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  • 25 Sep 2021 11:38 AM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


    Hello fellow Democrats! We’re busy getting ready for tomorrow’s big state committee meeting so I wanted to forward around the email I sent on Tuesday with the major news of the week - redistricting legislative maps and the fraud lawsuits being filed by Republicans against some of our county auditors, Arizona-style. Catch up below if you missed Tuesday’s email!

    Next Tuesday, Commissioners will release their Congressional district map proposals, but I expect the Republicans will have gerrymandered theirs just the same as they did their legislative maps - we just need to wait and see. 

    It’s absolutely critical that you engage with the redistricting process - it sets the “playing field” for all elections in our state for a decade.

    In the meantime, I encourage everyone to tune into our state committee meeting tomorrow, starting at 9 AM! During my Chair’s Report early in the agenda, I will go into detail about how partisan and unconstitutional the Republican maps are... they do not follow the statutes and consequently they should NOT be considered in this process. State committee members will have votes to take and actions to consider, but PCOs and other folks in the party can watch along on our Youtube live stream here

    Make sure you check out the info below about redistricting and getting involved in the advocacy process and about our party’s redistricting committee over the next crucial weeks.I’ll work to keep folks in the loop about developments with these lawsuits and the next steps we’re taking with legal counsel to help defend Washington from these conspiracy attacks. As always, thanks for reading!

    With gratitude,Tina Podlodowski

    FW: Big news day - maps and lawsuits!

    Hello fellow Democrats! It’s been a huge news week here in Washington and I wanted to reach out to you with an update on the action. 

    Legislative Redistricting Maps!

    This week, the state’s bipartisan Redistricting Commission released their legislative district map proposals for each of the four caucuses - House and Senate Democrats and Republicans. You can see the four maps here: https://www.redistricting.wa.gov/commissioner-proposed-maps 

    These maps will define state politics for the next 10 years and have a major part to play in who controls power in the legislature, so they are hugely important. We’ll need to run an incredibly strong voter contact program next year to make sure we’re connecting with voters who are in a new district for the first time in a decade. We’ll need to communicate with them about their new district and new elected officials to make sure we can protect our Democrats and beat the Republicans. And for our local LD parties, we’ll have to reorganize all of our local parties to match the new boundaries (LDs only - counties stay the same of course) - it’s going to be a big deal and a lot of change. 

    It’s clear from looking at the maps that the Republicans are pulling out all the stops to make this process as gerrymandered as possible. Both the House and Senate Republicans have drawn maps that put their political desire to elect as many Republicans as possible first. (what did you expect?)

    They have ignored their legal obligations under the RCW to respect cities and counties, keep districts contiguous, and listen to public comment and testimony. It’s shameful what they’ve done and Washingtonians demand better. 

    The process of negotiating these districts goes until November 15th, when they’re finalized. Next week, the commissioners will release their proposed congressional district maps, and in early October they’ll take public testimony on their proposals. Our state party Redistricting Committee will be working hard to equip folks with the skills and information they need to offer good, effective testimony and push the commission to draw the best districts possible! 

    The committee held a training on the redistricting process and advocacy last Friday - you can watch that here. This is very important information for anyone who wants to give testimony on their districts. Testimony has to be short - under 90 seconds - so you have to be crisp, concise, and address your key issues quickly. If the commission can’t come to agreement and the Supreme Court has to draw these maps, then public testimony could be hugely important. It’s also important to be submitting written testimony in parallel with your verbal testimony, and this training provides some great examples of how to keep those written letters concise and impactful.

    The schedule for future Redistricting Commission action is: 

    • Tuesday, September 28 – Commissioners will each release their proposed congressional district map.

    • Tuesday, October 5(7 p.m.) Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on state legislative map proposals.

    • Saturday, October 9(10 a.m.) -Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on congressional map proposals.

    • Friday, October 22 – Deadline to ensure full consideration of third-party map submissions by the Commission.

    • Monday, November 15 (11:59 p.m.) – Deadline for Commission to submit final maps to the Legislature.

    Your LPO has representatives to the State Party Redistricting Committee - remember to connect with them FIRST. Additionally, please sign up to volunteer to provide testimony HERE and a member of the Redistricting Committee will reach out to you.

    GOP’s New Voter Fraud Lawsuits In WA

    We’ve all seen how Republicans across the country have spread the “Big Lie” that Trump supposedly won the 2020 election and it all got covered up by voter fraud. We’ve seen the people in states like Arizona who conduct “investigations” of this conspiracy and how they’ve always come up with nothing. Well guess what the GOP is pushing here in Washington now? 

    In just the past few days, Republicans in Snohomish, Clark, and Whatcom Counties have filed lawsuits calling for Arizona-style “audits” to hunt for nonexistent voter fraud

    Let’s remember the facts - election results in Washington state get audited and recounted every year. We had a hand recount in an incredibly close legislative election in King County last year, and the count showed that the recount barely changed from the initial results. Our elections are not filled with fraud, and the Republicans who claim that they are, well, are openly lying to us all. 

    These Republicans never have proof and never find any actual fraud. Why are they doing it? Because they know that it gets their base riled up, it brings in the fundraising dollars, and it gives them momentum to pass the voter suppression legislation that they need to actually compete in elections. 

    I don’t intend to let them get away with it here in Washington. After learning of these lawsuits, my first call was to our state party’s lawyers, asking how we can help stop these bogus efforts. Legal fees are very expensive but our party is not going to stand by while Republicans assault the very bedrock of our democracy, not while I’m chair. If you can make a donation to help cover the costs of our legal fund, I’d appreciate it. I’ll talk more about this at the state committee meeting this weekend, but I wanted to flag this for folks now. We can’t stand by while this happens. 

    Tax Town Hall Reminder

    Just a quick reminder - this week was the first of the Washington state legislature’s tax system town halls, for the East region - LDs 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 16.

    Over the past two years, the Tax Structure Work Group, co-chaired by Rep. Noel Frame (LD 36), has conducted economic analyses and held initial listening sessions to find out how the Legislature can create a more equitable, transparent, and stable tax code for working families and small businesses. 

    The Tax Structure Work Group is hosting seven virtual Tax Town Halls, one for each of seven regions in Washington. Each Town Hall will offer two identical sessions, one in the afternoon (2:30 - 4:00 p.m.) and one in the evening (6:30 - 8:00 p.m.).

    These Tax Town Halls will be 90-minute, interactive listening and sharing sessions, so you’re invited to come prepared to share your thoughts with your neighbors, local businesses, elected officials, and extended community. All members of the public are welcome - you don't need to be an accountant or tax expert to participate! The sessions will be conducted remotely on Zoom – if you have any questions or accessibility concerns please contact info@taxworkgroup.org.

    All residents and businesses of Washington state are welcome to join and provide feedback. Find your region and the date for your meeting and sign up today at taxworkgroup.org.

    Lastly, this Saturday is our September state committee meeting! WSDCC members should be ready for a big day and other folks from around the state will have the opportunity to tune in to the proceedings over on Youtube. Thanks so much and keep up the good work!

    With gratitude, 

    Tina Podlodowski

  • 22 Sep 2021 5:34 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

     From: Tina Podlodowski <chair@wa-democrats.org> 

    Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 4:45 PM

    To: Tina Podlodowski <chair@wa-democrats.org>

    Subject: Big news day - maps and lawsuits!

    Hello fellow Democrats! It’s been a huge news day here in Washington and I wanted to reach out to you with an update on the action. Normally we do these emails every Friday, but there’s so much going on right now I just couldn’t wait!

    Legislative Redistricting Maps!

    Today, the state’s bipartisan Redistricting Commission released their legislative district map proposals for each of the four caucuses - House and Senate Democrats and Republicans. You can see the four maps here: https://www.redistricting.wa.gov/commissioner-proposed-maps 

    These maps will define state politics for the next 10 years and have a major part to play in who controls power in the legislature, so they are hugely important. We’ll need to run an incredibly strong voter contact program next year to make sure we’re connecting with voters who are in a new district for the first time in a decade. We’ll need to communicate with them about their new district and new elected officials to make sure we can protect our Democrats and beat the Republicans. And for our local LD parties, we’ll have to reorganize all of our local parties to match the new boundaries (LDs only - counties stay the same of course) - it’s going to be a big deal and a lot of change. 

    It’s clear from looking at the maps that the Republicans are pulling out all the stops to make this process as gerrymandered as possible. Both the House and Senate Republicans have drawn maps that put their political desire to elect as many Republicans as possible first. (what did you expect?)

    They have ignored their legal obligations under the RCW to respect cities and counties, keep districts contiguous, and listen to public comment and testimony. It’s shameful what they’ve done and Washingtonians demand better. 

    The process of negotiating these districts goes until November 15th, when they’re finalized. Next week, the commissioners will release their proposed congressional district maps, and in early October they’ll take public testimony on their proposals. Our state party Redistricting Committee will be working hard to equip folks with the skills and information they need to offer good, effective testimony and push the commission to draw the best districts possible! 

    The committee held a training on the redistricting process and advocacy last Friday - you can watch that here. This is very important information for anyone who wants to give testimony on their districts. Testimony has to be short - under 90 seconds - so you have to be crisp, concise, and address your key issues quickly. If the commission can’t come to agreement and the Supreme Court has to draw these maps, then public testimony could be hugely important. It’s also important to be submitting written testimony in parallel with your verbal testimony, and this training provides some great examples of how to keep those written letters concise and impactful.

    The schedule for future Redistricting Commission action is: 

    ·  Tuesday, September 28 – Commissioners will each release their proposed congressional district map.

    ·  Tuesday, October 5 (7 p.m.) – Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on state legislative map proposals.

    ·  Saturday, October 9 (10 a.m.) - Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on congressional map proposals.

    ·  Friday, October 22 – Deadline to ensure full consideration of third-party map submissions by the Commission.

    ·  Monday, November 15 (11:59 p.m.) – Deadline for Commission to submit final maps to the Legislature.

    Your LPO has representatives to the State Party Redistricting Committee - remember to connect with them FIRST. Additionally, please sign up to volunteer to provide testimony HERE and a member of the Redistricting Committee will reach out to you.

    GOP’s New Voter Fraud Lawsuits In WA

    We’ve all seen how Republicans across the country have spread the “Big Lie” that Trump supposedly won the 2020 election and it all got covered up by voter fraud. We’ve seen the people in states like Arizona who conduct “investigations” of this conspiracy and how they’ve always come up with nothing. Well guess what the GOP is pushing here in Washington now? 

    In just the past few days, Republicans in Snohomish, Clark, and Whatcom Counties have filed lawsuits calling for Arizona-style “audits” to hunt for nonexistent voter fraud. 

    Let’s remember the facts - election results in Washington state get audited and recounted every year. We had a hand recount in an incredibly close legislative election in King County last year, and the count showed that the recount barely changed from the initial results. Our elections are not filled with fraud, and the Republicans who claim that they are, well, are openly lying to us all. 

    These Republicans never have proof and never find any actual fraud. Why are they doing it? Because they know that it gets their base riled up, it brings in the fundraising dollars, and it gives them momentum to pass the voter suppression legislation that they need to actually compete in elections. 

    I don’t intend to let them get away with it here in Washington. After learning of these lawsuits, my first call was to our state party’s lawyers, asking how we can help stop these bogus efforts. Legal fees are very expensive but our party is not going to stand by while Republicans assault the very bedrock of our democracy, not while I’m chair. If you can make a donation to help cover the costs of our legal fund, I’d appreciate it. I’ll talk more about this at the state committee meeting this weekend, but I wanted to flag this for folks now. We can’t stand by while this happens. 

    Tax Town Hall Reminder - Eastern WA Region This Evening

    Just a quick reminder - afternoon and evening the first of the Washington state legislature’s tax system town halls, for the East region - LDs 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 16.

    Over the past two years, the Tax Structure Work Group, co-chaired by Rep. Noel Frame (LD 36), has conducted economic analyses and held initial listening sessions to find out how the Legislature can create a more equitable, transparent, and stable tax code for working families and small businesses. 

    The Tax Structure Work Group is hosting seven virtual Tax Town Halls, one for each of seven regions in Washington. Each Town Hall will offer two identical sessions, one in the afternoon (2:30 - 4:00 p.m.) and one in the evening (6:30 - 8:00 p.m.).

    These Tax Town Halls will be 90-minute, interactive listening and sharing sessions, so you’re invited to come prepared to share your thoughts with your neighbors, local businesses, elected officials, and extended community. All members of the public are welcome - you don't need to be an accountant or tax expert to participate! The sessions will be conducted remotely on Zoom – if you have any questions or accessibility concerns please contact info@taxworkgroup.org.

    All residents and businesses of Washington state are welcome to join and provide feedback. Find your region and the date for your meeting (again, east is tomorrow!) and sign up today at taxworkgroup.org.

    Lastly, this Saturday is our September state committee meeting! WSDCC members should be ready for a big day and other folks from around the state will have the opportunity to tune in to the proceedings over on Youtube. Thanks so much and keep up the good work!

     

    With gratitude, 

     

    Tina Podlodowski


  • 10 Sep 2021 4:28 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


    Hello fellow Democrats and I hope everyone had a wonderful week! It looks like we have one last weekend of sun before the fall weather returns - will you be out there lit dropping or door knocking? There are literally thousands of great candidates in our state to choose from, and if you can’t decide, check out our Rooted to Win candidates here: https://www.wa-democrats.org/rootedtowin/ Another cohort will be added to these 39 in just a week or so.

    Big COVID Vaccine News -  

    The Biden Administration is taking a strong step to help make sure all Americans who can get vaccinated are doing so by requiring all employers with 100+ employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or show weekly negative testing. By expanding these mandates, we can boost overall vaccination rates -- the most effective way to keep people safe and save countless lives. You can read more about this new measure, and the other steps being taken by the Biden Administration to end the pandemic here

    • Vaccinating the Unvaccinated: President Biden announced vaccination requirements that cover an estimated 100 million Americans – two thirds of all workers – including all employees in the federal government and those at most health care settings

    • Further Protecting the Vaccinated: President Biden announced there will be enough booster shots available to everyone for free as soon as they are authorized – with a national distribution system ready, providing easy access for all eligible Americans, and ensuring Americans know where to get a booster.

    • Keeping Schools Safely Open: The President called on all governors to require vaccinations for all teachers and staff, will require vaccination for educators at federal Head Start Programs, and is helping increase regular testing at schools. And, any teacher or school official whose pay is withheld by a governor will have that pay restored by the federal government – 100%.

    • Increasing Testing & Requiring Masking: The President’s plan will ensure that every American – no matter their income – can access free, convenient tests. The plan expands easy-to-use testing production through the Defense Production Act, makes tests more affordable, expands free pharmacy testing, and sends free rapid tests to food banks and community health centers. The plan also continues to require masking for interstate travel and on federal property.

    • Protecting Our Economic recovery: The President announced several programs that will help ensure the U.S. economy continues to grow, including an expansion of the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program so small businesses can borrow up to $2 million to keep their businesses strong.

    • Improving Care for Those with COVID-19: The Administration is strengthening its surge response, with nearly 1,000 personnel already deployed across 18 states and the Department of Defense doubling the number of their teams deployed to support hospitals. The Administration is also increasing the weekly pace of monoclonal antibody shipment.

    Some will say this is controversial, and, to a few, it might be. But the fact is that these vaccine mandates are wildly popular. Take a look at the polling done this August in some key battleground states:

    People want to be safe, people support vaccines, and people support these mandates, no matter how much of a fuss conservative politicians and die-hard Trumpers try to make of them. These mandates are the right thing to do for safety, and that’s why they’re popular with the American public. 

    Meanwhile, next door in Idaho, hospitals are now filled with so many COVID cases that they may have to triage patients and ration or deny care for some. My heart breaks for the families there who must be terrified about what could happen if a loved one gets sick or even has a “normal” medical emergency, like a car accident or a heart attack. It’s important to recognize that this is what Washington State Republicans would be doing here in Washington if they had power - the GOP would be stopping mask usage and vaccine requirements just as Idaho did, and we’d be in as deep of a crisis as our neighbors to the east. Elections truly have consequences, and it’s a public health necessity that we keep people like Loren Culp, John Braun, and J.T. Wilcox out of power. 

    A Whole Boatload of Talking Points, Info, and Resources - We often hear from folks about how they’re looking for more information and other resources about some of the major events of the day. Well, good news! We’ve got a whole boatload of stuff we’ve assembled for you on the work that the Biden Administration and Democrats are doing on the issues that are important to communities across the country. This is information that you can share, refer to, and get informed by, so you can do a better job of representing Democrats in your community and spreading the word about the great work being done by our party for the people of this state and this country. 

    Haiti:

    COVID:

    Build Back Better:

    Child Tax Credit:

    Hurricane Ida:

    Housing:

    Immigration:

    Jobs Report:

    Reproductive Rights: 

    Voting Rights:


    Campañas con Calidad (3C) Spanish Language Training Program - The Washington State Democratic Party, together with the DNC and ASDC Best Practices Institute, are excited to announce the launch of our Campañas con Calidad (3C) Spanish Language Training Program! 

    Campañas con Calidad is a free, six-part, on-demand training course that covers a variety of campaign skills needed to run successful campaigns. 3C trainings are conducted entirely in Spanish, and are targeted towards Spanish speaking individuals who are looking to organize and win campaigns in Latinx communities. These trainings are available for on-demand viewing in the BPI Victory Vault to commemorate the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month here in September!

    Training topics include framing and relational organizing, field organizing, digital mobilization, technology, communications, and fundraising. Register for the BPI Victory Vault today to gain access to this exciting training program!

    ¡El Partido Demócrata de Washington, junto con el DNC y el ASDC Best Practices Institute, se complace en anunciar el lanzamiento de nuestro programa de capacitación en español Campañas con Calidad (3C)!

    Campañas con Calidad es una programa de capacitación en línea, gratis, de seis partes, que cubre una variedad de habilidades de campaña necesarias para construir campañas exitosas. 

    Los entrenamientos de 3C se llevan a cabo íntegramente en español y están dirigidos a personas de habla hispana para ganar campañas en comunidades latinx. Estas capacitaciones estarán disponibles para su visualización a pedido en el BPI Victory Vault para conmemorar el inicio del Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana.

    Los temas de capacitación incluyen organización relacional, organización de campo, digital, tecnología, comunicaciones y recaudación de fondos. Regístrese hoy en BPI Victory Vault para obtener acceso a este programa de capacitación.

    ++++++++++

    The Facts on Police Accountability Bills - You may have seen some misinformation about the police accountability legislation passed this year by the state legislature and what it does. Politically-motivated Republicans are trying to spread bogus information about these bills, claiming that they’ll make us less safe in attempts to heighten the issue and win midterm elections next year. The fact is, these are good bills that will make us safer, reduce instances of bias and unnecessary police violence, and that the public strongly supports. 

    Truth In Washington is an informational campaign to get the word out about the facts of these bills - check out their website here, and please share as broadly as you can. They have some great graphic content on the site that can be used on social media, and have links to polling that you can download and read yourself. 

    Thanks for reading, mask up, vaxx up, and stay safe! 

    With gratitude, 

    Tina Podlodowski

  • 4 Sep 2021 6:37 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


    Texas - You’ve probably read about the horrible abortion bill in Texas already this week, but we have to discuss it here. This is such a major event with massive implications to come. 

    In May, Governor Abbott signed the strongest anti-abortion law in the country, Senate Bill 8, which went into effect on this week on September 1. It bans abortion six weeks after conception — when many pregnant people don’t even know they’re pregnant — thus criminalizing about 85% of abortions in Texas. There are no exceptions for rape, incest. Opponents of the bill had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the law from taking effect. It declined to do so on a 5-4 vote, with all three of Trump’s Supreme Court picks on the wrong side. 

    Disturbingly, S.B. 8 puts ordinary people in charge of enforcement. Anyone — at all — can sue any individual who “aids or abets,” or even intends to abet, an abortion in Texas after six weeks into a pregnancy. Anyone who advises a pregnant person seeking abortion (including a spouse or partner), gives them a ride, provides counseling, staffs a clinic, and so on, can be sued by any random stranger. If the plaintiff wins, they pocket $10,000 plus court costs, and the clinic that provided the procedure is closed down. So S.B. 8 enables nuisance lawsuits to ruin abortion providers, along with anyone accused of aiding and abetting — or intending to abet — an abortion. And the enforcers will be ordinary citizens, well, self-appointed vigilantes actually. These vigilantes are already compiling info and dossiers on their friends and neighbors. Find this impossible to believe? Check out: www.prolifewhistleblower.com 

    Obviously, this is a disaster for all Texans. And as with so much, the hurt will be felt most keenly by those on the bottom of the economic ladder and communities of color, who don’t have the financial ability to travel to other states or access the tools and resources that the wealthier do when they need abortions. It shows the failure and evil of Trump's Supreme Court picks, who barely even justified their decision. It shows what fascism looks like right here at home.

    This story also shows the critical importance of voting for pro-choice candidates. Now, I know what some of you will say in reply to this: “Tina, we did vote! We elected Biden and this terrible thing still happened! How can your solution just be to keep voting?” That’s a fair question. While neither you nor I can vote for new Texas legislators, and we can only vote here in Washington, we still have to recognize that Democratic control doesn’t necessarily last forever - unless we work every day to make it last. A woman’s right to abortion is not in our state constitution, only in law - a law which we know the Washington Republicans would love to repeal. They’ve applauded the Texas abortion bill and have started work on such a bill in almost every state. Just look at what the Chair of the King County Republicans posted:

    We all know that midterm elections can be a challenging political environment for the president’s party, and here in Washington, the right to abortion will be on the ballot with every choice (Dem or GOP) just as it will be in every state. We cannot afford to think that “it can’t happen here.” It can - if we don’t stop it. This threat to the right to abortion means it’s more important than everbefore that we protect our pro-choice legislators, and to expand our majorities to the supermajority it would take to embedthe right to abortion into our state constitution, protecting this right from potential fluctuations in partisan control. 

    And in Texas, we’re joining our friends at the Texas Democratic Party in encouraging folks to support their local abortion funds, which directly help pregnant people access abortions. This link goes to a fundraising page split between Support Your Sistah at the Afiya Center, West Fund, Lilith Fund, Frontera Fund, Whole Woman's Health Alliance, Inc., Texas Equal Access Fund, Jane's Due Process, Clinic Access Support Network, The Bridge Collective, and Fund Texas Choice - a list of Texas abortion funds assembled by local experts on the ground. It’s not a political contribution, it’s direct support for the folks who are on the front lines of providing care and support pregnant people in Texas who need help getting an abortion, and it’s very important that we stand up for them. 

    This wasn’t even the only bad bill going into effect in Texas this week! House Bill 1927 permits people to carry handguns without a permit, unless they have been convicted of a felony or domestic violence. This measure was not popular in the state. 59% of Texans - including the Texas Police Chiefs Association - opposed it. And Texas also just passed new voting restrictions that allow partisan poll watchers to have “free movement” in polling places, enabling them to intimidate voters and elections staff. Texas Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign that bill in the next few days. 

    What we’re seeing is a Republican U.S. Supreme Court that’s willing to let GOP state legislatures run roughshod over our rights. Working together, they are attacking our right to abortion, our protections against gun violence, the health of our very democracy, our right to vote, and so much more. State legislatures are a battleground where we must fight and win - in Washington, in Texas, and in every state in the nation. 

    The hope I can offer you is that these are fights we can -- and will -- win. We’ve seen how over the past few years, we’ve reshaped our Washington state legislature, flipped the Senate majority from red to blue, brought in fantastic classes of progressive, pro-choice champions, and elected the most diverse legislatures in history, with record numbers of Democratic women of color taking office. We have done this and we can do it again - here and elsewhere. It takes work and money, and we don’t always win every race, but it can be done. It’s what must be done. 

    Labor Day - It’s Labor Day weekend, and a good opportunity to reflect on the enormous contributions that unions have made to our society. If you appreciate having weekends, thank labor unions! The power of workers united is crucial for countering the corporate power of capital and ensuring that the people get a voice in their workplaces, our politics, and our society at large. 

    Here in Washington, we’re happy to have worked with our allies in labor to support causes like reforming our state’s upside-down and unfair tax code, raising the minimum wage, passing paid family and medical leave, and enacting critical workplace protections and safety measures. 

    I’m also proud that our state party staff is in our 4th year as a unionized workforce as members of IUPAT, and that we’re able to make sure that we’re providing fair wages and benefits for the workers who help make possible so much of the work that Washington State Democrats are able to accomplish. 

    If you’re gathering with your family and friends this weekend for a barbecue or a picnic (COVID safely, I hope!) please take a moment to consider the sacrifices and work done by labor unions and workers to get us here today. We stand on the shoulders of giants, who had to fight Pinkertons, and faced violence and retribution from bosses and corporations - and still do.

    Redistricting Commission Announces Key Dates - Now that the Census Bureau has finally released the final data required for drawing maps in our redistricting process, our state’s bipartisan Redistricting Commission has announced important meeting dates for presenting their map proposals and soliciting feedback: 

    • Tuesday, September 21 – Commissioners will each release their proposed state legislative district map.

    • Tuesday, September 28 – Commissioners will each release their proposed congressional district map.

    • Tuesday, October 5(7 p.m.) Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on state legislative map proposals.

    • Saturday, October 9(10 a.m.) - Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on congressional map proposals.

    • Friday, October 22 – Deadline to ensure full consideration of third-party map submissions by the Commission.

    • Monday, November 15 (11:59 p.m.) – Deadline for Commission to submit final maps to the Legislature.

    We all need to have these dates on our calendars because the map proposals we see from the commissioners this month and the feedback they receive from the public in October will be critical for laying out the political groundwork for the next decade in Washington. Local party organizations need to be aware of what’s being proposed in their legislative and Congressional districts, and ready to provide feedback to ensure that the maps are representing communities of interest and drawing lines that let Democrats fairly compete. 

    As these dates come, we’ll be working with our state party’s Redistricting Committee to share information out to all our local party organizations about what we see being proposed and how they can get involved, but tracking these key dates is the first step. In the meantime, the redistricting commission has made a “Draw Your WA” tool where the public can advocate on behalf of your communities of interest by drawing the boundaries of areas that should stay together. You can use the tool here:https://www.redistricting.wa.gov/participate/draw-your-wa 

    Our state party’s Redistricting Committee hosted a great webinar training on how to use the Draw Your WA tool, along with third-party mapping software like the freeDave’s Redistricting tool. We encourage folks who want to get involved and learn more about redistricting and their communitiesto watch the webinar here

    Stories From Those Helped By Biden Agenda - We’re working with the DNC to collect stories from folks who’ve been positively impacted by the Biden agenda so far. If you have a compelling story about how you’ve been helped and you think you can tell it well - maybe how the Child Tax Credit funds have helped you pay for something you’ve been putting off or make an investment in your future, or how the public health funding helped you get vaccinated and protect you and your loved ones from COVID - fill out this form to share your information for a bank of stories that we can call from to talk about the successes of this administration so far!

    GOP Karaoke - Ending the email on a moment of levity - I could not stop laughing at this video of the incredibly extreme conservative Sen. Phil Fortunato of the 31st Legislative District singing a strange, anti-vaccine parody of the Buffalo Springfield classic “For What It’s Worth.” I’m not sure Fortunato understood particularly well the original lyrics of the song and the point that it was making, but that didn’t stop him from making a fool of himself. 

    It goes without saying that I don’t endorse his message in the least, but give it a watch and get a sense of what we’re up against. This guy’s up for re-election in 2022: 



    Thank you as always for reading, and I hope you enjoy the weekend!


    With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski


  • 6 Aug 2021 4:53 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


    Hello Democrats and happy Friday! It’s our first Friday after the primary election and there’s so much to cover.

    Digging in on Primary Election Results - Who else had an exciting Tuesday night watching the primary results come in? We’ve got some great races and amazing candidates across the state and some of these were quite exciting - like the Spokane City Council race where the 2nd and 3rd place candidates are just two votes apart right now! Don’t let anyone ever tell you your vote doesn’t count. 

    Obviously we don’t have the final results yet - about a third of the ballots remain to be counted - but I worked with our data team on some analysis of the results so far, and here’s what we’re looking at. 

    Overall, turnout statewide as of August 5th is at 26.6%. When looking at partisan breakdowns, Democrats (60+ support score range) are turning out at higher rates than those in the 0-40 support score range (aka Republicans). We’re also seeing strong results among the cohort of Democrats who have low likelihood of turning out, but a high likelihood of supporting Democrats when they do vote - the low turnout score, high support score categories. These reliably progressive, but sporadically voting, Democrats are our top GOTV targets, and it’s a good sign that our campaigns are doing their jobs when these folks are getting their ballots in.

    Looking at when different votes were matched back, we see that throughout the primary, our high support Democrats have consistently turned out at higher rates than our GOP counterparts.

    We’re also looking at relatively high turnout amongst the BIPOC population in Washington. These are groups that tend to lean more Democratic when they vote, and often vote at lower rates. We need to make sure that our party, and our candidates, are working to connect with these voters and drive turnout here so their voices are heard and their votes are impactful. 

    What this all says to me - Democrats are fired up and still voting. I wish turnout was higher overall, but I’m glad to see Democrats beating the GOP in turnout across the state. Now we need to focus on doubling down for the general election. 

    In the general election, we’ll have the opportunity to put some of these D-on-D primaries behind us, and focus on some of the races that only had two candidates and weren’t on the primary ballot. I’m looking at seats like the city of Sequim and beating the Qanon city council appointees, electing Democrats in Central and Eastern Washington and rural Western Washington city councils like Richland, Spokane, Walla Walla, Longview, Blaine, Ferndale, and winning in competitive county council seats in Whatcom, Snohomish, King, and elsewhere. There’s a lot on the map and I know that every county has local candidates we can support and work with. Let’s get to it!

    Rooted To Win - With the primary over, it’s more important than ever that candidates get connected with our Rooted To Win program, to identify and highlight good Democrats running for local office across the state! If you or somebody you know is running for office this year, make sure you’ve filled out our (short) form at https://www.wa-democrats.org/rootedtowin to get involved!

    Infrastructure Bill Has Benefits for WA - With more details coming out about the current infrastructure bill, we can see some of the huge benefits that this legislation would have for Washington state. You can read our fact sheet about what the bill has for WA here! That includes investments in transportation, electric vehicles, broadband, and more. While we continue to advocate for an additional reconciliation package that can do even more on issues like combating climate change, this current bill would be a major investment in jobs and infrastructure for Washington state. 

    Federal Eviction Moratorium Extended - As people across the country struggle with the economic impacts of the COVID pandemic, we know that right now would be a terrible time to evict countless Americans due to an emergency outside of their control. Here in Washington I’m glad that Gov. Inslee, and our Democratic leaders, have been able to enact strong tenant protections that help keep families in their homes, and provide economic relief for both tenants and landlords. At the federal level, this week the Biden Administration extended a federal eviction moratorium for the vast majority of counties in the US. I want to recognize and thank those who advocated strongly for this measure, like Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, and the Biden Administration for taking this action. We can recover from this pandemic and support tenants and landlords alike without forcing a counterproductive and hugely harmful wave of evictions. I’m glad that our Democratic leaders are helping to make that happen. 

    Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO -We're saddened by the passing of Richard Trumka, the President of the AFL-CIO. He was a legend who fought for years for working families and the labor movement. We send our condolences to his friends, family, and brothers and sisters in labor. We're committed to honoring his legacy by fighting for the values and movement that he championed - investing in infrastructure, supporting workers rights and organizing, raising wages and benefits that help working families, solidarity among all working people, and so much more. Personally, I had the honor of meeting with Rich many times, and as two kids raised in #UnionStrong Polish immigrant families, we shared a commitment to creating opportunities for all. He will be missed.

    Economy on the Mend - While we know we have a long way to go to fully recover from the COVID pandemic and build an economy that works for all Americans.the jobs numbers released this week show that President Biden and Democrats’ economic plan to build back better from the bottom up and the middle out is working. Millions of Americans are getting back to work, and working families in Washington are seeing the results -- no thanks to Republicans who tried to stand in the way. Passing legislation like the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan will help keep this progress coming and will ensure that the benefits of a growing economy are shared by all.

    • The unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in July, down from 5.9 percent in June. he United States has now recovered approximately 75 percent of jobs lost during the pandemic. 

    • In the past six months, the economy has gone from creating only 60,000 new jobs a month to creating 60,000 jobs roughly every two days. In total, the economy has added a record-shattering four million jobs since the president took office.

    • Paychecks are growing at the strongest rate before the pandemic since 2006, as companies are competing for workers and boosting wages as a result.

    • A newanalysis by the Urban Institute estimates that President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will lead to a nearly 45% decline in the number of Americans living in poverty this year. 

    More from the Rural Summit - Last week we shared with you some video content from our first ever rural summit - this week, we’ve got more! It was so much fun talking with and learning from folks from across Washington and the Western US about how Democrats can compete and win in rural areas. This is essential work for a strong, competitive party, and I’m committed to making sure the Washington State Democrats always compete in rural Washington. Watch more clips from the summit here:

    Tina discussing the importance of the party competing in rural areas.

    Communications training with Connections Lab - people raved about this after the summit, it’s super useful!

    We did the rural summit while I was in Walla Walla for our tour of Central and Eastern Washington - next week, I’m planning to head down to Southwest Washington to visit our Democrats down there! I’m looking forward to visiting with folks in Clark, Cowlitz, Thurston, Pierce, and more - should be a great time, and stay tuned for updates and photos from out on the road!

    As always, thanks for reading and for your support. Keep up the good work, and on to the 2021 general election!

    With gratitude, 

    Tina Podlodowski

  • 23 Jul 2021 6:16 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

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    Hello fellow Democrats! I’m on the road right now, driving out to Spokane for a few days touring around Central and Eastern Washington!

    I’m so excited to see some of our Central and Eastern Washington Democratic friends in person after a whole pandemic’s worth of time away! Our Communications Director, Alex Bond, and I are going to be visiting Spokane, Walla Walla, the Tri-Cities, and Yakima. Along the way we’ll be meeting local Democratic candidates and activists, catching up on how everyone’s been, and connecting over the work that we need to do this year, next year, and beyond. Over the course of this trip, we are going to come up with strategies to build the Democratic party, support and grow the grassroots, compete electorally, and win in Central and Eastern Washington! There are a lot of major local races this year that we want to get informed on. We also want to learn about the work that people have been doing this year so Democrats from all over Washington can help our rural party organizations be as successful as possible. Plus, it’ll just be great to see some of my friends on this side of the mountains again! Follow along with me on Facebook and Twitter - I’ll probably be posting a bunch there about how it’s going. This will be fun!

    One of the events I’m most excited about while we’re out here is our rural summit on Sunday morning! 

    This summit will involve communications training, a panel featuring partner organizations serving rural communities, issues important to rural engagement, and sessions on how folks in urban and suburban districts can most effectively work with rural voters. This will be capped off with a keynote from the Chair of the Democratic Party of Nebraska and author of Harvest the Vote, Jane Kleeb.It’s not too late to RSVP - click here!

    Ballots are Out - Ballots are out, and people are voting! This is an important time to be doing get-out-the-vote work and supporting the local candidates that our party organizations have certified and endorsed. 2021 is an exciting opportunity to build the bench locally and to lay the groundwork for big wins next year in 2022! 

    Turnout is ahead of where we were at this point in the voting window during the 2019 primaries two years ago. It’s great to see folks getting their ballots in. Higher turnout is good for democracy and good for Democrats, so let’s keep it up!

    The more voters we can identify, volunteers we can activate, and relationships we can build, the more successful these upcoming midterm elections will be! So please, make a plan to get your ballot in right away! Make sure your friends, family, and neighbors do, too! We can’t wait for presidential and mid-term election years to try and get sporadic Democrats in the habit of voting. 

    As in past years, we’ve started our voter protection program again to help ensure that Washingtonians have the support they need to cast their ballots and their voices are heard. We run one of the strongest and most effective voter protection programs in the country. We take extensive steps to make sure every voter’s right to vote is protected, that folks get the support they need to return their ballots, and their votes are counted. 

    Our voter protection team assists hundreds of voters every year and makes a proven difference! We have ten volunteer attorneys staffing the hotline at (206) 309-VOTE from 9 AM to 7 PM daily (8 PM on election day), ready to answer any and all Voter Protection questions. If you happen to miss those hours, please leave a voicemail with a detailed explanation of the issue you're having and one of our amazing volunteers will get back to you as soon as possible! 

    We also maintain a database of Washington’s 400+ dropbox locations and ADA accessible voting centers onIWillVote.com. We update this information in real-time to ensure every voter can easily cast their ballot!

    You can get links to our voter protection resources at https://www.wa-democrats.org/iwillvote!

    Make a plan for when you will get your ballot into a dropbox or the mail, and make sure you do so before the Tuesday, August 3rd, 8:00 pm deadline!

    Four Organizing Projects for Local Parties - At this point, I hope all our local party chairs and vice-chairs have heard about our four main organizing projects for local parties this year. We’re making it as easy as possible to help local parties build the Democratic brand in their areas and lay the groundwork for strong results in 2021 and 2022. Investing in four different groups of voters will pay off in the long-run: 

    • Contacting and finding out more about voters for whom we have little data. We need to know more about some of these voters so that we can target them appropriately next year, for persuasion and GOTV. By contacting them and having a conversation, we can begin building a deeper relationship between them and the Democratic party, and find out how best to communicate with them through the rest of the cycle and beyond.

    • Reaching out to likely Dems who didn't vote in 2020 and finding out why. Unfortunately, too many likely Democratic voters still aren't getting their ballots in, and we want to find out why. By building relationships with these voters and listening to their issues and concerns, we can get them ready to vote this year and next!

    • Re-registering likely Democratic voters who've been purged from the voter rolls by the Secretary of State's office. Thousands of Democratic voters are purged from the voter rolls every year by the Secretary of State's office, and we know many of them are people who are still alive, still living at the same address, and still should be eligible to vote. We can identify these people, let them know they were purged, and get them re-registered to vote. 

    • Registering non-registered voters. There are still so many likely Democrats who fall through the cracks of our automatic voter registration system - we need the face-to-face touch to reach them and get them registered. 

    This work is so critical to building for success this year and in 2022. Our organizing department is ready to help support all our local parties in this effort. But local parties must opt-in to these programs to make sure that we can give everyone the attention and support they need to succeed. Chairs or vice-chairs need to contact organizing@wa-democrats.org to let us know that you want to participate and who your local party organization's point of contact will be. Once we have that information, we will provide more detailed training and materials about how to access these lists, scripts, and target universes in Votebuilder. 

    And for more information on our Rooted To Win program that will help lift up local Democratic candidates, please review this document here and encourage local candidates in your area to contact us and get involved!

    Wildfires Across WA - You’ve probably heard about the fires already happening across Washington state, including the Red Apple fire near Wenatchee, the Cedar Creek and Cub Creek fires around Winthrop and Mazama in the Methow Valley, the Chuweah Creek fire near the Colville Tribal Reservation, the Lick Creek Fire in SE WA, and more. It’s incredibly scary that so many large fires have started this early in the summer, and many of them are human-caused. Please be careful! While I hope most of us have the sense not to be playing with matches in the backcountry at this point, even things like dragging chains from a trailer can set sparks that can start a fire. 

    Our Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz, has ordered a closure of all state Department of Natural Resources lands in Eastern Washington, and pretty much all public lands in the state have ordered fire bans at this point. I appreciate the hard work that Commissioner Franz and her staff are doing to keep us safe. I’m reminded again of how thankful I am for the hardworking firefighters out there right now, putting their own safety at risk to save lives and homes. 

    For anyone making hiking or camping plans for the rest of this summer, please pay attention to public lands closures due to fire because more are likely to come. Use this information to be prepared and be safe. Too many fires are human-caused, especially in a summer as dry and hot as this one. And of course, we need to recognize the role of climate change in contributing to the drought conditions that make these fires more destructive and elect policymakers who will act to prevent the effects of climate change from getting worse. 

    If you’re a podcast fan, check out this podcast “Fireline” from NPR. It’s a short series that’s fascinating about how wildfires in America are changing, getting worse, why, and what we need to do about it. I found it very educational and I recommend it!

    VAN Training (it’s here!) - First, we have exciting news! Our organizing and data departments have put together the best and most comprehensive training series on Votebuilder available anywhere in the country. 

    The three-class series is designed to equip Democrats with the knowledge and skills to understand how voter data is used in Washington so they can be the most effective Votebuilder user possible, no matter what role(s) they anticipate taking on.

    Participants can watch the videos on-demand -- anytime -- ensuring equitable access for party leaders, PCOs, volunteers, candidates, and campaign staff alike, regardless of personal schedules.

    All three classes are full of useful information and concrete Votebuilder skills that are important for every Democrat to know, but participants can choose to watch only the video(s) most applicable to them, if they wish. 

    We’re also offering a 2021 Votebuilder certification! To earn certification, participants must successfully complete three quizzes, each embedded on the same page as its corresponding video lesson. Staff are actively tracking quiz completion; we will make that data available to chairs upon request so local parties around the state know exactly who in their organizations have stepped up to master Votebuilder!

    These VAN Trainings are now available online on our website. The three training videos in the series are:

    • Class #1: Votebuilder 101 covers Votebuilder basics: how to access Votebuilder, create lists, and use common tools.

    • Class # 2: Votebuilder 102 covers more advanced Votebuilder features, appropriate for committee administrators, campaign staff, and anyone who will prepare materials for and/or support other Votebuilder users or volunteers.

    • Class #3: Data & Votebuilder covers non-software Votebuilder training such as good data collection and maintenance practices, how data is shared between different Votebuilder committees throughout the state, and how data is used to benefit Democrats up and down the ticket year over year.

    Want to get VAN certified? VAN training is available online now atwww.wa-democrats.org/van-training-with-wa-dems/. Note that a password is required to access trainings: “WADemsVAN2021” and is case-sensitive!

    Questions about VAN training should be directed to organizing@wa-democrats.org

    Billionaires In Space - Most of us probably saw the news about billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson each participating in flights into space with their own private rocket programs this week. My reaction was: “is ‘not enough billionaires in space’ really the biggest problem facing our society right now?” I’m guessing I’m not the only person who had that thought. 

    I don’t begrudge anyone their fascination with space, but we have to recognize that the personal wealth from these billionaires is absolutely out of control. The world’s billionaires increased their wealth by more than $4 trillion combined during the pandemic, during a time when so many families were struggling and small businesses went under. What sense does that make for us as a society? How is it that the wealthiest few in our state and in our country pay a lower tax rate than almost any of the rest of us pay

    We have an economic system that’s upside down in this country, and stunts like these space flights make that obvious. We need serious tax reform that will get these guys paying their fair share. I’m so thrilled that the state legislature passed a capital gains tax on the sale of investments like stocks and bonds this year to raise taxes on these rich few, and that the Biden Administration proposed higher taxes on the very rich to help fund programs that will help the middle class in this country, like expanding child care. 

    Thanks for reading, and stay tuned next week for updates from our tour! There’s some exciting political work being done by our Central and Eastern Washington Democrats and I’m so thrilled to be out here to support it!


    With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski


  • 17 Jul 2021 4:56 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    SHARON SHRADER

    Sadly, we have lost another luminary in our local Democratic party. Sharon Shrader has passed away. 

    Sharon is probably best known as our County Treasurer, an office she held for 18 years. She made many improvements to the functioning of the office and was always willing to discuss her office and the work that it does. Sharon was also knowledgeable about the workings of local government in general and happy to share that knowledge. She was a regular guest speaker in my State & Local Government class and good at keeping the students engaged in the discussion.

    Her civic engagement in our community was broad and deep. She was a Port of Brownsville Commissioner, chair of the Kitsap County Planning Commission, elected Freeholder to draft a new county charter and member of the board of the Bremerton Housing Authority. Sharon was also involved in numerous organizations that impact our way of life: Sinclair Landing Association, Kitsap League of Women Voters, Visit Kitsap, Democratic Women's Club, Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, Kitsap Community Clinic, Green Mountain Rehabilitation Medicine, and West Sound Chapter of the American Red Cross, and League of Woman Voters.

    Her presence and good guidance will be missed by all, especially those of us who had the privilege of working with her to improve our county and lives.

    A public celebration of her life will be held Wednesday, Sept 8, 1-4 p.m. at Hood Canal Vista Pavilion, 4740 View Drive, Port Gamble. 

  • 17 Jul 2021 4:45 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Death Announcement for Sharon Shrader's passing.   Forward by Linda Streissguth

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    Sharon Lee Shrader, five-term Kitsap County Treasurer, long-time civic and democratic political activist, mentor to many, remarkable cook and hostess, died June 30 at a Port Orchard assisted living facility following a year of failing health.

    Sharon's political career was ignited by the Port of Brownsville commissioners who proposed conversion of the recreational marina into a commercial space and tank farm. Their refusal to listen to community animosity against the proposed development prompted Sharon to run for port commissioner in 1972. She won, breaking into the old boys club, and led the successful fight to keep the Brownsville Marina devoted to recreation.

    Sharon volunteered and Chaired the Kitsap Planning Commission during the development of Bangor Naval Submarine Base. The commission's decisions would eventually bring State Highway 3 and thousands of new residents to Silverdale and lead to conversion of the former chicken capital of Puget Sound into the retail and medical center that it is today.

    In 1984 she was appointed county treasurer to replace a departing Billy Eder, and went on to be elected to this position to serve 4 1/2 terms; Her tenure brought many innovations to the department, including moving the department into the digital age; pioneering an investment pool for higher returns and more money to county departments and districts; and instituting credit card payment of property taxes. 

     

    "Serving as treasurer for all the jurisdictions of government in our county has given me a unique insight into how our government works, the interconnections, interdependency and the various roles and responsibilities as well as an understanding of revenue and taxation," Sharon wrote. It summed up why her Treasurer experience qualified her to be one of 21 elected Freeholders tasked with the formation of a new county charter and form of government in 2000.

    Following retirment in 2002, she was appointed to serve on the Bremerton Housing Authority and her tenure saw the redevelopment of West Park from a collection of World War II duplexes for low-income residents to the development it is today with low-income and market rate apartments and single family houses, retail and community amenities.  

    Sharon's leadership and policy expertise has been felt by many organizations including:  Sinclair Landing Association, Kitsap League of Women Voters, Visit Kitsap, Democratic Women's Club, Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, Kitsap Community Clinic, Green Mountain Rehabilitation Medicine, and West Sound Chapter of the American  Red Cross, and League of Woman Voters.

    "She was a person who cared about others,"  said Congressman Norm Dicks, perhaps summing up Sharon's legacy.

     
    A public celebration of her life will be held Wednesday, Sept 8, 1-4 p.m. at Hood Canal Vista Pavillion, 4740 View Drive, Port Gamble.

  • 16 Jul 2021 4:45 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

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    Hello fellow Democrats! 

    This was an exciting week of news, with ballots mailing out across Washington and big things happening at the federal level.

    Sen. Patty Murray on Climate Change - As Washington grapples with the ongoing climate crisis this summer, from heatwaves to wildfires to droughts, Senator Patty Murray is showing her leadership. As Senate Democrats lay out a proposal for a major infrastructure reconciliation package that would make significant investments in combating the climate crisis and cleaning up our energy sources, Sen. Murray talked about some of those specific proposals and their importance in the Seattle Times:

    For example, we can achieve a 100% carbon-free U.S. power sector by 2035 by setting a national Clean Energy Standard that would make power plants move toward zero emissions — Washington state is already on track to be carbon-neutral by 2030. Nearly two-thirds of Americans support government action to ensure we reach that goal, according to a survey by Data for Progress, a progressive think tank.

    On top of national standards, there’s broad support for clean energy tax credits and incentives that would create jobs and help spur the deployment and use of renewable energies for businesses, investors and consumers. Pairing these tax credits with strong labor standards will also help ensure that the clean energy jobs we create pay well and strengthen the middle class.

    Direct federal funding and programs also will help us bring down carbon emissions in a big way — like my bill to set us on the path to electrify our nation’s more than 100,000 diesel school buses, efforts to modernize our national electric grid and creating a national charging network to invest in electric-vehicle infrastructure.

    As Sen. Murray says, these proposals would protect our environment, create good jobs, and have voter support. Inaction is not an option, and we are so glad to have her leadership pushing for progress. 

    Child Tax Credit Putting Money in Pockets -This week, families across Washington got their first round of payments from the Child Tax Credit funded by the American Rescue Plan. These payments help folks pay their bills, support the economy by boosting spending, and lift families in need out of poverty. They’ll end up helping the families of about 1.4 million children across the state, all told. You can find out more - and sign up if you’re part of a family with children who didn’t get a payment - at https://www.whitehouse.gov/child-tax-credit

    This is so important and could be one of the most transformative elements of the American Rescue Plan if it’s made permanent. Our own Rep. Suzan DelBene (CD 1) talked about the importance of the tax credit in this Seattle Times op-ed piece

    It is hard to overstate how significant this benefit will be to families. I fought so hard for these payments because when families do well, America succeeds. I recently visited El Centro de la Raza in Seattle to highlight this benefit and was joined by Kelly, a mom of three kids from Tacoma. She counts herself as one of the lucky parents who could work from home during the pandemic, keeping her job and saving money on child care. Kelly returns to the office at the end of the month and will have to start paying for early learning for her youngest child. The cost is a quarter of her monthly income. She said she would not know what to do without the Child Tax Credit payments.

    While this development is historic for American families, it should be the beginning, not the end, of this story. The expanded Child Tax Credit is only a one-year version of my proposal, and we cannot stop here. I am fighting to make this permanent because the benefits would be immense. It would help more families reach and maintain a middle-class lifestyle and lift more than 4 million children out of poverty — 65,000 kids in Washington.

    Ballots in Mailboxes -Voters across Washington are receiving their ballots for the primary elections this weekend, and this is an exciting time for our local campaigns! We need to make sure that our Democrats VOTE and we elect Democrats in races across the state. 

    We’ve started our voter protection program again to help ensure that Washingtonians have the support they need to cast their ballots and their voices are heard. We run one of the strongest and most effective voter protection programs in the country. We take extensive steps to make sure every voter’s right to vote is protected, that folks get the support they need to return their ballots, and their votes are counted. 

    Our voter protection team assists hundreds of voters every year and makes a proven difference! We have ten volunteer attorneys staffing the hotline at (206) 309-VOTE from 9 AM to 7 PM daily (8 PM on election day), ready to answer any and all Voter Protection questions. If you happen to miss those hours, please leave a voicemail with a detailed explanation of the issue you're having, and one of our amazing volunteers will get back to you as soon as possible! We also maintain a database of Washington’s 400+ dropbox locations on IWillVote.com and update this information in real-time to ensure every voter can easily cast their ballot!

    You can get links to our voter protection resources at https://www.wa-democrats.org/iwillvote!

    Make a plan for when you will get your ballot into a dropbox or the mail, and make sure you do so before the Tuesday, August 3rd 8:00 pm deadline!

     

    Rural Summit July 25 -We’re holding our Washington Rural Summit virtually next weekend on July 25th to talk about how Democrats can better compete and win in rural areas! I’m so excited about this event. This summit will involve communications training, small group breakouts on issues important to rural engagement, and sessions on how folks in urban and suburban districts can most effectively work with rural voters. This will be capped off with a keynote from the Chair of the Democratic Party of Nebraska and author of Harvest the Vote, Jane Kleeb.Please RSVP here if you would like to attend!

     

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    Texas Dems Supporting Voting Rights -With our ballots out right now and our voter protection team at work, it’s important to recognize how the right to vote is under attack in other states. Right now, Texas Democrats are bravely fighting against horrible legislation proposed by Republicans to roll back the right to vote:

    Among many new changes and restrictions to the state’s electoral process, both bills would ban 24-hour voting and drive-through voting; prohibit election officials from proactively sending out absentee ballot applications to voters who have not requested them; add new voter identification requirements for voting by mail; limit third-party ballot collection; increase the criminal penalties for election workers who run afoul of regulations; limit what assistance can be provided to voters; and greatly expand the authority and autonomy of partisan poll watchers.

    Republicans know their policy ideas are losers and that the only way they can win is to suppress Democratic votes and gerrymander their way to success. Ultimately, we need to pass federal legislation that defends the right to vote and ensures that voters across America can benefit from the voting rights protections that Democrats here in Washington have put into law. This is fundamental to our democracy, and I’m so proud of the Texas Democrats who are fighting for what’s right.

    As always, thank you for reading and for your support! Make sure to vote, and let’s go win!

    With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski

  • 10 Jul 2021 2:40 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

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    Hello fellow Democrats!

    Republicans in the 8th Congressional District - Rep. Kim Schrier has been doing terrific work for all Washngtonians in Congress - passing the American Rescue Plan, working on lowering prescription drug prices, championing more affordable health care, and helping get our economy back on track with support for small businesses. And, for those of you with children, look for checks on July 15th as Democrats in Congress have expanded and advanced the child care tax credit for working families. She’s been there for us on issue after issue and we want her to be able to continue these efforts.

    However, with a narrow Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, national GOP PACs are already targeting her seat and conservative Republican candidates are getting ready to run. Matt Larkin, who challenged Attorney General Bob Ferguson last year (and lost), and Jesse Jensen, who Schrier defeated in 2020, have both declared their candidacy in the 8th CD. Both Larkin and Jensen are Trump-supporting extreme conservatives (who BOTH lost in 2020 - did I mention that?) We know that GOP PACs and the national Republican party will be throwing their support behind them in this race with millions in special interest money - and we have to stop them.

    As Democrats, we need to make sure that all our local party organizations in the 8th Congressional are organized and ready to fight hard in 2021 and 2022. It’s all going to be all about turnout, and the GOP is already stealing a page from our playbook and hiring organizers. For folks in the 8th, it’s especially important that you get the ball rolling now on some of the important organizing projects we lay out later here in this email so we can energize the Democratic base and get out the vote to win crucial races next year. I talked with KING 5 news about the race earlier this week - you can see the story, including my interview, here

    The 8th isn’t the only Congressional District that we’ll be working hard in, of course. We need to protect all our great Democratic incumbents, including Rep. Marilyn Strickland in the 10th, the first Korean-American and Black member of Congress we’ve had in Washington, and Rep. Derek Kilmer in the 6th, where we need to be carefully watching the redistricting process. As rumblings and rumors of GOP challengers come up, and as we recruit good Democrats to run in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th districts against the Republican incumbents (Jaime Herrera Beutler polling at just 30% in a recent poll!) we’re counting on all our local party organizations and members to spread the word about how important these races could be for control of the entire US House of Representatives in the next Congressional session. 

    The Heat Wave - We were all shocked by the heat wave that hit the PNW last week, but it’s an unfortunate fact that these heat events are going to get more common as climate change continues. While we need to work to combat climate change at all levels, from our personal energy use all the way up to global cooperation and action, we also need to work to mitigate the impacts on vulnerable folks and people who have to live and work in the heat. The heat wave caused at least 78 deaths here in Washington, most of whom were older Washingtonians or those without access to shelter. The death count won’t be complete for several more weeks and will certainly be much higher than current estimates. These are the impacts of climate change today. 

    As tough as it is for people in cities to deal with the heat, the impact is bigger in our agricultural communities. While we work to make sure the Democratic Party can compete and win in rural areas, we need to make sure we’re supporting our rural communities through climate change-driven crises like heat waves. Washington is already rolling out emergency rules to protect farmworkers in heat waves and hot conditions that could continue for the rest of the summer and in future years. 

    We also need to recognize the impact on a different sort of agricultural region on the coast and in rural areas of the Olympic Peninsula. An estimated 1 billion shellfish died in the heat wave in the PNW and Western Canada - an important part of our coastal economy that’s already facing challenges from the impacts of ocean acidification, other elements of climate change, and the pandemic. These devastating -- and potentially long-term -- consequences on local shellfish populations also adversely affect indigenous Washingtonians, as the harvesting and consumption of shellfish is an important aspect of many local tribal cultures and practices. This heat wave already makes it clear how climate change will hurt us all - urban or rural, Republican or Democrat - and fighting climate change and helping protect folks from its impacts must be a critical part of our work as Democrats and of the policy portfolio that we communicate in our rural communities. 

    Draw Your WA - The 2021 redistricting process will have huge impacts on our politics and lives for the next ten years, and it’s important that we work to make sure our bipartisan redistricting commission is working on maps where Democrats can fairly compete and win. One of the most important parts of this process is identifying and defining “communities of interest” - the groups that share interests and concerns and should stay unified within the same districts. This could be a neighborhood, a city, a region, or any other geographic area that encompasses a shared interest. 

    The redistricting commission has made a “Draw Your WA” tool where the public can suggest your communities of interest by drawing the boundaries of these areas that should stay together. You can use the tool here: https://www.redistricting.wa.gov/participate/draw-your-wa and they have a video tutorial to help make sure that you can use it. 

    The Washington State Democrats have their first ever redistricting committee this year, who is working on organizing volunteers to provide testimony. If you're interested in getting involved in the redistricting process, please email partyaffairs@wa-democrats.org with your name, contact information, and your home legislative and congressional districts, and we'll connect you with a lead to get you plugged in. This advocacy is important and we need to have our Democratic voices heard.

    +++++++++++++ 

    Our Voter Engagement Plan for 2021 -We're excited to update you all on four big pieces of voter outreach and engagement we're asking local parties to take on during the rest of 2021. We know folks are anxious to get this work going, and we're setting up tools and training in Votebuilder to make this as easy as possible for everyone. Chairs or vice-chairs should contact organizing@wa-democrats.org to let us know that you want to participate and who your local party organization's point of contact will be.Once we have that information, we will provide more detailed training and materials about how to access these lists, scripts, and target universes in Votebuilder. 

    We have four main voter engagement projects that  local parties must participate in if we’re going to win up and down that ballot - 

    • Contacting and finding out more about voters for whom we have little data. We need to know more about some of these voters so that we can communicate with them effectively next year, for persuasion and GOTV. By contacting them and having a conversation, we can begin building a deeper relationship between them and the Democratic party, and find out how best to communicate with them through the rest of the cycle and beyond.

    • Reaching out to likely Dems who didn't vote in 2020 and finding out why. Unfortunately, too many likely Democratic voters still aren't getting their ballots in, and we want to find out why. By building relationships with these voters and listening to their issues and concerns, we can get them ready to vote this year and next!

    • Re-registering likely Democratic voters who've been purged from the voter rolls by the Secretary of State's office. Thousands of Democratic voters are purged from the voter rolls every year by the Secretary of State's office, and we know many of them are people who are still alive, still living at the same address, and still should be eligible to vote. Over 320K since 2017! We can identify these people, let them know they were purged, and get them re-registered to vote. 

    • Registering non-registered voters. There are still so many likely Democrats who fall through the cracks of our automatic voter registration system. Over 1.3M eligible Washingtonians remain unregistered. We need the face-to-face touch to reach them and get them registered. 

    Lastly, on Friday, 7/16 at 6pm, Data Director Maithili Joshi and Deputy Organizing Director Chris Carter will hold an information session for party leaders over Zoom - please register for that (here:https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpfu-qrDIjH93garkMXmcz3bcQo4VLCe7i) and join us for an opportunity to ask any questions you have live! 

    +++++++++++ 

    Rural Summit July 25 - We’re holding our Washington Rural Summit virtually on July 25th to talk about how Democrats can better compete and win in rural areas! This summit will involve communications training, small group breakouts on issues important to rural engagement, and sessions on how folks in Urban or Suburban districts can most effectively work with rural voters. This will be capped off with a keynote from the Chair of the Democratic Party of Nebraska and author of Harvest the Vote, Jane Kleeb.Please RSVP here if you would like to attend!

     

    As always, thank you for reading and thank you for your support! With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski

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