Sam McVeety

Hi folks, after some encouragement, I've decided to run for Vice Chair for Elections. I've worked as a canvass volunteer and organizer on a number of previous campaigns (1631, 940, Rep. Jayapal, Sen. Dhingra) and worked for several months fulltime on the tech team for the Obama (2012) and Clinton (2016) campaigns. I lead the local LGBTQ+ employee resource group at my employer, and volunteer with a number of local organizations (OneAmerica, WAISN) that center immigrants and communities of color. I support the 43rd Forward vision. I hope I will have your support for the upcoming term!

Amy Madden

It has been an honor to represent the 43rd District as one of your State Committee Members for the past two years. I’m seeking re-election to continue the work of representing our shared progressive values and furthering them via statewide organizing.

State Committee Members can take on several types of work. I want to touch on some of the highlights of work I’ve accomplished and look ahead to ongoing and future goals.

Environment and Climate Caucus

When I ran for this position, I made a commitment to the 43rd--the home of Washington’s flagship legislative district Environmental Caucus--to work to establish and support a statewide Environment and Climate Caucus (ECC). I joined the ECC planning committee, and we organized to be officially recognized by the State Central Committee on Earth Day, 2017.

Key ECC projects:

  • My State Committee colleague Learner Limbach and I co-led an effort to call on the DNC to ban fossil fuel PAC money. We built momentum with state committee members and other environmental activists, both in Washington and across the country, including discussions with DNC member Christine Pelosi.  Pelosi has been actively promoting an environmental agenda within the Democratic Party for years, and helped as we passed a state party resolution affirming our rejection of fossil fuel PAC money. We also engaged in dialogue with our state’s DNC delegation; strengthened ties between Democratic environmental organizations, especially among the Western states; furthered important conversations about just transition; and got a verbal commitment from DNC Chair Tom Perez saying the DNC would not accept fossil fuel PAC money. I’ll continue to update you on this ongoing work, and you can read more here: https://eccwa.wordpress.com/ecc-calls-on-the-dnc-to-reject-fossil-fuel-pac-money

  • I helped lead efforts, with fellow ECC board member Teresa Catford, to support the No LNG movement alongside the Puyallup Tribe and other affected communities. Our work with grassroots organizers across Washington assisted them in forming Environmental Caucuses for their LDs and passing resolutions to both inform their communities and build up the movement. I testified before the Seattle City Council about the threats posed by the LNG plant, and about statewide Democratic efforts to uphold the Medicine Creek Treaty and stop this project. These efforts continue, and we’re continuing to build the network between local party organizations’ environmental caucuses.

  • I’ve supported many other ECC efforts, including advocacy and education around electric vehicles (led in part by the 43rd’s own Arvia Morris and our LD Environmental Caucus), support for carbon pricing, advocacy for the protection and restoration of salmon habitat, and opposition to drilling off the WA coast. The ECC has an ongoing and vital dialogue going with the Agriculture and Rural Caucus, to discuss concerns over the removal of the Lower Snake River Dams and look for pathways forward. We also continue to look for ways our caucus may be uniquely positioned to advocate for the Southern Resident Killer Whale population.

There’s much more to come: I’m currently helping sponsor a Green New Deal resolution to be considered by both the ECC and the WSDCC and will continue to build up the networks between local party orgs’ environmentalists.

Economic Equity and supporting the grassroots

I am a founder of the Economic Equity Caucus, recognized officially at the September 2018 SCC meeting. I bring the perspective of being a low-income person with disabilities to our work, which will include advocacy for addressing economic barriers to participation in the party. My EEC work thus far has included helping write our platform and review our bylaws. I’ve reached out to the Poor People’s Campaign to begin dialogue around how we can partner with them on efforts to address the injustices of inequality. We’re hoping to have a PPC speaker at our first meeting. To check out our platform: http://bit.ly/EECPlatform. To join us: http://bit.ly/EECSignup.

Though the ECC and EEC take up most of my time allocated for constituency caucus work, I’m also involved with four others (Disabilities Issues, Progressive, Stonewall, and Veterans & Military Families), so a recently proposed set of rules changes related to how caucuses operate has been of great concern to me. I’m part of an inter-caucus leadership group that presented our concerns at the September meeting, which were mainly centered around ensuring that grassroots-up organizing and advocacy will be supported by the state party. We garnered overwhelming support to take the rules back to the drawing board, ensuring stakeholders are included in any decisions. I will continue to advocate for the caucuses to be able to 1) maintain strong voices within the party and 2) work in coalition with the greater community.

Bringing people into the conversation and the movement

In addition to the above, I traveled to all quarterly in-person meetings and dialed into monthly meetings; reported back at our 43rd membership meetings, board meetings, online, and via email; talked with members of the 43rd community about your questions and concerns; supported bylaws changes, programs, and other measures to ensure people of all genders, ethnic backgrounds and abilities are at decision-making tables within the party; and advocated for a strong Code of Conduct and clear response plan.

I was delighted to help plug 43rd members into campaigns across the state. Every door you knocked on, text you sent, and phone call you made not only helped us turn ten red legislative seats and a Congressional seat blue, but helped us retain every blue seat statewide. Thank you!! It’s my hope that we can build on this organizing toward even more success in the coming cycle.

I will continue to support discussion, provide details, and consult with 43rd members about the future of our state elections. I would like to hold an interactive forum as part of our March meeting, before State Committee Members vote in April on whether the state party will take on a primary, a revamped caucus system, or some sort of hybrid system.

Communicating our values

I was thrilled to be selected to serve on the new Communications and Training Committee. Highlights of my work included writing the comprehensive first draft of a survey of local party organizations’ communications systems. (Shout out to Angyl Bender for her assistance with some of the security and accessibility details!) We also released a PCO Handbook in both English and Spanish, which you can view here: https://www.wa-democrats.org/local/pco. I was also a vocal advocate for more gender-inclusive language. In the next term, I’d like to be a part of opening up and demystifying even more of our processes; advocate for more livestreaming, not only at party meetings but at rallies and events the Dem community joins in solidarity; and finding more ways to communicate about the issues that matter most to the greater community.

A more Inclusive, focused KCDCC

43rd State Committee Members are also ex officio members of the King County Democratic Central Committee, and I attended a number of meetings to advocate for changes in our culture that will help our party be more inclusive and safe for all who volunteer their time. I was also part of a push for an overhaul of the bylaws, to help the King County Dems become the most focused, inclusive, effective organization it can be.

Activating our district

Finally, SCC Members are full 43rd LD board members. Highlights of this work include participating in both the Bylaws and Membership Committees, and advocating for and helping launch a Facebook forum that provides a community-centered space to connect between meetings. I also helped write and/or sponsor a number of resolutions in response to unfolding issues in the community, often coordinating actions in conjunction. Action plans included attending Seattle City Council meetings to share the community’s positions, working with the Community Police Commission to support them in being heard, and forming a 43rd LD signature-gathering team to support the successful Initiative 940 (police training and accountability).

A number of members of our community have put together a vision of what we believe is possible for the 43rd going forward, and want to invite you to join the conversation! Please go to 43rdForward.com and let us know what you think!

I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to serve in this role of advocating for our community and its progressive values, and thank you for your repeated consideration. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, and I look forward to seeing you at reorg this Tuesday, January 15th.


Amy Madden
Washington State Democratic Central Committee Member, 43rd LD
At-Large Board Member, Environment and Climate Caucus of the WA State Democrats
Co-Founder, Economic Equity Caucus of the WA State Democrats
(206) 633-4617 ⚬ wsdcc_amy@43ddems.org

Tara Gallagher

I am running for Vice Chair again. I bring to the position 12 years of experience on the board, so have some insight into practices that work, or don't, and why. I am completely open to new directions and strategies, but can advise on previous experiences of the district. 

Most particularly, I was co-chair of the caucus planning committee in 2016 and can bring a wealth of experience to planning for whatever the selection process is in 2020.

Thank you for your support in the past, and I hope I have served well and continue to do so.

Annabelle Backman

Hello, 43rd Democrats!

I am posting to announce that I am running for re-election as Vice Chair for Technology. I told you about my background and interests back in September, so I’m not going to waste your time with that now. Instead, allow me to share with you what I’ve been up to in the past four months, and what the roadmap looks like for 2019.

Getting our House in Order

I have documented processes as I’ve taken on the role’s day-to-day tasks, with the goal of producing references both for myself, and whoever eventually picks up the reins after me. Thus far I have completed an inventory of services and accounts in use by the LD, a troubleshooting guide for technical issues members have experienced, instructions for onboarding new Executive Board members, and policies for managing passwords for organization accounts.

Security Improvements

On the subject of passwords, I have set up a 1Password Business account to hold and our organization account passwords, and will instruct board members in how to access and use them following the Reorg elections. This account would normally cost $7.99 per member per month, or about $1,000 a year for 10 users. However, in October, 1Password announced that they would be offering free accounts to people and organizations that are “running for office, ensuring elections are run fairly, or protecting people’s rights.” I established the account and got it approved for the program, allowing us to securely store and share passwords with an unlimited number of users for free.

Website Updates

I made several significant additions to the website, most notably redesigning the donation form to support Ryan Whitney’s plan to offer t-shirts as thank you gifts (12 days from proposal to delivery). I also added Executive Board job descriptions to the website, and most recently added a page for candidate statements from those running for positions at Reorg. Delivering these items has required me to postpone the website platform migration I spoke about at our October meeting, and I now expect to complete that project by March. When completed, it will save the LD approximately $300 per year.

Remote Participation

I have completed initial research into technical requirements and possible solutions, and drafted a bylaws change that will allow us to support voting by remote participants in the future. The next steps for this project will be to:

  • Solicit input from the community to understand what people expect and want from a remote participation system and what concerns they have, and to identify a willing group of alpha testers.

  • Pursue adoption of the bylaws changes necessary to allow full remote participation.

  • Begin limited trials to evaluate possible approaches.

I hope that my efforts these past few months have earned your trust and support, and I look forward to continuing this work and helping realize the https://43rdforward.com vision of an inclusive, activist 43rd Legislative District.


Shua Sanchez

Hello Fellow 43rd Dems!

My name is Shua Sanchez, and to continue the great work we have done recruiting PCOs and getting out the vote, I am announcing a run for PCO Recruitment Vice Chair!

As an experienced field organizer from several Democratic campaigns across the country, I believe I will be effective at PCO recruitment. My key goal as PCO Recruitment Vice Chair is to build Obama-style neighborhood teams throughout our LD, so we can effectively mobilize progressives for events in the city and GOTV during elections.

I plan to share with the 43rd community the skills I’ve built in organizing, both on the campaign trail and as a union organizer with UAW4121, where I work with other academic researchers and TAs to build collective power.

As a PhD candidate at UW, I conduct clean energy research while teaching and mentoring students. UW is the largest major employer in the 43rd — my plan is to be a liaison between our LD and the UW community. If interested, you can learn more about me and my work from this recent student interview, here: https://tinyurl.com/y8x832wc.

Finally, I have helped develop the platform for 43rdforward.com and am excited to work with everyone in the LD! I am asking for your support at reorg on January 15, so please feel free to ask any questions about me, my research, or my candidacy in the comments section below. Thank you!


Ellen Eades

Hello, fellow 43rd District Democrats!

My name is Ellen Eades, and I am running for Secretary.

I was elected Secretary this fall and have enjoyed the chance to contribute in this role. I’m hoping to continue to do so and to use the position to enhance transparency and accountability in the district. As such, I’m a supporter of the vision of 43rd Forward (https://43rdforward.com). I encourage everyone to check it out!

I have been a PCO in the 43rd since 2015, and also volunteered as a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Convention in Wenatchee this June. I am a member of the NAACP, the Japanese-American Citizens League, and I support Seattle Indivisible and Black Lives Matter. My particular interests include LGBTQ issues, particularly support for trans and nonbinary people; women’s health and gender equity; economic justice in a rapidly changing urban landscape with a sharp divide between the haves and have-nots; and immigrant community needs. I have also supported Duwamish Tribal Services, the Refugee Women’s Alliance, and the Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence. 

In my professional life I am retired from a career as a physician assistant specializing in women’s health. I currently study kung fu at Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu and assist with teaching self defense to many community organizations and groups. I am also an artist in oil, watercolor, and pastel media. 

I have lived in Seattle for over thirty years and watched it change, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. I hope that by working with the 43rd I can make some small contributions to making it a city that is more equitable and welcoming to all its residents. Thank you for considering me.

Joey Wieser

CANDIDATE ANNOUNCEMENT

Dear 43rd Democrats,

Somebody once told me there are only two types of smart in this world: 

  1. There are smart people who take simple things and make them sound very complicated to try and impress everybody, and

  2. There are smart people who take complicated things and make them sound very simple to try and help everybody. 

I'd like to announce that I will be running as our next Vice Chair for Communications in the 43rd, and with your support, I pledge to always strive to be that second kind of smart. 

A little about me. I’m a third-generation Seattleite, crisis intervention expert, and fierce LGBT advocate. My mother is a beautifully strong, single woman; my two younger brothers are growing into kind young men—but struggle has always been a central part of our lives. Admittedly, I grew up without the social, financial, or educational capital to participate in local politics, and as I look at Seattle’s rapidly changing landscape and the alarming scarcity of affordable housing, I know that many new stories of struggle are currently being written—one of which could easily be ours.

So why this role?

After putting myself through school as a first-generation college student, I became involved in the Black Lives Matter movement at the national level, wherein which I developed a keen interest in how digital communications could be used to support movement building efforts. 

Currently, I work as a Social Media Community Manager for Microsoft, and I believe that in the bluest district in my home state, my grassroots background and love of communications qualifies me uniquely for this position. 

2019 COMMUNICATIONS GOALS

  • Simplify, amplify, and streamline communications across 43rd’s social media, email, and district website correspondence 

  • Work in collaboration with Vice Chairs for PCO and Member Recruitment to increase membership

  • Strengthen the 43rd’s social media presence, expand online reach, and increase overall engagement 

  • Elevate and support local movement building efforts via livestreams, shares, and other forms of online and in-person advocacy using 43rd LD’s platform

  • Remove barriers to entry—both on and offline—for low and middle-income families to participate in the political process 

I would be honored to serve as your Vice Chair for Communications, and I’ve reached out to Kristen Johnson, Co Chair of Communications for the League of Women Voters, to serve as one of my key communications committee members. I am also especially committed to working in partnership with the rest of the board to listen to and support your ideas. I'm a supporter of and contributor to the 43rd Forward vision, and encourage our community to check it out and share your thoughts! https://43rdforward.com

If you have any feedback or questions about my candidacy, the communications team I’m assembling, or if you‘d just like to get to know one another a little better, please reach out! I’m looking forward to meeting many of you in the coming days — but until reorg, I’m ready to get to work! 💪🏽

My very best, 
Joey

Maddy Vonhoff

Hello everyone! My name is Maddy Vonhoff, and I am excited to announce I will be running for King County Democrats Central Committee Representative! I have been a PCO in the 43rd for the last two years and a political organizer for the last six years. I enjoy teaching people how to be more involved in the political process and how to advocate to elected officials at both the state and congressional level on issues they care about. I see an opportunity for 43rd District Democrats and King County to be leaders in training new advocates and developing much needed leadership programs, tools and infrastructure. 

A little about me: I currently work for the ONE Campaign, a nonpartisan advocacy organization working to end extreme poverty and preventable disease through grassroots advocacy. My job is to mentor and mobilize college students in 17 states to advocate to their Members of Congress. Previously, I worked at the ACLU-WA as a Legislative Aide and then as a Project Manager on the Alternatives to the Death Penalty Campaign.

My strengths include building coalitions and teams, project managing and coordinating large amounts of information, effectively communicating and facilitating discussions between groups, working with first-time advocates and organizers, and mobilizing youth. I have coordinated lobby days, conferences, town halls, and advocacy workshops, and I would love to bring this experience to the 43rd District Democrats. My vision for the 43rd District Democrats and King County is for us to provide space for members to build skills and confidence no matter where they may be in their journey of political engagement. My plan is to extend outreach to new communities, particularly youth, create training opportunities to develop new Democratic leaders, and to be a fair and transparent representative between 43rd District Democrats and King County Democrats. I look forward to potentially working with Shasti Conrad and Galaxy to see this happen!

I'm a supporter of and contributor to the 43rd Forward vision, and encourage our community to check it out and share your thoughts! https://43rdforward.com

Feel free to email me at maddy.vonhoff@gmail.com with questions, comments or to set up a time to chat! I look forward to meeting you all!

Jessi Murray

Hi everyone!

I’d like to announce that I’m running to be Vice Chair for Member Recruitment of the 43rd Dems, and I’d love to have your support! I was previously an acting PCO, and have since been elected to a new term as PCO. This year will bring with it some amazing energy and challenges, and, if elected, I will use that momentum to bring in and retain robust membership.

The 43rd Dems have some truly dedicated members who do amazing things, but there is always room to bring in new folks to get fresh perspectives (and delegate some of that work). I would love to explore the ways that we can make meetings more accessible to all. As VC for Member Recruitment, I would: 

  • Evaluate barriers to attendance/participation of current members, especially as relating to transportation, childcare needs, and disability access

  • Establish flexible dues options for those who need them

  • Connect with other organizations already working with the diverse communities of the 43rd LD and invite cross-pollination of membership

  • Determine strategies to ensure adequate outreach to renters

  • Restructure and revamp the Membership Committee to aid in the above tasks

Building community and creating accessibility is truly important to me. This has been especially obvious in my volunteer work as a vocal instructor at Rain City Rock Camp and as Chair of Seattle Ladies Choir. In these roles and others, I have been consistently lauded for my ability to create respectful and welcoming spaces for people to come together. 

In addition to my non-political leadership, I have been a strong community activist for over half of my life. In Seattle, I’ve done everything from organizing large-scale rallies, to founding direct action groups, to building coalitions, to working directly with city officials on issues relating to the LGBTQ+ community. I can build you a spreadsheet or a movement, and know when to choose each. As VC of Member Recruitment, I will bring strong outreach, community-building, and project management skills.

Lastly, as a queer woman with Middle Eastern heritage, it means a lot to me that the Democratic Party continue to work to be inclusive and intersectional. I know that the 43rd can be a leader in this regard, and I hope to help get us there. 

Thank you!
Jessi

PS: I've helped contribute to the 43rd Forward vision outlined here, which is a work-in-progress that I'd encourage you all to check out and contribute to yourselves! https://43rdforward.com/

Scott Alspach

Fellow 43rd District Democrats, I’m excited to announce that I will be running for Chair at our reorganization meeting on January 15th, and I hope to have your support!

Ever since my first 43rd meeting I have been awed by the hard work, knowledge, and passion of 43rd members advocating for our shared progressive goals. You all did amazing work both in taking back the State Senate in 2017 and in supporting the massive blue wave we saw this past November. I can’t wait to see what happens in our 2019 session because of these efforts.

As Chair, my goal is to empower all of our members to lobby your elected officials, organize your neighbors, and support candidates who share our values here in the 43rd as well as across both our state and the entire country. After our pivotal wins in 2018, we need to keep up the pressure to enact a progressive agenda that matches our platform in Olympia, and my focus will be on creating a 43rd that best amplifies your voice.

Some of the more specific goals I have are to:

  • Provide every member of the 43rd with the knowledge and the tools needed to be an effective and impactful activist.

  • Establish a Diversity and Inclusion Committee and develop a robust Code of Conduct that ensures all members feel welcome organizing in the 43rd.

  • Ensure our board is transparent and accountable to our membership.

  • Register voters and focus our efforts on maintaining the high turnout we saw in the 43rd in 2018.

  • Create strong partnerships with local groups doing organizing that aligns with our goals.

I am excited to share more about the vision that I and others have for the 43rd in the coming days, but I also know that vision is not yet complete.

Beyond your support at our reorganization meeting on January 15th, I also need your ideas and continued energy to help make the 43rd the strongest and most active local party organization in the state. I can be reached at salspach.dems@gmail.com, and look forward to hearing from you!

During my time as Vice Chair for Membership I have learned so much from each of you, and I’m eager to put that knowledge to work in order to continue to build a 43rd District Democrats organization that gives back to our community, advocates for our values, and gets out the vote in the pivotal 2019 and 2020 election cycles.

I also want to take a moment to thank Alexa Halling for her leadership as chair these past few months, as it is my understanding she will be moving onto other opportunities in 2019.

Thank you for your support and continued activism, there’s lots for us to do come 2019!

-Scott Alspach