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Tina's Weekly News Wrap

22 Oct 2021 3:44 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

Hello Democrats! It’s an exciting time to be in politics, with ballots out now and folks voting every day! Turnout is on track to be ahead of 2017 or 2019 in many counties, so clearly there’s a lot of enthusiasm out there for these important local elections. Everyone - make a plan to get your ballot in ASAP if you haven’t already, and if you have, remind your friends, family, and neighbors to do so! It’s critical that we have every Democrats’ voice heard this year. Below you’ll find graphics to share to help get out that vote!

Vaccine Mandates Are Keeping Us Safe - This week, Gov. Inslee’s vaccine mandate for state employees went into effect, and it has been a huge success. Nearly every state employee has now gotten vaccinated or had a safe accommodation approved - a massive increase over the past couple months. We have a Washington state workforce now that’s a lot safer than it was this past summer, both for themselves and for the people who rely on and interact with state employees. 

It’s important to know that these vaccine mandates and measures like restaurants and bars asking for proof of vaccination are making a real difference in our COVID recovery. COVID cases in WA have dropped by 50% since early September, according to the Department of Health:

The report found that COVID-19 prevalence — the percent of residents with an active virus infection — has been declining significantly since early September. Last month, the state reported that virus prevalence was at a new high at 0.94%, or about 1 in every 106 people in the state. On Thursday, researchers reported prevalence around 0.41%, or 1 in every 244 Washingtonians.

he newest estimate reflects about a 50% drop in residents with an active COVID-19 infection since last month. 

We can’t let the Republicans and their allies in the conservative media distract us from the fact that WHAT WE ARE DOING IS WORKING! While we might have a long way to go before we beat COVID, we’re on the right track. Brandi Kruse’s podcast and now-former WSU football coach Nick Rolovich might be all fired up, but these public health measures are still the right thing to do for the health and safety of Washingtonians. 

And the public is on our side - poll after poll after poll all show broad public support for the measures being taken by the Biden and Inslee Administrations. I haven’t seen any poll results published yet of Washington or of the country that doesn’t have majority support for these public health measures. People want to be safe and healthy and they want their fellow Americans to do what it takes to make us so. 

We need to stand firm and continue these public health measures - they are working, they are making us safer, and the people are on our side. 

GOTV Tour Update - We’re halfway through our virtual GOTV tour, and I’ve been having a fantastic time hearing from many of ourRooted To Win candidates from across Washington state. I’m so proud of ALL of these folks for stepping up and taking the brave action to run for office this year. We all understand how important these 2021 local elections are to shaping the future of our communities and our party. Electing local progressive champions helps shape better policy and builds the bench for future Democratic candidates. We all have to do our part to help Democrats win across Washington state! That means all of us voting and making sure that our friends, family, and neighbors do so as well. 

We’ve got five more virtual GOTV tour stops left, starting with South Puget Sound tomorrow afternoon, and I hope you’ll join us.

The events will be broadcast on Facebook live, and the details and links to RSVP to the remaining events are:

South Puget Sound - Saturday, Oct 23, 1 PM -RSVP here

Whatcom County - Tuesday, Oct 26, 5:30 PM -RSVP here

SW Washington - Tuesday, Oct 26, 7:30 PM -RSVP here

Spokane - Thursday, Oct 28, 5:30 PM -RSVP here

South King County - Thursday, Oct 28, 7:30 PM -RSVP here

All the details are also up on our website here - this is a great, convenient link to share on social media or over email to get the word out!

Graphics to Share - We’ve got a bunch of graphics for the upcoming events and we encourage people and their local parties to share these for events in their area so more folks know about them. Help us spread the word and drive turnout!

Senate Republicans Vote to Filibuster the Freedom to Vote Act - This week, Senate Republicans struck another blow to American democracy. They channeled the spirit of Senator Strom Thurmond and harkened back to some of the Senate’s darkest days by filibustering a crucial voting rights bill.  

The right to vote is at the core of our democracy. It is the great equalizer. For many Americans,  this right is personal -- almost sacred. We know the stories of hooded mobs and literacy tests. We know our vote was fought for with the blood, sweat, tears, and lives of generations of activists. We know how far we’ve come and we never want to go back. But Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they are willing to prioritize political games and their own power over our fundamental rights. They’ve chosen to serve the Big Lie over the American people.

The right to vote is just that: a right. We should be working to make it easier, not more difficult, for every eligible American to participate in free and fair elections. And yet, Republican leaders across the country have engaged in a relentless, surgical campaign to restrict voting rights and make it harder for people, especially people of color, to make their voices heard. 

Republicans know they can’t win without cheating, and the anti-voter regulations put in place by Republican governors and legislatures nationwide are nothing more than a blatant attempt to silence voters in order to cling to power. 

Our democracy is at stake, and Senate Republicans didn’t even have the courage to allow debate on the issue. Their partisanship knows no bounds. They’ve chosen to be active participants in the undermining of our democracy. It is truly unconscionable.

The Democratic Party will never stop fighting to secure and protect the right to vote, and I’m proud that our Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell were part of the charge to get this bill moving in the Senate. We know, along with the majority of Americans, that a vote is an expression of hope — hope that change is possible, hope that our voices matter, hope that the elected officials we put our faith in will deliver for our communities. 

Communications Training Opportunity - I wanted to let everyone know about a great communications narrative coming up this Monday, October 25, at 5 PM. It’s run by the Connections Lab (who did amazing training work at our Rural Summit and our last State Committee Meeting) on how we can use the Race/Class Narrative to frame our political arguments. While the wealthy and powerful rely on race and class divisions to weaken democracy, separate communities can reclaim their power by joining together across race and class, and messages using this narrative and framing can be more effective than just talking about race or class alone.  

This event is FREE with an optional pay-what-you-will donation to support the work of Connections Lab. You will receive a Zoom link after registering. Register here for Zoom Link

Update on COVID-19 Vaccinations for Ages 5-11 - We expect the final FDA and CDC decisions on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine authorization for kids ages 5 through 11 in the next couple of weeks. In anticipation, the Biden-Harris Administration is releasing its operational plan to ensure that vaccines for this age group are available, accessible, and convenient, should the FDA and CDC authorize the vaccine for this age group.

This plan will ensure that we have the supply, the sites, and the support needed to get our nation’s children vaccinated and protected against the virus: 

  • The Biden Administration has secured ample vaccine supply for our nation’s children. As soon as the vaccine is authorized by the FDA, we will begin shipping millions of doses nationwide. States, Tribes, and territories are working to ensure that doses are distributed efficiently and equitably across their jurisdictions.

  • Over the past month, the Biden Administration has been planning with governors, pediatricians, pharmacies, community health centers, and other vaccine providers. States, Tribes, and territories will continue to receive an unprecedented level of support, including full reimbursement from the federal government for vaccination operations and outreach programs.

  • Parents will be able to get their kids vaccinated through providers and in settings that they and their kids know and trust. Vaccines for kids ages 5 through 11 will be available through a range of health care providers that parents rely on to meet their children’s needs, including pediatricians, family doctors, children’s hospitals, pharmacies, and community health centers.

    • More than 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers have enrolled to administer vaccines, and we are working with states to enroll more.

    • Tens of thousands of local pharmacies across the country in the federal pharmacy program will offer vaccinations for kids ages 5 through 11.

    • Community health centers and rural health clinics across the country will provide vaccinations for kids. Hundreds of community health centers, which serve 3 million kids ages 5 through 11 nationwide in predominantly underserved communities, will be set to vaccinate kids.

    • Over 100 children’s hospitals and health systems across the country will partner with local community- and faith-based organizations to stand up vaccination sites – including ones that are open on nights and weekends so parents can vaccinate their kids at a time that works for them.

    • To make vaccinations even more convenient, the administration will work with state and local leaders to help bring vaccination clinics to hundreds of schools nationwide.

The start of this pediatric vaccination program will depend on the independent FDA and CDC processes and timelines. However, these planning efforts mean we are ready to begin vaccinations in a matter of days following a final CDC recommendation.

Our Voter Protection Hotline Is Live  - Just a reminder that with ballots out and drop boxes open, we’re working with our team of Grassroots Democrats to offer our voter protection services again to help ensure that Washingtonians have the support they need to cast their ballots and make their voices heard. We run one of the strongest and most effective voter protection programs in the country. We take extensive steps to ensure 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 volunteer attorneys staffing the hotline at (206) 309-VOTE from 9 AM to 8 PM daily, 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 onwa-democrats.org/IWillVote and update this information daily to ensure every voter can easily cast their ballot!

This is an important resource for helping everyone access the ballot and we want all Democrats to know they can take advantage of this and share the information with their friends, family, and neighbors to ensure everyone can get their ballot in and their vote counted! Please share this information with everyone you can!

An Ask From Our Democratic Friends In Virginia - The important governor's race in Virginia is getting closer every day, with latest polls showing Gov. Terry McAuliffe within the margin of error to beat Trump-endorsed Glenn Youngkin.  We all worked so hard last year to defeat the Trump agenda and we can’t let this election turn back the tide in a crucial swing state. 200,000 voters have yet to mail back the vote-by-mail ballots they have in their hands, on their kitchen counters, and in their homes. The DNC is asking folks from other states (like us in here WA) to pitch in with phone banking help. You can sign up here to join if you're available to help make some phone calls to Virginia Democratic voters!

With gratitude, 

Tina Podlodowski

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