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,
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.usFind virtual volunteer opportunities atpowerof.org