Committee and Affinity Group News

[See the Web Log for prior Committee News write-ups. All meeting Minutes are available on the Documents and Resources page.]

We are working on a messaging campaign for use in all media that ends with the tagline, “—you might be a Democrat,”  Take a look at our current list of messages on this Google Sheet. If you have more catchy lines, please send them to secretary@bencodems.org.


From the Chair

The likelihood of the overturning of Roe v Wade with this group of “justices” has always been expected. While it is a bit surprising that the draft decision was “leaked” prior to the decision being made public, the fact remains that this group of “justices” has been placed on the Court for this moment. The guile needed over time to seat these judges is multi-faceted. The nomination process is supposed to allow the Senate to “advise and consent” with a full understanding of the nominees’ character and legal philosophy. It would seem, however, that three or four of these “justices” lied during their confirmation hearings in such a way that senators did not have a full picture of their intent regarding Roe, one of the most controversial (in their minds) SCOTUS decisions in history.

We are fortunate to live in Washington State where the PEOPLE VOTED- TWICE- to assure women the right to choose regarding when and if they should carry a pregnancy to term. However, we would be fools to rest on our laurels. Democracy is work. The lesson to take from the January 6th attack on the US Capitol is that democracy is fragile and vulnerable to determined, organized terrorists from within and without.

We must back our federal and state Democratic candidates in the upcoming mid-term elections. We must ALL get out and do our part to elect Doug White for the 4th CD and re-elect Patty Murray for the Senate as well as those who will step forward during the candidate filing period May 16-20. (Don’t forget to file for your PCO slot!) We can take nothing for granted. Door knocking and canvasing. Letter writing. Going door-to-door in our own and our neighboring precincts.

I will be asking you all to get out and help. I will be coordinating the door knocking for the White campaign. The more, the merrier. Individual yard signs will be available soon through the White website and Act Blue. 3 x 5 and 4 x 8 signs will be coming a little later so we will need help with those. Phone banking is under way and can be done at home. Call me (509-375-3531) if you need door knock lists or literature to drop.

Democratically yours,

Richard Reuther

Chair, Benton County Dems


Candidate Filing for 2022

Candidate filing week is May 16 through May 20. Those who wish to be elected Precinct Committee Officers for the 2023-2024 term must file their candidacy during this week. When filing opens on May 16, you can file online for free in just a few minutes with the following link:

Candidate Filing

Benton County Auditor

You can find your precinct with the Benton County Searchable Map.

Your district type is PRECINCT.

Click START for Precinct Committee Officer – Democratic

Then fill out your name as you want it to appear on the ballot and your contact information. Your contact information will be public record. Then SUBMIT your form.


Elections Committee

The following races are up for this year’s election cycle in Benton County:

  • County Commissioner District 2 (seat being vacated by Shon Small)— former 16th LD Rep Bill Jenkin and Benton PUD Commissioner Barry Bush both initially filed as Republicans, as Shon is not running again. Bill and Barry are very active in the leadership of the Benton County GOP. Barry is also the lead opposition voice from the right to the proposed Horse Heaven Wind Farm project.  Marco Monteblanco, Kennewick PD detective/Washington Fraternal Order of Police chair as well as Richland Mayor and former Benton County Commissioner District 1 candidate Michael Alvarez have both more recently joined the race, bringing the total to four (R) candidates. Jenkin has already raised $3,850 and Monteblanco $1,898.
  • County Assessor— incumbent Bill Spencer (R) has filed
  • County Auditor— incumbent Brenda Chilton (R) has filed
  • County Clerk— incumbent Josie Delvin (R), wife of sitting County Commissioner Jerome Delvin, has filed
  • County Coroner— incumbent William Leach (R) has filed
  • County Prosecutor— Eric Eisinger (R) and current Richland City Councilmember/Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Lukson (R) have filed. Andy Miller is not running again. Eisinger has already raised $16,303.91 and Lukson $10,802.33. In my assessment, Eisinger is the far right candidate.
  • County Sheriff— John Hodge (R) has filed. He was one of the three finalists proposed by the Benton County GOP for the appointed Sheriff position. Current Sheriff appointee Tom Croskrey (R) has also filed
  • County Treasurer— incumbent Ken Spencer (R), father of County Assessor Bill Spencer, has filed


2022 Campaign News

Doug White for Congress

Ready to get involved?
¿Listo para el trabajo?
We will win this primary, but we will need every volunteer we can find.
Ganaremos esta primaria, pero necesitaremos a todos los voluntarios que podamos encontrar.

We have a variety of upcoming events that anyone could help with- regardless of their prior experience in volunteering.  If you can hold a phone or a pen and care about democracy, we have a way to get votes out with your help!  We need to reach 65000 people in June, and we know from multiple studies of prior elections that the biggest motivator is personal contact.  That’s where you can make a difference!  You can be that point of contact that makes the difference between a ballot in the mail or in the trash.  Will you help?

Tenemos una variedad de próximos eventos con los que cualquiera podría ayudar, independientemente de su experiencia previa como voluntario. Si puede sostener un teléfono o un bolígrafo y se preocupa por la democracia, ¡tenemos una manera de obtener votos con su ayuda! Necesitamos llegar a 65000 personas en junio, y sabemos por múltiples estudios de elecciones anteriores que el mayor motivador es el contacto personal. ¡Ahí es donde usted puede marcar la diferencia! Usted puede ser ese punto de contacto que marque la diferencia entre una boleta en el correo o en la basura. ¿Ayudará?

Upcoming Opportunities:

VOLUNTEER INFORMATION MEETING:
Thursday May 26th at 4:00pm on Zoom
Learn about all the various ways you can support the campaign! 

PHONE BANKING:
Every Tuesday (5:00-6:00pm) and Thursday (6:30-7:30pm)
If you don't want to use your own phone number, Google Voice can make phone banking anonymous and safe.

DOOR TO DOOR OUTREACH:
Every Saturday from 10:00-1:00pm and 3:00-6:00pm
Locations vary:  we would like to be in both Yakima and Tri-Cities weekly but we need volunteer coordinators to make it happen!  Would you like to help?  
Contact us!

LETTER WRITING:
You can have letter writing supplies and an address list delivered right to your home and work on it when you like- or contact us to get connected to a letter writing event in your community.

Human rights are workers' rights

Los derechos humanos son derechos de los trabajadores, y los derechos de los trabajadores son derechos humanos. Estas últimas semanas nos hemos enfrentado a la cruda realidad de que una pequeña minoría de personas quiere quitarnos nuestros derechos y llevarnos de vuelta a una época de prejuicios aceptables, supresión de votantes, racismo, control de grupos de personas y subyugación de mujeres. Afortunadamente, esto es en un momento en que estamos viendo un resurgimiento de los sindicatos. Los sindicatos han estado y seguirán estando a la vanguardia del avance de los derechos de las personas: salarios familiares, semana laboral razonable, seguridad, salario equitativo, licencia y mucho más. Ahora más que nunca debemos mirar a todas nuestras herramientas y aliados para evitar el papel de vuelta de nuestros derechos. Cuando sea elegido, llevaré la lucha al Congreso para reforzar nuestros derechos humanos básicos protegidos por la constitución para que no se vean disminuidos o pervertidos por una lógica retorcida. Los sindicatos seguirán uniendo a las personas para que se unan en una causa; esta causa son los derechos de los trabajadores. Sé fuerte y vigilante.

Human rights are workers’ rights, and workers’ rights are human rights. These last few weeks we have faced the stark reality that a small minority of the American people want to take away our rights and take us back to a time of acceptable prejudice, voter suppression, racism, control of minority populations and subjugation of women. Fortunately this is at a time when we are seeing a resurgence of unions. Unions have and will continue to be on the forefront of advancing rights of individuals: family wages, reasonable work week, safety, equitable pay, leave and so much more. Now more than ever we must look to all our tools and allies to prevent the role back of our rights. When elected I will take the fight to congress to reinforce our basic human rights as protected under the constitution so that they are not diminished or perverted by twisted logic. Unions will continue to bring people together to unite in a cause; this cause is worker’s rights. Stay strong and stay vigilant.

Seattle Saturday May 21:
Washington State Labor Council 

COPE Convention

Comunidades sin Fronteras en Moses Lake. Este grupo trabaja por todo el distrito en la participación y asistencia de la comunidad.

*

Comunidades sin Fronteras in Moses Lake. This group works up and down the district on community involvement and assistance.

¡Su pancarta está aquí! 

Your yard sign is here!

Fue un privilegio ser invitada a participar en mítines por los derechos de las mujeres. Todas las personas merecen respeto y autonomía corporal.

It was a privilege to be invited to participate in rallies for women’s rights.  All people deserve respect and bodily autonomy.

The time for volunteering is coming!  Keep in touch to see all the various ways you can help in June, we will be doing everything from writing letters to waving signs and knocking on doors!


Platform and Resolutions

The Platform and Resolutions Committee is starting resolutions work this year.

For those wishing to propose a resolution, below is a link to a template you can use to craft your resolution.

This is a link to a chart of our current resolutions plan and actions taken.

The Stock Buyback resolution has been reworked and approved by the Executive Board.

The following resolutions have been passed by the Central Committee and forwarded to the State party.

The following resolutions are available for comments as they are being worked on by the committee:

Link to our Rittenhouse Resolution:

This is a link to the current State Party resolutions.


Organization Committee

Here’s a list of the 2021-2022 Elected PCO’s.

Benton County Elected Democratic Precinct Committee Officers

Here’s a complete list of all our PCO’s, elected, appointed, and acting:

Benton County Democratic Precinct Committee Officers


From Kendall Miller, Democratic PCO for precinct 260 in Richland:

Ezra Klein had a piece in the New York Times the other day (link) that spoke to me. It was about the difference between “political hobbyism” and real political work. His comments were based on the 2020 book by Eitan Hersh entitled “Politics is For Power”. I am guilty of being a political hobbyist. I watch the evening MSNBC lineup every night and get outraged and worried about what is happening to our country. All that energy has nowhere to go given that I don’t have the capacity to exercise much influence on the national level. My House Representative has a secure Republican seat and my Senators are already fighting the good fight. What’s a person to do?

As Democratic PCO’s in Benton County, our circles of influence are local and limited. And the majority of the local electorate are against us. It’s a normal reaction to feel discouraged and say despairingly, “What’s the use?” All politics are local and while we may not be able, as yet, to have significant traction in our local politics, we can certainly work to increase the number of votes in our state and regional races. As we observe the incompetence of conspiracy-theory-addled local Republicans, we can be thankful for the hard work for democracy and the common good that’s being done by our state’s own leadership – as well as most of our state’s congressional delegation. Locally, we can contribute to the efforts by these good people by expanding our portion of the electorate where we live.

I did an analysis of my precinct and found that for 13% of my precinct addresses there is no one registered to vote. In my precinct there are 541 registered voters but Vote Builder only has likely party data on 201 of them. If we can work in our neighborhoods to significantly improve those statistics, we will be doing real political work instead of just being “political hobbyists”.

For me, I’ve come to the realization that despite my best intentions, I run out of steam when I think about just jumping out there on my own. I need to feel the support of a group of PCO peers to empower and encourage me. I don’t need any more pleas from campaigns or state and local party leaders. So here’s my idea and my question.

I am willing to host a group of fellow PCO’s who are willing to join me in support of one another. We can perhaps meet by Zoom and/or create a private Facebook group, where we can share ideas, victories, concerns and challenges. In other words, organize ourselves person-to-person. A key challenge is better techniques for doing the work without being in-person and face-to-face with each other and the public. (Which is something I’m not ready to do at this time.)

To get started, I just need to know who would be interested in sharing together our PCO travails and triumphs. Please email me at pco.6260@bencodems.org.


Franklin County Democrats

Call to Meeting for May 19, 2022

May Regular Business Meeting Details
Thursday, May 19
6:00p.m. to 8:00p.m.

Click here for the agenda.

Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87557170970
To Participate by Phone 
Dial: 1 (253) 215-8782
Then Dial: 87557170970
Then Dial “#”

Fellow Democrats,

Good morning. It is Filing Week! This includes filing to run for precinct committee officer. To do that, you can file online via the Secretary of State’s Office or fill out this form and email it to elections@franklincountywa.gov.

I will write an email Saturday with a roundup of who filed where.


Doug White signs — we got’em

Doug White’s campaign has delivered signs to Benton and Franklin counties. With Benton County Chair Richard Reuther’s help, Franklin’s share is now at my house.

I’d like to give one out to whoever wants one. The suggested donation is $15, which you can pay by going to this link! Then just let me know. I’ll also be putting signs up across Pasco this weekend, and any hands that wish to help would be greatly appreciated.


A brief acting chair update

So far, no other candidates have turned out for chair. Everyone contacted so far has politely declined.

If we reach the June 16 meeting and no one steps forward to run for chair, calls for further meetings will be in the hands of the PCOs. They can to organize with the state party’s assistance or as a unit.

Any monthly bills we have also will be put on hold until the central committee reconstitutes itself. That means the PCOs elect a permanent chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer.


Natasha Hill seeking our endorsement

Natasha Hill, a prominent Democrat in the 5th Congressional District, is seeking the Franklin County Democrats’ endorsement.

You can read more here about Natasha’s upbringing and experience.

Why is a 5th CD candidate seeking our endorsement? Because only Pasco remains in the 4th CD. Redistricting put north Franklin County into the 5th’s hands.

Natasha is able to be with us at our June 16 meeting, but I wanted everyone to know now (reminders will follow, don’t worry).

In service to democracy and the Union.

— Dorsey


Ag and Rural Caucus

Crypto Currency Mining
Usk and Wenatchee
Self-Study Session

 

This is a special edition of our monthly programming. Instead of a Zoom presentation with back-and-forth conversation, this is a self-study interlude.

Robert Schutte, ARC Vice-chair, has alerted me to a crypto mining proposal in Usk in Pend O’Reille County that raises questions of environment, energy, and economic development in a rural community.  And, of course, politics. Chelan PUD centered in Wenatchee has been wrestling with similar issues for several years.

While I was assembling materials for an eventual study session, ARC friend Jerry LcClaire, who writes a blog on regional politics, did the hard work of detailing the Usk story. I concluded that we had little to add to his careful analysis.

So, I welcome you to a self-study session. I reprint two of Jerry’s articles below and link several items to the Chelan PUD. It is a hard slog but it is a high-stakes story and worth the effort. Feel free to respond to this email with your thoughts and questions, and please indicate if I may share your notes.

Don

The Usk Money Mine--Part I
There's something very wrong with this picture

Jerry LeClaire
May 18

Why are we letting this happen?

Last Sunday, May 15, at the top of the Northwest Section an article appeared that seemed easy to gloss over: “Examiner mulls approval of Usk crypto-mine operation”. Some obscure business entities are seeking a “conditional-use permit” from the government of Pend Oreille County, Washington, to operate what would be the largest crypto-currency mining operation in the United States at the now shuttered former Ponderay Newsprint Mill in Usk. Gleaning from the Spokesman article, the “conditional-use permit” would allow for the placement of 30,000 computer servers, cooling towers, and the use of water from the Pend Oreille River for the cooling.

Some key points from the article (the bold is mine):

Susan Hobbs attended the Zoom hearing on Wednesday [May 11].

Hobbs, a former member of the Pend Oreille Planning Commission, asked the county to proceed with caution on Merkle Standard’s [the proposed mine’s operator] plans to obtain 600 megawatts of electricity a year, which would equate to two former Kaiser Aluminum Mead smelters operating at full capacity.“This is the largest thing that has ever come down the pike for Pend Oreille County,” Hobbs said. “If there were ever a time for being certain, that no stones are left unturned, this would be it. I hope we do that before rushing in.”

But Hume, the attorney for Merkle Standard, said the county only needs to follow state and federal law, especially for an area that has had “certain impacts priced into that neighborhood … for a long, long, long time.

“This is a very clean, high-tech use,” he said. “All we are doing is putting computers in boxes, putting them in the parking lot and letting them run.”

“Clean, high-tech”. What is so attractive that brings companies from God-knows-where to put boxes of computers in the parking lot of a shuttered paper mill in Usk, plug them into the grid, and let them run? The electronic money produced is, by its nature, highly transferrable. Apart from some property taxes, none of the crypto-currency the new plant will produce will benefit the citizens of Pend Oreille County (unless some individuals are getting perks in exchange for making things happen).

Why eastern Washington?

From a Jan. 21, 2022, Spokesman article (the bold is mine):
At a hearing on the energy usage of blockchain technologies like Bitcoin, Steve Wright, who led the Wenatchee-based PUD until last April, told members of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee what happened when Bitcoin miners started setting up their energy-intensive operations in Central Washington around 2014.

“These were small operations in shipping containers, vacant small businesses and residences” at first, Wright said, but soon the operations grew far bigger and caused concerns in the community over safety risks, how few local jobs the industry created relative to its energy use and a lack of tax revenue despite driving up energy costs for local residents.

Mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies involves rooms full of computers working together solving complicated math problems to unearth a new coin. As more of the digital currency has been mined, the computing power required to acquire another coin has increased, leading to massive electricity usage even as the individual machines used have grown more efficient.

Running shipping containers full of high speed computers “mining” imaginary electronic money (crypto-currency) requires two things: large amounts of stable, day-and-night electrical power and a means of cooling the computers so they don’t malfunction or catch fire from the heat they generate. Eastern Washington has some of the cheapest electrical power in the country—and (at least for now) it has water for cooling. We have relatively cheap power because we have hydro. The aluminum industry landed in Spokane more than half a century ago precisely for that reason—but the aluminum industry produced jobs, a tangible, taxable product and spinoff industries (like aluminum casting). Crypto produces none of that.

Moreover, hydropower is a limited resource. We’re not making more of it. We already have little enough hydropower that we rely to some degree on burning coal and natural gas, i.e. greenhouse gas producing fossil fuels, for our energy needs. And wait a minute: Aren’t local Republicans already whining that the cost of heating and cooking will go up if we restrict natural gas hookups in new construction? Why aren’t Pend Oreille County Republicans (yes, they are all Republicans) worried that selling huge amounts of electricity to Merkle at a fixed price will mean a price increase in electricity for the average homeowner? Surely their vaunted “free market” will make a price increase for the average citizen inevitable. Where’s their media campaign protesting rising costs for the average Joe? Where is the astroturf-based “citizens’” initiative to outlaw this electricity sale (similar to Spokane’s Prop 1 in 2021)?

We can’t invent more hydropower. Hydropower covers the base load not just for the imaginary money producers who require it to keep their computers running day and night. Hydropower also satisfies the base load requirements to heat our homes and run our factories at night. If we guarantee the imaginary money producers hydropower to satisfy their steady-supply requirements, we are inevitably going to burn more natural gas (or coal or oil) to satisfy real needs, like staying warm in winter.

We claim in this State of Washington to be working to reduce the burning of fossil fuels in order to combat climate change. Governor Inslee campaigned for President in 2020 on his climate change credentials. We claim to be trying to convert to electricity-powered transportation. In this milieu Republican naysayers and climate deniers, captives of the fossil fuel industry, are fond of dissing solar and wind power as unreliable—and, therefore, conversion of transportation to electricity impractical—but here are the Republican county commissioners of Pend Oreille County setting up to sell our region’s clean hydropower at a discount to the makers of imaginary money. This fixed price sale will make electricity-based transportation both more expensive and less climate friendly. What is wrong with this picture?

In a sense all money is imaginary. Money works only because some group of humans decide that some form of the stuff—dollars, rubles, gold, silver, or bitcoin—has value. These humans agree that whatever their money is can be traded for things of value, like food, housing, transportation, and services. Dollars, on account of their relative stability, have been the favored global currency for the last half century. Dollars are to some degree under the control of the U.S. federal governance structures, for example, the Federal Reserve’s efforts to combat inflation by adjusting interest rates, just like rubles are to some degree under the control of the Russian monetary system. Dollars (and other state currencies), generally speaking, can be tracked and taxed, and the taxes can be used to provide roads, schools, ports, and law enforcement.

Crypto-currencies, e.g. Bitcoin, have value only so long as a group of humans believe in that value. The charm of crypto-currencies is that the blockchain technology on which such currencies are based guarantees, through dispersed computer computations and dispersed computer record-keeping, that a unique Bitcoin is real, not counterfeit. Moreover, the supply of Bitcoin is limited by the cost of the computational power necessary to mine it. Sadly, that “computational power” depends on burning energy from a cheap source in a compliant community—like Pend Oreille County. The price of power to produce a crypto-currency will be driven up (along with cost of all the power we use for other tasks) by the “free” market. Once the cost to produce it exceeds the value of the “coin” produced, this wasteful energy use will no longer turn a profit and the mine will be abandoned, having robbed the locals and having left with the profits. (Click here for a primer on cryptocurrency by Paul Krugman.)

The value of the crypto-currency mined in Usk will not accrue to the citizens of Pend Oreille County, Washington. That crypto-value will belong to the opaquely owned companies developing the Usk mine and to whomever owns those companies, be they wealthy U.S. investors, Russians, Chinese, or other global citizens. The “coins”, unlike gold or silver and other hard currencies, will exist only virtually as an electronic record on a network of computers dispersed worldwide.

Where is the far right wing of the Republican Party, the folks who lap up conspiracy theories and condemn “globalists”, The New World Order, George Soros, and the Rothschilds? A globally dispersed network of arguably untraceable currency based on our inexpensive power and water, a currency that is electronically transferred to parts unknown ought to be grand fodder for them. What do we hear for those Republicans? Crickets.

This is nuts, just plain wrong. This is a “free market” distortion we should not allow. This is local government at work in the form of County Commissioners, Public Utility Districts, hearing examiners, and, supposedly, according to Merkle Standard’s lawyer, “the county only needs to follow state and federal law”, which is his way of saying, “We’ve got this. Nothing to see here. Don’t overthink this.” When a lawyer paid for by a far away company makes that argument, citizens’ antennae should vibrate with alarm.

Call, email, and write Governor Inslee and your legislators. Write to U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers—but don’t expect much from her. McMorris Rodgers only knows to shout “clean hydropower!” every time either climate change or helping the salmon is mentioned (by removing the low-producing Snake River dams). Now the “clean hydropower” will be sold to make electronic money that will leave Washington the moment it is generated, leaving little to no benefit. If we’re forced into keeping McMorris Rodgers’ precious dams—and sacrificing the fish, let’s at least use the power for something useful—like charging batteries for transportation based on clean electricity.

Keep to the high ground,
Jerry

P.S. The six hundred megawatts of clean hydropower Merkle Standard proposes to buy at a discount from the grid (thru a contract with the “Public Utility District”) is a huge amount of power. If run all year at that level a sale of six hundred megawatts of power would be 3.6% of all the electrical energy currently generated in a year in the State of Washington. Put another way, at the 4 miles per kilowatt hour mileage of my Tesla Model 3, that much electrical energy would take me the distance to Mars and back not once but 247 times! Or it would power 168,200 Tesla Model 3s to each travel 100,000 miles. Do we see why this fire sale of our clean power to enrich crypto mining investors is insane?

P.P.S. Approval of the conditional use permit may be a done deal. Presumably, the next step will be the crypto folks negotiating the power discount from which they expect to benefit with the Pend Oreille County Public Utility District Commissioners.

The Usk Money Mine--Part II
Civics, County Government, PUDs, and BPA

Jerry LeClaire
May 200

In the northeast corner of Washington State at the site of the former Ponderay Newsprint Mill south of Usk, along the Ponderay River in Pend Oreille County, a thinly-disguised Chinese company is already burning electrical energy (6 megawatts) from the Box Canyon Dam, power that would otherwise feed the U.S. power grid. (This is the same national grid that distributes the electricity that runs our appliances and heats and cools our homes [except for Texans].) “Merkle Standard,” with major investment and alliance with the Beijing-based company Bitmain, is conducting their business—and burning this electricity—at the old Mill site now zoned “Residential 5”—even as they seek rezoning that would make their operation legal. Merkle and its bevy of lawyers is apparently confident that they have done their homework and have the right people on their side. Apparently, this is the way business is done when the public isn’t paying much attention.

This is business, after all, and some say business is progress, that progress is always good, and that any business that wants to invest in rural Pend Oreille County ought to be welcomed. Some might assume that any business activity is bound to be better for the people of the county than an abandoned newsprint mill. Re-zoning ought to be a slam-dunk, the corporate lawyers will argue—and some local business-minded folk will agree.

But there is not unanimity even among business-minded local Republicans. In January, as this re-zoning effort unfolded, one of the three Pend Oreille County Commissioners, Robert Rosencrantz, sounded a note of caution, not on the environmental or climate change basis that I might choose, but based on the business risk-benefit ratio for the people of the county. His due diligence, detailed analysis, and cautionary data is available as a pdf, the Rosencrantz Document. He counseled caution from basic research he had done on the company(ies) proposing the project, the effects of other crypto-mining operations on local communities, and hints of corrupt influence peddling. For his level-headed analysis and urge toward caution he was ridiculed as a “Republican in Name Only” (RINO) by local Republicans intent on appeasing this supposedly wonderful new business interest in Pend Oreille County.

But let’s back up a bit. The bankrupt Ponderay Newsprint mill was purchased at auction in April, 2021, by Allrise Capital (corporate parent of Merkle) for $18.1 million. At the time, Thomas Clouse reported in the Spokesman:
“They are planning to repurpose select portions of the mill for old, corrugated-cardboard-paper production,” said Chris Bell, managing broker for NAI Black, which helped market the mill. California-based Allrise Capital plans on “retooling the plant, making a significant investment to re-fire it and bring back the jobs.”

Allrise outbid the Kalispell Tribe, which also expressed what I expect were, for the Tribe, sincere plans to retool and reopen the plant and provide jobs.

Allrise, it seems, never had any such intention. Bear with me. Here’s where we dive into the governmental weeds. Half a year later, in the fall of 2021, Allrise was evidently working behind the scenes, laying the groundwork for its crypto mine. The Pend Oreille County Community Development Department, under the leadership of Greg Snow, attempted to create a new Comprehensive Development Plan for the County that would have green-lighted the crypto mining facility by, incident to changes in the broader plan, re-zoning the Mill property as “Industrial” instead of “Residential 5.”

That Allrise gambit didn’t work only because a local group, “Responsible Growth – Northeast Washington”, successfully challenged the proposed new Comprehensive Development Plan with the Pend Oreille County Hearing Examiner on the basis of the Washington State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA).

Blocked by the hearing examiner’s ruling, Allrise/Bitmain (or one of the other nested shell companies) was forced down a different avenue: request a “Conditional Use Permit” (or CUP, in this case CUP-2021-012), a zoning exception that would allow the use of the Mill property for crypto mining, a use that clearly otherwise would not conform with “Resident 5” zoning.

That put it back in Greg Snow’s domain in the Pend Oreille County Community Development Department. In March of this year (2022) Mr. Snow issued a Determination of Non Significance on the SEPA Checklist submitted by Ponderay Real Estate LLC (one of the Allrise shells and the named owner of the Mill property) certifying that Mr. Snow believed that the project would have no significant environmental impact and that no review by State or Federal regulatory agencies was required.

But wait! In April, Mr. Ed Styskel, a wildlife biologist in Newport, WA, filed an appeal to the SEPA Checklist arguing that Mr. Snow and the Community Development Department had failed to do due diligence in issuing a Determination of Non Significance.

That is the whole sequence that leads us to the article in the Spokesman last week concerning the Zoom hearing held on the Conditional Use Permit and Mr. Styskel’s appeal. That was the article that stimulated me to write last Wednesday’s post, The Usk Money Mine—Part I.

At that hearing, biologist Mr. Styskel, without legal council, was up against two law firms hired by the well-heeled Allrise nest of companies that were arguing for granting the crypto mine’s conditional use permit. It might be worth noting that the hearing examiner in this case (the earlier one in Pend Oreille County having retired), Christopher Anderson, “is an attorney appointed by the Board of County Commissioners” of Spokane County.

Mr. Anderson’s ruling will come out in the next couple of weeks. Regardless of evidence at that hearing that Allrise’s CUP application and SEPA checklist were inaccurate, a ruling in favor of the Allrise nest of companies seems likely.

This is the sort of thing that happens constantly within county governments, most of it out of the public eye and very hard to follow.

Assuming approval of the “Conditional Use”, where does this go from here? The Allrise nest of companies still need to negotiate a sufficiently favorable contract with the Pend Oreille Public Utility District for transmission lines and electricity to burn that is cheap enough to offer them a tidy profit in imaginary money that will likely be electronically transmitted to China (where crypto-mining is banned, but still done).

Here’s where things get interesting again. Public Utility Districts in the State of Washington date back to a people’s initiative passed in 1930. From the website of the Washington Public Utility Districts Association (the bold is mine):

In 1929, the Washington State Grange, a populist agricultural organization, collected more than 60,000 signatures – twice the number necessary – to send Initiative No. 1 to the Legislature, allowing rural communities to form their own publicly owned utilities.

When the Legislature failed to act, the measure went to a statewide election, where it passed in 1930 with 54 percent of the vote. The new PUD law went into effect in 1931.

Apparently, there was a huge fight at the time with private power interests like Washington Water Power who wanted to retain control. PUDs were a populist victory.

Now look at the legal mandate, the purpose, of PUDs according to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) (the bold is mine):

“The purpose of this act is to authorize the establishment of public utility districts to conserve the water and power resources of the State of Washington for the benefit of the people thereof, and to supply public utility service, including water and electricity for all uses.”

Is burning a huge amount of local Washington State produced energy to manufacture cryptocurrency that will leave no value here “for the benefit of the people” of Washington State? It would seem that the three Pend Oreille County PUD Commissioners, in order to satisfy that statement of purpose, would be required to assess in detail the benefit of a crypto mine to the people of Pend Oreille County and the State of Washington. Are the PUD commissioners equipped to reliably make this assessment? Remember that Allrise did a “bait and switch” routine at the very outset. Where are the two hundred or so jobs at the Mill property that Allrise was going to provide once Mill was retooled and restarted? The crypto mine might at most hire a handful of people. The crypto mine will pay some paltry amount of property tax some of which will accrue locally. Does WA State government have to rely on the shaky representations of the Allrise nest of companies for the purpose leveling “Business and Occupation Tax” on mined cryptocurrency?

The effects of burning vast amounts of our clean electrical energy will have rippling effects well beyond Pend Oreille County. The Box Canyon Dam, the only dam in Pend Oreille County actually owned by the Pend Oreille PUD, doesn’t produce sufficient power (only 90 megawatts) to satisfy Allrise’s stated intention to eventually draw 600 megawatts. The Pend Oreille PUD will need to buy power from the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency established in 1937 under the U.S. Department of Energy. Note that 600 megawatts is a significant piece of the 12,000 megawatts total of “firm hydropower” produced by all the federal and non-federal dams in the Northwest. It’s not as though that 600 megawatts is just waiting to be used. That 12,000 megawatts is already in use. Add that 600 megawatt load to the system and its going to translate into burning coal or gas, eventually increasing the cost of electrical energy to the rate payers (i.e. us) and (by the way) contributing to global warming.

Allowing this profligate use of our energy for the production of imaginary money is immoral. It is not “conserving” (as in the PUD mission statement), it is wasting—for little, if any, benefit to Pend Oreille County, Washington State, the United States, or the world. It is high time this mine is seen for what it is—a travesty—and this “business” put to rest. Let the crypto-miners pursue building their own solar/wind farm somewhere for their energy needs (and then search for a means of cooling their computer heat generators).

Keep to the high ground,
Jerry


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

Add us to your address book


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
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81379922162?pwd=MFZybDdkdk5PcGxtMk9odmxSZEFadz09 
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
[Whatcom County anticipation – TBD]

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?

Don


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

Add us to your address book


8th LD Democrats News

8th Legislative District
Democratic Central Committee
www.LD8WAState.org

Please join us for the May 12, 2022, 8th LDDCC General Membership Meeting. The Election Committee will be making their first endorsement recommendations for this election cycle and will ask the body to endorse Doug White for Congress and Patty Murray for Senate.

Meeting Notification: 8th LDDCC General Membership Meeting
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2022
Time: 6:30 PM
Place: Zoom Link Provided Below   

Our secretary position remains open and we are seeking a secretary.

Agenda.
1. Call to Order
2. Adopt Agenda
3. March Meeting was taped. No meeting in April. 
4. Chair’s Report 
5. Treasurer’s Report
6. Vice Chair’s Report
7. State Committee Members' Reports 
8. Benton County Chair’s Report
9. New Business:
  • Election Committee Endorsement Recommendations.
  • All PCO positions are open in the next election cycle. Please declare your intention to be a Democrat PCO with the Benton County Auditor during the week of May 16-20.
  • Next 8th LDDCC Meeting, Thursday, June 9, 6:30 pm via Zoom. Same Zoom Link.
  • Other Items from the membership
10. Good of the Order
11. Adjourn
12. There will be a brief meeting after the 8th LD meeting for elected and automatic delegates to the State Democratic Convention. A chair needs to be elected and the Chair needs to attend in-person. 

Note: Please sign in on the Chat. Must have motion and second for discussion. Type motion in chat. For/Against limited to 3 each, alternating, in order of hand raise, 1 min limit. Limit Good of Order comments to one minute per speaker. 

**********

8th LD is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. 
Topic: 8th LD General Membership Meeting
Time: May 12, 2022 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)  
Join Zoom Meeting 
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16th LD Democrats News


From the State Central Committee

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Today marks the final day of Candidate Filing Week, and we have an incredible slate of Democrats running at all levels, including many incumbent and first-time candidates. We know how critical it is to retain all of our Democratic majorities, and it’ll take serious effort to do that. At the state party, we’ve been building a top-notch team to make sure we get Democrats elected in every race and every place in Washington state. An integral part of that is our precinct committee officers, who also filed this week. Thank you to those stepping up to serve — and now, the real work begins. 

WORKING FOR WASHINGTON

In just a couple of weeks, we’ll kick off the election cycle with our first Day of Action Saturday, June 4, one of many as we continue to build momentum for the upcoming midterm. Across the state, Democrats will knock doors, make calls, and get voters excited about their local candidates. 

This is the biggest event we’ve hosted so far in 2022, but we can’t make it happen without you! Invite everyone in your local area to join (register below). If you can’t attend and want to make a contribution to support our efforts, you can donate HERE. And watch for additional events near you.

Remember, the work we do now helps us win in November, so let’s get to it!  

DEMOCRATS IN THE NEWS

House passes gasoline price-gouging billThe U.S. House passed a bill from Rep. Kim Schrier to stop gas and oil companies from price gouging, as fuel costs continue to skyrocket at the pump. After decades defending abortion rights, Patty Murray readies for offenseThe Washington Post explores Sen. Patty Murray’s decadeslong work to support women’s rights and safeguard access to abortion while in Congress.
Find additional news and more on our website and social media.
House passes gasoline price-gouging bill
The U.S. House passed a bill from Rep. Kim Schrier to stop gas and oil companies from price gouging, as fuel costs continue to skyrocket at the pump. 
After decades defending abortion rights, Patty Murray readies for offense
The Washington Post explores Sen. Patty Murray’s decadeslong work to support women’s rights and safeguard access to abortion while in Congress.

Find additional news and more on our website and social media!

STAFF CORNER

This week, we welcomed our new field director, Libby Watson, to the team! She’ll play an integral role in making sure we reach Democratic voters in every place and every race in Washington state.
Why are you a Democrat?
That choice seems easier now than ever given the attacks on human rights coming from the other side. I’m a Democrat because I want to see elected officials who create opportunities to thrive for all people, invest in communities, and look out for future generations.
What are you most excited about in your new role with the state party?
I’m deeply excited to get back to what we do best after two years of mostly digital organizing- talking to voters face to face and empowering them to turn in their ballots and get involved.  

Why do you enjoy this work?
I love watching a field program grow. Watching passionate volunteers evolve into community leaders is powerful and can change election outcomes.

Know of anyone who’d make a great addition to our staff? Tell them to visit wa-democrats.org/jobs to learn more. And stay tuned for additional announcements! 

SAVE THE DATE

Day of Action

  • Our first statewide Day of Action is set for Saturday, June 4, where we’ll knock doors, make calls, and get voters excited about local candidates. Right now, events are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in both Vancouver and Issaquah10 a.m. to noon in Snohomish, and noon to 2:30 p.m. Tacoma. Stay tuned for more information and add-on locations!

Washington State Democratic Convention

  • Join us for our party’s annual convention June 24-25 at the Tacoma Convention Center. More information will be released soon, including the names of our VIP speakers and guests

GET INVOLVED

For the week of May 20-26:

Learn what’s happening in your neck of the woods HERE.

From now until November, we have to mobilize every Democratic voter in Washington state — and we need your help to accomplish that. Join our incredible team of volunteers!

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

The Washington State Democratic Party, together with the DNC Best Practices Institute, are excited to announce the launch of our 2022 Train the Trainer (T3) Webinar Training Program!

T3 is a free six-week, twelve-part webinar course, covering several aspects of grassroots campaigning. This program seeks to expand the skills of progressive activists and volunteers, by ensuring that comprehensive training is free and accessible for Democrats all over the country.

The T3 trainings are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 4-5 p.m. PST May 24 to June 30. The deadline to register is May 22 at 8:59 p.m. PST. Sign up HERE today!


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

With gratitude,

Chair Tina Podlodowski
Washington State Democratic Party
Washington State Democrats
PO Box 4027
Seattle, WA 98194
United States

PCOs Can (and Should) Start Doorbelling – For PCOs, the time to walk or call the voters in your precincts is NOW so that we can get that data back into Votebuilder ASAP. The data PCOs collect in the first quarter of this year is essential to the voter targeting every Democratic candidate will be able to do in the primary election and for the rest of the year. If needed, our Coordinated Campaign staff can help set PCOs up with a phone or canvass list, an appropriate script for their precinct, and either a listening or ID canvass – just ask us at organizing@wa-democrats.org.


Democratic National Committee News

LGBTQ+ Pride Month is right around the corner! No matter who you are or who you love, we all deserve to be afforded the same rights. And we’ve released some new Pride-themed merch just in time.

This American-made, union-printed collection showcases a variety of products featuring slogans such as “Love Still Wins,” “Together We Fight for All,” and “Vote with Pride.” These are the perfect way to show off your pride, support the LGBTQ+ community, and celebrate all month long.

We recognize and honor the resilience of the LGBTQ+ community and the ongoing fight to live freely. Together, we can pave the way for a more just and equitable nation.

Head to the Official Democratic Store to get your very own LGBTQ+ Pride merch! Every purchase helps elect Democrats nationwide and supports our work fighting for equality, justice, and a better future for all.

Wear it loud and proud,

The Democrats


DNC Best Practices Institute

****If you have not yet subscribed to the BPI Newsletter, sign up HERE****


Hello Democrats,

The May 22, 2022 Train the Trainer (T3) registration deadline is just around the corner, and we need your help to make sure that more people than ever learn these vital skills so they can help elect Democrats up and down the ballot! 

As a reminder, T3 is a free six-week, twelve-part virtual training course covering several aspects of grassroots campaigning. This program seeks to expand the skills of progressive activists and volunteers by ensuring that comprehensive training is free and accessible for Democrats all over the country.

Our T3 sessions change from year to year, bringing you the new skills and tactics needed for modern campaigning, while still covering the tried and true basics. Even if you’ve joined us for past T3 programs, you’re sure to learn something new each time. 

Sign-up for our 2022 T3 program before Sunday, May 22, so you don’t miss out on this once-a-year opportunity, and check out our May Activist Challenge below to learn how you can help spread the word to your fellow Democratic volunteers!  

Onward,  

Best Practices Institute Team


TRAINING AND ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

2022 Train the Trainer (T3) Webinar Program

The DNC Best Practices Institute is excited to announce the launch of our 2022 Train the Trainer (T3) Webinar Training Program!

T3 is a free six-week, twelve-part webinar course covering several aspects of grassroots campaigning. This program seeks to expand the skills of progressive activists and volunteers, by ensuring that comprehensive training is free and accessible for Democrats all over the country.
 

Click Here to Register for the 2022 T3 Program!


T3 trainings are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET, from May 24, through June 30. The deadline to register is Sunday, May 22 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Participants must complete all twelve sessions in order to receive certification. All training sessions will include a skills test to track retention and participation. Trainings will be recorded and made available following each session via a weekly wrap-up email, delivered on Fridays.

CLICK HERE to submit your registration for the 2022 T3 Training Program! Registration will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 22.

May Activist Challenge

Our monthly Activist Challenge is designed to build infrastructure for Democratic campaigns and organizations through grassroots engagement. Are you ready to accept the challenge, and help elect Democrats up and down the ballot?!

This month, we are challenging our #BPItraining family to help spread the word about our 2022 T3 program before the May 22 deadline!

  • Click HERE to sign up for our 2022 T3 program, today! 
  • Find two of your fellow Democrats, and ask them to sign up with you.
  • Bonus: Post on your social media accounts about the T3 program, and encourage even more of your friends to participate! Below is some sample language: 
    • “Are you ready to help elect Democrats? Register today for the DNC Best Practices Institute Train the Trainer (T3) Webinar Training Program! T3 is a free course covering several aspects of grassroots campaigning. Learn more and register here: https://forms.gle/V2ow6ZoGrPwJkYXx7 ”
  • Once you’ve completed the challenge, take a selfie and create a post on social media that includes the following information:
    • Your state or territory 
    • A brief explanation of how you completed this month’s challenge
    • The hashtag “#BPItraining”
    • And don’t forget to tag “@TheDemocrats

Spotlight Training: Volunteer Recruitment 

Review our “Volunteer Recruitment and Management” training to learn how to build the volunteer coalition that will set us up for success in 2022 and beyond! 

  • Check out our training on The Hard Ask and use this Hard Ask Worksheet to practice making the most effective volunteer ask possible this campaign season! 
  • To access these training resources, sign up for our BPI Victory Vault (new members added each Wednesday). If you are already a member and need a refresher on how to access the BPI Victory Vault, review our instructions.
  • Once in the Victory Vault, find the resources by opening the training titled “Volunteer Recruitment and Management”

Happy training to all the amazing Democrats tirelessly working to build volunteer coalitions in 2022!

BPI Victory Vault

The BPI Victory Vault contains on-demand training resources tailored toward volunteers, community organizers, activists, and campaigns, which cover a variety of grassroots organizing skills. The BPI Victory Vault continues to grow, with new additions added periodically as resources become available. New members are added each Wednesday, and you must use a Gmail account to register in order to access the BPI Victory Vault Google Drive folder. Check out our BPI Victory Vault instructions if you have trouble accessing the BPI Victory Vault once you receive your email invitation.

The BPI Victory Vault resources are meant for educational purposes only. BPI Victory Vault materials are not downloadable or shareable. Any individual interested in viewing the BPI Victory Vault resources must complete the application in order to request access. We reserve the right to remove individuals from any and all BPI resources in the event of inappropriate use.


JOB OPPORTUNITIES

DNC Talent Bank

The DNC Talent Bank is a resource to help state parties and campaigns find the best applicants for a wide range of positions, from field organizers to digital directors to communications staff, and more.

If you are interested in pursuing a campaign position, please sign up for the DNC Talent Bank in order to receive information on available positions and other career opportunities. All levels of experience and fields of interest are encouraged to apply.


ABOUT THE BPI

Best Practices Institute

The Best Practices Institute (BPI) is the shared training department of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Association of State Democratic Committees (ASDC). The BPI delivers training to activists and volunteers, party leaders and staff, students and youth organizers, candidates and campaign staff, constituency caucus members and community leaders, and so many more! 

BPI training topics range from field organizing to digital mobilization, data to finance, communications to compliance, and leadership development to movement building, just to name a few.

Through this vast expansion of training programs, the new BPI is building and strengthening the Democratic Party infrastructure to ensure success for years to come!


CONNECT WITH US 

  • Text “Training” to 43367 to stay updated on BPI training opportunities, and other insider DNC news! (By texting 43367, you are consenting to receive recurring and/or automated text messages and calls from the DNC. Text STOP to stop, HELP for Help. For SMS, msg & data rates may apply. Democrats.org/privacy-policy)
  • Check us out on social media by searching #BPItraining– and don’t forget to tag us in all of your training and volunteer activities! 

Happy Training! 

****If you have not yet subscribed to the BPI Newsletter, sign up HERE****


Tri-City Democrats

Tri-City Democrats logo

Spring Picnic

Zoom Meeting May 13 8 at 6:00 PM

Hey everyone! 

May 13 will be a picnic at Carl Baker’s house.  This is a Tri-city Democrats event, but all Democrats and Democrat-friendly folks are welcome.  We’ll be outdoors, but we do encourage vaccination and masking as appropriate.  Bring a dish to share and let’s hang out together in-person for a change!  We will open our Zoom meeting, so those who’d like to participate via Zoom are free to do so.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81900608085?pwd=a1dHZlJ4ek94Zmd0SkRGNFkzMEU4dz09

Meeting ID: 819 0060 8085
Passcode: 335996
One tap mobile
+12532158782,,81900608085#,,,,*335996# US (Tacoma)

If you have trouble getting the meeting link through Meetup, please reach out to the Tri-city Democrats page or to Carl Baker (hodor@warmrock.net) and we’ll get the information to you.


LWVWA logo

In This Issue:


The LWV of Pullman’s Board of the Whole

The Pullman League has long operated as a “board of the whole.” This means that all paid members are part of the LWV of Pullman Board. Members are invited to attend and participate in all Board meetings.  Learn more about how this type of board works.


Civics Education Fair in Olympia Helps Spread the Word

On April 23 the LWV of Thurston County hosted a Civics Education Fair at the state Capitol in Olympia. Learn more about this activity-filled and educational day. 


Good Citizen Poster Available in English and Spanish 

“Good Citizen” posters are now available in Spanish and in English and will be on sale at the LWVWA 2022 Council in June. Learn how to order copies ahead of time or have them sent to you.


Decline to Sign I-1929

At its April meeting, the LWVWA Board approved the League’s participation in the “Decline to Sign I-1929” campaign urging voters not to sign I-1929, which would repeal the capital gains tax necessary to fund education. Read more here.


Be a MELD Pod Facilitator for the LWV of Washington 

In Washington state, the League of Women Voters has had a long-standing Membership Engagement Leadership Development (MELD) program. This program is a conduit for communication among all levels of the League, local, state, and national. Learn more. 


Report from Voter Services 

The LWVWA Voter Services has been focusing on candidate forums and debates, with local Leagues gearing up for an important voter services season. With such major concerns as mis- and disinformation and hyper-partisanship, there’s much to do. Learn more.   


Updates from the National League 

League actions around the country, and action updates. Read more about what the LWVUS is doing. 


May 2022 

Monday, May 9—Civics Bowl, student tournament, 7 p.m. on KSPS PBS (Spokane) and available the next day on KSPS.org

Tuesday, May 10— Redistricting Reform Discussion: Staffing and Starting Earlier, 5 p.m. Registration

Wednesday, May 11—LWVWA Voter Services Committee meeting, 6:30 p.m. Contact Mary Coltrane to attend as a guest. 

Thursday, May 12—LWVUS Legislative Office Hours, noon PT. The LWVUS opens its virtual offices to listen to and support local League legislative work. Check the LWVUS webpage for information about the LWVUS Legislative Office Hours.  

Monday, May 16—Civics Bowl, student tournament, 7 p.m. on KSPS PBS (Spokane) and available the next day on KSPS.org

Wednesday, May 18—SCOTUS Review, learn what’s going on with the U.S. Supreme Court, noon PT. Registration

Monday, May 23—Civics Bowl, student tournament, 7 p.m. on KSPS PBS (Spokane) and available the next day on KSPS.org

Tuesday, May 24— Redistricting Reform Discussion: Independent Citizens Commission, 5 p.m. Registration

Monday, May 30—Civics Bowl, student tournament, 7 p.m. on KSPS PBS (Spokane) and available the next day on KSPS.org

June 2022 

Monday, June 6—Civics Bowl, student tournament, 7 p.m. on KSPS PBS (Spokane) and available the next day on KSPS.org

Tuesday, June 7— Redistricting Reform Discussion: Input and Access, 5 p.m. Registration

Friday, June 10–Sunday, June 12—2022 LWVWA Council, Delta Hotel, Everett, WA. Registration.  

Thursday, June 23–Sunday, June 26—2022 LWVUS National Convention, information and registration.  


Our mailing address is:
League of Women Voters of Washington
1511 3rd Ave., Suite 900 
Seattle, WA 98101

Columbia Basin Badger Club

BADGER FORUM THURSDAY, MAY 26  |  12:00 Noon

FAKE NEWS AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES

Since September 11, 2001, more Americans have been killed domestically by white, right-wing extremists than by Islamist militants. What inspires Americans to take up arms against their fellow Americans? And what can Plato’s Republic teach us about how to prevent the further radicalization of America? Professor Seth Weinberger will challenge us to imagine an aspirational future identity and consider the role of a liberal arts education in building a new nation.

Weinberger is a specialist in international relations and security. His research includes congressional-executive war powers and the laws of war. He is a regular speaker on international conflict, including topics such as the 2015 Paris Attack, Arab Spring, and War on Terror.

Professor Seth Weinberger
University of Puget Sound

There is no charge for Badger Club members. Non-members pay $5.00.

Register HERE for “Fake News and Conspiracy Theories”


Coming June 16: DAMS AND SALMON: Beyond the Spreadsheets. Two veteran northwest journalists compare notes and argue the social, political, and spiritual dimensions of breaching the Lower Snake River Dams. Register HERE.


TODAY’s Democracy Happy Hour @ 5 pm PT:

Social Media to Support Democracy Part 2

Democracy Happy Hour TODAY @ 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.

Today's topic for May 25, 2022:
Social Media to Support Democracy Part 2 w/ Jeremy Chase 

Upcoming topics:

  • June 1st – Tracking Money in Elections
  • June 8th – Proportional Representation as a Social Justice Issue w/ WA for Equitable Representation
  • June 15th – The Independent State Legislature Theory
  • June 22nd – The Precinct Strategy: What is it & why?

January 6th Commission Hearing Watch Event
June 9th @ 5 pm PT
(Time tentative based on Commission schedule)
January 6th Commission Hearing Watch Event
Thursday, June 9th @ 5 pm PT
(Time tentative based on Commission schedule)

Let’s join together to watch the first January 6th Commission hearing. We’ll have time for questions and discussion following the hearing.

It’s been more than a year since armed, right-wing militants attacked our Capitol and tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The attacks continue. More than one year later, the same faction that attacked our country on January 6th is hard at work silencing our voices by restricting our freedom to vote, sabotaging fair voting districts, and quietly preparing future attempts to undermine free and fair elections.

During these hearings, Americans will witness testimony of those involved in the attack on our democracy.

The promise of democracy is not a partisan issue but a calling that unites us as Americans. To prevent an attack from happening again, Americans must witness the hearings set to expose the complex planning intended to undermine our votes, led by former President Trump and his loyalists.

By coming together for watch events, we can prevent another January 6th attack and realize the promise of democracy for all of us––no matter our color, zip code, or income.

*Please note the time is approximate and may be subject to change based on hearing schedule.


Upcoming Film Screenings & Panel Discussions…

Film Screening & Panel Discussion
Running With My Girls - May 26th @ 6 pm PT
Running With My Girls
Film Screening & Panel Discussion - May 26, 2022 @ 6 pm PT

Join Fix Democracy First and Meaningful Movies Project for a special screening of Running With My Girls on Thursday, May 26th. This is a new documentary offering insight into women of color running for office. Following the film we’ll have a panel discussion. Panelists TBD.

View trailer @ https://www.runningwithmygirls.com/trailer

Taking on the entrenched political establishment in Denver, Colorado, five female activists decide to run for office as part of a grassroots movement to take back their city.

Tired of watching their communities be ignored and displaced, five women of color run for municipal office in Denver – one of the fastest gentrifying cities in the country. With only a fraction of the funds of their incumbent opponents, the women find power through their community and each other to run their grassroots campaigns.


Suppressed and Sabotaged: The Fight to Vote
July 7th @ 6 pm
(Please note date change!)
Suppressed and Sabotaged: The Fight to Vote
Film Screening & Panel Discussion
Thursday, July 7th @ 6 pm
(PLEASE NOTE: Date moved to not compete with Jan 6th hearings)

Join Fix Democracy First and Meaningful Movies Project for a special screening of Brave New Film’sSuppressed and Sabotaged: The Fight to Vote on Thursday, July 7th @ 6 pm PT

Robert Greenwald, the film’s producer and director will join us to introduce the film. Following the film we’ll have a panel discussion (panelists TBD).

View trailer @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RhrbEh-osI

Suppressed and Sabotaged: The Fight to Vote (2022), by Robert Greenwald, is a powerful documentary about the growing threat of voter suppression and election sabotage to our 2022 midterm elections. In 2021, 19 states passed 34 new voter laws following the Big Lie of the 2020 election. The film focuses on this recent wave of voter suppression and subversion laws being enacted in states, and how the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp provides a blueprint for today’s voter suppression laws across the country.

Suppressed and Sabotaged: The Fight to Vote now includes perspectives from voters in Arizona, Florida, Texas, and Georgia that highlight how these new laws will affect their constitutional right to vote. Suppression tactics covered in the film include: Registration hurdles; Polling place closures; Voter purges; Missing absentee ballots; Extreme wait times at polling locations; Exact match disqualifications; New vote by mail limitations; Changes to ballot collection and drop off; and more. Voter suppression laws disproportionately affect American Students, Senior Citizens, Black, Indigenous, Latino, and People of Color from casting their ballots. Suppressed and Sabotaged 2022 is a call to action against the calculated, unconstitutional and racist attacks intended to suppress the right to vote in America.


Support Democracy! 
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Faith Action Network

Eastern Washington Spring Summit

During May-June, FAN holds Regional Spring Summits around Washington State. Advocates gather to talk about how our legislative agenda fared during the past session and strategize for the rest of the year on issues they care about most. Together, we look for new ways to be more effective at creating lasting change.

Please Register at 
https://fanwa.ourpowerbase.net/civicrm/event/info?id=227&reset=1

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From Lauren Schubring,
Eastern WA Regional Organizer

Hi everyone!

I’ve spent time lately at some local meetings and events where I’ve been able to connect with many of you. I walk away from these events feeling energized for the work that we have ahead of us, and so excited about the people in this community who want to collaborate. Being able to gather together with people who care about some of the same issues is encouraging and life-giving. The weekend of June 11-12 will provide us with multiple opportunities to connect as a network. It’s going to be great!

Our Eastern Washington Spring Summit is happening on Sunday, June 12. It will be from 2 to 4 pm at St. John’s Cathedral. I am truly looking forward to having this time to gather (with both in-person and virtual options). There are many in our network here in Eastern Washington who are working to make a change in the same areas, but haven’t been able to connect and get to know each other. This summit will provide time and space for connection and to strategize together. It’s incredibly important that we, as people of faith in our region, work together for change. Too often the faith perspective that people hear is the opposite of the progressive values that many of us share and advocate for. We can change that as we come together. We know that our voice is louder and more powerful when we work together.

I also want you to know that, even if you don’t consider yourself a person of faith, we would love to have you join us! Do you care aboutenvironmental justice, criminal justice/police reform, economic justice, gun responsibility, healthcare, housing/homelessness, immigrants & refugees, human rights, racial equity, etc? There will be breakout groups based on each of these issues and we would love to have your perspective included. There is also opportunity for you to share about issues that you want FAN to be prioritizing that we might not be already.

Our executive director, Elise DeGooyer, and our new policy engagement director, Kristin Ang, will be at the summit to meet everybody and hear from you about your priorities. Please register, and also invite your friends, family, and faith community. There will be both in-person and online options to participate. Find more information and register at https://fanwa.org/regional-spring-summits/.

Another way we’re gathering that weekend is by marching in the Spokane Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11. We would love to have you join us to march with our FAN banner, or bring your own faith community banner. Email me at schubring@fanwa.org if you and/or your faith community would like to march with us, and I will get details to you.

I hope you’ll join us!

Lauren Schubring
Eastern WA Regional Organizer

Lauren Schubring | ​(she/her/hers)
Regional Organizer, Eastern Washington
FAITH ACTION NETWORK
Phone: 313.719.8150

Email: schubring@fanwa.org


Good of the Order

Here’s an excellent article on methods for activism to be effective. Practical Activism – Go for the Money

Our own Richard Badalamente has a cogent post on the contents of the Mueller Report, including the answers to a number of pressing questions.

BCDCC Officers and Subcommittee Chairs for 2020-2022

The Benton County Democratic Central Committee is searching for a Newsletter editor, if you’re interested please check out information here:  https://www.bencodems.org/newsletter-editor/

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