News from the Skagit County Democrats
Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for February 20, 2023
1. NEW – Legislative Committee Report for Feb 20
With the State Legislature in session 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. You are all doing a fantastic job helping make a positive impact in our state! Thank you so much for contacting your legislators, please continue the good work! 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-
HB1389 – Creates a 7% rent cap. This bill would prevent price gouging by landlords, including mobile home parks.
If you have Representative Ramel thank him for putting forth this fantastic bill, and thank Representative Lekanoff for cosponsoring!
Email Your Legislators to Support HB1389
“Please support HB1389 placing a 7% cap on residential and manufactured/mobile home rent increases. This would protect a vast amount of people from excessive rent increases. We must pass this bill. The residents of Washington cannot afford to wait any longer.”
SB5020 – Concerning elementary education starting at six years of age.
This bill would amend the compulsory attendance laws to ensure that every child begins to receive educational instruction beginning by six years of age instead of eight years of age. Washington is one of only two states in our Country not requiring education until eight years of age. The change in compulsory school age will support ensuring that Washington is educationally and economically competitive with other states.
Email Your Legislators to Support SB5020
“Washington state must remain educationally competitive with other states across our Country. Ensuring that all children begin their education by six years of age as opposed to the current requirement of eight years of age will ensure a foundation of the education needed for economic and academic competitiveness. I urge you to support SB 5020.”
SB5371 – sponsored by Senator Liz Lovelett. Protecting southern resident orcas from vessels.
Currently in the Senate Rules Committee. Increases the distance a vessel must maintain away from a southern resident orca from 400 yards to 1000 yards. Protections need to be fortified to allow the SRKW* time and space to find food. The SRKW* population is the most endangered mammal in the world. This bill enables the Department of Fish and Wildlife to hold recreational boaters to the same distance standards for SRKW* as commercial whale watching boaters.
*SRKW (Southern Resident Killer Whale) is the Federal Endangered Species Act designation for the southern resident orca.
Email Your Legislators to Support SB5371
“Please support SB5371 and increase the distance a vessel must maintain away from a southern resident orca from 400 yards to 1000 yards. This will allow Orcas the time and space necessary to find food that is in dwindling supply. The Southern Resident Killer Whale population is the most endangered mammal in the world. I urge you to support SB5371.”
Thank you for taking the time to help affect positive change!
2. NEW – The Skagit County Democrats Headquarters Office is closed Monday, Feb 20, in observance of President's Day
3. UPDATED – Spring Garage Sale, Friday and Saturday, Apr 7 and 8, 9:00am – 4:00pm, Skagit County Fairgrounds, 501 Taylor Street, Mount Vernon
Our office is accepting donations at 2021 East College Way, Suite 104, Mount Vernon. Office hours are 12:00pm – 4:00pm, Monday – Thursday. Please call 360-336-1555 with questions or to arrange an off-hour time to drop off donations. We 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
4. Skagit County Democrats is again requesting anyone visiting our Headquarters to "mask up"
5. 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 economic consequences of major tax cuts for the rich
- What the First Amendment really says – 4 basic principles of free speech in the US
- The Supreme Court is about to hear case that could change the internet as we know it
- How Democracy Can Win – The Right Way to Counter Autocracy
- How an All-Black Female WWII Unit Saved Morale on the Battlefield
1. UPDATED – The League of Women Voters of Washington offers weekly ACTviaZoom sessions Mondays, 10:00am – 11:00am
This program "provides background on a wide array of topics relevant to current legislation from League of Women Voters, state and community resources who share their expertise on a topic or specific legislation. It’s an informal setting where you can ask questions and become a better-informed citizen lobbyist." Upcoming sessions include:
- Feb 20: Climate and Energy Legislation: LWV WA Advocacy Team for these issues
- Feb 27: Consumer Environmental Legislation: Heather Trim (ZeroWasteWA)
- Mar 6: Civic Education project
- Mar 13: "Be Bold" Redistricting Reform
Use the Zoom Meeting ID: 893 7078 8656 and passcode: 537748, or register under Events, Calendar at lwvwa.org website.
2. NEW – Stuff the Bus Food Drive, Saturday, Feb 25, 11:00am – 1:00pm, 130 East Fairhaven Avenue, Burlington
Helping Hands, in partnership with Skagit Transit, will be STUFFING THE BUS in the fight against hunger! We invite all of Skagit County to bring ALL Non-Perishable food donations as well as Non-Food Life Essentials such as: Laundry soap, Shampoo & other hair products, Bar soap & body wash, Cleaning supplies, Disposable shavers, Toilet paper, Feminine hygiene products, Diapers, etc.
3. NEW – Skagit County will be hosting a Community Meeting for Samish Island on Monday, February 27 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Samish Island Community Center located at 11292 Blue Heron Road, Bow
4. NEW – The next scheduled haul-out of the Guemes Island Ferry will be February 27 through March 19, 2023
"Passenger-Only Service – During the haul-out, Arrow Launch will provide passenger-only ferry service between the regular ferry docks in Anacortes and on Guemes Island. The foot ferry will operate on the same sailing schedule as the regular car ferry . . . The passenger vessel, the Strait Arrow, can accommodate up to 49 passengers, bicycles and small motorcycles on a space-available basis at the Captain’s discretion. All pets shall be on leash or in a crate/kennel at all times. Wheelchairs will be available for those who require assistance. If you’d like to call our office in advance, please dial (360) 293-6433." Click Here for more information.
5. 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.
6. NEW – Volunteers Needed for Skagit County’s Medical Reserve Corps
"The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of more than 200,000 volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. Volunteers come from all backgrounds, including medical and non-medical, and can assist in a variety of capacities based on the needs of each mission . . . Skagit County MRC emergency workers will receive training in preparedness, response, leadership, and community resilience. Volunteers must be able to attend monthly meetings, available in person and/or online. Volunteers must also register through the Department of Emergency Management, which includes completing and passing a criminal background check . . . " Click Here for the dedicated website.
7. NEW – Skagit County begins data gathering for ADA Transition Plan
"Crews will be out on Skagit County roadways gathering data on pedestrian facilities in the Public Right-of-Way over the next few weeks . . . So when you see the workers out on the street, remember to 'Give 'em a brake' and slow down, be kind, and pay attention."
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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."