Hello Fellow Democrats!
Please take care and stay safe with the heatwave that’s about to hit our state. Everyone should do their best to stay out of the sun, stay cool, and stay hydrated. If you can, do what Democrats do best and help our neighbors - seniors who won’t be able to get out, people who don’t do as well in the heat because of medical conditions who may be at risk, and folks experiencing homelessness who might not have good or safe places to go inside and escape the sun. This is *exactly* what climate change looks like, and we should expect to have more hot days in our future, not fewer. We need to make sure we are ready in our own lives and in the support that our society provides to the vulnerable. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, like most Washingtonians, do some research into the techniques to help cool down, including these tips from King County Public Health: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/emergency-preparedness/preparing-yourself/hot-weather.aspx
Additionally, Washingtonians must be really careful with fire - we should all be nervous about how dry a lot of the state will be when the 4th of July comes around next weekend and people start setting off fireworks. Our Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz has been working hard to make sure that our state is ready for this wildfire season, but we all need to do our part to help prevent fires from starting in the first place.
US Senate on Voting Rights -I know we were all relieved to see the Democratic Caucus in the US Senate unite and vote together against a Republican filibuster on the For The People Act. HR 1 is a sweeping bill to reform our elections, protect the right to vote, and stop GOP gerrymandering and voter suppression. While the vote didn’t reach the 60 margin to break the filibuster, it’s a great sign that Democrats are standing together in support of this bill. Now we need to move past merely standing together and get it passed! Ending the filibuster for this bill would mean that we can codify many of the protections fought for during the last Civil Rights Movement and make sure that we can protect the right to vote in every state in the country.
From the New York Times:
“Once again, Senate Republicans have signed their names in the ledger of history alongside Donald Trump, the big lie and voter suppression — to their enduring disgrace,” Mr. Schumer said. “This vote, I’m ashamed to say, is further evidence that voter suppression has become part of the official platform of the Republican Party.”
Democrats’ bill, which passed the House in March, would have ushered in the largest federally mandated expansion of voting rights since the 1960s, ended the practice of partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, forced super PACs to disclose their big donors and created a new public campaign financing system.
It would have pushed back against more than a dozen Republican-led states that have enacted laws that experts say will make it harder for people of color and young people to vote, or shift power over elections to G.O.P. legislators. Other states appear poised to follow suit, including Texas, whose Republican governor on Tuesday called a special legislative session in July, when lawmakers are expected to complete work on a voting bill Democrats temporarily blocked last month.”
We know the policies that are necessary to protect the right to vote because Washington has led the way in passing many of them. We have automatic and same-day voter registration, postage-paid ballots, a Washington Voting Rights Act, a Native American Voting Rights Act, strong campaign finance disclosure requirements, and other important protections. We need to make sure every American has the same rights and liberties -- at the very least.
We aren’t resting here in Washington, either. As the primary approaches, you’ll hear more from us about our voter protection plans to help people with challenged ballots have their votes counted. We also want to ensure that people who are purged from voter rolls can get re-registered and vote, and that Washingtonians have the resources and information they need to cast their ballots. Fair and free elections and participation in voting are the bedrock of our democracy, and it’s shameful that so many Republicans stand in the way of the right to vote. This work is some of the most important advocacy and voter outreach that we do - and expect a summer “call to action” for all.
WA GOP Legislators and the Arizona “audit” -You might have heard about the sham “audit” of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County of Arizona, where GOP legislators handed over 2.1 million ballots to a company called “Cyber Ninjas” to supposedly investigate the results. While Arizona’s State Supreme Court has already rejected lawsuits challenging the results, Republicans there are still trying to undermine the results with a bogus “audit.” Even Washington’s own Republican Kim Wyman said that she thought the Arizona Republicans’ investigation is dangerous and irresponsible.
Republicans across the country and here in Washington are still clamoring to support the effort and promote the conspiracy theory that Trump didn’t lose the 2020 election, though. Washington state legislators Rep. Jesse Young of the 26th LD and Rep. Robert Sutherland of the 39th LD - two of the legislature’s most conservative members - actually traveled to Arizona to support the “audit.”
Young has already declared his intention to run for the state Senate and challenge the amazing Sen. Emily Randall, who we elected in 2018 in a very close election decided by just 51 votes! It’s important that voters know how Rep. Young and his fellow Republicans are more focused on promoting these 2020 conspiracy theories than on advancing any actual policy solutions for the people of Washington. We count on you to help spread that message in your local communities - are you connecting with our local talking points and sharing our communications work?
Our Development Manager Anjali Narula -I’m sad to say that our fantastic State Party Development Manager, Anjali Narula, is moving on to new opportunities and enrolling in law school! She’s been a crucial part of our fundraising team. We all appreciate the work she’s put in to help make sure that the party can fund the essential projects and campaigns that we need to win across Washington. She had this message to share with you all:
“When I started working at the Party as the Caucus and Convention Coordinator almost two years ago now, I had no idea I would be doing such exciting and rewarding work. We supported the most diverse National Delegation in Washington State history and helped pass the most progressive National Platform ever seen. This last year, I have learned so much about the power of grassroots fundraising as I stepped into the role of Development Manager, witnessing the impact that each of us can make to organize effectively and elect Democrats up and down the ballot. The State Party has shown me what it means to create meaningful change, and while I am sad to leave, I am confident that this Democratic spirit of progress and equity will follow me as I head to law school at UCLA this fall.
Luckily, we have an absolutely incredible new Development Coordinator, Nancy Canales-Montiel, starting on July 6th! She recently graduated from Central Washington University where she studied political science and public policy. Born in Mexico and a native Spanish speaker, Nancy was also one of our intern fellows two summers ago, and will be bringing her leadership and passion for civic engagement to the development department. We are so excited to have her and I am grateful to pass the torch to such a dedicated and hardworking Democrat like herself!”
Please join me in expressing gratitude and appreciation for Anjali, and welcoming Nancy!
FB Live for Pride -
I was thrilled to host a Facebook Live event for Pride Month and speak with some of our state’s LGBTQ champions - Sen. Jamie Pedersen (LD 43), Sen. Claire Wilson (LD 30), Everett Maroon and Jeffrey Robinson of the Washington State LGBTQ Commission, and Chair Joshua Fike from the WA Stonewall Democrats. We talked about the policies that legislators have worked on to support the LGBTQ community, the work of the state’s LGBTQ Commission, as well as what Pride means to us.
As a lesbian mom of three, the first Washington State Party Chair from the LGBTQ community, and a fomer Seattle City Councilmember when there were less than 150 out elected officials in the entire nation, Pride remains my favorite time of the year. It’s a time to reflect on the people we’ve lost to ignorance, violence, and HIV/AIDS, as well as celebrate our family and friends. We still have a long way to go for full equality.
This was a great conversation and I encourage you to watch and share the video of it here.
Rural Summit July 25 -We’re holding our Washington Rural Summit next month on July 25th to talk about how Democrats can better compete and win in rural areas! This summit will involve communications trainings, small group breakouts on issues important to rural engagement, and sessions on how folks in Urban or Suburban districts can most effectively work with rural voters. This will be capped off with a keynote from Chair of the Democratic Party of Nebraska and author of Harvest the Vote, Jane Kleeb.Please RSVP here if you would like to attend!
Resolutions Committee Training - Did you or any members of your local party organization miss our training earlier in the month on how our state committee’s resolutions process works? We want to help make sure folks understand the resolution process so we can vote on good resolutions and move them through the process smoothly. This training on the process of resolutions will be very helpful for anyone who wants to introduce resolutions for the state committee to consider - check it out here!
Something to Read -I was blown away by this New York Times article about conservative political operatives going undercover as Democratic donors and staff in Wyoming, infiltrating the Wyoming Democratic Party in an effort to dig up dirt and embarrassing information on Democrats and moderate Republicans in the state. We’ve seen how conservatives have tried to use these undercover attacks on Democratic parties, Planned Parenthood, and other progressive organizations, and this is a detailed account of how they do it. It’s a wild read, and I encourage you to check it out.
As always, thanks for reading!