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Redistricting - Maps and Lawsuits

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

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