Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for March 29, 2021

DEMOCRATIC EVENTS

1. NEWPersonal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed for local farmworkers
Skagit County Democrats is asking for your help to provide PPE to our local farmworkers, many of whom are currently having to pay farmers for masks, and they are in need of hand sanitizer. You may deliver PPE to the office of:

They are open Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 5:00pm

2. Join Senator Patty Murray for a Bellingham virtual fundraiser with Senator Liz Lovelett, Representative Debra Lekanoff, Representative Alex Ramel and more on Tuesday, Mar 30, 5:00pm
Click Here to register and/or donate.

3. Fidalgo Democrats are sharing the video recording to their meeting Mar 9, “Evergreen Islands: The Legacy of Environmental Protection Continues”

4. Consider 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.

5. 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”

6. 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.

7. 2nd 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 districtwide competition with his piece, “Breathe”. Click Here for more information.

8. NEWA message from 2nd Congressional District Representative Rick Larsen
“For so many of us, we were raised on the basic notion that the police exist to protect and serve, to keep our communities safe.

While it is undoubtedly critical to have strong, accountable police departments across Northwest Washington and America, for far too many people, the police have become a symbol of inequality, fear, and even violence.

That is why I support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Eric Garner. Ahmaud Arbery. Rayshard Brooks. Tamir Rice. Each of these lives and countless others were cut short. These tragedies happened because in the eyes of too many Americans, their lives did not matter.

And that is the problem: there cannot be real justice for these victims or their families without addressing the systemic issues that enable inequity and racism to persist across America.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act begins to take on some of the very real, very dire problems in our national policing model.

Banning the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants. Investigating misconduct and creating a national registry to track it. Requiring dashboard and body cameras. Restricting the use of military equipment by civilian police agencies. And creating national standards for the operation of police departments.

Of course, this is only the beginning. The law must make it through the U.S. Senate and be signed by President Biden. And then we must demand that individual states and communities take action.
 
I understand that police conduct reform is not enough to end the injustice. But we must start somewhere. I will continue to support legislation that tackles systemic racism throughout our society.  

Stay tuned.
Rick”

9. NEWFrom The Chairs Corner
Do you want to see more people who care about our local issues elected to office in Skagit County? Environmental activism is never ending, but we could do so much more if we had elected officials working for the same goals: a safe, clean and healthy place to live and raise our families. Do you care about homelessness, affordable housing, and preserving our rural lands? Do you care about our municipalities?  

Skagit County Democrats could not agree more. We need your help right now to identify and recruit good candidates for every office. If you have ever been to a city council meeting you know that it does not take special skills or experience to be a council member. Common sense and empathy for your neighbors are the essential qualities needed. Skagit County Democrats are willing to help you investigate what position would be best for you, when to file for office and how to run a campaign.

We are looking for good, progressive people to run for offices throughout the county. If you, or someone you know, is interested in learning more please contact our Chair of Candidate Recruitment, Ashley Gregorius at ash.gregorius@gmail.com.

There are many positions on the ballot this November, but the Skagit County Democrats are hoping to increase the diversity and perspectives represented on both the Burlington City Council and the Burlington-Edison School Board as well as the Sedro-Woolley City Council and School Board. If you know someone who may be interested in these positions, please encourage them to contact the Democrats.

Other positions in the county are also important so if you are not in Burlington or in Sedro-Woolley, do not let the focus on these two cities deter you. Speak up and let the Skagit County Democrats hear from you!  We are building benches of democratic candidates for a blue county at every level from cemetery districts and fire districts on up.

For more information, please visit these links:

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

COMMUNITY EVENTS

1. NEWPuget Sound Food Hub Farmer’s Cooperative is hiring for a bilingual Customer Service and Operations position
To request more information, email gm@pugetsoundfoodhbub.com.

2. 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 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.

3. NEWJEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Speaker Series, Part 1: Unconscious Bias, Tuesday, Apr 6, 1:00pm – 2:00pm, online
Sponsored by Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County (EDASC) and Skagit County Chambers of Commerce. “Join us as keynote speaker EDASC CEO John Sternlicht presents on unconscious bias and how it affects us more than we know. Did you know our brains form biases by using knowledge about social situations, attitudes, cultures, stereotypes, emotional reactions and more? In this session, you’ll learn to recognize biases, their impacts, and develop strategies to overcome them.” Click Here for more information. Click Here to register.

4. The 2021 Tulip Festival begins Apr 1
The official site states: “In 2021 we will have a lot of unknowns and possible changes as we move through the issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Check back with us often to get the most current information.”

5. NEWSkagit County published the 2020 COVID-19 Data Report
Click Here for the full report.

6. UPDATEDSkagit County moves to COVID-19 Phase 3 Recovery effective Mar 2

Activities – – – Phase 3 Guidance

  • Social and at-home gathering size – indoor – – – Max of 10 people from outside your household
  • Social and at-home gathering size – outdoor – – – Max 50 people
  • Worship services – – – Indoor maximum 50% capacity
  • Retail stores (includes farmers’ markets, grocery and convenience stores, pharmacies) – – – Maximum 50% capacity, encourage curbside pick-up
  • Professional services – – – Remote work strongly encouraged, 50% capacity otherwise
  • Eating and drinking establishments (establishments only serving individuals 21+ and no food remain closed) – – – Indoor dining available 50% capacity, end alcohol service/delivery at 12 AM. Outdoor or open-air dining available, max 10 per table
  • Weddings and funerals – – – Ceremonies and indoor receptions, wakes, or similar gatherings in conjunction with such ceremonies are permitted and must follow the appropriate venue requirements. If food or drinks are served, eating and drinking requirements apply. Dancing is prohibited.
  • Indoor sports and fitness establishments (includes gyms, fitness organizations, indoor recreational sports, indoor pools, indoor K-12 sports, indoor sports, indoor personal training, indoor dance, no-contact martial arts, gymnastics, climbing) – – – Sports competitions and tournaments allowed in all risk categories. Fitness and training and indoor sports maximum 50% capacity. Showers allowed.
  • Outdoor sports and fitness establishments (Outdoor fitness organizations, outdoor recreational sports, outdoor pools, outdoor parks and hiking trails, outdoor campsites, outdoor K-12 sports, outdoor sports, outdoor personal training, outdoor dance, outdoor motorsports) – – – Sports competitions and tournaments allowed in all risk categories. Maximum spectators allowed 400 with capacity restriction depending on facility. Guided activities allowed without hard caps subject to restrictions.
  • Indoor entertainment establishments (includes aquariums, indoor theaters, indoor arenas, indoor concert halls, indoor gardens, indoor museums, indoor bowling, indoor trampoline facilities, indoor cardrooms, indoor entertainment activities of any kind, indoor event spaces) – – – Maximum 50% capacity or 400 people, whichever is less. If food or drinks are served, eating and drinking requirements apply.
  • Outdoor entertainment establishments (includes zoos, outdoor gardens, outdoor aquariums, outdoor theaters, outdoor stadiums, outdoor event spaces, outdoor arenas, outdoor concert venues, rodeos) – – – Walk-up tickets allowed with restrictions. Maximum spectators allowed 400 with capacity restriction depending on facility.

7. 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.

Phase 1A, Phase 1B, Tier 1-4 (Beginning March 31) are eligible for vaccination. This includes the following groups:

  • 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, including care providers.
  • Educator or staff member- including administrator, bus driver, food service, environmental services- at a PreK-12 school
  • Childcare workers
  • All people 65 years and older
  • People 50 years and older who live in multi-generational households, including:
    • Those who cannot live independently or are receiving long-term care from a paid or unpaid caregiver  
    • Those living with and caring for kinship such as a grandchild, niece, nephew or elderly parent (this does not include someone 50 years of age or older and caring for their own child)
  • Pregnant People, 16 years of age or older
  • People with disabilities that make them higher risk for poor health outcomes from COVID-19, ages 16 and older.
  • People who work in critical industries in congregate settings. Qualifying workplaces include, but are not limited to:
    • Agricultural
    • Food processing
    • Correctional facilities
    • Grocery store workers
    • Public Transit
    • Firefighters and law enforcement
  • People 16 years or older with 2 or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions (beginning March 31)
  • All people 60 years and older (beginning March 31)
  • People, staff, and volunteers in certain congregate living settings. (beginning March 31) This includes:
    • correctional facilities;
    • groups homes for people with disabilities;
    • settings where people experiencing homelessness live or access services
  • High-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings: restaurants, food services, construction, and manufacturing (beginning March 31)

NOTE: Please, No Pets at the Fairgrounds – Skagit County Public Health asks that people do not bring pets to the Fairgrounds. Service animals are permitted. This is to ensure the safety of our nursing staff and patients.

8. 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 31 – Update on the Sedro-Woolley School District & the Mount Vernon School District by their Superintendents – A Year With COVID-19
This week we talk IN PERSON with two school district superintendents to get a glimpse of how the year evolved. We met with Retiring SWSD Superintendent Phil Brockman & MVSD’s new Superintendent Ismael Vivanco, who is in his first year in that district but was a Superintendent in Eastern Washington before his return to his roots here in the Valley.