13. November 2022 · Comments Off on Ag and Rural Caucus Call to Meeting, June 2022 · Categories: Committee News, Recent Events

Ag and Rural Caucus Self-Call To Meeting, June 2022

Water Right Adjudication: Yakima and Nooksack
 06:30 PM 23 June, 2022 

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 813 7992 2162 
Passcode: 331894

Water Rights Adjudication: Theory, Yakima Experience, and the Nooksack Anticipation

Mary Verner, theory – Department of Ecology
Tom Ring, veteran of Yakima adjudication
William Clarke, anticipation, Whatcom County, Ag Water Board

“There is a crack in everything. That is how the light gets in.”
Leonard Cohen

The Ag and Rural Caucus looks for the cracks. We look for the light. We try to go behind the headlines and easy snap phrases to learn how policy really works. And we try to find constructive solutions in the nuances. We try to understand the interests around the table and the details of the issue at hand. Using knowledge and sensitivity we try to lever open the cracks to make something work. Wolf-cattle management in Ferry and Stevens Counties, the Lower Snake River dams, and most water issues are examples of where we have fallen short, but we keep trying.

I am reminded of the Leonard Cohen lyric by a question that came up in our coordination meeting last week. One of our guests asked how we would respond to more technical information. I responded that, while in no way are we experts in water law, we would welcome the opportunity to learn. Had I been more alert I would have more vigorously welcomed insight into how professionals look for the cracks to drive solutions. Water rights adjudication is a rich example of looking for the cracks. In the case of the Yakima River Basin adjudication, it took forty years to find the cracks. Time – forty years – obviously is one way of resolving problems but it is expensive for both the public and water users. Can Ecology and water-rights advocates across the state learn from episode to episode to reduce the decision-making costs, or is each adjudication sui generis, unique?

We are using a “compare and contrast” format for Thursday’s meeting. Mary Verner heads up Ecology’s Water Resources Program, Bill Clarke is an attorney and lobbyist specializing in water and natural resources, and Tom Ring has been with the Yakama Nation’s Water Resource Program and is a veteran of Yakima Basin water issues.

Mary and Bill will have different takes on the adjudication enterprise for the Nooksack and Tom will provide balancing commentary to keep us moving.

This, at least, the plan. Join us. And invite your friends to come in. Please encourage anyone in your circles who might be interested. As always, our meeting are open to everyone.

20 June 2022

A Scarce Resource

How do you divvy up a scarce resource? Like water. There are laws, rules and regulations, and values. Values are ideas like there should be water for endangered salmon, or water to grow food for people, or that water is fundamental to life and should be conserved as a public resource. Then, of course, we have values like having a green lawn in August and a clean car whenever. Not all values are created equal.

Water rights adjudication is application of Washington State Law and Ecology rules. Where do values come in? Clearly, how we value water has changed in the last hundred years. The legislature keeps up with some of this change and adds RCW’s with revised instructions for Ecology. So, is water right adjudication just a mechanical application of law or is there room to grow to accommodate changing values? And by whose authority?

Please do join us on the 23rd. We will talk about water, naturally, but we will also be talking about the kind of society we choose for our grandchildren. We can talk about water as a metaphor for the political choices we make about our collective life. And we can talk about water as the fundament for jobs, families and communities, and not just east of the Cascade crest.

13 June 2022

Lost Your Title?

Ever settle a parent’s estate? Maybe not all the deeds and titles were filed quite where you thought. Maybe you ended up filing a lost title request with the Department of Licensing so you could sell Mom’s old Buick?

This is a little like a water adjudication. The Buick is from 2003 but the estate’s water right dates back to 1893. This is what keeps irrigators in Whatcom County up at night. They are in the very first stage of a comprehensive water right adjudication and farmers are wringing their hands about how to document their great-grandparents’ claim to use water for crops in the late summer when the rains give out. (I can see our friends in Othello shaking their heads worrying about short August rains but the Nooksack does not have Grand Coulee Dam upstream.)

On the 23rd we will take up water right adjudication. Mary Verner from Ecology with give us the theory of water right adjudication, Tom Ring from the Yakima Valley will talk about how the forty-year Yakima Basin process played out, and Bill Clarke from Whatcom County can share what the process looks like as it is just  beginning.

7 June 2022

Water Rights: The Fundamentals

 Let’s start at the beginning. Who has rights to use public waters and how did they get them? This is the business of water right adjudication. And the Department of Ecology, working for the state, is boss. Except that the state is a later comer to claiming jurisdiction, about a hundred years. And except that only the courts can really adjudicate water rights.

Confused? Aside from one-on-one adjudications, there has been only one general basin adjudication, the Yakima. It took forty years. It wrapped up in 2019.  It is known by its court title: Ecology v Acquella.

Next up is the Nooksack (WRIA-01). Are landowners in Whatcom County looking forward to forty years of litigation?


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Ag and Rural Caucus of State Democratic Central Committee
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Ag and Rural Caucus
2921 Mud Creek Rd
Waitsburg, WA 99361

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20. September 2022 · Comments Off on Doug White Kickoff September 20, 2022 · Categories: Elections, Recent Events

Doug White has made it through the Primary and is moving on to the General! Please join us in Kennewick on Tuesday, September 20th at 6:00 PM to kick off this next stage of Doug’s Campaign for Congress. We would love to see you there! 

Doug is a fourth-generation Central Washington farmer, born and raised in Yakima. He is running because he was taught right from wrong and to live by the golden rule and like many of us he is angry at how our politicians have neglected Central Washington’s needs, such as water, immigration, and infrastructure.

Doug was victorious in the primary election and is now facing Dan Newhouse in the general election. It is critical that we come together and support Doug as we enter this next stage of the campaign. Doug’s general election campaign kickoff event in the Tri-Cities is a great opportunity to learn more about the campaign, hear from Doug on the issues, and meet with fellow supporters. I have attached the full invitation to this email. Here are the details on when to join and how to RSVP:

Join us for Doug White’s Campaign Kickoff in the Tri-Cities

Date: Tuesday, September 20th

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Location: Moonshot Brewing

Address: 8804 W Victoria Ave #140, Kennewick, WA 99336

RSVP by registering at this link or emailing Max@dougwhite4congress.us

If you can’t make in person but would like to learn more about Doug or support his campaign, you can join us for Doug’s Virtual General Election Campaign Kickoff on September 26th at 6:30 PM via Zoom. Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/s/86436923073

Doug White for Congress
PO Box 9674
Yakima, WA 98909
United States

Doug White is running to represent Washington’s 4th Congressional District in Congress. To support his campaign, make a one-time donation or sign on as a monthly recurring donor.

Email is the best way for our grassroots movement to stay in touch, but if you need to, you can unsubscribe here: (Unsubscribing is not supported in previews).

Do you want to help build the power we need to send Doug to Congress? Forward this email to a friend, neighbor or colleague and follow the campaign on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

18. September 2022 · Comments Off on Doug White Door Knocking September 18 · Categories: Elections, Recent Events

Door Knocking Yakima!
Sunday September 18th!
11 - 3pm
Rally point Yakima Dems Office
402 S 3rd St, Yakima, WA 98901 


  • Door knockers: 3 hours shifts or any other time limit you can. Meet at Rally point
  • Drivers: Pace cars to drive behind door knockers and make sure they are safe, have literature and water.

¡Se busca!

  • Tocadores de puerta: Turnos de 3 horas o cualquier otro límite de tiempo que puedas. Nos vemos en el punto de encuentro
  • Conductores: Conducen los coches detrás de los tocadores de puerta y se aseguran de que estén seguros, tengan literatura y agua.

We need volunteers! Phone banking, Texting, Canvassing, Letter writing and so much more. Join us now for Blue in ’22.


¡¡Necesitamos voluntarios! Llamadas telefónicas, mensajes de texto, campañas de publicidad, escribir cartas y mucho más. Únase a nosotros ahora para la democracia en ’22.

18. August 2022 · Comments Off on Badger Club – It’s Not Easy Being Green · Categories: Recent Events


There is little doubt that the Earth’s climate is changing, and if you harbor any, you have not been paying attention to the weather recently. There is also little doubt that the principal causes of this change are human activities from the burning of fossil fuels to changes in land-use such as deforestation and the world-wide increase in large forest fires, all of which inject climate altering gases and particles into the air. The result of all of this, among other climatic changes, is the warming of the planet as more of the sun’s energy reaching the Earth’s atmosphere is absorbed by the atmosphere than is reflected or reradiated into space.

 Controlling climate change will require global action.

But global action starts with local action. Washington State government has chosen to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring all future electric energy generation to be met through renewable resources, particularly wind and solar. The state’s climate strategy also requires electrification of nearly all economic activities: transportation, farming, construction, manufacturing, etc. This approach is a logical one for Washington as the state has one of the lowest “carbon footprints” in the country because of the past abundance of hydro-generated electricity in the region. But the region’s hydroelectric generation capacity is more likely to decrease than increase.

 Which brings us to the current proposal to build a combined wind and solar energy project in the Horse Heaven Hills south of the Tri-Cities. All energy-generation technologies have adverse environmental impacts – from manufacture to installation, operation, and decommissioning – in addition to their benefits. The point is whether these benefits outweigh the negative consequences. Our August 18 Badger Forum will examine the Horse Heaven Hills project from four different perspectives.

Register for BADGER FORUM: It’s Not Easy Being Green

COMING SEPTEMBER 15: The two candidates for Benton County Prosecuting Attorney, both Republicans, will square off in a Badger Forum. With the retirement of Andy Miller, this will be the first time in more than two decades that there will be no Democrat holding a Benton County office. Watch our Home Page for registration to open. 

16. August 2022 · Comments Off on Indivisible – How to talk to voters · Categories: Recent Events

Tune into the WA Indivisible Townhall for a special conversation Tuesday, August 16th at 6 pm PT

Do you want to learn more about Deep Canvassing? Have you ever even heard about Deep Canvassing? Do you want to find out how to get people engaged who might not normally get engaged?

This is the Town Hall series for you! 

For this first Town Hall, I will be joined by my colleague Lauren Oertel, Organizing Manager with Indivisible National, for an important conversation about Movement Building Deep Canvassing, i.e. “How to Talk to Voters”.

Whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out, there will be something for everyone to learn. 

Some things you can expect from this Town Hall:

  • Hear about the difference between traditional voter contact (Voter ID Canvassing) and movement building deep values canvassing
  • Gain skills on how to talk to voters about controversial issues
  • Walk through some potential scenarios!
  • Have your questions answered about movement building deep canvassing
  • Potentially win a prize???

REGISTER HERE: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItd-ygrDopHNMhGU8Q62cYumC6M4CPbXqi

Date: Tuesday, August 16th
Time: 6pm PT
Location: VIRTUAL
The Indivisible Project is a registered 501(c)(4). Indivisible Action is a Hybrid Political Action Committee fueled by the grassroots movement to win elections and build local, independent progressive power nationwide.
Indivisible Project
PO Box 43884
Washington, DC 20010
United States
09. August 2022 · Comments Off on Fix Democracy First – Women in Office Now – August 9, 2022 · Categories: Recent Events
Women in Office Now
Training Module 12 - Tuesday, August 9 @ 6 pm PT
Preparing for Taking Office
with special guest
Leah GoldmanRefectUS National Program Director

Are you or a woman you know interested in running for office?

WON (Women in Office Now) is a new project of Fix Democracy First Education Fund providing FREE training to help women successfully run for local, state or federal offices. Join us for our next training session:

Aug 9th @ 6 pm: Training Module 12
Preparing for Taking Office
• Choosing your team for success
• Putting together your office schedule
• Research legislative procedures & timeline
• Joining legislative committees
• Meeting with constituents
• What’s going to be my legislative focus & priorities?
• Caucusing with fellow office holders
• Following through on commitments
Register HERE for Training Module 12

Did you miss any of our previous sessions? You can view them HERE!

  • Training 1 – Why Should I Run for Office?
  • Training 2 – Where to Start? Questions to Ask Yourself
  • Training 3 – The Basics of Running for Office – w/ special guest Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor & SOS Candidate
  • Training 4 – Running a Campaign – What do I need to know?
  • Training 5Choosing Your Campaign Team – with guest speaker Cassidy Butler from IBEW Local 89
  • Training 6 – Campaign Communications – with special guest speaker Kristine Reeves, former WA State Rep & Candidate for the 30th LD
  • Training 7 – Campaign Finance – with special guest speaker Scott Haley from WA’s Public Disclosure Commission
  • Training 8 – Fundraising for My Campaign with special guest speaker Madalene Mielke, President & CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS)
  • Training 9 – Campaign Forums and Interviews with special guest speaker Kathy Sakahara
  • Training 10 – Preparing for the Election
  • Training 11 – After the Campaign: What Happens Next? Evaluating Your Campaign

All session presentations will be recorded. You can view past recordings and resources @ fixdemocracyfirst.org/won

Support Democracy! 
Please make a donation to support our programs and work for democracy. We can't do this without you!

Follow Us!

Fix Democracy First
1402 3rd Ave Ste 500
Seattle, Washington 98101
(206) 552-3287
03. August 2022 · Comments Off on Fix Democracy First Happy Hour August 3, 2022 · Categories: Recent Events

Democracy Happy Hour, August 3 @ 5 pm PT:

Primary Election Updates

Democracy Happy Hour August 3 @ 5 pm PT!

Grab a drink and come hear about the latest democracy news, ongoing efforts to fix democracy, and actions you can take at our weekly Democracy Happy Hour, Wednesdays @ 5 pm PT.

Topic for August 3, 2022:
Primary Election Updates

Upcoming Topics in August:

  • Aug 10 & 17 – CANCELED: NO Democracy Happy Hour for these weeks, as  Cindy will be on vacation.
  • Aug 24 – Are We Coming Closer to Civil War?
  • Aug 31 – Youth Involvement to Strengthen Democracy


Please submit any questions to: cindy@fixdemocracyfirst.org.

02. August 2022 · Comments Off on Doug White Celebration Yakima August 2022 · Categories: Elections, Recent Events

Why We Will Win! Por qué ganaremos!

23,000 Democrats have not voted. If these democrats vote we will this election, and we will all elections. Please reach out to your friends, family, and colleagues and confirm they have voted. Things you can do:

  • Remind them to vote
  • Let them know how important it is to vote in the primary
  • Offer to take them to the ballot drop box
  • Watch their kids while they complete their ballot
  • Anything else to get them to fill up and sign their ballot

23.000 demócratas no han votado. Si estos demócratas votan, ganaremos estas elecciones y ganaremos todas las elecciones. Por favor, contacte a sus amigos, familiares y colegas y confirme que han votado. Cosas que puedes hacer:

  • Recuérdales que voten
  • Hazles saber lo importante que es votar en las primarias
  • Ofrezca llevarlos a la urna electoral
  • Vigilar a sus hijos mientras completan su boleta de votación
  • O Cualquier otra cosa para que rellenen y firmen su boleta

¡#DemsDeliver! ¡Esta noche! ¡Noche de elecciones! ¡Martes 2 de agosto!

  • Hop Capita
  • 2920 River Rd #6, Yakima
  • 6:30pm -9pm 

Conoce a los candidatos, pastel, banda y demócratas. ¡Únete a nosotros!

#DemsDeliver! Tonight! Election Night! Tuesday August 2nd!

  • Hop Capital 
  • 2920 River Rd #6, Yakima
  • 6:30 -9

 Meet the candidates, cake, band and democrats. Join us!

We need volunteers! Phone banking, Texting, Canvassing, Letter writing and so much more. Join us now for Blue in ’22.


¡¡Necesitamos voluntarios! Llamadas telefónicas, mensajes de texto, campañas de publicidad, escribir cartas y mucho más. Únase a nosotros ahora para la democracia en ’22.

02. August 2022 · Comments Off on Doug White Celebration August, 2022 · Categories: Elections, Recent Events

The Primary is almost here! Join us to Celebrate on August 2nd!

¡Las primarias ya están aquí! ¡Únase a nosotros para celebrar el 2 de agosto!

The Primary Election is now  just four days away! This is your final reminder to cast your ballot and remind your friends to do so as well! It will take all of us to win the primary and flip the 4th District blue in the general! We have incredible momentum and enthusiasm on the ground, now we just need to keep it going. Vote Vote Vote!

Faltan sólo cuatro días para las elecciones primarias. Este es el último recordatorio para emitir su voto y recordar a sus amigos que lo hagan también. Se necesitará de todos nosotros para ganar las primarias y hacer que el 4º Distrito sea azul en las generales. Tenemos un increíble impulso y entusiasmo en el terreno, ahora sólo tenemos que mantenerlo. Vota, vota, vota.  

We have truly accomplished so much, and it is almost time to celebrate our efforts! You’re invited to join us on the evening of the Primary to celebrate our hard work and success in this stage of the race! This celebration will take place at Hop Capital Brewing in Yakima from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd. There will be live music, cake, and plenty of excited Democrats! The campaign team and I will also be speaking about our plans for success in the general election. I look forward to seeing you there!

Here are the details for our Primary Night Celebration/ Los detalles para la celebración:

Date: 8/02/2022
Time: 6:30-9:00 PM
Location: Hop Capital Brewing
Address: 2920 River Rd. #6, Yakima, WA 98902
Registrecese usando el link/RSVP by registering at this link or emailing max@dougwhite4congress.us
Cant attend in person? Join us on Zoom! No puede estar en persona, celebre con nosotros via ZOOM: