Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for September 27, 2021

DEMOCRATIC EVENTS

1. NEWVirtual Coffee Chat with the Anacortes City Council Candidate Amanda Hubik on Monday Mornings (through October), 9:00am – 10:00am, via Zoom
Click Here to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

2. NEWTuesday, Sep 28 is National Voter Registration Day!
Click Here for the Washington State Voter Registration portal.

3. Virtual House Party hosted by Velit Seyfettin for Ashley Gregorious, Candidate for 10th Legislative District Representative, Position 1, Wednesday, Sep 28, 6:00pm – 6:45pm, via Zoom
Click Here to register. Zoom information will be provided with RSVP/donation.

4. NEWJoin Ashley Gregorius for a PRIVATE Concert by Tret Fure!, Wednesday, Sep 29, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Virtual on Zoom
“Join Ashley Gregorius for a Private Concert by Musical Legend Tret Fure! Featuring Special Guest Senator Claire Wilson . . . Meeting info provided with RSVP/ticket!” Click Here for ticket purchase.

5. NEWVolunteers needed for Joe Burns, candidate for Sedro-Woolley City Council, door-knocking each Saturday until election
If you can help, email volunteer@electjoeburns.com. This is a grassroots campaign funded by the people who live and work in our community. Please donate and help Joe Burns win this election! Click Here to donate to the campaign.

6. Tax Town Halls: Northwest Region, Wednesday, Oct 6, 2:30pm OR 6:30pm, online
“The Tax Structure Work Group wants to hear from you to understand your priorities when it comes to taxes. The Tax Structure Work Group invites individual taxpayers and business owners to share their opinions about the state tax structure during a virtual Tax Town Hall for your region . . .

7. UPDATEDThe GOTV (Get Out the Vote) Card Project
“Yes! There’s still time to get more cards, write them, and return by Oct. 7! If you collected them from Mount Vernon, return them there – and in Anacortes, you know what porch they belong on!

The office, at 2021 College Way, Ste. 104, is staffed by volunteers, and their schedules can change (see below for the current schedule). Please call ahead to check to be sure there’s someone there: 360-336-1555. (I think there are cards in a plastic bin outside HQ doors for collection tomorrow, Friday, but I’m in Bothell, and can’t verify that personally)

Please, if possible, sort by ZIP code when returning as they must be in ZIP code batches per Post Office requirements for bulk mailing.

Your cards will be mailed out just before ballots are mailed, and should be just the nudge voters need to vote in this local General Election, where so many of our important local agencies are decided – like City Council, School Boards, Hospital Commissions to name just three. If you are following national news, you know how important these local elections are going to be going forward in a pandemic and in terms of local economies.

Please take time to shake out your weary fingers and then put your hands together for a self-congratulating clap – or give yourself a well-deserved PoB (Pat on the Back!).

And the Empty-Ink Pen Award is going “pens down” to Nancy Jenny (with help from friend Mary Rios) who has written 500 cards! Repeat, REPEAT and REPEAT – writers have been the backbone of this postcard campaign. But please know that even if you just wrote 20 cards, the total would not have reached what it has without your help! As I’ve said all along, it does, indeed, take a “valley”, working together, to Get Out The Vote! We are definitely . . . Stronger Together, Carol”

8. UPDATEDNew Headquarters Staffing Schedule
We are slowly working on returning our new headquarters to regular hours. WE NEED MORE VOLUNTEERS! Shifts are in two-hour blocks. 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. Staffing hours for this week are:

  • Monday – 12:00pm – 2:00PM
  • Tuesday – 12:00pm – 4:00pm & 4:45pm – 6:00pm
  • Wednesday – 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Thursday – 12:00pm – 2:00pm & 4:00pm – 6:00pm

9. NEWMissed the Fidalgo Democrats candidate forum Sep 14?
Click Here for the YouTube link.

10. In Memoriam – Warren Keuffel
Click Here for Warren’s obituary.

11. Skagit County Republicans’ “Election Integrity Audit” is NOT supported by Skagit County government
The following is taken from a news release from the Skagit County Auditor’s Office: “Skagit County has received multiple reports from community members that individuals have been going door to door throughout the community asking for personal information related to voting eligibility. Most of these individuals are believed to be affiliated with an ongoing Skagit Voter Integrity Project. [conducted by the Skagit County Republicans] County government, including the Skagit County Auditor, are not involved with this project. Skagit County Elections staff will never come to your home.

Click Here for the full press release.

12. Skagit County Democrats Volunteer Opportunities

  • Are you willing to help us staff our new Headquarters Office? – Office staff volunteers: Help staff our open office hours each week. Projects for downtime will be provided! Contact staff@skagitdemocrats.org.
  • 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.

13. UPDATEDRedistricting 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.”

Commission Proposed Legislative Maps
The first set of Commissioner-proposed maps can be seen 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 via Zoom – Click Here)
  • 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.”

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

November 2, General Election

  • 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.

15. 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
  • 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

16. 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. NEWSafe and Sane Skagit is sponsoring a virtual meeting with 10th Legislative District Dave Paul and the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Monday, Sep 27, 4:00pm – 4:30pm, via Zoom
This meeting is an opportunity to:

  • Hear from Representative Paul on the 2021 Session in terms of GVP legislation
  • Encourage him to support GVP legislative priorities in the 2022 Session
  • Thank him for voting yes on some of the historic legislation passed during the 2021 Session
  • Ask him to continue supporting Police Accountability laws passed last Session
  • Ask him how you can support him during the upcoming 2022 Session, especially if you are in the 10th LD

Click Here for the Zoom link. When registering, say you are with Safe and Sane Skagit. If you have a gun safety-related question to ask Representative Paul, please email Nelago Nuunyango, Alliance Field Organizer, at nelago@wagunresponsibility.org.

2. NEWConstrained Policing – What the Police Can Do and What You Can Do presented by Mount Vernon Police Chief Chris Cammock, Thursday, Sep 30, 8:30am 0 10:00am, via Zoom
Free. Click Here to register. “With the introduction of new Washington state law around policing this summer, the Mount Vernon Police Department, like all state law enforcement agencies, has been required to change the way it responds to calls. MVPD’s Chief Chris Cammock will explain how these changes affect policing in the community and what business owners can do when they experience a disturbance or crime at or near their place of business.”

3. NEW23rd Annual Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms, Saturday and Sunday, Oct 2 & 3, 10:00am – 4:00pm, from Blanchard to Cedardale to Cokedale
“Keep an eye out for the orange flags at each farm stating Official Farm of The Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms. The family farms of Skagit Valley welcome and open their barns and lifestyles to you and your family for this one-of-a-kind event. On this weekend, you can have a hands-on-experience learning what it takes to run a farm, from growing crops to feeding animals. It is an opportunity to talk to your farmers and follow your food from the fields to the table.” Click Here for the farm map.

5. 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.

Booster Dose
The CDC Director signed off on PFIZER boosters for the following groups:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings
  • People aged 18–64 years with underlying medical conditions
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting

You can access your PFIZER booster shot at the Skagit Fairgrounds site beginning Monday, Sep 27.

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.”

Testing & Vaccination Options in Skagit County
“Skagit County continues to operate a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site at the Skagit County Fairgrounds at 501 Taylor Street in Mount Vernon, Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Services are free; no insurance or appointment is currently required.

At this time, people who live, work, or go to school in Skagit County are being prioritized at this site for testing. Antigen testing is limited to those 5+ who are symptomatic or have been recently exposed to COVID-19.

For a list of testing and vaccination providers, go to our website at https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirus.htm.

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/.