News from the Skagit County Democrats
Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for March 6, 2023
1. NEW – Legislative Committee Report for March 6
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. So far, the following bills we have supported are through their house of origin.
- SB5371 – sponsored by Senator Liz Lovelett. Protecting southern resident orcas from vessels.
- SB 5189 – Establishing behavioral health support specialists.
- HB1355 – Updates property tax exemptions for service-connected disabled veterans and senior citizens.
- ESHB1042 – Creation of additional housing units in existing buildings.
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 can not afford to wait any longer.”
HB1028 – Supporting crime victims and witnesses by promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed responses in the legal system.
Survivors of sexual assault who engage with the criminal justice system do so with the belief that someone will listen and act. Accountability is equally as important as the survivor's experience with the criminal justice system. Many survivors are from marginalized communities and lack resources, which is why they are targeted. Those survivors face profound barriers to justice. This bill is currently in the Rules committee and needs to be moved to the floor calendar for a vote by the House. Please ask Representatives Ramel and Lekanoff to pull from Rules.
Email Your Legislators to Support HB1028
“Please support HB1028 and help crime victims and witnesses by promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed responses in the legal system. This bill is currently in the Rules committee, please help move it to the floor for a vote.”
SB5102 – Would ensure that every board of directors will provide school library information and technology programs for school children.
This bill is up for a second reading, and with your support we can move SB5102 closer to the floor for a vote. Letters from Skagit County Democrats and from other Democrats across Washington have brought this bill forward. There should not be a question of students having access to library and technology education. Washington school children need us to step up to support them in receiving a 21st century education.
Email Your Legislators to Support SB5102
“We need to ensure that every Washington school student has access to library and technology education within their schools. The 21st century work world in which our children will need to compete will necessitate advanced information and technology education preparation. SB5102 will require all school districts to provide library and technology education that has become key to success. A higher education and work ready high school graduate is imperative to guaranteeing an accelerated educationally competitive Washington. Please support SB 5102.”
Thank you for taking the time to help affect positive change!
2. CORRECTION – The Skagit County Young Democrats will not be meeting on Mar 8 as previously reported
Ye Olde Editor regrets the error.
3. The 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. NEW – The Fidalgo Democrats meet Tuesday, Mar 14, 7:00pm, Anacortes Public Library, 1220 10th Street, Anacortes
Please join us for an important meeting to learn about the upcoming Public Safety Levy Lid on the April ballot. This will be an opportunity to hear about the needs in Anacortes and to ask questions. Presenters: Dave Floyd, Chief of Police and Bill Harris, Fire Chief will focus on the current status of the Police and Fire Departments as an overall public safety update for the City of Anacortes. The meeting will be posted on YouTube within a few days. If you have any questions call Barbara Cooper at 360 293-4123.
5. The 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
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. NEW – Skagit County Commissioner Assignments
Understandably the Skagit County Commissioners divvy up the work required by the Board of Commssioners. Click Here to view the list of boards and responsibilities of the respective commissioners.
8. Skagit County Democrats is again requesting anyone visiting our Headquarters to "mask up"
9. 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.
- Younger voters are poised to upend American politics
- Ocean treaty: Historic agreement reached after decade of talks
- “With Malice Toward None”
- The sun is about to get more active than it has for a decade — and it could lead to power outages, grounded flights, and stunning auroras
- Understanding Firearm Deaths by State—and How to Reduce Them
1. NEW – March is Women's History Month
Here are some resources from the American Library Association
- About Women’s History Month
- Library of Congress Resources
- National Committee on Pay Equity
- National Women’s History Museum
- National Women’s History Project
- Smithsonian Institution
2. NEW – No More Bombs continues to protest on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month at the overpass above I-5 near the Skagit Valley Food Co-op
Winter hours are 3:00pm – 4:00pm. We’ll have our “NO NUKES” banner plus American, Ukrainian, and Peace flags. Join us! Ample parking is available on Fulton Street near the old YMCA. If the weather is inclement, we cancel. Write to email@example.com if in doubt about weather.
3. UPDATED – The monthly Planned Parenthood 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.
Additionally, another rally is planned this month, Saturday, Mar 18, 11:00am – 12:00pm, on the sidewalk in front of the Mount Vernon Health Center, 1805 East Division Street.
4. NEW – Raise the Roof Gala (Benefiting Skagit Habitat for Humanity): Unmasking Affordable Housing, Saturday, Mar 11, 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Skagit Casino Resort, 5984 Darrk Lane, Bow
General admission: $75. "There is no dress code. However, the night's theme is "Venetian-carnival", and we are encouraging guests to dress in costume or more formal attire." Click Here for ticket information.
5. NEW – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Cuts in Washington State
"In March, 32 states and Washington, D.C., will end emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program aid that helped individuals and families cope with food insecurity during the pandemic. The average person is projected to receive about $90 less in SNAP benefits per month." The Helping Hands program distributes food assistance from Anacortes to Marblemount. With the cuts in the SNAP program, more families become dependant on food banks. Click Here if you can donate to help.
6. Indivisible 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.
7. 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:
- 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.
8. The 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!
- Tacoma Campaign Training – Saturday, March 18, 2023 – 9 am – 5 pm
- Everett Campaign Training – Saturday, April 1, 2023 – 9 am – 5 pm
- Online Campaign Training – Saturday, April 15, 2023 – 9 am – 5 pm
9. NEW – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Recommends Safe Flood Storage at Seattle’s Skagit Dams
Seattle City Light is currently seeking a new 50-year federal license for its Skagit Hydroelectric Project from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Over the past year, Skagit County, the cities of Burlington, Mount Vernon, Anacortes, Sedro-Woolley and La Conner, Skagit Public Utility District No. 1, the Skagit Dike District Partnership and the Skagit Drainage/Irrigation Districts Consortium (the “Skagit Community”) have all formally requested that Seattle provide a safe level of flood storage at Ross Dam, the uppermost of the three dams at Seattle’s Skagit Hydroelectric Project. The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe has also expressed support with FERC for the unified Skagit flood request. Click Here to read the full press release from Skagit County.
10. 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.
11. 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."