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23rd ld Democrats News

  • 6 Aug 2021 4:53 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


    Hello Democrats and happy Friday! It’s our first Friday after the primary election and there’s so much to cover.

    Digging in on Primary Election Results - Who else had an exciting Tuesday night watching the primary results come in? We’ve got some great races and amazing candidates across the state and some of these were quite exciting - like the Spokane City Council race where the 2nd and 3rd place candidates are just two votes apart right now! Don’t let anyone ever tell you your vote doesn’t count. 

    Obviously we don’t have the final results yet - about a third of the ballots remain to be counted - but I worked with our data team on some analysis of the results so far, and here’s what we’re looking at. 

    Overall, turnout statewide as of August 5th is at 26.6%. When looking at partisan breakdowns, Democrats (60+ support score range) are turning out at higher rates than those in the 0-40 support score range (aka Republicans). We’re also seeing strong results among the cohort of Democrats who have low likelihood of turning out, but a high likelihood of supporting Democrats when they do vote - the low turnout score, high support score categories. These reliably progressive, but sporadically voting, Democrats are our top GOTV targets, and it’s a good sign that our campaigns are doing their jobs when these folks are getting their ballots in.

    Looking at when different votes were matched back, we see that throughout the primary, our high support Democrats have consistently turned out at higher rates than our GOP counterparts.

    We’re also looking at relatively high turnout amongst the BIPOC population in Washington. These are groups that tend to lean more Democratic when they vote, and often vote at lower rates. We need to make sure that our party, and our candidates, are working to connect with these voters and drive turnout here so their voices are heard and their votes are impactful. 

    What this all says to me - Democrats are fired up and still voting. I wish turnout was higher overall, but I’m glad to see Democrats beating the GOP in turnout across the state. Now we need to focus on doubling down for the general election. 

    In the general election, we’ll have the opportunity to put some of these D-on-D primaries behind us, and focus on some of the races that only had two candidates and weren’t on the primary ballot. I’m looking at seats like the city of Sequim and beating the Qanon city council appointees, electing Democrats in Central and Eastern Washington and rural Western Washington city councils like Richland, Spokane, Walla Walla, Longview, Blaine, Ferndale, and winning in competitive county council seats in Whatcom, Snohomish, King, and elsewhere. There’s a lot on the map and I know that every county has local candidates we can support and work with. Let’s get to it!

    Rooted To Win - With the primary over, it’s more important than ever that candidates get connected with our Rooted To Win program, to identify and highlight good Democrats running for local office across the state! If you or somebody you know is running for office this year, make sure you’ve filled out our (short) form at https://www.wa-democrats.org/rootedtowin to get involved!

    Infrastructure Bill Has Benefits for WA - With more details coming out about the current infrastructure bill, we can see some of the huge benefits that this legislation would have for Washington state. You can read our fact sheet about what the bill has for WA here! That includes investments in transportation, electric vehicles, broadband, and more. While we continue to advocate for an additional reconciliation package that can do even more on issues like combating climate change, this current bill would be a major investment in jobs and infrastructure for Washington state. 

    Federal Eviction Moratorium Extended - As people across the country struggle with the economic impacts of the COVID pandemic, we know that right now would be a terrible time to evict countless Americans due to an emergency outside of their control. Here in Washington I’m glad that Gov. Inslee, and our Democratic leaders, have been able to enact strong tenant protections that help keep families in their homes, and provide economic relief for both tenants and landlords. At the federal level, this week the Biden Administration extended a federal eviction moratorium for the vast majority of counties in the US. I want to recognize and thank those who advocated strongly for this measure, like Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, and the Biden Administration for taking this action. We can recover from this pandemic and support tenants and landlords alike without forcing a counterproductive and hugely harmful wave of evictions. I’m glad that our Democratic leaders are helping to make that happen. 

    Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO -We're saddened by the passing of Richard Trumka, the President of the AFL-CIO. He was a legend who fought for years for working families and the labor movement. We send our condolences to his friends, family, and brothers and sisters in labor. We're committed to honoring his legacy by fighting for the values and movement that he championed - investing in infrastructure, supporting workers rights and organizing, raising wages and benefits that help working families, solidarity among all working people, and so much more. Personally, I had the honor of meeting with Rich many times, and as two kids raised in #UnionStrong Polish immigrant families, we shared a commitment to creating opportunities for all. He will be missed.

    Economy on the Mend - While we know we have a long way to go to fully recover from the COVID pandemic and build an economy that works for all Americans.the jobs numbers released this week show that President Biden and Democrats’ economic plan to build back better from the bottom up and the middle out is working. Millions of Americans are getting back to work, and working families in Washington are seeing the results -- no thanks to Republicans who tried to stand in the way. Passing legislation like the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan will help keep this progress coming and will ensure that the benefits of a growing economy are shared by all.

    • The unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in July, down from 5.9 percent in June. he United States has now recovered approximately 75 percent of jobs lost during the pandemic. 

    • In the past six months, the economy has gone from creating only 60,000 new jobs a month to creating 60,000 jobs roughly every two days. In total, the economy has added a record-shattering four million jobs since the president took office.

    • Paychecks are growing at the strongest rate before the pandemic since 2006, as companies are competing for workers and boosting wages as a result.

    • A newanalysis by the Urban Institute estimates that President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will lead to a nearly 45% decline in the number of Americans living in poverty this year. 

    More from the Rural Summit - Last week we shared with you some video content from our first ever rural summit - this week, we’ve got more! It was so much fun talking with and learning from folks from across Washington and the Western US about how Democrats can compete and win in rural areas. This is essential work for a strong, competitive party, and I’m committed to making sure the Washington State Democrats always compete in rural Washington. Watch more clips from the summit here:

    Tina discussing the importance of the party competing in rural areas.

    Communications training with Connections Lab - people raved about this after the summit, it’s super useful!

    We did the rural summit while I was in Walla Walla for our tour of Central and Eastern Washington - next week, I’m planning to head down to Southwest Washington to visit our Democrats down there! I’m looking forward to visiting with folks in Clark, Cowlitz, Thurston, Pierce, and more - should be a great time, and stay tuned for updates and photos from out on the road!

    As always, thanks for reading and for your support. Keep up the good work, and on to the 2021 general election!

    With gratitude, 

    Tina Podlodowski

  • 23 Jul 2021 6:16 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Friday Wrap Up (2).png


    Hello fellow Democrats! I’m on the road right now, driving out to Spokane for a few days touring around Central and Eastern Washington!

    I’m so excited to see some of our Central and Eastern Washington Democratic friends in person after a whole pandemic’s worth of time away! Our Communications Director, Alex Bond, and I are going to be visiting Spokane, Walla Walla, the Tri-Cities, and Yakima. Along the way we’ll be meeting local Democratic candidates and activists, catching up on how everyone’s been, and connecting over the work that we need to do this year, next year, and beyond. Over the course of this trip, we are going to come up with strategies to build the Democratic party, support and grow the grassroots, compete electorally, and win in Central and Eastern Washington! There are a lot of major local races this year that we want to get informed on. We also want to learn about the work that people have been doing this year so Democrats from all over Washington can help our rural party organizations be as successful as possible. Plus, it’ll just be great to see some of my friends on this side of the mountains again! Follow along with me on Facebook and Twitter - I’ll probably be posting a bunch there about how it’s going. This will be fun!

    One of the events I’m most excited about while we’re out here is our rural summit on Sunday morning! 

    This summit will involve communications training, a panel featuring partner organizations serving rural communities, 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.It’s not too late to RSVP - click here!

    Ballots are Out - Ballots are out, and people are voting! This is an important time to be doing get-out-the-vote work and supporting the local candidates that our party organizations have certified and endorsed. 2021 is an exciting opportunity to build the bench locally and to lay the groundwork for big wins next year in 2022! 

    Turnout is ahead of where we were at this point in the voting window during the 2019 primaries two years ago. It’s great to see folks getting their ballots in. Higher turnout is good for democracy and good for Democrats, so let’s keep it up!

    The more voters we can identify, volunteers we can activate, and relationships we can build, the more successful these upcoming midterm elections will be! So please, make a plan to get your ballot in right away! Make sure your friends, family, and neighbors do, too! We can’t wait for presidential and mid-term election years to try and get sporadic Democrats in the habit of voting. 

    As in past years, 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 and ADA accessible voting centers onIWillVote.com. We 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!

    Four Organizing Projects for Local Parties - At this point, I hope all our local party chairs and vice-chairs have heard about our four main organizing projects for local parties this year. We’re making it as easy as possible to help local parties build the Democratic brand in their areas and lay the groundwork for strong results in 2021 and 2022. Investing in four different groups of voters will pay off in the long-run: 

    • Contacting and finding out more about voters for whom we have little data. We need to know more about some of these voters so that we can target them appropriately next year, for persuasion and GOTV. By contacting them and having a conversation, we can begin building a deeper relationship between them and the Democratic party, and find out how best to communicate with them through the rest of the cycle and beyond.

    • Reaching out to likely Dems who didn't vote in 2020 and finding out why. Unfortunately, too many likely Democratic voters still aren't getting their ballots in, and we want to find out why. By building relationships with these voters and listening to their issues and concerns, we can get them ready to vote this year and next!

    • Re-registering likely Democratic voters who've been purged from the voter rolls by the Secretary of State's office. Thousands of Democratic voters are purged from the voter rolls every year by the Secretary of State's office, and we know many of them are people who are still alive, still living at the same address, and still should be eligible to vote. We can identify these people, let them know they were purged, and get them re-registered to vote. 

    • Registering non-registered voters. There are still so many likely Democrats who fall through the cracks of our automatic voter registration system - we need the face-to-face touch to reach them and get them registered. 

    This work is so critical to building for success this year and in 2022. Our organizing department is ready to help support all our local parties in this effort. But local parties must opt-in to these programs to make sure that we can give everyone the attention and support they need to succeed. Chairs or vice-chairs need to contact organizing@wa-democrats.org to let us know that you want to participate and who your local party organization's point of contact will be. Once we have that information, we will provide more detailed training and materials about how to access these lists, scripts, and target universes in Votebuilder. 

    And for more information on our Rooted To Win program that will help lift up local Democratic candidates, please review this document here and encourage local candidates in your area to contact us and get involved!

    Wildfires Across WA - You’ve probably heard about the fires already happening across Washington state, including the Red Apple fire near Wenatchee, the Cedar Creek and Cub Creek fires around Winthrop and Mazama in the Methow Valley, the Chuweah Creek fire near the Colville Tribal Reservation, the Lick Creek Fire in SE WA, and more. It’s incredibly scary that so many large fires have started this early in the summer, and many of them are human-caused. Please be careful! While I hope most of us have the sense not to be playing with matches in the backcountry at this point, even things like dragging chains from a trailer can set sparks that can start a fire. 

    Our Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz, has ordered a closure of all state Department of Natural Resources lands in Eastern Washington, and pretty much all public lands in the state have ordered fire bans at this point. I appreciate the hard work that Commissioner Franz and her staff are doing to keep us safe. I’m reminded again of how thankful I am for the hardworking firefighters out there right now, putting their own safety at risk to save lives and homes. 

    For anyone making hiking or camping plans for the rest of this summer, please pay attention to public lands closures due to fire because more are likely to come. Use this information to be prepared and be safe. Too many fires are human-caused, especially in a summer as dry and hot as this one. And of course, we need to recognize the role of climate change in contributing to the drought conditions that make these fires more destructive and elect policymakers who will act to prevent the effects of climate change from getting worse. 

    If you’re a podcast fan, check out this podcast “Fireline” from NPR. It’s a short series that’s fascinating about how wildfires in America are changing, getting worse, why, and what we need to do about it. I found it very educational and I recommend it!

    VAN Training (it’s here!) - First, we have exciting news! Our organizing and data departments have put together the best and most comprehensive training series on Votebuilder available anywhere in the country. 

    The three-class series is designed to equip Democrats with the knowledge and skills to understand how voter data is used in Washington so they can be the most effective Votebuilder user possible, no matter what role(s) they anticipate taking on.

    Participants can watch the videos on-demand -- anytime -- ensuring equitable access for party leaders, PCOs, volunteers, candidates, and campaign staff alike, regardless of personal schedules.

    All three classes are full of useful information and concrete Votebuilder skills that are important for every Democrat to know, but participants can choose to watch only the video(s) most applicable to them, if they wish. 

    We’re also offering a 2021 Votebuilder certification! To earn certification, participants must successfully complete three quizzes, each embedded on the same page as its corresponding video lesson. Staff are actively tracking quiz completion; we will make that data available to chairs upon request so local parties around the state know exactly who in their organizations have stepped up to master Votebuilder!

    These VAN Trainings are now available online on our website. The three training videos in the series are:

    • Class #1: Votebuilder 101 covers Votebuilder basics: how to access Votebuilder, create lists, and use common tools.

    • Class # 2: Votebuilder 102 covers more advanced Votebuilder features, appropriate for committee administrators, campaign staff, and anyone who will prepare materials for and/or support other Votebuilder users or volunteers.

    • Class #3: Data & Votebuilder covers non-software Votebuilder training such as good data collection and maintenance practices, how data is shared between different Votebuilder committees throughout the state, and how data is used to benefit Democrats up and down the ticket year over year.

    Want to get VAN certified? VAN training is available online now atwww.wa-democrats.org/van-training-with-wa-dems/. Note that a password is required to access trainings: “WADemsVAN2021” and is case-sensitive!

    Questions about VAN training should be directed to organizing@wa-democrats.org

    Billionaires In Space - Most of us probably saw the news about billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson each participating in flights into space with their own private rocket programs this week. My reaction was: “is ‘not enough billionaires in space’ really the biggest problem facing our society right now?” I’m guessing I’m not the only person who had that thought. 

    I don’t begrudge anyone their fascination with space, but we have to recognize that the personal wealth from these billionaires is absolutely out of control. The world’s billionaires increased their wealth by more than $4 trillion combined during the pandemic, during a time when so many families were struggling and small businesses went under. What sense does that make for us as a society? How is it that the wealthiest few in our state and in our country pay a lower tax rate than almost any of the rest of us pay

    We have an economic system that’s upside down in this country, and stunts like these space flights make that obvious. We need serious tax reform that will get these guys paying their fair share. I’m so thrilled that the state legislature passed a capital gains tax on the sale of investments like stocks and bonds this year to raise taxes on these rich few, and that the Biden Administration proposed higher taxes on the very rich to help fund programs that will help the middle class in this country, like expanding child care. 

    Thanks for reading, and stay tuned next week for updates from our tour! There’s some exciting political work being done by our Central and Eastern Washington Democrats and I’m so thrilled to be out here to support it!


    With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski


  • 17 Jul 2021 4:56 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    SHARON SHRADER

    Sadly, we have lost another luminary in our local Democratic party. Sharon Shrader has passed away. 

    Sharon is probably best known as our County Treasurer, an office she held for 18 years. She made many improvements to the functioning of the office and was always willing to discuss her office and the work that it does. Sharon was also knowledgeable about the workings of local government in general and happy to share that knowledge. She was a regular guest speaker in my State & Local Government class and good at keeping the students engaged in the discussion.

    Her civic engagement in our community was broad and deep. She was a Port of Brownsville Commissioner, chair of the Kitsap County Planning Commission, elected Freeholder to draft a new county charter and member of the board of the Bremerton Housing Authority. Sharon was also involved in numerous organizations that impact our way of life: Sinclair Landing Association, Kitsap League of Women Voters, Visit Kitsap, Democratic Women's Club, Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, Kitsap Community Clinic, Green Mountain Rehabilitation Medicine, and West Sound Chapter of the American Red Cross, and League of Woman Voters.

    Her presence and good guidance will be missed by all, especially those of us who had the privilege of working with her to improve our county and lives.

    A public celebration of her life will be held Wednesday, Sept 8, 1-4 p.m. at Hood Canal Vista Pavilion, 4740 View Drive, Port Gamble. 

  • 17 Jul 2021 4:45 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Death Announcement for Sharon Shrader's passing.   Forward by Linda Streissguth

    mom1.jpg

    Sharon Lee Shrader, five-term Kitsap County Treasurer, long-time civic and democratic political activist, mentor to many, remarkable cook and hostess, died June 30 at a Port Orchard assisted living facility following a year of failing health.

    Sharon's political career was ignited by the Port of Brownsville commissioners who proposed conversion of the recreational marina into a commercial space and tank farm. Their refusal to listen to community animosity against the proposed development prompted Sharon to run for port commissioner in 1972. She won, breaking into the old boys club, and led the successful fight to keep the Brownsville Marina devoted to recreation.

    Sharon volunteered and Chaired the Kitsap Planning Commission during the development of Bangor Naval Submarine Base. The commission's decisions would eventually bring State Highway 3 and thousands of new residents to Silverdale and lead to conversion of the former chicken capital of Puget Sound into the retail and medical center that it is today.

    In 1984 she was appointed county treasurer to replace a departing Billy Eder, and went on to be elected to this position to serve 4 1/2 terms; Her tenure brought many innovations to the department, including moving the department into the digital age; pioneering an investment pool for higher returns and more money to county departments and districts; and instituting credit card payment of property taxes. 

     

    "Serving as treasurer for all the jurisdictions of government in our county has given me a unique insight into how our government works, the interconnections, interdependency and the various roles and responsibilities as well as an understanding of revenue and taxation," Sharon wrote. It summed up why her Treasurer experience qualified her to be one of 21 elected Freeholders tasked with the formation of a new county charter and form of government in 2000.

    Following retirment in 2002, she was appointed to serve on the Bremerton Housing Authority and her tenure saw the redevelopment of West Park from a collection of World War II duplexes for low-income residents to the development it is today with low-income and market rate apartments and single family houses, retail and community amenities.  

    Sharon's leadership and policy expertise has been felt by many organizations including:  Sinclair Landing Association, Kitsap League of Women Voters, Visit Kitsap, Democratic Women's Club, Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, Kitsap Community Clinic, Green Mountain Rehabilitation Medicine, and West Sound Chapter of the American  Red Cross, and League of Woman Voters.

    "She was a person who cared about others,"  said Congressman Norm Dicks, perhaps summing up Sharon's legacy.

     
    A public celebration of her life will be held Wednesday, Sept 8, 1-4 p.m. at Hood Canal Vista Pavillion, 4740 View Drive, Port Gamble.

  • 16 Jul 2021 4:45 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Friday Wrap Up (2).png

    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!

     

    Copy of Copy of WA State Dems Rural Summit 2021 (1) (1).png

    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!

    With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski

  • 10 Jul 2021 2:40 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Friday Wrap Up (2).png

    Hello fellow Democrats!

    Republicans in the 8th Congressional District - Rep. Kim Schrier has been doing terrific work for all Washngtonians in Congress - passing the American Rescue Plan, working on lowering prescription drug prices, championing more affordable health care, and helping get our economy back on track with support for small businesses. And, for those of you with children, look for checks on July 15th as Democrats in Congress have expanded and advanced the child care tax credit for working families. She’s been there for us on issue after issue and we want her to be able to continue these efforts.

    However, with a narrow Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, national GOP PACs are already targeting her seat and conservative Republican candidates are getting ready to run. Matt Larkin, who challenged Attorney General Bob Ferguson last year (and lost), and Jesse Jensen, who Schrier defeated in 2020, have both declared their candidacy in the 8th CD. Both Larkin and Jensen are Trump-supporting extreme conservatives (who BOTH lost in 2020 - did I mention that?) We know that GOP PACs and the national Republican party will be throwing their support behind them in this race with millions in special interest money - and we have to stop them.

    As Democrats, we need to make sure that all our local party organizations in the 8th Congressional are organized and ready to fight hard in 2021 and 2022. It’s all going to be all about turnout, and the GOP is already stealing a page from our playbook and hiring organizers. For folks in the 8th, it’s especially important that you get the ball rolling now on some of the important organizing projects we lay out later here in this email so we can energize the Democratic base and get out the vote to win crucial races next year. I talked with KING 5 news about the race earlier this week - you can see the story, including my interview, here

    The 8th isn’t the only Congressional District that we’ll be working hard in, of course. We need to protect all our great Democratic incumbents, including Rep. Marilyn Strickland in the 10th, the first Korean-American and Black member of Congress we’ve had in Washington, and Rep. Derek Kilmer in the 6th, where we need to be carefully watching the redistricting process. As rumblings and rumors of GOP challengers come up, and as we recruit good Democrats to run in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th districts against the Republican incumbents (Jaime Herrera Beutler polling at just 30% in a recent poll!) we’re counting on all our local party organizations and members to spread the word about how important these races could be for control of the entire US House of Representatives in the next Congressional session. 

    The Heat Wave - We were all shocked by the heat wave that hit the PNW last week, but it’s an unfortunate fact that these heat events are going to get more common as climate change continues. While we need to work to combat climate change at all levels, from our personal energy use all the way up to global cooperation and action, we also need to work to mitigate the impacts on vulnerable folks and people who have to live and work in the heat. The heat wave caused at least 78 deaths here in Washington, most of whom were older Washingtonians or those without access to shelter. The death count won’t be complete for several more weeks and will certainly be much higher than current estimates. These are the impacts of climate change today. 

    As tough as it is for people in cities to deal with the heat, the impact is bigger in our agricultural communities. While we work to make sure the Democratic Party can compete and win in rural areas, we need to make sure we’re supporting our rural communities through climate change-driven crises like heat waves. Washington is already rolling out emergency rules to protect farmworkers in heat waves and hot conditions that could continue for the rest of the summer and in future years. 

    We also need to recognize the impact on a different sort of agricultural region on the coast and in rural areas of the Olympic Peninsula. An estimated 1 billion shellfish died in the heat wave in the PNW and Western Canada - an important part of our coastal economy that’s already facing challenges from the impacts of ocean acidification, other elements of climate change, and the pandemic. These devastating -- and potentially long-term -- consequences on local shellfish populations also adversely affect indigenous Washingtonians, as the harvesting and consumption of shellfish is an important aspect of many local tribal cultures and practices. This heat wave already makes it clear how climate change will hurt us all - urban or rural, Republican or Democrat - and fighting climate change and helping protect folks from its impacts must be a critical part of our work as Democrats and of the policy portfolio that we communicate in our rural communities. 

    Draw Your WA - The 2021 redistricting process will have huge impacts on our politics and lives for the next ten years, and it’s important that we work to make sure our bipartisan redistricting commission is working on maps where Democrats can fairly compete and win. One of the most important parts of this process is identifying and defining “communities of interest” - the groups that share interests and concerns and should stay unified within the same districts. This could be a neighborhood, a city, a region, or any other geographic area that encompasses a shared interest. 

    The redistricting commission has made a “Draw Your WA” tool where the public can suggest your communities of interest by drawing the boundaries of these areas that should stay together. You can use the tool here: https://www.redistricting.wa.gov/participate/draw-your-wa and they have a video tutorial to help make sure that you can use it. 

    The Washington State Democrats have their first ever redistricting committee this year, who is working on organizing volunteers to provide testimony. If you're interested in getting involved in the redistricting process, please email partyaffairs@wa-democrats.org with your name, contact information, and your home legislative and congressional districts, and we'll connect you with a lead to get you plugged in. This advocacy is important and we need to have our Democratic voices heard.

    +++++++++++++ 

    Our Voter Engagement Plan for 2021 -We're excited to update you all on four big pieces of voter outreach and engagement we're asking local parties to take on during the rest of 2021. We know folks are anxious to get this work going, and we're setting up tools and training in Votebuilder to make this as easy as possible for everyone. Chairs or vice-chairs should contact organizing@wa-democrats.org to let us know that you want to participate and who your local party organization's point of contact will be.Once we have that information, we will provide more detailed training and materials about how to access these lists, scripts, and target universes in Votebuilder. 

    We have four main voter engagement projects that  local parties must participate in if we’re going to win up and down that ballot - 

    • Contacting and finding out more about voters for whom we have little data. We need to know more about some of these voters so that we can communicate with them effectively next year, for persuasion and GOTV. By contacting them and having a conversation, we can begin building a deeper relationship between them and the Democratic party, and find out how best to communicate with them through the rest of the cycle and beyond.

    • Reaching out to likely Dems who didn't vote in 2020 and finding out why. Unfortunately, too many likely Democratic voters still aren't getting their ballots in, and we want to find out why. By building relationships with these voters and listening to their issues and concerns, we can get them ready to vote this year and next!

    • Re-registering likely Democratic voters who've been purged from the voter rolls by the Secretary of State's office. Thousands of Democratic voters are purged from the voter rolls every year by the Secretary of State's office, and we know many of them are people who are still alive, still living at the same address, and still should be eligible to vote. Over 320K since 2017! We can identify these people, let them know they were purged, and get them re-registered to vote. 

    • Registering non-registered voters. There are still so many likely Democrats who fall through the cracks of our automatic voter registration system. Over 1.3M eligible Washingtonians remain unregistered. We need the face-to-face touch to reach them and get them registered. 

    Lastly, on Friday, 7/16 at 6pm, Data Director Maithili Joshi and Deputy Organizing Director Chris Carter will hold an information session for party leaders over Zoom - please register for that (here:https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpfu-qrDIjH93garkMXmcz3bcQo4VLCe7i) and join us for an opportunity to ask any questions you have live! 

    +++++++++++ 

    Rural Summit July 25 - We’re holding our Washington Rural Summit virtually on July 25th to talk about how Democrats can better compete and win in rural areas! This summit will involve communications training, 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 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!

     

    As always, thank you for reading and thank you for your support! With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski

  • 2 Jul 2021 11:40 AM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

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    Dearest Democrats, 

    For those of you whom I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Anna Le and I’m the Operations Director for the Washington State Democrats. While Tina is out this week, the staff thought we’d this as an opportunity for you all to hear from someone else at the State Party. 

    Within five minutes of our first meeting, Tina and I discovered we had something incredibly formative and special in common: we are both children of refugees. My parents fled persecution and poverty in Vietnam for freedom and the chance at a better life in the US. My siblings and I were born in the U.S. and our family has lived in Pierce County since 1990. To this day, the most spectacular fireworks show I have ever seen in-person was when I was a teenager and went to a July 4th celebration at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  

    It was not until about five years ago that I first read Frederick Douglass’ July 5, 1852, speech, “What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?” I have thought about this speech every Independence Day since and take something different away from his words each time. When I first read this speech, I was moved by Douglass’ fiery condemnation of celebrating the principles of freedom and liberty each year, in light of the fact that Douglass was born into slavery and millions of people were still being held in bondage as he spoke from the podium.   

    This year, when I arrived at the point of his speech where Douglass points out that white Americans had been free from British rule for 76 years by 1852 but Black Americans were still not yet free, I thought about the momentous bill that was signed into law last month making Juneteenth a federal holiday… because nearly 13 more years would pass after Douglass’ speech before all Black Americans could celebrate their emancipation from tyranny and subjugation.     

    Douglass’ speech prompted me to ask myself, “what, to the refugee, is the Fourth of July?” Douglass, himself, summed up my family’s response to that question perfectly when he said, “That I am here today is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude.” 

    As an American child of refugees, I believe that because I have been given so much, I have a moral obligation to pay it forward so the pursuit of a better life will not be as challenging for those who will come after me. 

    My experiences growing up in a low-income, low-wealth household made me a Democrat because so many doors were opened for me throughout my journey and, instead of closing these doors behind me, I strive to kick them down entirely.  

    Frederick Douglass understood why those who were not enslaved celebrated Independence Day: “Pride and patriotism, not less than gratitude, prompt you to celebrate and to hold it in perpetual remembrance.” Just shy of our country’s 245th birthday, my question for you all is, “what, to a Democrat, is the Fourth of July?”  

    In solidarity, 

    Anna

    Our organizing department wanted to make sure you all had this critical information about our voter outreach and engagement efforts for the rest of the year; we’re rolling out some very useful tools for local parties. Make sure to read to the end for all of the details and a link to sign up for our information session next week!

    Our Voter Engagement Plan for 2021 -We're excited to update you all on four big pieces of voter outreach and engagement we're asking local parties to take on during the rest of 2021. We know folks are anxious to get this work going, and we're setting up tools and training in Votebuilder to make this as easy as possible for everyone. We have four main voter engagement projects for local parties to participate in - 

    • Contacting and finding out more about voters for whom we have little data. We need to know more about some of these voters so that we can target them appropriately next year, for persuasion and GOTV. By contacting them and having a conversation, we can begin building a deeper relationship between them and the Democratic party, and find out how best to communicate with them through the rest of the cycle and beyond.

    • Reaching out to likely Dems who didn't vote in 2020 and finding out why. Unfortunately, too many likely Democratic voters still aren't getting their ballots in, and we want to find out why. By building relationships with these voters and listening to their issues and concerns, we can get them ready to vote this year and next!

    • Re-registering likely Democratic voters who've been purged from the voter rolls by the Secretary of State's office. Thousands of Democratic voters are purged from the voter rolls every year by the Secretary of State's office, and we know many of them are people who are still alive, still living at the same address, and still should be eligible to vote. We can identify these people, let them know they were purged, and get them re-registered to vote. 

    • Registering non-registered voters. There are still so many likely Democrats who fall through the cracks of our automatic voter registration system - we need the face-to-face touch to reach them and get them registered. 

    This work is so critical to building for success this year and in 2022. Our organizing department is ready to help support all our local parties in this effort. Butlocal parties must opt-in to these programsto make sure that we can give everyone the attention and support they need to succeed. Chairs or vice-chairs should contact organizing@wa-democrats.org to let us know that you want to participate and who your local party organization's point of contact will be.Once we have that information, we will provide more detailed training and materials about how to access these lists, scripts, and target universes in Votebuilder. 

    An information session for local party leaders will be held on Thursday, July 8 at 6 pm over Zoom.Register now to join us Thursday evening for an overview of the projects, how to plug your local party into them, and an opportunity to ask questions!

    T3 Training Results -We are so excited that many Washington activists were able to join the T3 “Train The Trainer” program from the ASDC’s Best Practices Institute this spring. Washington represented almost a third of all T3 participants across the country! We promised $1,000 each to the top three local parties who turned out their members to participate, and we can announce our winners! Wahkiakum County, 26th LD, and 12th LD Democrats were the top three local party organizations in terms of graduates per precinct, and each organization has won a $1,000 prize (or up to allowable contribution limits) from the State Party as a result! Congratulations! With this training, hundreds of Democratic activists have better tools and experience about how to organize, fundraise, and build our party to compete and win races across Washington state, every year. Now let’s put that training to work and win some elections! 

    Rural Summit July 25 - We’re holding our Washington Rural Summit virtually next month on July 25th to talk about how Democrats can better compete and win in rural areas! This summit will involve communications training, 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 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!

    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!

    PRESIDENT BIDEN AND DEMOCRATS’ ACCOMPLISHMENTS -- BY THE FOURTH OF JULY!



    • COVID-19: The Biden administration has administered 300 million shots of the COVID-19 vaccine. The majority of states have more than 60% of adults with at least one vaccine dose, and 15 states have more than 70% of adults with at least one dose. COVID-19 cases have declined by 90% since January.  

    • American Rescue Plan: President Biden and Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan to help fund vaccine deployment and economic rescue payments, which many called “the most significant legislation” in a generation. Experts say it will cut child poverty in half by next year.

    • Checks: The Biden administration has delivered $1,400 checks to more than 169 million Americans. 

    • Jobs: The U.S. economy added more than two million jobs since President Biden took office – the most in the first four months of any administration in history. 2021 is expected to be the strongest year for the economy in possibly seven decades.

    • Infrastructure: President Biden and Democrats worked across the aisle and delivered on a campaign promise to secure a historic infrastructure deal that, if passed, will create good-paying union jobs and position the United States to win the 21st century. 

    • Tax Cuts: President Biden cut taxes for families with children, so that eligible families – starting in July – will receive up to a $3,600 tax credit for each child under 18.

    • Health Care: The Biden administration cut premiums for those who get health coverage from the Affordable Care Act; four in five now can get plans for $10/month. More than 1.2 million people signed up for coverage during special enrollment.

    • Guns: President Biden ordered the strongest actions on gun safety in 20 years, including the first-ever federal regulation of so-called “ghost guns.”

    • Diversity: President Biden has the most diverse Cabinet in history, including the first openly LGBTQ cabinet secretary, first Native American cabinet secretary, first woman Treasury Secretary, first African American Secretary of Defense, first Latino Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the first Asian American U.S. Trade Representative.

    • Afghanistan: President Biden ordered the end of 20 years of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.

    • Climate: The Biden administration rejoined the Paris Climate Accords, and for the first time ever, the US hosted a virtual global climate summit for world leaders to make commitments to reduce their emissions.

    Something to Share -Since we shared theaccomplishments of the Biden-Harris Administration thus far, it’s only right that we give you tools to share this information with your friends, neighbors, and on social media. Here’s a toolkit of graphics and sample social media content to help you spread the word! 

    You can find the toolkit here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Yymvd5ZDO6oDXtepZUgilzg02hnwpcShChXBZHgFSiQ/edit?usp=sharing

    Something to Watch -As we celebrate the joy of getting our country back on track this Independence Day, we must remember that the Fourth of July, 1776, marked the beginning of independence for some, but not independence for all. Take a couple of minutes to watch descendants of Frederick Douglass read his infamous, “What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?” Speech. 

    Watch it here: youtube.com/watch?v=NBe5qbnkqoM

    Something to Jam to -This week, Washington state fully reopened. We owe a debt of gratitude to health care workers, first responders, and frontline workers that have and still serve our communities tirelessly through the pandemic! Our team curated this awesome playlist to celebrate the state’s reopening and to get you in the mood for summer in Washington state!

    Check out the playlist and jam with us here:open.spotify.com/playlist/4z48a9kQ38JWXvkiOzNDHl

    -
  • 25 Jun 2021 2:58 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

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    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!

    With gratitude,

    Tina Podlodowski


  • 18 Jun 2021 1:22 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


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    Juneteenth - Tomorrow is Juneteenth, the day that we commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States. While President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, it wasn’t until June 19th, 1865, that Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas, informed the African Americans enslaved there of the proclamation and that they were free. In the 156 years since, Juneteenth has evolved from being just an anniversary of the end to one of America’s greatest sins to a celebration of Black liberation and freedom across our nation. This is an opportunity to reflect upon the challenges of racism we still grapple with in our society. It reminds us of the horrors that Black Americans have endured and of the progress we can achieve together. Juneteenth reminds us that we can fight and win in our everlasting efforts towards freedom, equity, and justice.


    This holiday also makes me think of the debate going on over “critical race theory” - the effort by conservatives to demonize the idea of teaching students that racism exists in America and about some of the more shameful elements of our history. We can’t wish away the wounds of the past and denying that these historical wrongs ever happened will not heal the scars they left behind. We can’t meaningfully address problems like the opportunity gap in our schools, the school-to-prison pipeline in our criminal justice system, disproportionate use of force by police, the economic and environmental injustice in racially segregated communities, or generational wealth without honestly recognizing that these issues are rooted in racism from the past and, unfortunately, all too often, in the present. 


    You can’t solve problems unless you are willing to acknowledge they exist and recognize their causes. I think it’s of the utmost importance that students today learn the truth about our country and our history - that we aren’t perfect, we have sinned, we have caused great harm, and we should strive to be better. I don’t know what could be more American than recognizing what’s wrong in the world and trying to make it right. That’s some of what I’ll be thinking and talking about this Juneteenth.


    Legislative Action - We’ve been encouraged by the growing movement to recognize Juneteenth as an official holiday. Juneteenth originated as an unofficial holiday in Black communities and, in some cases, its celebration was met with active interference from white local officials and businesses. During the Civil Rights Movement, the commemoration of Juneteenth became more widespread and celebrated.  Declaring Juneteenth a formal, federal holiday gives us a day on the calendar to reflect on the dark chapters in our country’s history, consider how we can and must combat the institutional racism and white supremacy interwoven in the fabric of our history, and take action to reach justice, even if it is delayed. 


    47 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation ceremonially observing or commemorating Juneteenth. Washington has been part of this group of states since 2007. However, Washington became the 7th state to officially recognize Juneteenth as a paid, state holiday when the state legislature passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Melanie Morgan (29th LD) this session. Earlier this week, Maine passed similar legislation, bringing the total number of states that officially recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday to nine. 


    Just this week, Congress passed and President Biden signed a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday as well. Now, every year our calendars will have this opportunity to discuss our country’s history, how we can make right the injustices of the past, and how we can prevent them from happening again in the future. I’m so glad to see our Democratic leaders acting on this issue. 


    Watch Our FB Live with Rep. Melanie Morgan - Yesterday, we had one of our Facebook Live events with Rep. Melanie Morgan, the sponsor of the state Juneteenth bill. We talked about the importance of this holiday, what it represents, and about the effort to get this bill passed through the legislature. You can watch and share the video here



    Juneteenth Events - if you want to commemorate Juneteenth in person (and I hope you’re vaccinated if you will be!) check out this list of Juneteenth events compiled by our friends at UFCW 21. They have listed events all around the Puget Sound area to attend for this important day! In the Seattle area, the South Seattle Emerald has another list of Juneteenth events to check out and attend. For the Spokane area, KXLY has this list of local Juneteenth events


    Countdown to the Primary - We’re now four weeks away from ballots going out to voters for this year’s primary election, and we hope everyone is getting ready to get out the vote for local Democratic candidates this year! We’re still hoping folks will report back to us about the important local candidates in their area by emailing organizing@wa-democrats.org. Still, we also want to make sure folks are aware of all the resources available to help local campaigns and parties get out the vote! We won’t copy and paste all of last week’s email here again but make sure you, your local party, and the candidates you support are taking advantage of these resources to help Democrats in your local community. 


    Something to Read - Our Congressman Derek Kilmer (CD 6) had a good op-ed in the Tacoma News Tribune about HR 1 - the For The People Act - and how it would protect voting rights across the country. While Washington has proudly led the way in voting access with policies like vote-by-mail, the Washington Voting Rights Act, and same-day and automatic voter registration, we know that Republicans are attacking the right to vote every day in this country. They know how unpopular their policies are and that their best chance of winning is to suppress voters and prevent their opponents from turning out. That’s why it’s so important we take federal action to protect the right to vote in every state by passing legislation like the For The People Act. Thanks for writing the op-ed, Rep. Kilmer!


    Thanks for reading and for your support, as always!


    With gratitude, 

    Tina Podlodowski 


  • 11 Jun 2021 6:09 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

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    Hello fellow Democrats and happy Friday! It’s campaign season - and time to start doorbelling and holding events - safely! I’m excited about all the hard work that local Democrats are doing across Washington in the 2021 local elections, and we have a TON of opportunities for training and support that we have available to help LPOs, PCOs, and candidates compete and win. 


    Contest Every Race:In our Contest Every Race program, we identified more than 10,000 Democrats across Washington who told us they would consider running for office now or over the next few years. Another 6,000+ Democrats expressed an interest in volunteering with a local party organization or becoming a PCO. This is a deep bench of activists that we’re going to work with to grow our volunteer network and elect more Democrats in 2021 and beyond. 


    Since most local races are nonpartisan, we’re still working to identify the Democratic candidates we should track in these races across Washington - many thanks to our LPOs and the Elections Committee of the State Committee for their efforts here! And, at the current count, 173 of our Contest Every Race recruits - folks who would NOT have run without this program - are on the ballot in 2021. If you or someone you know is running for office and should be on our radar, email organizing@wa-democrats.org to let us know. We’d love to get connected!


    We’re identifying the most competitive races and candidates, especially where we can pick up new Democratic seats and elect a more diverse and representative class of elected officials. We’re planning a “spotlight” program for these races throughout the year, so again, send us your recommendations!


    T3 - Train The Trainer: As part of our continuing commitment to ensure the best and most effective training for all of our Local Party Leaders, PCOs, and amazing volunteers, the Washington State Democrats are excited to announce that we’re partnering again with the Association of State Democratic Committee’s Best Practices Institute to launch Train the Trainer Volume 2 (T3 v.2)! T3 v.2 is a free, three-week, six-part, 100% virtual training course, which will provide thousands of grassroots leaders with the political skills they need to execute successful local electoral programs. 


    During T3 v.1 this spring, Washington state led the nation with over 780 T3 participants and 311 certified graduates - more than any other state in both categories. Washington Democrats represented almost one-third of the entire national program! The T3 v.2 program will build upon the skills taught in the Spring T3 series. However, registrants are NOT required to have completed T3 v.1 to participate in the T3 v.2 program. Everyone interested in helping to elect Democrats is welcome to participate!


    Click Here to Register(registration closes at 8:59 pm PT on Sunday, June 20, so don’t wait!)


    Just like T3 v.1, the T3 v.2 program is designed to train thousands of people at your own pace over three weeks, beginning June 22nd.


    2021 T3 v.2 Curriculum Calendar

    Week

    Session #

    Date

    Topic

    Deadline

    --

    Sunday, June 20

    Registration Deadline

    1

    1

    Tuesday, June 22

    Program Overview + Getting Started

    2

    Thursday, June 24

    Fundraising

    2

    3

    Tuesday, June 29

    Communications + Messaging

    4

    Thursday, July 1

    Organizing

    3

    5

    Tuesday, July 6

    Digital

    6

    Thursday, July 8

    Building Coalitions

    Deadlines

    --

    Sunday, July 18

    Certification Deadline

    --

    Monday, August 2

    Certification Delivery (subject to change)


    This program will expand the skills of PCOs, party officers, and volunteers alike by ensuring that comprehensive training is free and accessible for Democrats working in every LD and county in Washington (and across the country!). 


    T3 v.2 is an opportunity for those who missed the Spring T3 program to get up to speed - especially local candidates and campaigns - and for Spring T3 participants to expand their knowledge and skills to continue training others! Please take a moment to register yourself now, and then encourage three of your friends to sign up with you. We win when we train and organize together.


    Juneteenth FB Live with Rep. Melanie Morgan: 


    We’re excited to be hosting one of our Facebook Live forums next week with Rep. Melanie Morgan of the 29th Legislative District. We’ll be discussing the Juneteenth holiday and the work the legislature did in 2021 to address the needs and concerns of Black Washingtonians. The event will be on Thursday, June 17th at 11:00 AM. You can watch it live or a recording of the program at www.facebook.com/washdems/live.


    Campaigning During COVID - It’s Time to Get Out There:As local Democratic campaigns ramp up activities leading up to the 2021 primary election, it’s important that we do so in a way that’s safe and responsible. While many of our candidates, staff, and volunteers may be fully vaccinated at this point, we need to recognize that our campaigns can and will interact with people who aren’t vaccinated due to access, medical conditions, or being too young; We need to protect them just as we protect ourselves. 


    Political staff and activists are NOT public health experts and it’s important that we always defer to the guidance of our public health authorities and to err on the side of safety. Make sure to continuously stay up-to-date on the recommendations and guidance from the state’s Department of Health and your local county’s public health authority. While responsible and safe campaign practices may change as the COVID situation evolves, these are our current recommendations to local campaigns for how to operate under COVID. 


    Save The Date - Rural Summit Coming Up:On July 25th, we’re hosting our Washington State Democratic Party Rural Summit. We know how important it is that we communicate with rural voters about the work that Democratic elected officials are doing on their behalf and organizing to build our party across Washington. We will be hosting a full day of workshops, trainings, and discussion of rural strategies, with a keynote session from Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb. Save the date and stay tuned for more information about this important event!


    Redistricting Outreach Meetings Continue: 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.


    Something to Read: I mentioned the Rural Summit we’re planning with Nebraska State Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb - make sure to check out her book as well! Titled Harvest The Vote, it’s an inspiring road map for how the Democratic Party can reconnect with rural voters on issues like climate change, corporate power and overreach, clean energy, and other ways that we can connect with a rural grassroots that can be too easily ignored from the coasts. Great Democratic leaders like FDR were elected with huge support from farmers and rural voters, and we should work to rebuild those alliances and grow our party in rural areas again. I seriously recommend you check it out from an independent, unionized bookstore


    Thanks as always for reading and for your support for the party! Now let’s go forth and win these local elections we’ve been preparing for all year!


    With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski 


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