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!
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!