Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for April 19, 2021

DEMOCRATIC EVENTS

1. 40th Legislative District Democrats Executive Board is scheduled to meet Thursday, Apr 22, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, via Zoom

2. NEW39th Legislative District Democrats General Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Apr 25, 10:30am via Zoom
Click Here to register for the meeting. “Congresswoman DelBene will be there to give a legislative update and to answer questions. We will also have some candidates as well as Bailey Bressler who works for Break Blue Strategies.”

3. NEWWorkshop: How to Run for Office, Hosted by 40th Legislative District Democrats and Riveters Collective, Tuesday, Apr 27, 6:00pm – 7:30pm, Online
Click Here to register. Once you’ve signed up, we’ll send you a custom link for the Zoom video conference.

“Frustrated by the news? Tired by the lack of courageous leadership on issues you care about? YOU SHOULD RUN FOR OFFICE! YES, YOU! So many of our local elected officials go unopposed each year – regardless of their performance in office. This lack of accountability means our community’s needs, like housing, education, clean water, and so much more, go unmet. That’s why we need YOU to run. That’s why WE are here to help you run. OUR community needs YOU!

We’re getting to work today to build the momentum we need to get the best candidates elected to every seat this November. Taking this leap can be daunting. So, join us to learn what campaigning looks like, and why YOU should run for office. We’re excited to work in partnership with other progressive groups like the Skagit & Whatcom County Democrats to pool our collective campaign knowledge together to give you the best, most comprehensive information possible . . . If you need any kind of accommodation for the event, please email 40thdems@gmail.com to let us know. Earlier notice will allow us to make the event as accessible as possible despite our limitations in resources. Please send any questions to 40thdems@gmail.com!”

4. NEWIndivisible Skagit Rural Canvassing Project
Rural Organizing Matters – Sure, most of the people in Skagit County live in the towns and cities, but even our biggest city is small by any standard of comparison. And yet, the “urban/rural divide” is used effectively by local and national Republicans to make us believe the divide is real. Indivisible Skagit has been accepted for a pilot project of the National Indivisible Rural Caucus to develop a program of values-based deep canvassing to see what we can learn about effective rural organizing in Skagit around our democratic values. We’re inviting Skagit Democrats to join in. We don’t have to do this on our own. This project is fully staffed by Indivisible National with a whole raft of research-based data and resources to back us up.

What Difference Does It Make? – Consider this: In the 2020 Skagit elections for County Commissioner, the Democratic candidate beat his incumbent opponent in his home district (Commissioner District 1) both in the primary and the general election. He came within 150 votes of winning in District 2 during the general election, but lost by a landslide in Commissioner District 3, the most rural district in the County. We now have 4 more years of the Republican incumbent because of our lack of reach in easternmost Skagit.

Or this: In Legislative District 10, the Democratic challengers won in Skagit County and Island County, but lost their races because of the red and rural corner of Snohomish County that is also included in LD 10.

Let’s Figure It Out! – The Indivisible Rural Caucus Deep Values Pilot Program will guide us in learning the skills, crafting the messaging, and running our local project. Let’s learn how to reach Skagitonians in our most rural communities, and engage them effectively around democratic values. Of course, COVID-safe protocols will be designed into the program.

Join the fun and find out more at the kick-off zoom event on April 29.

5. Union Summer Internships
“Union Summer is the paid ($17/hour) summer internship program of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions for people interested in getting involved in the labor movement. Union Summer participants will spend an exciting seven weeks — June 20 to August 7 — working full-time and hands-on with different campaigns, talking to our community, marching for justice, and gaining first-hand experience in the movement.” The application deadline is Friday, May 7. Click Here for more information. Click Here to apply.

6. UPDATEDMark Your Calendar – Washington State Democrats will present “Build the Blue”, a virtual gala Tuesday, May 11, 4:30pm, online
” In order to build relationships and strengthen Democratic values across the state this next year, the Washington State Democrats will be hosting our first-ever “Build the Blue” Gala on May 11th! We hope you will join Democrats from all over Washington State to hear live speeches from key party leaders from the national scene, celebrate our 2020 victories and plot the course for an even more successful election cycle.”

Click Here for tickets and more information.

7. NEWJoin the conversation with Skagit County Democrats on Facebook and Twitter!
Engaging with our social media content by liking, commenting, and sharing helps us reach more viewers, builds community in a digital space, and provides opportunities to better mobilize when opportunities arise. If you haven’t already, please consider:

For questions about Skagit County Democrats social media, please contact OMP@skagitdemocrats.org.

8. Skagit County Democrats Volunteer Opportunities

  • Are you active with social media? If you love to Tweet or post Facebook messages, we need you! Please contact Kat Lohman at kat@sidenoteconsult.com.
  • Are you a policy wonk and are actively tracking bills? Please be part of a new committee – the Legislative Committee. Contact chair@skagitdemocrats.org.
  • We have various Committees needing volunteers, including the Candidate Recruitment, Social Media, Finance, Outreach, and Fundraising Committees. Due to Covid-19, all events and meetings are online, and everyone is working from home. 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. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. NEW(Vice) Chair’s Corner (Nathaniel Block)
“Fellow Democrats, for those of you that don’t know me, my name is Nathaniel Block and I am our interim vice-chair. Lynn has asked me to give you a recap about the wonderful virtual retreat the Executive Board had two weeks ago. At the virtual retreat we were able to plan how we are going to win races up and down the ballot in every corner of our county over the next two years. We made sure to look at how we did in 2020 and what that means for 2021. We have decided that we need to make sure that we are promoting the wonderful work that President Biden and Congress are doing, including pumping up the American Rescue Plan. We also need to make sure we are showing all of the phenomenal work our State Legislature has done to get us through COVID and create a better state for all us. Finally we need to increase our voter contact efforts, get more PCOs, and continue to raise money to help our candidates. To do this, we all need to work together to get Democrats elected in every place and in every race this year. We want to make sure we are winning races in every town in our county, including Sedro-Woolley, Concrete, La Conner, Anacortes, Burlington, and Mount Vernon. In the next couple of months we will let you know about exciting opportunities to make sure we can accomplish this goal. Together we will turn Skagit completely blue.”

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

COMMUNITY EVENTS

1. NEWRoad work on Josh Wilson Road
Be advised, the County is widening Josh Wilson Road west of Avon-Allen Road. Through July, no road closures are anticipated and there should be minimal impacts on traffic with only minor delays. A full road closure will take place in August in order to replace a culvert along Josh Wilson.

2. NEWCindy Black, Director of Fix Democracy First, will present filibuster basics Monday, Apr 19, 10:00am at Skagit League of Women Voters A&A (Action and Advocacy), via Zoom
Time permitting, she will also discuss components of HR 1: For the People Act. League membership is not required to attend.

3. NEWNo More Bombs presents Hanford’s Legacy, Tuesday, May 18, 7:00pm, Online
Author and activist, Trisha Pritikin has fought over thirty years for justice for the thousands who, like herself and her family, have suffered serious illnesses and death following radiation exposure at Hanford and elsewhere. Hanford, in our backyard, produced the plutonium used for the first ever nuclear bomb, Trinity, and on Nagasaki and continued producing it for more than 40 years. “No More Bombs” is honored to host Trisha and we hope you can join us. A Zoom link will be available at www.nomorebombs.org a few days prior to the presentation  . . . We’ll give away two copies of The Hanford Plaintiffs!”

4. Farmer’s Markets
Common sense COVID-19 precautions remain important. Keep a 6’ distance between yourself and other people. Wear an appropriate face covering per state regulations. Practice good hygiene – wash your hands with soap and water before you visit, while you are here at one of our handwash stations, and when you get home. Stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms.

  • Anacortes – Saturday, 9:00am – 2:00pm, The Depot, 611 R Avenue – Opens May 1
  • Concrete – Saturday, 10:00am – 1:00pm, 45821 Railroad Avenue – Opens May 29
  • Mount Vernon – Saturday, 9:00am – 2:00pm, Riverwalk Park, 501 Main Street, Opens May 15
  • Sedro-Woolley – Wednesday, 3:00pm – 7:00pm, Hammer Heritage Square, Corner of Metcalf & Ferry Streets, Opens May 19

5. The 2021 Tulip Festival began Apr 1
After taking a year off because of the pandemic, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival will return to local fields, art galleries, restaurants and more through April–with COVID-19 modifications in place. RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town will be open, but nonrefundable ticket purchases must be made in advance, and there will be restrictions on the number of people who can visit. If you wish, you can drive by some of the fields in your car. There is a charge for parking, and health and safety rules will be enforced. The tulips bloom according to Mother Nature, but historically April 5-19 is a time for peak petal power. 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.” Click Here for recent Skagit Valley Herald article.

To ensure social distancing can be practiced, Tulip Town and Roozengaarde are both ticketing entrance to their facilities this year. If you’re planning on visiting, get your tickets ahead of time at https://tuliptown.com/ and https://www.tulips.com/, respectively.

6. Skagit County Commissioners recognize April 18-24, 2021 as National Healthcare Volunteer Week
Click Here for more information.

7. Central Samish Valley Neighbors Seek Community Support to Fight Mine Development
“The Central Samish Valley Neighbors continue their grassroots effort to ensure reasonable conditions are placed on a mine development in their community. They face the prospect of a massive increase in heavy, industrial truck traffic on the area’s quiet rural roads. As proposed by Puyallup-based Miles Sand & Gravel, the permit for the Grip Road Gravel Mine north of Sedro-Woolley would allow up to 30 truck and trailer trips per hour each way on Grip Road and Prairie Road over the next 25 years, without any meaningful road safety improvements.

After five years of pushback from the community, it still looks like the permit will be approved without conditions that will protect public safety and the environment. Once the excavation starts on the 60-acre open pit mine, there is no going back — dump trucks will flood our narrow and substandard roads for the foreseeable future. The group has issued a fundraising appeal to pay for a traffic and road safety analysis. Learn more here.”

8. NEWCOVID-19 Case Counts rising in Skagit
From the Skagit County COVID-19 update of Apr 14. “Case numbers in Skagit County have continued to rise over the past two weeks, with daily case counts repeatedly in the double digits. Multiple daily case numbers in the 20s will cause Skagit County to exceed the metric of <200 new cases per 100,000 population per 14 days. Exceeding this metric would result in Skagit County moving back to Phase 2 of reopening. While it is not guaranteed that Skagit County will move backward on May 3, our rising numbers are not showing promise at this time. Please continue to use precautions: wear your mask, limit social gatherings, keep a 6-foot distance, and get vaccinated when you can. Let’s continue to move forward, not back.”

9. Skagit County continues in COVID-19 Phase 3 Recovery
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.

10. 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. Phase Finder, the state’s online vaccine eligibility tool, will no longer be required to verify COVID-19 vaccine eligibility beginning Wednesday, March 31st. All vaccine providers have been provided guidance around this change and should no longer be requiring proof of eligibility at vaccine appointments. 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.

On March 31, Governor Inslee announced that all adults, ages 16 and older, are eligible for vaccination beginning on April 15.

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.

11. Drive-through COVID-19 testing has now closed – Testing is available elsewhere
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 for Wednesday, Apr 21 – Skagit County Communication Coordinator, Laura Han, provides a COVID update
Laura Han provides some information on the various vaccines in use, including the one shot Johnson & Johnson one which is currently on hold & explains whether people who had that need to worry. (No.) She provides info on who is currently eligible for vaccination (18 y/o and older). One vaccine will work for 16 y/o but those are in short supply so not being currently given. The county currently seems to have an uptick in cases, so unless that changes, we will no longer be in Phase 3, with 50% capacity in businesses (including restaurants). Phase 2 would take us back to 25% capacity. Recently, Skagit deaths are down but hospitalizations are up. Laura gives a bit of personal information on how her life has been affected by COVID (& no she did not get COVID).