News from the Skagit County Democrats

Posted on February 26th, 2023

Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for February 27, 2023



1. NEWLegislative Committee Report for Feb 27
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-

SB5189 – Establishing behavioral health support specialists
In Senate Rules for 2nd Reading. There is a need in our communities for increased behavioral health access. This bill has strong bi-partisan support. A similar bill passed the Senate last year. 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.
Email Your Legislators to Support SB5189
-Recommended text-
“The new classification of Behavioral Health Support Specialists established in SB5189 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.”

HB1355 – Updates property tax exemptions for service-connected disabled veterans and senior citizens
Currently, disabled veterans and senior citizens qualify for tax relief only if they earn less than 45% of their county median income. This bill would change the percentage to 60%. The current cycle to review median incomes would change from every 5 years to every 3 years.
Email Your Legislators to Support HB1355
-Recommended text-
“We need to do more to help people stay in their homes. Property taxes and sales taxes are the main ways of paying for services in Washington. HB1355 is indexed based on county income and county property values that will be adjusted in a fair manner. It is in everyone’s best interest to allow people to maintain their stable housing. The Washington Association of County Assessors supports this bill. Inflation is having a devastating impact on Washington senior citizens. HB1355 will go a long way to remedy this problem. Please support HB 1355.”

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
-Recommended text-  
“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.”

Thank you for taking the time to help affect positive change!

2. NEWThe Skagit County Young Democrats Monthly Meeting is Wednesday, Mar 8, 7:00pm, Skagit County Democrats Office, 2021 East College Way, Suite 104, Mount Vernon

3. NEWThe next Skagit County Democrats Executive Board Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Mar 9, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, via Zoom
Non-board members are welcome to attend. Click Here for the Zoom link.

4. NEWThe 10th Legislative District Democrats reports their new Executive Board

  • John Amell, Chair
  • Nicole Ng-A-Qui, 1st Vice Chair
  • Sophia Danenberg, 2nd Vice Chair
  • Satin-Deseree Arnett, State Committee Member 1
  • Dan Lewinski, State Committee Member 2
  • Samantha Smith, Secretary
  • Cindy Lane, Treasurer

NOTE: Velit Seyfettin is the Skagit County Democrats Representative to the 10th Legislative District Democrats

5. NEWThe Fidalgo Democrats Meeting of Tuesday, Feb 14 about "Behavioral Health Outreach and How It Affects Anacortes Public Safety" was recorded
Click Here for the recording.

6. 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

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.


1. UPDATEDThe 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 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 website.

2. 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

3. 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.

4. NEWThe monthly Planned Parenthood rally is Saturday, Mar 4, 11:00am – 12:00pm, on the sidewalk in front of the Mount Vernon Health Center, 1805 East Division Street, Mount Vernon
Please register for this event with this link; we use this registration to know who our supporters are. We'll have extra signs in English and Spanish. Bring your friends and family!

Additionally, weekly sign-waving rallies are planned each Wednesday, Mar 8 – 22, 5:00pm – 6:00pm on the sidewalk in front of the Mount Vernon Health Center, 1805 East Division Street
This is to counter the "40 Days of Life" campaign of the choice opponents.

5. NEWIndivisible Skagit and the Skagit Climate Science Consortium present an in-person conversation about Climate Resilience, Sunday, Mar 12, 1:30pm – 3:30pm, Anacortes Senior Center, 1701 22nd Street, Anacortes
"Indivisible Skagit and the Skagit Climate Science Consortium are planning this educational event on March 12 at the Anacortes Senior Center. Research specific to Skagit County will be presented followed by breakout groups to focus on potential actions to develop resilience to climate change." Masks are welcome, and there is plenty of room to spread out. Click Here for more information.

6. 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.

7. NEWThe National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington is hosting their Annual Candidate Training for Women and Non-Binary Individuals
"National, state, and local campaign experts will help current, and future candidates, campaign managers, and community leaders learn the ins and outs of running for office. This training is perfect for anyone planning or thinking about running for office as well as for those who prefer to be the heroes behind the scenes as campaign staff or volunteers! Please share with your members and network to help increase the number of pro-choice candidates in public office by supporting our mutually crucial political work."

Links to training registration pages are below! We hope to see some great candidates there!

8. 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.

9. 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."
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