Editor’s Note: Please excuse the tardiness of this newsletter. Your intrepid editor has been fighting a nasty cold (not COVID) this past week and is only now feeling human again. My apologies.
1. NEW – 40th Legislative District Representative Debra Lekanoff is up for the Emily’s List Rising Star Award
Click Here to register a vote for her on the Emily’s List website.
2. NEW – Democracy Summer, an educational program dedicated to training the next generation of political activists, organizers and leaders, is open for application
The program is open to high-school and college-aged activists. Fellows will receive a $500 stipend and are expected to participate Monday-Thursday for a total of 20-30 hours a week. Additional information and the application for the Fellowship can be found HERE. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 12. Information can also be found on Suzan DelBene’s website: https://www.delbeneforcongress.com/democracy-summer/.
3. Workshop: 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org!”
4. Indivisible 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.
Pilot Program Kickoff Call!!
Registration Link: http://bit.ly/DVCPilot
Contact: Bennett Massey Helber (email@example.com) of Skagit Democrats, or Christie Stewart Stein (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Indivisible Skagit to find out more.”
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. 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. Join 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:
- 1. Following us on Twitter.
- 2. Liking our Facebook page.
- 3. Joining the new Skagit County Democrats private Facebook group. This is open to all Skagit Dems members, voters, and like-minded constituents. The link directs you to the group, where you’ll have to request to join and an Online Media Posting (OMP) Committee member will approve your request.
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 email@example.com.
- Are you a policy wonk and are actively tracking bills? Please be part of a new committee – the Legislative Committee. Contact firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.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 – Links 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.
- The Pandemic Proved That Our Toilets Are Crap
- Climate Change Has Knocked Earth Off Its Axis
- How Darwin’s ‘Descent of Man’ Holds Up 150 Years After Publication
- Limited Opportunity – Changes in Employment and the American Middle Class
1. NEW – Skagit County Commissioners Schedule East County Virtual Public Forum for Wednesday, May 12, 3:00pm
“East County residents with questions for the Skagit County Board of Commissioners – or representatives from various county departments and local agencies – are invited to attend a virtual public forum May 12th. The forum is set for 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 12 where public comment will be taken through a virtual meeting platform. The meeting will focus on COVID-19 and COVID-19 recovery, as well as the future of the East County Resource Center and Library space. However, residents are encouraged to discuss any issue of interest. The meeting will include presentations from Skagit County Public Health, Skagit County Administrative Services, and Community Action of Skagit County.
To attend the meeting, dial in from your computer, tablet, or smartphone at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/271182277. You may also call in to the meeting by dialing (571) 317-3122; Access Code: 271-182-277. For more information or assistance with how to access the virtual meeting, please contact the Commissioners’ Office at email@example.com or 360-416-1300.”
2. Road 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.
3. No 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.”
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 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.
7. UPDATED – COVID-19 Vaccine
“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.
8. NEW – Northwest Labs is offering drive-through COVID-19 Testing by appointment at the Burlington Outlet Mall
“Beginning Thursday, April 22nd, Northwest Laboratories will be offering drive-through COVID-19 Testing in the Burlington Outlet Mall parking lot, located at 448 Fashion Way, Burlington, WA 98233. The Testing Site is available to anyone, at any age, needing or wanting a test. This new testing location will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8:30am-11:45am and 1:15pm-4:30pm. Testing is provided by appointment only. Appointments can be made online at https://www.testdirectly.com/patient/home or by phone at (360) 543-6904. Both the call-center and the Testing Site will have bilingual staff available.
Northwest Laboratories will be using a ThermoFisher TaqPath RT-PCR test at this location and results will be available within 24-48 hours. This is not a self-swab test; qualified nurses will collect swab samples. Testing is available to those with or without medical insurance. In most cases, tests will be provided at no-cost to the individual, although some restrictions may apply. For full details, visit: https://www.nwlaboratory.com/billing-faq/. For those who are insured, insurance information will be required at the time of scheduling. For more information about the new Testing Site at the Burlington Outlet Mall, please contact Northwest Laboratories at (360) 543-6904 or visit https://www.nwlaboratory.com/. For a list of other testing options near you, go to: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/TestingforCOVID19/TestingLocations.”
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 – SOSU Wednesday, Apr 28 – Skagit Nature Rx and Emily Karmy
Emily helped develop and now administers the Skagit Nature Rx program at United General Hospital District 304 and is a Washington Service Corps volunteer. Nature Rx is a program that encourages people to spend time on group walks in the Skagit Valley under the leadership of Emily and others.