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  • 1 Apr 2022 7:14 PM | Douglass MacKenzie

     

     

    Hello Democrats and happy April 1st! Don’t worry - we didn’t put any April Fools pranks in this email! The GOP owns the “fool” space quite well.

    Legal Update Vs Conservative Conspiracy Theorists - Back in October, when conservative conspiracy theorists who believe that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump sued several Washington counties calling for baseless “audits,” the party jumped into action immediately, and we filed an injunction seeking to stop these attacks on the integrity of our elections.

    This week we got an update on one of the cases, in Lincoln County. No surprise – we won! Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price ruled that the plaintiff’s claims were “frivolous and advanced without reasonable cause,” and agreed to sanction the plaintiffs, awarding costs and fees to the defendants.

    Time and again, conservative activists across our country and our state have tried to undermine the very bedrock of our democracy - our free and fair elections - with these baseless attacks on the 2020 election results. Democrats won’t stop fighting to uphold public faith in our democracy and to hold accountable the Republican Party leaders who intentionally foster these conspiracies for their own political gain. These ridiculous lawsuits are driven by Donald Trump’s endless promotion of these conspiracies and from Republican leaders’ willingness to indulge them, with the Washington State and King County Republican Parties running preposterous “election integrity committees” led by fraudsters and scam artists like Bill Bruch of Skagit County.

    We have to come together as a state and a country and put a stop to them, with a decisive rejection of their party and their willingness to promote misinformation and distrust in our elections in service of their pursuit of power. This week’s ruling was another win for democracy, and there’s more to come.

    Cool New Democratic Merch - We wanted to make sure you heard our exciting announcement about the new merchandise available now through our webstore! We’re thrilled to say that all of our products are 100% USA and union made, and they’re a great way to show the world that you’re a proud Democrat. Additionally, the proceeds go towards our Coordinated Campaign, the only program totally focused on getting out the Democratic vote everywhere in Washington State! Help us meet our fundraising goals so we can hire the organizers we need to win by shopping with us: https://store.wa-democrats.org

    You all know how I love to support our rural Democrats, so my favorite is the Dirt Road Democrat lineup - I’ve already heard so many people say how much they love it - but we’ve got apparel, stickers, bags, and more.Take a look. There’s something for everyone!

    For folks getting an early start on shopping, you can enter the code “LETSORGANIZE” to receive 10% off your entire order!

    Major Party Events Coming Up
    Last weekend, our legislative districts caucused and elected hundreds of delegates from across the state who will convene and represent Democrats’ from their local communities at our state convention in June. In total, we expect 1,700 Democrats at the Convention – more than twice as many as for our 2018 state convention! You will not want to miss it, and more information about our speakers and gala event will be coming out soon.

    The fact that we had many more people running for delegate now than four years ago is a great sign for the grassroots enthusiasm for the party right now. Thank you to all our LD organizations for running their caucuses, and a HUGE thank you to everyone who ran for delegate!

    We’ve got two big party events coming up. First, from May 11th-13th, the Association of State Democratic Committees will be holding its spring meeting in Seattle, hosted by us! The ASDC’s membership consists of the governing Democratic organizations from all 57 states and U.S. territories. Their function is to bring together State Party Chairs, Vice Chairs, staff, and DNC members – the individuals who lead the grassroots effort to get out the vote and help terrific candidates win each and every electoral cycle. This meeting is an opportunity for State Democratic Party leaders to come together, establish our strategy for 2022, and set the course for victory in November. Do come join us for some panels, and events!

    I’m excited for Democratic leaders from across the country to be here in lovely Washington state, with the best state party in the country, to learn from each other so we can organize and win this year. It’s going to be a fantastic event!

    A month later, we will be holding our state convention on June 24th-25th in Tacoma, where our delegates will assemble to work on critical issues like our platform and to hear from our Democratic leaders. As mentioned, I’m looking forward to announcing some of the special guest speakers who will be joining us, but I know the convention will have us all fired up for a summer of getting out the vote!

    Decline To Sign I-1929 - The seven super-rich GOP donors and one GOP political consultant who want to overturn the capital gains tax on the wealthy that was passed last year have a number for their initiative; it looks like they’ll be campaigning to roll back this measure to fund education and early learning – to the tune of $500 million dollars – as I-1929.

    This tax would be paid by a tiny percentage (fewer than 2 out of 10,000) of Washington’s richest people - folks who make more than $250,000 a year in profits from selling stocks and investments alone - and will raise half a billion dollars a year for education and early learning. At a time when students and teachers need our support, we should be increasing funding for schools, not cutting it - but that’s just what the Republicans are doing. Join me in declining to sign I-1929 when you see signature gatherers out in public!

    Something to Read - You can catch up on the latest involving Donald Trump and his role inciting the January 6th insurrection attempt in this Washington Post column published yesterday. A judge’s ruling ordering the release of communications between Trump and his lawyer, John Eastman, makes it clear that it’s likely Trump was engaged in criminal activity as he worked to overturn the election and prevent the peaceful transfer of power to President Biden:

    The court’s ruling came in a lawsuit that one of Trump’s lawyers, John Eastman, brought against the select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Eastman served as the legal architect of Trump’s effort to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count numerous states’ electoral votes on Jan. 6. Eastman asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 146 times at his deposition before the select committee. His lawsuit argued that some of his emails should be kept from the committee because they were shielded by either attorney-client privilege or “work product” privilege, which protects confidential documents prepared for litigation. The opinion by Carter, a former prosecutor nominated to the bench by President Bill Clinton, makes clear Eastman has good reason to worry about criminal consequences.

    The attorney-client and work-product privileges must give way if they involve communications that further the commission of a fraud or crime. And Carter found that at least one of the emails did just that.

    Carter’s decision was at once pedestrian and remarkable. Pedestrian, because all the 44-page opinion did was methodically recite the law and apply it to the facts. Remarkable, because of where its analysis inexorably led: that a sitting president of the United States, with the help of his lawyer, “more likely than not” violated two federal criminal laws in a desperate effort to keep himself illegally in power.

    I don’t want anyone to become numb to what Republicans are up to and have been for years. We should all be angry at the levels they’ll stoop to in their desperate pursuit of power. We need to make it clear to voters in our communities what their choice is - between a party that will stand up for our democracy or a party that happily promotes misinformation and conspiracies to undermine the bedrock of our country if it suits their drive for power.

    We can’t let them get away with it! That’s why I’m making sure our party takes action like the legal injunction I wrote to you about above. But we need your help, too, as donors and volunteers, to make sure we have the financial support to take legal action like that (our lawyers are very, very good, but they aren’t cheap) and the people power it takes to go out and beat these Republicans fair and square at the polls. Thank you for your help and support as always - together, we can do this.

    With gratitude,

    Tina Podlodowski

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  • 25 Mar 2022 6:25 PM | Douglass MacKenzie

     

     

    Hello Democrats! This week we were glued to the news coming out of DC, where the Senate Judiciary Committee was holding hearings on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court.

    Supreme Court Hearings -

    It’s been both infuriating and inspiring to watch Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson handle the aggressive and off-base questioning from GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She handled herself so well, but I had tears in my eyes because of her courage in the face of this racist, sexist, GOP nonsense levied at the most qualified applicant the Court has seen in recent years. I’m looking forward to seeing her nomination move forward. The full Senate should vote on her nomination before their recess begins on April 9, and our country and our judiciary will be stronger with this history-making Justice on the bench.

    For a truly honest moment of joy, watch this video of Sen. Cory Booker talking about Judge Jackson’s nomination:

    It’s also been striking to see some of the incredibly astounding right-wing, anti-democratic stances that Republican senators are taking during their questioning, including:

    That’s what the Republican Party has come to - saying that states should be able to ban same-sex or interracial marriage, or that contraception could be illegal? All in pursuit of undermining and attacking one of the most qualified judicial nominees that the Supreme Court has ever had?

    Folks, we need to make sure our friends and neighbors understand what’s at play here - a complete reversal of civil rights for ALL Americans (except the white, wealthy GOP ones…). It’s beyond belief! But this is really happening before our eyes. We need to make sure Democrats know and use this knowledge to spur action this election cycle.

    Have you signed up to volunteer yet? We need you now. You can find campaign volunteering opportunities with our Coordinated Campaign here, or email organizing@wa-democrats.org!

    WA Republicans and Political Violence - The extreme swing of the Republican Party isn’t only happening in Washington D.C. - Washington State has also had more than our share. Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times wrote an article this week about GOP 2022 Congressional candidate Loren Culp, how he called for the lynching of a Black man, and rallied for judges and prosecutors to be shot - and how nobody in the Republican Party seems to object.

    Now when this first came up, I’ll admit that some of us at The Seattle Times expressed a certain weariness. Oh God, another story about another candidate saying another unhinged thing. Each time, we debate whether writing about it makes us dupes — if we’re simply serving to broadcast and propagate the unhinged thing.

    Only last month we featured Culp calling coronavirus “the Chinese Virus” while recommending quack cures to his followers — a story that prompted the Anti-Defamation League and other groups to denounce his “anti-Asian rhetoric.”

    “We speak together to ensure that this rhetoric never becomes normalized,” they wrote. Except that’s what’s happening anyway. If a candidate keeps saying extreme and hateful things, and isn’t disowned by his party, and meanwhile everyone else starts shrugging because we think he’s a nut or we’re worn down or we just can’t keep pace with the firehose of lunacy, well, that’s a case study of how something as rancid as a call for a lynching becomes politically normal.

    I noticed this when I wrote last month how another Republican in that same dreadful race, for central Washington’s 4th Congressional District, had called for hanging the U.S.’s chief medical advisor. What Jerrod Sessler said was: “We should be building a gallows for Anthony Fauci.”

    Nobody spoke out against that. So I found my initial shock deadening, boiled-frog-style. Oh, it’s just another Republican who wants to hang a public health official. 

    Maybe folks on the Republican side of the aisle are indifferent to the violent extremism in their party, but I’m not. It’s shocking and appalling that they tolerate this. The GOP may allow themselves to grow accustomed to the erosion of rule of law, but we Democrats can’t let it be normalized.

    That sort of thing is even showing up in their state legislative candidates, like GOP Rep. Jesse Young who’s challenging Democratic Senator Emily Randall in the super-competitive 26th legislative district on the Kitsap Peninsula. Young has committed multiple ethics violations for repeatedly using taxpayer dollars to benefit his own political campaignslost access to staff due to anger issues and mistreatment of themthreatened Black Lives Matter demonstrators as a part of an armed mob, and more. On issue after issue – from the right to abortion, to protecting LGBTQ youth, protecting victims of domestic violence, helping students afford college, ensuring affordable and quality health care for all, and so many others, Young has come down on the wrong side. And yet he’s the candidate the GOP is promoting for one of the most competitive races in the state legislature this year. This is what we’re up against!

    Tiffany Smiley and Mitch McConnell - It was reported this week that Tiffany Smiley is talking to Mitch McConnell about "how great to have Washington state be the seat that flips the Senate in November” and said she’d welcome the endorsement of Donald Trump.

    “If the president wants to support us, that’s awesome,” Smiley said.

    (By the way, let’s remember that Trump lost Washington state 58% - 39% in 2020)

    We know why Mitch McConnell, Rick Scott, and the WA GOP are supporting Tiffany Smiley - because they know she will vote to repeal our health care, she'll vote to hike taxes on our seniors, and she'll vote to make abortion illegal in America. We can't afford a Mitch McConnell Republican as our voice in the other Washington, and that’s why we’re all taking Washington’s Senate race so seriously this year.

    If you agree, join me and the hundreds of PCOs and volunteers who are already doorbelling and making phone calls across Washington, and let’s get to work! You can find campaign volunteering opportunities with our Coordinated Campaign here, or email organizing@wa-democrats.org! This early work to contact voters is a critical part of building towards victory in 2022.

    Speaking of Donald Trump’s Endorsement - As long as we’re talking about Tiffany Smiley welcoming Trump’s endorsement, how’s that going for other candidates? In Alabama, Rep. Mo Brooks was endorsed by Trump in his campaign for the Senate, and just had that endorsement taken away. Why?

    Brooks put out a statement saying "President Trump asked me to rescind the 2020 elections, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, immediately put President Trump back in the White House, and hold a new special election for the presidency."

    Brooks is a very conservative Republican, but credit to him for going public with the demands that Trump made of him, even at the cost of losing Trump’s voter base. It's clear that Trump and the GOP are still not giving up on their 2020 election conspiracies, and it's horrible that the WA GOP won't condemn this. One wonders why Smiley is so eager to welcome Trump’s endorsement if calling for overturning the 2020 elections is the price that a candidate has to pay to receive it?

    What Happens When We Win - It’s important to recognize that this isn’t all about how horrible Republicans are - when Democrats win, we don’t just defend democracy from their attacks, but we can move forward positive policy of our own. This week was the 12th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which (among several life-changing, life-saving changes) lowered health care costs for millions and made it easier for Americans with pre-existing conditions to get coverage. Since then, President Biden and Democrats’ American Rescue Plan has built on the success of the ACA.

    Thanks to the American Rescue Plan building on the success of the ACA, 239,000 people in Washington who get insurance through the marketplaces established by the ACA are now seeing reduced health care costs – no thanks to every single Republican member of our Congressional delegation, who unanimously voted against the American Rescue Plan.

    I want to see our Democratic leaders pass even more great, progressive legislation, but we need to make sure we have the majorities that can get it done. That starts with doing our part here in Washington to re-elect our Democrats. I know that if all of us dig in together, we can and will win this November. Your help as a volunteer or a sustaining supporter with Blue Washington can help make that happen!

    With gratitude,

    Tina Podlodowski

    DONATE

     

     

       

    Support Washington State Democrats by making a contribution today. If you wish to no longer receive emails from us, unsubscribe here.

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  • 18 Mar 2022 5:51 PM | Douglass MacKenzie

     

     

    Hello Democrats! I’m happy to be back home after a big week in the other Washington at the DNC meeting. You can read about some of the organizing work I’m doing at the DNC level to strengthen the Democratic Party in this Washington Post article - lots of productive work happening and lots more to do!

    Let’s Get Into the Details on the Legislative Session - Last week was the end of the legislative session, and we shared a brief, high-level overview of some of the broad issues that Democrats delivered for the people of Washington. This week, we wanted to cover some of the bills and budget items that passed this year in a little bit more detail.

    Democrats made record investments in communities across Washington through the operating budget, by ensuring that housing is more affordable, and that those living on the margins are able to climb out of poverty. Our legislators invested in working families, the environment, education, public health, and made targeted tax cuts to help stimulate the economy and create clean energy jobs across the state.

    Democrats passed a transformative transportation investment plan – Move Ahead Washington – that takes bold action to combat the climate crisis, prioritizes an active transportation system, and invests in the needs of our community through the creation of thousands of family-wage jobs without placing additional costs on Washington families. And legislators built on our work in 2021 to increase public safety, refine police accountability policies, strengthen common sense gun laws, and go after perpetrators of domestic violence, cyberstalking and other forms of harassment.

    Let’s dive into some of the specific bills and budget items, issue by issue.

    Public Safety
    The pandemic and its effects on mental health and economic wellbeing have led to an increase in some forms of violence nationwide. However, according to the best data we have, the overall effect of the last two years on crime in Washington has been mixed, with increases and decreases in some types of crime in different places in the state. At the same time, domestic violence has surged recently, with DV homicides in King County nearly tripling in 2020 and remaining at that elevated level in 2021. 2020 stats from WASPC show that domestic violence makes up half of all crimes against persons. In King County, more than a quarter of all murders and attempted murders were committed by men who had a prior conviction for domestic violence.

    There’s no simple solution, but we are taking carefully targeted action to address the specific issues that have arisen. Democrats passed bills to:

    • Allow DV victims to seek civil protection orders if they are victims of abusers who use coercive control to oppress and instill fear (HB 1901). 
    • Address catalytic converter theft (HB 1815). 
    • Cut down on cyber harassment and stalking (SB 5628). 
    • Establish a Missing Indigenous Person alert system to prevent the crises of missing and murdered indigenous people in our state from getting worse (HB 1725). 
    • Ban high-capacity firearm magazines, of the type often used in mass shootings (SB 5078). 
    • Ban ghost guns (HB 1705). 
    • Ban the open carry of weapons at local government and school board meetings, and all weapons at election offices and voting centers (HB 1630). 

    Reducing Poverty and Homelessness
    Democrats know economic stability is essential to healthy kids, strong families, and thriving communities, yet we know too many are struggling to make ends meet. This year’s budget focuses on poverty reduction while strengthening benefit programs to give people a better chance at gaining financial stability. The budget invests:

    • $272 million to increase access to lifelines for people across the state: Working Connections Child Care, behavioral health services, child visitation, and in-home care. 
    • $58 million for the Farmers-to-Families Food Box Program to get fresh, healthy food to food banks across the state. 
    • $45 million for rental assistance to help at-risk families stay in their homes. 
    • $45 million to help transition people camping on certain public roads and highways to emergency and permanent housing. 
    • $37 million to increase financial support for people eligible for the Aged, Blind, or Disabled program. 

    Climate Action and the Environment
    The fight against the climate crisis and the urgent need to protect our natural resources is the challenge of our lifetime. We must take action to protect communities from wildfires, flooding, and other increasing extreme weather events. This year’s budget makes necessary investments in public lands and rehabilitating threatened salmon species while building toward a clean energy future:

    • $180 million for salmon recovery projects across the state, including the Duckabush estuary restoration project. 
    • $57 million for solar energy infrastructure projects, including solar resilience hubs, electric vehicle parking canopies, and solar energy projects that benefit low-income communities. 
    • $103 million to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure in rural areas, office buildings, multifamily housing, ports, and state and local government offices. 
    • $15 million to speed up repairs and improvements at state-owned recreation lands and facilities. 

    Healthy Families
    Washington’s future depends on healthy communities, but too many people face barriers accessing care or support when they need it most. This year’s budget makes dozens of new investments for our neighbors in need:

    • $450 million to increase access to services for individuals with a developmental disability and/or with long-term care needs. 
    • $100 million to address workforce shortages in and improve access to behavioral health services. 
    • $200 million for reinvestment grants to communities disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs. 
    • $350 million to strengthen our state’s groundbreaking paid family leave program. 
    • $28 million to support recent immigrants and refugees arriving in Washington, including for their immediate and long-term physical and mental health needs, to assist with children's successful integration into school, and more. 

    Strengthening Education
    The pandemic has created major disruptions for students and their families, which exacerbated the educational opportunity gaps that existed prior to the pandemic. This year’s budget adds more school counselors and nurses across the state to meet students’ social and emotional needs. We are ensuring our schools are fully staffed and prepared for a return to pre-pandemic enrollment levels, when our students will need them more than ever before:

    • $345 million to stabilize school districts that experienced enrollment declines because of the pandemic. 
    • $90 million to add nurses and counselors in schools to meet the physical and social emotional needs of students. 
    • $37 million to expand nursing education at state universities and colleges. 

    Supporting Small Businesses

    • $71 million for programs to help Washington’s small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • More than 125,000 small businesses across Washington will no longer pay the state business tax, saving approximately $50 million each year (SB 5980). 

    Legislative District Caucuses Coming Up - We want to remind everyone about the legislative district caucuses coming up on Saturday, March 26th, when all 49 Democratic legislative district organizations will elect the delegates to represent them at our state convention in Tacoma in June. We need a strong and diverse set of delegates from across the state at our convention, and that starts with folks like you stepping up to run for delegate at your LD caucus (and recruiting your friends, neighbors, and family to run, too)!

    An important part of the convention will be approving the party platform for 2022. You can read the draft platform from our Platform Committee here. Only elected delegates to the convention will have input on the platform from here on out, so if you want to be able to weigh in, running for delegate in your LD caucus is the first and most essential step! This year, the initial draft of the Platform aimed to take on an ambitious restructuring to make it more clear for delegates where amendments would be necessary, in response to the recent shift that allows delegates to directly amend the platform. As a result, readers will notice areas which require additions, and we encourage all Democrats to run for delegate on March 26th at your local Legislative District caucus to propose those needed additions. Please send any questions to PartyAffairs@wa-democrats.org.

    Each legislative district organization is running its own caucus, but they’re all happening at 10 AM on March 26th. Find information about your legislative district party’s caucus on this list. Most caucuses will be held virtually! Your participation will help make our party stronger!

    A Look At Gas Prices - If anybody wants to argue with you that President Biden’s policies are driving up the price of gas, show them this:

    Oil prices are decreasing, so gas prices should too. Last time oil was $96 a barrel, gas was $3.62 a gallon, on average, nationwide. Now it’s $4.31. Why? Because oil and gas companies are taking advantage of an international crisis to pad their profits at the expense of hardworking Americans. Don’t let the Republicans play the blame game here!

    Matt Shea in Poland - I’m sure you remember the Washington state legislature’s own domestic terrorist, former Rep. Matt Shea, a white nationalist who helped plan and prepare for armed conflict and right-wing political violence here in the Pacific Northwest and who authored documents like ‘the Biblical basis for war’.

    Now, Shea is trying to organize some extremely concerning “adoptions” of Ukrainian refugee children:

    Former Washington state Rep. Matt Shea, the far-right Republican who was found by a House-commissioned investigation to have planned and participated in domestic terrorism, is in a small town in Poland with more than 60 Ukrainian children, trying to facilitate their adoption in America.

    Shea has said his group helped rescue 62 children and their two adult caregivers from an orphanage in Mariupol, the city in southeastern Ukraine that has been bombarded by Russian forces.

    But international agencies say, with the chaos and confusion of war, now is not an appropriate time for international adoptions from Ukraine. And Shea’s presence, and the lack of information surrounding the American group he’s with, has raised concerns among some residents of Kazimierz Dolny, the small Polish town where the children are staying at a hotel-guesthouse.

    “I asked him many times, ‘What are you going to do with these children?’ and he told me that it’s not my business,'” Weronika Ziarnicka, an aide to the mayor of Kazimierz Dolny, said of Shea. “I got the feeling in my gut that something’s wrong with this guy; he didn’t want to tell me his last name.”

    “I do not know what Matt Shea and his friends are doing here around children,” Pomianowski said in an email. “Mr. Shea and his friends have given us some contradictory information and, for that reason, it is difficult for us to trust them.”

    The National Council for Adoption said this is not the time for U.S. citizens to be considering adoption from Ukraine, as many families fleeing the war become separated. “It is paramount that the identities of these children and their families be clearly established, and their social, legal, and familial status is fully verified by governmental authorities,” the council said. “For most of these children, we cannot do that at this time.” The United Nations High Commission on Refugees and UNICEF put out a joint statement calling for temporary and foster care for children but saying “Adoption should not occur during or immediately after emergencies.”

    We want to keep our eyes on what Shea and his right-wing disciples are up to, whether it’s this strange scheme putting Ukrainian refugee children at risk, or it’s his friend Rep. Bob McCaslin running for Spokane County Auditor so they can control elections in this critical county. I don’t know exactly what Shea is up to here, but I know I wouldn’t entrust custody of children with a man who endorsed training child soldiers for a holy war. With all that these children have been through already, I pray for their safety and that they are reunited with their parents.

    Deborah Senn Celebration of Life - As many of you may have heard, former Washington State Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn passed away last month. She was a fierce advocate for the public who fought to make insurance companies pay for the care people need and hold them accountable. Her family asked us to share information about a Celebration of Life event for folks who knew her. The details are below.

    Who and what: Friends are planning a Celebration of Life for former Washington State Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn — a champion of healthcare for all, advancing Democratic women in politics (and a few good men, too), a progressive advocate for Jewish values, and participating in and supporting the arts.

    When: Sunday, March 27, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

    Where: Temple De Hirsch Sinai, located at East Union Street and 16th Avenue on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Parking is available on 16th Avenue across from the main entrance of TDHS.

    Thank you all for reading and for your support!

    With gratitude,

    Tina Podlodowski

    DONATE

     

     

       

    Support Washington State Democrats by making a contribution today. If you wish to no longer receive emails from us, unsubscribe here.

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  • 11 Mar 2022 4:18 PM | Douglass MacKenzie



    Hello Democrats! I’m in Washington, DC this week for DNC meetings - it’s been great connecting with our fellow Democrats from across the country about the work we need to do to pass progressive policy and win in 2022! There’s a ton of excitement for the work ahead of us and I’m glad our Washington state folks are “all in” on fighting hard this year. You can read about some of the organizing work I’m doing at the DNC level to strengthen the Democratic Party in this Washington Post article. 


    What we’re hearing and seeing in the polls, in Washington and across the country, is voters are polarized. Republicans are voting Republican, Democrats are voting Democrat, and independents are frustrated at both parties and don’t care about voting this year. Persuasion efforts are falling by the wayside, which makes our GOTV efforts for every last Democratic vote even MORE important. We’re aiming to have the best, smartest, and most efficient Coordinated Campaign of any state in the country, and we need you all to be part of it - as donors, as doorbellers, as phonebankers, and as supporters. Together, I’m confident we can and will win!


    Happy to be talking to our fellow state party leaders about our amazing Washington State Coordinated Campaign - with Chairs Lavora Barnes (MI, left) and Yvette Lewis (MD, right). Thanks to our WA Vice Chair David Green for the photo!


    With the amazing Theresa Sheldon, DNC Native American Political Director and member of the Tulalip Tribes!


    West is best! Amazing western states chairs and vice chairs.


    2022 Legislative Session Comes to a Close - Yesterday was the last day of the legislative session, and I wanted to run down some of the big issues we were watching and what our Democrats were able to deliver: 


    This is just a list of some of the highlights; we’ll continue to share more information on what got done this session in next week’s email. 


    I’m impressed with what our legislators got done in 60 days, and I want to thank them for their hard work. These are meaningful steps forward on some of the biggest issues facing Washingtonians, none of which could have been accomplished without our year-round efforts to elect Democrats. But with the lawmaking done, it’s time for us to fully turn our attention to the campaign trail. 


    We Need You to Run for Convention Delegate - We’ve got a very important opportunity coming up on March 26th - our legislative district caucuses, where our local parties will vote to select the delegates who will represent them at our State Convention in June. The State Convention will be held in Tacoma but in a hybrid manner; all committee meetings will be virtual and delegates can participate in the Convention itself, on June 25th, either in Tacoma or from the comfort of their own homes! Delegates to the Convention get to vote on decisions like candidate nominations and approving and amending our state party platform. This work is important and we want to make sure every legislative district has solid and diverse representation. 



    Each district organization is running its own caucus, but they’re all happening at 10 AM on March 26th. Find your legislative district party’s contact information on this list, and send them an email to get the details for how to run for delegate (most will be held virtually). Your participation in this will help make our party stronger!  


    Redistricting Update - The long saga of Washington’s redistricting process continues! We’ve gotten a lot of questions about what’s happening with the maps and what could happen next. We hope to clear some of that up here, with the acknowledgement that some uncertainty still remains at points. 


    Voting rights advocates have sued regarding the drawing of the 15th Legislative District, arguing that it failed to comply with Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act by disadvantaging Latinx voters. This week, the Redistricting Commission voted to not intervene in the lawsuit, deciding they will not defend the maps in the VRA lawsuit. Pending decisions by the other defendants in state government, there may be an opportunity for the state to settle the suit with the plaintiffs. Until then, the next event in this VRA lawsuit is a court hearing on March 25th, after which we should know a lot more. 


    As of now, the legislature has passed the new boundaries and they are on the books. We’re uploading them into Votebuilder and, as the situation currently stands, the best thing we can do is expect them to be the boundaries for the 2022 elections. We don’t know what could happen with this VRA court case, what a judge could potentially order, or what a settlement could look like, but at this point, our plans are moving forward with the boundaries as passed by the legislature. 


    I know this is something we’re all deeply concerned about and we’d love to get resolution on as soon as possible, but it’s also important that voting rights advocates get the chance to make their case. We’ll continue to watch this closely and let you all know what we hear, as soon as we hear it. 




    Thanks to Rep. Jesse Johnson - Rep. Jesse Johnson of the 30th LD in Federal Way announced his plans this week not to run for re-election. We want to thank him for his service as one of the champions of police accountability in the legislature and for his work on issues like gun violence prevention and support for foster care youth and young people experiencing homelessness. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors!


    As a reminder, other retiring legislators this year (as of now) include:

    • LD 4, Rep. Bob McCaslin, GOP (running for Spokane County Auditor)

    • LD 8, Sen. Sharon Brown, GOP

    • LD 8, Rep. Brad Klippert, GOP (running for Congress)

    • LD 8, Rep. Matt Boehnke, GOP (running for state Senate)

    • LD 17, Rep. Vicki Kraft, GOP (running for Congress)

    • LD 22, Rep. Laurie Dolan, Dem

    • LD 26, Rep. Jesse Young, GOP (running for state Senate)

    • LD 29, Rep. Steve Kirby, Dem

    • LD 30, Rep. Jesse Johnson, Dem

    • LD 35, Sen. Tim Sheldon, Turncoat Dem

    • LD 35, Rep. Drew MacEwen, GOP (running for state Senate)

    • LD 36, Sen. Reuven Carlyle, Dem

    • LD 36, Rep. Noel Frame, Dem (running for state Senate)

    • LD 38, Rep. Mike Sells, Dem

    • LD 42, Rep. Sharon Shewmake, Dem (running for state Senate)

    • LD 46, Sen. David Frockt, Dem

    • LD 46, Rep. Javier Valdez, Dem (running for state Senate)

    • LD 47, Rep. Pat Sullivan, Dem


    GOP Dirty Tricks in Idaho - I wanted to close by sharing this story from our neighbors in Idaho about GOP activists posing as Democrats in an attempt to take over the Kootenai County Democratic Party. 


    The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee has reportedly planned and recruited volunteers to infiltrate the Kootenai Democrats, install an “antisemitic troll” as party chair and funnel money donated to Democrats to local Republicans instead.


    A recorded phone call between Kootenai County resident John Grimm and a person he identified as KCRCC Youth Chair Dan Bell appeared to reveal the plan.


    “Long story short, we want to take over the Democrat Party,” Bell reportedly said during the Tuesday call.


    At this point we shouldn’t be surprised anymore by the dirty tricks that Republicans try to play. Remember to be on your guard, and what happened in Kootenai County just shows the importance of having every LD and county local party in the state organized as strongly as possible with Democrats!


    With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski

  • 4 Mar 2022 4:34 PM | Douglass MacKenzie

     

     

    Hello Democrats and what a week of news! This email is absolutely jam-packed! Please read it all, because there is so much to share with our friends and our neighbors about the work Democrats are doing right now!

    State of the Union - What a night - President Biden laid out a powerful, compelling, progressive vision for our country, and I’m excited to take this message to our Washington voters in the midterms!

    If you missed it, you can watch it here or read the speech here. We also put together a short highlight video featuring some of the big wins that Democratic leadership has delivered over the past year - check it out:

    I’m also linking some fact sheets on what Democrats have delivered, and will be doing next, on some of the big issues facing America. These are great for providing good information to share on social media, in conversation, or around the kitchen table:

    Protecting the Right to Abortion - We know that Republicans are targeting Roe v. Wade this year, with a 6-3 conservative US Supreme Court ready to overturn a person’s choice about their own body, their own health care, and the fundamental right to have an abortion. (Because “freedom” is only about not having to wear a mask, right?)

    I’m glad that we have our Sen. Patty Murray working hard to try to defend that right, and this week she pushed for the Women’s Health Protection Act in the Senate to enshrine the right to an abortion into law. We hosted a statewide call for reporters with Rep. Suzan DelBene, state Sen. Yasmin Trudeau, and Planned Parenthood CEO Jennifer Allen talking about the WHPA, Sen. Murray’s work, and the danger of Murray’s opponent, Tiffany Smiley. You can watch the “highlight reel” of that call here:

    Remember - Smiley ENDORSED the Texas anti-abortion bounty hunter law, the most restrictive abortion bill in the country. We can’t let her represent us in the Senate!

    While the WHPA vote failed in the US Senate, we had action here at home. The State Senate joined the House in passing HB 1851, sponsored by Rep. My-Linh Thai of the 41st LD. The bill authorizes physician assistants, advanced registered nurse practitioners, and certain other medical providers acting within their scopes of practice to perform abortions and prohibits the state from taking action against a health care provider for assisting an individual in exercising the right to reproductive freedom. This bill will help make sure that Washingtonians - and the people who come to Washington seeking abortions because their own state has limited these rights - can get the care they need.

    Note that this bill passed the Senate on a party line vote - every single Republican was opposed! The GOP is an anti-choice party and Washington is a pro-choice state. With Roe under threat like never before, we need to make sure voters know that access to reproductive health is actively under attack!

    County Auditors - News in Spokane County - super-conservative GOP Rep. Bob McCaslin announced that he won’t be running for re-election to the legislature and will instead run for Spokane County Auditor. McCaslin was a Matt Shea supporter and one of the GOP legislators who’s spent the last year spreading conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and hanging out with the “MyPillow guy” Mike Lindell and his election fraud disinformation events.

    It goes without saying that we CANNOT have people like this running our elections. Not only does it put the fairness and freedom of Spokane County at risk, but it would set McCaslin up to run for Secretary of State in the future – a position in which he could do even more damage.

    We have to make sure we are ready for fights like these for election administration positions up and down the ballot! Trump has been criss-crossing the country recruiting candidates and raising money for conservative election administrators who’d be willing to help him steal an election. Conservatives like McCaslin stepping up here in WA is part and parcel of that strategy. We MUST fight back.

    That means supporting folks like Vicki Dalton, the Spokane County Auditor, all the way up to our new Democratic Secretary of State Steve Hobbs. Consider getting your local party organization to do an early endorsement of Secretary Hobbs, along with our other incumbents like Sen. Patty Murray and our Democratic Members of Congress. We need to support these folks sooner rather than later!

    Capital Gains Tax Update - The capital gains tax on the profits from stocks and bonds of the ultra-rich that the legislature passed in 2021 was overturned in a court case this week in Douglas County. Rob McKenna, the attorney representing the very wealthy plaintiffs, shopped around for the most sympathetic judge he could find, and he got him. We will see this case appealed to the state Supreme Court by our Attorney General Bob Ferguson, so we’ll continue to track this and see what happens next.

    What’s for certain is that none of us are giving up on the work to fix our upside-down tax code. We have the most unfair tax system in the country and it’s long past time that the rich pay their fair share. I was glad to see that just this week, the Senate joined the House in passing HB 1876, which would require that Tim Eyman-style anti-tax initiatives would include information on what government services would be cut under the initiatives right in the ballot description, so voters are better informed about what they’ll be voting on. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’m confident people are ready for a better, fairer tax code in Washington state.

    Flex Your Democratic Muscles - With so much going on, I’m excited about all the action that local parties across Washington are taking to spread the word about what our Democratic leaders are doing and the importance of voting in these upcoming midterm elections. Folks across Washington are phone banking, doorknocking, and sharing information with their networks. I’m thrilled to see it happening. Groups like the North-Central Washington Democrats, the 26th LD Democrats (they have a super-competitive state Senate race this year!), the 23rd LD Democrats, and more are already active and contacting voters with the Coordinated Campaign! You can find an event near you at www.wa-democrats.org/organizingevents or send an email to organizing@wa-democrats.org to start a new phone bank or canvass!

    With that, thank you all for reading! Let’s get to work and get it done!

    With gratitude,

    Tina Podlodowski

    PS - I want to remind everyone that our organizers are working hard around the clock to ensure that every single Democrat statewide turns out to vote this November, but they still need your help. By becoming a recurring donor in our Blue Washington program, you will be supporting every single Democratic candidate in our state, driving progressive voter turnout, and ensuring we maintain our blue majority!

    Our Blue Washington program specifically helps us build our organizing team and fund the resources they need to fight voter suppression and turn out every single Democrat. The more resources we have, the more we can accomplish!

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  • 25 Feb 2022 3:18 PM | Douglass MacKenzie



    Hello! Our chair Tina Podlodowski is on mid-winter break with family this week, so the staff of the Washington State Democratic Party is bringing you some of the news this week in her stead!


    Ukraine - We’ve all been watching this week’s news of war in Ukraine, with Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked invasion. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine, and we also want to thank the brave anti-war protesters in Russia and elsewhere who have stood up to oppose this attack. 


    You can watch President Biden’s remarks from Thursday on America’s response to this invasion here:


    While our focus must be on the situation in Ukraine, we can’t help but notice how, here at home, former President Donald Trump and many other conservative Republicans continue, even now, to praise and support Vladimir Putin and his invasion


    As Russia prepared to strike Ukraine and the United States rushed to defend neighboring allies in Europe, former President Donald J. Trump had nothing but admiration for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.


    He is “pretty smart,” Mr. Trump said on Wednesday at a Florida fund-raiser, assessing the impending invasion like a real estate deal. “He’s taken over a country for $2 worth of sanctions,” he said, “taking over a country — really a vast, vast location, a great piece of land with a lot of people — and just walking right in.”


    Historians called the remarks unprecedented. “The idea that a former president would praise the man or leadership who American troops are even now traveling to confront and contain,” said Jeffrey Engel, a presidential historian at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, “is astounding.”


    We hope for a resolution to this needless act of aggression as soon as possible and for Putin to be held accountable for his actions. 


    If you want to get involved, here is a list of meaningful ways you can help support Ukraine and refugees fleeing violence. United Help Ukraine receives and distributes donations, food, and medical supplies to internally displaced Ukrainians, anyone affected by the conflict, and the families of wounded or killed soldiers. 


    Supreme Court Nominee - Just this morning, President Biden announced the nomination of Federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the US Supreme Court! She is exceptionally well qualified and has the experience, character, integrity, and dedication to the Constitution and rule of law that is necessary to serve on the nation’s highest court. Not only will she make history as the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, but she will also be the first public defender to serve in this powerful institution. Judge Jackson has a proven track record of attracting bipartisan support in the Senate. She’s been confirmed three times on a bipartisan vote in the US Senate – and there’s no reason to expect anything different as she is now considered for the Supreme Court. 


    We’re so excited that President Biden has continued to keep another promise he made during his 2020 campaign. More importantly, we cannot wait for the work Judge Brown Jackson will do and the perspective she will bring to a body that was all white (until 55 years ago) and all male (until 41 years ago).  



    Legislature News - With just a couple weeks left until the session ends on March 10th, legislative Democrats in the House and Senate released their budget proposals for 2022 this week. While the proposals from each chamber differ slightly, both would make important investments in public schools, housing affordability and homelessness prevention, job creation, and transportation. You can read more about the House and Senate proposals at those two links. We’re looking forward to action in both chambers and seeing our Democratic leaders come together to negotiate their final budget plan for the year. 


    Rick Scott and Tiffany Smiley’s Agenda - Did you see the story about GOP Sen. Rick Scott of Florida and the “agenda” he laid out for if Republicans retake control of Congress? While Senator Mitch McConnell won’t say what policies he’d pursue if back in power, and the RNC refused to even pass a platform in 2020, Scott is laying out an incredibly unpopular agenda of tax hikes and far-right, socially-conservative goals: 


    Let’s start with what is not in there: any proposal to bring down inflation (which Republicans have been hollering about for months); to increase wages or reduce income inequality; to prepare workers for the 21st-century economy; to provide relief from tariffs (which are essentially taxes); and to increase school performance on basic subjects.


    What it does include is embarrassing. Start with this: “We will secure our border, finish building the wall, and name it after President Donald Trump.” Republicans had their chance to do this when the defeated former president was still in office and failed. Moreover, such a project would be so expensive that it has lost support in deep-red Texas. It’s also irrelevant to real border protection — so much so that it has become a punchline.


    Then there are the massive tax hikes: “All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax.” That would affect tens of millions of Americans, including many working-class Americans and seniors. Interestingly, many corporations pay no federal income taxes, but the plan is silent on that. It might be the most regressive tax plan Republicans have ever come up with.


    We’ve got to make it clear that this is what Republicans are running on - including Tiffany Smiley, who is challenging our Senator Patty Murray, right here in WA. Smiley has been endorsed by Scott, campaigns with him, and is part of this same movement! This Washington Post article is a great resource to share on social media. We all need to make sure folks know that Smiley is a part of this! 


    Thanks for reading, as always!


    Your WA Democrats Staff

  • 18 Feb 2022 3:31 PM | Douglass MacKenzie



    Hello Democrats! 


    Have You Heard About Peter Thiel? - Even though Donald Trump is out of office, his venomous brand of far-right politics is alive and well in Washington State. He’s already released endorsements for multiple 2022 candidates including gun-toting gubernatorial also-ran Loren Culp and worst-of-the-worst 3rd CD candidate Joe Kent. What do these two have in common? They’re both mounting primary challenges to Republican incumbents who voted for Trump’s impeachment in 2020, Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Beutler.


    Even more troubling than the endorsements themselves is the support that comes with them. Following Trump’s endorsement, billionaire far-right bankroller Peter Thiel put massive amounts of money behind both candidates.


    Thiel’s support for WA State candidates is just one piece of the puzzle. He’s given more than $20M to extreme conservatives running in the 2022 midterms. Most notably two of his donations, at $10M each, share the record for largest gift ever reported to a single-candidate PAC (JD Vance and Blake Masters - both hyper-conservative Senate candidates). 


    Check out this piece from the New York Times for more background on Thiel - This statement is particularly chilling:


    In one 2009 piece, Mr. Thiel, who called himself a libertarian, wrote that he had come to “no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible,” arguing that American politics would always be hostile to free-market ideals, and that politics was about interfering with other people’s lives without their consent. Since then, he has hosted and attended events with white nationalists and alt-right figures.


    This is what we are up against, people. It’s no longer policy disagreements that separate us from the Republicans – it’s the belief (in our case) or rejection (in their case) that Democracy is worth upholding.


    If we don’t fight back against Republicans with everything we’ve got, we could literally lose the ability to vote them out of office, and lose our democracy forever.


    What are you doing to register, identify and engage voters right now?


    Legislative Budget Updates - Last week I wrote to you about the Democratic transportation proposal in our state legislature to make major investments in our transportation and transit systems across the state. That “Move Ahead Washington” package will provide historic funding for preserving our infrastructure, combating climate change by reducing emissions, expanding safe, affordable transit options, and addressing harm inflicted on communities of color from our existing transportation system - all without adding a penny in gas tax.


    Move Ahead Washington also includes significant funding to address the negative environmental, health, and economic impacts of past transportation policies. The package includes tribal and special needs transit grants, workforce development initiatives, and walking and biking projects for neighborhoods that have historically been excluded from these investments.


    An update this week - one of the key pieces of legislation for Move Ahead Washington passed the Senate floor (SB 5974) on a 29-20 vote. Turncoat “Democrat” Sen. Tim Sheldon, who caucuses with the Republicans, joined with Democrats on the vote. It’s great to see this package of investments in transportation, jobs, and environmental protection moving forward!



    On the operating budget side, we expect to see the release of the Democratic budget proposal next Monday, February 21st. We’ll pass along information on the budget proposal to you all once we have it, but I’m hopeful for a strong, bold proposal that will make investments in a lot of the needs that have been exposed by the pandemic - safer schools and child care, more support for students and teachers, public health, and social services to reduce homelessness and help build more housing. 

    Economic News - The good news for the American economy continues! This week, we learned that retail sales increased by 3.8% in January, exceeding expectations. This strong, inflation-adjusted increase reflects the resilience of the economy even in the face of the lingering pandemic.

    This data builds on the historic economic progress we’ve seen over the last year and an extremely strong jobs report last month despite omicron, which was well above expectations. In 2021, the economy created 6.7 million jobs – the strongest year of job growth on record. The unemployment rate declined more than any year on record and we achieved a 4% unemployment rate years earlier than previously projected, thanks to the American Rescue Plan. Small business applications and inflation-adjusted household income are both up.

    Democrats need to tell this story to voters! We know that there’s still more to be done to create an economy that works for all Washingtonians, but we can’t let the only news people hear be Fox News. In poll after poll, voters say that the economy is one of their top concerns in 2022. We can’t be silent, or let Republicans control the conversation by talking about inflation. 


    We need to tell the story about how Democratic leadership has brought back jobs and small businesses - how the American Rescue Plan (bitterly opposed by Congressional Republicans!) helped get our economy back on its feet and created historic numbers of new jobs. 


    When folks talk about inflation, we need to make the root cause clear - corporations are taking advantage of our economic recovery to jack their prices up as high as they can. They know that more people are working and making money and they want to make as much profit as they can, while they can. Yeah, gas prices are high - that’s not because of Joe Biden, that’s because Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell & BP made nearly $25 billion in profits last quarter.


    Don’t take it from me - take it from the people who run the grocery store business:


    You might not be excited about paying higher prices for meat and vegetables, but your grocery store is thrilled.


    The rising prices for staples like milk and pork affect grocery stores too, as they have to pay more to their suppliers. But while they are raising prices under the guise of increasing supplier costs, they're adding a little extra on top of that.


    When grocery stores' costs rise, stores will "mark up the full rate of inflation plus a little bit more," said Burt Flickinger, the managing director of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group. For example, if the price of meat that a store pays to its suppliers goes up 6 cents a pound, the store might raise the price it charges for that same meat by 10 cents.


    Stores are betting most customers won't balk at price increases because they need to buy groceries, after all, and will still consider shopping a bargain compared to eating out at restaurants. Prices for food at restaurants are growing faster than prices at grocery stores, according to Labor Department data, giving grocers more flexibility to charge you extra.



    Leading grocery chains such as Kroger and Albertsons have said in recent days that they expect to benefit from rising prices. Sales boomed at these chains and other grocers during the early stages of the pandemic, but have slowed down in recent months as more people return to eating meals out.


    "Our business operates the best when inflation is about 3% to 4%," Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said on an earnings call with analysts Thursday. "A little bit of inflation is always good in our business."


    Kroger can pass off costs to consumers when inflation hovers around that mark, McMullen said, and "customers don't overly react to that."


    "Businesses like ours have done well when in periods where the inflation was 3% to 4%," Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran said at an investor conference Tuesday.

    Sankaran did not specify why inflation would help Albertsons, but his "sense is this inflation will just be passed through" to customers. Albertsons did not respond to a request for further comment.


    We’ve got to be clear about what’s happening in America - President Biden and Congressional Democrats have taken great action to get folks back to work and our economy back on track. Greedy corporations are taking advantage of this positive momentum to boost their own profits by jacking up prices as high as they can. Democrats don’t need to stop and give up - we need to do more, to restrain corporate power and center the needs of workers and their families. That’s the story that we need to tell about our economy to win in 2022. 


    Mask Mandates - This week, Gov. Inslee announced that the statewide mask mandate will expire on March 21st. While masks will still be required in some settings and in private businesses that choose to, and local governments will still have the option to have mandates in place, this is new development as we recover from the Omicron wave of the pandemic! 



    I want to thank all the Washingtonians who have done their part to get the pandemic moving in the right direction - everyone who’s gotten vaccinated, the essential workers who’ve kept society moving, the healthcare workers who’ve taken care of us, and the scientists who discovered these incredible vaccines! I especially want to thank Gov. Jay Inslee for his strong leadership that’s made sure Washington has had the best response to COVID of any state in the country! Let’s all continue to be safe, but I feel good about where we’re headed!


    Thanks for reading, and thanks for all your support and help towards winning this year. 


    With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski

  • 11 Feb 2022 6:00 PM | Douglass MacKenzie

    Rise  (For Black History Month)

    Still I Rise

    BY MAYA ANGELOU

    You may write me down in history

    With your bitter, twisted lies,

    You may trod me in the very dirt

    But still, like dust, I'll rise.


    Does my sassiness upset you?

    Why are you beset with gloom?

    ’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

    Pumping in my living room.


    Just like moons and like suns,

    With the certainty of tides,

    Just like hopes springing high,

    Still I'll rise.


    Did you want to see me broken?

    Bowed head and lowered eyes?

    Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

    Weakened by my soulful cries?


    Does my haughtiness offend you?

    Don't you take it awful hard

    ’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

    Diggin’ in my own backyard.


    You may shoot me with your words,

    You may cut me with your eyes,

    You may kill me with your hatefulness,

    But still, like air, I’ll rise.


    Does my sexiness upset you?

    Does it come as a surprise

    That I dance like I've got diamonds

    At the meeting of my thighs?


    Out of the huts of history’s shame

    I rise

    Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

    I rise

    I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,

    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.


    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

    I rise

    Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

    I rise

    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

    I rise

    I rise

    I rise.


    Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise" from And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems.  Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.  Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

    Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (1994)


  • 11 Feb 2022 5:57 PM | Douglass MacKenzie



    Hello Democrats! Lots of news to share with you this week at both the state and federal level. Legislative Democrats are just passing the halfway point of session (with a big new transportation proposal), and we’re learning even more about what went down in the final days of the Trump presidency. Read on!


    Democratic Transportation Plan - We had big news out of the legislature this week, where House and Senate Democrats rolled out a transportation infrastructure package with major support from elected officials, labor unions, transit advocates, pedestrian and bicycle groups, business groups, and environmental and social justice advocates. 


    The “Move Ahead Washington” package provides historic funding for preserving our infrastructure, combating climate change by reducing emissions, expanding safe, affordable transit options, and addressing harm inflicted on communities of color from our existing transportation system - all without adding a penny in gas tax.


    Move Ahead Washington also includes significant funding to address the negative environmental, health, and economic impacts of past transportation policies. The package includes tribal and special needs transit grants, workforce development initiatives, and walking and biking projects for neighborhoods that have historically been excluded from these investments.



    Environmental investments include fulfilling Washington’s obligation to replace fish passage barriers, increasing access to public transportation, scaling up  electrification, improving stormwater treatment, and more. Public transportation investments will allow for four new hybrid electric ferries to be added to the current fleet, two additional conversions of Jumbo Mark II ferries to hybrid electric, high-speed rail funding, and the expansion of transit routes.


    Ground-breaking investments in multimodal options will ensure all Washingtonians are able to get around in ways that  are safe, accessible, and affordable. Move Ahead Washington was designed using feedback from two years of community engagement to identify transportation needs and priorities.


    The package allocates unprecedented funding for highway maintenance and preservation, coupled with Complete Streets projects, which will support safe streets and roadways for people all over Washington. Ongoing project highlights include funding Washington’s portion of the I-5 bridge over the Columbia River, improving the US 2 Trestle, and more projects — large and small — across the state.


    You can see the specific project lists here for transit, bike/pedestrian, and highway


    Funding for the package comes from a variety of sources, including a tax on fuel that is exported out of state, so nobody in Washington will be paying for it. Additional funding comes from the passage of the Climate Commitment Act and the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.Thank you to our wonderful Democrats in Congress for investing in infrastructure!


    I’m excited to see what happens next with this package, and I hope that we’re able to see action on this during the second half of the legislative session! As a reminder, the last day of the legislative session is March 10th, so there’s just a month left for action on all our legislative priorities. 


    Big Public Safety Vote - Our state legislators took another big vote on public safety Wednesday evening and, voting along party lines, the state Senate passed legislation to prohibit the sale of high-capacity firearm magazines. SB 5078 will be a big step toward safety from gun violence and ending mass shootings in our communities. 


    We know that this bill will make a difference. Nine states already restricted magazine capacity, and six of those states now have a lower rate of gun violence than Washington, according to the state Attorney General’s office. Data shows that allowing the sale of high-capacity magazines is the single best predictor of mass shooting rates in a state. In our state, high-capacity magazines have already been used in mass shootings in Mukilteo, Burlington, Seattle, and Spokane.


    Public safety is an especially important issue right now, and with Democrats in charge in the legislature, Washington State is leading the way in keeping our communities safe with reasonable laws around these deadly weapons.


    Trump and Culp, Culp and Trump - Trump had a week of bad news, mostly around documents from his time as president. We all remember how Hillary Clinton was dragged through the muck as a candidate because of some deleted emails.I don’t think we should be surprised that what Trump did was far, far worse. First, there’s the finding that his administration had taken classified materials and documents out of the White House and removed it to Mar-a-Lago as his presidency ended: 


    The National Archives and Records Administration discovered what it believed was classified information in documents Donald J. Trump had taken with him from the White House as he left office, according to a person briefed on the matter.


    The discovery, which occurred after Mr. Trump returned 15 boxes of documents to the government last month, prompted the National Archives to reach out to the Justice Department for guidance, the person said. The department told the National Archives to have its inspector general examine the matter, the person said.


    Then yesterday came the news that there are unexplained gaps in Trump’s official call logs as the insurrection attempt of January 6th was occurring


    The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has discovered gaps in official White House telephone logs from the day of the riot, finding few records of calls by President Donald J. Trump from critical hours when investigators know that he was making them.


    The committee has learned in recent weeks that Mr. Trump spoke on the phone with Mr. Pence and Republican lawmakers on the morning of Jan. 6 as he pushed to overturn the election. For instance, Mr. Trump mistakenly called the phone of Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, thinking it was the number of Senator Tommy Tuberville, Republican of Alabama. Mr. Lee then passed the phone to Mr. Tuberville, who said he spoke to the former president for less than 10 minutes as rioters were breaking into the building.


    But many of the calls the committee is aware of did not show up in the official logs.


    The revelations about incomplete call logs come as Mr. Trump is under increasing scrutiny for apparently violating the Presidential Records Act by ripping up some White House documents and taking others with him when he left office. The House Oversight committee on Thursday announced an investigation into what it called “potential serious violations” of the law, including that Mr. Trump took 15 boxes of White House documents to his Palm Beach, Fla., compound and attempted to destroy presidential records.


    What does all this mean? It shows the extent to which Trump and his administration are attempting to avoid accountability - hiding and destroying documents, apparently including classified material, and breaking public records requirements. They are desperate to prevent the American people from knowing how terrible their administration was. 


    Trump waded into Washington State politics this week as well, of course, with an endorsement of sore loser gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp’s current run for Congress in the 4th Congressional District! 


    That makes two Trump endorsements here in Washington, with Culp’s endorsement joining conservative extremist Joe Kent’s, who’s running for Congress in the 3rd CD. 


    It seems to me that the Republican party is in complete disarray here in Washington, with the disgraced leader of their party now endorsing primary challengers to two of their own members of Congress! The Republicans are STILL the party of Trump (the resolution just passed by the RNC calling the January 6th insurrection “legitimate political discourse” proves it) and we can’t let them off the hook!


    UPDATE on Key Tasks for Local Parties - For the past two weeks, I’ve emailed you about some of the key tasks that we NEED local parties working on as the Coordinated Campaign spools up for 2022. Just since last week’s email, we had new groups of party leaders and some PCOs from Ferry, Jefferson, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane counties step up! Can we count on you and your local party organization to be next?

     

    The critical projects that we want our local party organizations to get started on right away are: 


    Early Endorsements - Don’t wait to endorse our great Democrats, like Sen. Patty Murray and Secretary of State Steve Hobbs. These early endorsements help build the groundwork for our organizing and voter contact around these candidates. It’s especially important for legislative candidates and folks in smaller districts, who don’t represent as many areas and who really want to be able to get their Democratic Party endorsements in their voter guide statements. The voter guide statements for both the primary and general elections are due in the middle of May and if your party waits until later than that to endorse, your LPO’s endorsements won’t be included in voter guide statements! That’s a big problem for our parties and for the candidates we support - make sure you have scheduled at least one early endorsement opportunity in April, at the latest. 


    PCOs Can (and Should) Start Doorbelling and Contacting Voters - For PCOs, the time to walk or call the voters in your precincts is NOW so that we can get that data back into Votebuilder ASAP. The data PCOs collect in the first quarter of this year is essential to the voter targeting every Democratic candidate will be able to do in the primary election and for the rest of the year. If needed, our Coordinated Campaign staff can help set PCOs up with a phone or canvass list, an appropriate script for their precinct, and either a listening or ID canvass - just ask us at organizing@wa-democrats.org.



    Local Volunteer Teams - Join a local volunteer team! Our state party field organizers are already working to set up local volunteer teams and scheduling voter contact events with those teams. Search for events near you and sign up for your first shift of the year at https://www.wa-democrats.org/organizingevents/.


    If you don't see an event near you to sign up for, invite three friends to join you in starting a new volunteer group, and let us know at organizing@wa-democrats.org. We'll work with you to set up a schedule and provide a script, lists, and training!



    Thanks for reading, and for your support. Let us know if you’re up for stepping to the plate and taking action as our 2022 Coordinated Campaign gains steam, and we’ll be right there with you!


    With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski


    PS - Many congratulations to the King County Democrats and Chair Shasti Conrad for their terrific Winter Soirée, which raised over $55K for their local efforts!



    P.P.S - Maybe that’s why King County GOP Chair Joshua Freed decided to quit?


  • 5 Feb 2022 10:50 AM | Douglass MacKenzie


    Hello Democrats! It was wonderful seeing so many of you (virtually) at our state committee meeting last weekend, and I’m so excited for our state convention coming up in June in Tacoma! In between now and then, we’ve got a ton of work to do, so let’s get to it!


    HUGE Voter Protection News - Our Democratic Washington State Auditor Pat McCarthy made major news this week with the release of an audit of our counties’ practices when it comes to rejecting ballots due to signature issues. These include instances when voters don’t sign their ballots at all and when voters are judged to have a signature on their ballot that don’t match their signature on file. 


    While fewer than 1% of ballots are rejected statewide, and there could be an incredibly rare handful of cases where someone is trying to sign someone else’s ballot, it turns out that there are some extremely important - and concerning - trends in the data. 


    It’s interesting to look at signature rejection rates across counties, but what’s far more concerning are the rejection rates across demographic groups:


    Statistical modeling of the rejected ballots concluded that while voters younger than 26 account for only 10% of Washington’s voting population, they made up more than 30% of rejected ballots.


    Meanwhile, modeling showed that white voters had the lowest rejection rate among ethnic and racial groups.


    And “Even when controlling for other variables, we estimated Black voters were twice as likely to have ballots rejected than white voters,” according to the audit.


    Non-English speakers were also more likely to have their ballots rejected. A separate analysis of King County estimated that voters casting ballots that were not in English had a nearly 50% percent greater likelihood of having their ballot rejected.


    Read that again - Black voters were TWICE AS LIKELY to have their ballots rejected by their county elections office as white voters. This is voter disenfranchisement, right here in Washington state. And something we’ve tried to tell past GOP Secretaries of State!


    Why is this happening? The audit talks about some explanations, like language barriers for voters who aren’t proficient in English or folks whose signatures had naturally changed over time. But the solution is leadership - for decades, we’ve had Republican Secretaries of State who haven’t taken this challenge seriously enough and haven’t been committed to ensuring all voters get their ballots counted - especially voters with limited English skills, and young voters, and Black voters. We need leadership that will make sure this gets fixed!


    There are two main ways Washington State Democrats have been working to address this. First of all, there’s our state-of-the-art voter protection program, where we help voters with questions about the process for filling out and returning their ballots before the election, and we follow up with voters who had their ballots rejected post-election to make sure they have the information and help necessary to “cure” their ballots so they can be counted. Our voter protection and “ballot curing” program has been nationally recognized by the Analyst Institute as the best in the country, and you had better be sure we’ll be running it again this year! 


    Secondly, we’re making sure that we hold the Secretary of State’s office with a Democrat who can provide the statewide leadership we need to make changes at our county auditors’ offices, to end these unfair and racist disparities. I'm glad that we finally have a Democrat, Secretary Steve Hobbs, in that office, and we are committed to keeping it that way in this year’s midterm election! 



    Secretary Hobbs has talked a lot about what he plans to do to encourage voter registration, first-time voters, and inclusion and support of diverse voters. We’re planning on organizing some Zoom events for after the legislative session so you can hear directly from him. But in the meantime, ask YOUR county auditor or election official how they are going to respond to their disparate rejection rates in YOUR county. We’d like to hear what they say, and we must hold them accountable.


    Announcing Upcoming Training Opportunities - The Washington State Democratic Party, in collaboration with the DNC’s Best Practices Institute, is excited to announce the launch of our 2022 State Party Campaign Bootcamp webinar training program! 


    The State Party Campaign Bootcamp Program is a free, two-day, virtual training program with supplemental, small-group coaching sessions to encourage community building and collaborative learning. This program seeks to support campaigns by ensuring that comprehensive training is free and accessible for Democrats working on campaigns across Washington.


    Candidates will learn critical aspects of launching and running a successful campaign, hear from special guest speakers, and have the opportunity to hone in on subjects with individualized attention through additional coaching sessions with experts. This training is open to Democratic candidates, potential candidates, and campaign staff. Even if you haven’t decided whether you want to run for office this year, this training might provide you with helpful information for when you are making that decision, and to hit the ground running when you do. And if you are running, it’s a MUST for you and your team!


    Click Here to Register!


    The schedule will be - 

    Saturday, February 26: State Party Campaign Bootcamp–Crafting Your Campaign

    • 9:00 am - 3:00 pm  


    Sunday, February 27: State Party Campaign Bootcamp–External Engagement 

    • 9:00 am - 3:00 pm  


    Tuesday, March 1: Media Coaching (pick one of these)

    • Session 1: 4:00 pm

    • Session 2: 5:00 pm

    • Session 3: 6:00 pm

    • Session 4: 7:00 pm

    • Session 5: 8:00 pm



    Thursday, March 3: Call Time Coaching (pick one of these)

    • Session 1: 4:00 pm

    • Session 2: 5:00 pm

    • Session 3: 6:00 pm

    • Session 4: 7:00 pm

    • Session 5: 8:00 pm


    CLICK HERE to submit your registration for the 2022 State Party Campaign Bootcamp Program! Registration will close on February 24th. We want a strong Washington turnout!


    Key Tasks for Local Parties - Last week, I let you know about some of the key tasks that we NEED local parties working on as the Coordinated Campaign spools up for 2022, and I am really excited with the response we’ve received so far!. We’ve got doorbelling and phone banking events scheduled across Washington. Our new field organizer, Jesús Zamora, who just joined us from Houston, Texas, even has bilingual phone bankers recruited for some of his phone banking in Central Washington! 

     

    The four important projects that we want our local party organizations to get started on right away are: 


    Early Endorsements - Don’t wait to endorse our great Democratic incumbents, like Sen. Patty Murray. These early endorsements help build the groundwork for our organizing and voter contact around these candidates. It’s especially important for legislative candidates and folks in smaller districts, who don’t represent as many areas and who really want to be able to get their Democratic Party endorsements in their voter guide statements. The voter guide statements for both the primary and general elections are due in the middle of May and if your party waits until later than that to endorse, your LPO’s endorsements won’t be included in voter guide statements! That’s a big problem for our parties and for the candidates we support - make sure you have scheduled at least one early endorsement opportunity in April or sooner. 


    PCOs Can (and Should) Start Doorbelling - For PCOs, the time to walk or call the voters in your precincts is NOW so that we can get that data back into Votebuilder ASAP. The data PCOs collect in the first quarter of this year is essential to the voter targeting every Democratic candidate will be able to do in the primary election and for the rest of the year. If needed, our Coordinated Campaign staff can help set PCOs up with a phone or canvass list, an appropriate script for their precinct, and either a listening or ID canvass - just ask us at organizing@wa-democrats.org.



    Local Volunteer Teams - Join a local volunteer team! Our state party field organizers are already working to set up local volunteer teams and scheduling voter contact events with those teams. Search for events near you and sign up for your first shift of the year athttps://www.wa-democrats.org/organizingevents/.


    If you don't see an event near you to sign up for, invite three friends to join you in starting a new volunteer group, and let us know at organizing@wa-democrats.org. We'll work with you to set up a schedule and provide a script, lists, and training!


    Black History Month and Lunar New Year - This Tuesday, February 1st, was a really fun day - it was both the start of Black History Month and the Lunar New Year, kicking off the Year of the Tiger! 



    Black History Month is a time to celebrate and remember the heritage of all African Americans and their contributions to the world! Black history is American history, and we honor Washington State's progressive African American leaders who have paved the way and inspired future generations. 


    From Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland - the first Black person (and Korean American) to represent Washington in federal office - to our Black legislators and local elected officials, we’re proud that Black leaders are ascending in the Washington State Democratic Party. This must continue! These last few months have seen the passing of Black leaders like Sen. George Fleming and Rep. Bill Smitherman, and we need to make sure that a new generation is elected and re-elected to office to carry on their legacy and their work (and create a new legacy!). I’m incredibly proud of the Black Democrats that we’ve elected in districts across the state, and I’m excited to support so many of them again for re-election in 2022! 


    For example, let’s hear it for our Legislative Black Caucus, led by Representative Jamila Taylor in the 30th LD. The all-Democratic caucus is up to a record nine members and is bicameral, with seven members in the House and two in the Senate. The group represents nine of the 25 Black lawmakers in Washington’s legislative history—the first member dating to Washington’s inaugural legislature in 1889.



    Tuesday was also the start of a new Lunar Year! I hope that the Year of the Tiger brings you and your loved ones prosperity and good health! I loved this short video that Sen. Joe Nguyen posted on Twitter from the legislature’s recognition of the Lunar New Year - check it out! 


    Legislative Retirements Update - This week, Rep. Mike Sells of the 38th LD announced that he wouldn’t be running for re-election this year. We congratulate Rep. Sells on a tremendous record of service in the legislature as a champion for working people and higher education. Rep. Sells is a huge labor supporter (like our party!) and one of the leaders who helped bring a WSU branch campus to Everett, so all the Cougs out there should be sure to thank Rep. Sells for his leadership. 


    Other Democratic legislators not running for re-election include Sen. Reuven Carlyle of the 36th LD, Sen. David Frockt of the 46th LD, and Rep. Steve Kirby of the 29th LD, with more retirements possibly to come. I’m so appreciative of their service, and I’m looking forward to seeing the exciting Democrats we have running for office rising in the ranks to join us in the legislature next year! 


    As always, thank you all for reading and for your support!


    With gratitude, 


    Tina Podlodowski


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