November LAC Meeting and 2016 Legislative Agenda

If you want to participate in forming the 2016 King County Legislative Action Committee Legislative Agenda, please plan on coming to our next meeting Sunday November 15, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Maple Valley Library, 21844 SE 248th St., Maple Valley.

Go here for directions and a map.

Our speaker is 47th District Rep. Pat Sullivan, Majority Leader of the House Democrats. Pat will comment on the 2015 session and the challenges for the 2016 session. Our program is a free-form dialog, an unusual opportunity to go deep on policy issues with a legislator.

Majority Leader Sullivan’s conversation will set the stage for our second hour, where we will shape our 2016 Legislative Agenda. We updated our 2015 agenda (see attachment) and brainstormed at our October meeting (see notes). If we can complete this work in November, it will be voted by the KCDCC at our November 24th meeting. Otherwise, it will be finalized by the LAC December 13th and confirmed by the KCDCC January 26th. The short legislative session starts January 11th and ends March 10th, 2016.

Good advocacy practice limits the Legislative Agenda to one page. It’s a handout for legislators. Only issues that will be viable in this short session will be considered. Since legislatures (like Congress) last two years, bills from last session are still viable. Budget items and tax reform are likely to be overshadowed by solving McCleary education funding.

Each LD should send at least one delegate. Finalizing our Legislative Agenda is the only time this committee votes. All Democrats are welcome, but only an official representative can vote.

Of course, as Democrats, we have many other issues. If you want to promote something that doesn’t fit in this agenda, please consider joining your LD or King County Platform Committee. Your LD Chair appoints one King County Platform Committee member. The committee starts meeting weekly about February 1st and finishes about March 31st, in time for a draft platform to be available to the March 26th Precinct Caucuses.

You can review here the current King County Democrats Platform and the latest draft agenda

King County Democrats 2015 Legislative Agenda Status Update

  1. Revenue & Tax Reform:
    • Pass a capital gains tax on the wealthy to raise additional revenue to fund Basic Education and meet McCleary obligations (Budget—No bill #)
    • Close corporate tax exemptions that lack accountable performance objectives and results in terms of living-wage jobs and other measurable community benefits
    • Require the Legislature to adopt a Tax Expenditure Budget as part of the state biennial budget appropriations process (HB1249/SB5492)
  2. Transportation:
    • Authorize sustainable local, regional and state funding for transit (HB1180, etc.) (Done)
    • Move people and freight safely and efficiently while minimizing carbon pollution (SB5087) (Part done—move to Environment)
  3. Election Reform:
    • Send a resolution to Congress calling for a constitutional amendment that corporations are not people and money is not speech (Senate Joint Memorial 8002) (Replaced by I-735)
    • Require campaign disclosure of “dark money” spending by nonprofits (SB5153)
  4. Education:
    • Fully fund K-12 Basic Education consistent with the McCleary order (Budget)
    • Restore 70% state share of higher ed funding (2002) vs. students’ share 30%
    • Support school construction in the state capital budget (Budget)
    • Support funding for two free years of college or technical school (Budget)
  5. Environment:
    • Pass a carbon pollution cap and trade system to make polluters pay (HB 1314/SB5083)
    • Pass the Oil Transportation Safety Act (HB 1449/SB5087)
  6. Labor:
    • Pass a capital budget focused on repairing infrastructure to create jobs (Budget) (Done)
    • Raise the minimum wage statewide towards a goal of a living wage (HB 1355/SB5285)
    • Provide paid sick leave for workers statewide (HB1356)
    • Pass wage theft bills (HB1354/SB5569) (Also SB 5566, 5567, 5568, 5569)
  7. Housing and Human Services:
    • Maintain Increase the social safety net: Homeless, hungry, sick children can’t learn. (Budget, HB1295/SB5437, etc.)
    • Fund Increase low-income housing in the capital budget, at least $100 million recommended (Capital budget)
    • Create a Medicaid Supportive Housing Services benefit (Done)
  8. Criminal Justice:
    • Pass sentencing reform and juvenile justice reform (HB1481/SB5564) (HB1553)
    • Pass a workable medical cannabis regulation that respects the needs of patients.(SB5572)
    • Repeal the death penalty (HB1739/SB5639)
  9. Reproductive Rights:
    • Pass the Reproductive Health Act
    • Oppose parental notification requirements for reproductive health services (SB5289)

Congratulations, Claudia!

In early returns, Democrat Claudia Balducci is decisively defeating Republican Jane Hague, becoming the first Democrat elected to the King County Council from the Eastside. This is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations, Claudia! We are very proud of you and look forward to seeing you take office as the 6th District’s new representative in a few weeks.

Claudia Balducci

Claudia Balducci speaks to the King County Democrats in August 2015 (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve)

King County Democrats endorse Scott Pinkham for school board, take positions on eight ballot measures

At this month’s executive board meeting in Renton, the King County Democrats met to consider taking endorsement action in several contests which will be decided by voters this November. This post summarizes the endorsement votes taken at the meeting. To pass, an endorsement motion must receive a two-thirds vote.

  • We began with Seattle City Council, District #8. We have already endorsed Jon Grant in this race. A motion to endorse Tim Burgess for the same position was made from the floor. This motion failed by a vote of twenty-four to eighteen.
  • We moved on to Seattle School Board, Director #1. By a vote of thirty-three to one, we endorsed Scott Pinkham.
  • We then considered an endorsement of Laura Gramer for Seattle School Board Director #2. We had previously endorsed Rick Burke for this position. A motion to endorse Laura failed by a vote of twenty-five to thirteen.
  • We then moved on to ballot measures. By a vote of forty-one to two, we took a position in favor of Paul Allen’s I-1401.
  • By a vote of forty-two to zero, we took a Maintained position on Advisory Votes 10, 11, 12, and 13, which appear on the statewide ballot.
  • By a vote of forty-one to one, we took a position supporting I-122 (Honest Elections Seattle).
  • By a vote of forty-three to zero, we took a position supporting King County Proposition 1 (Best Starts for Kids).
  • Finally, by a vote of twenty-five to ten, we took a position supporting Seattle Proposition #1 (Let’s Move Seattle).

These actions conclude our endorsement business for 2015. Ballots will be mailed for the November 2015 general election next month.

King County Democrats nominate three to succeed State Representative Ross Hunter

Following Ross Hunter’s resignation from the Legislature to helm the Washington State Department of Early Learning, the King County Democrats tonight selected attorney Patty Kuderer, Redmond City Councilmember Kim Allen, and real estate broker Santiago Ramos as its nominees to fill the vacancy for State Representative, Position #1 in the 48th Legislative District. The final choice will be made by the Metropolitan King County Council within the next sixty days.

The three names were chosen by a special nominating caucus of the King County Democrats, consisting of the thirty-nine elected and appointed Democratic PCOs of the 48th. All thirty-nine PCOs showed up in person to participate in the nominating caucus.

The results of the three rounds of balloting were as follows:

  • Patty Kuderer received the votes of twenty-five of thirty-nine PCOs for the first-ranked spot, and is the Democratic PCOs’ top choice by a three-to-one margin.
  • Kim Allen received the voted of twenty PCOs for the second-ranked spot.
  • Santiago Ramos received the votes of thirty-two PCOs for the third-ranked spot.

Following the adjournment of the caucus, the King County Democratic Central Committee’s executive board met briefly to ratify the results of the special nominating caucus 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 Patty Kuderer, Kim Allen, and Santiago Ramos to the Council.

King County Democratic Chair Rich Erwin applauded the one hundred percent turnout and thanked the four candidates – Kuderer, Allen, Ramos, and activist Nick Pernisco – for stepping forward to seek the appointment.

“This evening, the Democratic PCOs of the 48th Legislative District had four excellent candidates from which to choose a replacement for Representative Ross Hunter, who now works directly for Governor Inslee at the Department of Early Learning,” said Erwin.

“Of these four, three were selected to be presented to the King County Council for final consideration. I want to express my gratitude to these four dedicated Democrats for running, and to the PCOs of the 48th for setting a good example for every Democratic organization to follow by all showing up to make this nominating caucus a smooth success.”

“The King County Democrats thank Representative Hunter for his many years of service to our state, particularly those years when he served as the House’s chief budget writer,” said Erwin. “We look forward to providing support to Representative Hunter’s successor during next year’s presidential election.”