Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for September 13, 2021

DEMOCRATIC EVENTS

1. Fidalgo Democrats will next meet Tuesday, Sep 14, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, via Zoom
“Candidate Forum for Anacortes Mayor, City Council, School Board, Fidalgo Pool – All candidates for Anacortes Mayor, City Council member, School Board member and Fidalgo Pool Commissioner have been invited to join this forum. The candidates will have the opportunity to introduce themselves, followed by a period of prepared questions from our moderator, Shay Schual-Berke, former Washington State Representative. Time will be set aside for questions from the audience. You are invited to submit your questions in advance of the forum to Shay Schual-Berke at: shayschualberke@gmail.com. This is your opportunity to meet the candidates and to have your questions answered.” For more information contact Barbara Cooper, 360-293-4123.

2. NEWThe 10th Legislative District Democrats Quarterly Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Sep 18, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Click Here to register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

3. NEWThe 40th Legislative District Democrats General Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Sep 19, 2:00pm – 5:00pm (check in beginning at 1:30pm), via Zoom
Click Here for the Zoom link. Click Here for the agenda.

4. NEWThe Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce is hosting a virtual candidate forum for the 5 contested seats for Mount Vernon City Council
Click Here for more information. Click Here to register.

5. NEWThe 39th Legislative District Democrats Executive Board meets Sunday, Sep 26, 10:30am, via Zoom
Click Here to register for this meeting.

6. UPDATEDThe GOTV (Get Out the Vote) Card Project
“It’s going to take more folks writing cards to reach our goal. Local elections are not the ones drawing large number of voters – but they are the ones that affect our lives and our pocketbooks the most directly. They are important! If, between now and Oct 9, you can write 20 (or more!) GOTV postcards, please send your order now! If you’ve already written, get the first batch back to HQ, and pickup more!

Send an email to Carol Sullivan at carolosully@yahoo.com with your name, number of cards (multiples of 10) and pickup location: Mount Vernon – Skagit Dems HQ; Anacortes, or Shelter Bay/La Conner. NO POSTAGE REQUIRED – cards are returned via pickup location by Oct 9 to Skagit Democrats for bulk mailing. Please volunteer NOW! “

Here are the basics:

  • ORDER your cards with a SEPARATE, NEW email to Carol Sullivan (so your order doesn’t get lost in an email thread) at carolosully@yahoo.com:
    • Use the following convention: Last, First names, Number of cards (20 minimum), Pickup/drop off location: (Mount Vernon or Anacortes)
      • Mount Vernon: Skagit Dem Headquarters, 2021 East College Way, Suite 104 (east end of the building)
      • Anacortes: 1319 8th Street, Anacortes (Robert & Andrea Doll’s front porch)
  • PICKUP at your location when an email notification is sent. NO POSTAGE required!
  • WRITE your cards using prepared script.
  • RETURN the cards BY SATURDAY, OCT 9 to either the Mount Vernon or Anacortes location for bulk mailing.

7. UPDATEDSkagit County Democrats Volunteer Opportunities

  • Are you willing to help us staff our new Headquarters Office? Please email staff@skagitdemocrats.org to let us know your interest and availability. OR you can simply click on and fill out this form and we will contact you and set you up with everything you need. For those concerned about COVID safety, please note that the office is not open to the public at this time, and masks are required whenever more than one person is present.
  • Are you a policy wonk and are actively tracking bills? Please be part of a new committee – the Legislative Committee. Contact chair@skagitdemocrats.org.
  • Are you technically oriented? The Communications and Technology Team is seeking volunteers to help with Zoom management for meetings. Please contact commtech@skagitdemocrats.org.

8. Redistricting News
The following was taken from Friday News & Action with Tina Podlodowski of Aug 20
“Now that the final census data has been released for our state’s redistricting process, the bipartisan Redistricting Commission has released their planned schedule for major dates to track in the rest of the process:

  • Currently – DrawYourWA mapping tool (The mapping contractor has updated the MyDistricting mapping tool with 2020 Census geographies and 2020 Census population and demographic data adjusted for the relocation of individuals in state custody to their previous known addresses per RCW 44.05.140.)
  • Tuesday, September 21 – Commissioners will each release their proposed state legislative district map.
  • Tuesday, September 28 – Commissioners will each release their proposed congressional district map.
  • Tuesday, October 5 (7 p.m.) – Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on state legislative map proposals.
  • Saturday, October 9 (10 a.m.) – Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on congressional map proposals.
  • Friday, October 22 – Deadline to ensure full consideration of third-party map submissions by the Commission.
  • Monday, November 15 – Deadline for Commission to submit final maps to the Legislature.

. . . If you want to learn more about immediate steps for getting involved, our state party’s Redistricting Committee hosted a great webinar training on how to use the Draw Your WA tool along with third-party mapping software like the free Dave’s Redistricting tool. We encourage folks who want to get involved and learn more about redistricting and their communities to watch the webinar here.”

2021 Skagit County Redistricting – In Skagit County information on the redistricting of County Commissioner Districts can be found HERE.

“Two [more] public meetings and one public hearing are scheduled for redistricting:

  • September 27, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (public meeting)
  • October 25, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (public meeting)
  • November 22, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (public hearing for a final redistricting plan)

Meetings this fall will be held either in a hybrid format or fully virtually, depending on best Public Health guidance at the time. If you have questions or need additional information, please visit https://www.publicinput.com/skagitcountyredistricting. You can also email redistricting@co.skagit.wa.us or call 360-416-1700 for more information.”

9. Important dates for upcoming election season
The following is from the Skagit County Auditor’s Office:

November 2, General Election

  • September 17 – Military and Overseas ballots mailed
  • TBD – Official Logic & Accuracy test
  • October 13 – Domestic ballots mailed
  • October 25 – Deadline to register or update existing registration online and by mail
  • November 2 – Deadline for in-person registration and voter updates – Closes 8:00 PM
  • November 2 – 2021 General Election Day – Closes 8:00 PM
  • November 16 – Canvassing Board Meeting – 1:30 PM*
  • November 23 – General Election Certification – 1:30 PM*

*Times may change if a scheduling conflict arises. Changes will be posted on the Auditor’s web site.

All Logic & Accuracy Tests, Canvassing Board, and Certification Meetings are held at: Skagit County Elections Department, Skagit County Auditor’s Office, 700 South 2nd Street, Room 201, Mount Vernon, WA 98273.

10. Skagit County Democrats 2021 Endorsements
The membership has endorsed the following candidates running for office or a board position this year.  

  • Anacortes
    • Ryan Walters
      • Position Sought: Mayor, City of Anacortes
      • Campaign name: Committee to Elect Ryan Walters
      • Campaign E-mail address and phone number: campaign@ryanwalters.com; (360) 610-7770
      • Campaign website: https://www.ryanwalters.com/
      • Campaign mailing address: 1803 10th Street, Anacortes WA 98221
    • Amanda Hubik
      • Position sought: Anacortes City Council, Position 4 (At-Large)
      • Campaign name: Friends of Amanda Hubik  
      • Campaign E-mail address and phone number: Amanda4Anacortes@gmail.com; 360-499-3856
      • Campaign website: https://www.amandahubik.com/
      • Campaign mailing address: PO Box 3014, Anacortes WA 98221
    • Sara Holahan
      • Position Sought: Anacortes City Council, At-Large Pos. 5
      • Campaign name: Citizens for Sara
      • Campaign E-mail address: sara@saraholahan.com
      • Campaign website: http://saraholahan.com/
      • Campaign mailing address: PO Box 1702 Anacortes, WA 98221
  • Burlington
    • Tonya Bieche
      • Position Sought: Burlington-Edison School District 100, Director District 2
      • Campaign name: Tonya Bieche
      • Campaign E-mail address and phone number: biechebieche@gmail.com; (360)757-1020
  • Mount Vernon
    • Iris Carias
    • Juan Morales
      • Position Sought: Mount Vernon City Council, Ward 1, Pos. 1
      • Campaign name: Juan Morales
      • Campaign E-mail address: morales2021.citycouncil@gmail.com
      • Campaign mailing address: PO BOX 2261, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
    • Richard Brocksmith
      • Position Sought: Mount Vernon City Council, At-Large Position
      • Campaign name: People for Richard Brocksmith
      • Campaign E-mail address and phone number: electrbrocksmith@gmail.com; 360-826-2094
      • Campaign website: https://www.richardbrocksmith.com/
      • Campaign mailing address: PO Box 372 Mount Vernon WA 98273
    • Melissa Beaton
      • Position Sought: Mount Vernon City Council, Ward 3, Position 2
      • Campaign name: Re-Elect Melissa Beaton to Mount Vernon City Council
      • Campaign email and phone number: melissabeaton@comcast.net; (360)630-7070
    • Chris Sadler
    • Stefanie LeJeunesse
      • Position sought: Skagit Public Hospital District Commissioner Pos. 6
      • Campaign name: Vote Stefanie: Stefanie LeJeunesse for Skagit Public
      • Hospital District Commissioner
      • Campaign E-mail address and phone number: info@votestefanie.com; (360)223-3741
      • Campaign website: http://www.votestefanie.com/
  • Sedro Woolley
    • David Baer
    • Joseph Burns
    • Enrique Lopez Cisneros
      • Position Sought: Sedro Woolley School District 101, Director Dist.1
      • Campaign name: Enrique Lopez Cisneros
      • Campaign E-mail address and phone number: sedrounited@gmail.com

11. 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. NEWAll the Schools have now started
Be on the lookout for the youngsters. WATCH OUT FOR KIDS ON THE ROADS!!!

2. NEWAnacortes Family Center Shred-a-Thon Fundraiser, Saturday, Sep 18, 9:00am – 1:00pm, Walgreen’s Parking Lot 909 17th Street, Anacortes
“Bring your old documents to be destroyed! This is a fundraiser benefiting the Anacortes Family Center’s shelter for women, children and families in need. 100% of the proceeds support AFC’s life-changing and life-saving programs! All donations are tax-deductible. Questions? Contact Heather at 360-293-2993 ext. 114 Suggested donation $20/box, $10/box minimum.”

3. NEWThe Statewide Poverty Action Network will be conducting a listening session for Mount Vernon, Thursday, Sep 23, 4:00pm – 6:30pm, via Zoom
Click Here to register. “Statewide Poverty Action Network is a grassroots legislative advocacy organization that works to improve our state’s safety net programs that are essential to Washingtonian’s financial security. We are conducting Listening Sessions throughout the state to hear from poor and working-class people about their everyday struggles and what statewide policies would create positive impacts for them.”

4. NEWSkagit Superior Court starts Eviction Resolution Pilot Program
Click Here for more information.

5. NEWSkagit County is seeking proposals from qualified individuals or firms interested in serving as the Skagit County Land Use Hearings Examiner
“The deadline for submission of interests and proposals is October 1, 2021.” Click Here for more information.

6. Skagit County partners with PaintCare to recycle household paint for free
Skagit County transfer station is now accepting all types of household paint at the Hazardous Waste Building for free recycling. This is made possible in part by PaintCare, a statewide non-profit working in paint stewardship. “We’re really excited to be able to work with PaintCare and offer this service,” said Margo Gillaspy, Skagit County Transfer Station Manager. “Previously we told customers that they had to dry out latex paint with newspaper or kitty litter, which could be a costly and laborious process. Now customers can drop off all types of household paint directly at our Hazardous Waste building where it can be reused or recycled . . . Paint products are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, located at 14104 Ovenell Road, Mount Vernon, WA 98273. The facility is open 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. the first Saturday of every month.” Click Here for more information.

7. Skagit County Rental Assistance Program
The Skagit County Rental Assistance Program provides financial assistance for rent and utilities to income-eligible Skagit County renters and their landlords who have been impacted by COVID-19. Click Here for more information.

8. UPDATEDCOVID-19 Information
“Beginning on Monday, September 13, the Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site will be changing its operations, limiting testing and vaccination services to individuals who live, work, or go to school in Skagit County. This change is due to high demand and supply chain issues with testing supplies

Also beginning on September 13, testing will be limited to individuals 5 and older who are actively exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, or who have had a known COVID-19 exposure. Limiting to these two groups will allow us to ensure access to testing for disease mitigation purposes.”

Click Here to see the Level of Community Transmission in Skagit County. Click Here for the Skagit County Public Health webpage.

Masking – State-wide Mask Mandate now in Effect
“Today, Governor Inslee announced that the current mask mandate will be expanding effective Monday, September 13 to include large outdoor events with 500 or more attendees. This new mask mandate will apply to all people five years and older in Washington State, and will be required regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.

The current statewide indoor mask mandate has been in effect since August 23, requiring that all people over the age of 5 wear a mask in indoor public settings, including places like restaurants, grocery stores, and malls. The state has been strongly recommending masks outdoors in crowds of any size if social distancing could not be maintained, in the hopes of increasing public protection against COVID-19.”

Masking helps protect those who are unvaccinated, including children who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated and others with auto-immune or other conditions that prevent them from being vaccinated. Parents should be reminded that there is real risk to children until vaccinations are available. Kids who aren’t vaccinated still need to wear masks, though children younger than two years old should never wear a mask due to the risk of suffocation.

Breakthrough Cases Explained
“A breakthrough case happens when someone who is fully vaccinated (14 days past their final vaccine dose) tests positive for COVID-19. People who catch COVID-19 within these 14 days are not classified as breakthrough cases since their body has not built full protection yet. It is important to remember that breakthrough cases are expected, just like with any vaccine. That’s because none of the COVID-19 vaccines are 100% effective at preventing infection.

So why get vaccinated? Fully vaccinated people have much stronger protection against COVID-19 compared to those who aren’t. Vaccinated people who get infected are less likely to experience symptoms (if any), compared to those who are unvaccinated. Vaccinated people are also likely to recover faster, even against delta. CDC data shows that over 99.99% of people who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 did not die or even require hospitalization. The highest hospitalization rates remain in areas with low vaccination rates.

As of September 2nd, Washington state data showed there were 21,757 vaccine breakthrough cases among more than 4.1 million vaccinated people from January 17 — August 21, 2021. Although that might sound like a high number, this means that only 0.5% of vaccinated Washingtonians had breakthrough infections. Of the breakthrough cases that we have data for, just 9% required hospitalization and less than 1% died of a COVID-related illness.”

COVID-19 Vaccines & Testing
Skagit County is once again operating a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site at the Skagit County Fairgrounds. Both testing and vaccination is available to the public free of cost.

  • Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • South Gate Entrance of the Fairgrounds: 501 Taylor St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273
  • No insurance or appointment required!
  • Vaccination is available for anyone 12+; we will have first and second doses available, as well as 3rd doses for certain immunocompromised individuals. Please talk with your doctor before seeking a third dose.
  • Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines available (based on supply)
  • Antigen testing is available for anyone 5+.
  • Have questions? Please call (360) 416-1500.

“Skagit County Public Health will now make third doses available to immunocompromised individuals. People are asked to speak with their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.”

“Gov. Jay Inslee today announced a vaccination requirement for employees working in K-12, most childcare and early learning, and higher education, as well as an expansion of the statewide mask mandate to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.” Click Here for more information.

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.

Other Testing Options
“With case numbers on the rise and delta circulating in Skagit County, Public Health wants to remind everyone that getting tested is still essential in our fight against the spread of COVID-19. As a reminder, whether you have been vaccinated or not, if you’ve been around someone who has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms.

For a full list of local testing options, go to: https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirusTESTsites.htm.

Skagit County Public Health is now offering free antigen testing at our Wednesday evening vaccine clinics at the Skagit County Administrative Building (700 S 2nd St., Mount Vernon, WA 98273). We accept anyone 5 years and older; no appointment or insurance required. Test results are available in 15 minutes. Note: This is NOT intended as a pre-travel test.”

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Speak Up, Speak Out
Although Speak Up, Speak Out (SUSO) has not been airing new broadcasts, past broadcasts going back to March 2006 are still available for the next year at their website: http://speakupspeakoutradio.org/.