48th LD special nominating caucus still on for now; final decision to be made tomorrow morning

I am monitoring the weather situation and will make a determination tomorrow morning as to if we will proceed with the special nominating caucus tomorrow night. All candidates have been notified of this by the 48th LD Chair and we will provide PCOs with as much notice as possible if anything changes. However, based upon the great wind storm of 2016 that never happened – I am optimistic that we can proceed with the meeting as planned and nominate a new Senator for the 48th District.

King County Democrats choose nominees to succeed Pramila Jayapal in 37th District

SEATTLE — In anticipation of 37th District State Senator Pramila Jayapal’s resignation from the Legislature to serve in Congress as the 7th District’s U.S. Representative, the King County Democrats tonight selected Rory O’Sullivan, Rebecca Saldaña, and Shasti Conrad as its nominees to fill the forthcoming vacancy resulting from Jaypal’s election to federal office.

O’Sullivan is the former Chair of the 37th District Democrats and Managing Attorney of the Housing Justice Project. Saldaña is executive director of Puget Sound Sage. Conrad previously served on the staff of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and has also worked for the Malala Fund.

The three names were chosen by a special nominating caucus of the King County Democrats, consisting of the newly elected  Democratic PCOs from the 37th Legislative District, which takes in many south Seattle neighborhoods, including Beacon Hill, Central District, Rainer Valley, Columbia City, and Rainier Beach, as well as part of Renton.

Over eighty PCOs showed up in person to vote.

Following the adjournment of the caucus, the King County Democratic Central Committee’s executive board met briefly to ratify the results for transmission to the Metropolitan King County Council, in accordance with the procedures for filling legislative vacancies specified in Article II, Section 15 of the Washington State Constitution. The executive board voted unanimously to forward the names of O’Sullivan, Saldaña, and Conrad to fill the Senate vacancy.

Jayapal’s resignation is effective as of Sunday, December 11th.

King County Democratic Chair Bailey Stober thanked all the PCOs and candidates who participated in the special nominating caucus.

“I’m extremely proud of the three names our party is submitting to the King County Council. They have a difficult decision to make, with several highly qualified nominees seeking to be appointed. I’m confident that the Council will select a fantastic new Senator from the 37th District that will represent the values of such a diverse and dynamic district,” said Stober.

King County Democrats choose new officers for 2017-2018 midterm elections cycle

SEATTLE — At a reorganization meeting today in South Park, members of the King County Democratic Central Committee selected nine at-large officers for the 2017-2018 midterm election cycle, including, for the first time, a Chair and First Vice Chair who are both under thirty. A record number of precinct committee officers — each representing one precinct in King County — showed up to participate in this year’s meeting, with high interest in the nine officer positions driving turnout.

The nine individuals elected to lead the county organization for the next two years are:

  • Bailey Stober, Chair (Auburn)
  • Cat Williams, First Vice Chair (Woodinville)
  • Michael Maddux, Second Vice Chair (Seattle)
  • Orchideh Raisdanai, Third Vice Chair (Duvall)
  • Bridget Hudson , Fourth Vice Chair (Seattle)
  • Nancy Podschwit, Treasurer (Renton)
  • Roger Crew, Secretary (Mercer Island)
  • Chad Lupkes, State Committeemember (male) (Seattle)
  • Jessa Lewis, State Committeemember (female) (Seattle)

“I am honored and humbled to serve as the new Chair of the King County Democrats. I want to thank Rich Erwin for his service to our community and our party. For the first time in recent history this organization has elected a young, biracial, South King County Democrat to its highest post and I am thrilled to answer that call. I am looking forward to rebuilding, rebranding and reestablishing our party over the next two years. We’ve got plenty of work to do and plenty of races to win,” said Stober.

About the King County Democrats

The Democratic Party of Martin Luther King Jr. County works to elect Democrats who are committed to the party’s core values of freedom, opportunity, and inclusion to all levels of office. King County is home to more than a third of the state’s voters and has a proud tradition of supporting Democratic candidates and progressive causes.

Preregister for the December 4th reorganization meeting of the King County Democrats

Attention PCOs and interested Democratic activists:

A reminder that our county party reorganization meeting is scheduled to take place this Sunday, December 4th, 2016 at the Machinists Hall in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle.

This is the second call for that meeting.

Sunday, December 4th, 2016
Registration Begins: 11 AM
Call to Order: Noon/12 PM
Seattle (South Park) Machinists Hall
9125 15th Place South
Seattle, WA 98108

If you were elected as a Democratic Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) in August of this year, during the Top Two election, you are part of the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC) for 2017-2018, and you are the only person who may represent your Democratic neighbors at this crucial meeting.

Please preregister for the meeting to let us know you plan to attend. You may preregister in one of two ways:

The main business on Sunday will be to elect officers to run our county party for the next two years.

We have many new PCOs this year and we know new PCOs may have questions about reorganizations and how they work. Below are some commonly asked questions and answers to those questions.

Q&A: The King County reorganization meeting and the role of the Nominating Committee

Q: What is a reorganization meeting? Why do we reorganize?

A: At the local level, a reorganization meeting is a gathering of the Democratic precinct committee officers of one of Washington’s thirty-nine counties or forty-nine legislative districts. The purpose of the meeting is to give the grassroots an opportunity to reaffirm or change the direction of the party. All organizations must elect a Chair, at least one Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and two state committeemembers. Officers serve two-year terms that expire on November 30th of the following even-numbered year.

State law (RCW 29A.80.030) requires county party central committees to reorganize “no later than the second Saturday of the following January” following midterm and presidential general elections. We traditionally schedule our reorganization meeting shortly after the first day of December in order to allow newly elected officers to get started on planning for the following local election year.

Q: What is the Nominating Committee? What is the purpose of the Nominating Committee?

A: The Nominating Committee is a group of seasoned party leaders tasked with helping the outgoing administration prepare for a smooth reorganization meeting. The Committee exists to do the following:

  • encouraging people to run
  • collecting declarations of candidacy
  • making the information submitted by candidates available to the Democratic precinct committee officers of King County
  • helping candidates and PCOs understand the process before they arrive at the meeting

You may belong to nonprofit organizations or companies that have Nominating Committees which screen candidates for board positions and select finalists. But our Committee isn’t doing those things. That’s not our role. As stated above, our reason for existing is to promote the reorganization meeting and encourage people to seek leadership positions.

So far, we are seeing a healthy level of interest for many of our positions. We encourage you to consider running if you have time to give to the party and want to contribute your talents to electing Democrats and advancing Democratic causes.

The responsibility of narrowing down the field of candidates — if there be more than two people running for particular position — rests with the Democratic PCOs of King County. The proposed rules call for runoff balloting in the event no one gets a majority on the first ballot.

The Nominating Committee was established at the direction of the King County Democratic executive board, which voted at its October meeting to create the committee, exercising authority granted to it by Section 9.2 of the KCDCC Bylaws.

Q: Who may participate in the reorganization meeting?

A: Any Democratic activist or elected official may attend the meeting as an observer. However, only Democratic precinct committee officers who filed and were elected for terms beginning December 1st, 2016 and ending November 30th, 2018 will have voice and vote at this meeting.

To have voice means having the right to speak from the floor at the meeting (after having been recognized by the Temporary Chair or Chair).

To have vote means having the right to participate in deciding the outcome of motions and officer elections.

Q: Who may run for an officer position?

A: Any Democratic activist who is interested in taking on a leadership role in the party may submit a declaration of candidacy online in advance of the December 4th meeting. Note that submitting a declaration of candidacy does not make you a candidate; it only lets the Nominating Committee know of your interest. The proposed rules require that all candidates for officer positions be nominated and seconded by a Democratic precinct committee officer in order to actually be considered.

Remember, please preregister for the meeting to let us know you plan to attend. You may preregister in one of two ways:


Draft 2017 Legislative Agenda (Second Revision)

Below is the revised draft of the King County Democrats 2017 Legislative Agenda adopted by the King County Democrats Legislative Action Committee for final adoption by by the King County Democratic Central Committee at its Nov 22nd Executive Board meeting at 7 PM in Renton. Forty two Democrats attended the Legislative Action Committee meeting, reviewed all the proposed agenda items, also considered comments received via e-mail and voted unanimously to recommend this revised draft for adoption.

DRAFT King County Democrats 2017 Legislative Agenda

1. Revenue; Tax Reform:

  • · Pass a capital gains tax and other progressive new revenue to fulfill the state’s paramount duty to amply fund Basic Education in compliance with the McCleary decision (Budget)
  • · Close corporate & special interest tax exemptions that lack accountable performance objectives and results
  • · Oppose raising the state sales tax; repeal Tim Eyman’s 1% lid on property tax increases
  • · Require Legislature to adopt a Tax Expenditure Budget as part of the biennial budget appropriation process
  • · Create an ongoing bipartisan Washington State Tax Structure Advisory Commission

2. Education:

  • · Increase school construction funding to lower class sizes (Capital Budget)
  • · Fully fund affordable access to higher education (Budget)
  • · Eliminate high-stakes testing as a high school graduation requirement; reduce required testing to the minimum required by federal law
  • · Restore a fair and accessible nonprofit GED test
  • · Oppose any revenue-neutral “levy swap” until significant progressive revenue is raised
  • · Eliminate the school funding “levy cliff” so school districts can hire fall 2017 staff

3. Election Reform:

  • · Pass the Voting Rights Act
  • · Require campaign disclosure of “dark money” and “grey money”
  • · Automatically register U.S. citizens to vote when they apply for a WA driver’s license or ID (opt out)
  • · Adequately Fund the Public Disclosure Commission; require lobbyists to file online

4. Environment:

  • · Support a meaningful price on carbon pollution in WA State based on economic and racial justice
  • · Defend renewable energy standards & solar production initiatives
  • · Oppose fossil fuel export facilities & improve fossil fuel transportation safety
  • · Support cleaning up Puget Sound waters and habitat, especially polluted runoff

5. Labor:

  • · Pass wage theft bills; strengthen Equal Pay Act and include pay equity provisions

6. Housing and Human Services:

  • · Increase the social safety net, especially mental health/substance abuse treatment services
  • · Increase homeless and low-income housing trust fund to $200 million (Capital Budget)
  • · Disallow rental discrimination based on Sec. 8, government or other sources of income
  • · Restore local authority over ability to regulate rents

7. Criminal Justice:

  • · Address police lethal use of force by removing “malice” and “in good faith” criteria for prosecution
  • · Pass criminal and juvenile justice reform, including restorative justice, Legal Financial Obligations, Certificates of Restoration of Opportunity, Ban the Box on applications, and Racial Impact Statements
  • · Create a civilian review board for all sentences over 15 years if safe to return to the community
  • · Support earning state higher ed and vocational tech credentials in prisons
  • · Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; prevent unsafe child access to guns

8. Health Care:

  • · Pass the Reproductive Health Act
  • · Support Healthcare for All Washington legislation by 2020
  • · Pass workable medical cannabis legislation that respects the needs of patients

November 20, 2016 Draft Revision 2