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23rd ld Democrats News

  • 2 Mar 2021 8:59 AM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Dear Democrats,

    Last week, on behalf of the State party, I joined sexual assault and women's rights organizations from across Washington State, to publish an open letter opposing the recent appointment of former State Senator Joe Fain to the Washington State Redistricting Commission.

    Commissioner Fain, appointed by Senate Republican Leader John Braun, is widely known as the subject of serious allegations of rape. These must be thoroughly investigated - and Fain should resign. But he won't. At the very least, to protect all Washingtonians in this process, there must be a Code of Conduct established for Redistricting Commissioners, and Fain must be subject to it.

    I've made my voice heard on this matter by signing the letter with other progressive organizations across Washington. Now is the time for you to stand up and make your voice heard if you're in opposition to Fain's appointment to the Redistricting Commission. We need a groundswell of voices. The best way to make your voice heard is to provide public comment for the upcoming Washington State Redistricting Commission meeting that will take place on Sunday, February 21, beginning at 9 AM.

    Here's how you can get involved to support this effort - please:

    1. You can submit a written public comment by sending it to comment@redistricting.wa.gov. This will be taken into account, but there is currently no confirmation on if these will be addressed during the meeting on Sunday.

    2. If you would like to make a public comment during the meeting, you can sign up to join the zoom meeting here. We are not certain how long people will have for public comment. For every hour of the meeting, there is 15 min of public comment. Once you sign up for the Zoom call, you are submitting your name to be called on during the public comment portion of the meeting. The commission will track people signed up for public comment based on people registered for the zoom call.

    And, if you would like to watch the meeting but will not be presenting a public comment, you can watch the meeting live on tvw.org. The Washington State Redistricting Commission has not yet posted a public agenda for this meeting, but we expect they will discuss a code of conduct and the open letter addressed to the Commission.

    Thank you so much,


    Tina

  • 26 Feb 2021 7:23 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


    Friday Wrap Up.png

    Republicans are working tirelessly to roll back voting rights and the progress that's been made to correct the extant injustices of voter suppression. Since the November election, Republicans across the country have introduced new state legislationto restrict voting rights and amend election laws as an attempt to course-correct their major losses. And it’s happening right here in Washington. 

    During the 2021 legislative session, Republicans in the State Senate introduced Senate Bill 5143, the “Free and Fair Elections Act of 2021,” aiming to bring back voting machines and in-person voting in Washington. Their desire to roll back our voting system is due to the progress Democrats have made to expand voting rights to those that have been disenfranchised and excluded from the electoral process for years, especially voters in rural areas and on Native American reservations.

    Republicans are losing elections because they fail to recognize that their ideologies and legislation have done nothing to support working families, create jobs, or uplift historically marginalized communities across the state -- or the country.

    It's not patriotic to attack American democracy. And it’s not patriotic to lie to Americans about facts.

    Republican extremism has led our country to disarray, and we are lucky to have President Joe Biden at the helm working to build back better by bringing our country together when it matters the most. When Republicans undermine the security of our elections, they undermine the voices of the people and the power of our votes. 

    GOP officials from the Presidency to Congress to local municipal leaders tried with all their might to obstruct our electoral processes. The anti-democratic attacks against our progressive efforts are ramping up with every passing day. Our commitment to protect fair elections must continue with even greater fervor. 

    In Olympia, Democrats are acting with resolve in taking every opportunity they can during the 2021 legislative session to ensure that the voting rights of every Washingtonian are protected and expanded in our state. This week, the Washington State House passed HB 1078 to restore voting rights for convicted felons. Introduced to the house by Representative Tarra Simmons(23rd LD), Washington’s first member of the legislature formerly convicted of a felony, HB 1078 will restore voter eligibility for all persons convicted of a felony offense who are not in total confinement under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections -- if passed by the Senate. 

    Restoring voting rights is the step we need to take to heal our nation and to ensure that democracy is protected and advanced for future generations to come. The divisiveness around the legitimacy of the 2020 election is a direct attack on the Civil Rights Movement and we must call on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to continue Congressman Lewis’ work as a civil rights activist and member of Congress. This will be the foundation to protect voters from unconstitutional voting procedures that are intended to harm the fair and free voting access that many Washingtonians have worked so hard to achieve.

    Democrats are focused on a brighter future! 

    This week, President Biden announcednew adjustments to the Paycheck Protection Programfocused on funding for small businesses that are so vital to communities all across America. Americans need economic relief now, and it starts with protecting the mom and pop shops that have withstood the test of time so they can continue to serve their neighborhoods. 

    In Washington, we're making quick strides to build back better. This week, Governor Inslee signed the $2.2 Billion COVID-19 Relief Billto get kids back in the classroom, ramp up testing and vaccines, and get economic relief to those who are struggling the most.  

    In light of the pandemic, the need for digital connectivity across the state has never been more clear. Democrats in the Washington state legislature are working to strengthen internet access for rural communities! This week, the legislature passedHB 1336, the Public Broadband act that will authorize public utility districts, port districts, cities and towns, and counties to provide retail telecommunications services. Democratic Representative Drew Hansen (23rd LD) led the charge for this bipartisan effort to bridge the digital divide that has stricken our rural communities. We have never seen a greater need for public broadband in our state's rural and underserved areas. Equipping our communities with access to public broadband will connect working-class families to more jobs and students of all ages to broader learning experiences.

    Finally, earlier this week I had a special opportunity to sit down with some amazing Black elected officials from across the state. During Black History Month and throughout the entire year, we must honor and celebrate Washington state's Black leaders who have paved the way for progressive action and those who are leading our communities right now as changemakers. Watch our candid discussion here!

    ___________________________________________________________________

    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. 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 to watch:This week onDemocracy on Demand, we chatted with Representative Jesse Johnson (30th LD) about usage of permissible force by law enforcement and juvenile access to attorneys when contacted by law enforcement.

    Something to read: Latino Voters have Higher than Average Ballot Signature Rejection Rates in Washington State: Click here to read!

    -- 

  • 26 Feb 2021 1:54 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


    Senator Christine Rolfes

    Dear Friends and Neighbors,

    We are about one-third of the way through the 2021 legislative session and continue to focus on helping households and businesses survive and recover during this difficult time. I know the fastest, shortest path to getting our state back open is to contain the pandemic. I also know people need help immediately. Last week Gov. Inslee signed a $2.2 billion measure (HB 1368) to expand testing and vaccine distribution, provide support to schools, make grants available for small businesses, and meet basic needs with rental and food assistance.

    We are working to get this relief distributed quickly and this newsletter will focus on ways people can find help. You can also call 211 or click here to find information about a wide range of assistance programs. I have also listed a number of local resources here on my website. As always, if you have questions or feedback, please email Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov or call (360) 786-7644.

    Available resources

    The last year has been difficult for everyone here in Kitsap, and I want to share a list of resources that are currently available or will be available soon for those in need of relief:

    • VACCINATIONS: We have invested an additional $618 million to boost testing, contact tracing, and to quickly distribute vaccines as soon as they become available. Visit the Kitsap Public Health District’s website for the latest information on vaccine distribution and where vaccines are being given, or call 1-800-525-0127. We are still in Phase 1B-Tier 1 and those eligible include all people 65 years or older and all people 50 years or older living in multigenerational households. Check your eligibility status here.
    • HOUSING: We have added $365 million for emergency eviction, rental and utility assistance. People seeking help can contact 2-1-1 or call Kitsap Community Resources at 360-473-2035 for more information.
    • BUSINESS ASSISTANCE: Another $240 million will be coming online soon to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The grants are expected to be available in late March and information will be available at the state Department of Commerce website here. In addition, we approved HB 1095 to exempt businesses from paying B&O taxes on emergency assistance grants from the state or federal government. This will provide up to $210 million in tax relief for Washington businesses impacted by the pandemic.
    • FREE WI-FI HOT SPOTS: Free high-speed internet hotspots are available throughout Kitsap County to provide internet connections to anyone in need, thanks to Kitsap Public Utility District’sDrive-In Wi-Fi.
    • CHILDCARE: The relief package included an additional $50 million for licensed childcare providers to help keep these critical businesses open. In the coming weeks, the state Department of Children, Youth & Families will have updated grant information.
    • IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE: The bill signed last week sets aside about $60 million for the state’s immigrant relief fund. People can find out more information and sign up for alerts on when the new grants will be available here for working Washingtonians who are not eligible for either unemployment insurance or stimulus payments.

    Strengthening our consumer protection laws

    This week the Senate passed a major overhaul of our state’s consumer protection laws. Senate Bill 5025, which I sponsored, represents a significant advance in consumer protections for Washingtonians and gives the Attorney General the authority to properly penalize businesses who attempt to scam or defraud our residents. The new laws will especially help older adults and other vulnerable groups, who are disproportionately impacted by fraudulent activities.

    Update on employment security breach

    I wanted to share an update on a recent security breach that may have impacted people who filed unemployment benefits claims last year. As you may have heard, the Washington State Auditor was recently made aware of a data security incident involving a third-party provider. This week the Auditor’s office will begin notifying people whose unemployment benefits claims information may have been affected. The notifications will be sent by e-mail during the next two weeks to people who filed an unemployment insurance claim in 2020. The e-mail will contain information about identity theft protection and an individual code for 12 months of free credit monitoring and instructions on how to enroll and request assistance. You can also visit https://sao.wa.gov/breach2021/ for updated information.

     

    Sen. Christine Rolfes
    State Senator, 23rd Legislative District

    Executive Assistant 
    Linda Owens: Linda.Owens@leg.wa.gov

    Legislative Assistant 
    Haylee Anderson: Haylee.Anderson@leg.wa.gov

    Website
    senatedemocrats.wa.gov/Rolfes

    Email
     Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov

    Phone
    Direct: 360.786.7644 | Toll free: 800.562.6000 | TTY: 800.833.6388

    Olympia Office 
    303 Cherberg Building | PO Box 40423 | Olympia, WA 98504

    Committees
    Ways & Means (Chair)
    Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks 

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    This email was sent to dougmackenzie1@gmail.com using GovDelivery Communications Cloud, on behalf of: Washington Senate Democratic Caucus · 106 11th Ave. SW, Suite 2400, Olympia, WA 98501 1-800-562-6000 GovDelivery logo

  • 19 Feb 2021 7:07 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Friday Wrap Up.png

    Happy Friday Democrats!

    If we are going to win every race in every place, we must make early investments in training our most important asset - you!

    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.The Train the Trainer (T3) program is designed to train thousands of people at their own pace over six weeks, beginning March 16. With lots of new PCOs and activists on board, we know this training will be beneficial for our grassroots leaders and contribute to our success for years to come! 

    If you are a new LPO leader, a new PCO, or a new State Committee Member, please sign up - this will take the place of early 2021 Rise and Organizing Training, and instead of a few hours of new material, you’ll have access to 12 hours of the latest techniques and tactics - all done at your own pace over six weeks. It’s a great refresher course for “experienced” folks as well, especially if you have not participated in a formal training over the last two years.

    T3 training classes will be held “live” every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 - 5 p.m. PT, from March 16, through April 22. The deadline toregister is Sunday, March 14 at 8:59 p.m. PT. This free twelve-part webinar course will cover: 

    Week 1

    Program Overview + Voter Registration

    Organizing I

    Week 2

    Organizing II

    Digital I

    Week 3

    Digital II

    Communications

    Week 4

    Technology I

    Technology II

    Week 5

    Political

    Research

    Week 6

    Fundraising

    Program Wrap-up

    All training sessions will include a skills test to track retention and participation. Each session will be recorded and made available following each session via a weekly wrap-up email, so participants can still attend even if the live training times don’t work for their schedule!However, only registered participants will be able to access the recorded trainings, so make sure to register before the deadline.  

    This program will be accessible to Democrats working in every LD and county in Washington (and across the country!), providing opportunities for PCOs, party officers, and volunteers alike to expand their skills.

    “Training the Trainer” means all graduates will not only be trained themselves, they will also become an asset for their own local parties, going on to train new people as volunteers and PCOs are recruited over the course of the cycle! After the program finishes, we will have two drop-in sessions with state party organizing staff to help participants implement what they learn for their local party and, of course, you can always schedule with us to do a special session just for your team.

    Participants who complete all twelve sessions will receive program certification from the ASDC (suitable for your resume) and special recognition from the state party. Even more importantly, they will be equipped with the fundamental skills and modern best practices to be a true asset to our Democratic candidates in 2021, 2022, and beyond. 

    As an added incentive, we’ll be offering a $1,000 incentive to the top three Local Party Organizations that have the highest percentage of participants based on the number of total possible PCOs. We have designed this friendly competition to be equitable to local parties regardless of size. Winners will be calculated based on the number of participants from your organization who complete the program divided by the number of precincts in your local party’s jurisdiction. To ensure that your submission is counted correctly, please list your LD in the “County/Parish/Borough” section of the sign up form. 

    Participation is open to everyone, so no matter how many active PCOs you have, no matter how many volunteers you have, encourage your members, friends, and allied activists to register! This training is so vital for protecting and expanding our Democratic majorities. Take a minute to reserve your spot, and invite three other committed Democrats to join you! 

    CLICK HERE to 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!


    Thanks, 

    Tina

    —————————————————————————————

    Something to read: The Future of Organizing:https://prospect.org/politics/focus-on-the-grassroots/

     

    Something to do:Remember the open letter regarding the appointment of Joe Fain to WA’s Redistricting Commission I sent in last Friday’s email? The commission will hold a meeting Sunday, February 21, beginning at 9 AM,and we expect this letter to be on the agenda. Make your voice heard on the appointment of Fain and provide public comment. You can submit a written public comment by sending it to comment@redistricting.wa.gov. If you would like to make a public comment during the meeting, you can sign up to join thezoom meeting here

     

    Something to watch:This week onDemocracy on Demandwe chatted with Representative Kirsten Harris-Talley (37th LD) about energy assistance for low-income households and housing security.

    -- 
  • 19 Feb 2021 5:20 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Dear Democrats,

    Last week, on behalf of the State party, I joined sexual assault and women's rights organizations from across Washington State, to publish an open letter opposing the recent appointment of former State Senator Joe Fain to the Washington State Redistricting Commission.

    Commissioner Fain, appointed by Senate Republican Leader John Braun, is widely known as the subject of serious allegations of rape. These must be thoroughly investigated - and Fain should resign. But he won't. At the very least, to protect all Washingtonians in this process, there must be a Code of Conduct established for Redistricting Commissioners, and Fain must be subject to it.

    I've made my voice heard on this matter by signing the letter with other progressive organizations across Washington. Now is the time for you to stand up and make your voice heard if you're in opposition to Fain's appointment to the Redistricting Commission. We need a groundswell of voices. The best way to make your voice heard is to provide public comment for the upcoming Washington State Redistricting Commission meeting that will take place on Sunday, February 21, beginning at 9 AM.

    Here's how you can get involved to support this effort - please:

    1. You can submit a written public comment by sending it to comment@redistricting.wa.gov. This will be taken into account, but there is currently no confirmation on if these will be addressed during the meeting on Sunday.

    2. If you would like to make a public comment during the meeting, you can sign up to join the zoom meeting here. We are not certain how long people will have for public comment. For every hour of the meeting, there is 15 min of public comment. Once you sign up for the Zoom call, you are submitting your name to be called on during the public comment portion of the meeting. The commission will track people signed up for public comment based on people registered for the zoom call.

    And, if you would like to watch the meeting but will not be presenting a public comment, you can watch the meeting live on tvw.org. The Washington State Redistricting Commission has not yet posted a public agenda for this meeting, but we expect they will discuss a code of conduct and the open letter addressed to the Commission.

    Thank you so much,


    Tina

    -- 
  • 17 Feb 2021 4:43 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


    Hansen Banner

    Policy Cutoff, Step One for Community and Economic Relief, and Expanding the Foreclosure Fairness Program


    We just crossed the first big deadline of the legislative session, policy cutoff. That means a lot of bills are either done for the year and must wait until next year to be considered again or have moved on to review in a fiscal committee to determine their impact to state budgets. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will be spending a lot of time on Zoom hearing from the public on these bills and why they are worth including in state budget funding. It’s a long process, but a great way to hear the passion folks bring to the Legislature.

    One bill the Legislature passed a few weeks ago is the Step One for Community and Economic Relief, one of many steps we are taking to help communities struggling with the effects of COVID-19. This bill appropriated $2.2 billion in federal dollars to go directly to small business grants, rent payments to housing providers and landlords, vaccine distribution and testing and contact tracing, funding for schools to prepare for learning loss, and support for food assistance. It is a big deal and is a necessary step in helping communities during this pandemic.

    As chair of the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee, I get to hear about bills that address the ways society reacts to criminal and civil activity. I find it refreshing to hear new ideas people bring to help improve their communities and the past few weeks have been full of discussion about equity in our state. We also have a chance to participate in COVID relief, despite not being a committee that changes tax policy or appropriates money. One bill we worked on in the committee ended up being a COVID response bill that passed the House last month and it deals directly with counseling and mediation services for small landlords. HB 1108builds on existing program that helps homeowners resolve issues with their lenders before foreclosure is the only option. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting so many small landlords, it made sense to expand this program further. If you’re interested in finding out more, take a look at the Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Program website.

    Next month, I hope to have great news to share about the bills I emailed you about last time, mainly the Public Broadband Act and the Worker Protection Act. Those bills are both moving on to the next step and hopefully will be debated on the House floor in the next few weeks. Please continue your efforts to socially distance, wear your mask, wash your hands, get vaccinated when it’s available and it’s your turn, and take care.

    Representative Drew D. Hansen

     

    Please feel free to contact my office with any concerns or suggestions you may have

    E-Mail Rep. Hansen

    Phone Rep. Hansen's office: (360) 786-7842


  • 15 Feb 2021 1:50 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Hello all,

    Once again, I find myself searching for words to express my anger, disgust and outrage over the way a major part of our government is not functioning. Yes, I am talking about the disgraceful capitulation of the Senate Rs who refused to understand the ramifications of what they have done by not convicting the former White House occupant of instigating an insurrection. 

    I am unable to understand how they can take an oath to uphold the Constitution and to sit in fair judgment and then act as if that all means nothing. Since when did sitting in the gallery with one’s feet on the furniture, doodling at one’s desk, or reading papers/documents that have nothing to do with the task at hand show that those acting this way were listening to the case being presented to them? Or how impartial can one be if one sits down in a private room with the door closed to confer with the defense on their strategy? How utterly appalling and odious!

    The Rs have become a cult of personality and all things are for the support of that one person. It is atrocious that their national party platform is basically whatever he wants. It is monstrous that anyone who speaks in opposition to this person is castigated and isolated from the rest of the party. Anyone not seeing parallels to Nazi Germany is not paying attention. Fascism has raised its ugly head and we must be even more vigilant in standing up for our principles. We must speak up against hatred and discrimination of all sorts. We must continue to espouse fair and equitable treatment for all people – it is our democracy to keep or lose and I will not allow the Rs to win!!

    Val

    Chair 23rd LD Dems     

    P.S. These are the rest of the words I got from the Thesaurus (and there were plenty more) in order to not repeat myself in describing their egregious behavior: heinous, scurrilous, corrupt, horrendous, nefarious, atrocious, notorious.

  • 12 Feb 2021 6:08 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


    Friday Wrap Up.png

    Happy Friday Democrats! 

    The first three days of the impeachment trial have reminded us just how low the Republican Party has fallen. An airtight case of inciting an insurrection that should lead to a Trump conviction has become yet another exercise in disingenuous denial and a lack of accountability. The same is true here in Washington state.

    Earlier this week, on behalf of the State party, I joined the National Women's Political Caucus of Washington, along with sexual assault and women's rights organizations from across Washington State, to publish an open letter opposing the recent appointment of former GOP State Senator Joe Fain to the Washington State Redistricting Commission. Commissioner Fain, appointed by Senate Republican Leader John Braun, is widely known as the subject of serious allegations of rape

    Fain's refusal to even address these allegations is unforgivable – and one of many reasons why he lost his reelection bid in LD-47 to now State Senator Mona Das in 2018. All appointments to the redistricting commission are critical to sustaining ethical values in our electoral process, and that starts with who has a seat at the table. Fain has already refused to resign from the commission, and Republican legislators are backing Braun's decision 100%, so it's up to us to keep adding on the pressure and holding him and Sen. Braun accountable for this shameful decision. Simply, Joe Fain should not be on the Redistricting Commission and this veiled attempt to "rehab" his reputation by the GOP for another turn at elected office disgraceful. We must stand behind survivors of sexual assault, ESPECIALLY when others are not.  

    Washington Republicans were hoping the Fain appointment would go unnoticed. This tactic only says one thing to me: they are normalizing sexual predatory behavior and sending the message to Washingtonians that sexual assault allegations are not taken seriously – just like with Trump. This is something we will not stand for. My team and I have worked tirelessly to work with sexual assault and women's rights groups to hold Fain accountable -- and we will continue this work throughout the coming weeks. 

    This week, we're focusing on the amazing work that Democrats are doing in Washington and on the national level, and with bill cutoff next week in the 2021 Legislative session, it's a great time to make your voice heard.

    For example, Representative Debra Entenman is leading the charge in the 2021 legislative session to hold police accountable with House Bill 1267. HB 1267 would establish an Office of Independent Investigations within the Office of the Governor for the purpose of investigating deadly force incidents involving peace officers. Learn more about HB 1267 and Rep. Entenman's most recent work in the legislature on this week's episode of Democracy on Demand

    During the pandemic, Washington state continues to be the model for our nation when it comes to Coronavirus relief. This week, our legislature approved House Bill 1368 -- $2.2 Billion in COVID-19 relief. Once Governor Inslee signs the bill, this aide will take effect immediately due to its emergency status. 

    Here’s a breakdown of what HB 1368 will do:

    $618 Million - Vaccines, testing, and contact tracing 

    $668 Million - support for WA schools 

    $365 Million - rental assistance 

    $240 Million - small business grants 

    $70 Million - undocumented immigrant fund 

    $50 Million - Childcare assistance 

    $26 Million  - Food assistance

    In the other WashingtonPresident Biden and his administration and our Democrats in Congress are fulfilling their promises to the American people with the launch of the American Rescue Plan. We don't have a minute to waste when it comes to COVID relief. The Biden administration and Democrats in Congress know that every day counts and that's why they are fighting every day to get relief to the American people -- FAST! 

    Here's a simple break down of ARP: 

          Get $1,400 direct relief checks to Americans, on top of $600 checks previously approved, for a total of $2,000 in direct aid

          Enhance unemployment benefits and extend pandemic unemployment programs

          Increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour

          Provide additional support for small businesses

          Extend the federal eviction moratorium and provide additional aid to low- and moderate-income households out of work

          Provide funding for vaccines, testing, and schools

    This virus ravished our country, and it will take BOLD action to put the pieces back together. This is an ambitious plan, but we can't just "return to normal." We must make a new normal by getting Americans the economic relief we so desperately need and providing more access to tests and vaccines to protect every American.  

    And finally, a little accountability for the biggest political grifter in the history of Washington state, Tim Eyman:  https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/tim-eyman-found-liable-on-campaign-finance-violations-barred-from-controlling-political-committees/ 

    Thanks for all you do and with gratitude,

    Tina 

    Something to do: Sign the letter to hold Fain accountable - nwpcwa.org/joefain

    Something else to do: We need your help uplifting real people’s stories who have been impacted by the pandemic and Republicans delaying a vote on COVID relief. If you or someone you know feels comfortable sharing your story, either written or by video, please email digitalorganizing@dnc.org or submit a video through this form. 

    Something to watch: This week on Democracy on Demand we chatted with Representative Debra Entenman (47th LD) about police accountability.

    -- 
  • 5 Feb 2021 3:43 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


    Happy Friday Democrats!

    We're now in the midst of efforts for our 2021 local elections. What races will your local party organization be focused on? 

    As a State Party, we've asked for a list of 2-10 races from your chairs and vice chairs to make certain we are tracking and/or helping you recruit terrific candidates for local office - don't keep us in suspense! Where are you focusing?

    We're also working with legislators to make our ballots easier to understand - like getting rid of Tim Eyman's notorious "push-polls," presented to voters under the guise of "advisory votes."

    Remember, "advisory votes" were established in 2008 with the enactment of Initiative 960 (yeah, Eyman.) Through an advisory vote, voters "advise" the legislature whether to repeal or maintain a tax increase enacted by the legislature. The advisory votes results are non-binding and do not result in a change to the law or any action by the legislature. They have also been historically misleading and misworded to not tell the truth about tax measures and spending.

    There is a trio of bills to address this that have passed the state Senate and are now on to the House - give them a look and give them your support, as they increase access to information, and don't "clog the ballot" with confusing and misleading Eyman push-polls. 

    SB 5182 repeals the requirement that advisory votes for tax increase legislation appear on the ballot and voters' pamphlet.

    SB 5182 requires that information on how measures passed by the legislature will increase or decrease state revenue and how increased revenue will be expended, or what state expenditures will be eliminated; thus, they appear as information in the voters' pamphlet.

    SB 5182 requires a pie chart showing operating budget expenditures for the most recent biennium to appear as information in the voters' pamphlet.

    You can learn more about these bills from our latest Democracy on Demand with Senator Patty Kuderer here!

    In the other Washington, 199 Republicans - including Jamie Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted against removing Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Qanon) from her committee assignments after years of unrepentant and unabashedly untrue statements about schools and 9-11, tinged with antisemitism and racism. Oh, and inciting violence and supporting sedition. Consistent courage, obviously in short supply on that side of the aisle! 

    Happily, she was stripped of her committee assignments, and sadly, Greene is responding to her public reprimand in much the same way that Trump, her role model and ally, reacted to his — by hurling insults on Twitter:

                               

    Stay classy, GOP - and I'm ready to give her MORE free time and end her time in Congress completely.

    Finally, four Republican State Senators announced the formation of the Washington State Freedom Caucus Thursday. Senator Doug Ericksen said the caucus is focused on protecting people's liberty and freedoms. Erickson joins Senators Mike Padden, Phil Fortunato, and Jim McCune as founding members of the Washington State Freedom Caucus. 

    "It's not simply a subset of the Senate Republican Caucus. It's a Freedom Caucus with a freedom agenda and a big tent," said Ericksen.

    A reminder that Ericksen and Fortunato are up for re-election in 2022, and we certainly have the freedom to replace them with Democrats.

    With gratitude for all you do,


    Tina Podlodowski

    Chair, Washington State Democrats

    ========

    Something to read: What's happening in North Carolina and why does Roy Cooper keep winning? Check this out: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/02/what-north-carolina-and-roy-cooper-can-teach-democrats/617874/

    Something to watch: Ten "Must Watch" Black History Documentaries: https://www.pbs.org/black-culture/explore/10-black-history-documentaries-to-watch/ 

    Something to do: Interested in politics? Subscribe to the "Daily Yonder" - keep it real and rural every day: https://dailyyonder.com/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&mc_cid=7bc9b92a16&mc_eid=aedd30235c

    -- 


  • 29 Jan 2021 6:44 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Friday Wrap Up.png

    Washington Democrats,

    As we move into State Party reorganization weekend, a few reminders on what we will be facing in our local elections in 2021, especially from the Washington State Republican Party, and a close look at how that's manifesting in one of our towns: Sequim, in Clallam County. 

    First, some data. 

    The latest poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) finds that 60 percent of Americans say that harsh and violent language in politics contributes "a lot" to violent actions in society. More than six in ten Americans say that former President Trump has encouraged white supremacist and conspiracy groups, especially those like the Proud Boys and Qanon. 

    Only 35 percent of Republicans are willing to hold that ANY white supremacists or folks tied to conspiracy groups had ANYTHING to do with the seditious attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th or are in any way responsible for the attack. Back in the real world, however, 62 percent of Americans who don't identify with the GOP said white supremacists shoulder a lot of the blame for the attack, and 22 percent say they are more than a little bit to blame or 84 percent in total.

    It's stunning to think that the vast majority of Republicans prefer to live in a world of denial, even at the price of refusing to hold the instigators of a domestic terrorist attack responsible. The party's base is as delusional as Mitch McConnell or Kevin McCarthy, who refuse to convict Trump for instigating the assault. The GOP also treats conspiracy-monger and newly elected Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Qanon) as a rational member in good standing. (And to add further insult, the GOP has assigned Greene to the House Education Committee - she who has mocked the killing of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School and mocked the killing of teenagers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as "fake." It's appalling, and their conduct is indefensible.)

    You can read the whole poll here: https://www.prri.org/research/majority-of-americans-blame-trump-white-supremacy-for-capitol-riot/

    Second, what's going on in Sequim? 

    Well, to Sequim Mayor William Armacost, Qanon is a "truth movement" — one that he recently encouraged folks to learn more about on YouTube on a local radio program. The mayor even wears a Qanon pin to council meetings. It's best to describe Qanon as an online conspiracy cult. Qanon followers believe that Trump has been fighting a "deep state" network of child-sex traffickers embedded in the U.S. government and the media and has promoted the idea that Democrats are sacrificing babies and eating them or drinking their blood. These bizarre lies sadly echo decades-old anti-Semitic propaganda as well.

    I guess it would be one thing for Armacost to express his views in public. But now Armacost and his allies on the Sequim City Council have been carrying out a QAnon coup of the town government, firing trusted Sequim city manager, Charlie Bush, in a bizarre series of closed-door meetings and more. You can read about it here: https://www.thedailybeast.com/mayor-aims-to-turn-small-town-into-qanon-usa?ref=scroll

    And the Washington GOP think this is just fine.

    Why is this important for our local election cycle in 2021? As an example of just one of many local elections, Sequim needs some new City Councilmembers. But also, if anyone thinks there are enough persuasion dollars in any candidate campaign to move these GOP voters into reality, well, I'd urge you to think again. We must identify the most important local races in our Counties and LD's, and begin to work with those candidates now. We must look at the data, and realize flipping republican votes in this sort of climate and belief system is a major mountain to climb. Instead, there's a better way - but it takes hard, deliberate work that also must begin now. GOTV - or getting out our voters and registering new ones.

    Here are the eye-popping numbers from across Washington - over 300,000 identified and registered democrats in Washington simply did not vote in the last election. More than 1.3M Washingtonians are eligible to vote, and are not registered, and are frequently democratic-leaning and in BIPOC communities. If we truly believe in diversity, equity and inclusion, well, the opportunity is sitting right in front of us. Let's go to work!

    Finally, there's no new episode of Democracy on Demand this week. Check out last week's episode with State Senators Emily Randall and Joe Nguyen.You can view the discussion here: https://www.facebook.com/washdems/videos/462533965119420

    With gratitude for all you do,

     

    Tina Podlodowski

    Chair, Washington State Democrats

    ======== 

    Something to read: Remember the John Birch Society? No? Then take a peak at this article by Richard Brody, on the original "far-right overthrow the government activists" and a TV documentary that exposed them…in 1964!: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/a-tv-documentary-shows-the-deep-roots-of-right-wing-conspiracy

    Something to watch: Want to know more about Qanon? Check out this documentary from CBSN Originals: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/qanon-conspiracy-theory-believers/

    Something to do: Follow the Sequim Good Governance League on Facebook, to see how you can help change the City Council: https://www.facebook.com/SequimGoodGovernanceLeague/


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