Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for March 15, 2021

DEMOCRATIC EVENTS

1. NEWIn Remembrance
It has been a year this week since we lost Democratic stalwart Nicki Hamilton to COVID-19 on March 19, 2020. Her passing was reported in this article by ABC News and this article by KUOW in Seattle.

2. Latino Legislative Day, Tuesday, Mar 16, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Click Here for the day’s agenda. Click Here to register for the online activities.

3. The 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.

4. NEW40th Legislative District Virtual Town Hall, Saturday, Mar 20, 11:30am – 12:30pm, available on Facebook live, Twitter, and YouTube
Senator Liz Lovelett, Representative Debra Lekanoff, and Representative Alex Ramel will share their thoughts on their legislative priorities and answer your questions on the issues you care about. You can submit questions ahead of time at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/40thLDTownHall.

5. NEWThe 40th Legislative District Democrats Executive Board meets Thursday, Mar 25, 5:00pm – 7:00pm via Zoom
Click Here for the connection link.

6. NEWJoin the Skagit Democrats for an Evening with Party Chair Tina Podlodowski!, Thursday, Mar 25, 7:00pm via Zoom
Skagit Democrats are pleased to invite you to an engaging discussion with our amazing Washington State Democratic Party Chair, Tina Podlodowski! Chair Podlodowski will be sharing her thoughts about the insurrection and what it means for us. We also look forward to hearing about the party’s vision and specific plans for the future. This is a free event. However, this is a Skagit County Democrats fundraiser and we encourage donations of any size so please consider making a donation. This event has been advertised to our membership, including the Zoom connection link. If you would like to attend and have not received the connection link, please email Chair Lynn Campbell at chair@skagitdemocrats.org.

7. The 39th Legislative District Democrats Executive Board meets Sunday, Mar 28, 10:30am via Zoom
Click Here to register to attend the meeting.

8. NEWConsider becoming a Skagit County Democrats Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) or Precinct Captain
We currently have several Skagit County Precincts without a PCO. You can find the uncovered precincts Here. Normally PCOs are elected every two years but precincts without an elected PCO may have one appointed until the next election. You can find the PCO application Here. Precincts without an elected PCO may also have a Precinct Captain, which is someone who covers the responsibilities of a PCO but does not reside in the respective precinct, if a PCO is not available.

The PCOs and Captains are the backbone of our organization. They comprise the Central Committee which is our governing body. They also make important contributions in our Get Out the Vote efforts each election cycle.

9. 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”

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. NEW2nd Congressional District Representative Rick Larsen Invites Second District Students to Participate in 2021 Congressional Art Competition
Representative Larsen is inviting high school-aged students who live or attend school in Washington state’s Second Congressional District to showcase their artistic talents in the 2021 Congressional Art Competition. Art submissions and forms are due to Larsen’s office by Friday, April 30 at 4:00 p.m. PDT. The U.S. House of Representatives holds the annual high school visual art competition to encourage and recognize artistic talent in each congressional district. All art entries must be original in concept, design and execution. The winning entry will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. Last year, Oliver Rinne from Sedro-Woolley High School won the district-wide competition with his piece, “Breathe”. Click Here for more information.

12. NEWThe Chair’s Corner, Lynn Campbell
Over 60 – 65% of all positive COVID-19 cases in Skagit County have been amongst our Latino population. Yet, there are many barriers which contribute to the difficulty of getting our Latino brothers and sisters the life-saving vaccines so badly needed.

Yesterday at our Central Committee meeting we were honored to have 4 guest speakers: Rosalinda Guillen, Founder and Executive Director of Community to Community (C2C); Vanessa Malapote, Chair of Washington State Democratic Latino Caucus; and Vanessa Diaz and David Roehn representing the North Sound Accountable Community of Health.

All of our speakers and formidable activists have been working tirelessly advocating for easier access to vaccines, and greater representation of the specific needs of our Latino community members.

Specific barriers to receiving the vaccine include the need for time availability to sign up for vaccines. More often than not, when the window of availability opens it is during the work day when these workers cannot simply “take a day off” or leave work in order to sign up for the vaccines.

Internet access also creates a barrier. Too many of our farm workers may not have access to the Internet. We also need to provide greater assistance in the actual process of signing up.

There is a need for translators in order to get the information out. The struggle is real. The death rate amongst the Indigenous and Latino population has been high and devastating to these communities.

The Skagit County Gleaners has been providing services during their off hours and Saturdays to assist families with signing up for the vaccines. However, the majority of our farmworkers, postal workers, and factory workers are working on Saturdays which creates another barrier.

The Skagit County Alliance for Latinos has worked hard at including our community partners with providing education and translation.

These organizations are doing their part. We, as Democrats, need to put our core values and beliefs into active use by writing our local legislators and requesting that there is a greater allocation of vaccines available to our Indigenous and Latino populations.

The rate of vaccinations among our Latino population is hovering around 10%. That is clearly disproportionate with the rate of infection.

The Latino Alliance groups across Washington state drafted and sent a letter to Governor Inslee requesting that all of our essential workers, and Latino community be included in his plan for distribution of vaccines. The Skagit County Democrats signed on as a supporter of these efforts.

We all need to reach out to our County Commissioners, our public health department, and our local representatives requesting greater attention to vaccine availability and results for this vulnerable population.

In conclusion, when we invite people of color in to speak, they are sharing their experiences, their struggles and issues they face and live with every day. Our job is to listen with an open heart and mind. When we question the validity of the experiences shared, we are discounting and minimizing the very real struggles folks are encountering in their daily lives. I encourage all of us to listen without judgement and find ways to open our hearts to the very real need of inclusiveness. Actions matter.

If you would like to donate to our local organizations in order to assist with their efforts to address the disparities and access to COVID vaccinations here are some links:

13. 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. Sedro-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, Friday, 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. Skagit 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 is celebrated the entire month of March
Click Here for more information.

4. “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.

5. UPDATEDSkagit 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. Governor Inslee has announced that Washington State will enter Phase 3 effective Monday, Mar 22. Click Here for more information.

6. UPDATEDCOVID-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.

Appointments are currently limited to those who qualify under Phase 1a and Phase 1b-Tier 1. This includes the following:

  • High risk workers in health care settings
  • High risk first responders
  • Residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based, congregate living settings where most individuals over 65 years of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance.
  • All other workers in health care settings
  • Educator or staff member- including administrator, bus driver, food service, environmental services- at a PreK-12 school (added 3/2/2021)
  • Childcare workers (added 3/2/2021)
  • All people 65 years and older
  • People 50 years and older who live in multi-generational households, including:
    • People who are (a) over the age of 50 AND (b) are not able to live independently who either: a) are receiving long-term care from a paid or unpaid caregiver; or b) are living with someone who works outside the home; OR
    • People who are over the age of 50 AND are living with and caring for a grandchild

7. UPDATEDDrive-through COVID-19 testing has now closed
Other testing providers are available in Skagit County. 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 Wednesday, Mar 17 – This week SUSO will listen in on a regent presentation by Evergreen Islands’ Board President, Marlene Finley, about the proposed gravel mine on Fidalgo Island
Marlene shares the status of the permit for the latest subdivision proposal for South Fidalgo Island. This proposal would threaten wetlands and streams. She also shares Evergreen Island’s plans for the future.