News from the Skagit County Democrats
Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for February 6, 2023
1. NEW – Legislative Committee Report for Feb 6
The State Legislature is back in session and that means that 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. Read through the bills below, click the “email your legislators” link below the bill information, copy and paste the recommended text (or write your own) then send it to your state legislators. (Find your representatives and their contact information – https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/.)
-Here are this week's featured bills-
HB1316 – Dual credit/enrollment programs are Running Start and College in High School. Lowers dual enrollment program costs for eligible students with financial need by creating a subsidy program, incentivizing reduction of per college credit fees charged to college in the high school students, and revising eligibility for the Running Start (RS) program tuition fee waiver.
Email Your Legislators to Support HB1316
Please support HB1316 and help make it easier for our youth to further their education. the Running Start (RS) program tuition fee waiver allows students participating in RS programs to be funded up to a combined maximum enrollment of 1.6 full-time equivalents, including enrollment during the summer academic term.
HB1042 – Creation of additional housing units in existing buildings.
This bill would enable conversion of existing non-housing buildings for construction of multiple housing units. Municipalities would be restricted from blocking such housing construction within zones where multi-housing units are permitted.
Email Your Legislators to Support HB1042
Washington state is in the throes of a housing crisis. Unless changes are made to restrictions preventing multi-unit housing construction, Washington will not be able to catch up to our dramatic needs for additional housing at all income levels, but especially for affordable housing. Density housing will accelerate availability of homes for Washingtonians. I urge you to support passage of HB 1042.
SB5335 – Universal healthcare for Washington State. Developing non profit health insurance coverage for every Washingtonian. Providing medical, dental, vision, and prescription health coverage.
This is a huge deal and there will be a LOT of insurance companies trying to kill this bill. We have to push the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee to get this bill to a floor vote.
Email Your Legislators to Support SB5335
Please Support SB5335! This is a fantastic bill that must move forward. You have the chance to save countless lives and help create a far better healthcare system.
Thank you for taking the time to help affect positive change!
2. NEW – The Skagit County Democrats Executive Board next meets Thursday, Feb 9, 6:30pm, via Zoom
Click Here for the Zoom link. Meeting ID: 814 5605 3878 – Passcode: 662476. Although this is a meeting of the Executive Board, everyone else is welcome to attend.
3. NEW – The Fidalgo Democrats will next meet Tuesday, Feb 14, 7:00pm, Anacortes Public Library, 1220 10th Street, Anacortes
"Our topic this month is Behavioral Health Outreach and how it affects Anacortes public safety . . . Enjoy coffee and cookies! We do ask that all who attend in person be fully vaccinated. Masks will be required. Covid, colds and flu are still out there. If you aren’t vaccinated or are feeling unwell, please stay home. The meeting will be recorded and posted on YouTube a little later in the week. All of our past meetings are available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/@fidalgodemocrats3675/videos.
4. Garage Sale at the Fairgrounds
Skagit County Democrats has an indoor vendor booth at the upcoming Spring Garage Sale at the Skagit County Fairgrounds, from 9:00am – 4:00pm, Friday and Saturday, Apr 7 and 8. Time to go through your closets, garage, kitchen cabinets, etc., for donations to help this fundraiser. Remember, one person's donation is another person's treasure! We are accepting donated items effective now. Please drop them at our office from 12:00pm – 4:00pm, Monday – Thursday, 2021 East College Way, Mount Vernon – or call the office at 360-336-1555 to arrange delivery/pickup.
We are also seeking volunteers to help before, during, and after the event:
- Truck drivers to deliver donations to the fairgrounds and take the un-sold away when finished
- People to set up and tear down
- People to staff the booth
There is something for everyone. If interested, please call the office at 360-336-1555.
5. The Skagit County Auditor's Office has advised us there are no elections scheduled for February of this year
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.
- United States Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center – Mass Attacks in Public Spaces 2016 – 2020
- Notes on the Jan. 6 Committee’s Notes
- Cutting IRS funding is a gift to America’s wealthiest tax evaders
- We can reduce homelessness if we follow the science on what works
- When Americans Lost Faith in the News
1. February is Black History Month
Here are some local offerings:
- Skagit Valley College
- Burlington Chamber of Commerce & Children's Museum
- Skagit Valley Family YMCA
- Northwest African American Museum
2. NEW – Dine & Shop to End Homelessness – A Fundraiser Benefiting the Anacortes Family Center, Thursday, Feb 9, 6:00am – 11:00pm, Anacortes
"On February 9th, visit one of the participating restaurants and retailers and a portion of the proceeds from your meal or purchase will be donated to the Anacortes Family Center. Volunteers will be on-site to answer questions, provide opportunities for you to donate and to sell raffle tickets. For questions or to purchase raffle tickets, please call Heather at 360-293-2993 ext. 114." Click Here for more information.
3. NEW – Concrete Mardi Gras, Saturday, Feb 18, Parade at 3:00pm, Downtown Concrete
"This is the only Mardi Gras event in Western Washington that does not cater just to grown-ups or require a cover charge! Everyone is welcome to be in the parade or smile from the sidewalk. The only rule is to keep it fun and family-friendly. We like any excuse to get out, dance in the street, and laugh with our friends and neighbors, don’t you?"
4. 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 recertify 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.
5. 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.
6. COVID-19 Information
Skagit County Public Health Seeks Feedback About COVID-19 Response
The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and responses are anonymous. It will remain open for public comment until February 28, 2023.
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."