News from the Skagit County Democrats

Posted on February 4th, 2024

Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for February 5, 2024



1. The 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. NEWThe Skagit County Democrats Membership will meet Saturday, Feb 10, 10:00am – 12:00pm, via Zoom OR in-person, C2C Community Center, 224 Stewart Road (turns into Hoag Road east of Riverside Drive), Mount Vernon
This Membership meeting will be a HYBRID meeting. PLEASE NOTE LOCATION OF IN-PERSON VENUE. This will be a busy meeting, and we must start promptly at 10:00 a.m. If you choose the Zoom alternative, we ask that you log on no later than 9:45 a.m. Click Here for the Zoom link (Meeting ID: 231 460 3118 – Passcode: 98273).

Also, if you intend to join the Zoom meeting, we ask that you ensure your Zoom client is up to date. Click Here for easy-to-follow instructions on how to update the Zoom client.

3. The 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

HB2331 – An act relating to modifying requirements for public school instructional materials and supplemental instructional materials by prohibiting improper exclusions of certain materials, establishing complaint procedures, and promoting culturally and experientially representative materials.
Representative Alex Ramel has stepped up to protect instructional materials in our public schools. This bill has passed the Education Committee and is currently in the Rules Committee to be moved to the full House for a vote. Brief Summary of Substitute Bill:

  • Bars school district boards of directors (school boards) from refusing to approve or prohibiting the use of an educational material on the basis that it relates to or includes the study of the role and contributions of individuals or groups that are part of a protected class as established in public school nondiscrimination provisions.
  • Requires recommendations of instructional materials committees to include recommendations for culturally and experientially representative materials.
  • Establishes new requirements for written complaints about instructional materials.
  • Directs school boards to adopt or revise policies and procedures for reviews and removals of supplemental instructional materials and establishes related requirements.
  • Directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop rules and guidelines related to the instructional materials and supplemental instructional materials provisions.

Email your Legislator to support HB2331
Recommended Text:
It is deeply important we protect the integrity of our educational system and provide the children of Washington with a good education. Please support HB2331 to help our kids get a good, honest education. It has become increasingly important that we ensure as a state that school districts are not removing educational materials with insidious intent. This bill includes many important protections for the integrity of our schools.

SB5570 – Authorizing electric utilities to establish energy efficiency revolving loan programs.
Prime sponsored by Senator Liz Lovelett, 40th LD. (Senator Liz Lovelett has been a leader in promoting affordable energy efficiency and alternate sources of energy.) This bill has passed the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee and is currently in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Brief Summary of First Substitute Bill:

  • Creates the Residential Utility Energy Efficiency Capitalization Grant Program within the Department of Commerce (Commerce) to enable electric utilities to provide residential loan options that create energy efficiency opportunities for eligible households.
  • Authorizes each consumer-owned utility to apply to Commerce to receive funding to establish its own Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Program, which must contain certain elements.

 Email your Legislator to support SB5570
Summary of public testimony and recommended test
This bill opens the literal and figurative door for allowing households to reduce energy bills and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption in the state. We know that energy efficiency loan programs can provide necessary financing options for low- and moderate-income customers who might not otherwise afford or pursue these critical investments. Tacoma Power has operated such a program since 1995, provided over $2 million in no interest and forgivable loans, managed own customer service and billing, with a default rate of less than 1/3 of 1 percent. This bill provides more opportunities for COUs across the state to help customers achieve increasingly necessary energy efficiency investments.

HB1866 – Concerning the academic and support needs of children of seasonal farmworkers.
HB1866 is currently in the Education Committee. Education has traditionally passed many bipartisan bills but has recently seen a growing partisan divide. It is controlled 8-7, with Democrat control. An ambitious bill with strong democratic support, HB1866 has found a hole in our welfare system. Despite living in similar conditions, children of seasonal farmworkers do not receive the same funding from the federal government that may be available to the children of migrational farmworkers. This likely contributes to limited family engagement with schools, gaps in school attendance, and limited access to health supports, nutritious meals, and the technology becoming increasingly necessary to succeed in today’s academia. HB1866 commissions a study to examine the needs of these children to determine whether the state should provide these children with the support services modeled after those provided to migrant children.

Email your Legislator to support HB1866
Recommended text
Children are our future and they all deserve a good education, please support HB1866 and help more children make it to school. HB1866 has found a hole in our support system. Despite living in similar conditions, children of seasonal farmworkers do not receive the same funding from the federal government that may be available to the children of migrational farmworkers. This likely contributes to limited family engagement with schools, gaps in school attendance, and limited access to health supports, nutritious meals, and the technology becoming increasingly necessary to succeed in today’s academia. Please support HB1866, because all children deserve an opportunity to thrive.

SB6039 – Promoting the development of geothermal energy resources.
Prime sponsored by Senator Liz Lovelett, 40th LD. House companion bill HB2129 sponsored by Representative Alex Ramel, 40th LD. This bill has passed the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee and is currently in Senate Ways and Means. Brief Summary of First Substitute Bill:

  • Directs the Washington Geological Survey to compile and maintain a publicly available comprehensive database of state subsurface geologic information.
  • Directs the Department of Natural Resources to update its geothermal resources lease rates.
  • Directs the Department of Commerce to establish a competitive geothermal exploration cost-share grant program to incentivize and offset direct costs associated with deep exploratory drilling to identify locations suitable for the development of geothermal energy.
  • Directs the Department of Ecology to engage in a collaborative process to identify opportunities and risks associated with the development of geothermal resources.

Email your Legislator to support SB6039
Recommended text
It is important to update DNR's mapping; start a conversation about the benefits and externalities of geothermal energy, build relationships with the tribes, and think about how geothermal could provide baseload energy in various communities. The Survey has conducted periodic surveys funded with one-time federal money. From these studies several areas in Washington with high favorability have been identified and limited subsurface exploration has been conducted. High quality information about subsurfaces is fundamental to geothermal resource identification and characterization. This information can be expensive to collect and is typically a barrier to geothermal development. Gathering all existing information in a single public location can expand returns on explorations and investments and reduce entry costs.

6. NEWSeeking volunteers for our Online Media Team
The Skagit County Democrats have a robust online presence of which we are quite proud. In addition to this newsletter and our website, we maintain our Facebook page, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), and we are looking to expand into Threads (Facebook's answer to X). Unfortunately, we don't have enough people to keep up with everything. If you have any interest or experience in any of the above and could afford to help us a few hours a month, that would be greatly appreciated. We will be happy to orient and train. If you think you can help out, please email

7. NEWSkagit Democrats Website Calendar
We are implementing a new process for updating our website calendar. If you would like something added or corrected to our calendar, please email and we will do our best to see that it is done.

8. 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. NEWFebruary is Black History Month
Skagit Valley College is hosting a number of events and activities for Black History Month. Click Here for a listing. Click Here for the Smithsonian/National Museum of African American History & Culture website.

2. NEW10th Annual Dine & Shop to End Homelessness, Thursday, Feb 8, 6:00am – 11:00pm, Downtown Anacortes
Sponsored by the Anacortes Family Center (AFC). "Eat at nearly every restaurant in town and shop at numerous retailers – a part of the proceeds will benefit AFC! RAFFLE PRIZES! This year we have TWO amazing grand prizes: a stunning 14kt & diamond bracelet complements of EraGem AND a one-of-a-kind, custom, dual framed jersey piece! It will be made up of authentic Michell & Ness, Jim Zorn, and Steve Largent Jerseys with authenticated autographs from each – complements of Keystone Building Services! BUY TICKETS NOW! Email!"

3. NEWConcrete Celebrates Mardis Gras, Saturday, Feb 10, 3:00pm (Parade) and party in Concrete town center
Click Here for more information.

4. NEWAnacortes Farmers Market-Winter Market, Saturday, Feb 10, 9:00am – 2:00pm, Depot Arts Center, 611 R Avenue

5. Olympic 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.


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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