News from the Skagit County Democrats
Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for April 10, 2023
1. UPDATED – Legislative Committee Report for April 10
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. Please review the following bills and express your support to your elected officials.
SB5371 (sponsored by Senator Liz Lovelett) – Protecting southern resident orcas from vessels. Currently in the Senate Rules Committee.
*This bill needs to be moved to the floor now to be passed.* 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 (Southern Resident Killer Whale) 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 is the federal Endangered Species Act designation for the southern resident orca.)
Email Your Legislators to Support SB5371
Contact your House Representatives
“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.”
HB1028 – Supporting crime victims and witnesses by promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed responses in the legal system.
*This bill needs to be moved to the floor now to be passed* 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.”
HB1240 – An assault weapons ban
This bill would increase public safety by prohibiting the manufacture, importation, distribution, selling, and offering for sale of assault weapons, and by providing limited exemptions applicable to licensed firearm manufacturers and dealers for purposes of sale to armed forces and law enforcement agencies and for purposes of sale or transfer outside of the state, and to inheritors. Every day in America our children, family, and friends are murdered by deranged people with access to military style assault weapons. Is it not time to stand up to ban these weapons. This bill has passed the House and is in the Senate for a second reading. It is imperative to write to our legislators to plead for passage of this weapon to protect the children of Washington state.
Email Your Legislators to Support HB1240
"Washington state legislators must stand up to gun lobbies and put our children, families, and friends ahead of unlimited access to military style assault weapons that were designed for mass murder of people. We must ensure public safety. Please vote to support passage of HB1240."
2. CORRECTED – The Fidalgo Democrats meet Tuesday, Apr 11, 7:00pm, Anacortes Public Library, 1220 10th Street, Anacortes
"Increasing Social Trust in Our Divided Times" – a discussion with Rev. Terry Kylo and Upper Skagit Elder Kay Knott. "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. There will be time for questions following the presentations. Coffee and cookies will be served." If you have any questions call Barbara Cooper at 360-293-4123.
3. The next Skagit County Democrats Executive Board Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Apr 13, 6:30pm via Zoom
Click Here for the Zoom link. Although only Board members may vote, the meeting is open for Skagit Democrat members to attend.
4. NEW – Garage Sale Report
"Our participation in the Skagit County Garage Sale was a first-year success! Thanks to a great team of volunteers and to all the donors who came through for this effort. Our first year in the Skagit County Garage Sale was both fun and profitable. It was a long four days but well worth it!"
Editor's Note: And a special thank-you to Sheila Mulligan for all her work and organization!
5. NEW – Parade Dates for the Calendar
Please put these parade dates on your calendars! (No doubt more information to follow.)
- Anacortes PRIDE Parade – June 17 – 10:30AM line up; 11:00AM parade start up
- Anacortes Independence Day – July 4 – 10:00AM line up; 10:30AM parade start up
- Mount Vernon Holiday Parade – December 3 – 4:30PM line up; 5:00PM parade begins
6. So-Called Fully Contained Communities (FCCs) continue to be an issue in Skagit County
Watch this 69-second video, "Essential Housing for Essential Workers", produced by Indivisible Skagit's Housing 4 Skagit Action Team. You can contact them at Housing4Skagit@IndivisibleSkagit.org to get involved. 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.
- Clarence Thomas and the Billionaire
- Read the New York grand jury's indictment of Donald Trump
- There's plenty of money to fix roads and bridges, but not enough workers
- The Four-Day School Week: Are the Pros Worth the Cons?
- The U.S. Military's Great Relearning
- We Must Do A Better Job Teaching Civics
1. NEW – Anacortes Safety Staffing and Skagit Hospital District 1 (Skagit Regional Health) Levy Lifts
Ballots are out! They must be returned by Tuesday, April 25. If mailed, they must be in the mail by April 17. You can register in person up to 8:00pm, Tuesday, April 25. For more information, go to the Skagit County Auditor's Election Page. Below is the timeline for this election.
- April 5 – Domestic ballots mailed
- April 17 – Deadline to register or update existing registration online and by mail
- April 25 – Deadline for in-person registration and voter updates – Closes 8:00 PM
- April 25 – Primary Election – Closes 8:00 PM
- May 2 – Canvassing Board Meeting, Initial Review – 1:30 PM
- May 5 – Primary Election Certification – 1:30 PM
2. NEW – "Bans Off Our Bodies Sign Waving" Skagit – Wednesday, Apr 19, 2023 5:00pm – 6:00pm, Walgreens, 623 South Burlington Blvd, Burlington
"Join Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood for a national weekend of action. This event is in response to the pending mifepristone court decision. This event will take place at the Walgreens in Burlington at the intersection of Hwy 20 and Burlington Blvd. The group will be meeting on the Burlington Blvd side of the intersection. Meet us at 5pm and bring your friends, come chant, and sign wave with us! Please RSVP!"
3. NEW – Kiwanis Salmon Barbeque in 2023, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through April, Hillcrest Park Lodge, 1717 South 13th Street, Mt Vernon
"The event has been held in the community for 68 years, to raise funds for local youth and charitable work. The Kiwanis Club Salmon Barbeque is an official Skagit Tulip Festival Event . . . Alder grilled salmon with baked potato, coleslaw, garlic bread, beverages and dessert . . . Tickets are available at the door. Cost is $20 for a 3 ounce plate or $23 for a 5 ounce plate. Visa and Mastercard accepted."
4. NEW – Anacortes Nautical Treasure Hunt, Friday, Apr 14 – Sunday, Apr 23
Free event. "The Anacortes Arts Festival and Anacortes Chamber of Commerce have partnered up for their first nautical treasure hunt. Treasure hunters can explore the town April 14-23 to find prize balls hidden throughout the town. These balls can be turned in for an artist-created nautical treasure. These prizes include ceramic starfish, glass seashells and whale tiles." Click Here for the FAQ page. Click Here to register.
5. NEW – Neighbors Night in the Tulips sponsored by Helping Hands, Thursday, Apr 20, 4:30pm – 7:30pm, Tulip Valley Farms, 15245 Bradshaw Road, Mount Vernon
" . . . a FREE event for the community to come together, tip-toe through the tulips, eat at the baked potato bar with potatoes generously donated by Skagit Valley’s Best Produce, and engage in the fellowship that Spring brings to our great Valley. Also, the best way to see tulips while avoiding traffic!" Click Here to register.
6. NEW – Tulip Festival Street Fair, Friday, Apr 21, 10:00am – Sunday, Apr 23, 6:00pm, South 1st Street, Mount Vernon
7. 2023 Tulip Festival Traffic Advisory
April 1st officially kicks off Skagit County’s 2023 Tulip Festival. This is an exciting and busy time for our community, with thousands of visitors visiting local tulip fields throughout the month of April. Click Here for more information. Click Here for a guide to visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and what each tulip farm offers.
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!
Online Campaign Training – Saturday, April 15, 2023 – 9 am – 5 pm
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
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."