MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
It’s been another terrific week working hard for Democrats across Washington State! I’m so proud to serve as your Chair and I wanted to share a great video our staff put together, so you can learn a little bit more about me, my background and my priorities:
It’s a pleasure to do this important work each and every day! A recent highlight of the job was speaking at last Sunday’s Protect Trans Kids Rally – put on by the 27th LD Dems and Oasis Tacoma. I want to give a special shout out to Stella Keating and her mom, Lisa, for organizing this powerful rally. Stella is the first openly trans person to serve as a Vice Chair for a party organization in the state! At just 18, Stella is already a star! It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to amplify this important message and build a better, safer Washington for kids across our beautiful state!
It’s never been clearer than it is today – Democrats are the Party that cares about people and communities and we should all be proud to carry the mantle!
On the national level, I’ve been especially grateful for all the Biden administration is doing to fight back against the deeply conservative Supreme Court in the battle for student loan forgiveness. This conflict serves as a strong reminder that the GOP will do everything in their power to stall progress again and again and deny transformative, life-changing support to the people who need it most. We must stand together and fight back every single day!
Please join me in thanking the President, his team, and every Democrat working hard to make this vision a reality. We won’t stop until we win!
WORKING FOR WASHINGTON
Last Friday marked another deadline in the Legislature as lawmakers closed the end of the week with executive sessions in both the Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Appropriations Committee. Here are a few bills we’re watching:
Senate Bill 5123: Some employers in Washington state would no longer be allowed to discriminate against applicants for their cannabis use outside of work under a bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday. The bill was introduced by Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, and passed with a 28-21 vote. If passed through the House and signed by the governor, the bill would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024 and would only apply to pre-employment screenings, not an employer’s on-the-job policies after an employee is hired.
House Bill 1389: Landlords in Washington would no longer be able to quickly raise rents under this proposed legislation. Rents would not be able to be raised on tenants within the first 12 months after signing a lease, and rent increases could not be more than 3-7% in a 12-month period, although exemptions could apply in some circumstances. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Alex Ramel, D-Bellingham, and was passed out of the House Appropriations Committee on Friday.
SB 5257: Recess could become mandatory for elementary school children in Washington under legislation sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles, D-Fircrest.
SB 5131: As the law currently stands, up to 95% of the money sent to people in prison by family members is kept by the Department of Corrections for various accounts such as payment of Legal Financial Obligations or simply the cost of being incarcerated. This bill would prevent money sent by family members from being used for those deductions, and instead, inmates could only spend the money on commissary items.
And here’s a fun one:
HB 1020: This bill passed from the chamber floor on Monday and would designate the Suciasaurus Rex as Washington’s official dinosaur. Fourth-grade students from Elmhurst Elementary in the Franklin Pierce School District brought the bill forward to Rep. Melanie Morgan, D-Parkland, in 2019 but the legislation has yet to clear all the legislative hurdles needed to become law.
This list is not exhaustive – and we encourage each of you to keep an eye out for legislation that affects you and your community.
Please join me in wishing a huge thank you to our Democratic legislators who are working tirelessly to build a better, safer, Washington!
DEMOCRATS IN THE NEWS
President Joe Biden said Wednesday that his labor secretary nominee Julie Su is a “real leader” who has supported unions, enforced worker safety and protected the victims of human trafficking.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced more than $40 million in federal funding to upgrade critical clean water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure across Washington state.
DelBene is now in charge of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and is tasked with one thing: winning back the House for her party.
8th District Congresswoman Kim Schrier wants more done to alleviate physician shortages in rural areas.
Over the last 40 years we have made progress nationally with increasing Black leadership. Yet, locally, it has looked and felt a bit different — until now.
Right turns on red lights will continue for at least another year in Washington state, while anti-jaywalking laws could maybe become a thing of the past as lawmakers in Olympia settle into the second half of the 2023 legislative session.
Keep in touch, stay engaged, and as always, thank you for all you do!
Chair Shasti Conrad Washington State Democratic Party
The work we do today wins elections this November. If you’re ready to elect Democrats in every race and every place in Washington state, invest in our efforts and make a contribution now.
Want to support our work year round? Join Blue Washington, our monthly giving program! It is the most effective way to help candidates, volunteers, organizers, activists, and staff because it gives us the certainty we need to scale up our program with confidence. Your monthly investment ensures we can defend our strong legislative majorities, flip key congressional seats from red to blue, and fight for progressive values. Help us lead the way to victories at all levels of government today!
Washington State Democrats PO Box 4027 Seattle, WA 98194 United States