News from the Skagit County Democrats

Posted on January 3rd, 2022

Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for January 3, 2022



1. NEW – January 6 Vigil for Democracy, Thursday, Jan 6, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, 12th Street & Commercial Avenue (by Safeway), Anacortes
“This January 6, 2022, we need to show up and defend the values, country, and democracy we believe in. Will you join an outdoor vigil [in] Anacortes to mark the anniversary and demand action to hold insurrectionists accountable and defend our elections and freedom to vote?” Please join us on this important day. Click Here for more information. The weather is likely to be very cold so bundle up! Bring your signs. Steve Jones is the local coordinator – or 360-661-9365.

2. NEW – Legislative Send-off, sponsored by Skagit County Chambers of Commerce, Friday, Jan 7, 8:00am – 9:00pm, Sedro-Woolley Library, 110 West State Street, Sedro-Woolley
“The Skagit County Chambers will be hosting the legislators from the 10th, 39th and 40th districts for the annual Legislative Send-Off. Each legislator will share his or her priorities and expectations for the upcoming session. The audience will then have the opportunity to ask questions of the legislators. The meeting will be moved to Zoom if conditions dictate.” Click Here for more information, including registration.

3. NEW – The Skagit County Democrats Executive Board meets Saturday, Jan 8, 10:00am – 12:00pm, via Zoom
Zoom connection link will be forthcoming. If you do not receive an invitation and wish to attend, please contact

4. NEW – Fidalgo Democrats next meets Tuesday, Jan 11, 7:00pm – 9:00pm via Zoom
“Fidalgo Democrats welcome four community union leaders to discuss the issues that are happening in Skagit County and throughout Western Washington. What are the issues? What do they expect in the near future? And what are their goals? There will be time for questions. For more information and the zoom link call 360 293-4123.”

5. NEW – The 10th Legislative District Democrats next meet Saturday, Jan 15, 10:30am – 12:30pm via Zoom

6. NEW – Chair’s Corner

“Year in Review – 2021

Before I turn to our goals in 2022, I can’t begin to assess those goals until I look back with sadness for our personal losses, and great pride in the amount of work we have accomplished this past year. First, we need to memorialize two of our valued and beloved members who passed away this year, Bill Pfeifer and Warren Keuffel.

Bill was a CommTech stalwart and “jack of all trades”. In addition to being a regular and long-time Headquarters volunteer, he contributed to the audio-visual and tech equipment at HQ and worked on several of our CommTech projects. Bill was always one to help out with the many miscellaneous tasks.

Warren was a more recent contributor. He had a deep knowledge of CommTech and was part of our Security Team. In addition, he researched and introduced the application we are now using for managing memberships. Warren was a willing and very helpful member of our team.

Both of these men shared many qualities; they both had large loving hearts, they both jumped in to help wherever they could, and both men helped the most by their willingness to learn new tasks, and their genuine love for all of humanity and their commitment to Skagit County Democrats.

Turning to our Communications and Technology team, they began the year by continuing to support the working of the party virtually and remotely. They provided lots of support for Zoom and conducted many meetings via this new technology. We also continued to migrate much of our record-keeping and communications using the Google Suite of applications and domain management.

Kat Lohman became our Chair of the Online Media Posting group. Under her leadership we expanded our online presence to include Twitter and more regular and moderated postings to Facebook. In addition, we are currently working on revamping our website and hope to have the new website ready for the “real world” early in the coming year. A very special Thank you and appreciation to Don Ambrose for continuing to publish our weekly newsletter to over 1200 subscribers every week without fail!

One of the biggest projects that we took on this year was the physical move of our Headquarters Office network and equipment. We had numerous volunteers from Skagit, Whatcom, and Island Counties assisting us with the move. In addition to moving the equipment, this involved stringing new network cable, re-configuring the entire network, and bringing in a new telephone system. A big thank you to Karen Russell and Curt Huber for taking the lead and all of the many hours of organization they provided before, during, and after the move.

We have had people come and go and will probably continue to see some turnover and we are always on the lookout for tech-savvy folks to come help us out. While we try not to overwork anyone, as a group this is an all-volunteer hard-working dedicated bunch of Democrats just trying to keep the wheels on the bus going around.

Recruitment Committee – Washington State Democrats began a new program called Contest Every Race, wherein thousands and thousands of Democrats across our state received personal texts encouraging democrats to run for office. Skagit County Democrats quickly mobilized with a Recruitment Committee who then contacted the folks who responded to the texts and worked with candidates, teaching them what was required to run for office, how to run for office, etc. This was a first-year program, and after reflecting on both the strengths and weaknesses of this committee, we have determined that a policy needs to be written in order to recruit the most talented group of folks across all spectrums of our community. This policy will reflect our platform and our best practices going forward.

Membership – In 2021, we transitioned to a membership database that enables us to build membership as a team with a suite of tools we did not have before. I wish I could give you a solid number for new memberships in the past year, but since much of the transition to the new database required entering data, I can say for sure that we increased households by 23 (31 individuals) in just this last quarter of the year. We are conducting a membership drive reaching out to Democrats who are not members, and may not know about Skagit County Democrats.

Outreach – We participated in two awesome outreach events this year. The Skagit County Fair was a hit and it was so nice to be able to talk to community members again. We also marched in the Mount Vernon Holiday Parade and got to share in the holiday season with our neighbors. We had a great year despite the pandemic and we hope to do even more in 2022.

The Endorsement Committee recommended endorsement for 11 candidates and 8 of those were elected in our November election. Recently the endorsement committee met and made amendments to our endorsement policy which will be reviewed by the E-board meeting in January and then read for the Central committee in February and voted by the Central Committee in May.

Gala/Fundraising Committee – As you all know, it was a challenging year, to say the least. We ended up canceling the Gala as the Delta COVID variant progressed. To compensate for this loss, the Team was very resourceful in coming up with other fundraising activities…

  • In March we hosted Tina Podlodowski for a discussion/fundraising meeting.
  • In June we had a virtual silent auction using Auctria.
  • And more recently, we sent a request for donations to cover the rent.
  • Along the way, we did have some flag sales and other donations.

The Team stayed together and have provided continued support for all these activities. It was a lot of hard work and dedication.

Get Out The Vote – Volunteers and various allied groups organized and successfully mailed close to 5,000 postcards encouraging democrats to vote during the mid-terms and to please check out our website. During the November election in what has historically been called “an off-year” we witnessed voter turn-out of close to 42%. We know that we can and will increase voter turnout.

Legislative Committee – This is a brand-new committee as of this past year. We currently have four very motivated and talented folks who are actively tracking bills and corresponding votes on these bills as well as to help us track the current issues with which our County Commissioners are struggling. One such concern is over the use of FCC’s (Fully Contained Communities).

Headquarters – We invite you all to come into our new headquarters (masked and socially distanced, of course) to visit with our amazing headquarter staff. We have amazing volunteers, who have stepped up to cover our new office space. Angela Napoliello-Ivory has done a fabulous job organizing office staff, organizing volunteers to be election observers, and helping in countless ways on a daily basis.

Finally, we have an incredible Executive Board who supports our efforts all year round. The two busiest of whom are Cindy Lane, our Treasurer, and Brenda Cunningham, our Secretary. Both of these talented women put in more hours than I could ever count doing far more for us than simply keeping our financial records in impeccable order and our minutes of our meetings.

And to our PCO’s, I know we all share in Zoom fatigue and very real CoVid depression and anxiety, but thank you for showing up. Thank you to all of you who helped write postcards, make phone calls, doorbell and come to our Saturday morning meetings.

I can’t end this letter without thanking all of the volunteers who have tirelessly helped – not just during this past year, but also in years past. No organization can survive without its volunteers nor its members. We want to thank you all for the very hard work you have accomplished and all of your support during this past year.

Happy New Year! Lynn”

7. 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.


1. Guemes Ferry Replacement Project Neighborhood Meeting, Thursday, Jan 6 2022, via Zoom
“A pre-application neighborhood meeting via video teleconference has been scheduled to introduce the potential project described below. The purpose of the meeting is to inform neighbors and interested parties about the potential project at an early stage and to foster communication between the applicant and the public regarding potential project issues and opportunities for solutions.

PROJECT LOCATION: Guemes Island Ferry Terminal – located at the north end of I Avenue

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: To support anticipated ridership through 2060 and to limit environmental impacts of the ferry service, Skagit County is replacing the current vessel with a battery-electric vessel. The proposed project is for the necessary terminal modifications to support the larger and heavier vessel. Terminal modifications would include: installation of charging arm & maintenance platform, upgrade (3) dolphins, replace the loading apron, and update the wingwall.”

Click Here for the connection link. Meeting ID: 854 8289 6006.

2. NEW – The monthly Planned Parenthood rally is Saturday, Jan 8, 11:00am – 12:00pm, on the sidewalk in front of the Mount Vernon Health Center, 1805 East Division Street, Mount Vernon
Bring your signs, your friends, your family, and your masks.

3. NEW – Community Conversation: Growth in Skagit Valley, Tuesday, Jan 11, 6:00pm – 7:00pm, via Zoom
Attend an educational session on growth in Skagit Valley that includes a general overview of the County’s current growth management plan, FCCs [Fully Contained Communities] and what they are, and the impact of growth on local agriculture and our community.

Join Zoom Meeting – Meeting ID: 493 510 3876.

4. UPDATED – COVID-19 Information
Current Skagit County Information – The following is taken from the Skagit County COVID-19 Update of Dec 29

Local COVID-19 Case, Hospital & Vaccine Data

Skagit has a total of 13,820 cases; an increase of 358 new cases since last Wednesday. For those wanting to know how this differs from last week—we had 217 new cases between 12/15 and 12/22. This means we’ve seen 141 more new cases this week than last.

The best place to go to track our weekly case numbers is the state’s Data Dashboard. Go to then click Epidemiologic Curves and select Skagit County.

Skagit is currently reporting a total of 801 hospitalizations (increased by 14 since Wednesday), and 150 deaths (increased by 2).  

Skagit’s case rate is 287.5 per 100k over the last 14 days and our hospitalization rate is 5.4 per 100k over the last seven days. Public Health expects to see another dramatic spike in cases over the coming weeks, mostly due to the new Omicron variant. Other factors may include an increase in cases following the holidays, as well as more folks gathering indoors due to extreme cold.  

Vaccination and getting boosted is the best way to keep people from getting critically ill with COVID-19. To date, statewide data shows the following:

    Unvaccinated 12-34 year-olds in Washington are:
        4 times more likely to get COVID-19 compared with fully vaccinated 12-34 year-olds.
        19 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared with fully vaccinated 12-34 year olds.

    Unvaccinated 35-64 year-olds are:
        5 times more likely to get COVID-19 compared with fully vaccinated 35-64 year-olds.
        18 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared with fully vaccinated 35-64 year olds.

    Unvaccinated 65+ year-olds are:
        7 times more likely to get COVID-19 compared with fully vaccinated 65+ year-olds.
        12 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 compared with fully vaccinated 65+ year olds, and
        13 times more likely to die of COVID-19 compared with fully vaccinated 65+ year-olds.

A total of 220,549 doses have been administered in Skagit County. We are now at 77.8% partially vaccinated amongst our population 12 years and older, and 71.7% fully vaccinated amongst Skagitonians 12 and older.

Fairgrounds Closed due to Inclement Weather

Due to current severe weather conditions, the Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site will be closed until further notice.

Those who have made an appointment for a pediatric or booster vaccine at the Fairgrounds for this week will be contacted by Public Health to reschedule.

The Downtown Booster Clinic at the Public Health office will remain open this week, despite weather conditions. If you have made an appointment for the Downtown Booster Clinic this week, please keep your appointment time. If you would like to schedule, call Public Health at (360) 416-1500.

For a full list of vaccination providers available in Skagit County, go to Vaccine Locator or call the Hotline at 1-800-525-0127.

Boosters at the Public Health Office
Skagit County Public Health is providing booster doses for eligible individuals—BY APPOINTMENT—at the Skagit County Public Health Office, located at 700 S 2nd Street (3rd floor) in downtown Mount Vernon.

Available appointments:

At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits

Due to extremely high demand, there are no longer free test kits available through the Say Yes COVID Test program. Public Health encourages people to consider for-purchase at-home testing options, available at locations such as Walgreens, Rite Aids, Bartell Drugs, CVS, Walmart, Safeway, and Albertsons. Additionally, test kits can be ordered online directly through retailers.

If testing at home and you receive a positive test result, please call the state’s COVID-19 Hotline as soon as possible at 1–800–525–0127.

For a full list of testing providers in Skagit County, go to our website here

Updated CDC Guidance – Isolation & Quarantine

On Monday, December 27, the CDC updated its Isolation and Quarantine guidance, given new information about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. For the full statement, visit:

Updated guidance is as follows:

  • Isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19
  • Everyone, regardless of vaccination status:
    • Stay home for 5 days.
    • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
    • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.
  • Quarantine for those who have been exposed to COVID-19
  • If you have been boosted, OR completed the primary series of Pfizer/Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months, OR completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months:
    • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
    • Test on day 5, if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home.
  • If you completed the primary series of Pfizer/Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted, OR completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted, OR are unvaccinated:
    • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
    • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
    • Test on day 5 if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home.


1. The League of Women Voters of Washington has a new group – ACT via Zoom (Action Coffee Time) – focused on topics currently being debated in Washington State Legislative session
Mondays, 10:00am – 11:00am (with optional 11-11:15 social time). Attend as your interest in a topic and schedule allows. Each session will be recorded for viewing anytime. The continuing Zoom connection link is: – Meeting ID: 828 4174 9719. Passcode: 619917.

This week’s session – Climate and Energy – Martin Gibbins (LWVWA Issue Chair)
Next week’s session – Election Methods – Lisa Ayrault (FairVoteWA)

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