Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for January 25, 2021

DEMOCRATIC EVENTS

1. NEWThe 40th Legislative District Democrats Executive Board Meets, Thursday, Jan 28, 4:00pm – 6:00pm
If you want to attend, email Spencer Lively, Chair, at spencerelively@gmail.com.

2. UPDATEDThe Skagit County Democrats Essay Contest award presentation will be conducted Saturday, Jan 30, 2:00pm via Zoom
The contest theme was, “Why is it necessary for white people to talk about race?” It was open to all High School students at all public and private high schools in Skagit County.

  • 1st Place – $750 – Zoe Roberson, Anacortes High School
  • 2nd Place – $500 – Sophia Grechishkin, Mount Vernon High School
  • 3rd Place – $250 – Kaylin Quatsoe, Burlington-Edison High School

Click Here to read the essays. Connection information:

3. Skagit Democrats Fundraisers

  • Political Collectibles for Purchase: These are the first of the political collectibles being offered for purchase. If you are interested in a listed item (or what else is available), please email staff (staff@skagitdemocrats.org); note the item of interest and include a phone number. Staff will contact you with information needed to proceed with the purchase (pay online or pay by cash or check at Headquarters at time of pick up by arrangement at the door). This is a fun project for staff. Provenance connected with some of the items has been very educational. Click Here for sample pictures.
  • Coronavirus Face Mask Fundraiser: For a donation of $20 you will receive a hand-made face mask especially designed by an engineer/industrial designer at the request of the Medical Director of Pediatrics at Mission Hospital in California. The masks provide full coverage and are comfortable. Click Here or Here to see examples of the masks. If you would like to donate, Click Here. Under purpose on the donation, please indicate “Mask” and indicate which fabric you would like: #1 first on the left, #2 the middle, #3 on the right (for example: “Mask #3”).
  • Greeting Card Fundraiser: Social distancing and staying safe makes it difficult for us to get out and look for cards to mark special occasions or just say hello. For a donation of $15.00 you will receive a box of 6 – 8 beautiful hand-made greeting cards. These are one-of-a-kind cards so no two boxes are the same and aren’t made to order. Let us choose your lovely card set. Pictured on the web site (Click Here or Here) are samples of the kinds of cards you will receive. If you would like to donate, Click Here. Under purpose on the donation, please indicate “Cards” and the number of boxes you want.
  • Thank you for your continued support of the Skagit Democrats.

4. The Skagit County Democrats Headquarters, 300A South First Street, Mount Vernon, is CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC for the time being
As a temporary measure in response to recent events and pursuant to direction from the Executive Board, we have removed Executive Board and PCO names and addresses from our website and Facebook page. Please pay for membership on our website (Click Here) or you can mail your checks to our Post Office Box – Skagit County Democrats, PO Box 761, Mount Vernon, WA 98273-0761. Staff will continue to check voicemails and emails. They will get back to you and will continue to perform the essential work.

5. NEWA message from the Editor
Lynn asked me to pen something this week, so here goes.

My wife and I just got our first COVID-19 shots this morning. I could not help but see some parallels with this and our political situation.

First, I feel a great sense of relief. After living with the constant stress and vigilance this past year required to avoid the coronavirus I feel like we have begun to turn the corner. By the same token, the inauguration of President Biden engendered a profound sense that our democracy weathered a prolonged and marked menace and came out the other side with an opportunity to reestablish decency and reason as a norm.

At the same time, we cannot relax our precautions. Even though the vaccine will bring some measure of a feeling of well-being, we must still wear our masks, social distance, and maintain our other safeguards, both for ourselves and others around us. The same will apply to our work as Democrats. We must continue to fight for what is right, confront inequity, and advocate for reasonable and responsible government.

Both have required us to learn and implement new skills and disciplines – no easy task, especially for those of us (most of us) who experience resistance to change. All those habits and behaviors that have served us so well for so long may no longer be the best way forward. It is no easy thing to learn new tools, especially when the old ones feel so comfortable and familiar in our hands. Yet we know, however counter-intuitive it may feel, the we have to pick up the new tools and practice them until they take on the comfort and familiarity of the old ones. It is that practice, that use, that now makes them functional and effective.

So, to me, the lesson here is rather simple. Rejoice and enjoy our progress. Simultaneously, remain guarded, vigilant, active, and progress-oriented. We’ve taken two steps forward. Let’s not take any back.

6. NEWLinks of the Week
The Link of the Week provides in-depth pieces the Editor has found to be relevant, insightful, and thorough on important issues of the day.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

1. NEWMount Vernon School District has two renewal levies on the Feb 9 ballot
Ballots should arrive this week. Click Here for more information.

2. Economic Impact Payments by Debit Card
Be on the lookout for a Debit Card to be mailed to you that contains your Economic Impact Payment (i.e. your COVID-19 Stimulus payment recently approved by Congress). Many people (like me) looked at the mailing and thought something along the lines of “Oh, great, another unsolicited credit card.” or “Is this some sort of scam?” Be advised – it is neither. Click Here to see what the Economic Impact Payment Card (EIPC) will look like. Just like a newly issued credit card, the EIPC will need to be activated before it can be used, including setting a PIN (Personal Identification Number). The mailing includes instructions on how to activate the card. Click Here for instructions on how to use the card. Click Here for “Frequently Asked Questions” about the card. Click Here for information on what you can do if your stimulus debit card was lost or destroyed.

3. The League of Women Voters of Skagit County is offering presentations on Redistricting and the Planning Commission
“Washington League of Women Voters has made Redistricting a statewide League priority. First step in the process is helping citizens understand importance of this once in a decade opportunity to reshape our legislative district maps. Join us for one of our presentations of Redistricting 101 to learn why these maps matter!” Presenting the full content (one hour) is scheduled multiple times, in conjunction with our partners at LWV of Snohomish County — content is the same for each of the sessions below.   

Jan. 25: Observer Corp information: Amy Erie, Skagit LWV Chair What happens at the Planning Commission? The County Commission meetings? Learn what being an Observer means, how to participate and benefits to our community as this new group is organized for observing local government agencies. Zoom link works for all meetings. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72866957807

4. Skagit Eagle Festival 2021 has been canceled
Usually running the entire month of January each year, this year’s festival has been largely canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Click Here for more information.

5. ‘No More Bombs’ invites you to a conversation with local author Betsy Bell, “To Russia With Love”, Wednesday, Feb 17, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
“It is 1983, and the anti-war movement Target Seattle is preparing for a trip to Tashkent, Seattle’s Sister City…” Betsy Bell’s anti-war memoir, Open Borders: A personal story of love, loss and anti-war activism, recounts her efforts, along with many others, to end the Cold War nuclear weapon build up. Visit the ‘No More Bombs’ website for the Zoom link on February 16.

6. NEWCOVID-19 Vaccines
“Skagit County Public Health vaccine clinics held at the Skagit County Fairgrounds are now open to those eligible under Phases 1a and 1b-Tier 1 BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Vaccine is available based on current supply. Scheduling for appointments can now be done online via the PrepMod scheduling tool. Please check your eligibility using Phase Finder before attempting to schedule: www.findyourphasewa.org. To schedule an appointment, visit: https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/.” Click Here for the Skagit County Public Health Department vaccine webpage.

7. Drive-through COVID-19 testing is Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:00am TO 4:00pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00pm – 7:00pm, Skagit County Fairgrounds, South Gate Entrance, 501 Taylor Street, Mount Vernon
Use of the Drive-Thru testing site will be limited to those who live in or work in Skagit County. Those who do not live in or work in Skagit County should seek testing in their own communities or through their medical provider. If you have had a known or probable exposure to COVID-19, you cannot get tested right away. You must wait 8 days before being tested. COVID-19 has a relatively long incubation period, so being tested before 8 days has passed could result in a false negative. If you have questions about this, or any other questions related to COVID-19, please call Public Health at 360-416-1500. Skagit County Public Health is encouraging anyone who fits into the following guidelines to get tested:

  • Those who are essential workers
  • Anyone with any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Anyone whose physician recommended they be tested
  • Anyone who lives or works in a congregate setting
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone who is a close contact or has a known exposure to COVID-19

Click Here for more information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Listen to We Do the Work, Tuesdays, 5:00pm, and Sundays, 5:30pm at KSVR, 91.7 FM or KSVU, 90.1 FM
A weekly local worker radio program that features news, interviews, music, and comments, “We Do the Work” believes American workers are at the heart of our economy and culture, deserving dignity, respect, and a decent family wage. To hear our other shows, go to We Do The Work Archives. Questions about interviews? Email – ksvrwedothework@gmail.com.

NEW – We Do The Work’s program for Tuesday, Jan 26, 5:00pm and Sunday, Jan 31, 5:30 – Conor Casey, Labor Archivist at the Labor Archives of Washington, Part 3
Interview by Mike Dumovich: Conor reports on the lifelong labor activist Irene Hull. For more information, go to https://www.lib.washington.edu/specialcollections/laws/ or email cmcasey@uw.edu.

We Do The Work Comments:

  • American workers need a worker bill of rights.
  • Gary Kanter sings ‘Solidarity Now.’
  • Frontline workers are dying.
  • George Mann sings ‘We Have Fed You All for a Thousand Years.’
  • Gary Kanter and Mike Dumovich play their Northwest Union Call song.
  • #LaborRadioPod

2. Listen to Speak Up! Speak Out! Radio
Listen to Speak Up! Speak Out! – a half hour weekly radio show committed to community, peace, justice, and non-violence issues. The show airs on Community Radio stations (times subject to change) – KSVR 91.7 FM (Skagit Valley College), Wednesdays 5:00pm, rebroadcast Sundays 8:00pm; KSVU 90.1 FM, Hamilton, Sundays 8:00pm and Thursdays 8:00am; KMRE 102.3 FM, Bellingham, Sundays 11:00am and Wednesdays 7:30am. Our shows are available online. Stream or download a show at http://speakupspeakoutradio.org/ anytime.

3. Coffee ‘n Cards – on hiatus