In the hopes of coming together for an evening of civil discourse, I sat down with Town Hall Seattle & Seattle CityClub for an hour-long Civic Cocktail discussion with Washington GOP Chair Caleb Heimlich. What was set up to be a reconciling dialogue between parties turned into a battle of the facts vs. lies, and TRUTH prevailed through the night. Listen, I didn’t enter the discussion with the intention to make it heated, but the last thing I will do is let a Republican lie to my face and not call them out on it. When you have the time, please watch our discussion here or read the article recapping the event here.
The reality is Democrats are working with resolve to bring relief to the American people, while Republicans are using their age-old weapons to delay relief that ALL Americans so desperately need. In Congress, House Democrats led the charge to pass its version of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Now, in the Senate, Democrats are working by any means necessary to do the same, but they are facing ruthless Republicans working overtime to prevent a vote on the bill (and I do mean overtime - watch the Senate this weekend for a 48-hour vote-a-palooza). Remember, Democrats in the House voted to deliver the relief Americans need now and not a single Republican joined them. It should come as no surprise that Senate Republicans are behaving the same way their party colleagues in the House did. Republicans like Senator Ron Johnson (TX) forced Senate clerks to read aloud the more than 600 pages to delay passage of the bill. At the same time, other Republicans are looking to propose amendment after amendment to add even more barriers to the process.
One thing that we know for sure is Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell are ready to fight for the American people to ensure we get relief FAST! Today on the Senate floor, Senator Murray spoke on the urgency of passing ARP. In a tweet, Sen. Murray stated, “Anyone who says the American Rescue Plan is too expensive needs to understand how much this pandemic has already cost our communities, how much it has already taken from families, and how much more is at stake if we don’t finally bring it to an end.”
In the Evergreen State, we’ve already made great strides to getting Washington back to some sense of normalcy. It’s time to vaccinate everyone. It’s time to safely get kids back into classrooms, provide the economic relief that so many Washingtonians desperately need, and safely gather with family and friends again. For over a year now, communities across Washington have acted with caution and safety as their top priorities under the leadership of Governor Inslee and local Democratic officials. We must maintain this same level of diligence as many Washingtonians start and continue to put back together the pieces of their lives that were so devastated as a result of this pandemic.
In the House, Democrats voted to defend democracy;now the bill heads to the Senate, where we know Democrats will do the same. This is about protecting the constitutional right to engage in our political process. I am proud to say that every member of the Washington state Democratic Congressional delegation who voted to support HR 1! The For The People Act will make it easier for eligible voters to have their voices heard in our democracy.
In Olympia, the Washington State House passedHB 1078 to restore voting rights for convicted felons who are not in total confinement under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections. Introduced in the House by Representative Tarra Simmons (23rd LD), HB 1078 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on State Government & Elections on Wednesday, March 10! Let’s be sure to show Rep. Simmons and HB 1078 our support!
Also, Washington Democrats know that police reform is long overdue. This session, Democrats in the legislature introduced police reform bills that will bring severely delayed justice to Washingtonians, particularly those from Black and Brown communities, who are disproportionately impacted by police violence. This is the transformative action that will move Washington towards becoming the just and equitable state it needs to be; we must stand behind the lawmakers leading these efforts.
Back to DC, where the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would fundamentally transform policing in America by addressing systemic racism, curbing police brutality, and saving lives. This legislation includes bold yet common-sense reforms, including banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants, ending the court-created qualified immunity doctrine, combating racial profiling, and establishing strong standards to prevent police misconduct.
Democrats in both Washingtons share the American people’s hope that we can turn our moments of pain into action as we honor the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Manuel Ellis, Charleena Lyles, and far too many more lives to count -- lives ended too soon by police brutality.
Let’s keep up the support!
Finally, for those State Committee Members, Chairs, and Vice Chairs, I wanted to give you the “last call” to fill out your Census and Committee Preference Survey. As of this writing, we have 35 State Committee members (new, and returning, out of 174) who have not returned their committee preference and demographic survey - that’s about 20%.
We have sent the link four times over the last month - do let us know if you have not received it, you don’t understand it, or if life and a pandemic are getting in the way. Just let us know, as we want to make certain your voice, and the voices of the LD or county you represent, is heard!
We need to finalize committee co-chairs and members. We work hard to balance committees on a wide range of diversity factors and take your expressed committee preferences into consideration.
If we don’t hear from you by first thing Monday morning (March 8), we will just go ahead and proceed to balance and assign as we cannot wait any longer to do so. Again, just let us know what is happening in your particular situation as we are more than happy to help or work with you on it, but we can’t if we don’t hear from you.
Here is the link again: https://forms.gle/D8Sy1s7NLphGUrQYA
Something to do: The Washington State Democrats are excited to announce that we’re partnering with the ASDC Best Practices Institute to ensure we’re getting the most thorough and comprehensive training for ALL of our Local Party Leaders, PCOs, and amazing volunteers. This is Rise and Organize SUPERSIZED! The Train the Trainer (T3) program is designed to train thousands of people at their own pace over six weeks, beginning March 16. Click hereto submit your registration for the 2021 T3 Training Program! Registration will close at 8:59 p.m. PT, on Sunday, March 14. It’s the best investment you’ll make in the future of organizing in Washington state!
Something else to do: We would like to honor our female Local Party and Caucus Chairs by highlighting them on social media during Women’s History Month. Please be sure to feel this form out so we can share your amazing work and stories! Please complete this form by Thursday, March 11: https://forms.gle/vf1EUEZrMgB61tvs9
Something to watch:This week onDemocracy on Demand, we chatted with Senator Mona Das (47th LD) about legislation to help those impacted by high personal insurance rates as a result of their credit scores and policies to reduce waste and litter.
Something to read: This Small Town Shows How QAnon Is Quietly Going Mainstream - why we expect more QAnon and MAGA candidates in local races this year. And stay tuned for an exciting announcement next week about how we will partner with you to recruit even more candidates in 2021 local races.Click here to read!--