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Endorsements for November 8, 2016 General Election

The San Juan County Democrats are pleased to announce that at its meeting on September 10 in Friday Harbor, it voted to endorse the following candidates and ballot measures in the Washington State general election on November 8, 2016. Only candidates who requested endorsement were given consideration.

Candidates Bill Watson, Cyrus Habib, and Tina Podlodowski attended in person to request endorsement. Patty Murray and Kevin Ranker were represented by members of their election staff.

Candidates – Endorsements Were Approved For:

  • Bill Watson for San Juan County Council Member – San Juan Island Residency District #1
  • Hillary Clinton & Tim Kaine for President & Vice President
  • Patty Murray for U.S. Senator
  • Rick Larsen for U.S. Representative – 2nd Congressional District
  • Kevin Ranker for State Senator – 40th Legislative District
  • Kris Lytton for State Representative – 40th Legislative District
  • Jeff Morris for State Representative – 40th Legislative District
  • Jay Inslee for Washington State Governor
  • Cyrus Habib for Lt. Governor
  • Tina Podlodowski for Secretary of State
  • Bob Ferguson for State Attorney General
  • Pat McCarthy for State Auditor
  • Hilary Franz for State Commissioner of Public Lands
  • Erin Jones for State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Mike Kreidler for State Insurance Commissioner
  • Barbara Madsen for Washington State Supreme Court Justice Position #5

Initiatives to the People – “Yes” Votes Were Approved For:

  • Initiative Measure No. 1433 – Increases state minimum wage, requires employers to provide paid sick leave, etc.
  • Initiative Measure No. 1491 – Allows police, family, or household members to obtain court orders temporarily preventing firearms access by persons exhibiting mental illness, violent or other behavior indicating they may harm themselves or others.
  • Initiative Measure No. 1501 – Increases the penalties for criminal identify theft and civil consumer fraud targeted at seniors or vulnerable individuals, etc.

Initiatives to the Legislature – “Yes” Votes Were Approved For:

  • Initiative Measure No. 732 – Imposes a carbon emission tax on certain fossil fuels and fossil-fuel-generated electricity, reduces the sales tax by one percent, increases a low-income exemption, etc.
  • Initiative Measure No. 735 – Urges the Washington State congressional delegation to propose a federal constitutional amendment that constitutional rights belong only to individuals, not corporations, and constitutionally-protected free speech excludes the spending of money.

Advisory Votes to Legislature – “Maintained” Votes Were Approved For:

  • Advisory Vote No. 14/House Bill 2768 – To maintain or repeal an insurance premium tax previously approved by the legislature for some stand-alone family dental plans.
  • Advisory Vote No. 15/Second Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2778 – To maintain or repeal certain limitations on the retail sales and use tax exemptions previously approved by the legislature for clean alternative-fuel vehicles.

Proposed Amendment to the State Constitution – “Approved” Vote Was Approved For:

  • Senate Joint Resolution No. 8210 – Requests the voting public to approve a state constitutional amendment previously approved by the legislature concerning state legislative and congressional redistricting. This amendment would require the state redistricting commission to complete redistricting for state legislative and congressional districts by November 15 of each year ending in a one, 46 days earlier than currently required.
This post will be repeated in mid-October when voters receive their ballots and voters guide.

 Invitation to Special Endorsement Meeting on 9/30/16 

All Democrats and independents of our county are invited to a special meeting of the San Juan County Democrats (SJCDs) at 11:30 am on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at the Grange Hall located at 152 1st. St. N. in Friday Harbor. The meeting is expected to last approximately 2-3 hours.

The primary purpose of the meeting will be for the SJCDs to consider the endorsement of most of the candidates in the 18 races for local, state, and federal offices on the November 8 general election ballot. The SJCDs has a policy of only considering for endorsement those candidates who request our endorsement.

We will also consider the endorsement of the nine state ballot measures on the November 8 ballot, including I-735 related to campaign finance reform.

We will post later on this website a list of all of the candidates and ballot measures on the November 8 ballot.

Some of the candidates to be considered for endorsement are expected to attend, including Cyrus Habib, Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor. Some other candidates are expected to be represented by surrogates.

Attendees will be able to ask questions of the candidates and surrogates present and to comment on motions to endorse candidates and ballot measures. However, under our by-laws, only those Precinct Committee Officers present will be eligible to vote on motions to endorse, with 66-2/3% approval required to pass any motions.

We hope to see you on September 10.

David Dehlendorf
San Juan County Democrats

Report on Quarterly Meeting on 7/9/16

The San Juan County Democrats are pleased to announce that at our meeting on July 9, we voted unanimously to endorse the following candidates in the August 2 primary election:

Patty Murray for U.S. Senator.

Kevin Ranker for State Senator for the 40th Legislative District.

Kris Lytton for State Representative, Position #1, for the 40th Legislative District.

Jeff Morris for State Representative, Position #2, for the 40th Legislative District.

Due to time limitations, we temporarily suspended the meeting without finalizing our consideration of other endorsements. For that reason, the meeting will resume on Saturday, July 23 on the inter-island ferry to consider other endorsements and to complete the remaining agenda from July 9. Democrats and independents are welcome to attend by boarding the inter-island ferry leaving that morning at 8:30 am from Friday Harbor, 9:15 am from Orcas, 9:30 am from Shaw, and 9:50 am from Lopez. The actual meeting will start at 10:00 am once members have boarded from Lopez, and end at 11:15 am when members disembark in Friday Harbor.

Also at the July 9 meeting, we voted unanimously to confirm the chair’s appointments to the following positions:

Art Van Gelder as Secretary.

Diane Martindale as State Committee Person.

The following Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs):

Nathan Ross – Friday Harbor North
Celina Wright – Friday Harbor South
Ed Strum – San Juan South East
Tom Munsey – San Juan South West
Susan Grout – San Juan Central
Laura Jo Severson – San Juan West
Natasha Frey – San Juan North
Diane Martindale – San Juan East
Pat Miller – Turn Point
Bob O’Connell – Waldron
David Turnoy – Orcas West
Learner Limbach – Orcas Central
Geri Turnoy – Eastsound
Penny Buttke – Orcas East
Art Van Gelder – Blakely
Mac Langford – Lopez North
Bob Hall – Lopez South
David Dehlendorf – Decatur
Jon Shannon – Shaw

This is the first time the San Juan County Democrats have had a full complement of 19 PCOs.

And be sure to visit our new blog for the latest progressive news and opinion: Islanders’ Voice and its accompanying Facebook page.

Invitation to Quarterly Meeting on July 9

All Democrats and independents are invited to attend the next quarterly meeting of the San Juan County Democrats at 11:30 am on Saturday, July 9 in the community meeting room at Skagit Valley College in Friday Harbor.

After we vote to confirm the appointments of our ten new Precinct Committee Officers and on several minor amendments to our by-laws, the primary agenda item will be to listen to presentations from several Democratic candidates for state and federal office in the August 2 primary. These candidates include incumbent Rick Larsen and his opponent Mike Lapointe for representative for the 2nd Congressional District, two candidates for governor, and one candidate for state senator. There will also be a presentation by the supporters of the EMS levy on the same ballot. After these presentations, we will consider motions to endorse candidates in these and other races, as well as the EMS levy.

Other agenda items include the need for party unity, reports on the recent Democratic State Convention and the July 4 parade, the need for volunteers for our booth at the county fair, and an update on this fall’s get out the vote campaign.

Please join us.

 Invitation to Opening of Democracy Place on June 21

All Democrats and independents are invited to the grand opening of “Democracy Place,” the San Juan County Democrats 2016 election headquarters at 11 am to 3 pm on Tuesday, June 21. Democracy Place is located at 335 Argyle Ave. in Friday Harbor, between Cecil’s and The Computer Place.

Attendees will be able to speak with State Rep. Kris Lytton, State Sen. Kevin Ranker and local party leaders and volunteers. Rep. Lytton and Sen. Ranker will be in attendance from approximately 1 to 2 pm.

Democracy Place will be open through the November election, with volunteer staffing from 11 am to 3 pm daily except Wednesday. Campaign materials and candidate information will be available for Democrats running for state and national office, for candidates running for County Council, and on local and state ballot measures, all for the August 2 primary and November 8 general elections. The location also provides a welcoming venue for political discussions and other various campaign activities.

Whether you attend or not, be sure to register and vote on August 2. Ballots will be mailed the week of July 11.

 San Juan County Democratic Party Convention Report

By David Turnoy, Vice Chair, Orcas Island

San Juan County Democrats may have been wondering what happened with those delegates and alternates who were elected at our recent San Juan County Presidential Primary Precinct Caucuses on San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, Shaw, Waldron, and Decatur islands. On Sunday, May 1, these delegates and alternates participated in our county convention in Friday Harbor. 104 delegates had been elected on March 26, and almost that many alternates. Some delegates were replaced by alternates as they notified us that they were unable to attend, and seven unannounced delegates who failed to attend were replaced by alternates.

Once the alternates were seated, we had the same split of Bernie and Hillary delegates that we had coming out of the precinct caucuses: 79 delegates for Bernie Sanders and 25 delegates for Hillary Clinton. Because our county is allocated five delegates to go on to the 2nd Congressional District Caucus on May 21 and the state convention, four delegates were allocated to Bernie and one for Hillary. Under the rules, if one candidate has more than 75% of the delegates, s/he gets both of our alternates, so they both went to Bernie.

Close to 30 people ran to be a delegate for Bernie to the next level, and about 10 ran to represent Hillary. Each had to speak to their whole caucus to try to woo the voters. Once the secret ballot was completed, Diane Martindale of San Juan Island emerged as a landslide victor for the opportunity to represent Hillary. The Bernie delegates are Learner Limbach and Marta Nielson, both of Orcas, and Robert O’Connell and Kate Czaya, both of Lopez. The two alternates for Bernie are Susan Toch and Barbara Starr, both of San Juan Island.

Once the delegate selection was complete, the convention moved into the consideration of resolutions to send on to the state platform committee. I had chaired a platform committee that worked on sifting through the more than 50 proposals that came out of the precinct caucuses. Many of these proposals are actually already in our state party platform, which is extremely progressive in its content. If you care to see what the Washington State Democrats stand for, at least on paper, I encourage you to go to http://www.wa-democrats.org/about/documents and click on the link to “Platform”. Proposals submitted at the precinct caucuses that relate to items already in the platform are being submitted in the form of platform amendments to the state platform committee, as we were told the committee would only really consider about five resolutions from each county and legislative district. If you are interested in knowing about those, you are welcome to contact me for our list.

We passed six resolutions at the convention. The first is an effort to reform our state election season as follows: change the current Democratic Party reliance on a caucus to a three-step process where the first step is a town hall forum in each locality around the state for voters to get information, the second step is the statewide primary where everyone votes and the results are used to determine the delegates allocated to each candidate, and step three is a caucus where only those interested in running for a delegate position would attend. This still allows the best parts of the caucus but eliminates (for those folks merely wanting to vote) having to crowd into a small, chaotic space to vote. Other provisions of this comprehensive resolution include eliminating superdelegates, aligning the timing of primaries or caucuses of WA, OR, and CA with the early Nevada caucus so that our region has more influence on the presidential race, and requiring delegates to vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged on the first ballot, among other items. This provision with the three-step process outlined here started with a conversation I had with Orcas resident Fred Klein, and it was put into its final form by Robert O’Connell of Lopez.

Our next resolution was to support the carbon tax initiative that will be on the November ballot, I-732, in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. This was submitted by Bill Appel of Waldron, who actually has written the language for the initiative.

Our third resolution deals with the impacts of increased Navy activity in our region, including the Growlers, EMF radiation emitted from Navy equipment, and war games to take place on public lands throughout western Washington. Cynthia Dilling of Lopez and the local citizens who have been fighting the life-changing effects of the Growlers for years prepared this resolution.

Our fourth resolution, from San Juan resident Pam Finley, calls on Congress to repeal a section of the 1996 Telecommunications Act which allows communications companies to determine where they would like to locate cell towers with no input from local government. Repealing this section would allow local governments to prevent towers from being put in places where they will cause detrimental health effects.

Gay Wilmerding of San Juan Island presented a resolution that requires warning signage be posted at all facilities where religious belief takes precedence over best medical practice. The measure would also require the ending of public subsidies like property tax levies, tax abatement and charitable donations to facilities that allocate service based on religious preference. Until such practices change, these medical facilities would be taxed at regular business rates.

The final resolution passed is a measure to require that guns be engraved with a gun identification number to assure ownership and transfer of ownership, that a use license be issued requiring competency and safety in gun use, and that liability insurance be required to allow for recourse for victims of gun violence. This measure was submitted by Walt Cooter of San Juan Island, with the aim being to treat guns the same way as another dangerous item in our society is treated, namely automobiles.

We ran out of time to consider other issues of interest. We hope to continue consideration of further issues at an upcoming meeting of the local Democrats. I have proposed the date of May 21 for this meeting, and I am waiting to hear back from other local party leaders.

Many people’s hard work went into making this day a success. The credentials committee, which consists of the folks who checked in all the delegates and alternates, replaced missing delegates, and tallied the votes, was chaired by Geri Turnoy and Arthur Vangelder. Other helpful members were Marilyn Parman, Walt Cooter, Susan Williamson, Learner Limbach, Randy and Kathy Moss, Kirman Taylor, Robert Hall, Susan Grout, and Jamie Stephens. Thanks to those on the platform committee, especially Robert O’Connell, Lovel Pratt, Glenn Hendrick, Tom Munsey, and the others who contributed their thoughts and efforts. David Dehlendorf, our permanent county chair, was in constant email contact from abroad. Eric Vittinghoff, a master of spreadsheet manipulation and other computer-related wizardry, was an invaluable contributor by presenting the lists of delegates in each way we needed. Walt Cooter and Diane Martindale were extremely helpful in marshaling their respective delegates and in helping with decisions and other odds and ends, including name tags, opening the hall and cleaning the hall, and getting and returning extra chairs. Robert O’Connell helped out with a variety of items at our head table at the convention, Ron Claybourn was our parliamentarian with help from Robert O’Connell and Ry Barbin, with the latter also serving as our secretary. Alan Rounds was kind enough to do me the favor of accepting the position of sergeant at arms. Thanks to Laura Jo Severson for helping to open the hall. Thanks to all the delegates and alternates who gave up their Sunday, a gorgeous day which we all would have enjoyed by being outside, to further the work of participatory democracy. And a final thank you to anyone I may have missed.

The 2nd Congressional District caucus on May 21 will elect seven delegates and no alternates to the national convention. We should all wish our delegates well in their efforts at this event and the state convention, especially should they choose to run for delegate to the national event.

Don’t forget to vote in the Democratic presidential primary, currently meaningless but hopefully soon to be the avenue of choosing our delegates, especially if we have a large showing that proves to the state party that many more people will vote if there is a primary instead of having to attend a caucus to vote.

Finally, while local democracy can be a lot of work, it actually provides a chance to get things accomplished, and should you wish to participate further in the local Democratic Party, feel free to contact me at 376-4165 or davidgeri@centurylink.net.



Message to County Convention Delegates and Alternates

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April 16, 2016 by Pachamama


To: Delegates and Alternates to San Juan County Democratic Convention

From: David Turnoy, Orcas Island, Chair of San Juan County Democratic Convention

April 15, 2016

Thank you for attending the recent precinct caucuses and for volunteering to serve as a delegate or alternate to the upcoming San Juan County Democratic Convention on May 1 at the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor. For those of you arriving by ferry, the Grange Hall is a short walk up the hill on Spring St., turning right on 1st St. for two blocks. The hall is on the right just past the Whale Museum and opposite the County Courthouse.

As detailed below, the purpose of the convention is to select delegates to both the Democratic National and State Conventions, as well as to vote on proposed resolutions.

The convention will begin at 12:30 pm, but you are more than welcome to arrive earlier. I will hopefully be there by 11:30 am to set up the room and get ready for our meeting. Upon arrival, every delegate and alternate will be required to fill out a form that we will have at the convention, so this could take some time. Please fill out the demographic information at the bottom of the form, even though it says the information is optional, because we will need this information to fill out an affirmative action report for the State Dems after the convention.

There has been some concern about the Grange not being large enough, as it holds about 150 people. This was the best venue we could find that was available on the required date of the convention and close enough to the ferry for people to walk to. We have 200 delegates and alternates total, and officially the meeting is open to the public. I don’t want to discourage any alternates from coming, as you may be needed to be seated for your candidate. But if you are an alternate, you may want to check with your precinct delegates to see if you will be needed or not. If you are not needed, you are welcome to attend, but won’t be able to vote. We are hoping not to repeat any of the problems that some other states have encountered.

Once you arrive and are checked in at our registration table and fill out the form, you will then have the option to sign-up to run to be a delegate or alternate to either the 2nd Congressional District (CD) Caucus on May 21 at a location to be determined, the State Convention on June 17-19 in Tacoma, or both. You simply nominate yourself by signing up at another table set up for this purpose. At the convention, we will vote to elect 5 delegates and 2 alternates to each of the 2nd CD Caucus and the State Convention.

The 2nd CD Caucus will in turn choose 7 delegates (no alternates) to represent our 2nd Congressional District at the Democratic National Convention on July 25-28 in Philadelphia.

The 5 delegates elected at the County Convention to the State Convention will meet there with current party leaders, activists, elected officials, and other Democrats from all over our state. You’ll be able to attend trainings and forums hosted by the state party, hear from some of our top elected officials, and have the opportunity to debate the important issues that make us proud to be Democrats. In addition, you will have a chance to vote on resolutions. There is a $50 fee to attend the State Convention, but no one will be turned away for inability to pay.

Getting back to the business of our County Convention, if we have delegates who fail to show up, we will seat alternates in their place. This could take a little while, so please be patient.

Just as at the recent precinct caucuses, delegates at our County Convention will split into two groups again based on candidate preference. This will be done to choose delegates both for the 2nd CD Caucus and for the State Convention. Should one candidate not have at least 15% of the delegates present, all 5 delegates available at our County Convention will go to the other candidate. If both candidates reach the 15% threshold, then the 5 delegates will be selected proportionally just as we did at the precinct caucuses.

There are also 2 alternate positions available. If one candidate has more than 75% of the delegates present, that candidate will receive both alternates. If not, the alternates are split between the two candidates. To be clear, we have 5 delegates and 2 alternates available to our county for both the 2nd CD Caucus and the State Convention.

We will also consider resolutions at the County Convention. We received more than 50 suggested resolution proposals at our precinct caucuses. From the state Democrats I found out that it is not wise for us to submit resolutions that repeat material already in the State Democratic platform, as they will be ignored. So I went through all the proposals and the state platform to determine which proposals are redundant, and the non-redundant proposals will be considered by a county committee of 15-20 Democrats this Sunday, April 17, many of whom are delegates or alternates to our May 1 convention. We will try to narrow the number down to the most important, and we will submit these to you at the convention. Following our convention, the resolutions we adopt will be sent to the State Platform Committee, which will bring forward resolutions on which to vote at the State Convention.

We are planning to finish on May 1 in time for people to catch the 4:15 pm ferry to Lopez. Orcas people will have to wait until 5:45 pm; perhaps they wouldn’t mind helping us disassemble the room. If you would like to bring food for yourself or food to share, that would be great.

If you have any specific questions you would like to ask me, you can contact me at 360-376-4165 or via email at davidgeri@centurylink.net.

See you on May 1.

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Category: National electionsEdit

Quarterly Meeting April 9, 2016 at Grange Hall in Friday Harbor

San Juan County Democrats are invited to attend our next quarterly meeting at 11:30 am on Saturday, April 9 at the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor.

The agenda will include: 1) Report and discussion on March 26 precinct caucuses; 2) Preparing for County Convention on May 1; 3) Treasurer’s report and status of fundraising plan; 4) Update of action plans; 5) Planning, and recruitment of leaders and volunteers, for 4th of July parade, summer social, Gov. Inslee fundraiser, county fair, and Get Out The Vote; and 6) Development of endorsement guidelines, process, and schedule.

This will be a very important meeting to prepare us for our efforts this summer and fall to elect Democrats on November 8.

We hope to see you on Saturday.

David Dehlendorf
San Juan County Democrats
Tel. 360-378-1082

Breakdown by Precinct & Island of San Juan County Caucuses on March 26

Bernie Sanders was the landslide winner in all precincts in San Juan County in the precinct caucuses on March 26. See below how your precinct and island compared to others in our county. And it is important to note that we had 2,039 attendees last Saturday compared to 75 at the recent Republican caucus in Friday Harbor. Could that poor turnout have anything to do with the quality of the Republican candidates?

Whoever is your preferred candidate, we need to unite behind the winner of the Democratic nomination in July to help prevent Trump or Cruz from increasing our country’s inequality even further, building a wall along the Mexican border, patrolling minority neighborhoods, shutting down Planned Parenthood, further eroding voter rights, and imposing his religious beliefs.

Thanks to all of you who attended and voted at the San Juan County Democratic Presidential Primary Presidential Caucuses on Saturday on San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, Shaw, Waldron, and Decatur islands. And thanks to the many volunteers who made the event possible.

Approximately 2,040 people voted at these caucuses, casting 1,580 votes, or 77.5%, in favor of Bernie Sanders, and 21.9% in favor of Hillary Clinton. In addition, 79 delegates for Bernie were elected to San Juan County Convention on May 1, with 25 elected for Hillary.

Here is the breakdown by precinct and island. The percentages of votes for each candidate in some precincts do not add up to 100% because of undecided voters.

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San Juan County Democrats Vote Overwhelmingly for Bernie

March 28, 2016

San Juan County (Washington) Democrats met on Saturday in 18 individual precinct caucuses on seven islands, with 2,039 party faithful in attendance. Bernie received 1,580 votes, or 77.5 % of the total, with Hillary receiving 446, or 21.9%. It will be interesting to see if any other county in the country votes as strongly for Bernie as ours.

With our county’s 105 delegates at stake, Bernie received 79 delegates, with 25 going to Hillary supporters. There was one unallocated delegate.

The 104 delegates elected today will attend the San Juan County Democratic Convention on May 1. The time and location of the convention will be announced soon.

Additional information, including a precinct by precinct breakdown, will be posted on Islanders’ Voice on Monday.

Thanks to all of you who attended and showed the other party what to expect from us in November no matter who is the final Democrat candidate for POTUS.

And thanks to all of the volunteers who made today’s caucuses a resounding success in spite of the overflow turnout, probably a record for our county.

Reminder March 26 San Juan County Democratic Presidential Primary Precinct Caucuses

Posted March 19, 2016

Whether you are a supporter of Bernie, Hillary, or any other Democratic candidate for president, make sure your voice is heard by attending and voting at one of the following caucuses starting at 10:00 am on Saturday, March 26: High schools on San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez, the schools on Decatur and Waldron, and the Community Building on Shaw. (If you know someone who might be interested in organizing a caucus on Blakely, please email dauffa@gmail.com.)

The official start of the meetings is 10:00 am, with the 19 individual precinct caucuses at which voting will occur starting at 10:30 am. Be sure to arrive promptly at 10:00 am to allow time to register. If you prefer to pre-register, you can do so at http://www.demcaucus.com/register. If you do, be sure to print out your pre-registration form, sign it, and bring it to your caucus.

The deadline has passed for filing surrogate affidavit forms for those unable to attend.

If you are 17 years old today but will be 18 by the general election date of November 8, you can still attend and vote.

At our county’s 19 precinct caucuses, Democrats of San Juan County will elect a total of 105 delegates to the San Juan County Convention in Friday Harbor on May 1. The number of delegates elected for each candidate at each of the precinct caucuses will be determined in proportion to the number of votes received by each candidate at each precinct caucus. At the County Convention, a substantially reduced number of delegates will be elected to attend the 2nd Congressional District Caucus where 7 delegates will be elected to the Democratic national convention out of a total of 67 congressional district-level delegates from our state.

Please inform your friends, family, and neighbors about these important caucuses.

Online Registration & More for March 26 Caucuses

You can now pre-register online if you are planning to attend and vote at one of the San Juan County Democratic Presidential Primary Precinct Caucuses on March 26. You can also complete the required surrogate affidavit form if you will be unable to attend for specified reasons and want to give your vote to someone else, as well as read other information about the caucus process. All and more is found at:


If you do pre-register, be sure to print and sign the completed form, which contains your precinct number and meeting location, and bring it to the caucus.

Anyone who will be 18 by November 8, 2016, resides in San Juan County, and affirms he/she is a Democrat on caucus day, is eligible to participate.

Please inform your friends and relatives about this important meeting to help nominate our next president.

You can comment below or email thesjcdems@gmail.com with any questions.

We hope to see you on March 26.

David Dehlendorf, Chair, San Juan County Democrats

Invitation to Presidential Primary Precinct Caucuses on March 26, 2016

The following invitation provides details about the process to be followed by the San Juan County Democrats and the Washington State Democrats to elect a total of 119 delegates and 7 alternates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 25-28. Those of you who have participated in the process before may want to skim over it, as it has been written primarily for the numerous interested voters, many first-time, who have asked us detailed questions over the last several weeks. But even if you have participated before, we encourage you to do more than just skim as a refresher in case there are new elements to the plan that were not present in 2008 and 2012.

To: 1) All registered voters of San Juan County; 2) All other residents of our county age 18 or older who are not registered to vote elsewhere; and 3) All other residents of our county age 17 who will become 18 before or on November 8, 2016.

You are encouraged to begin the process of nominating Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders to be our next president by attending and voting at one of the San Juan County Democratic Presidential Primary Precinct Caucuses to be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, March 26, 2016.

Our Precinct Caucuses and those of other counties in our state are the start of the three-tier process to select 67 Congressional District-Level Delegates from our state to the Democratic National Convention on July 25-28 in Philadelphia where the official Democratic presidential and vice presidential candidates will be selected. Of the 67, seven will be selected from the 2nd Congressional District in which we live based upon the process described below.

The three-tier process consists of the Precinct Caucuses on March 26, the San Juan County Convention on May 1, and the 2nd Congressional District Caucus on May 21. Anyone can attend all three, but only delegates or alternates elected at the previous tier can vote at the County Convention and at the 2nd Congressional District Caucus.

The entire Washington State delegation to the National Convention consists of 119 delegates and 7 alternates selected as described below. The 119 delegates include the 67 Congressional District-Level Delegates plus 52 other delegates and 7 alternates chosen at the State Convention.

San Juan County Presidential Primary Precinct Caucuses

The locations of the Precinct Caucuses at 10:00 am on Saturday, March 26 are: San Juan Island (Friday Harbor High School), Orcas Island (Orcas Island Public School in Eastsound), Lopez Island (Lopez Island Public School), and Waldron Island (Waldron School). Other locations on other islands may be announced at a later date.

The primary business of the Precinct Caucuses is the election of delegates to the San Juan County Convention on May 1. At the Precinct Caucuses, each of the county’s 19 precincts will meet in separate caucuses to elect between 1 and 10 delegates each to our County Convention, plus alternates, for a total of approximately 105 delegates. (We will publish soon the exact numbers for each precinct.) The number of delegates elected in each Precinct Caucus will be divided between the two candidates in proportion to the number of votes each of them receives in each caucus.

Before voting to elect delegates, attendees at each Precinct Caucus will have the opportunity to speak in favor of their preferred presidential candidate. The party welcomes the active discussion of the pros and cons of each candidate and their announced policies.

To be eligible to vote at your Precinct Caucus, you will need to register as you enter, including a declaration that you are registered to vote in our county and consider yourself to be a Democrat. However, if you are not yet registered to vote, including because you are 17 years of age, you can still vote at the caucuses by signing a voter registration form at the event provided you are not registered to vote elsewhere and you will be at least 18 years old on November 8, 2016.

Attendees will also have the ability to register online prior to March 26. We will publicize the link to this registration site as soon as it becomes available.

You can determine which precinct you live in by accessing the precinct maps at:


You can also call the county’s elections office at 378-3357. We will also be able to make this determination for you when you enter the caucus.

Those who cannot attend their Precinct Caucus can sign a surrogate affidavit by March 18 granting their vote to another person. A link to this affidavit form will be provided shortly on this website. You can only use the form if you will be absence for certain specified reasons, such as work schedule, military service, illness, disability, or religious observance. Unfortunately, absence to attend school does not qualify for use of the affidavit form.

Although there will no formal action taken at the precinct caucuses, attendees may present resolutions pertaining to political matters for discussion and forwarding on to the Chair of the San Juan County Democrats for consideration at the County Convention on May 1.

No 40th Legislative District Caucus

Unlike other counties in our state, San Juan County Democrats do not participate in the caucus of the 40th Legislative District of which it is a member.

San Juan County Convention 

The primary business of the San Juan County Convention on May 1 in Friday Harbor (location to be announced) is the election of a yet-to-be determine number of delegates and alternates to both the 2nd Congressional District Caucus on May 21 and to the State Convention on June 18-19.

The County Convention will also include discussion and adoption of resolutions and modifications to the platform of the San Juan County Democrats. Resolutions will be forwarded to the State Democrats for consideration at the State Convention on June 18-19.

Anyone can attend the County Convention. However, only delegates or their alternates elected at the Precinct Caucuses are eligible to vote.

2nd Congressional District Caucus

The primary business of the 2nd CD Caucus on May 21, at a location to be announced, is the election of 7 delegates (4 men, 3 women) to the Democratic National Convention on July 25-28. (There is no election of alternates.) These 7 delegates will join others from Washington State’s nine other congressional districts for a total of 67 Congressional District-Level Delegates to the National Convention.

There is no discussion of resolutions or the platform.

Anyone can attend the 2nd CD Caucus. However, only delegates or their alternates elected at the County Convention are eligible to vote.

To be considered for election to the National Convention at the 2nd CD Caucus, delegates must file a Statement of Candidacy with the State Democrats by May 6 specifying the presidential candidate to which they are pledged. Representatives of each presidential candidate then have six days to review each delegate’s filing for their respective candidate, with the right to reject any applicant for any reason.

Washington State Convention

June 18-19 in Tacoma. Delegates (1,400 plus 700 alternates) include those elected at the state’s County Conventions, plus local and state party officials and elected officials such as all Democratic members of our Congressional delegation, big city mayors, state-wide elected officials, and state legislators.

The business of the State Convention includes: 1) Selection by a sub-committee of 52 additional delegates to the National Convention, consisting of 22 At-Large Delegates (see below), 12 Pledged Party Leader and Elected Official Delegates, and 18 Unpledged Party Leader and Elected Official Delegates, with the latter automatically selected by virtue of holding specified party or public offices; 2) Election of our state’s representatives on the Electoral College; 3) Adoption of the platform of the State Democrats; 4) Endorsement of nominees for partisan office; and 5) Various workshops.

Alternative Route to National Convention

In addition to the three-tier process described above for the election of Congressional District-Level Delegates, registered voters of San Juan County can also run for election to one of the 22 At-Large Delegate or 7 At-Large Alternate positions for the entire state by filing a Statement of Candidacy with the State Democrats by June 10. Those who file by this date will be considered for election at the State Convention on June 18-19.

At-Large Delegate candidates do not need to attend any of the three meetings described above. However, they must attend and speak at the State Convention before the vote is taken. Individuals considering this route need to be aware that the selection of At-Large Delegates and Alternates is used by the State Democrats to assure compliance with its stated diversity plan.

Washington State Presidential Primary

By state law, the State of Washington requires political parties to participate in a state-wide presidential primary election on May 24. However, the law does not require the parties to use the results of the primary in any specific manner. In fact, they may ignore the results, which is what the Washington State Democratic Party has decided to do. Instead it will rely exclusively on the results of the caucus and convention process described above.

Democratic National Convention

July 25-28 in Philadelphia. Details will be provided at a later date as needed or requested.

Why do the Washington State Democrats use a caucus system rather than a primary system to allot delegates?

The following question answer have been provided by the State Democrats:

“The Washington State Democrats have a long history of allocating delegates using precinct caucuses. The Washington State Democrats believe that caucuses – meetings where voters sit down with their neighbors and discuss the various candidates prior to casting their votes – encourage greater participation and involvement than simply casting a ballot from one’s home. In addition, by holding caucuses on March 26th, Washington was able to join into a “regional cluster” with Hawaii and Alaska, which grants a 15% bonus to our total number of delegates.”

Please encourage your family and friends who are Democrats to attend the March 26 precinct caucuses.

You can email thesjcdems@gmail.com with any questions. Or call 378-1082.

We look forward to your participation in the March 26 presidential primary precinct caucuses to nominate our next president.

David Dehlendorf, Chair, San Juan County Democrats


Press Release 08/10/15

In response to her request for endorsement, the San Juan County Democrats have decided to endorse the candidacy of Monica Harrington for Position #3 on the board of commissioners of San Juan County Public Hospital District #1 in the general election on November 3, 2015. Hospital District #1 consists of the following islands: San Juan, Brown, Henry, Johns, Pearl, Spieden, and Stuart. Only registered voters of these islands are eligible to vote.

We urge the registered voters of Hospital District #1 to support Ms. Harrington by voting for her in the general election on November 3.

The board of Hospital District #1 is primarily responsible for assuring that the public tax money it receives from the two levies that are its sole source of funds are used to serve the best interests of our entire community in an effective, transparent, and accountable manner. This responsibility includes ensuring compliance with Washington State’s Reproductive Privacy Act and Death With Dignity Act, both of which San Juan County voters overwhelmingly approved.

We believe noncompliance with either of these acts undermines the will of the voters and puts the district at risk of legal action. Ms. Harrington has the business background, knowledge of State health law, and commitment to the public interest to help assure that Hospital District #1 fully complies with its responsibilities.

The San Juan County Democrats also urge the election of other hospital district candidates in November who support our state’s Reproductive Privacy Act and Death with Dignity Act.

For further information, contact David Dehlendorf, Chair, San Juan County Democrats, tel. 378-1082.



Democrats of San Juan County
P.O. Box 1007
Friday Harbor, WA 98250

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