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.
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 ⚬ firstname.lastname@example.org