We can’t talk about anything this week without mentioning the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.
This has been a rough week of news to watch, especially for our Black friends, family, and neighbors, who are reminded on an almost daily basis now of the pain and trauma that our society inflicts upon them. At the same time, we have hope this verdict can be the beginning of a shift in our country — a shift away from the systemic racism that is so deeply embedded in our society and criminal justice system and towards true, long-overdue justice. There is so much left to be done. Countless people continue to wait for justice, are demanding justice, and deserve it. America is demanding change.
A guilty verdict is less than what America deserves. We know that this verdict alone will not heal our nation from the plague that is systemic racism. We must continue on our path towards ridding ourselves of this plague. The best way we can do this is through transformative action that will bring restorative justice to Black Americans, who have always been disproportionately harmed by state violence. Never forget that our collective demands for accountability and justice are what brought about this monumental change. This shift was not random or inevitable; this verdict was the result of deliberate and dedicated action. Where we go from here can bring about even more significant change — but not without continued effort.
Tuesday’s guilty verdict reminds us that in this moment we must direct all of our work toward building a more powerful, more diverse, and more antiracist party. Each day, we must reaffirm our commitment to support and elect candidates who will help make the real changes in our laws and in our society that are necessary for us to dismantle institutional racism. We still have so far to go in order to build a society that truly cares for all Americans - but these are steps in the right direction. It is my hope that this moment can serve as a turning point where we bend our country’s moral arc more towards justice. This course-correction will end with this week’s verdict if we stop our work, too. We cannot stop because all of us are needed moving forward. I’m glad to have you join me in the commitment to this work.
State Tax Reform and Capital Gains: There is good news this week coming from the state legislature, though. With just a few days left before session ends on Sunday, April 25th, both the House and the Senate have now passed major reform to our state’s upside-down tax code with a capital gains tax! This has been a huge priority for our party’s Advocacy Committee and it’s been something we’ve been working on for years. The capital gains tax would have the very richest Washingtonians pay a 7% tax on the profits they make from the sale of investments like stocks if they make more than $250,000 from those sales in a year. This would affect fewer than 1% of Washingtonians, but it would raise money that Washington State can invest in important programs like expanding child care services for families and making sure that caregivers are getting the compensation they need to both provide high-quality early learning and earn a living wage.
The legislature is also funding the Working Families Tax Credit to get money back into the pockets of lower-income families throughout Washington. This cash assistance program is proven by experts to be one of the most effective anti-poverty measures we can implement. Together, these steps are hugely important for fixing our upside-down tax code.
We know the Republicans are going to be mad as hell about this and they’re going to fight as hard as they can to protect lower taxes for their ultra-rich donors - while lying about the impacts to the rest of us. Expect to hear more from us about the work we will all need to do to help protect this historic reform from their attacks. And thank you to our Democratic legislators who took these bold and necessary votes!
Filing Week Coming Up: We are one month away from the filing deadline for local 2021 elections! There are thousands of local seats up in Washington where we want to have Democrats on the ballot! School boards, city and county governments, and special districts like ports and fire commissions all have seats up this year. We know how important it is to run Democrats in every place we can across Washington -- research from the 2020 election showed that having down-ballot Democrats running helped drive turnout all across the ticket and may have even ensured Biden’s victory in key swing states! It’s critical that we have Democratic candidates running to win in 2021.
We set up our Rise & Run programto give local Democrats and party organizations the information they need to run and win anywhere in Washington. https://www.wa-democrats.org/riseandrun has information you can use to help plan and execute a campaign for local office. And, thanks to the efforts we’ve done with Contest Every Race, we identified 10,248 people who are considering running for targeted offices in this cycle, and another 5,733 folks who declined to run but are willing to volunteer or become PCOs. Has your LPO had their candidate introduction meeting? Are you calling these potential volunteers? What are you waiting for?
May 17th through May 21st is the week when candidates NEED to file for office, so make sure you’re talking to people in your community who would be interested in running before that week is up. This next month is crucial; it can help define our work for the rest of 2021!
Something To Do: Washington’s own Rep. Debra Lekanoff of the 40th Legislative District is a nominee for EMILY’s List’s “Gabby Giffords Rising Star Award!” We are so proud of Rep. Lekanoff and we’re glad that her hard work is being recognized nationally with this nomination. The Gabby Giffords Award will be awarded based on community input - you can go to this link to VOTE for Rep. Debra Lekanoff to be honored with this special award.
Something To Share: Thursday, April 29th next week marks the 100th day of Joe Biden’s presidency. The progress that’s already made is immense. The passage of the American Rescue Plan means that many working families bearing the brunt of this crisis are getting the support they need to get through this crisis. The American Rescue Plan also provided funding to get more Americans vaccinated, the resources to get our kids and teachers safely back to school, and so much more. As of this week, more than 200 million vaccine doses have been administered nationwide. We are on track to recover from the COVID crisis!
We have a set of graphics, social media content, and talking points for Democrats and local parties to use to help celebrate and communicate about the successes of these first 100 days. Go here to access these resources and help spread the word about the benefits that Democrats are already delivering for the people of Washington.
Build The Blue Gala May 11th @ 4:30 PM
We want to make sure everyone knows about our “Build The Blue” gala coming up on May 11th with special LIVE guests DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and Georgia’s Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, along with our own Senator Patty Murray and Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland! This is going to be a great event and you can sign up or learn more at wa-democrats.org/buildtheblue.
We’d love you to consider signing up as a Table Captain, or, if you want to help spread the word, we have a toolkit of social media graphicsthat you or your local party organization can share to help let people know about this fun upcoming event!
With gratitude for all you do,