Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for June 21, 2021

DEMOCRATIC EVENTS

1. NEWHeadquarters Office Reopening — Volunteers Needed!
“As COVID restrictions have eased and vaccination rates have risen, we hope to reopen the Skagit Democrats office in downtown Mount Vernon in July! As many of our members who previously staffed the office are no longer available, we are in search of some great people to keep the doors open and be the face of the Skagit Dems to our community.

We’re also working on a suite of important projects that volunteers can work on when not interfacing with the public, so that we can improve our capacity to elect Democrats up and down the ballot! If you’re interested or would like more information, please contact staff@skagitdemocrats.org. Thanks for all you do!”

2. NEWCongratulations to our Endorsed Candidates
Congratulations to the following candidates for their endorsement by the Skagit County Democrats.

  • David Baer for Sedro-Woolley City Council, At-Large Position
  • Richard Brocksmith for Mount Vernon City Council At-Large Position (website)
  • Amanda Hubik for Anacortes City Council, Position 4 At-Large (website)
  • Stefanie LeJeunesse Skagit Public Hospital District Commissioner Position 6 (website)

Any other candidates seeking our endorsement will be considered at our next (and final) Endorsement Meeting on Jul 10. Click Here for more information on the Endorsement process.

3. The Washington State Redistricting Commission will hold an Outreach Meeting regarding the 2nd Congressional District, Tuesday, Jun 22, 6:00pm – 7:30pm, online
Click Here to register as a participant. Click Here for more detailed information.

4. NEW40th Legislative District Democrats Executive Board Meeting, Thursday, Jun 24, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, via Zoom
Click Here for the Zoom connection link.

5. The 10th Legislative District Democrats General Meeting has been rescheduled for Saturday, Jun 26, 10:30am – 12:30pm, via Zoom
Click Here to register for this meeting. The meeting will consider bylaws amendments.

6. Votebuilder training for all Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) will be conducted Saturday, Jun 26, 4:00pm
Registration and further information will be sent out to all PCO’s in an email. All PCOs should have login information from the state, however, if they need help with login information they can contact Bennett Massey Helber at bmasseyhelber@gmail.com or Nathaniel Block at nathaniel.r.block@gmail.com. The training will be provided by Bennet Massey Helber. There will be an approximately 30-minute refresher for experienced PCOs followed by an additional hour of instruction for those who need extra help. There will be other trainings provided to volunteers and candidates, but those dates have not yet been determined.

7. UPDATEDThe 39th Legislative District Democrats next General Meeting scheduled for Sunday, Jun 27, 10:30am HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Instead people are encouraged to attend a pride event.

8. NEWThe Fidalgo Democrats have shared a recording of their last meeting – ” Advancing human rights and democracy”
Click Here for the recording.

9. 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.

10. 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:

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

11. Skagit Democrats Fundraisers

  • 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. Call (360-336-1555) or email staff@skagitdemocrats.org for pick up times and payment information.

12. NEWThe Chair’s Corner from Lynn Campbell
“Many if not all of you received an email regarding a call to action regarding the passage of S-1 – the “For the People Act” – protecting the people’s voting rights. In case you did not receive it, here is a link asking you to join Skagit County Democrats in working with our allied organizations in participating to contact our State Senators requesting that they do all they can do to support the passage of this very important bill. Sign up for the Senate Call-a-Palooza here: http://bit.ly/Palooza-1.

In addition, we have joined efforts with many of our allied organizations to plan an event in the Mount Vernon area to hold an event on July 7. We hope to include speakers and a sign waving event to support passage of the very important Voters Protection Act. We are in the planning stages. If you would like to volunteer to assist with the planning, please contact Chair@skagitdemocrats.org.

Reflecting on Juneteenth, it makes me think of the debate going on over “critical race theory” – the effort by conservatives to demonize the idea of teaching students that racism exists in America and about some of the more shameful elements of our history. We can’t wish away the wounds of the past and denying that these historical wrongs ever happened. That will not heal the scars they left behind. We can’t meaningfully address problems like the opportunity gap in our schools, the school-to-prison pipeline in our criminal justice system, disproportionate use of force by police, the economic and environmental injustice in racially segregated communities, or the disparity in generational wealth without honestly recognizing that these issues are rooted in racism from the past and, unfortunately, all too often, in the present.

Teaching Critical Race theory is NOT meant to instill guilt or shame. It is truly meant to teach the true history of racism and how it came about in order for us to learn so that we don’t repeat past mistakes. Learning the history of our Nation, the wounds it created for people of color, (Indigenous people, Black, Brown, Jewish and the Asian communities to name a few) helps us to move forward as a Country so that we can truly build a “United States with Liberty and Justice for All.” It is important for us all to learn together in order to build a stronger union and work together to build a country in which we all feel pride.

On another note, there has been some confusion regarding the issue of our “office”. Every three years, our lease comes due for our current office space. Skagit County Democrats and the finance committee is simply doing it’s fiduciary duty in looking at our current space and exploring alternatives. To date, there have been no votes taken on this issue. Within the past week, a committee has formed to explore alternatives to present to our Executive Board. The Executive Board will then vote on what, if any, alternatives should be considered before presenting the issues to our Central Committee for discussion and a vote. If that time comes, all Members and Stakeholders will be invited and may speak at the meeting in order for the Central Committee to hear your input and make an informed vote.

We are not there yet but rest assured if we go any further in the decision-making process we will involve everyone. We currently receive many benefits from our current location and price which is not being overlooked by any means. Please stay tuned for any further updates. A very special thank you to all of who have reached out to me personally and asked what is going on. I appreciate you and I am fully committed to my promise to you all that you would be the first to know if changes were going to be proposed for a vote.

Our endorsement committee has been hard at work, as well as many folks who have been attending redistricting meetings and testifying. We have had a successful launch of “Contest Every Race”, and keep an eye out for all of our endorsements. Since these are non-partisan races, many democrats have filed with the PDC to run for office, and may not choose an endorsement from us.

Additionally, we have a new Office Manager, Karen Russell, who is assisting us in the long-awaited re-opening of the office. We are in the process of finding volunteers who can foster a warm, welcoming and inclusive environment in our office as well as providing projects for volunteers to work on while in the office so that every volunteer feels as though they are directly contributing to the important work of the party.

We are constantly refining the needs of our Communications and Technology committee so that we are more responsive, building a larger on-line presence, and are working across all committees through the Committee Chairs so that we have better communication amongst ourselves. On an exciting note, during the past 12 months we had 12,000 folks view our website.

We are contacting volunteers for our committees, our office space, and to assist our candidates. Our teams have been hard at work since January and we have many successes to celebrate.

In closing, we would like to thank all of you for your donations and for your participation in our on-line silent auction. We all remain hard at work at promoting unity, and working together so that we are truly stronger together! Lynn”

13. 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. Pride Lives Here: Voices of the LGBTQIA+ Community, Tuesday, Jun 22, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, via Zoom and streamed on Facebook
Click Here to register.

2. NEWCounty seeks applicants for Agricultural Advisory Board
Skagit County is again seeking members for a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to serve in an advisory role in making recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners regarding land use, planning, programs, and policy decisions relating to agriculture. The Skagit County Agricultural Advisory Board makes recommendations on policy and planning issues related to agriculture and represents the diversity of the agricultural economy, various agricultural operations, and districts of Skagit County. Click the above link for more information.

3. NEWCOVID-19 Information
Skagit County continues in COVID-19 Phase 3 Recovery

COVID-19 Vaccines – COVID-19 Skagit County Public Health DRIVE-THRU Vaccination Site is at the Skagit County Fairgrounds BUT IT WILL BE CLOSING NEXT MONTH. Operating hours: Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays, 10:00am – 4:00pm, drop-in or by appointment. Thursdays, 1:00pm – 7:00pm, drop-in clinic – no appointment required. The final day to drive-up or make an appointment for a first-dose COVID vaccine at the Skagit County Fairgrounds was Saturday, June 5. Skagit County Public Health will be closing out first-dose vaccine services at the Fairgrounds following this date and will focus primarily on second-dose vaccinations until June 26 when the site will close permanently. Other local vaccine sites can be obtained Here by entering your Zip code.

The final day to drive-up or make an appointment for a first-dose COVID vaccine at the Skagit County Fairgrounds will be Saturday, June 5. Skagit County Public Health will be closing out first-dose vaccine services at the Fairgrounds following this date and will focus primarily on second-dose vaccinations until June 26 when the site will close permanently. This move will allow Public Health to right-size operations and serve the community in more convenient locations through additional mobile clinics.

*New* Pop-Up Vaccine Clinics this summer! Find us at the following Skagit County locations:

All individuals 12 years of age and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Parent/guardian consent to vaccinate will be required for all dependent minors (ages 12-17) and can be provided either in-person or over the phone at the time of the appointment. Please note: 12-17 years old will need to receive the Pfizer vaccine, as this is the only vaccine currently approved for use in minors.

The CDC updated guidance for fully vaccinated people to say that those who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Everyone—including those who are fully vaccinated—must continue to mask on public transit, in schools, clinics, hospitals, and correctional facilities.

Click Here for the Skagit County Public Health Department vaccine webpage and the most current information about availability. Evening appointments are now available at the Fairgrounds. On March 31, Governor Inslee announced that all adults, ages 16 and older, are eligible for vaccination.

Skagit County now lists several locations for COVID-19 testing. Click Here for the list.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Listen to Speak Up! Speak Out! Radio
Listen to Speak Up! Speak Out! – a half hour 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.

SUSO will not be broadcasting a program this week. Previous shows are still available as noted above.