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23rd ld Democrats News

  • 25 Jan 2021 1:24 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Last week, I filed the Public Broadband Act (HB1336) to permit full public broadband in Washington State. 

    In many, many communities across America, local governments can offer high-speed broadband internet. But in Washington State, it’s illegal for some governments to offer broadband to the public.

    It’s time for that to change.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that affordable, high-speed, broadband internet service is an essential public good. We rely on the internet for remote school, remote work, and basic human connection with our families.

    But too many families in Washington State don’t have access to affordable broadband. Big corporations only want to offer it where they can make big profits, leaving out so many communities.

    We have a hearing on my bill coming up this Wednesday (January 27), and we’re trying to show broad grassroots support: can you sign the petition at this link and then forward this email to your friends, asking them to sign the petition too? 

    (And if you're on Facebook, you can share this post on your own Facebook page--choose the option to "include original post" so it includes the post and not just the link--to spread the word!) 

    Thanks, and I’ll keep you posted on how we do!



     follow on Twitter | friend on Facebook | forward to a friend 

  • 23 Jan 2021 12:17 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Christine Rolfes

    Dear Friends and Neighbors,

    The last few weeks have been unlike any in our nation’s history — filled with deep sadness and bright rays of hope. When the 2021 legislative session started last week, the legislative buildings in Olympia were surrounded by security fencing and hundreds of personnel from the Washington National Guard and State Patrol. Their presence was unprecedented and startling, and stood as a stark reminder of the threat of attack and the unrest gripping our nation. I am sincerely grateful for the presence of law enforcement and our state’s security personnel during this time. I hope we will never have to start another session under these circumstances.

    I am proud of the resiliency and strength our democracy has shown through these turbulent days. I am committed to serve my state and my country with renewed determination and compassion. And after the second week of this year’s 105-day legislative session, your state legislature is proving that even in a remote environment it can quickly respond to the needs of our constituents and all Washingtonians. In that spirit, this newsletter will highlight some of the good news about what’s happening in our state government. Please always feel free to reach out to me at Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov.

    Hope in a new year

    The 2021 session is off and running and we are eager to help our communities recover and lay the groundwork for rebuilding a post-pandemic economy that works for all Washingtonians. We released our early action pandemic recovery plan yesterday. It includes funding to expand testing and vaccine availability, help for our schools as they reopen, grants for small business, and desperately needed housing and food assistance for those hit hardest over the last year. As the chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, this has been my primary focus for the last few weeks and I look forward to sending the bill to the governor’s desk soon. However, this is just a first step and we will be working to provide more relief as the session advances. You can read more about the legislation here. I discussed the package this week on the TV program Inside Olympia and you can read more about it in the Seattle Timesand Crosscut

    This funding will provide support for our partners at the state Department of Health, who are working overtime to expedite the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Use their online tool to check your vaccine eligibility by answering a few questions here: findyourphasewa.com. A list of vaccination locations is available here.

    How to participate

    At the recommendation of public health experts, we will be holding most hearings and meetings remotely this year. Legislators and staff have been working for months to ensure that the session is still as transparent and accessible as possible. Here are some ways you can get involved:

    • Learn—How a bill becomes a law, from start to finish, is explained here.
    • Find—You can look up legislation on the issues important to you here.
    • Watch—Visit TVW.org for broadcasts and archived videos of your democracy in action.
    • Testify—Register to testify remotely before legislative committees here.
    • Reach out—You can find and contact your legislators here.

    My team

    Sen. Christine Rolfes, Executive Assistant Linda Owens, and Legislative Assistant Haylee Anderson.

    I’m fortunate to have a strong team around me again this year helping deliver results for the people in the 23rd district. While we may be communicating differently this year, we are still getting the people’s work done. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!


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  • 22 Jan 2021 6:09 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Washington Democrats - I know you all joined me in tearsof joy during the inauguration of President Joseph Robinette Biden and Vice President Kamala Devi Harris this week! 
    After four long years, the American people can finally have faith that our President will put their interests above his own and honor his sacred oath to defend our Constitution. And after enduring relentless assaults on their basic humanity, women, Black and Brown Americans, and immigrants can see in Vice President Harris’ historic inauguration the triumph of the promise of America. 
    And YOU made all of this happen! Over the past four years, you have answered every call to organize with the State Party and worked tirelessly to defeat Trumpism in America. This historic moment also belongs to you. 
    I can’t help but recall that my tenure as Washington State Democrats Party Chair began in 2017 with an urgent resolution on Saturday, January 28th, 2017, when Trump signed an Executive Order that banned foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. We adjourned that state committee meeting, and rushed to SeaTac Airport to supportimmigrants on incoming flights who were being denied entry to the U.S. The first action from President Joe Biden? Ending that same ban. 
    In fact, let’s look at the list of first day actions from our new administration:
    ☑️  Ended the Muslim Ban
    ☑️  Rejoined the Paris Climate Accord
    ☑️  Extended the Eviction Moratorium
    ☑️  Protected DREAMers
    ☑️  Protected LGBTQ rights
    ☑️  Increased Food Benefits to children and families
    ☑️  Set a REAL national strategy for combating COVID-19
    ☑️  Authorized use of the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine distribution
    ☑️  Increased Worker Protections
    ☑️  Mandated Masks
    ☑️  Dumped Trump appointees of the executive branch
    In all, 15 Executive actions were signed by the President. And look for MORE presidential action every day next week with a “Buy American” action Monday, followed by a focus on racial equity Tuesday, climate change Wednesday, health care Thursday, and immigration Friday.

    Decency and democracy, accountability and action are back.

    And the House Impeachment Managers will deliver impeachment articles against Trump to the Senate on Monday, January 25 - with a trial in February. We cannot have reconciliation without accountability and truth.
    In National Democratic Party news, Jaime Harrison is the new chair of the Democratic National Committee. To have my dear friend Jaime, a former State Party Chair, as Chair of the DNC means brighter days for grassroots movements and local party engagement will take top priority! I'm also excited to serve with him in the roles I was elected to this week: ASDC Western Vice President and DNC Western Caucus Chair. This means I'll lead 16 Western States and Territories, sit on the ASDC Executive Board, and the DNC Executive Committee. 

    Finally, this week’s Democracy on Demand features State Senators Emily Randall and Joe Nguyen.You can view the discussion, live or later, at this link:facebook.com/washdems/live

    With gratitude, 



    Something to read: Get ready for unprecedented organizing and electoral challenges all around the state. On the eve of our own State Committee orientations and meetings over the next week, take peek at what's happening within the Washington GOP: There’s a civil war all right, only right now it’s inside the Republican Party

    Something to watch: ICYMI - not only is science back in the Biden-Harris administration, so are the arts. Specifically, poetry to make our hearts soar. Watch and listen to Amanda Gorman, the United States' first-ever youth poet laureate (and future president) at the inauguration festivities: Youth poet laureate recites her stunning poem at Biden inauguration

    Something to do: Where you spend your money matters - support a black-owned business in Washington this week: 230+ Black-owned restaurants & businesses to support in Western Washington 

    And finally - I cannot resist (actually we DID resist!) - meme magic! (By the way, that is Chair-manBernie Sanders to you, new Chair of the Senate Budget Committee).


  • 21 Jan 2021 1:32 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Hello Democrats,

    Thank you so much for all of your work this cycle to elect great Democrats. Because of exceptional leaders like you we earned tremendous victories in Washington State and nationwide and we're so grateful to have you on our team! I hope you’ll join me in bidding a hearty congratulations and welcome to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris! It’s been a long, difficult road to reach this moment, but as I watched yesterday’s inauguration it was crystal clear to me that a new day has dawned in America. 

    Thank you for all you have done to make this possible. Thank you for your tireless work and support for strong Democratic candidates. Thank you for keeping our powerful and diverse majorities alive here in Washington State. Thank you for helping deliver a Democratic Senate to our new administration. And most of all thank you for your unwavering commitment to our shared Democratic values. 

    Let’s take a moment to celebrate and enjoy this clarity and hope – the kind we haven’t felt for four long years. Then let’s take a moment to reaffirm our commitment to building an America that works for everyone. That’s what we stand for as Democrats and I’m thrilled that we can finally resume this project at a national level.

    We are so excited to work with each and every one of you in the coming days, weeks, months, and years to keep up our fight and make sure Washington stays true blue! 

    I know many of you were able to attend our “Inauguration Eve” celebration on Tuesday – a huge thank you to those who tuned in! We have also made a recording of the event available online via this link: 


    I hope you’ll take a peek so you can hear inspiring messages from terrific Democratic leaders including Biden Presidential Campaign Co-Chair Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, President Biden’s DNC Chair Appointee Jaime Harrison, several of our WA State Democratic elected officials, and the man of the hour himself, President Joe Biden! 

    Now we celebrate the dawn of a brighter era in American politics – and soon we will begin the challenging but critical work of mending the wounds of the past four years. This means continuing to show voters that Democrats will fight for their interests and work tirelessly to rebuild a better, more just society. Thank you so much for standing with us through this important work.

    Just because we won big in 2020 doesn’t mean we can stop working and I’m so excited to share our plans for 2021 with each and every one of you. We have spent the past 4 years building critical Democratic infrastructure everywhere in Washington State and we have no intention of slowing down. This year brings critical opportunities to double down on year-round organizing in historically underserved rural and diverse communities – not to mention “building the bench” by recruiting a diverse slate of strong Democrats to run for thousands of local and municipal elections this fall. This is how we preserve our majorities and build a more powerful party for years to come! 

    This is just the tip of the iceberg – so please stay tuned for more updates about our program!

    I also want to take this chance to ask you to dig deep and double down on your commitment to our Party. We were able to earn so many victories here in Washington and nationwide in 2020 because of tireless work and support from Democrats like you and we must not stop now. I can’t wait to work with you this year – and if you’re so moved please consider donating today to help us kickstart our 2021 organizing. And do know we especially appreciate monthly gifts -- as they allow us to hire organizing staff with confidence early in the cycle and keep our program moving at top speed. Any amount helps and earlier investment means more work and more wins!

    The best place to give is online via this link:


    Once more – thank you for standing by us and making our work possible. We owe all our success to your hard work and unwavering commitment to our values and we’re so very glad to have you on our Democratic team. 

    Congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Congratulations to Senators John Ossoff and Rev. Rafael Warnock and every Democrat who can now enjoy strong majorities in both chambers of the legislature. Congratulations to each of our Washington elected officials for managing the most effective state in the nation. Congratulations to every Democrat who plans to run for office this year - joining the project of building an even better Washington. And most of all congratulations to you for making all of this work possible. 

    This is the moment our efforts pay off – now let’s get to work! 

    With so much gratitude,


  • 20 Jan 2021 9:34 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Chair Podlodowski’s Statement on Inauguration

    For Immediate Release | January 20, 2021

    SEATTLE -- Following the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Vice President Kamala Harris, Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski released the following statement:

    “After four long years, the American people can finally have faith that our President will put their interests above his own and honor his sacred oath to defend our Constitution. And after enduring relentless assaults on their basic humanity, women, people of color, and immigrants can see in Vice President Harris’ historic inauguration the triumph of the promise of America. 

    Washington Democrats have tirelessly organized since the day former President Trump took office to make this day possible. This historic day belongs to everyone who knocked on their neighbor’s door to remind them of the undeniable truth that democracy will always win the day -- as long as we stay in this battle for the soul of our nation.”

  • 16 Jan 2021 1:52 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    Martin Luther King Jr.

    Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.

    In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.

    In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”, he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.

    At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

    On the evening of April 4, 1968, he was assassinated, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city.

  • 15 Jan 2021 5:43 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)


    Washington Democrats - On the eve of the weekend celebrating and honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, I can’t help but reflect on so many of his words related to accountability. Getting right to the point, The time is always right to do the right thing.” 

    With Trump being impeached for a second time after inciting violence, death, and sedition at our Nation’s Capitol, it was heartening to see two of Washington’s three Republican Congressional members vote to impeach. That’s the right thing. But it’s not accountability for four years of unbridled support for Trump and Trumpism, and the lies that exacerbated the deepest divisions within our country caused by systemic and institutional racism.

    There have been many GOP calls for “reconciliation,” - and I do believe we need to heal our country. But those calls ring hollow without any sense of responsibility for past Republican actions. Because accountability and truth are required if we ever want to reach reconciliation and justice.

    To that end, we will keep holding the GOP accountable. Take a look at this joint statement from the incredible King County Democrats Chair Shasti Conrad and me on the actions - and racism and misogyny - of King County GOP Chair (and failed gubernatorial candidate) Joshua Freed. 

    Take a look at the Washington State Bar Association complaint we just filed today against attorney Stephen Pidgeon, lawyer of record for failed gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp (and Rudy Giuliani wannabe). The complaint seeks an immediate investigation into Dr. Pidgeon’s multiple violations of his oath to defend the U.S. and Washington State Constitutions and impose appropriate disciplinary action. After we filed this complaint yesterday, the Culp campaign has announced that they are withdrawing their lawsuit with prejudice, meaning they cannot re-file. He should never practice law in a courtroom again.

    Remember the extensive website we put together many months ago on former GOP state representative and domestic terrorist Matt Shea? Shea has not left Washington State and leaves both a tarnished legacy as well as a host of like-minded Republican allies in the state legislature including Robert Sutherland, Jim Walsh, Rob Chase, Vickie Craft and Jesse Young, among others. The silence of their Caucus leaders - J.T. Wilcox and John Braun - speaks volumes. We will hold them accountable.

    But our Democratic legislators ARE speaking up! Today we launched “Democracy on Demand” on Facebook live at facebook.com/washdems/live. Every Friday during our legislative session, we’ll spend 15 minutes with some of our great Democratic state legislators talking about key bills and the week’s events in Olympia - you won’t want to miss it, and of course, you can watch it live or watch at your convenience. Bookmark it! Today we heard from Senate Deputy Majority Leader Manka Dhingra and House Civil Rights on legislation related to police accountability. Timely. And there’s that “accountability” word again.

    Finally, our gratitude for all of our Democratic Congressional members for their efforts through extraordinary circumstances - thank you, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Representatives Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Derek Kilmer, Adam Smith, Marilyn Strickland, Dr. Kim Schrier, and Pramila Jayapal. We especially wish Rep. Jayapal and her husband a speedy recovery from the COVID virus, as she/they were likely infected after GOP Congressional colleagues refused to “mask up” during the horrifying events at the Capitol.

    Show your care and respect for the health and well being of others and yourself - do “Mask Up!”

    With gratitude for all you do,

    Tina Podlodowski

    Chair, Washington State Democrats

    Something to read:Letter From a Birmingham Jail - Dr. Martin Luther King. Link here: https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

    Something to watch:13th, the documentary from director Ava DuVernay, intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States, through the lens ofThirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1865, which abolished slavery and ended involuntary servitude except as a punishment for conviction of a crime. Streaming on Netflix, and most other services.

    Something to do: The Biden Inauguration Committee is asking folks to submit the details of their service actions or eventshere. We encourage members to support local food programs in their communities safely, in whatever way they can. If you or members of your organization are not hosting an event, you canfind an event to join here. Please note that we encourage you to donate within your personal means. We also encourage everyone to post pictures with the hashtag #MLKDayofService and tag @washdems on social media. 

    We've gathered a list of resources for you to find a local food donation center near you: 

    Ample Harvest -ampleharvest.org/find-pantry

    Feeding America -feedingamerica.org

    Food Pantries -foodpantries.org

    Food Finder -foodfinder.us

    Find virtual volunteer opportunities atpowerof.org

  • 13 Jan 2021 4:31 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

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    Tarra Simmons banner

    As your representatives in the Washington State Legislature, we send occasional email updates designed to keep you informed about the issues being debated in Olympia that may impact our community and Washington state. If you received this message in error or do not want to receive email updates from us, click here to unsubscribe from our email list.

    23rd-District Legislative News

    January 11, 2021

    Dear Friends and Neighbors,

    Today I did something that for a long time I would not have thought possible. At noon Monday, January 11, 2021, I was privileged and humbled to take part in the opening of a new session of the Washington state Legislature, as your newest state representative, a proud member of your 23rd-district legislative team. I may not have fully grasped yet what a profound honor this is; I’m told that it will take a while to set in. But from the moment I learned that I would be working for my Kitsap friends and neighbors in this position, I’ve been aware of the responsibility that I asked for, and that you gave me.

    Today at noon we began a journey together, you and I. For me to be as effective as possible in this position I will need your input, your advice, your ideas, and what I hope will be your constructive criticism. For my part, I will use these regular e-newsletters to keep you up to date on the issues facing our community and our state, and what your Legislature is doing to make Washington a better, more equitable, more inclusive and more prosperous place for all of us to live, work, and raise our families.

    Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has raged in Washington, and the world, for nearly a year, the Legislative session will be conducted remotely, with today’s opening events being the only time that lawmakers will gather as a group to conduct business at the state Capitol in Olympia. Shortly after the session was gaveled into existence at noon, I cast my first vote to approve the rules that will allow lawmakers and staff to work remotely and safely for the balance of the 105-day session.,

    Obviously, it’s going to be different. At times it will be difficult, no doubt, with the limitations imposed by the coronavirus and by the new technology that we’re so dependent on. But that same technology has opened up opportunities for people all over Washington to take part in the session in ways never before possible. Every single committee hearing and work session will be streamed live by TVW. Every floor session of the House and Senate, every debate and every vote, will be yours in real time.

    There are new opportunities for remote testimony during committee hearings, sparing citizens the need to take off work and spend a day or more traveling to and from the Capitol. For those who prefer to put their thoughts in writing, written testimony will be invited and given the same consideration as oral comments. Here’s a comprehensive how-to prepared by legislative staff that will answer most if not all of your questions about how this strange new thing will work, and it will tell you how private citizens in their homes can make the most of the situation.


    virtual session guide

    My First Bill

    I’ve been very vocal about my priorities over the last several months, and managed to share them with as many people here in Kitsap as possible, given the constraints of the pandemic. At the same time, I also listened to you to make sure that I could be an advocate for your priorities as well. As a longtime resident of our beautiful district, I was not surprised to learn that my priorities, and yours, meshed more often than not.

    We want our kids to have the best schools and the bright futures that education can bring about. We want every single person to have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. We want our communities and our state to have a thriving economy, with an abundance of family wage jobs, successful small businesses, and fertile ground for entrepreneurs to grow their ideas into the next great thing. We want an equitable society that makes conscious, continuous efforts to undo the toxic realities of centuries of systemic racism that harms us all regardless of our origins. We want everyone to feel safe in our homes and in public. And to put it simply, we want everyone to get a fair shake.

    Many of those priorities come together in the first bill I introduced as a lawmaker. House Bill 1078 is a simple bill, long overdue, that restores the right to vote to formerly incarcerated persons who are no longer in total confinement under the jurisdiction of our Department of Corrections. As a person who was incarcerated at one time, I know firsthand how difficult it can be for a person in that circumstance to feel that they are once again a full-fledged member of society.

    The evidence is clear that restoring voting rights is linked to reduced recidivism. If the goal of our corrections system is truly to correct, rather than simply to punish, this is an important step we can and should take. I’m pleased that the first lawmaker to sign onto my bill as a cosponsor is a Republican, demonstrating that this is not a partisan issue. HB 1078 will have a public hearing in the House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations on Thursday, January 14, at 10 a.m.

    I’ve also introduced, again with a Republican cosponsor, HB 1086, which will create the state office of behavioral health advocacy. We are finally recognizing that behavioral health is just as crucial to a person’s well-being as physical health, and having a committed advocate within the state government can benefit countless Washington residents and their families, especially in times of stress like we’re experiencing now.


    COVID-19 Update: Vaccinations and Contact Tracing

    The vaccine has arrived at last. Many here in Washington have already received their first of two doses, but there is still a long, long way to go. We need to accelerate the pace of vaccinations, and I’m relieved that the incoming administration in Washington D.C. has announced that as a goal.

    Even if vaccinations become widely available and are embraced by the majority of Washingtonians, we should not expect a return to normalcy anytime soon. Just in the week that ended yesterday, 17,776 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in Washington, and there is no telling how many people are infected but have not been tested and diagnosed. It’s important that we continue to do everything we can do to follow public health measures and support contact tracing. That is why I am pleased to see that more than 1.6 million Washingtonians have signed up for WA Notify, Washington’s exposure notification tool.

    WA Notify is free to use, anonymous, and protective of your privacy. It works by alerting you whenever you are around another WA Notify user who later tests positive for COVID-19. You can download the app on your iPhone or Android. For more instructions on installing, please see below, and in the meantime, you can check your eligibility for the vaccine by taking a short survey at findyourphasewa.org. Also, visit this DOH page for helpful information and videos that detail everything else you might want to know about the vaccines.

    WA Notify


    Again, Thank You

    This legislative session began on a cold, dark, and rainy day. It is scheduled to come to a close April 25 on what we can all hope will be a sunny spring day. I’d like to think that’s an apt metaphor for how things are going to go for all of us, too. We’ve been through a difficult 2020, for many reasons. The events of the first few days of this new year have shaken us as well. But I’m an optimist. If I didn’t think bad times and tough situations could be improved, I would never have gone to nursing school and become a registered nurse. I never would have gone to law school and taken on challenging cases. And I certainly never would have found myself in the Legislature. Thank you for giving me this chance to work on problems that affect us all. I know that when we adjourn we won’t have fixed everything that needs fixing. But with your help, we will make progress. And then we’ll make some more.


    Tarra Simmons


    Contact Me
     P.O. Box 40600, Olympia WA 98504

    (360) 786-7934 | Toll-free Hotline: (800) 562-6000 | (800) 635-9993 (TTY)

    Legislative Assistant
    Shannon Turner | shannon.turner@leg.wa.gov

     Public Safety
    Civil Rights & Judiciary
    Healthcare & Wellness


    As your representative in the Washington State Legislature, I send occasional legislative updates designed to keep you informed about the issues being debated in Olympia that may affect our community and Washington state. If you received this message in error or do not want to receive email updates from me, click here to unsubscribe from my email list.

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  • 13 Jan 2021 9:53 AM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    From: Val Torrens 
    Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:25 AM

    Subject: FW: Alert: SB 5096 hearing Thurs, send your email now! 
    Importance: High

    Please share so folks can make their views known. We have no official position as the 23rd at this point.

    On another note, I saw Rep Kilmer twice on CSPAN today serving as proxy for those who can’t be at DC to cast their vote. So far, so good – the vote count hasn’t finished re supporting impeachment but a majority has approved HR 41 so that is good (221 for, 203 against) . It’s definitely been a real live education of our Constitution in action. Stay safe,


    I should have clarified – the vote was in support of House Resolution 41…


    From: Tucker Baespflug <info@investwanow.org
    Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:40 AM
    To: Val Torrens <chair@kitsap23rd.com>
    Subject: Alert: SB 5096 hearing Thurs, send your email now! 


    We've been talking a lot about making sure the wealthiest in WA pay their share, just like the rest of us. Now it's time to take action!


    Send an email to key WA State Senate Ways & Means Committee members in time for the 4pm hearing on Thursday, Jan 14.


    That’s when lawmakers will take testimony on SB 5096, Sen. June Robinson's bill taxing capital gains from big sales of stocks and bonds.


    We've drafted an email for you, but you can always personalize it as you like.




    THE PROBLEM: Washington is the worst in the nation when it comes to making millionaires and billionaires pay their share like the rest of us.


    Almost every other state in the nation – including Idaho, Montana, and Oregon – taxes capital gains, and are better situated to help their states’ economies recover from this pandemic.


    THE SOLUTION: SB 5096 would:

    • add a 9% tax on high-end capital gains – such as sales of stocks and bonds – only on profits greater than $25,000 (or $50,000 for couples filing jointly); and
    • raise more than $1 billion for community investment in the coming budget cycle and more than $2 billion in following budget cycles.

    With additional revenue from SB 5096, we’ll be able to provide more help to Washington’s struggling small businesses, protect more families from eviction, improve health care and public health, and create more jobs to boost our state’s economy.


    Sign your note to committee members NOW! 


    Send Your Letter Now!




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  • 11 Jan 2021 10:19 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

    From: Will Casey <will@wa-democrats.org> 

    Sent: Monday, January 11, 2021 12:54 PM
    To: Cvc <cvc@wa-democrats.org>
    Subject: Joint Statement on KCGOP Chair Joshua Freed’s Failure to Reckon with Extremist Violence in WA GOP

    Image removed by sender.  

    Joint Statement on KCGOP Chair Joshua Freed’s Failure to Reckon with Extremist Violence in WA GOP

    WA Democratic Party Leaders Reject Meaningless Olive Branch Devoid of Accountability

    For Immediate Release | January 11, 2020

    SEATTLE -- Prior to the attempted insurrection in Washington, D.C. last Wednesday, newly-elected King County Republicans Chair Joshua Freed committed to speaking at and advertised his upcoming appearance at a rally with the “Olympia Freedom Party” espousing similar rhetoric to the rioters who breached the Capitol building the following day. 

    Following the violence in both our nation’s capitol and in Olympia last week, he failed to publicize his withdrawal from the event. When called out by his counterpart in the King County Democrats, Chair Shasti Conrad, for this failure of leadership he resorted to classic Republican whataboutism and attempted to divert attention from his complicity with this extremist violence by requesting a “sit down” with his Democratic counterparts. 

    In response to this and what are sure to be many meaningless gestures from Republicans seeking to whitewash their reputations of supporting extremist factions within their party, King County Democrats Chair Shasti Conrad and Washington State Democrats Chair Tina Podlodowski issued the following statement:

    “There can be no unity, no healing, and no ‘moving past’ the events of the last week without meaningful accountability from existing Republican leaders and elected officials for their role in promoting the extremist elements of their party responsible for this violence. There is no equivalence between isolated incidents of property crime -- which Democratic leaders have and continue to condemn -- committed during Black Lives Matter protests for racial justice and the violent insurrections by white militia members taking place across our country. 

    “To even imply a moral equivalence between largely peaceful protests by communities of color and those standing in solidarity and the organized, militaristic mobilization of mobs seeking to lynch our elected officials by the sitting President of the United States is absurd on its face. We will not stand by and let Chairman Freed’s attempt to distract from his role elevating this extremist wing of his party go unchallenged. His ongoing failure to do so only further endangers the communities of color in King County that he allegedly wants to serve.

    “We welcome any Republican leader or elected official sincerely interested in de-escalating this violence to join us in this work, which we have been engaged in for nearly two years as we worked to hold them accountable for enabling extremists like former Rep. Matt Shea. Chairman Freed has not even begun to do the work of dismantling the support he helped build for these extremists, as evidenced by his failure to publicly condemn the event from which he allegedly withdrew until challenged by his political opponents.

    “To make this unmistakably clear to Chairman Freed, the public, and members of the press, we have identified a short list of actions he could take to demonstrate his good faith and sincere regret for his role in amplifying extremists within his party during his failed runs for governor and lieutenant governor last year:

    • Unequivocally denounce any violence at the Capitol in Olympia today as well as the violence in Washington, D.C. and Olympia last week;
    • Condemn Republican Representative Robert Sutherland’s “call to war” in response to President-elect Joe Biden’s democratic victory;
    • Condemn former Representative Matt Shea’s call to arms last week, and cease any pandering to such extremists in the Washington GOP as they have clearly have no respect for democracy;
    • Demonstrate his commitment to excising this anti-democratic cancer from his party by ceasing any professional association with his “best friend” who represented Shea during his clashes with the Public Disclosure Commission and also represented Freed during his refusal to respect the rule of law in Washington State;
    • Condemn former gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp’s call for his supporters to show up at Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office to object to certified election results who was subsequently the target of death threats;
    • Publicly retract his endorsement of Loren Culp’s gubernatorial campaign and commit to refraining from endorsing any campaign Culp launches for public office due to his refusal to accept Washington’s certified election results;
    • Call on fellow Republican elected officials and leaders to boycott rallies or protests held by groups who encourage members to openly carry firearms in the proximity of government offices or the Capitol in Olympia; and
    • Publicly acknowledge the legitimacy of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and submit a binding resolution to his executive board to withhold endorsements and any material support for candidates who fail to do the same.

    “Until Chairman Freed demonstrates through his actions -- and not just empty rhetoric -- that he is interested in the hard work of rebuilding our democracy in the wake of the devastation wrought by Trump and his enablers here in Washington State, we at the Democratic Party have no interest in providing political cover for his transparent attempt to rehabilitate his public image.”



    Will Casey|Communications Director (he / him / his)

    Washington State Democrats|615 2nd Ave., Suite 580, Seattle, WA 98104

    Office|206.583.0664 Ext. 121 

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