Hello Democrats! Students across Washington might be on spring break this week, but there’s been some decidedly un-spring-like weather all across Washington! Today is also the start of Passover, so chag sameach to all of our Jewish Democrats, and it’s Good Friday and Easter weekend as well! This month, from the evening of April 1st through May 1st, is also the month of Ramadan. No matter how you celebrate, or if you don’t celebrate at all, we hope it’s with the people you love and care about.
Training Opportunities for Democratic Activists – We want to make sure everyone knows about the “T3” Train The Trainer opportunities coming up with the Best Practices Institute of the DNC! This is a great chance for local parties, candidates, and volunteers to get the most up-to-date training on how to campaign and organize. From fundraising, to volunteer recruitment, to digital mobilization and grassroots organizing – this program covers everything you need to activate and engage Democrats in your community!
The T3 webinar training program is a FREE, six-week, twelve-part course, covering several aspects of grassroots campaigning. T3 trainings are targeted towards volunteers and activists of all levels, and will be held every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00-5:00 PM PT, beginning on May 24 and concluding on June 30. If you miss a session “live,” don’t worry – you can catch up via recorded sessions.
Participants must register by Sunday, May 22, and complete all sessions in order to receive certification, and we will recognize all certified participants, too. All training sessions will include a skills test to track retention and participation.
Interested participants can sign up for the training here! Check it out! Washington State has led the nation with hundreds of people trained – will you be one of them?
Sen. Murray Delivers for Eastern Washington – We know that Democrats have to show up for ALL of Washington state, and we’re proud that our elected leaders put that into practice. Sen. Patty Murray just made the news with information about some of the funding and infrastructure she’s bringing back to Eastern Washington from the latest federal budget deal – including further help for Malden,which was ravaged by fire. These investments include infrastructure in Malden, fixing roads in Spokane Valley, and training centers for educational and apprenticeship programs.
“My job in the Senate is to make sure Eastern Washington’s priorities are the federal government’s priorities. That’s what I’m fighting for every time I talk with my colleagues about these appropriations bills,” she said. “When I’m in the other Washington, I’m thinking about concrete ways I can work to make life better for people back home—that’s the bottom line for me.”
That’s the attitude we need from our Democratic leaders, and I’m glad that Sen. Murray is making it happen. This is just another example of how important it is to make sure she’s re-elected this November!
Rick Scott’s Tax Plan – We’ve told you about GOP Sen. Rick Scott (a major Tiffany Smiley supporter) and his plan to make retirees, low-income folks, and working families pay more in taxes because he doesn’t think they have enough “skin in the game.” We’ve got some Washington state specific information about his plan, and we think voters should know about what Scott has planned if Tiffany Smiley wins and Republicans get control of the US Senate.
Under Scott’s plan, 24.2% of Washingtonians would see a tax increase – most of them folks on fixed incomes or people with the least ability to afford it. Check out a national state-by-state map and get more info here.
So how do the two parties’ agendas break down on some of the major issues before us? (click the pics for sources)
Oh, and one more reminder about how the economy is doing under Biden versus under Trump –
Good progress is happening – and we’ve got to win in November if we want to keep it up. That’s why it’s so important that we ALL get going on the important work it’ll take to win this year – volunteering, doorknocking, making calls, and spreading the word about how Democrats are delivering for the people of Washington!
Black Maternal Health Week – This week is Black Maternal Health Week, a chance to be reminded of and reflect upon some of the inequities in our healthcare system and how we can fix them. Black women in America are more than 3x as likely to die from pregnancy complications as white women, one of the reasons why our maternal mortality rate is among the highest in the developed world. This is a powerful article to read about how tennis star Serena Williams almost died after childbirth. I encourage you all to read it and spend some time with it.
Return of 70s-style Anti-LGBTQ Propaganda – You’ve probably seen stories about the growing anti-LGBTQ movement among conservatives this year. Some of this is legislative, like the “don’t say gay” bill in Florida that has been widely condemned for depriving LGBTQ students – who are likelier to need support and encouragement than most – of the chance to have their identities discussed or even alluded to in a positive, affirming manner by trusted classroom teachers, or the anti-trans legislation in Texas that directly attacks transgender young people and their families.
Besides the legislation, there’s also a broader cultural argument they’re making – people like conservative activist Chris Rufo (who’s responsible for so much of the “CRT” panic on the right wing last year) are now arguing that we need to “cancel Disney” for being insufficiently anti-LGBTQ. The ultra-conservative Family Policy Institute here in Washington, run by former GOP Sen. Mark Miloscia, which seeks to ban abortion and same-sex marriage, sent out an email blast earlier this week with the subject line “If you don’t raise your kids, Disney will.” The email warned “Disney is attempting to convince our children that sex should be talked about – without parental consent – and that devious sexualities are okay to be explored.”
What these bills and cultural arguments are implying is the same sort of stuff that anti-gay activists like Anita Bryant were saying in the 1970s – they want people to think that LGBTQ individuals are dangerous to children and corrupting our society. Bryant explicitly campaigned for it to be illegal for gay people to be teachers – Republicans today cover their intentions a little bit more – they know that being too overtly homophobic would backfire on them – but bills like the one in Florida making it all but impossible for an LGBTQ teacher or school employee to be out have effectively the same underlying goal.
Republicans are setting up the Supreme Court to overturn the Obergefell decision so that they can end nationwide, legalized same-sex marriage. Obviously here in Washington, same-sex marriage was passed by the legislature and supported by voters in 2012, but an Obergefell repeal would be catastrophic nationally.
We need to be clear-eyed about what Republicans are up to. Just as “critical race theory” was a scheme to undermine trust in public schools and to prevent teachers from being able to teach the truth about America’s history, this seems to be a plan to force LGBTQ people back into the closet in public life. We need to make sure this overreach works against them. We need to have the backs of our LGBTQ friends, family, neighbors (and state party chairs!), and to make it clear what the Republicans are trying to do
Voters don’t want to fire teachers for being gay or to end same-sex marriage – so let’s let folks know that. Let’s not be caught unawares about what conservative legislators in states like Texas, Florida, and Arizona are pushing. The stakes are too high for anything less.
Thank you for reading as always!
PS – read this news story about the RNC’s new vote to require their 2024 primary candidates to sign a pledge to not participate in presidential debates sanctioned by the Commission on Presidential Debates. As our DNC Chair Jaime Harrison says in the article, Republicans “can’t win a fair fight and they know it. After years of having their toxic policies exposed on the national stage, the RNC has decided they would rather hide their ideas and candidates from voters.” So disappointing that the RNC is too scared to have their candidates face us in debate!
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