News from the Skagit County Democrats

Posted on January 28th, 2024

Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for January 29, 2024



1. NEWThe Fidalgo Democrats will meet Tuesday, Feb 6, 7:00pm, at the Anacortes Public Library, 1220 10th Street, Anacortes
The topic is “Loving Our Neighbors in a Complex World”. "We have invited Reverend Terry Kyllo, The Director of Paths to Understanding – Bridging Bias and Building Unity Through Multi-Faith Peacemaking. Rev. Kyllo works to counter Islamophobia, Antisemitism, Christian supremacy, and other forms of dehumanization. Our longing for justice for all people in the world is an important value. It is vital to debate about how to better achieve justice as members of a democracy. There will be time for questions from the audience. Coffee and cookies will be served. The meeting will be recorded and posted to our YouTube page."

2. Volunteers need to staff our Headquarters Office
We currently have openings for staffing Headquarters. We normally have 2 2-hour shifts (Noon – 2:00pm and 2:00pm – 4:00pm) per day. Volunteers can sign up for 1 or more shifts. We try to have 2 people staffing per shift. Orientation for new volunteers is offered. We are now experimenting with an easy-to-use online scheduler or google calendar for signing up for the office volunteer shifts. You don't have to make a long-term commitment – intermittent of even occasional shifts will help. If you are interested and would like to sign up or get more information, you can contact us at

3. NEWLegislative Committee Report for this week
"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.

HB2114 – Limiting rent increases and other fees for tenants
Improving housing stability for tenants subject to the residential landlord tenant act and the manufactured/mobile home landlord-tenant act by limiting rent and fee increases, requiring notice of rent and fee increases, limiting fees and deposits, establishing a landlord resource center and associated services, authorizing tenant lease termination, creating parity between lease types, and providing for attorney general enforcement.
Email your Legislator to support HB2114
Recommended Text:
“Please support HB2114 and help keep rental fees and rent in check. Some people have experienced drastic rent increases in recent years that have devastated them financially and hurt their chances of upward mobility. It is time to provide housing stability for tenants.”

SB6082 – Increasing compensation for Washington paraeducators
Paraeducators play an essential role in Washington public schools, often serving as the primary instructional support for our most vulnerable student populations, including special needs children. Recognizing the important role that paraeducators play, in 2017 the Washington legislature established common statewide standards for paraeducators and increased training standards. Unfortunately, the annual attrition rate for paraeducators has reached 23%. Driven out of their positions by the rigor of the job contrasted with low compensation, the legislature intends to increase state funding for paraeducator compensation, benefiting Washington students statewide, while simultaneously incentivizing paraeducators to remain in the profession.
Email your Legislator to support SB6082
Recommended Text:
Please support passage of SB 6082 to increase compensation for Washington educators. The statewide allocation for paraeducator salaries must be adjusted by the same inflationary increases provided to certificated educators and for regional differences in the cost of hiring staff. Paraeducators provide instructional support for our most challenged and handicapped children in Washington. Annual attrition rates for paraeducators have reached 23%, driven out by the rigor of their work contrasted with low compensation. Stabilizing a profession so important to the success of children is imperative.

SB5102 – Would ensure that every board of directors will provide school library information and technology programs for school children
This may be the most effective means to fighting misinformation and denial of access to books and educational materials. Local politicians and school boards too often fold to radical right-wing pressure to ban books and restrict free thinking. SB5102 would bring to school libraries needed technology providing access to instructional materials. Write your legislators to support this proposed legislation and encourage them to include requirements for free access to truth in educational materials and literature.
Email your Legislator to support SB5102
Recommended Text:
“We must ensure that every Washington student has access to library materials and technology within their schools. School librarians and educators must be protected in their efforts to utilize technology and educational materials, including literature, to provide access to truth in education. At risk is an inferior education that will interfere with the ability of Washington youth to be competitive in the future workforce and to be deprived of a full understanding of truth in education. Please support SB5102.”

Click Here for the 2024 Session Cutoff Calendar.

4. NEWThe Skagit League of Women Voters present "The Ins and Outs of: 2024 Presidential Primary", Monday Feb 12, 6:30pm to 8:00pm, Skagit PUD meeting room, 1415 Freeway Drive, Mount Vernon
Speakers include:

  • Lynn Campbell and Nathaniel Block, Chair and Vice-Chair of Skagit County Democratic Party,
  • Gabrielle Clay, Skagit Elections Manager, and
  • Bill Bruch, Skagit County Republican Party Chair

"This is not a campaign event and no candidate names will be involved." The presentation will also be available via Zoom. For the link, Click Here to register.

5. February Elections
There are two elections being conducted in February. The first is the Dike & Drainage Election with ballots due Tuesday, Feb 6. At this time, we do not have any information on what Dike and Drainage Districts are included. The second is a Special Election for Concrete and Mount Vernon School Districts with ballots due Tuesday, Feb 13. Click Here for the online Voter's Guide for these elections. Click Here for the Voter's Pamphlet for these Elections.

6. Gala News – Save the Date!
It has been a year and a half since our major fundraiser . . . the Gala! Please save the date for June 1st, 2024. We are changing things up and it is sure to great time for all! More to come, but please Save the Date for June 1, 2024!

7. NEWLinks 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. NEWThe monthly Planned Parenthood rally is Saturday, Feb 3, 11:00am – 12:00pm, on the sidewalk in front of the Mount Vernon Health Center, 1805 East Division Street, Mount Vernon
Bring your signs, your friends, and your family.
Editor's Note: Click Here to read a King 5 story, "Planned Parenthood says they are having tough [time] finding staffers in Washington due to harassment, threats".

2. NEWOlympic Pipeline Gasoline Spill Community Meetings

  • In-person open house – Tuesday, Feb 6, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Conway School Cafeteria, 19710 State Route 534, Mount Vernon – The public is invited to drop in anytime during meeting hours. There will be no formal presentation. Experts from the Unified Command will be available to discuss all aspects of the spill response and answer questions.
  • Online webinar on Zoom, Wednesday, Feb 7, 6:00pm, Register on Zoom – Experts from the Unified Command will give a presentation on the spill response, followed by a question-and-answer session.

3. 4th Annual 2024 La Conner Birding Festival, Saturday & Sunday, Feb 3 & 4, 10:00am, Maple Hall, 104 Commercial Street, La Conner
"Formerly called the La Conner Birding Showcase, it once focused on migrating swans and snow geese, and was started by Skagit Tourism as part of the Skagit River Bald Eagle Festival. The festival is now run by the La Conner Chamber of Commerce. This year, it has widened its scope to include all local birds, more art, and free guest speakers." Click Here for more information.


1. Anacortes Sunday Demonstrations
Progressive folks regularly demonstrate each Sunday, 12:00pm – 1:00pm at the corner of 12th Street and Commercial Avenue in Anacortes. While this is not an official Skagit County Democrats activity, turnout is encouraged.

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 led quite capably by Judy Farrar and Judith Chilcote. 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 $.51. 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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