WelcomeWA 23rd Legislative District Democrats
Happy Friday Democrats!
We're now in the midst of efforts for our 2021 local elections. What races will your local party organization be focused on?
As a State Party, we've asked for a list of 2-10 races from your chairs and vice chairs to make certain we are tracking and/or helping you recruit terrific candidates for local office - don't keep us in suspense! Where are you focusing?
We're also working with legislators to make our ballots easier to understand - like getting rid of Tim Eyman's notorious "push-polls," presented to voters under the guise of "advisory votes."
Remember, "advisory votes" were established in 2008 with the enactment of Initiative 960 (yeah, Eyman.) Through an advisory vote, voters "advise" the legislature whether to repeal or maintain a tax increase enacted by the legislature. The advisory votes results are non-binding and do not result in a change to the law or any action by the legislature. They have also been historically misleading and misworded to not tell the truth about tax measures and spending.
There is a trio of bills to address this that have passed the state Senate and are now on to the House - give them a look and give them your support, as they increase access to information, and don't "clog the ballot" with confusing and misleading Eyman push-polls.
SB 5182 repeals the requirement that advisory votes for tax increase legislation appear on the ballot and voters' pamphlet.
SB 5182 requires that information on how measures passed by the legislature will increase or decrease state revenue and how increased revenue will be expended, or what state expenditures will be eliminated; thus, they appear as information in the voters' pamphlet.
SB 5182 requires a pie chart showing operating budget expenditures for the most recent biennium to appear as information in the voters' pamphlet.
You can learn more about these bills from our latest Democracy on Demand with Senator Patty Kuderer here!
In the other Washington, 199 Republicans - including Jamie Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted against removing Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Qanon) from her committee assignments after years of unrepentant and unabashedly untrue statements about schools and 9-11, tinged with antisemitism and racism. Oh, and inciting violence and supporting sedition. Consistent courage, obviously in short supply on that side of the aisle!
Happily, she was stripped of her committee assignments, and sadly, Greene is responding to her public reprimand in much the same way that Trump, her role model and ally, reacted to his — by hurling insults on Twitter:
Stay classy, GOP - and I'm ready to give her MORE free time and end her time in Congress completely.
Finally, four Republican State Senators announced the formation of the Washington State Freedom Caucus Thursday. Senator Doug Ericksen said the caucus is focused on protecting people's liberty and freedoms. Erickson joins Senators Mike Padden, Phil Fortunato, and Jim McCune as founding members of the Washington State Freedom Caucus.
"It's not simply a subset of the Senate Republican Caucus. It's a Freedom Caucus with a freedom agenda and a big tent," said Ericksen.
A reminder that Ericksen and Fortunato are up for re-election in 2022, and we certainly have the freedom to replace them with Democrats.
With gratitude for all you do,
Chair, Washington State Democrats
Something to read: What's happening in North Carolina and why does Roy Cooper keep winning? Check this out: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/02/what-north-carolina-and-roy-cooper-can-teach-democrats/617874/
Something to watch: Ten "Must Watch" Black History Documentaries: https://www.pbs.org/black-culture/explore/10-black-history-documentaries-to-watch/
Something to do: Interested in politics? Subscribe to the "Daily Yonder" - keep it real and rural every day: https://dailyyonder.com/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&mc_cid=7bc9b92a16&mc_eid=aedd30235c
As we move into State Party reorganization weekend, a few reminders on what we will be facing in our local elections in 2021, especially from the Washington State Republican Party, and a close look at how that's manifesting in one of our towns: Sequim, in Clallam County.
First, some data.
The latest poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) finds that 60 percent of Americans say that harsh and violent language in politics contributes "a lot" to violent actions in society. More than six in ten Americans say that former President Trump has encouraged white supremacist and conspiracy groups, especially those like the Proud Boys and Qanon.
Only 35 percent of Republicans are willing to hold that ANY white supremacists or folks tied to conspiracy groups had ANYTHING to do with the seditious attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th or are in any way responsible for the attack. Back in the real world, however, 62 percent of Americans who don't identify with the GOP said white supremacists shoulder a lot of the blame for the attack, and 22 percent say they are more than a little bit to blame or 84 percent in total.
It's stunning to think that the vast majority of Republicans prefer to live in a world of denial, even at the price of refusing to hold the instigators of a domestic terrorist attack responsible. The party's base is as delusional as Mitch McConnell or Kevin McCarthy, who refuse to convict Trump for instigating the assault. The GOP also treats conspiracy-monger and newly elected Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Qanon) as a rational member in good standing. (And to add further insult, the GOP has assigned Greene to the House Education Committee - she who has mocked the killing of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School and mocked the killing of teenagers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as "fake." It's appalling, and their conduct is indefensible.)
You can read the whole poll here: https://www.prri.org/research/majority-of-americans-blame-trump-white-supremacy-for-capitol-riot/
Second, what's going on in Sequim?
Well, to Sequim Mayor William Armacost, Qanon is a "truth movement" — one that he recently encouraged folks to learn more about on YouTube on a local radio program. The mayor even wears a Qanon pin to council meetings. It's best to describe Qanon as an online conspiracy cult. Qanon followers believe that Trump has been fighting a "deep state" network of child-sex traffickers embedded in the U.S. government and the media and has promoted the idea that Democrats are sacrificing babies and eating them or drinking their blood. These bizarre lies sadly echo decades-old anti-Semitic propaganda as well.
I guess it would be one thing for Armacost to express his views in public. But now Armacost and his allies on the Sequim City Council have been carrying out a QAnon coup of the town government, firing trusted Sequim city manager, Charlie Bush, in a bizarre series of closed-door meetings and more. You can read about it here: https://www.thedailybeast.com/mayor-aims-to-turn-small-town-into-qanon-usa?ref=scroll
And the Washington GOP think this is just fine.
Why is this important for our local election cycle in 2021? As an example of just one of many local elections, Sequim needs some new City Councilmembers. But also, if anyone thinks there are enough persuasion dollars in any candidate campaign to move these GOP voters into reality, well, I'd urge you to think again. We must identify the most important local races in our Counties and LD's, and begin to work with those candidates now. We must look at the data, and realize flipping republican votes in this sort of climate and belief system is a major mountain to climb. Instead, there's a better way - but it takes hard, deliberate work that also must begin now. GOTV - or getting out our voters and registering new ones.
Here are the eye-popping numbers from across Washington - over 300,000 identified and registered democrats in Washington simply did not vote in the last election. More than 1.3M Washingtonians are eligible to vote, and are not registered, and are frequently democratic-leaning and in BIPOC communities. If we truly believe in diversity, equity and inclusion, well, the opportunity is sitting right in front of us. Let's go to work!
Finally, there's no new episode of Democracy on Demand this week. Check out last week's episode with State Senators Emily Randall and Joe Nguyen.You can view the discussion here: https://www.facebook.com/washdems/videos/462533965119420
Something to read: Remember the John Birch Society? No? Then take a peak at this article by Richard Brody, on the original "far-right overthrow the government activists" and a TV documentary that exposed them…in 1964!: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/a-tv-documentary-shows-the-deep-roots-of-right-wing-conspiracy
Something to watch: Want to know more about Qanon? Check out this documentary from CBSN Originals: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/qanon-conspiracy-theory-believers/
Something to do: Follow the Sequim Good Governance League on Facebook, to see how you can help change the City Council: https://www.facebook.com/SequimGoodGovernanceLeague/
Last week, I filed the Public Broadband Act (HB1336) to permit full public broadband in Washington State.
In many, many communities across America, local governments can offer high-speed broadband internet. But in Washington State, it’s illegal for some governments to offer broadband to the public.
It’s time for that to change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that affordable, high-speed, broadband internet service is an essential public good. We rely on the internet for remote school, remote work, and basic human connection with our families.
But too many families in Washington State don’t have access to affordable broadband. Big corporations only want to offer it where they can make big profits, leaving out so many communities.
We have a hearing on my bill coming up this Wednesday (January 27), and we’re trying to show broad grassroots support: can you sign the petition at this link and then forward this email to your friends, asking them to sign the petition too?
(And if you're on Facebook, you can share this post on your own Facebook page--choose the option to "include original post" so it includes the post and not just the link--to spread the word!)
Thanks, and I’ll keep you posted on how we do!
follow on Twitter | friend on Facebook | forward to a friend
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The last few weeks have been unlike any in our nation’s history — filled with deep sadness and bright rays of hope. When the 2021 legislative session started last week, the legislative buildings in Olympia were surrounded by security fencing and hundreds of personnel from the Washington National Guard and State Patrol. Their presence was unprecedented and startling, and stood as a stark reminder of the threat of attack and the unrest gripping our nation. I am sincerely grateful for the presence of law enforcement and our state’s security personnel during this time. I hope we will never have to start another session under these circumstances.
I am proud of the resiliency and strength our democracy has shown through these turbulent days. I am committed to serve my state and my country with renewed determination and compassion. And after the second week of this year’s 105-day legislative session, your state legislature is proving that even in a remote environment it can quickly respond to the needs of our constituents and all Washingtonians. In that spirit, this newsletter will highlight some of the good news about what’s happening in our state government. Please always feel free to reach out to me at Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov.
The 2021 session is off and running and we are eager to help our communities recover and lay the groundwork for rebuilding a post-pandemic economy that works for all Washingtonians. We released our early action pandemic recovery plan yesterday. It includes funding to expand testing and vaccine availability, help for our schools as they reopen, grants for small business, and desperately needed housing and food assistance for those hit hardest over the last year. As the chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, this has been my primary focus for the last few weeks and I look forward to sending the bill to the governor’s desk soon. However, this is just a first step and we will be working to provide more relief as the session advances. You can read more about the legislation here. I discussed the package this week on the TV program Inside Olympia and you can read more about it in the Seattle Timesand Crosscut.
This funding will provide support for our partners at the state Department of Health, who are working overtime to expedite the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Use their online tool to check your vaccine eligibility by answering a few questions here: findyourphasewa.com. A list of vaccination locations is available here.
At the recommendation of public health experts, we will be holding most hearings and meetings remotely this year. Legislators and staff have been working for months to ensure that the session is still as transparent and accessible as possible. Here are some ways you can get involved:
Sen. Christine Rolfes, Executive Assistant Linda Owens, and Legislative Assistant Haylee Anderson.
I’m fortunate to have a strong team around me again this year helping deliver results for the people in the 23rd district. While we may be communicating differently this year, we are still getting the people’s work done. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
Update your subscriptions, modify your password or email address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your email address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please visit subscriberhelp.govdelivery.com.
Washington Democrats - I know you all joined me in tearsof joy during the inauguration of President Joseph Robinette Biden and Vice President Kamala Devi Harris this week!
After four long years, the American people can finally have faith that our President will put their interests above his own and honor his sacred oath to defend our Constitution. And after enduring relentless assaults on their basic humanity, women, Black and Brown Americans, and immigrants can see in Vice President Harris’ historic inauguration the triumph of the promise of America.
And YOU made all of this happen! Over the past four years, you have answered every call to organize with the State Party and worked tirelessly to defeat Trumpism in America. This historic moment also belongs to you.
I can’t help but recall that my tenure as Washington State Democrats Party Chair began in 2017 with an urgent resolution on Saturday, January 28th, 2017, when Trump signed an Executive Order that banned foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. We adjourned that state committee meeting, and rushed to SeaTac Airport to supportimmigrants on incoming flights who were being denied entry to the U.S. The first action from President Joe Biden? Ending that same ban.
In fact, let’s look at the list of first day actions from our new administration:
☑️ Ended the Muslim Ban
☑️ Rejoined the Paris Climate Accord
☑️ Extended the Eviction Moratorium
☑️ Protected DREAMers
☑️ Protected LGBTQ rights
☑️ Increased Food Benefits to children and families☑️ Set a REAL national strategy for combating COVID-19
☑️ Authorized use of the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine distribution
☑️ Increased Worker Protections
☑️ Mandated Masks☑️ Dumped Trump appointees of the executive branch
In all, 15 Executive actions were signed by the President. And look for MORE presidential action every day next week with a “Buy American” action Monday, followed by a focus on racial equity Tuesday, climate change Wednesday, health care Thursday, and immigration Friday.
Decency and democracy, accountability and action are back.
Finally, this week’s Democracy on Demand features State Senators Emily Randall and Joe Nguyen.You can view the discussion, live or later, at this link:facebook.com/washdems/live
Something to read: Get ready for unprecedented organizing and electoral challenges all around the state. On the eve of our own State Committee orientations and meetings over the next week, take peek at what's happening within the Washington GOP: There’s a civil war all right, only right now it’s inside the Republican Party
Something to watch: ICYMI - not only is science back in the Biden-Harris administration, so are the arts. Specifically, poetry to make our hearts soar. Watch and listen to Amanda Gorman, the United States' first-ever youth poet laureate (and future president) at the inauguration festivities: Youth poet laureate recites her stunning poem at Biden inauguration
Something to do: Where you spend your money matters - support a black-owned business in Washington this week: 230+ Black-owned restaurants & businesses to support in Western Washington
And finally - I cannot resist (actually we DID resist!) - meme magic! (By the way, that is Chair-manBernie Sanders to you, new Chair of the Senate Budget Committee).
Thank you so much for all of your work this cycle to elect great Democrats. Because of exceptional leaders like you we earned tremendous victories in Washington State and nationwide and we're so grateful to have you on our team! I hope you’ll join me in bidding a hearty congratulations and welcome to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris! It’s been a long, difficult road to reach this moment, but as I watched yesterday’s inauguration it was crystal clear to me that a new day has dawned in America.
Thank you for all you have done to make this possible. Thank you for your tireless work and support for strong Democratic candidates. Thank you for keeping our powerful and diverse majorities alive here in Washington State. Thank you for helping deliver a Democratic Senate to our new administration. And most of all thank you for your unwavering commitment to our shared Democratic values.
Let’s take a moment to celebrate and enjoy this clarity and hope – the kind we haven’t felt for four long years. Then let’s take a moment to reaffirm our commitment to building an America that works for everyone. That’s what we stand for as Democrats and I’m thrilled that we can finally resume this project at a national level.
We are so excited to work with each and every one of you in the coming days, weeks, months, and years to keep up our fight and make sure Washington stays true blue!
I know many of you were able to attend our “Inauguration Eve” celebration on Tuesday – a huge thank you to those who tuned in! We have also made a recording of the event available online via this link:
I hope you’ll take a peek so you can hear inspiring messages from terrific Democratic leaders including Biden Presidential Campaign Co-Chair Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, President Biden’s DNC Chair Appointee Jaime Harrison, several of our WA State Democratic elected officials, and the man of the hour himself, President Joe Biden!
Now we celebrate the dawn of a brighter era in American politics – and soon we will begin the challenging but critical work of mending the wounds of the past four years. This means continuing to show voters that Democrats will fight for their interests and work tirelessly to rebuild a better, more just society. Thank you so much for standing with us through this important work.
Just because we won big in 2020 doesn’t mean we can stop working and I’m so excited to share our plans for 2021 with each and every one of you. We have spent the past 4 years building critical Democratic infrastructure everywhere in Washington State and we have no intention of slowing down. This year brings critical opportunities to double down on year-round organizing in historically underserved rural and diverse communities – not to mention “building the bench” by recruiting a diverse slate of strong Democrats to run for thousands of local and municipal elections this fall. This is how we preserve our majorities and build a more powerful party for years to come!
This is just the tip of the iceberg – so please stay tuned for more updates about our program!
I also want to take this chance to ask you to dig deep and double down on your commitment to our Party. We were able to earn so many victories here in Washington and nationwide in 2020 because of tireless work and support from Democrats like you and we must not stop now. I can’t wait to work with you this year – and if you’re so moved please consider donating today to help us kickstart our 2021 organizing. And do know we especially appreciate monthly gifts -- as they allow us to hire organizing staff with confidence early in the cycle and keep our program moving at top speed. Any amount helps and earlier investment means more work and more wins!
The best place to give is online via this link:
Once more – thank you for standing by us and making our work possible. We owe all our success to your hard work and unwavering commitment to our values and we’re so very glad to have you on our Democratic team.
Congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Congratulations to Senators John Ossoff and Rev. Rafael Warnock and every Democrat who can now enjoy strong majorities in both chambers of the legislature. Congratulations to each of our Washington elected officials for managing the most effective state in the nation. Congratulations to every Democrat who plans to run for office this year - joining the project of building an even better Washington. And most of all congratulations to you for making all of this work possible.
This is the moment our efforts pay off – now let’s get to work!
With so much gratitude,
Chair Podlodowski’s Statement on Inauguration
For Immediate Release | January 20, 2021
SEATTLE -- Following the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Vice President Kamala Harris, Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski released the following statement:
“After four long years, the American people can finally have faith that our President will put their interests above his own and honor his sacred oath to defend our Constitution. And after enduring relentless assaults on their basic humanity, women, people of color, and immigrants can see in Vice President Harris’ historic inauguration the triumph of the promise of America.
Washington Democrats have tirelessly organized since the day former President Trump took office to make this day possible. This historic day belongs to everyone who knocked on their neighbor’s door to remind them of the undeniable truth that democracy will always win the day -- as long as we stay in this battle for the soul of our nation.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.
In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.
In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”, he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.
At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.
On the evening of April 4, 1968, he was assassinated, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city.
Washington Democrats - On the eve of the weekend celebrating and honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, I can’t help but reflect on so many of his words related to accountability. Getting right to the point, “The time is always right to do the right thing.”
With Trump being impeached for a second time after inciting violence, death, and sedition at our Nation’s Capitol, it was heartening to see two of Washington’s three Republican Congressional members vote to impeach. That’s the right thing. But it’s not accountability for four years of unbridled support for Trump and Trumpism, and the lies that exacerbated the deepest divisions within our country caused by systemic and institutional racism.
There have been many GOP calls for “reconciliation,” - and I do believe we need to heal our country. But those calls ring hollow without any sense of responsibility for past Republican actions. Because accountability and truth are required if we ever want to reach reconciliation and justice.
To that end, we will keep holding the GOP accountable. Take a look at this joint statement from the incredible King County Democrats Chair Shasti Conrad and me on the actions - and racism and misogyny - of King County GOP Chair (and failed gubernatorial candidate) Joshua Freed.
Take a look at the Washington State Bar Association complaint we just filed today against attorney Stephen Pidgeon, lawyer of record for failed gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp (and Rudy Giuliani wannabe). The complaint seeks an immediate investigation into Dr. Pidgeon’s multiple violations of his oath to defend the U.S. and Washington State Constitutions and impose appropriate disciplinary action. After we filed this complaint yesterday, the Culp campaign has announced that they are withdrawing their lawsuit with prejudice, meaning they cannot re-file. He should never practice law in a courtroom again.
Remember the extensive website we put together many months ago on former GOP state representative and domestic terrorist Matt Shea? Shea has not left Washington State and leaves both a tarnished legacy as well as a host of like-minded Republican allies in the state legislature including Robert Sutherland, Jim Walsh, Rob Chase, Vickie Craft and Jesse Young, among others. The silence of their Caucus leaders - J.T. Wilcox and John Braun - speaks volumes. We will hold them accountable.
But our Democratic legislators ARE speaking up! Today we launched “Democracy on Demand” on Facebook live at facebook.com/washdems/live. Every Friday during our legislative session, we’ll spend 15 minutes with some of our great Democratic state legislators talking about key bills and the week’s events in Olympia - you won’t want to miss it, and of course, you can watch it live or watch at your convenience. Bookmark it! Today we heard from Senate Deputy Majority Leader Manka Dhingra and House Civil Rights on legislation related to police accountability. Timely. And there’s that “accountability” word again.
Finally, our gratitude for all of our Democratic Congressional members for their efforts through extraordinary circumstances - thank you, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Representatives Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Derek Kilmer, Adam Smith, Marilyn Strickland, Dr. Kim Schrier, and Pramila Jayapal. We especially wish Rep. Jayapal and her husband a speedy recovery from the COVID virus, as she/they were likely infected after GOP Congressional colleagues refused to “mask up” during the horrifying events at the Capitol.
Show your care and respect for the health and well being of others and yourself - do “Mask Up!”
Something to read:Letter From a Birmingham Jail - Dr. Martin Luther King. Link here: https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html
Something to watch:13th, the documentary from director Ava DuVernay, intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States, through the lens ofThirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1865, which abolished slavery and ended involuntary servitude except as a punishment for conviction of a crime. Streaming on Netflix, and most other services.
Something to do: The Biden Inauguration Committee is asking folks to submit the details of their service actions or eventshere. We encourage members to support local food programs in their communities safely, in whatever way they can. If you or members of your organization are not hosting an event, you canfind an event to join here. Please note that we encourage you to donate within your personal means. We also encourage everyone to post pictures with the hashtag #MLKDayofService and tag @washdems on social media.
We've gathered a list of resources for you to find a local food donation center near you:
Ample Harvest -ampleharvest.org/find-pantry
Feeding America -feedingamerica.org
Food Pantries -foodpantries.org
Food Finder -foodfinder.us
Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.
As your representatives in the Washington State Legislature, we send occasional email updates designed to keep you informed about the issues being debated in Olympia that may impact our community and Washington state. If you received this message in error or do not want to receive email updates from us, click here to unsubscribe from our email list.
January 11, 2021
Today I did something that for a long time I would not have thought possible. At noon Monday, January 11, 2021, I was privileged and humbled to take part in the opening of a new session of the Washington state Legislature, as your newest state representative, a proud member of your 23rd-district legislative team. I may not have fully grasped yet what a profound honor this is; I’m told that it will take a while to set in. But from the moment I learned that I would be working for my Kitsap friends and neighbors in this position, I’ve been aware of the responsibility that I asked for, and that you gave me.
Today at noon we began a journey together, you and I. For me to be as effective as possible in this position I will need your input, your advice, your ideas, and what I hope will be your constructive criticism. For my part, I will use these regular e-newsletters to keep you up to date on the issues facing our community and our state, and what your Legislature is doing to make Washington a better, more equitable, more inclusive and more prosperous place for all of us to live, work, and raise our families.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has raged in Washington, and the world, for nearly a year, the Legislative session will be conducted remotely, with today’s opening events being the only time that lawmakers will gather as a group to conduct business at the state Capitol in Olympia. Shortly after the session was gaveled into existence at noon, I cast my first vote to approve the rules that will allow lawmakers and staff to work remotely and safely for the balance of the 105-day session.,
Obviously, it’s going to be different. At times it will be difficult, no doubt, with the limitations imposed by the coronavirus and by the new technology that we’re so dependent on. But that same technology has opened up opportunities for people all over Washington to take part in the session in ways never before possible. Every single committee hearing and work session will be streamed live by TVW. Every floor session of the House and Senate, every debate and every vote, will be yours in real time.
There are new opportunities for remote testimony during committee hearings, sparing citizens the need to take off work and spend a day or more traveling to and from the Capitol. For those who prefer to put their thoughts in writing, written testimony will be invited and given the same consideration as oral comments. Here’s a comprehensive how-to prepared by legislative staff that will answer most if not all of your questions about how this strange new thing will work, and it will tell you how private citizens in their homes can make the most of the situation.
My First Bill
I’ve been very vocal about my priorities over the last several months, and managed to share them with as many people here in Kitsap as possible, given the constraints of the pandemic. At the same time, I also listened to you to make sure that I could be an advocate for your priorities as well. As a longtime resident of our beautiful district, I was not surprised to learn that my priorities, and yours, meshed more often than not.
We want our kids to have the best schools and the bright futures that education can bring about. We want every single person to have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. We want our communities and our state to have a thriving economy, with an abundance of family wage jobs, successful small businesses, and fertile ground for entrepreneurs to grow their ideas into the next great thing. We want an equitable society that makes conscious, continuous efforts to undo the toxic realities of centuries of systemic racism that harms us all regardless of our origins. We want everyone to feel safe in our homes and in public. And to put it simply, we want everyone to get a fair shake.
Many of those priorities come together in the first bill I introduced as a lawmaker. House Bill 1078 is a simple bill, long overdue, that restores the right to vote to formerly incarcerated persons who are no longer in total confinement under the jurisdiction of our Department of Corrections. As a person who was incarcerated at one time, I know firsthand how difficult it can be for a person in that circumstance to feel that they are once again a full-fledged member of society.
The evidence is clear that restoring voting rights is linked to reduced recidivism. If the goal of our corrections system is truly to correct, rather than simply to punish, this is an important step we can and should take. I’m pleased that the first lawmaker to sign onto my bill as a cosponsor is a Republican, demonstrating that this is not a partisan issue. HB 1078 will have a public hearing in the House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations on Thursday, January 14, at 10 a.m.
I’ve also introduced, again with a Republican cosponsor, HB 1086, which will create the state office of behavioral health advocacy. We are finally recognizing that behavioral health is just as crucial to a person’s well-being as physical health, and having a committed advocate within the state government can benefit countless Washington residents and their families, especially in times of stress like we’re experiencing now.
COVID-19 Update: Vaccinations and Contact Tracing
The vaccine has arrived at last. Many here in Washington have already received their first of two doses, but there is still a long, long way to go. We need to accelerate the pace of vaccinations, and I’m relieved that the incoming administration in Washington D.C. has announced that as a goal.
Even if vaccinations become widely available and are embraced by the majority of Washingtonians, we should not expect a return to normalcy anytime soon. Just in the week that ended yesterday, 17,776 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in Washington, and there is no telling how many people are infected but have not been tested and diagnosed. It’s important that we continue to do everything we can do to follow public health measures and support contact tracing. That is why I am pleased to see that more than 1.6 million Washingtonians have signed up for WA Notify, Washington’s exposure notification tool.
WA Notify is free to use, anonymous, and protective of your privacy. It works by alerting you whenever you are around another WA Notify user who later tests positive for COVID-19. You can download the app on your iPhone or Android. For more instructions on installing, please see below, and in the meantime, you can check your eligibility for the vaccine by taking a short survey at findyourphasewa.org. Also, visit this DOH page for helpful information and videos that detail everything else you might want to know about the vaccines.
Again, Thank You
This legislative session began on a cold, dark, and rainy day. It is scheduled to come to a close April 25 on what we can all hope will be a sunny spring day. I’d like to think that’s an apt metaphor for how things are going to go for all of us, too. We’ve been through a difficult 2020, for many reasons. The events of the first few days of this new year have shaken us as well. But I’m an optimist. If I didn’t think bad times and tough situations could be improved, I would never have gone to nursing school and become a registered nurse. I never would have gone to law school and taken on challenging cases. And I certainly never would have found myself in the Legislature. Thank you for giving me this chance to work on problems that affect us all. I know that when we adjourn we won’t have fixed everything that needs fixing. But with your help, we will make progress. And then we’ll make some more.
P.O. Box 40600, Olympia WA 98504
(360) 786-7934 | Toll-free Hotline: (800) 562-6000 | (800) 635-9993 (TTY)
Shannon Turner | firstname.lastname@example.org
Civil Rights & Judiciary
Healthcare & Wellness
As your representative in the Washington State Legislature, I send occasional legislative updates designed to keep you informed about the issues being debated in Olympia that may affect our community and Washington state. If you received this message in error or do not want to receive email updates from me, click here to unsubscribe from my email list.
Update your subscriptions, modify your password or email address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your email address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact subscriberhelp.govdelivery.com.
© 2018 23rd Legislative District DemocratsPO Box 368,Poulsbo, WA 98370