s more important to tell why a policy matters, not what it does. Along comes 5) a villain is the person we hold accountable for the threat; he has his own weapons. The story is most compelling if the hero, the heart of the story, is your audience; you are their mentor. For example, Obama spoke of “single moms” as heroes. A quest might be “change you can believe in.” A threat might be “climate change.” To Trump, Hillary was the villain; she was “weak” and “threatening.” Her weapons were “lies.” This session provided a refreshing way to approach our strategies as a party moving forward. 

Lunch speaker Hillary Franz, newly-elected Commissioner of Public Lands

She spoke of the importance of listening to others, of spending time to come up with solutions to common problems we see in rural areas. She wants to work with communities and focus on helping the economy while conserving public lands. She feels we can address climate change without speaking of “climate change” per se in a way that upsets opponents; we can find common ground and build on that. She wishes to demonstrate that we can create a strong economy while supporting clean energy, and she plans to start with demonstration projects that should do just that in 5 areas she will select.

Chair’s report

Chair Podlodowski has built a budget and has an organizaing plan. She’s hired 5 new staffers, and we have a new funding source, “the Resistance.” Based on small dollar fundraising attracting new participants, the state party’s working budget based on recurring contributions went from $2000 to $17,000 per month. We now have 1100 small donors and plan to grow this base further. We now have a full-time communications director for the first time who is about to start working.

Progress report from Dylan Cate, our new organizing director

Theme “win every race in every place.” We plan to win elections and build strategic long-term political relationships. Previously the party didn’t support candidates in areas we “couldn’t win.” We will instead support all good Democratic candidates. They might not win this election, but they’ll become known, and they’ll become stronger. We’ll have new tools in our voter file; traditional methods are not working. We won’t just canvass known Democrats; we’ll get out and listen to voters, ask their priorities. PCOs should learn what their neighbors care about.

New tool

On your cell phone, open text messaging app and write: 444999. Type the work “persist” and you’ll go to volunteering opportunities. Type “resistance,” and you’ll be able to support us financially.

Committee reports:

  • Rules committee will have rules for endorsements ready in September. Rules for primaries (vs caucuses) will come later.
  • Affirmative action committee (chaired by our own Chris Porter! and to be renamed to express “inclusion”) is dealing with harassment issues and code of conduct language plus a framework for mediation
  • Technology committee has recruited 60 members from tech industry and has in place 16 teams with functions ranging from mobile apps, webcasts,centralized calendar, PCO finders.

Democratic National Committee

Members report feeling new Chairman Tom Perez is refreshing and is truly overhauling the party. We will have a 57 state strategy going forward. They report the biggest change is that they now feel the “people at the top are interested in listening.”

Resolutions 

Please see state party website for full list and content of resolutions passed by the body.

Please contact either Chris Porter or myself if you have any specific questions or concerns. And yes, we enjoyed both the eastern Washington sunshine and the wines! 

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Plymate

State Committeewoman

State Democratic Party Meeting

150 150 Lisa Plymate

Dates: 1/27-28/17

Tina Podlodowski elected chair of Washington State Democratic Party

At our re-org meeting in Olympia, which had a whopping 100% attendance, the first order of business was to elect our new chair.  Tina Podlodowski, known to most of us for a prior stint on Seattle City Council and for running for Secretary of State this fall, a race she lost by a razor-thin margin to Kim Wyman, was the overwhelming favorite of the state committee.  She won 119: 53 for former chair, Jaxon Ravens, with 2 for late-entry candidate Roger Flygare.  In nomination speeches, Jaxon quoted Martin Luther King:  “We may have come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.”  Tina spoke of “building  a movement, carrying on the fight.  Our resistance must be strong.” And that message won the day.   Approximately 2/3 of the membership was new this year, many of them from the Sanders’ campaign.  Jaxon Ravens was an excellent chair, and did a fine job of holding the party together through divisive times last year, but with the huge change in makeup of the membership, it was clear that change and belief in the movement were crucial in the election.

With our new chair in charge,  Joe Pakootas, chief executive officer of the Spokane tribe and former candidate for U.S. Congress against Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, was elected Vice Chair.  Rob Dolin retained his position as secretary; and Habib Habib is again treasurer.  For our 7th CD, Javier Valdez was re-elected for our seat on the Executive Council.

In a brief first Chair’s report, Tina was clear that she expects all of us to work harder than we ever have.  Within 2 weeks we will be assigned to committees, and she expects these committees to work year-round, not just 3 weekends a year as is customary.  She is adding a 7th committee, communications and training, including a rapid response team and action team around activities and issues.   Echoing her campaign for Secretary of State, she reminded us that we are a party of voters and voting rights.  She obviously believes she can still attack her goal of expanding voter participation, despite having lost her fall election, and she has great ideas on ways to do this.

Our treasurer reported our cash on hand as we start out this cycle is $573, 565.  He also advised that “one man’s civil right is everybody’s civil right.  Civil nonviolent resistance is the answer.”

We next heard reports from our elected DNC representatives.  David McDonald, state parliamentarian and on the national rules committee told us they all attended a western region debate in Phoenix in which 9 of the 11 candidates for chair of the DNC spoke.  All our reps remain uncommitted, partly because they consider the race fluid.  The voting will be on 2/25, and candidates can still file until 2/22.  Of interest, DNC chair is elected by the DNC when we do not have control of the WH.  When we do have control the President selects the chair.  He felt 5-6 of the 11 candidates are “very good.”  Ed Cote, long-time DNC member, spoke of the “grief and horror” at the Denver meeting 4 weeks post-election.  A Howard Dean pollster told them “don’t let anyone tell you this was a horrible landslide.  We won the popular vote by 2.8 m votes, and lost the electoral college by only 70,000 votes in 3 key states.  In those crucial states, we lost the millenials and we lost the “Reagan Democrats.”  Sharon Mast pointed out that Inslee is now head of the Governor’s Association.  In addition to chair, the committee will fill 8 other offices on 2/25.  Nancy Monacelli reiterated that we need a 50 state strategy, to reach out to the unengaged and bring them back in.  The question is, who is best qualified to accomplish and fund those goals?

In the morning before the business meeting, members had a chance to visit three different committees, to help us each decide which we wish to participate on.  The Eastern WA committee made it clear what works in Western Washington in terms of framing may well fall flat in Eastern Washington.  The Elections Committee told us our state has >3,000 positions across the state that are open.  No position is too small, whether seat is elected or appointed; we need to get Democrats in all these positions, on their way up.  Rules committee is responsible for coming up with our delegate selection plan and for revising rules on how to fill legislative vacancies, as well as dealing with the primary/caucus situation.  Districts have also requested an endorsement procedure guidance as well.

Finally, we passed a group of resolutions which are on the website.  Most importantly, the Young Democrats brought forth a time-sensitive resolution, signed by the 50+ members required to consider a resolution that has not gone through committee that passed overwhelmingly:

Resolution in Opposition to U.S. Visa and Green Card Holders Denied Entry to the United States on the Basis of their Country of Origin.

WHEREAS, the Executive Order signed by President Trump on January 27, 2017, has banned travel from seven countries based solely on the fact of having a Muslim majority; and

WHEREAS, the practical result of this Executive Order is to ban all refugees for a period of 90 days and all Syrian refugees for a period of 120 days; and

WHEREAS, legal permanent residents and green card holders are being illegally being detained at airports and denied entrance to the United States; and

WHEREAS, persons seeking asylum and refugee status whom have gone through proper US and international procedure and law have been denied refugee status;

WHEREAS, the denial of entry to the US can mean certain death of refugees if they are forced back to their home countries;

WHEREAS, the rejection of refugees to the United States in the 1930s and 1940s, resulted in the death of hundreds of religious minorities;

WHEREAS, Governor Jay Inslee has publically stated that the State of Washington will support and welcome Syrian refugees; and

WHEREAS, the WSDCC Platform for 2016 declares opposition to “Policies that exclude or demean immigrants based on religion or country of origin”;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, call for the State Legislature to immediately pass legislation expressing support for the admittance of refugees who have obtained legal permission and face threats to their lives if forced to return to their countries of origin and not enter the United States; and

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we request that our elected representatives to enact legislation condemning the Executive Order, signed by President Donald Trump on January 27, 2017;

THEREFORE, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we urge the State Legislature to enact legislation pursuant to the sovereignty granted in the United States Constitution allowing for refugees to peacefully reside within and emigrate to the State of Washington.

We were then made aware of the 10 refugees being held hostage at SeaTac and were urged by our new Chair to head for the airport on our way home to join the protestors there.

Folks, judging from this meeting and from happenings this weekend, we are in the midst of a resistance movement and cannot let up.   Our new chair and officers, soon –to-be-occupied state committees, DNC members, the Progressive caucus under the new leadership of Chad Lupkes (with our own Martha Koester continuing as secretary) will do our utmost to see that we will prevail.  We will have field workers in all 39 counties.  We will work to get good Democrats in every position open; no position is too small for us to fill.  And we will resist policies and actions that violate our Constitution and harm our fellow human beings.  It’s going to be up to each and every one of us – and the friends and neighbors we will all bring to join us – to take our country back!

In solidarity,

Lisa Plymate, State Committeewoman

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!”

  • 1
  • 2