DEMOCRATIC EVENTS

  1. NEW39th Legislative District Reorganization of 1-21-17 – Congratulations to the new elected officers!
  • Chair – Karl de Jong
  • Vice Chair – Jeniffer Lewis
  • 2nd Vice Chair – Paul Kelly
  • Secretary – Chuck Bean
  • Treasurer – Ann Marie Lowe
  • State Committee Woman – Germaine Kornegay
  • State Committee Man – Bill Phillips
  • County Committee Woman – Cathy Ozog
  • County Committee Man – Josh Hoppe
  • Skagit Committee Person – Donna Davison
  1. NEW40th Legislative District Reorganization of 1-15-17 – Congratulations to the new elected officers!
  • Chair, Tara Nelson
  • 1st Vice Chair/Whatcom County Chair, Alex Arriaga
  • San Juan Vice Chair, Natasha Frey
  • Skagit Vice Chair, Janet McKinney
  • State Committee Man, Tom Pasma
  • State Committee Woman, Maggie Hanson
  • Secretary, Daisy Ceniceros
  • Treasurer, Tim Brown
  1. Attend the Labor-Dem Work Group Meeting, Tuesday, Jan 31, 5:30pm, USW Hall, 47 Alder Lane, Mount Vernon

We will be discussing the following: Mark McDermott’s presentation for Western Washington University Students for Farmworker Justice and what we can do to fight Trump/Alt-Right/Republicans. Come and join the discussion about how to advocate for worker issues, create more visibility of unions, and motivate working people to participate. Any questions, contact labordemworkgroup@gmail.com.

  1. NEW – A message from Karen Deal, Executive Director, Washington Democrats

“It’s a new year, a new legislative session has begun, and we’re ready to stand up and fight for Democratic values. It’s far from surprising that a Trump-led GOP has truly heinous priorities including gutting the Affordable Care Act, nominating dangerous, unqualified extremists to the Cabinet, and generally behaving like cartoon villains.

Here in Washington State, the GOP is following their lead: Refusing to fully fund statewide education and questioning the voter-approved minimum wage increase. And that was just on day one.

We can’t let out-of-touch right-wing zealots ruin the future of our state and country. That’s why our mantra, for the next four years and beyond, will be: every vote and every voice in every election. Within Washington State and across the country, people like you are speaking out and recognizing that we all must act with strength and grit. If we want to defeat Trump’s agenda, we have to do it at every level — starting locally.

In the spirit of engagement and resistance, we’re ready to introduce our Forever Voter campaign! Never miss a chance to use your voice — pledge to be a Forever Voter and receive reminders prior to elections in your area.

We’ve seen how close races can get, and to say that the stakes are high is an understatement. So…what are you waiting for? Take the pledge now!

Every vote. Every voice. Every election.

– Karen Deal 

  1. NEW – A message from Jaxon Ravens, Washington Democrats Chair

“Last week, in the midst of subfreezing temperatures, a school in Fife, Washington, had to close because it didn’t have heat. A year and a half ago, lead was found in the water at Tacoma public schools – something that particularly affects brain and nervous system development in children. And in a statewide listening tour just over a year ago, we heard a dad from Eastern Washington describe driving hundreds of miles each week so that his child can attend special education classes in Spokane that were unavailable in their hometown.”
– State Senator Sharon Nelson, 01/14/2017

Can you guess what local Republicans have to say about these unmet needs of our state’s children, parents, and teachers? That it’s all “an illusion.”

Dear WA GOP — Lack of heat, lead-poisoned water, and inaccessible school programs are not illusions.

It’s clear – Washingtonians support fully funding our schools. Earlier this week, nearly 7,000 people rallied on the capitol steps to demand action from our legislators!

If there’s one thing that Republicans should be able to get on board with, it’s funding safe, accessible, comprehensive schools for our children. But they’re dragging their feet, refusing to pass a bill that would prevent massive budget cuts – these cuts would raise class sizes and lay off thousands of teachers, and hurt the kids who rely on a great public education.

We need to keep the pressure on Republicans to join Democrats and save our schools! Sign our petition now to help hold Republicans accountable.

Thank you for your help,
Jaxon Ravens

  1. NEW – A message from Kevin Ranker, 1-20-17

Today is a day of conflicting emotions for many of us – but it is also a day of action. Today we celebrate the peaceful transfer of presidential power that is the hallmark of our democracy. We also celebrate the conclusion of the country’s first African American presidency, a presidency that was defined by tremendous dignity, inclusiveness, accomplishment and grace.

At the same time, we observe the inauguration of the man who led the racist backlash against our country’s first black president – a man who not only “othered” Barack Obama by insisting that he was not born here, but who has also “othered” immigrants, Muslims, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities and veterans on his way to the highest office in the land.

Watching Donald Trump take the oath of office this morning was a civic experience unlike any I’ve had as an American. In the past, regardless of how much I may have disagreed with an incoming president on policy issues, I’ve always retained the core certainty that our basic American values of equality, inclusion, tolerance and mutual respect stood firm. Today, for the first time ever, I am uncertain that America’s president holds these fundamental commitments. And for this reason, today does not feel like a day of celebration but one of question and worry.

But, instead of being sad, I am motivated. I believe now more than ever that we who hold these core values sacred must redouble our commitment to them at the very moment they become threatened.

We have entered an era of uncertainty as a nation, but now more than ever is the time for progressives to stand strong. Together, we are much more powerful than the forces of division and discrimination. I continue to believe that ours is a nation of people who are decent, inclusive and kindhearted, and that rhetoric to the contrary remains far outside the mainstream of American life. We must continue to show this in everything we do. It is our duty to remind those around us that America is defined by an open, caring, welcoming sensibility.

As I move forward, I am reinvigorated to do good – to make lives better, the environment better and communities better; to protect and advance choice, equality, justice and the environment. During the 2017 legislative session, more urgently than ever, I believe progressive lawmakers here in Washington State and in Washington D.C. must clearly demonstrate this in our legislative proposals, our votes, our budget, our speeches and all our communications. I ask you to join me in this. Together, we can be louder than the voices of hate, coming together as Americans to protect and advance those values we hold most dear. If we stand together, we shall overcome.

  1. New Hours of Operation at Skagit Democrats Headquarters, 300A South First Street, Mount Vernon

Beginning in January, Headquarters will be open from 12:00pm – 4:00pm, Monday through Thursday. The Headquarters will not be open on Fridays until volunteers are found or find us.

  1. The 2017 Skagit Democrats’ $1500 Essay Contest will begin Sunday, Jan 15 and end Wednesday, Mar 15

This year’s topic is: America Benefits from Immigration. All juniors and seniors in Skagit County public schools are eligible. Guidelines are available at

http://www.skagitdemocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Guidelines.pdf

  1. 2017 Meeting Schedule for 39th Legislative District Democrats (dates are for the 4th Saturday of each Month)
  • Saturday, Jan 21- Reorganization Meeting (Marysville Library 10:00am-1:00pm)
  • Saturday, Feb 25 – Executive/General LD Meeting (Buzz Inn – 10:00am-1:00pm)
  • Saturday, Mar 25- Executive/Committee meeting (Buzz Inn – 10:00am-1:00pm)
  • Saturday, Apr 22- Quarterly LD Meeting (Monroe Library – 10:00am – 1:00pm)
  • Saturday, May 27- Executive Meeting (Buzz Inn – 10:00am -1:00pm)
  • Saturday, Jun 24 – Executive Meeting (Buzz Inn – 10:00am-1:00pm)
  • Saturday, Jul 22- Quarterly LD meeting (Skagit Democrats HQ, Mount Vernon – 10:00am- 1:00pm)
  • Saturday, Sep 23- Executive/Committee meeting (Buzz Inn – 10:00am- 1:00pm)
  • Saturday, Oct 28 – Quarterly LD Meeting (Marysville Library – 10:00am-1:00pm)
  • Saturday, Nov 18- Executive/Committee meeting (Buzz Inn – 10:00am- 1:00pm)
  • Saturday, Dec 16 – Executive Meeting (Buzz Inn – 10:00am -1:00pm)

Note: All Executive meeting locations are at the Buzz Inn, 5200 172nd (exit 206) across the street from the Airport in Arlington. The General Meetings are at the locations noted. 

  1. Campaign Training Offered
    If you set a New Year’s resolution to make change, take action, or perhaps to support progressives running for office, one of your first opportunities is coming up. Our first two training sessions of 2017 are fast approaching!

Amplify will be hosting training sessions in Portland, OR and Seattle and we’re ready to help! Attend this training to learn about writing and executing a campaign plan, communicating in a campaign environment, raising money, and gain insight on the political landscape locally and across the region!

  • Portland, OR – Saturday Jan 28, 9:30am – 4:30pm, Northwest Health Foundation, 221 NW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR – Click Here
  • Seattle, WA – Saturday Feb 4, 9:30am – 4:30pm, Bethday Community Learning Center, 605 SW 108th Street, Seattle – Click Here

This is a great opportunity to meet others who are considering to run and to learn more about the ins and outs of running for public office. We would love to have you there. There are literally thousands of local offices up for election in 2017, and not all of them require intensive, expensive campaigns you hear about in the news. Your local hospital district, fire protection district, and even water-sewer boards are waiting for your leadership!

Plus there will be lunch served. Win, win right? Right! Now, RSVP.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. NEW – Recent notice from Skagit County regarding the proposed Grip Road gravel mine

“Because we received so many letters during the public comment period for the proposed Grip Road gravel mine, we’re pushing back the public hearing date. Our planners need to evaluate the letters and see if any other studies are needed. We’ll post a new hearing date online once it’s scheduled.”
http://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/PlanningAndPermit/gravelmine.htm

  1. NEW – Volunteers needed for the Skagit Homeless Point in Time Count, Thursday, Jan 26

Help conduct short surveys that will provide census information regarding housing situations for potentially homeless individuals in Skagit County. The count will be held on January 26, 2017, but some opportunities may extend through Friday, January 27. Outreach locations may include places such as food banks, hot meal programs, social service agencies and in the community where individuals and families experiencing homelessness may congregate. For more information and to sign up – Click Here.

  1. NEW – Illuminight Winter Walk, Thursday, Jan 26, Tri-Dee Arts, 215 South 1st Street: Create paper lanterns starting at 4:00pm; Walk begins at 5:30pm.

Come to Tri-Dee Arts starting at 4:00pm and make a paper lantern luminary. Then, take a 20 minute wellness walk from Tri-Dee Arts along the Skagit Riverwalk. The Illuminight Winter Walk is a free family fun event for all ages, in conjunction with Mayor Boudreau’s Winter Wellness Week.

  1. NEW – Low-Income Housing Alliance Lobby Day Trip to Olympia, Thursday, Feb 2, 8:00am – 7:00pm

This opportunity is part of our strategy to build a stronger community by helping people help themselves and each other. Community Action clients, staff, volunteers, donors, partners and friends are welcome to attend this event. Registration Required as we CAN ONLY FIT 36 passengers in the bus! Once the bus is full, we will have a wait- list, in case there are any cancellations. If you are registering for more than one person, please fill out separate forms for each attendee. This year’s trip coincides with the Washington State Low Income Housing Alliance’s advocacy day, so we will join affordable housing advocates from around the state! For more information and to RSVP, click here.

  1. Central Skagit Library District and City of Sedro-Woolley Schedule Public Meetings

The Central Skagit Library will hold public meetings to get public testimony regarding the Library Partnership Concept with the City of Sedro-Woolley. Meetings will be held at various places on the following dates:

  • Thursday, Feb 2 at 6:00pm, Lyman Elementary School Gym, 8183 Lyman Avenue, Lyman
  • Saturday, Feb 4 at 6:00pm, Big Lake Elementary Gym, 16802 Lakeview Blvd, Mt. Vernon (Big Lake)
  • Saturday, Feb 11 at 6:00pm, Samish Elementary School Gym, 23953 Prairie Road, Sedro-Woolley (Prairie)
  • Thursday, Feb 16 at 6:00pm, Sedro-Woolley City Council Chambers, 325 Metcalf Street, Sedro-Woolley

The City of Sedro-Woolley will hold a public meeting for the 1st Reading of Library Partnership Concept Proposal on Feb 24 at 5:00 PM, Sedro-Woolley City Council Chambers, 325 Metcalf Street, Sedro-Woolley. This meeting will be a question and answer format with a moderator. Additional public meetings may be scheduled later for 2nd readings and conclusions. 

  1. 2017 Skagit Eagle Festival – 4 weekends in January

It’s a month-long celebration during the peak of eagle-watching season in eastern Skagit County. Activities take place in Concrete, Rockport, and Marblemount every full weekend in January. The Festival features a variety of free tours, walks, and educational programs where you’ll learn not only about these majestic birds, but also about the beautiful areas along the Skagit River where they return each year. Presentations will teach you about local animals, how to photograph wildlife and scenery, and much more. You also have the opportunity to enjoy arts & crafts, nature walks, river rafting, music, hayrides, and a wide variety of other outdoor and indoor activities. Bring your camera, dress for winter weather, and join us for one of the most uplifting and entertaining events of the year! For more information, go to: http://www.skagiteaglefestival.com/ 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Listen to We Do the Work, Tuesdays, 6:30 pm, at KSVR, 91.7; KSVU, 90.1; or KSJU, 91.9 FM

A weekly local worker radio program that features news, interviews, music, and comments, “We Do the Work” believes American workers are at the heart of our economy and culture, deserving dignity, respect, and a decent family wage. To hear our other shows, go to We Do The Work Archives. Questions about interviews? Email ksvrwedothework@gmail.com

NEW – We Do The Work’s program for Tuesday, Jan. 24, 6:30 pm, 91.7 FM – Mark McDermott, Social & Economic Educator, Activist, Part 2

Interview by Ken Winkes: Mark continues the report on his experience doorbelling in Pennsylvania during the 2016 election. For more information on Mark McDermott, go to http://www.markmmcdermott.com/.

We Do The Work Comments:

  • As far as private health insurance is concerned, bigger is better.
  • Pay attention to the feisty ‘Take on Wall Street’ organization that was launched by the Communication Workers of American.
  1. Listen to Speak Up! Speak Out! Radio

We are a half-hour weekly, locally-produced radio show committed to community, peace, justice, and non-violence issues. Topics and interviewees change weekly. Our shows are available anytime or subscribe to podcasts at http://www.speakupspeakoutradio.org/. Also find us at https://www.facebook.com/SpeakUpSpeakOutRadio/. Interested in getting SUSO e-News? Contact SUSOenews@gmail.com.

SUSO Radio airs at:

  • KSVR 91.7 FM, Mount Vernon, Wednesdays 5:00pm, rebroadcasts Sundays 8:00pm
  • KMRE 102.3 FM, Bellingham, Sundays 11:00am and Wednesdays 7:30am
  • KSVU 90.1 FM, Hamilton, Sundays 8:00pm and Thursdays 8:00am

                                                                                                               

Don Ambrose, Editor
Action Newsletter
news@skagitdemocrats.org

NOTE – Please send all Newsletter submissions to news@skagitdemocrats.org . I prefer to receive submissions by each Thursday but can accept them up to Saturday morning.