Happy Friday, fellow Democrats!
It’s been a good week of news here at the party. Currently, we’re gearing up for local elections now that filing week is over. We’re excited about all the opportunities out there to work with our local parties to help flip some of the swing seats from red to blue and compete across Washington state! Here’s some of what’s going on this week:
Redistricting Outreach Meetings Beginning:Washington’s Redistricting Commission has begun its initial process of collecting public comment on the redistricting process and goals. These events are all virtual at this point, focused on the communities of one Congressional district at a time. The list of outreach meetings and their dates and times can be found here: https://www.redistricting.wa.gov/outreach-meetings
As a party, our role is to support our Democratic commissioners (chosen by the Senate and House Democratic leaders in the legislature) and provide input on maps that reflect the important communities of interest across the state - like our Native American Tribal partners. We must also provide the opportunity for Democratic voters to have our voices and influence fairly heard in our elections. Redistricting always involves tradeoffs, and no map will ever be “perfect,” but we can help support the commissioners as they work to draw and negotiate the most fair and equitable maps possible.
It’s difficult to propose concrete redistricting plans or maps at this point because we still don’t have the final population data from the Census - that won’t happen until September. Still, at this point, we want to remind ALL the commissioners of the importance of listening to communities of interest. We also need to make sure that groups like Washington’s BIPOC voters can come together as a voice for needed change, so their geographic communities won’t get split up between multiple districts -- as was done to so many groups back in 2011.
Get Involved With New Mexico’s Congressional Special Election:If you’ve got some free time this Memorial Day weekend, there’s an important special election coming up that we can get involved with and have a huge impact! June 1st is Election Day for the special election in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District to replace the incredible Deb Haaland, now the Secretary of the Interior. Let’s join in to ensure that we can hold her seat for Democrats!
Our partners at the New Mexico Democratic Party are running phone banks from now through June 1st, daily from 3 PM to 5 PM Pacific Time.
Here’s the info to get involved! These links have information on how to make calls through this phone bank program:
ThruTalk Service: Democratic National Committee Distributed Callers
ThruTalk User Guide
Why We Make Calls
If folks have questions while they're making phone calls, they can email email@example.com and the DNC has a couple of staff members ready to help with questions.
Something To Watch - We had a great virtual event on Facebook live this week with some of our local Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Democratic leaders, celebrating the accomplishments, achievements, resiliency, and joy of the AANHPI community. It’s important that we highlight this diverse and important population in our state and learn more about how we as Democrats can lift up and amplify the AANHPI community. It’s essential that we make sure our party and our elected officials are proposing and passing policy solutions that reflect their needs and concerns. It was a really interesting discussion! You can watch it here: https://www.facebook.com/washdems/videos/836306120338336
Memorial Day Weekend- This Memorial Day, we must remember the sacrifices that our veterans made for us and honor their service. Our veterans deserve a government and policies that give them the support they need. A lot of that came in the American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan (that every Republican in Congress voted against) has billions of dollars in support for veterans, especially for health care and improvements to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Check here for a fact sheet on benefits for veterans that Democrats delivered in the ARP and help us spread the word about how Democrats are the party who are fighting to help our veterans thrive.
Charges in the Killing of Manuel Ellis - You may have seen the news that Attorney General Bob Ferguson is pressing charges against three of the Tacoma police officers who were part of the killing of Manuel Ellis in March of 2020. Ellis was killed by a group of police officers despite eyewitness accounts that he appeared not to be resisting - another tragedy and example of out-of-control and dangerous law enforcement.
This decision to charge is a significant step towards justice for Manuel Ellis. We know this would not have happened if organizers across the state did not march or if legislators and elected officials had not called for a proper investigation. This is what happens when we hold police accountable and we stand against police violence. Thank you to AG Ferguson for taking this step, and we plan to continue to track this case going forward.
Good National News -There’s good national news on COVID and the economy coming out - today it was reported that US jobless claims dropped to a new pandemic-era low for the 7th week in a row and the number of new COVID-19 cases dropped for the 5th straight week. These milestones are because of President Biden's and Democrats' American Rescue Plan -- and have been achieved no thanks to Republicans in Congress, all of whom voted against the relief package. Yesterday, during his a speech in Ohio, President Biden reminded us about that, about all the Republicans who voted against the American Rescue Plan, and who then turned around and tried to take credit for it -- like our own Republicans Rep. Dan Newhouse and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. We need to keep up the pressure and hold them accountable for their bad vote!
Now we need to keep the effort up to build our economy back better... which is why we’re so excited about Sen. Patty Murray’s fight to make sure that we make child care affordable and accessible to all as a part of a national infrastructure bill. Listen to Sen. Murray talk about the importance of this here.
Thanks for reading, and for all you do for the Democratic Party!