News from the Skagit County Democrats
Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for January 23, 2023
1. NEW – Skagit County Democrats Legislative Committee Report
"The State Legislature is back in session and that means our Legislative Committee is hard at work going through as many bills as possible to make sure we keep you well informed. Each week we will feature bills that we need your help getting passed. Please write your legislative members in support of the bills you like.
We are currently seeking more members for the Legislative Committee, if you are interested please email Lynn, Chair@SkagitDemocrats.org.
Here are this week's featured bills
- SJR8202 / HJR4201 – This bill would submit to the voters an opportunity to ratify the Washington State Constitution to enshrine reproductive freedom. Guaranteeing a woman's right to choose is a fundamental step towards equity for all citizens.
- -Recommended email text-
- “It is fundamental to the principles of freedom our country's laws aspire towards that women have the right to choose. I urge you to support SJR8202 / HJR4202 to guarantee woman's reproductive freedom. The voters of Washington deserve the opportunity to enshrine freedom of choice in the Washington State Constitution.”
- SB5020– This proposed legislation would amend compulsory attendance laws to ensure that all children begin to receive educational instruction at six years of age, not waiting until eight years of age. A majority of states require that education begin at age five or six. Washington is the only state not requiring that education begin until eight years of age.
- -Recommended email text-
- “Let's ensure the next generation of children all get a good education that starts by age 6. Please support SB5020 and lower the required education age from 8 to 6 years old. All children deserve the best education we can offer them and this helps guarantee they have that opportunity.”
- HB1145 / SB5371– Protecting Southern resident orcas from vessels. Increases the distance for vessels to 1000 ft from 300 ft. Senator Lovelett is the prime sponsor of 5371.
- -Recommended email text-
- “Please help protect our resident orca population and support HB1145/SB5371. Vessels can affect many aspects of the orca's lives and well-being. This increased distance will help improve their lives while still allowing the opportunity for people to observe the orca from a reasonable distance.”
- HB1348 / SB5189 Establishing Behavioral Health Support Specialists. The Bill requires the Department of Health to develop rules for the certification of behavioral health support specialists, a new type of behavioral health professional certification available to individuals with a bachelor's degree who meet other requirements. Requires the Health Care Authority to ensure that services by this new profession type are covered under the Medicaid program. Requires the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to integrate this new profession type into network access standards.
- -Recommended email text-
- “The new classification of Behavioral Health Support Specialists established in HB 1348/SB 5189 will be a great benefit to the healthcare system in Washington. Please give your full support to this bill and help ensure we have well qualified individuals certified by the state to care for our residents.”
- -Find your representative and their contact information – https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/. Thank you for taking the time to help affect positive change!"
2. The 39th Legislative District Democrats completed their Reorganization Meeting Sunday, Jan 15
Newly elected officers are:
- Chair – Jessica Wadhams
- Vice Chair – Alex Acevedo
- State Committee Person – Bill Phillps
- State Committee Person – Cathy Ozog
- Second Vice Chair – Kathryn Sharpe
- Snohomish County Committee Person 1 – Tony Horsman
- Snohomish County Committee Person 2 – Gomer Thomas
- Sergeant-At-Arms – Bill Phillips
- Fundraising Officer – Kathryn Sharpe
NOTE: Skagit County Democrats' Representative to the 39th LD Democrats is Jamal Savage
3. The Fidalgo Democrats Meeting of Tuesday, Jan 10 about Property Taxes as recorded
Click Here for the recording.
4. The Skagit County Auditor's Office has advised us there are no elections scheduled for February of this year
5. Ready to initiate/renew your Skagit County Democrats membership? It is that time of year!
A reminder: subscription to the newsletter does not convey membership. Paying dues conveys membership AND voting privileges. The cost is minimal – only $20.00 for an individual membership or $35.00 for a family. Click Here to join on-line through ActBlue. Click Here to download, print, and complete a form for membership to be mailed. Or Click Here to simply make a donation.
6. Skagit County Democrats is again requesting anyone visiting our Headquarters to "mask up"
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.
- Washington State Launches Investigation of Private Special Education Schools
- How to talk to someone about conspiracy theories in five simple steps
- Revealed: Exxon Made “Breathtakingly” Accurate Climate Predictions in 1970s and ’80s
- America Is Lost in a Dark Forest, But There's a Path Out
- American Rebels at Sea
1. NEW – The next monthly Planned Parenthood rally is Saturday, Feb 4, 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.
2. NEW – The Skagit Symphony Family Conceret & Music Fair, Sunday, Jan 29, Children's Music Fair – 1:00pm, Concert – 2:00m, McIntyre Hall, 2501 East College Way, Mount Vernon
"Tickets: Reserved $15, Children $5. COVID-19: Masks are encouraged but not required. Please check back prior to the concert for updates regarding COVID protocols.
Move it! Shake it! Play It! Join Skagit Symphony for a toe-tapping, hip-shaking, and always fun Family Concert. Don't miss the festive Children's Music Fair prior to the concert in the lobby at 1pm. Meet musicians from Skagit Symphony and see their instruments up close and enjoy fun music-related activities hosted by local family-friendly organizations and businesses. This year's Family Concert theme of "music that moves us" will feature pieces from across the Americas. Just try to stay in your seat!"
3. NEW – Feeding Skagit Forever, Thursday, Jan 26, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Lincoln Theatre 712 South 1st Street, Mount Vernon
"FREE + Open to the Public! Join us for an inspirational evening of food, farming, and fun in celebration of a powerful new partnership between Skagit Valley Food Co-op and Viva Farms! To kick of the Co-op's 50th Anniversary year, the Co-op donated $100,000 to Viva Farms to support local, organic ag and the future of farming in Skagit Valley. Come learn more about the Co-op, Viva Farms, and how together, we can keep our community fed and healthy with local food, today, tomorrow, and well into the future. You'll hear from local farmers as they share their stories, and from the Co-op's General Manager about why this partnership is so meaningful to the future of food in Skagit County. Stick around for a mixer to meet the farmers and close out the night! Spanish-English translator Cristina Gallegos from WSU will be translating the event. There will be light snacks, $2 beers, and prizes!"
4. NEW – The Annual Point-In-Time Count is scheduled for Thursday, Jan 26
"The annual Skagit County Point-in-Time (PIT) count is scheduled for Thursday, January 26, and will once again be administered by Community Action of Skagit County in partnership with Skagit County Public Health and other community partners. The PIT count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January and is required by federal mandate through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Based on HUD’s definition of homelessness, the survey includes individuals who are unsheltered, and those residing in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and Safe Havens on a single night . . . If you are interested in volunteering for the PIT count, please fill out the volunteer sign-up form here. For more information about the PIT count, please contact Dulce at email@example.com or call (360) 588-5722. For information about the North Star Project, visit www.skagitcounty.net/northstar or call Skagit County Public Health at (360) 416-1500.
5. NEW – Nuclear Weapons: from Opposition to Abolition sponsored by No More Bombs, Thursday, Feb 2, 7:00pm via Zoom
Click Here for the Zoom link. Presented by Tom Rogers, "a retired US Navy submarine captain who has worked with nuclear weapons throughout his career. He commanded a nuclear armed attack submarine during the Cold War and knows what he is talking about. He now shares his expertise and leadership in the nuclear disarmament community at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, next to the Trident Nuclear Submarine base where he’s been arrested at least 10 times during protests. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with question or comments."
6. The Skagit County AARP TaxAide Program provides FREE tax preparation
"The Skagit AARP TaxAide program offers free tax return preparation, and tax consultation for most low- and middle-income tax situations. [Including for seniors] It is an all-volunteer community operation, sponsored by the AARP Foundation with Spanish language support from Goodwill. Your tax return is prepared by IRS certified tax preparers (called counselors), who must re-certify annually. If you are interested in accessing our free tax preparation service, familiarize yourself with our process and call one of the sites for an appointment. Due to the pandemic, access to Skagit AARP TaxAide services will be limited so be sure to make your appointment early! Once we run out of appointments, you will have to find another way to get your tax return done." Click Here for more information.
7. Skagit County Seeks Applicants for Agricultural Advisory Board
"Skagit County is seeking applicants to fill a vacant seat in District 2 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." Letters of interest along with a statement of qualifications are due by Feb 9. Click Here for more information.
8. COVID-19 Information
Click Here for the most current report and resources.
1. Anacortes Sunday Demonstrations
Democrats are again demonstrating in Anacortes each Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:00pm at the corner of 12th Street and Commercial Avenue. "We carry signs for Dem candidates, get out and vote signs, women's right-to-chose in healthcare and so on and so on. We need more people to show up."
2. Coffee & Cards, Wednesdays, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Skagit County Democrats Headquarters, 2021 East College Way, Suite 104, Mount Vernon
Coffee and Cards meets on Wednesdays from 10:00am – 12:00pm. This is the group that was previously led by Carol Sullivan and is now lead quite capably by Judy Farrar. The group is a way for us to express ourselves about issues of importance to us all.
We will write messages of encouragement and support to people who are making positive contributions as well as messages of concern and opposition to people who are negatively impacting our world. This includes legislators on the local, state, and federal level as well as CEOs of corporations and other people having a significant impact in our world. We will share ideas for people to write to and issues to address.
Postcards and stamps will be provided, but we ask that people bring money to cover the cost of the postcard stamps which are currently $.44. Coffee will be provided or bring your own. As Carol always reminded us, “We are stronger together.” Our office is located at 2021 East College Way, Suite 104, Mount Vernon, 360-336-1555."