By Judi Johannesen
The Blue Wave energy was palpable at the Washington State Democrats convention last weekend! I attended as a state platform committee member for the 8th LD, and as a Bencodems delegate.
Allison Dabler, Bonnie Kendall, and I rode up together Thursday night. Due to Bonnie’s quick response, she got a room at the convention hotel which she shared with us. That freed us up to focus on the convention rather than logistics. We lived, breathed, ate, and slept Democrat both days of the convention.
On Friday, I went to the Hispanic/Latino caucus, where Christine Brown for congress 4th CD and Leo Perales for state senate 8th LD were endorsed, as well as Susan Soto Palmer for Yakima Council position 3, a leader in the fight to de-gerrymander Yakima County. I also went to the Women’s Caucus.
The rest of the day was spent in the state platform committee meeting, working on recommendations for the sixty-some-odd resolutions submitted. Allison Dabler was a co-chair. By the end of the day, we had a platform and resolutions all ready for the plenum meeting on Saturday.
Friday night, I went to the Progressives Caucus and Socialist Pizza Party, where Shir Regev got an endorsement for Position 1 of the 8th LD.
Benton County was seated in the FRONT ROW of the convention hall. Due to malfunctioning microphones, ALL the action was taking place at the mics right in front of our seats. Like when the members of 3 tribes requested time to welcome us to their land. Initially, Tina wanted to stick to the agenda, but when she asked for whether the body wanted to allow the tribes time, it was a BIG affirmative. A song about unity, love, and peace was sung, and it was very touching. Tina later apologized and promised to include tribal welcome in future convention agendas. Our Kate Moran was one of the Sargent at Arms keeping the unruly in line, and our tally counter was Jeffrey Robinson.
First, we dealt with a bylaws change to move the beginning of the year to December 1 to coincide with the new PCOs taking office, which passed. After going through the platform and tagging the sections with questions or objections, I moved to adopt the balance of the platform, which passed. We then addressed the questions and motions to amend. There weren’t many changes, and none I would characterize as substantive. I then moved that we approve the balance of the platform as amended, which carried. On to the resolutions, which were handled in a similar fashion. A resolution against the use of superdelegates to the national convention was initially ruled out of order because it wasn’t in proper format (the first therefore isn’t an action). A motion was made to overrule the chair. Before that could go to a vote (thank goodness), another motion was made to send the resolution back to the makers to fix and then take up at the September meeting, which carried. I was feeling pretty naked there for a while, sitting in the front row in full view of a chair I like and admire, but feeling very strongly about the ill effects of superdelegates. I was very relieved at the solution that carried. At the end, we had the bylaws amendment, platform, and resolutions all dispositioned, almost all as recommended by the platform committee.
Allison brought us home through a deluge, and the beauty of the Wenatchee area farmland, the Columbia basalt cliffs and Rattlesnake Mountain made me glad for where I’m planted. Thank you all for the opportunity to represent us at the state convention!