It’s Labor Day weekend, and a good opportunity to reflect on the enormous contributions that unions have made to our society. If you appreciate having weekends, thank labor unions! The power of workers united is crucial for countering the corporate power of capital and ensuring that the people get a voice in their workplaces, our politics, and our society at large.
Here in Washington, we’re happy to have worked with our allies in labor to support causes like reforming our state’s upside-down and unfair tax code, raising the minimum wage, passing paid family and medical leave, and enacting critical workplace protections and safety measures.
I’m also proud that our state party staff is in our 4th year as a unionized workforce as members of IUPAT, and that we’re able to make sure that we’re providing fair wages and benefits for the workers who help make possible so much of the work that Washington State Democrats are able to accomplish.
If you’re gathering with your family and friends this weekend for a barbecue or a picnic (COVID safely, I hope!) please take a moment to consider the sacrifices and work done by labor unions and workers to get us here today. We stand on the shoulders of giants, who had to fight Pinkertons, and faced violence and retribution from bosses and corporations – and still do.
Redistricting Commission Announces Key Dates – Now that the Census Bureau has finally released the final data required for drawing maps in our redistricting process, our state’s bipartisan Redistricting Commission has announced important meeting dates for presenting their map proposals and soliciting feedback:
Tuesday, September 21 – Commissioners will each release their proposed state legislative district map.
Tuesday, September 28 – Commissioners will each release their proposed congressional district map.
Friday, October 22 – Deadline to ensure full consideration of third-party map submissions by the Commission.
Monday, November 15 (11:59 p.m.) – Deadline for Commission to submit final maps to the Legislature.
We all need to have these dates on our calendars because the map proposals we see from the commissioners this month and the feedback they receive from the public in October will be critical for laying out the political groundwork for the next decade in Washington. Local party organizations need to be aware of what’s being proposed in their legislative and Congressional districts, and ready to provide feedback to ensure that the maps are representing communities of interest and drawing lines that let Democrats fairly compete.
As these dates come, we’ll be working with our state party’s Redistricting Committee to share information out to all our local party organizations about what we see being proposed and how they can get involved, but tracking these key dates is the first step. In the meantime, the redistricting commission has made a “Draw Your WA” tool where the public can advocate on behalf of your communities of interest by drawing the boundaries of areas that should stay together. You can use the tool here: https://www.redistricting.wa.gov/participate/draw-your-wa
Our state party’s Redistricting Committee hosted a great webinar training on how to use the Draw Your WA tool, along with third-party mapping software like the free Dave’s Redistricting tool. We encourage folks who want to get involved and learn more about redistricting and their communities to watch the webinar here.
Our Voter Engagement Plan for 2021 – We’re excited to update you all on four big pieces of voter outreach and engagement we’re asking local parties to take on during the rest of 2021. We know folks are anxious to get this work going, and we’re setting up tools and training in Votebuilder to make this as easy as possible for everyone. We have four main voter engagement projects for local parties to participate in –
Contacting and finding out more about voters for whom we have little data. We need to know more about some of these voters so that we can target them appropriately next year, for persuasion and GOTV. By contacting them and having a conversation, we can begin building a deeper relationship between them and the Democratic party and find out how best to communicate with them through the rest of the cycle and beyond.
Reaching out to likely Dems who didn’t vote in 2020 and finding out why. Unfortunately, too many likely Democratic voters still aren’t getting their ballots in, and we want to find out why. By building relationships with these voters and listening to their issues and concerns, we can get them ready to vote this year and next!
Re-registering likely Democratic voters who’ve been purged from the voter rolls by the Secretary of State’s office. Thousands of Democratic voters are purged from the voter rolls every year by the Secretary of State’s office, and we know many of them are people who are still alive, still living at the same address, and still should be eligible to vote. We can identify these people, let them know they were purged, and get them re-registered to vote.
Registering non-registered voters. There are still so many likely Democrats who fall through the cracks of our automatic voter registration system – we need the face-to-face touch to reach them and get them registered.
On Wednesday, October 28, 2021 Commissioner Robert Larson announced his retirement from the Port of Benton Commission where he serves in District 2. Revised Code of Washington Chapter 42.12 sets forth the appointment process for filling vacancies of nonpartisan elected offices.
Monday, November 8, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Applications posted on the Port of Benton Website and available in the Port’s offices
Friday, November 19, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Deadline to submit application for vacancy
Monday, November 22, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Special Commission Meeting to review applications and announce finalists for interview
Monday, November 29, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. Final Interviews held at special commission meeting and announcement of appointment of District 2 Commissioner
“It’s time we had a Secretary of State who is not only prepared for the current threats to our elections, both foreign and domestic, but also supports and leads efforts to expand voter participation and engagement. I’m committed to protecting every voter and every vote.”