28. April 2023 · Comments Off on WSDCC Wrap-up April 28, 2023 · Categories: Committee News

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Good morning fellow Democrats,

What a week this has been! The sun is out and our Party is building momentum and making big things happen at every level. President Biden announced his bid for re-election and our Washington Democrats in Olympia wrapped up the legislative session in a whirlwind of good news for our party.

I’ve gone into detail on our policy victories below, but let’s start by taking a moment to thank our legislators for all they accomplished this session. There’s no stronger reminder of why we fight hard every single day to protect and expand our powerful and diverse Democratic majorities and I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to get done for the people of Washington! 

We could never get this done without the efforts of Democrats everywhere in Washington State and I’m committed to working with each and every one of our local party organizations to make sure we’re not leaving a single vote on the table. That’s why I’m hitting the road again today to head down to southwest Washington to speak with the terrific Klickitat County Democrats and the SW Washington Equity Coalition this weekend!

We’re so much stronger when we all come together to support our candidates – and I can’t wait to connect with Democrats in every corner of the state in the weeks and months ahead! 

WORKING FOR WASHINGTON

The legislative session is finally wrapped up, and we have so much to celebrate! Yesterday, Governor Inslee signed a suite of bills to protect access to abortion for every Washingtonian and anyone from a red state who travels here to get essential reproductive health care. 

Earlier this week, he signed the assault weapons ban into law and immediately outlawed new purchases of weapons of war that have no place on our streets. Plus, we passed a balanced budget that invests $3 billion in public schools, $1 billion in our behavioral health care system, and $400 million in the state’s Housing Trust Fund to jumpstart affordable housing projects across the state! 

A MOMENT OF HOPE

This weekend, I’m heading down to Vancouver to celebrate the graduation of a new cohort of aspiring community leaders from the Vancouver Community Leadership Institute and I couldn’t be more excited to meet these incredible graduates. Each of them have their own compelling story of transforming the hardship they’ve overcome into inspiration for improving the lives of their friends, families, and communities – a welcome reminder that for every election-denying conspiracy theorist making headlines on cable news, we have a dozen dedicated champions for social justice quietly working every day to make a difference. 

DEMOCRATS IN THE NEWS

President Biden announced he’s running for re-election!

If you haven’t yet, I strongly encourage you to check out President Biden’s video announcing his campaign for re-election. It’s a compelling reminder of the stakes of this battle for the soul of our nation and how we must dedicate ourselves to giving him the chance to finish the job of protecting our democracy.

Bernie Sanders endorses Biden, rules out 2024 bid of his own | AP News 

With so much at stake, I’m thrilled to see our party united behind the President. Regardless of where you fall on the ideological spectrum within our diverse party, we all understand that keeping President Biden in office is the best path we have to building on the transformative investments in clean energy, American manufacturing, and a sustainable economy that Biden has delivered in his first term.

With assault weapons ban, Washington enters a new era of gun reform | Crosscut 

I’m going to keep these words from Gov. Inslee in mind for the rest of the election cycle, particularly when our work gets tough: “This has been a very long bending of the moral arc of the universe, but it does bend toward justice,” Inslee said. “The victory we are celebrating today, I think ought to be a victory for anyone involved in any long-term cause,” he added. “Keep your head up, keep your heart strong.”

Upcoming Events

May 5th Grassroots Reception: The evening before my first state committee meeting as Chair, we’re hosting a reception for all our Democratic volunteers to come and celebrate our return to in-person work together to elect Democrats across the state! We’ll be hearing from AG Bob Ferguson, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, Senator Rebecca Saldaña, and Latino Caucus Chair Rep. Lilian Ortiz-Self for what will be an inspiring and exciting event! 

Get your ticket here!

State Party Updates

We’re hiring!

In case you haven’t seen, we’re looking to add talent to our incredible state party staff! We’re accepting applications for Executive Director and Communications Director, so let anyone in your network who might be interested know that they are invited to apply! 

Keep in touch, stay engaged, and as always, thank you for all you do!

With gratitude,

Chair Shasti Conrad
Washington State Democratic Party

The work we do today wins elections this November. If you’re ready to elect Democrats in every race and every place in Washington state, invest in our efforts and make a contribution now


Want to support our work year round? Join Blue Washington, our monthly giving program! It is the most effective way to help candidates, volunteers, organizers, activists, and staff because it gives us the certainty we need to scale up our program with confidence. Your monthly investment ensures we can defend our strong legislative majorities, flip key congressional seats from red to blue, and fight for progressive values. Help us lead the way to victories at all levels of government today!

Washington State Democrats
PO Box 4027
Seattle, WA 98194
United States
14. April 2023 · Comments Off on WSDCC Wrap-up April 14, 2023 · Categories: Announcements, Committee News

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Hello again fellow Democrats!

I’ve just returned from an exciting week of travel across Eastern and Central Washington, with every day this week jam-packed full of meetings and meet-and-greets with our dedicated local party volunteers. I was so grateful for the warm welcome from our LPOs in the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, Pullman, and Yakima – thank you to all who came to share their passion for staying engaged in this work and contributed their ideas for how we can boost rural organizing!

For the many of you who I couldn’t meet, here’s the message I gave all our Eastern Washington volunteers: I’m in this for the long haul. We might not flip every seat in this cycle, or even the next one, but I have the utmost confidence that our person-to-person organizing work is already laying the foundation for the long-term gains we need to compete in every single legislative district.

Look no further than the 3rd Congressional District for an example of how that dedication pays dividends when you might least expect it. After four years of taking the fight to Jaime Herrera-Beutler, our volunteers in Southwest Washington were ready to capitalize on the GOP’s disarray when election denier Joe Kent bested JHB in the primary. Their organizing work pushed Marie Gluesenkamp Perez to victory, and helped Democrats come within a razor’s edge of keeping control of the House of Representatives.

Now, we’ve got to double down on that neighbor-to-neighbor organizing work to protect all the gains we’ve made in the last six years and I couldn’t be more excited to be in this work with all of you! 

WORKING FOR WASHINGTON

HUGE news out of Olympia this week: the assault weapons ban passed the Senate and is now headed to Gov. Inslee’s desk for his signature! I know that the time it takes to make progress on these tough issues can be depressing, so I want to take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come on gun violence prevention since 2016.

Back then, Washington ranked #1 in the country for NRA spending. That’s right, the gun lobby spent more money here than anywhere else in the nation. That year, Republicans in the Senate blocked the passage of a bill to allow concerned family members to get an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) to temporarily remove guns from the possession of someone who they believed could be a threat to themselves or others. 

Now, we’ve not only passed that law, but we’ve also mandated universal background checks, established training requirements and waiting periods for gun purchases, allowed victims of gun violence to hold firearm manufacturers accountable in court, and are on track to ban assault weapons altogether. 

None of that could have happened without the organizing work we have done in the last six years to elect champions of public safety to the state legislature, so take a moment this morning to reflect on the progress you made possible.

A MOMENT OF HOPE

In Tennessee, Democrats have shown that we will not let the GOP strangle our democracy. Both of the state representatives who were expelled from the Tennessee state legislature have regained their seats after their local governments re-appointed them to their seats after the GOP’s unprecedented move to remove them from office. If you need an extra dose of hope with your morning coffee, take a minute to watch this speech from Rep. Justin Jones to take strength from his resolve to keep fighting for common sense gun laws.

DEMOCRATS IN THE NEWS

Justin Pearson reinstated: Memphis sends expelled Black lawmaker back to Tennessee House days after GOP lawmakers ousted him – ABC7 Chicago 

Rep. Justin Jones spoke to his constituents after getting re-appointed to the Tennessee House by the Shelby County Board of Commissioners. A reminder that local elections matter!

Amid post-Roe landscape, WA lawmakers pass abortion ‘shield law’ | The Seattle Times 

The Senate passed Rep. Drew Hansen’s Shield Law that protects people from other states seeking abortions or gender-affirming care from prosecution in their home state. As long as the Supreme Court continues to divide this country into red and blue states by rolling back personal freedoms like the right to an abortion, Washington Democrats will do our part to make sure anyone who seeks care here can do so safely.

Fed grant funding to help West Canal, Yakima River | Columbia Basin Herald 

While this might not have made front-page news, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this significant investment that Senator Cantwell secured to renovate the Columbia Basin Project’s West Canal. These kinds of investments in the necessary infrastructure for both farmers and our salmon populations are what Democrats deliver for our rural communities, and Senator Cantwell’s leadership made sure the communities I just returned from meeting with will get the millions of federal dollars they need to preserve our way of life. 

Keep in touch, stay engaged, and as always, thank you for all you do!

With gratitude,

Chair Shasti Conrad
Washington State Democratic Party

The work we do today wins elections this November. If you’re ready to elect Democrats in every race and every place in Washington state, invest in our efforts and make a contribution now


Want to support our work year round? Join Blue Washington, our monthly giving program! It is the most effective way to help candidates, volunteers, organizers, activists, and staff because it gives us the certainty we need to scale up our program with confidence. Your monthly investment ensures we can defend our strong legislative majorities, flip key congressional seats from red to blue, and fight for progressive values. Help us lead the way to victories at all levels of government today!

Washington State Democrats
PO Box 4027
Seattle, WA 98194
United States
07. April 2023 · Comments Off on WSDCC Wrap-up April 7, 2023 · Categories: Announcements, Committee News

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Good morning fellow Democrats,

At the end of what has been a heavy week, I’m reflecting on several moments that keep me committed to the the work we all do: without politicizing the very real human tragedies we’ve witnessed, the recent school shooting in Nashville and gun violence right here in Washington that resulted in 23-year-old Elijah Lewis’s death are stark reminders that changing public policy can actually save lives.

And although we can’t end every crisis overnight, I’m drawing strength and resilience from the real progress Washington Democrats at every level of government are making to create a safer world for all of us. 

As I’ve been traveling around the state to meet with our local Democratic volunteers in every corner of Washington, I’ve been struck by the resolve, determination, and hope people have that a better world is within our reach. At its core, our person-to-person organizing work is the expression of that hope: we each have something to offer that helps advance our community toward the vision we all share of a just and equitable world where everyone can thrive.

If I haven’t been to your neck of the woods yet, you won’t have to wait too long! Next week, I’m hitting the road to meet with our local volunteers in Central and Eastern Washington, so if you’re in the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, Pullman, or Yakima and want to connect, send me an email!

WORKING FOR WASHINGTON

In the state legislature, the Democratic majorities you helped protect last year are set to pass a ban on assault weapons that will help keep kids safe in their classrooms and prevent mass shootings. The measure has already passed the House, and will soon be before the full Senate floor for a vote to send the measure to Gov. Inslee’s desk. 


Our Washington Democrats have also continued to advance the shield law for patients seeking reproductive and gender-affirming care I highlighted in this newsletter two weeks ago. That bill is even more important now that Idaho has become the first state in the country to criminalize interstate travel to get an abortion. 

A MOMENT OF HOPE

This week, the Midwest gave us quite a few victories to cheer for! Led by an incredible organizing effort from the Wisconsin Dems, Wisconsin got a major win by electing a progressive judge to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Judge Janet Protasiewicz is a strong advocate for reproductive rights and beat a truly horrific Republican! 

In Chicago, they elected an awesome new mayor, Brandon Johnson, who was backed by the teachers’ unions and offered a reprieve from messaging overly focused on crime. And in Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer overturned a 1921 ban of abortion, a week after repealing the right to work laws that had been in place for years! Good things are happening across this country because of year-round organizing efforts! 

DEMOCRATS IN THE NEWS

Liberals gain control of the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the first time in 15 years 

Our fellow state party organizers in Wisconsin notched an incredibly important win this week after Janet Protasiewicz’s victory secured a Democratic majority that can now strike down abortion bans, end gerrymandering, and protect the integrity of the 2024 presidential election. 

Applications open to join Congresswoman Kim Schrier at Democracy Summer!

If you’re a high school or college student (or know one) interested in getting trained to help defend our democracy, you have until April 14th to apply to Congresswoman Schrier’s Democracy Summer program. Aspiring student organizers from across the 8th Congressional District will join together for this informative and engaging program that will teach you all you need to know about registering voters and turning out your neighbors!

WA stockpiles abortion pills ahead of federal court ruling | The Seattle Times 

Ahead of a right-wing judge’s possible ruling in a Texas lawsuit brought by anti-abortion activists, Gov. Inslee has secured a four-year supply of mifepristone to ensure Washingtonians continue to have access to the medication. At the same time, AG Ferguson is fighting back against the lawsuit with one of his own that would compel the FDA to make it easier to access medication abortion. 

Rep. Joel McEntire OK’d Twitter Account in His Name Calling People ‘Loser,’ ‘Pathetic’

Finally, a quick shout-out to the 26th LD Democrats for lifting up the alert they received from a 19th LD constituent about Rep. McEntire’s appalling use of social media. Honestly, I know I shouldn’t be surprised by a lack of common decency from any Republican elected official at this point, but I really thought there’d be a better explanation for this behavior in 2023 than “blame the intern.” If you see anything like this from your local GOP, be sure to flag it for us!

Keep in touch, stay engaged, and as always, thank you for all you do!

With gratitude,

Chair Shasti Conrad
Washington State Democratic Party

The work we do today wins elections this November. If you’re ready to elect Democrats in every race and every place in Washington state, invest in our efforts and make a contribution now


Want to support our work year round? Join Blue Washington, our monthly giving program! It is the most effective way to help candidates, volunteers, organizers, activists, and staff because it gives us the certainty we need to scale up our program with confidence. Your monthly investment ensures we can defend our strong legislative majorities, flip key congressional seats from red to blue, and fight for progressive values. Help us lead the way to victories at all levels of government today!

Washington State Democrats
PO Box 4027
Seattle, WA 98194
United States
06. April 2023 · Comments Off on Ag and Rural Caucus – Better Practices, April 6, 2023 · Categories: Committee News, Recent Events

Better Practices

Learning rural politics by fire
Doug White
2022 CD 4 Candidate

Invested in rural politics? Compare notes with Doug Thursday evening.

Ever wonder what it is like to run for congress? Ask Doug, Thursday.

Don
28 March 2023

Doug White in 2022 ran for congress in central Washington. He did not win, but he did not lose. He learned a lot about how to talk to voters in red Washington. He earned insight into how our narrative can gain traction. And he made a lot of friends.

Doug will start the conversation on 6 April but where it goes is up to you.

Don
22 March 2023

April Schedule
6:30 pm Thursday 6 April
 Better Practices roundtable

Doug White
Learning rural politics by fire
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81582823697?pwd=V1FaVlV3Ly8xTHFBTTZZM1VxblVjQT09
6:30 pm Thursday 20 April
Policy Series

Child care in rural Washington
Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin
and friends
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83419676203?pwd=NUo0NVVYOHU4Ky91RTYxa1Q0cjdXQT09

Our Better Practices roundtable is on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm.. Use the link above for 2023.

Our Policy Series is on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm. Use the link above for 2023. 


Copyright © 2022 Ag and Rural Caucus, All rights reserved.
Ag and Rural Caucus of State Democratic Central Committee
Our mailing address is:
Ag and Rural Caucus
2921 Mud Creek Rd
Waitsburg, WA 99361
31. March 2023 · Comments Off on WSDCC Wrap-up March 31, 2023 · Categories: Announcements, Committee News

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Hello Democrats and happy Friday!

I wanted to start today’s newsletter with a shout out to both the State House and Senate for putting forward budget proposals that truly work for the people of WA State! You can see more details on the proposed budget here, and more changes are expected before the Governor’s office signs it into law, but it looks like we can anticipate many transformative and positive investments, including:

  • Hundreds of millions in proposed allocations for public schools – including massive expansion for special education budgets and free breakfast for students in need. 
  • Well deserved raises for state employees, with a focus on essential workers, like home care providers and employees of assisted living facilities – who tend to make less than other healthcare professionals and are more likely to be women of color. 
  • Increased investment in childcare, affordable housing, and clean energy projects – just to name a few!

Please join me in thanking our Democratic legislators for passing policy and building budgets rooted in a commitment to care for the people all throughout Washington State and to making their lives better. It’s a proud day to be a Washington Democrat and I look forward to providing a full accounting of our accomplishments when the legislative session wraps up next month! 

In addition, I’m so excited to announce that I will be hitting the road on April 10th for a weeklong tour of Central and Eastern Washington. I’m so excited to connect with local Democrats from Yakima to Walla Walla, Pullman and everywhere in between! Because let’s face it, we can only reach our full potential as a State Party when we all come together to organize, build critical infrastructure, and elect Democrats everywhere in Washington! 

We’re working hard to make sure I have the chance to connect with local parties all across Washington and I look forward to attending a meeting in your neck of the woods soon!

DEMOCRATS IN THE NEWS

WA’s $70B budget proposals boost state worker raises, special ed

Democratic lawmakers will work with Gov. Jay Inslee’s office to negotiate a final agreement before the legislative session ends.

Gov. Jay Inslee visits Grant County, talks future of clean energy in eastern WA

Governor Jay Inslee is in Moses lake Tuesday afternoon, speaking with leaders on various clean energy topics ranging from hydrogen-powered aircraft to the booming tech industry and new businesses coming to eastern Washington.

Sales tax exemption for seniors’ meals passes WA House 

WA House Bill 1431, sponsored by Rep. Joe Timmons, provides sales tax relief for residents of senior living communities when it comes to meals. 

Michigan Democrats Rise, and Try to Turn a Battleground Blue

With a strong governor, a Legislature passing a raft of liberal measures and a looming early presidential primary, Democrats are testing the promise and pitfalls of complete control of the state.

Keep in touch, stay engaged, and as always, thank you for all you do!

With gratitude,

Chair Shasti Conrad
Washington State Democratic Party

The work we do today wins elections this November. If you’re ready to elect Democrats in every race and every place in Washington state, invest in our efforts and make a contribution now


Want to support our work year round? Join Blue Washington, our monthly giving program! It is the most effective way to help candidates, volunteers, organizers, activists, and staff because it gives us the certainty we need to scale up our program with confidence. Your monthly investment ensures we can defend our strong legislative majorities, flip key congressional seats from red to blue, and fight for progressive values. Help us lead the way to victories at all levels of government today!

Washington State Democrats
PO Box 4027
Seattle, WA 98194
United States
29. March 2023 · Comments Off on Benton County Message from the Chair · Categories: Announcements, Committee News

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Hello Democrats,

Upcoming stuff, celebrations, photos

WORKING FOR THE THREE RIVERS REGION

Legislation and other successful actions

DEMOCRATS IN THE NEWS

Repeat Shasti’s news and things of local interest.

Click here to see Governor Jay Inslee’s recent e-news update.

It includes:

State Supreme Court upholds capital gains tax

Former residents of Camp Hope ready to graduate from pre-employment program

Legislative session – week 11 in review

New federal wildfire prevention grants awarded to 14 WA projects

Extended Apple Health eligibility to expire

Affordable housing springs from a formerly contaminated site

Proposed new rules would help outdoor workers beat extreme heat

Planet approaching “irreversible” damage from climate change, per U.N. report

New Commerce grants to create 214 affordable housing units

Democrats in the News Around the State

A New Voice for Winning Back Lost Democratic Voters

To court rural and working-class voters who had supported a Republican in the district since 2011, she had to speak to them in a way that her party’s left wing usually does not — to acknowledge their economic fears, their sense of being left out of the political conversation, their disdain for ideological posturing from both sides of the spectrum.

Senator Murray Announces Nearly $25 Million in Funding to Reduce Wildfire Risk Across Washington State

Senator Patty Murray announced nearly $25 million to fund 14 projects all across Washington state to work towards reducing wildfire risks. 

U.S. Congresswoman Kim Schrier helps serves lunch at senior nutrition program

U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier, D-WA 8th District, visited Cle Elum on Monday, March 20.

Rep. Rick Larsen discusses priorities of homeless veterans with VA Secretary 

Rep. Rick Larsen joined the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affair, Denis McDonough, Dr. Thomas Bundt, Executive Director of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and regional stakeholders to discuss efforts to assist and house homeless veterans in Washington State.

Keep in touch, etc.

Democratically Yours,

[graphic}

Chair Jason Rose
Benton County State Democratic Party

The work we do today wins elections this November. If you’re ready to elect Democrats in every race and every place in Washington state, invest in our efforts and make a contribution now


Want to support our work year round? Join Blue Washington, our monthly giving program! It is the most effective way to help candidates, volunteers, organizers, activists, and staff because it gives us the certainty we need to scale up our program with confidence. Your monthly investment ensures we can defend our strong legislative majorities, flip key congressional seats from red to blue, and fight for progressive values. Help us lead the way to victories at all levels of government today!

Washington State Democrats
PO Box 4027
Seattle, WA 98194
United States
24. March 2023 · Comments Off on WSDCC Wrap-up March 24, 2023 · Categories: Announcements, Committee News

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Hello Democrats,

It’s been a terrific week traveling across the state! This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 95th annual Pacific County Crab Feed. It is the longest running political event in our state! It was so great to meet with committed Democrats and awesome elected officials to compare notes on strategy and priorities for this election cycle. Thanks so much to the Pacific County Dems for hosting!

Such a great time with the Pacific County Dems!

Thanks as well to the Thurston County Democratic Women for inviting me to speak at their meeting! It was fabulous to speak to such an inspiring room of folks, and I was so grateful to join one of my faves, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland on the bill.

I’ll be traveling nearly everywhere in Washington State in the coming weeks and months and I hope to be able to join a meeting near you. Thanks again so much to all the great Democrats working around the clock – you’re the engine that keeps our Party going and we appreciate all you do so much! 

Last but not least, I wanted to share an inspiring letter I received just last night from President Biden himself:

The letter may be addressed to me, but the message contained within is meant for every Democrat in Washington – “if we come together as a nation, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.” I am proud to lead the best State Party in the country – and I look forward to working with each and every one of you to build on our past success and lead Washington toward an even brighter future. 

WORKING FOR WASHINGTON

There’s so much great legislation moving forward in Olympia that I can’t even begin to list it all here – but I wanted to give a special shoutout to HB-1469 which passed through the House just a few days ago. In essence, it is a “shield law” to protect those from out of state who seek reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare in Washington. Congratulations and thank you to our Democratic legislators who are fighting hard to ensure everyone has safe, effective health care! 

I also want to give quick kudos  to SB-5082 for passing through the House State Government Committee and moving on to the House Rules Committee. This is a critical step toward finally abolishing conservative gadfly and “anti-tax” crusader Tim Eyman’s useless and misleading “Advisory Votes” and creating more open, transparent policy that works better for each and every Washingtonian! 

Please join me in thanking our powerful and diverse Democratic majorities for all the terrific work they are doing on your and my behalf!

DEMOCRATS IN THE NEWS

A New Voice for Winning Back Lost Democratic Voters

To court rural and working-class voters who had supported a Republican in the district since 2011, she had to speak to them in a way that her party’s left wing usually does not — to acknowledge their economic fears, their sense of being left out of the political conversation, their disdain for ideological posturing from both sides of the spectrum.

Senator Murray Announces Nearly $25 Million in Funding to Reduce Wildfire Risk Across Washington State

Senator Patty Murray announced nearly $25 million to fund 14 projects all across Washington state to work towards reducing wildfire risks. 

U.S. Congresswoman Kim Schrier helps serves lunch at senior nutrition program

U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier, D-WA 8th District, visited Cle Elum on Monday, March 20.

Rep. Rick Larsen discusses priorities of homeless veterans with VA Secretary 

Rep. Rick Larsen joined the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affair, Denis McDonough, Dr. Thomas Bundt, Executive Director of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and regional stakeholders to discuss efforts to assist and house homeless veterans in Washington State.

Keep in touch, stay engaged, and as always, thank you for all you do!

With gratitude,

Chair Shasti Conrad
Washington State Democratic Party

The work we do today wins elections this November. If you’re ready to elect Democrats in every race and every place in Washington state, invest in our efforts and make a contribution now


Want to support our work year round? Join Blue Washington, our monthly giving program! It is the most effective way to help candidates, volunteers, organizers, activists, and staff because it gives us the certainty we need to scale up our program with confidence. Your monthly investment ensures we can defend our strong legislative majorities, flip key congressional seats from red to blue, and fight for progressive values. Help us lead the way to victories at all levels of government today!

Washington State Democrats
PO Box 4027
Seattle, WA 98194
United States
19. March 2023 · Comments Off on Ag and Rural Caucus Call to Meeting, March 2023 · Categories: Committee News, Recent Events

I am proud to introduce Walla Walla and Dayton leaders in our child care meeting tomorrow. I think that this is the first time I have led with Walla Walla sources. Welcome them.

I have been less sparing with my Dayton friends. Joining us tomorrow is Shane McGuire from the County County Health District in Dayton. He led our “Rural Hospitals: Essential. Viable?” session last fall.  Those with good memories will remember, too, that we spotlighted Dayton in a face-to-face gathering at the Weinhard Hotel in the pre-Covid days.

You are all invited to join early at 6:15 pm tomorrow for a casual conversation and to meet each other.

Don
18 April 2023
Child Care in Rural Washington
Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin, YWCA-Walla Walla
Tabitha Haney, YWCA-Walla Walla
Eiledon McClellan Walla Walla Community College

Shane McGuire, Columbia County Health District

6:30 pm Thursday 20 April


Child Care in Rural Washington

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83419676203?pwd=NUo0NVVYOHU4Ky91RTYxa1Q0cjdXQT09
A family affair

Our meeting next Thursday, the 20th, is a family affair. Not just because nurturing of our children is at the core of our families, but also because I have asked my family partner, Anne-Marie, to head up the program. Anne-Marie has a story to tell about her organization’s current effort to provide services in Columbia County. She has recruited colleagues to help tell the story and generalize its lessons.

Most of Ag and Rural’s programming brings new and, sometimes, peculiar topics to your attention. This is intentional. Childcare, though, is something with which you are already familiar.  So, bring your thoughts to our meeting. Share.
 
Policy teaser:
“It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex” (Wash. Const., art. IX, § 1).

Why does the state not recognize a responsibility to educate its children from birth? (Child care is not financed as a public good like elementary education and secondary education.)

Don
13 April 2023

And how are the children?

“And how are the children?” is the Masai greeting signaling that “the well-being of their children is the best way to determine the future health and prosperity of their whole society.”

Investment in our children’s early learning is a priority for the Ag and Rural Caucus. We have attended – quite properly – to children at risk.  We have insisted on the social value of the well-being of individual children. This is not welfare; it is smart investment. The mental and physical well-being of all our children defines not only our values as a community but the social and economic health of our community as well.

“Child care” underlines this mix of the private and the social. Parents see care of their children as a family affair. Take a step or two back, though, and most of see the societal effects of how well our children thrive. The family and its care of children are the root of our culture. We as a people have a stake in how our children are nurtured.

Uncomfortable with talk of culture? Try the hard economics. The availability, quality, and affordability of child care affect families, employers, and their employees. Families have to make choices of one parent staying home to care for the children or having that parent earn enough on the outside to pay for “center” childcare, assuming that acceptable childcare is available within commuting distance. Employers struggle recruiting employees if childcare is not locally available. Do we pay enough for child care? Can local non-profits afford to meet state regulations and pay employees enough to hold them? Can families afford to pay for child care?

On 20 April we will examine whether rural Washington qualifies as a child care desert. Who in rural Washington provides child care, how do we know it is good enough, is it affordable? And who cares?

Don
22 March 2023

Resources:

ChildCare Aware of Washington: https://childcareawarewa.org/
CCA-WA is a primary source for data and advocacy.
(I have summarized the provider data.)

Center for American Progress:  https://childcaredeserts.org/
CPA maybe coined the term “child care desert.” Use their interactive map comparing poverty scores and child care availabilty by census tract. Look for the anomalies.

Department of Children, Youth, and Familieshttps://www.dcyf.wa.gov/services/earlylearning-childcare/find-child-care
Cross reference with the CCA material. 

Copyright © 2022 Ag and Rural Caucus, All rights reserved.
Ag and Rural Caucus of State Democratic Central Committee
Our mailing address is:
Ag and Rural Caucus
2921 Mud Creek Rd
Waitsburg, WA 99361
17. March 2023 · Comments Off on WSDCC Wrap-up March 17, 2023 · Categories: Announcements, Committee News

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Hello Democrats,

Happy Spring! The sun is out, flowers are in bloom, and our legislators are reminding us every day why it’s good to be a Democrat. We’ve made concrete progress on an issue that is particularly important to me and so many in our Party – reducing gun violence through common-sense safety legislation. 

Just last week the WA House passed HB 1143  a lifesaving bill promoting responsible gun ownership by requiring safety training and a 10-day waiting period for the purchase of all firearms – and HB 1240  banning the sale of assault rifles here in Washington.

And we’re not just making progress on the state level – on Tuesday, President Biden announced an Executive Order to make our communities safer by mandating the following:

  • Increase the number of background checks conducted before firearm sales, moving the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation
  • Keep more guns out of dangerous hands by increasing the effective use of “red flag” laws
  • Strengthen efforts to hold the gun industry accountable
  • Accelerate law enforcement efforts to identify and apprehend shooters

Please join me in thanking the President and his team for working hard to keep people across the country safe! 

It has never been clearer that Democrats are the only major Party to recognize the critical threat that unfettered and irresponsible access to firearms poses for our communities and particularly the lives of our children. I am so proud that the work we did to elect Democrats means we now have the power to put meaningful protections in place against the devastation that these weapons can cause. This only happened because we showed up and worked hard to build power on a state and national level – and with stakes this high we can’t afford to yield a single inch. 

Thank you for standing with us in the struggle to build a better, safer state and country. 

DEMOCRATS IN THE NEWS

Biden Issues Executive Order to Strengthen Background Checks for Guns

President Biden announced steps designed to improve enforcement of existing gun laws during a trip to Monterey Park, Calif., the site of a mass shooting in January.

Rep. Derek Kilmer to issue new bill pushing Congress to incorporate data and evidence into policymaking

The bill would establish a commission and convene experts to review, analyze, and make recommendations to Congress in an effort to better incorporate federal data and evidence-based policymaking throughout the legislative process.

Schrier leads caucus Farm Bill task force

Eighth District U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier is chairing a caucus task force on the upcoming national Farm Bill.

Rifle ban, housing bills and more advance in the WA Legislature

At the midpoint of the 2023 legislative session, these are the winners and losers so far.

Keep in touch, stay engaged, and as always, thank you for all you do!

With gratitude,

Chair Shasti Conrad
Washington State Democratic Party

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United States
16. March 2023 · Comments Off on Ag and Rural Caucus Call to Meeting, March 16, 2023 · Categories: Committee News, Recent Events
Ag and Rural Caucus
Cascade Renewable Transmission
Carol Loughlin
6:30 pm Thursday 16 March
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83419676203?pwd=NUo0NVVYOHU4Ky91RTYxa1Q0cjdXQT09

Elegant and Creative

Folks in the Tri-Cities think that Ice Harbor dam is theirs…that the power generated by its turbines stays in Pasco. They judge, contrarily, that electricity from the proposed wind project in the Horse Heaven Hills will go directly to Seattle.

Neither idea really works. What is true is that power moves. It may energize an Amazon warehouse in direct line of sight of a wind turbine, or it may light up a hospital in south Los Angeles. It moves through cables and substations. Right now, power supply and power demand are pretty much in balance.

Move the time dial ahead, though, and we see a pinch point between east and west. Fossil fuel generators in Centralia, Chehalis, and Satsop – all west of the Cascades – are going away. Vehicles are moving to Chevy Bolts and Tesla’s, most of which are driving west of the Cascades. Building codes are moving to electrical heat pumps, replacing natural gas in homes in Seattle. On the other hand, data centers and logistic hubs locate in Arlington and Pasco.

Demand for electricity is growing mostly west of the Cascades; generation is exploding east of the Cascades.

We live in a regional economy and energy needs to move – through a grid.

The problem is that this grid needs to join east and west; it needs to cross through the Cascades. Cascade Renewable Transmission has an ingenious idea that uses an existing route through the Cascades. It just happens to be a river, the Columbia River.

A friend in the energy industry calls the idea “elegant and creative.” Judge for yourself. Join us to indulge your curiosity, wonderment, and your doubts.

Don
14 March 2023

A Sleeper issue?

Is our PNW power grid a sleeper issue? Yes, and no. The “yes” is that solar and wind headlines are about homeowners upset by seeing windmills on the horizon, about solar farms built on “disturbed” ground (i.e., farmland), about fencing out elk migration routes, about the life cycle of turbine blades, about how many jobs are created and much tax money will come to the county, about local authorities being overruled by bureaucrats in Olympia, and about rural Washington subsidizing Puget Sound elites. To mention a few items.

The “no” is that the grid is often the driver behind the headlines. The grid is the power lines and towers that link generators and consumers, the rights of way that carve their way round the PNW, and the web of contracts, fees, and compliance rules between the monopolies who own the physical lines and the wind and solar developers who need access to their power customers. 

Sure, wind velocities, sun, and cheap real estate are important. So is ready access to the big power lines. The Horse Heaven project advertises that 
Renewable power projects utilize existing electrical infrastructure more wisely to reduce customer energy costs, minimize the need to build new large transmission lines throughout the region, and deliver energy to end customers in the near term instead of waiting for 10–15-years for transmission projects to be built in order to bring power from far away generation.

Enter the Cascade Renewable Transmission project. It is not enough to hook up the Horse Heaven project to a power line that goes down the hill to the Tri-Cities. The real customers are over the Cascades in the Puget Sound. The Cascades are the bottleneck. “Waiting 10-15 years for transmission project to be built” is wishful thinking. Unless you think really outside the box. And that is what Cascade Renewable Transmission (CRT) is. 

The CRT proposal is remarkable:
The Cascade Project consists of an electric transmission cable bundle, which will be buried entirely underground and underwater, and two converter stations, which will be located adjacent to existing substations. The Project can transfer approximately 1,100 MW of utility-scale wind, solar, and other renewables to help meet renewable energy demand in Oregon and Washington. The Project starts in The Dalles, Oregon and travels approximately 100 miles beneath the Columbia River to the Portland area. 

This is not a sleeper issue. Maybe off your radar but not for long. The CRT proposal is bold – and important. Open your imagination, formulate your questions and join us for a presentation and discussion.

Don
22 February 2023


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Ag and Rural Caucus of State Democratic Central Committee
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