SKAGIT DEMOCRATS WEEK IN REVIEW

COURTESY OF SKAGIT COUNTY DEMOCRATS

NEW - Please Help the Sumas Farm Workers by Donating at Community to Community Development's website at http://www.foodjustice.org/donate-1. 
Tragically a H-2A Farm Worker died more likely by not receiving medical help in a timely matter and now around 100 Farm Workers are homeless and have no way to get back home to Mexico.

 

During harvest, many local farms hire foreign guest workers through the federal H-2A program. But what are the impacts of this program? How does it care for-or completely ignore-the health and safety of migrant workers living and working in our community? The horrifying treatment of H-2A workers by Sarbanand Farm in Sumas, WA is an example of why this program doesn't work. Workers suffering terrible working conditions in the extreme heat and smoke were fainting in the fields. Their crammed quarters had no A/C, refrigerators, or microwaves to prepare food, and have expressed that they are charged weekly for food, and then received under-cooked food, or not enough food. One worker, who had complained for four days that he wasn't feeling well, died at Harborview Medical Center. Several others are sick and at a hospital.

 

On August 4, 2017, a group of farm-workers went on strike to demand better working conditions, including on-site medical attention, shaded areas, and food. They were immediately fired by the company and given one hour to leave the property, without paychecks. They're stuck with expired work permits since the company didn't renew for them, like they were supposed to and now all the workers are in a legal limbo. Around 100 workers are now in an encampment in the yard of a nearby family. The community has been working to provide food, camping supplies, and portable toilets in an attempt to create tenable living conditions. What the farm workers need: donations to pay for portable toilets and for people to put gas in their cars so they can try and sort out their health and legal situation.

 

NEW - Coffee 'n Cards

All are invited to drop in (for any length of time) between 10:00am - 12:00pm EACH TUESDAY for Coffee 'n Cards.  Sending postcards to give a PoB (Pat on the Back), oppose/support a specific issue, or occasional SOY (Shame On You) to deserving individuals or groups is a positive way to react to the negative news from Trump administration.  Colorful postcards, pens and topic cards with addresses are provided, stamps sold 3/$1, and you bring your own coffee!  Return address labels for your cards are time-savers.

 

For ten weeks, this group has been meeting outside regular office hours at the Skagit Dem. HQ with the goal of sending postcards. We have sent over 80 post cards each of the past two weeks, but more help would be appreciated!  It is very satisfying to be doing something little but very positive.

 

The 39th Legislative District is looking for volunteers to staff the Democrats booth at the Evergreen State Fair, Aug 26 - 27, Monroe

To make sure the dates are all covered each LD is staffing two days for the Democratic booth in Monroe. We will have Sat and Sunday. The Snohomish County Chair, Mario Brown is very grateful to us for taking the 26th, which is the same day as the Snohomish Democrats Gala. This is a great event and fun. Morning and evening shifts available. Let's show the fighting spirit of the Democrats in the 39th. Contact: Cathy Ozog (cmozog@gmail.com) if interested in taking a shift.

 

The Skagit Democrats Executive Board will not meet in the month of August

Our next meeting will be of the Skagit Democrats Central Committee on Saturday, Sep 9.

 

The 10th Legislative District Democrats Executive Board meeting for August 2017 has been cancelled

The September meeting will be held on Sep 23, the fourth Saturday, instead of the usual third Saturday.  Same time and place for the meeting in September - Skagit Democrats Headquarters at 10:00 am.

 

Whatcom Democrats' Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner & Fundraiser, Saturday, Sep 23, 5:30pm - 8:30 p.m., Silver Reef Hotel Casino, 4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale

The Whatcom Democrats' biggest fundraiser of the year. Enjoy a terrific buffet of northwest favorites, rousing speeches from local and State elected officials, and the company of fellow Democrats. Click Here for more information.

 

Skagit Democrats are assembling a team with the help of the local Congressional District 1 & Congressional District 2 Sister District Project to phone bank and canvass for Manka Dhingra in the 45th Legislative District so we can turn the State Senate blue!

We have a critical race in the 45th legislative district and an opportunity to put the power back in the hands of Democrats! Please join your fellow citizens in supporting Manka Dhingra. There are weekly phone banking and canvassing opportunities. If you would like to participate in this endeavor, please send an email to staff@skagitdemocrats.org with your contact information.

 

Interested in helping flip the Washington State Senate?   

Our local chapter of Sister District Project, a national grassroots organization that supports democratic campaigns in districts that tend Republican, is helping to support Manka Dhingra's campaign for state senate.  We are working to organize carpools down to Redmond to help her campaign by canvassing in the 45th district. Canvassing is happening every weekend on both Saturday and Sunday at 10 AM and 1 PM. Training is available before each 2-hour canvassing block. If you are interested in participating, please contact Molly Westring at mollywestring@gmail.com.  

 

NEW - A message from Washington's Paramount Duty - An Open Letter to Fellow WPD Advocates,

Together, we've accomplished a lot, and we still have a lot to do. With the legislative session in the rear-view mirror, WPD is taking stock of what we've accomplished and the work ahead. 

 

First, we want to thank YOU. Thank you for showing up - for calling, emailing, advocating, showing up on lobby days, and testifying in public hearings, sometimes on very short notice. Your voice made a difference. Many of you joined us in attending Education Funding Task Force meetings last year, and then public hearings this past session. Together we learned to testify, to hold our legislators publicly accountable, and to speak truth to power. 

 

Eighteen months since our founding, we are proud that we have moved the needle in Olympia in favor of amply funding public schools by:

  • Mobilizing thousands of parents and allies to call and email their legislators
  • Organizing hundreds of parents and allies to show up and testify at public hearings
  • Meeting with dozens of legislators
  • Becoming a "go-to" source for what is happening on the issue of education funding in Olympia - by the media and the public

From tweets to amicus briefs, WPD is a lean, efficient and effective volunteer-run organization. We are all together, with you, a collective of informed and informative passionate public-school advocates. We literally crowdsource advocacy on the WPD FB group and have moved the political conversation in Olympia. 

 

To be clear, the budget that was passed at the 11th hour did not meet the paramount duty of the state to amply fund education, and for that, we are disappointed. Analysis of the passed operations budget and lack of capital budget has shown school districts struggling statewide with the funding gaps that remain. 

 

Our mission remains to compel our state to amply fund basic education. We envision that every child receives the attention they need from their teacher to thrive, that every school has stocked libraries, updated curricula, arts and sports programs, a funded librarian, counselor, guidance counselor, and nurse. 

 

WPD continues its advocacy planning and activities - Summer Stinson, WPD VP, and Kathryn Russell Selk, WPD super-volunteer, are hard at work on an amicus brief to be filed to the Supreme Court by the end of the month. In addition, we will endorse legislative candidates for the November elections who demonstrate that they will fight for amply funded schools. And we will prepare to advocate for a supplemental budget during the 2018 legislative session.

 

Thank you for staying informed, for showing up, and for being part of this growing collective voice that will not be quieted until our mission is accomplished and every child in Washington state has equal access to a quality public education.

 

Yours in advocacy, Tali Rausch, WPD Board President & Mom to 3 Public School Students

 

NEW - Week in Review, Aug 12

McMorris Rodgers Rally To Hold Her Accountable

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers refused to hold any public events before voting to take away health care from 23 million Americans. She has shown time and time again that she's more concerned about following the Republican Party line than representing her constituents. So, at an event this week, more than 150 constituents rallied to ask McMorris Rodgers questions and hold her accountable for her vote for Trumpcare.

McMorris Rodgers' constituents pressed her on issues including funding Planned Parenthood, immigration, protecting health care coverage, and her strong support for Trump and his agenda. McMorris Rodgers' floundering answers make it more clear than ever that we need new leadership in the 5th Congressional District that will truly represent their constituents' interests. Check out news coverage here.

 

Watch and share some video from the event here - if there's one thing that Cathy McMorris Rodgers made clear, it's that she loooooves Donald Trump in the White House!

 

Facebook Live Discussion of Summer of Canvass

Next Tuesday, August 15, we're holding a Facebook live event to talk with Democrats across the state about our Summer of Canvass program and how we're organizing and building our party. The event will be all online, so you can watch and ask questions from anywhere, from 8-9 PM. You can RSVP and get more info here - it'll be a great event and we're looking forward to it!

 

You'll get an update on our Summer of Canvass and the work we're doing to invest in our party infrastructure in every corner of the state. So far, volunteers with our Summer of Canvass have been out across the state - listening to voters' concerns and talking about our party and how our progressive approach can help address the challenges people are facing in their everyday lives.

 

Our next big milestone is next weekend - Saturday, August 19th is a National Day of Action, and we want as many Democrats as possible out on the doors. We need your help to spread the word about our party and the essential issues that we're working on. Click here for more information on canvasses in your area or to sign up to be contacted by an organizer with details on how you can help and get involved. Thank you!

 

Trump Sabotaging Health Insurance

A new nonpartisan study has found that Trump is already causing double-digit premium increases on individual health insurance policies, proving that his threats of sabotaging Obamacare are already having a real and harmful effect on Americans.

Trump is responsible for this - the study found that the president has created uncertainty "far outside the norm" that's now causing a significant hike in premiums. Now Trump is still deciding whether he will withhold crucial payments that stabilize insurance premiums as part of his continued effort to sabotage healthcare markets, creating major uncertainty that has caused insurers to raise premiums or leave markets entirely.

 

If Trump chooses to end these payments, he will directly impact millions of Americans who could see their premiums increase by as much as 19 percent. Americans could be forced to pay a "Trump premium tax" next year that could amount to as much as 50 percent. Republicans may have failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act thus far, but that hasn't stopped them - and it can't stop us either. We have to continue to be vigilant and protect our health care.

 

Tell us what you'd ask Dave Reichert

We're already laying the groundwork to beat Dave Reichert, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and other congressional Republicans in 2018. But that starts with holding them accountable now -- and Dave Reichert is still refusing to hold a town hall meeting to hear from his constituents.

 

We're collecting questions that Washingtonians would like to ask Reichert if they had the chance - like why he voted more than sixty times to repeal Obamacare, or if he supports Trump's budget to slash education spending, or why he voted to keep Trump's tax returns secret. You can click here to send us your question for Reichert - we'll be reading them all and sharing some of the best with the public and with Reichert's office.

 

Tensions with North Korea

Trump's 17-day vacation to his golf course (by the end of this trip, he'll have spent 1/3rd of his presidency at a Trump-branded property) hasn't prevented him from dangerously escalating tensions with North Korea.

 

Trump has to understand that this is a time for global leadership, not recklessly ad-libbing threats from the golf course. The president needs to be crystal clear when addressing the country or the world on issues of defense and national security.  Neither America nor our allies and enemies should have to spend the rest of the day interpreting Trump's dangerously ambiguous statements. Unfortunately, Trump's erratic response has only endangered our national security and escalated tensions. When nuclear war and the security of our nation are at stake, we need to be thoughtful and serious - especially when dealing with a madman like Kim Jong Un. Trump's rhetoric and needless escalation is irresponsible and puts us at risk.

 

Tina and Susan Hutchison on KUOW radio!

Tina and the Republican Party Chairwoman Susan Hutchison had a joint appearance on KUOW radio this week, talking about primary results, Trump escalating tensions with North Korea, and more! You can listen to the segment by clicking here.

 

Help Us Fund Our Eastern Washington Outreach

Tina just got back from her tour of Eastern Washington - talking with Democrats and voters about how we grow our party across the state - and we heard loud and clear that we need to do a better job of finding innovative new ways to reach people in these areas. Many areas of Eastern Washington are too rural to doorbell, or lack wi-fi for communication over the internet, or don't have daily local newspapers.

 

We want to raise money that we can spend on Eastern Washington-specific communications efforts. Whether that's big signs, radio spots, newspaper ads, or something else, we want to identify the best ways to communicate about our party to Eastern Washington voters. Our Win Eastern Washington Fund goes exactly to that. We already have commitments from many Eastern Washington legislators and elected officials to help support this effort - can you help as well with a contribution? Thank you!

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS 

1. NEW - Nomorebombs.org presents Nuclear Tipping Point, 7:00pm - 9:00pm,Anacortes Public Library Meeting Room, 1220 10th Street, Anacortes

Nomorebombs.org presents the first in a series of monthly programs about nuclear weapons in our world today, scary movies, and informed conversations. NUCLEAR TIPPING POINT is a provocative short film by prominent Cold War Veterans George Schultz, Sam Nunn, William Perry, and Henry Kissinger. It will be followed by a discussion of significant current events in the field, what they mean, and how we can better understand the serious future consequences of our government's actions today. Let's talk about the world we want for our children. Let's get involved. Contact Tracy Powell, Call360-840-3826 or email tracy@nomorebombs.org.

 

2. NEW - Concrete Heritage Museum Association Annual Potluck Dinner, 6:00pm, Wednesday, Aug 16, Concrete Community Center45821 Railroad Street, Concrete

Free admission. Open to the public.

 

3. NEW - Concrete celebrates Cascade DaysSaturday and Sunday, Aug 19 and Aug 20, 9:00am to 4:00pm

Click Here for the schedule.

 

4. NEW - The Upper Skagit Library Foundation Book Sale, Saturday, Aug 19, 9:00am to 3:00pm, Library Parking lot, 45770B Main Street. Concrete

Join us during Concrete's Cascade Days to purchase gently used books of all genres and support your local library. Your donations will have a direct impact on library programming.

 

5. Here's some news from Safe and Sane Skagit

Safe and Sane Skagit is a group of Skagitonians advocating for firearm safety. Recent activities include:

  • Lobbying for responsible gun legislation. A Law Enforcement and Victim Notification bill passed in 2017, HB 1501, the first firearm safety legislation to pass in WA State in many years. (WA State ranks 10th in the nation in firearm safety laws according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.)
  • Partnering with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility in an #ivoteorange campaign this summer, tabling at the Edison Farmer's Market and elsewhere.
  • Participating in the Washington State Firearm Tragedy Prevention Network
  • Liz Hjelmseth, gun violence survivor and SaSS member, is featured in the bookShot and on King 5 News and participated in a Town Hall Seattle panel discussion on gun violence, available as a KUOW Speaker's Forum podcast.

Save the Date! SaSS Seeds of Change event Saturday evening, October 21, with speakers, lively discussion, music, and refreshments. More info to come. Visit us onFacebook or write to safeandsaneskagit@gmail.com.

 

6. Skagit Project Homeless Connect! will conduct an outreach program Friday, Aug 25, 9:00am - 2:00pm, Knutzen Cardinal Building, Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon

No identification required for most services

  • Health fair
  • Clothing
  • Housing services
  • Haircuts
  • Free lunch
  • DSHS services
  • Veteran's services

7. NEW - Skagit Habitat for HumanityFriendly People Needed

Are you always saying hello to everyone and trying to help out? The Skagit Habitat for Humanity Store could use someone as chipper and friendly as you! Customer Service volunteers help customers at the Store feel welcome and assist customers with questions. Various shifts available. Must be 16 or older to volunteer. Contactvolunteer@skagithabitat.com for more information.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. NEW TIME and ANOTHER DAY - Listen to We Do the Work, Tuesdays, 5:00pm and Sundays, 7:00pm, at KSVR, 91.7; KSVU, 90.1; or KSJU, 91.9 FM

A weekly local worker radio program that features news, interviews, music, and comments, "We Do the Work" believes American workers are at the heart of our economy and culture, deserving dignity, respect, and a decent family wage. To hear our other shows, go to We Do The Work Archives. Questions about interviews? Email ksvrwedothework@gmail.com
 

NEW -

We Do The Work's program for Tuesday, Aug 15, 5:00 pm and Sunday, Aug 20, 7:00 pm, 91.7 FM - Robert McCloud, Organizer for the WA and N Id District Council of Laborers

Interview by Lori Province: Robert discusses the safety and fairness issues in the construction industry. For more information, go to

https://www.facebook.com/LaborersLocal292/ 

 

We Do The Work Comment: Icelandic Women stand up to pay inequality.


2. Listen to Speak Up! Speak Out! Radio

We are a half-hour weekly, locally-produced radio show committed to community, peace, justice, and non-violence issues. Topics and interviewees change weekly. Our shows are available anytime or subscribe to podcasts at http://www.speakupspeakoutradio.org/. Also find us at https://www.facebook.com/SpeakUpSpeakOutRadio/. Interested in getting SUSO e-News? Contact SUSOenews@gmail.com.


SUSO Radio airs at:

  • KSVR 91.7 FM, Mount Vernon, Wednesdays 5:00pm, rebroadcasts Sundays 8:00pm
  • KMRE 102.3 FM, Bellingham, Sundays 11:00am and Wednesdays 7:30am
  • KSVU 90.1 FM, Hamilton, Sundays 8:00pm and Thursdays 8:00am

       

 Visit the Skagit County Democrats Headquarters


We are open Monday through Thursday, 12:00pm to 4:00pm            
                     

300 A First Street                                            
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273         

(360) 336-1555  

staff@skagitdemocrats.org        

www.skagitdemocrats.org

 

Submit News Items

This weekly e-newsletter is compiled and formatted by Don Ambrose, action newsletter editor, Skagit County Democrats. 

 

We welcome Democratic News items for inclusion in this publication. Deadlines are Thursdays to be considered in the following weeks newsletter. Email items to news@skagitdemocrats.org

 

Articles in this e-newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the Skagit County Democrats. Due to scheduling differences, the email and website versions of the newsletter may appear at different times.

Skagit County Democrats, 300 A First Street, Mount Vernon, WA 98273