Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for March 1, 2021

DEMOCRATIC EVENTS

1. NEWRobert Ashby takes over the reins as the Skagit County Democrats Communication and Technology Committee Chair
From Skagit County Democrats Chair, Lynn Campbell: “Eric Hall has stepped down as CommTech Committee Chair. Eric has been an indispensable lead in Skagit Democrats for many years and has put in countless hours during this past year. It has been more than a full-time job for him. Since the pandemic, he has been instrumental in transforming our organization from a brick and mortar store in downtown Mount Vernon to a digital organization providing capabilities to keep us moving forward through the election and beyond. Eric will not be going anywhere but will stay as part of CommTech continuing to support our work as a Consultant.

Replacing Eric in the role will be Rob Ashby. Many of you have met Rob at our E-board meeting held on February 13. He is new to Skagit Democrats but he is a lifelong Democrat. His background includes 25 years experience in technology and communication fields for companies such as Microsoft, Expedia and GoDaddy and since January has been running the Messaging subcommittee within CommTech. I have every confidence in his ability to lead the CommTech committee forward.”

2. NEW40th Legislative District Democrats will have its General Meeting, Sunday, Mar 7, 2:00pm (Sign-in begins at 1:00pm), via Zoom
Click Here to register to attend. Click Here for more information.

3. Fidalgo Democrats meets Tuesday, Mar 9, 7:00pm via Zoom – “Evergreen Islands: The Legacy of Environmental Protection Continues.”
“Don’t miss our Zoom meeting on Tuesday, March 9th at 7:00 p.m. when Evergreen Islands Board President, Marlene Finley shares the status of the Gravel Mine permit proposal for South Fidalgo Island – the latest subdivision proposals threatening wetlands and streams and Evergreen Islands plans for the future. Barbara Cooper, Chair, 360 293-4123.”

Also, a recording of last month’s meeting on “Redistricting Washington” is available on YouTube (Click Here). Past meetings can be found on our YouTube channel, “Fidalgo Democrats” (Click Here).

4. NEWSkagit County Democrats Central Committee meets Saturday, Mar 13, 10:00am – 12:00pm, via Zoom
Zoom Meeting: Click Here for the link, Meeting ID: 231 460 3118.

5. NEWThe 10th Legislative District Democrats Executive Board meets Saturday, Mar 20, 10:30am – 12:30pm, via Zoom
“This E Board meeting is open to all members of the 10th LD. Click Here for the Zoom link to register.

6. NEWOn Friday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the COVID relief bill
The COVID relief bill that passed in the US House contains these provisions:

  • Fully refundable child tax credit
  • Emergency housing assistance: rental & mortgage assistance, homelessness prevention
  • $15/hour minimum wage
  • Stimulus payments: Up to $1400 per person
  • Unemployment insurance: Extended through August
  • Vaccine distribution and virus testing
  • State & local aid: for example, retaining first responders
  • Small business support

7. Washington State Democrats Constituency Caucuses are open to members
Washington State Democratic Members may ask to join specific caucuses and participate in their meetings. Each caucus has their own enrollment process. Please email partyaffairs@wa-democrats.org for more information on how to join a specific caucus. Click Here for the Rules for Constituency Caucuses. Below is a list of current caucuses.

  • African American Caucus
  • Agricultural and Rural Caucus
  • Asian Pacific American Caucus
  • Disabilities Caucus
  • Economic Justice Caucus
  • Environment and Climate Caucus
  • Latino Caucus
  • LGBTQ+/Stonewall Caucus
  • Jewish Caucus
  • Labor Caucus
  • Native American Caucus
  • Progressive Caucus
  • Small Business Caucus
  • Separation of Church and State Caucus
  • Veteran and Military Families Caucus
  • Women’s Caucus

8. Skagit County Democrats Volunteer Opportunities
“The Skagit County Democratic Party is excited to report that our membership is growing. We are very aware that there are many talented and resourceful individuals like yourself within our party. We wanted to reach out today with some opportunities for you to increase your involvement with us. We have various Committees, including the Candidate Recruitment, Social Media, Finance, Outreach, and Fundraising Committees, just to name a few. We love to have our members be involved and offer lots of ways to volunteer with us and help with campaigns. Due to Covid-19, all events and meetings are online, and everyone is working from home. We appreciate your membership with the Skagit County Democratic Party. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering and being on our Committees, please reach out to our Volunteer Coordinators, and they will help you find the right fit for your skills. We can also connect you to the Committee Chairs or our Party Chair. We hope to hear from you soon. Please reach out to Larry at Larry.Hilliard@gmail.com for more information about Committees or Ashley at ash.gregorius@gmail.com for Outreach and Candidate Recruitment Committees. Thank you, Skagit Volunteer Coordinator”

9. AnyTechQuestions Webpage
In addition to the AnyTechQuestions weekly Zoom support session (every Wednesday at 5:00pm – the Zoom link is available by emailing Tech@SkagitDemocrats.org), the webpage has information on Zoom tips and basics as well as tutorials on how to work with our Skagit Democrats Google Drive.

10. Skagit Democrats Fundraisers

  • 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 indicate ‘Mask’. After you have donated, call Ronda Weston at 360-873-8445 to select your fabric.
  • 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.
  • The Our America signs are still available at $10 each. We also have a couple of Biden yard signs – $5 or inquire. Call (360-336-1555) or email staff@skagitdemocrats.org for pick up times and payment information.

11. NEWA message from 2nd Congressional District Representative Rick Larsen
“I am in Washington, DC this week to begin our legislative work in Congress. We have many priorities on our agenda for this new Congress, but my number one priority is ending this devastating pandemic and the economic hardship it has created.

Below is a snapshot of what is coming up in the next week to ten days.

First up, we are going to pass the American Rescue Plan. This is the big pandemic response plan to speed up vaccinations, support struggling families and small businesses with financial relief, expand unemployment benefits, support schools so they can reopen safely, and address hunger in our communities.

President Biden has also acted to open up a special enrollment period for Obamacare through May 15. Here in Washington state, this open enrollment period for Cascade Care will expand access and affordability to those impacted by the pandemic.

After we pass the American Rescue Plan, we will take up the For The People Act. We will restore the Voting Rights Act, end partisan gerrymandering, impose new ethics rules, empower grassroots donors and reduce the power of SuperPACs, ensure that those without ID can cast their ballot by submitting a sworn statement, and much more.

Congress will vote on the Equality Act because all American’s must be treated equally under federal law. Equally in employment, education, federal funding, housing, access to credit and jury service.

We will soon vote on the Wilderness Act to protect critical wilderness nationwide, including the last remaining acres of ancient and mature forests on the Olympic Peninsula.  

And of course, I am deeply engaged in the development of an infrastructure package that will create jobs, improve our economy, and make critical progress in our fight against climate change.

After the last four years, we have a lot of work to do. And I get up every morning enthusiastic about getting it done. Thank you for your support and your input. It means a lot to me.
Rick”

12. 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. NEWSedro-Woolley City Council Ward 3 Position open
Ward 3 includes residential and downtown areas southeast of Highway 20 from Rhodes Road to Haines Avenue and an area north of Highway 20 between North Sapp Road and North Reed Street. Click Here for the application form and instructions. Applicants have until 4:30pm Mar 26 to return the application to the deputy city clerk at Sedro-Woolley City Hall, 325 Metcalf Street. Click Here for the Skagit Valley Herald article.

2. NEWSkagit Volunteer Lawyer Program announces the resumption of its free DACA Legal Workshops in a virtual format
“Financially eligible applicants in Skagit County and San Juan County should review the instructions on how to apply for an upcoming workshop! The first workshop is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, March 18th. Helpful information about financial assistance and supporting documentation will be provided. Only registered applicants will be provided the meeting credentials.” Click Here for more information. Click Here for the flyer.

3. The annual La Conner Daffodil Festival 2021 begins Monday, Mar 1
Click Here for more information.

4. Skagit County is now in COVID-19 Phase 2 Recovery
Click Here to see activity limits and permissions. Our region also includes Whatcom, San Juan, and Island Counties.

5. “Cultivating Civic Conversations (CCC): Learning to Talk about Race” is the title of a seminar series jointly sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Kittitas and Skagit counties and meets on Zoom Mondays, 10:00am or 5:00pm, Mar 1 – May 24
The 13-week virtual discussion group is open to all beginning March 1. The one-hour group conversations use Ijeoma Oluo’s bestselling book, “So You Want to Talk About Race” paired with podcasts. Oluo responds generously and answers questions she has often been asked about race and racism, such as “Why are our students so angry?” “Is police brutality really about race?” and “What if I talk about race wrong?” CCC co-creator Katherine Murphy says, “Our goal is to provide a safe space to practice reflecting and talking about race in order to spur participants to increase their civic engagement around racial equity and social justice.” “Learning to Talk About Race” meets on Zoom Mondays, 10 a.m. or 5 p.m., March 1-May 24. Participants attend either session as they can and have the option of following the discussion 24/7 through Sutra, an online conversation platform. For information, contact Katherine Murphy at kbmurhpy@lwvwa.org.

6. COVID-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: https://form.findyourphasewa.org/210118771253954. To schedule an appointment, visit: https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/.” Click Here for the Skagit County Public Health Department vaccine webpage and the most current information about availability.

7. UPDATEDDrive-through COVID-19 testing is Tuesdays and Fridays 10:00am – 4:00pm (Until Mar 12), Skagit County Fairgrounds, South Gate Entrance, 501 Taylor Street, Mount Vernon
Skagit Drive-Through Testing Site no longer operating on Saturdays, effective immediately. The COVID-19 Testing Site at Skagit County Fairgrounds will close permanently after Saturday, March 13, 2021. Other testing providers are available in Skagit County. Click Here for more information.

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 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.

NEW – SUSO Mar 3: This week we listen to excerpts from a recent presentation made by Upper Skagit elder, Scott Schuyler entitled “Sacred River” as Scott gives a historical perspective of the Upper Skagit Tribe (& related peoples) on the Upper Skagit River.

One of our LAST SUSO shows will air our 15th Anniversary show on March 10th. As usual on our anniversary, we will honor local women as we celebrate International Women’s History Day (as we have done since we started in 2006). We are accepting audio honoring local women in Skagit & Whatcom Counties. Please send that audio ASAP to drdksvr@gmail.com via Dropbox or Google Drive.