News from the Skagit County Democrats
Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for February 13, 2023
1. Legislative Committee Report for Feb 13
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 legislatures.
-Here are this week's featured bills-
SJR8202 – Amending the Constitution to address reproductive freedom
This bill would submit to the voters an opportunity to ratify an amendment to the Washington State Constitution to enshrine reproductive freedom. Guaranteeing a woman's right to choose is a fundamental step towards equity for all citizens.
Email Your Legislators to Support SJR8202
“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 / HJR4201 to guarantee woman's reproductive freedom. The voters of Washington deserve the right to enshrine freedom of choice in the Washington State Constitution.”
HB1316 – Expanding access to dual credit programs
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."
ESHB1042 – Concerning the use of existing buildings for residential purposes
Allows creation of additional housing units in existing buildings. Passed the house! Now please email your senator. 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 ESHB1042
"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 ESHB 1042."
Thank you for taking the time to help affect positive change!
2. 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.
3. NEW – The 10th Legislative District Democrats General Membership meeting, Saturday, Feb 18, 10:00am, via Zoom
Register in advance for this meeting (Click Here). After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
4. UPDATED – Spring Garage Sale, Friday and Saturday, Apr 7 and 8, 9:00am – 4:00pm, Skagit County Fairgrounds, 501 Taylor Street, Mount Vernon
Donations for our Skagit County Democrats space at the Fairground's Spring Garage Sale have started to come in. We thank those donor's and ask that everyone search for items to donate. The more we have to sell, the better the space looks and the more we make! We cannot take everything, so here are some guidelines:
- Clothing accessories (i.e. hats, gloves) are fine but no clothing (dresses, suits, coats, etc)
- We don't have space for large pieces of furniture.
- Please make sure any mechanical or electronic donation works
Our office is accepting donations at 2021 East College Way, Suite 104, Mount Vernon. Please call us at 360-336-1555 with any questions.
5. NEW – Did you miss President Biden’s State of the Union Address?
Click Here for the video as well as the text of the speech.
6. NEW – So-Called Fully Contained Communities (FCCs) continue to be an issue in Skagit County
Watch this 90-second video, "All Skagitonians Need Housing", produced by Indivisible Skagit's Housing 4 Skagit Action Team. You can contact them at Housing4Skagit@IndivisibleSkagit.org.
For more information on the issues, visit Right Growth/Right Place.
7. Skagit County Democrats is again requesting anyone visiting our Headquarters to "mask up"
8. 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.
- The Ten Commandments of Christian Nationalism (Part 1)
- The Ten Commandments of Christian Nationalism (Part 2)
- The Scientific History of Cannabinoids
- How worried should we be if the debt ceiling isn’t lifted?
- Is the U.S. Military Capable of Learning From the War in Ukraine?
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 – The League of Women Voters of Washington offers weekly ACTviaZoom sessions Mondays, 10:00am – 11:00am
This month the sessions include:
- Feb. 13: Democracy Vouchers: Cindy Black (Fix Democracy First/People Powered Elections)
- Feb. 20: Climate and Energy Legislation: LWV WA Advocacy Team for these issues
- Feb. 27: Consumer Environmental Legislation: Heather Trim (ZeroWasteWA)
3. The 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. NEW – Transition Fidalgo & Friends presents “The Supply Side of the Clean Energy Transition”, Tuesday, Feb 28, 7:00pm via Zoom
"This talk will explore what will be needed to move from our current outdated electrical grid and power sources to a smart, distributed grid bringing us green power from an expected huge growth in solar and wind and possibly other non-carbon sources." Click Here for the Zoom link.
5. 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.
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."