05. July 2023 · Comments Off on Benton County Elections – Observer Training · Categories: Announcements, Elections, Recent Events

Good Morning,

Below are our dates for our mandatory observer training and our Official Logic & Accuracy test for the Primary Election.  This is for the paid observer program.

Mandatory Observer Training – July 7th 2:00pm (please keep in mind that any observers you have for your group must come to the training in order to be part of the program)

Official Logic and Accuracy Test – Wednesday July 5th  at 2:00 pm.  Due to this election only being local items the State will not be involved.  It will just be our internal Logic and Accuracy test.

I have attached the coordinator guidelines if you are still going to be the coordinator for your group as well as the observer manual.  If so, please complete and return back to me at your earliest convenience.

We may also be having a test run of our evacuation drill at the time of the training.  If it is scheduled I’ll send out more information as time gets closer.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Link to Observer Manual

Link to Observer Coordinator Guidelines

Amanda Hatfield
Elections Manager
Benton County Auditor | Elections Division
2618 N. Columbia Center Blvd. | Richland, WA 99352
(509) 736-3085 ext. 5639
Email: amanda.hatfield@co.benton.wa.us
22. June 2023 · Comments Off on Bob Ferguson Exploratory Dinner · Categories: Announcements, Elections, Recent Events

I’m excited to announce a new event — our first Tri-Cities Dinner to support my Exploratory Campaign for Governor! 

Mark your calendar for Thursday, June 22nd for dinner at Three Rivers Convention Center — CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY.

As Attorney General, I look for opportunities to make the biggest impact for Washingtonians – and the results aren’t too bad! Here are just a few highlights: 

  • Secured over $1.1 billion from our lawsuits against large corporations that illegally fueled the opioid epidemic in pursuit of profits. 
  • Banned the sale of assault weapons. I proposed this legislation seven years in a row until it passed. This is a life saving policy that makes our communities safer. 
  • Led a national coalition to successfully defend reproductive rights and access to mifepristone, the safe abortion pill. 
  • Defeated Donald Trump in court over 50 times. 

I am exploring running for Governor because I want to build on these successes on behalf of the people of Washington state. 

Bob Ferguson for Governor Exploratory Campaign
Tri-Cities Fundraising Dinner
Thursday, June 22nd 
Doors Open: 5:00pm
Dinner: 6:00pm
Three Rivers Convention Center
7016 W Grandridge Blvd, Kennewick 

Confirm your attendance with a donation ONLINE HERE. Questions about the event? Contact bridget@bobferguson.com.

Unlike most politicians, I refuse contributions from large corporations. Consequently, I depend on the financial support of individuals like you. We have an ambitious goal for the Exploratory Campaign of 5,000 Washington donors and financial support from all 39 counties.

This will be a fun evening with some interesting speakers! I hope you can join us. 


06. June 2023 · Comments Off on NGPVAN Webinar · Categories: Announcements, Committee News, Recent Events

In our upcoming webinar, we’ll be showing you how to find and mobilize your support base with Mobilize, the industry’s #1 volunteer recruitment and event management application used by thousands of campaigns and causes.

Mobilize allows you to tap into a network of 5+ million volunteers, create and promote events quickly, and so much more. Join us for this live event to learn how to get started on accomplishing your organizational goals.

We hope to see you there!

Date & Time

Tuesday, June 6th

12:00 PM ET | 9:00 AM PT

05. June 2023 · Comments Off on National Democratic Training – June 5, 2023 · Categories: Announcements, Recent Events

This Pride, it’s more important than ever to hear first-hand from LGBTQIA+ voices about their political experiences.

So in partnership with our friends at the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, we’re hosting a special Pride in Focus NDTC Expert Q&A discussing trans and nonbinary lived experiences.

Join a panel of trans and nonbinary folks and allies as they share lessons learned and discuss the outlook of trans and nonbinary inclusion in Democratic spaces moving forward. We invite anyone of all gender identities to join this important conversation.

Fighting for visibility for folks at the margins must be a focus of our work if we ever want to build a truly inclusive bench of elected officials.

That’s why we invited our panelists to share their own experiences, learn from one another, and even take some of your questions on action steps to center and defend LGBTQIA+ communities.

This conversation is an essential one. Join us on Thursday, June 15 at 1pm ET as our panelists dig into politics, the trans and nonbinary experience, and more.

01. June 2023 · Comments Off on Ag and Rural Caucus – June 2023 Events · Categories: Announcements, Committee News, Recent Events

ARC June Events

Our Better Practices conversation is already this Thursday. (The first Thursday always sneaks up.) This month is a little different. We will share what we know about the Rural Committee of the State Central Committee. The mission of the Rural Committee does not compete with the Ag and Rural Caucus but it is helpful that we know the direction of the State Party and the Rural Committee..

The series title is Better Practices, not Best Practices. We each have our own experience with what works well. Join us to learn from your colleagues and to share your own experience.


June Schedule

6:30 pm Thursday 1 June
 Better Practices roundtable

Rural Committee: Work Plan
Steve Verhey and You


6:30 pm Thursday 15 June
Policy Series

The Farm Bill: What is it, actually
Andy Juris, President, Washington Association of Wheat Growers


Better Practices

Rural Committee: 
Steve Verhey and You
6:30 pm Thursday 1 June


Join us this Thursday evening to learn about the Rural Committee of the State Party.

Not the Ag and Rural Caucus, which is us, but the Rural Committee created by the State Party Chair.

Years ago, there was an Eastern Washington Committee. By custom, the State Vice-Chair chaired the committee. Valerie Rongey chaired the committee when I first attended the state meetings. As CD-5 representative to the state board, I stepped in for Valerie from time to time. It was very much an eastern Washington gathering. Recognizing that rural Washington was more than just LPO’s east of the mountains, the Eastern Washington Committee was re-constituted as the Rural Committee and co-chaired by Ron Wright from Wahkiakum County and Nancy Monacelli from Walla Walla. After a short existence the committee was again re-imagined. The last cycle and currently the committee has been chaired by Danielle Garbe Reser and Bennett Massey Helber, from CD-5 and CD-2, respectively.

Danielle and Bennett are both otherwise engaged Thursday evening and so cannot join us. Steve Verhey, who is on the committee, has graciously stepped up. He participated in the last central committee meeting and can share his impressions of the Rural Committee’s work plan.

Several of you also are members of the Rural Committee and can help Steve. Please consider yourselves part of the team.

The Farm Bill: What is actually?

6:30 pm Thursday 15 June

Andy Juris, President, Washington Association of Wheat Growers


You have all heard about “The Farm Bill”.  Some of you know that it is hot right now. It is renewed every five years and this is the year.

You may also vaguely know that “The Farm Bill” is more about food stamps than crop insurance. For this you can thank Tom Foley, D-Wash CD5, and Bob Dole, R-Kansas, a generation ago. Foley and Dole lead the ag committees in the house and senate, and realized that farmers needed strong urban support for a farm bill to pass. They bought this support by rolling food stamps and food policy into the farm bill. You sometimes will hear farmers complaining that the farm bill seems to be more for the city folk than farmers and that we should have a clean farm bill. The linkage, though, of ag interests and urban food policy is what keeps farmers in business.

Times change and agriculture is again in the cross-hairs of conflicting interests. A question for us is whether the farm bill can be a useful instrument for financial security for farmers and also deal with a changing climate and suspicion of farm practices on the ground. Do we still have family farms? Are our soils being depleted by commercial ag practices? Can farmers save the world? Are farmers CO2 and CH4 villains? Or do we enjoy a residual of nostalgia and good will?

We will take up some of these issues with Andy. Andy helped us on our Solar Siting in Klickitat County session two years ago and has agreed to help us understand what is at stake with the Farm Bill.

29 May 2023

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. May 2023 · Comments Off on Indivisible Rural – May 31, 2023 · Categories: Announcements, Recent Events

Hey, Rural Indivisibles!

Dear lovely rural activists, 

When’s the last time you were able to negotiate to pay your bills? Yeah, never. We don’t get to negotiate with the people we owe to make last-minute changes to our payments. We take responsibility for our own spending, our budgets, we don’t bully and we don’t threaten our communities to get a quick buck. So what’s MAGA’s MAY-jor malfunction here on the default (Yes, it’s another month pun… shhhhh)? Furthermore, what’s next after an incredible week of action to stop a MAGA Default Crisis? Where are we? And what have rural groups contributed to the conversation? And the question that’s lingering in all of our minds… what happens if we win? What happens if we lose?

The stakes for austerity policies are INCREDIBLY high in our communities, where one closing of a childcare center, clinic, or program could break our communities and leave the most vulnerable in our areas without options. And the answer to how hard rural areas fought is what’s always true of rural activists: as hard as we possibly can. Wednesday, May 31 at 8pm ET and 7pm CT, we are coming together to close out May with a look at what’s next, as well as what we’ve been able to accomplish so far. We’ll hear from groups, as always, about your successes in your own rural areas, and we’ll hear from our newest member, Molly Sandley (our incredible Political Manager) about what’s next for us. 

Lastly, we’re launching something of an experiment this summer. We all itch to get out and do something, all the time (which is why we do what we do in this movement), but it is deeply, DEEPLY important to sharpen, innovate, and keep up with the best guidance we have (after all: if reading about history, activism, and progressive politics were simply a futile chore, why would all our reps be trying to ban books, eh?). That’s why we’re starting a book club this summer – to practice what we preach about why reading, learning, and imparting knowledge is important. We’re resisting reactionary book bans by doing what they don’t want us to do: coming together and reading about how we can make these bastards irrelevant with smart organizing. Mind you, we won’t just be absorbing the information: we’ll be talking about how we can harness what we learn into practice. So join us for an explanation, and a discussion about how we can deepen our practice. Order your copy of Harvest the Vote by Jane Kleeb now to get an early start on our Summer Book Club!

See you next week, 

Indivisible’s Rural Team (Natalie, Cameron, Rachelle, Scott, and Molly)

Indivisible Project
PO Box 43884
Washington, DC 20010
United States

29. May 2023 · Comments Off on Emerald of Siam – How to run for office · Categories: Recent Events

How to run for local office and support candidates in 2023!

Saturday, May 29, at the Emerald of Siam at 2:00 PM

On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/211257724958463.

2023 is an “off-year” election where many nonpartisan seats on local city council and school board jurisdictions across Benton County will be up for re-election. Come learn what it takes to be a candidate as we break down and demystify the process of running for office. We need quality people to step up and serve our communities, especially with all the challenges we’ve been facing in our Tri-Cities community. You do not have to be wealthy and/or retired to be a successful candidate!

Filing week in Washington state officially opens Monday May 15 at 9:00 AM. This is the time frame in which individuals must declare their candidacy before the deadline of Friday May 19 at 4:00 PM to run in 2023.

The Benton County Democrats are encouraging community members to run this year who share our principles and values. A complete list of open seats across the county is available here, https://voter.votewa.gov/ScheduledRaces.aspx?y=2023&c=03. This includes positions in Benton City, Finley, Kennewick, Prosser, Richland, and West Richland.

Running for office the first time can feel intimidating, but we are here to help you get started! While we do not endorse candidates in nonpartisan races, we want to help people learn more about what it takes to run a campaign and understand how much local elections shape our communities.

Don’t think you’re cut out to be a candidate? There are still many opportunities to get involved and make a difference by supporting candidates! Please come and join our database of campaign volunteers.

Email elections@bencodems.org to reserve a seat at this event so we can plan accordingly. There is no cost to attend.

More information about this year’s election cycle is available from the Benton County Auditor’s office, https://bentonauditor.com/Guide%20to%20Elections%20and…

26. May 2023 · Comments Off on National Democratic Training – May 26, 2023 · Categories: Announcements, Recent Events

We’re introducing a brand new, in-depth bootcamp focused on a key area of campaigning: field strategy.

Next week’s NDTC National Bootcamp: Field Deep Dive will bring you a variety of sessions designed to take your field strategies to the next level. Starting at noon ET on Saturday, June 3, this comprehensive workshop will give your field tactics a boost.

So You Want to Run for Office (Pride Month Edition)

Thursday, June 1 at 1pm ET

In partnership with our friends at LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, we present our So You Want to Run for Office introductory training with a special focus on candidates who identity as LGBTQIA+. We welcome and encourage anyone who is even just considering running for office..

One of the best ways to combat right-wing attacks on the LGBTQIA+ community is ensuring that LGBTQIA+ voices are centered and prioritized. This work can begin with a candidacy for office, where you’ll talk to neighbors, elevate issues that affect you, and build coalitions of support. On the fence? Register and learn more in this one-hour overview of the entire process!

Running in a Red District

Monday, June 5 at 1pm ET

In June we’re pivoting to field strategy as the connective tissues between trainings. To kick off the month, we’re bringing you the ultimate session that will prepare you to turn out voters in red or conservative areas.

While running in these areas can be an uphill battle, using empathy and calls to action through relational organizing will be your best route.

Learn more about relational organizing and how to employ it in the field when you live in a predominantly red area.

[Later in June] NDTC Expert Q&A: NDTC Expert Q&A: Pride in Focus (Transgender & Nonbinary Campaign Experiences)

Thursday, June 15 at 1pm ET

It’s clear that the efforts from conservatives against the LGBTQIA+ community have been specifically targeted against transgender and nonbinary folks. So we’re partnering again with LGBTQ+ Victory Fund to host a frank, honest discussion about getting involved with politics as a transgender or nonbinary individual.

Join several panelists who are trans individuals and allies as they discuss the challenges and considerations they’re faced with in their own work, communities, and on the trail. Bring your questions and gear up for a thoughtful discussion with these amazing leaders. Use the button below to learn more about the panelists and topics covered.