MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
Good morning fellow Democrats,
At the end of what has been a heavy week, I’m reflecting on several moments that keep me committed to the the work we all do: without politicizing the very real human tragedies we’ve witnessed, the recent school shooting in Nashville and gun violence right here in Washington that resulted in 23-year-old Elijah Lewis’s death are stark reminders that changing public policy can actually save lives.
And although we can’t end every crisis overnight, I’m drawing strength and resilience from the real progress Washington Democrats at every level of government are making to create a safer world for all of us.
As I’ve been traveling around the state to meet with our local Democratic volunteers in every corner of Washington, I’ve been struck by the resolve, determination, and hope people have that a better world is within our reach. At its core, our person-to-person organizing work is the expression of that hope: we each have something to offer that helps advance our community toward the vision we all share of a just and equitable world where everyone can thrive.
If I haven’t been to your neck of the woods yet, you won’t have to wait too long! Next week, I’m hitting the road to meet with our local volunteers in Central and Eastern Washington, so if you’re in the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, Pullman, or Yakima and want to connect, send me an email!
WORKING FOR WASHINGTON
In the state legislature, the Democratic majorities you helped protect last year are set to pass a ban on assault weapons that will help keep kids safe in their classrooms and prevent mass shootings. The measure has already passed the House, and will soon be before the full Senate floor for a vote to send the measure to Gov. Inslee’s desk.
Our Washington Democrats have also continued to advance the shield law for patients seeking reproductive and gender-affirming care I highlighted in this newsletter two weeks ago. That bill is even more important now that Idaho has become the first state in the country to criminalize interstate travel to get an abortion.
A MOMENT OF HOPE
This week, the Midwest gave us quite a few victories to cheer for! Led by an incredible organizing effort from the Wisconsin Dems, Wisconsin got a major win by electing a progressive judge to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Judge Janet Protasiewicz is a strong advocate for reproductive rights and beat a truly horrific Republican!
In Chicago, they elected an awesome new mayor, Brandon Johnson, who was backed by the teachers’ unions and offered a reprieve from messaging overly focused on crime. And in Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer overturned a 1921 ban of abortion, a week after repealing the right to work laws that had been in place for years! Good things are happening across this country because of year-round organizing efforts!
DEMOCRATS IN THE NEWS
Our fellow state party organizers in Wisconsin notched an incredibly important win this week after Janet Protasiewicz’s victory secured a Democratic majority that can now strike down abortion bans, end gerrymandering, and protect the integrity of the 2024 presidential election.
If you’re a high school or college student (or know one) interested in getting trained to help defend our democracy, you have until April 14th to apply to Congresswoman Schrier’s Democracy Summer program. Aspiring student organizers from across the 8th Congressional District will join together for this informative and engaging program that will teach you all you need to know about registering voters and turning out your neighbors!
Ahead of a right-wing judge’s possible ruling in a Texas lawsuit brought by anti-abortion activists, Gov. Inslee has secured a four-year supply of mifepristone to ensure Washingtonians continue to have access to the medication. At the same time, AG Ferguson is fighting back against the lawsuit with one of his own that would compel the FDA to make it easier to access medication abortion.
Finally, a quick shout-out to the 26th LD Democrats for lifting up the alert they received from a 19th LD constituent about Rep. McEntire’s appalling use of social media. Honestly, I know I shouldn’t be surprised by a lack of common decency from any Republican elected official at this point, but I really thought there’d be a better explanation for this behavior in 2023 than “blame the intern.” If you see anything like this from your local GOP, be sure to flag it for us!
Keep in touch, stay engaged, and as always, thank you for all you do!
Chair Shasti Conrad Washington State Democratic Party
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