King County Democrats reaffirm commitment to finding effective and expedient solutions to our homelessness crisis

Last night, at the invitation of host Jason Rantz, Omaha Sternberg, who is one of nine independently elected officers of the King County Democrats, appeared on KIRO 97.3 FM to discuss her personal views on addressing homelessness, following a lively discussion on Twitter earlier in the day.

Though Omaha was speaking only for herself, she was identified before and after her on-air comments as an officer of our organization, without any disclaimer that she was not speaking on behalf of the King County Democrats.

In response, King County Democratic Chair Rich Erwin — the sole officer authorized to speak on behalf of the county party by the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC) — issued the following statement.

“As Democrats, we believe we must work together to build inclusive communities where no one is shut out. We believe everyone should have a place to call home, and that access to shelter is a basic human right. Many people across our county are currently living without a home, and that’s unacceptable. We believe that addressing our region’s homelessness crisis must be a top priority, and we call upon King County Executive Dow Constantine, our Democratic council majority, and city leaders across our county to join forces to find effective, expedient ways to house our homeless fellow citizens.”

“The notion of setting aside an island somewhere where our region’s homeless population can create a self-governing community is an inappropriate fantasy that does not merit serious consideration. It’s not something we support as a county party. The policy directions we do support are clearly articulated in the platform approved by the delegates to the 2016 King County Democratic Convention last spring. We urge activists and reporters alike to read our platform to understand our positions on the issues and the values we hold that serve as the foundation for those positions.”

Human Services Plank of the 2016 King County Democratic Platform

As a caring community, we must provide a safety net of social services that meets the basic needs of people, especially those on the margins of society, so they can attain their full potential.

  1. With poverty having increased despite the “end” of the recession, ensuring compassionate human services must be among the highest priorities of federal, state, and local government.
  2. We support programs that reduce poverty, not just reduce the welfare rolls.
  3. We must ensure that all people have access to safe, affordable housing. We support:
    1. Low-income subsidized housing with supportive services for those who cannot work, especially those with mental illness (including chemical dependency).
    2. Targeting affordable housing programs toward those who need them most.
    3. Workforce housing programs, especially those targeting workers earning between minimum wage (approximately 30% of Area Median Income, “AMI”) and a living wage (60% of AMI).
    4. Shelters as a transition to permanent housing.
    5. The Housing First policy for homeless people who need a home in order to begin recovery.
    6. The Rapid Rehousing policy for families who need help to maintain school and community ties while finding new homes.
  4. We oppose subsidizing market-rate housing for those who earn 60% or more of AMI.
  5. Farm workers and their families must have safe and adequate housing, sanitary facilities, and access to medical care and education.
  6. Each person being released from a state institution should be assisted in preparing a plan for re-entry housing upon release.
  7. We support restoring the Housing and Essential Needs stipend (state public assistance for people with disabilities) to safeguard the dignity and well-being of the vulnerable poor.
  8. Quality affordable childcare, education, workforce training, and substance abuse treatment must be provided to help working parents leave welfare and poor people escape poverty.
  9. Taxpayer-funded social services must not be conditioned on faith-based requirements.
  10. Preventing child abuse and neglect must be a priority for our state. The foster care system must be restructured to protect the child, and adequately funded and administered. We support Gov. Inslee’s initiative to establish a separate Children’s Administration.
  11. Adult Family Homes should be adequately regulated and funded.
  12. Washington State must provide a long-term care program that provides in-home care alternatives to nursing homes and Medicaid, including respite for family care providers.
  13. Services for people with developmental disabilities and their families should be strengthened and programs made more flexible. We should fund promised services, ending the waiting list.
  14. The State should fund the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Join the King County Democrats at the 2016 Eastside Democratic Dinner: An annual tradition in its thirtieth year

Fellow Democrats, the 2016 Eastside Democratic Dinner is just around the corner!

Along with districts in the South Sound and in Clark County, the Eastside is one of the places in Washington where legislative majorities are won and lost. To retake the Washington State Senate and expand our majority in the Washington State House this year, Democrats must do well on the Eastside.

Meet our candidates, connect with fellow activists, and help ensure our local party organizations have the resources to communicate with voters in this important election by joining the King County Democrats at this important event.

Proceeds from the Eastside Dinner will benefit four local Democratic organizations: the 41st, 45th, 48th, and 5th District Democrats.

Buy tickets online via ActBlue now.

King County Democrats congratulate endorsed candidates on Top Two showing

Following the release of initial results in the August Top Two qualifying election, King County Democratic Chair Rich Erwin congratulated the party’s many endorsed candidates on their showing, declaring that the party was ready to go to work to elect Democrats up and down the ballot all autumn long, and recapture control of the state Senate while holding the state House of Representatives.

“Tonight, it appears that most of our endorsed candidates are headed on to November,” said Erwin. “We’re delighted to see Governor Jay Inslee and Senator Patty Murray well ahead of all their rivals. Our choice for the open congressional seat in the 7th, Pramila Jayapal, is in first place, and we’re thrilled to see Chief Justice Barbara Madsen with a commanding lead over her two opponents. We congratulate Erin Jones, Cyrus Habib, and Hilary Franz on qualifying for the general election as well.”

“In state legislative races, we offer our congratulations to Darcy Burner, who we were proud to support in conjunction with the 5th District Democrats. In the 41st, we applaud Lisa Wellman on her strong showing against Republican incumbent Steve Litzow. And in the 30th, we are ecstatic that both Mike Pellicciotti and Kristine Reeves are ahead of their Republican opponents, who are incumbents. Neither Mike nor Kristine faced elimination in this election, but they worked hard to earn support of voters in the South Sound, and the results show we are on the cusp of retaking the 30th this year.”

“We are equally determined to defend Mark Mullet in the 5th District. Chad Magendanz is a Tea Party extremist who takes his cues from the likes of Tim Eyman. We’re pleased that Mark is currently ahead of Chad, and we will do all we can to ensure Mark finishes in an even stronger position in the coming November general election.”

How You Can Help Our Endorsed Candidates

Follow these links for details on upcoming phonebanks, precinct walks, and other events to support our candidates:

LIVE from Renton: The June 2016 King County Democratic Endorsements Meeting

Good evening from Renton. Tonight, the King County Democrats are meeting to consider taking endorsement action in a number of contests, most of which will be decided by voters this August and September. This post will offer a running chronology of the meeting proceedings, including endorsement votes.

Note that the threshold for endorsement of the King County Democrats is a two-thirds vote of those present and voting.

  • 7:20 PM: We started at 7:15 PM and proceeded through the Pledge of Allegiance, adoption of the meeting agenda, adoption of meeting minutes, and adoption of endorsement ground rules.
  • 7:25 PM: We are currently working on the slate. Executive board members have the opportunity to pull races from the slate, but there must be at least four seconds to pull a race for individual consideration. Races that have been pulled: Governor, Seattle Proposition #1, and Seattle Initiative 123.
  • 7:30 PM: We are now voting on the slate.
  • 7:34 PM: We have adopted the slate by a vote of forty-four to two. The following candidates have now been endorsed by the King County Democrats:
    • Luis Moscoso, State Senate, 1st Legislative District
    • Derek Stanford, State House, Position 1, 1st Legislative District
    • Shelley Kloba, State House, Position 2, 1st Legislative District
    • Kristine Reeves, State House, Position 2, 30th Legislative District
    • Noel Frame, State House, Position 1, 36th Legislative District
    • Lisa Wellman, State Senate, 41st Legislative District
    • Tana Senn, State House, Position 1, 41st Legislative District
    • Judy Clibborn, State House, Position 2, 41st Legislative District
    • Nicole Macri, State House, Position 1, 43rd Legislative District
    • Helen Halpert, Position #31, King County Superior Court
    • Mariane Spearman, Position #53, King County Superior Court
    • Initiative 1433 (statewide): YES/please sign
    • King County Fire Protection District #2, Proposition #1: YES
    • King County Fire Protection District #43, Proposition #1: YES
    • King County Hospital District #2, Proposition #1: YES
  • 7:37 PM: A motion was made from the floor to endorse U.S. Senator Patty Murray for reelection. By a vote of forty-one to two, she is endorsed.
  • 7:44 PM: A motion was made from the floor to endorse Tony Ventrella for U.S. House, 8th District. The motion failed by a vote of two to thirty-six.
  • 7:48 PM: A motion was made from the floor to endorse Bob Ferguson for Attorney General. By a vote of thirty-nine to three, he is endorsed.
  • 7:44 PM: A motion was made from the floor to endorse Mary Verner for Commissioner of Public Lands. The motion was not taken up due to a lack of seconds.
  • 7:54 PM: A motion was made from the floor to endorse Karen Porterfield for Commissioner of Public Lands. The motion failed by a vote of six to twenty-nine.
  • 8:15 PM: We just heard a great speech from Governor Inslee, followed by Q&A. In the wake of the speech and Q&A, Governor Inslee was unanimously endorsed by a vote of forty-four to zero.
  • 8:20 PM: We next took up the Endorsements Committee’s recommendation to take a position supporting Seattle Proposition #1, this year’s housing levy. This passed by a vote of thirty-eight to zero.
  • 8:25 PM: We took up the Endorsement Committee’s recommendation to take a position opposing Initiative 123, which concerns an alternative plan for the Seattle waterfront. This failed by a vote of twenty-five to fifteen.
  • 8:32 PM: We considered a motion from the floor to take a position supporting Initiative 123. This failed by a vote of eighteen to twenty-three. We thus do not have a position on Initiative 123.

After the second vote on Initiative 123, we concluded our endorsements business for this evening. Further endorsements will be considered at our July meeting.