News from the Skagit County Democrats
Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for May 15, 2023
1. Candidate filing is this week – May 15 – 19!
Several local offices are open in cities, school districts, fire districts, port districts, and hospital districts, etc. Click Here for filing information. Click Here for Scheduled Races. Click Here for the Skagit County Candidates Guide. All information is available at the Skagit County Auditor's Elections webpage. The August 1 Primary is the next election.
2. NEW – The most recent meeting of the Fidalgo Democrats, "Legislative Update", Tuesday, May 9, can now be viewed on YouTube (Click Here).
"Thanks to our 10th and 40th LD legislators Alex Ramel, Dave Paul, Clyde Shavers and Liz Lovelett for an excellent presentation of the many accomplishments in the legislative session. We really appreciate all your hard work and dedication to the citizens of NW Washington. We are so fortunate to have this amazing team working for us! All our past meetings can be found on our page at https://www.youtube.com/@fidalgodemocrats3675."
3. Skagit County Democrats Candidate Endorsement Process
"Do you know of a candidate who has strong Democratic values running for office this year? If so, please encourage them to apply for certification and endorsement from the Skagit Democrats. That way, the party can formally support them through sharing their social media posts, allowing them to list the Skagit Democrats as an official endorser, giving access to the Votebuilder database, and sometimes even contributing a cash donation. If you know anyone interested in applying, please direct them to this link on our endorsement process.
4. "Masking up" is now OPTIONAL for volunteers and visitors at our Skagit Democrats Headquarters Office
5. NEW – Chair's Corner – The Republican Narrative Undermines the Welfare of our Relatives and Neighbors Addicted to Opioids like Fentanyl
"Imagine learning every day that a plane with 180 Americans on board crashed! That’s how many Americans die every day from an overdose of opioids, including fentanyl.(1) What is the cause of this national crisis? A common Republican narrative is that the crisis is due to illegal immigration across an “open border”. For example:
- In January 2023, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) claimed, “Last year alone, we lost over 100,000 young people to deaths from drugs like fentanyl because we have an open southern border.”(2)
- On Nov 29, 2022, Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) claimed that enough fentanyl was seized at the border to kill the entire US population 7 times over and that the answer is to prioritize the safety of Americans by building the wall.(3)
- On Nov 29, 2021, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) cited fentanyl seizures as a sign of “Biden’s Border Crisis.”(4)
But this narrative is false:
- Fentanyl is not primarily trafficked by illegal immigrants. Over 90% of fentanyl border seizures are from U.S. citizens, mostly at points of entry.(5)
- Only a small minority of fentanyl seizures occur at interior checkpoints during apprehensions of people who have illegally crossed the border.(5)
- The opioid crisis was not created by Biden. In 2020, under Trump, the amount of fentanyl seized at the border accelerated dramatically and there were 95,000 overdose deaths in our country.(5)
- In 2021, U.S. citizens accounted for 86.3% of fentanyl trafficking convictions compared to just 8.9 percent for illegal immigrants.(6)
So, if illegal immigration due to an “open border” is not the problem what is the true narrative? Two decades ago, pharmaceutical companies began promoting the use of opioids as painkillers leading to a large increase in addictions. Practice guidelines eventually restricted distribution of painkillers from pharmacies leading to growth of the illegal market, dominated by the opioid fentanyl because it is cheap, manufactured in China and India for drug cartels in Mexico.(7)
Because fentanyl is much more potent than heroin and morphine, it can be transported in very small quantities. Also, it can be added to other drugs and made to look like legitimate medication. All of this means that addressing the fentanyl crisis requires a multi-faceted approach.(8) Improved law enforcement is one aspect: Biden’s 2023 budget proposes more funding for seizing drugs at border crossings(9) and, just recently, the FBI arrested key cartel individuals.(10) Another approach by the Biden Administration is prevention and treatment of addictions including:
- Appropriation of $3 billion in funds through The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to allow states to target addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery.(11)
- Ending prior restrictions to enable doctors, through the 2023 Omnibus Bill, to more easily prescribe buprenorphine—an effective medication for opioid abuse.(12)
- Approval this year by the Food and Drug Administration of the first over-the-counter opioid treatment, Naloxone, a drug which saves lives by rapidly reversing overdose.(13)
- Two billion in additional funding by the National Institute of Health for research projects to improve access to addiction treatment in a wide variety of justice and community settings.(14)
The Republican scapegoating of immigrants by focusing on “the open border” as the cause of the fentanyl crisis is a dangerous and irresponsible tactic that does not prioritize but actually risks American lives. This attack on the Biden Administration for “creating” the crisis further undermines focus on true solutions that would help our family members and neighbors who are on self-destructive paths.
It is imperative that we strongly resist elected officials who present us with such false narratives designed to stoke fear and anger. Our personal and collective welfare is at stake.
Respectfully submitted, Lynn Campbell, Chair"
Citations available upon request – email email@example.com.
6. 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.
- Is the debt ceiling constitutional?
- FDA Advisors Recommend Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill for the First Time
- Truth Decay and National Security
- How America’s fatal gun attraction turned schools into war zones
- This zinc battery is safer and cheaper than lithium-ion
1. NEW – The League of Women Voters of Skagit County will hold a public meeting to discuss the future of local journalism and its importance to our democracy, Monday, May 15, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, Mount Vernon High School Auditorium, 1075 Fulton Street, Mount Vernon
"The goal of the meeting is to reflect on how local journalism is evolving and the impact those changes may have on community participation in governing ourselves. The League of Women Voters of Skagit County invites all those interested in staying informed about our community in the Skagit Valley to attend. For more information, contact Wende Sanderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.708.3147."
2. NEW – Ribbon Cutting at Northwest Youth Services, Friday, May 19, 427 North 4th Street, Mount Vernon
"Join us as we welcome Northwest Youth Services to their new office."
3. La Conner Guitar Festival 2023, May 19 – 21, various locations, La Conner
Click Here for ticket, workshop, and concert information.
4. NEW – Valley Made Market, Sunday, May 21, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Riverwalk Plaza, 501 South Main Street, Mount Vernon
Valley Made Market is a monthly pop-up market filled with handmade goods, heaps of community, & live music. "A new kind of economy, a fresh take on community. Meet people who make things with their hands and see artisan-made craftsmanship up close. Discover community and so much more."
5. NEW – Join Safe and Sane Skagit for a "Wear Orange" photo, Saturday, Jun 3, 9:30am, 5800 Cains Court, Edison
Parking is available at Edison Elementary School two blocks east. "We'll be tabling all day near Tweets and i.e. Gallery to honor all those affected by gun violence this past year and celebrate 2023 major legislative successes . . . Pick up a ribbon, sticker and information or get involved."
6. NEW – Skagit County Commissioners Approve 2023 Docket
This is worth a look if you wish to monitor County Government. This involves the "comprehensive land use plan and development regulations" under consideration this coming year. Click Here for the 2023 Docket webpage.
7. NEW – Guemes Island Ferry Fare Proposal Public Hearing Scheduled for Thursday, June 8, 3:30pm – 5:30pm, Commissioners’ Hearing Room, 1800 Continental Place, Mount Vernon
"To access the full Rate Study Report, the 2023 Fare Proposal, and the 2023 Ferry Fare Revenue Target Report, please visit: [the 2023 Ferry Fare Proposal] page . . . The public can attend in-person or via Zoom using the following link: https://bit.ly/SkagitBoCCMtg."
8. Indivisible Skagit has posted 3 videos on their Facebook page regarding housing issues in Skagit County
See below for links to the videos
- All Skagitonians Need a Home We Can Afford
- Essential Housing for Essential Workers
- Skagit Sized Solutions
9. Farmer's Markets
The 2023 Farmer's Markets are beginning to open.
- Anacortes – Saturdays, 9:00am – 2:00pm, opened May 6
- Concrete – Saturdays, 10:00am – 2:00pm, opens May 27
- Mount Vernon – Saturdays, 9:00am – 2:00pm, opens May 20
- Sedro-Woolley – Wednesdays, 3:00pm – 7:00pm, opens May 24
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."