By David Turnoy
Manka Dhingra campaign trip: Sept. 30 is the date for our trip down to Redmond to campaign for Manka in the 45th LD for state senate. If we can flip her seat blue, both houses of the legislature will be majority Democratic. Busfare and meals are taken care of, all you have to pay for is walking on the ferry. There will be flatter turf for those unable to do hills, and you can call to be picked up whenever you are physically done. For those who can’t really get out there physically, there is data entry and phone calling that you can do from Manka’s campaign headquarters. Go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/508094ea4ae2fa6fa7-lets1 in order to sign up for what will be a fun and very important event.
Donating to three campaigns: Speaking of campaigns, our voting membership decided to contribute $300 to each of three campaigns in eastern and/or rural Washington. Under the new leadership of state chair Tina Podlodowski, we are now making our presence felt in many jurisdictions where there have been no Democrats even on the ballot in more than ten years, and campaign contributions go a lot further in eastern Washington and other rural areas. Soon to receive our cash are two state senate candidates, Karen Hardy in the 7th and Michelle Rylands in the 31st, and in the house we are helping Navy veteran Susan Swanson in the 7th. I will be announcing our contributions to the other party chairs around the state so hopefully their local parties will follow suit. For any of you able to donate individually, you can find out information about each candidate at the following: www.karenforsenate.com, www.michellerylands.com, and www.susanforhouse.com.
Local positions to run for: In November of next year, the county auditor position will be up for election. It would be wonderful to have a Democrat in this position, and it is a fulltime job. Also, there are soon to be three openings on the Planning Commission from San Juan Island. Councilor Bill Watson is especially anxious that we appoint some women. If you are interested, go to http://sanjuanco.com/589/Planning-Commission.
Blog: Islanders Voice is to be revived under the direction of PCO Stephen Shubert. Cindy Wolf has also expressed interest in being involved. If you are interested in being part of this worthy effort, please let me know. Thanks to Stephen and Cindy.
Platform Committee: The Platform Committee is going to meet in its reconstituted form to weed out old planks we no longer need and to add new planks relevant to today’s circumstances. Joining me will be Learner, Natasha, Cindy, Walt, and Robert. If anyone else is interested, please let me know. I will look at the ferry schedule to try to organize something soon. It might be possible to meet at the Orcas Hotel at the ferry landing on Orcas if the ferry schedule is at all convenient. Thanks to those mentioned.
Aquaculture: Natasha reminded us that resolutions opposing fish farms were passed 10 and 5 years ago respectively, yet fish farms still exist, and recently a pen bordering on our county leaked millions of non-native fish. Natasha volunteered to write a letter for our county party to Governor Inslee reminding him about these resolutions, and she will cc Tina Podlodowski. She will draft it, pass it around to us, then send it. Thanks, Natasha.
Test of ballot tabulating equipment: Tom volunteered to be our rep for this important testing of our ballot counting system. Thanks, Tom.
Orcas deputy vice chair: Keara Axelrod was confirmed in this position. Thanks, Keara.
State Meeting: Various reports about the meeting of Sept. 8-10 were shared, including Learner’s very complete notes on the sessions he attended https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9O64jKf78oEMThjTHpUMU1yNGM. One of the most exciting developments is the establishing of an Advocacy Committee, which will bring our platform to the attention of our elected officials and attempt to have them implement items on the platform. I was impressed with all the young progressive folks involved at the meeting. Good things are happening at the state level; progressive, energetic folks are working on our behalf all around the state. If you are not already contributing to the Resistance, the money raised is being well spent on organizers, and soon (with your help) there will be enough money coming in that local entities will start receiving funds. Please go to the state Dems website and sign up to contribute $10, $20, or any amount you can afford monthly. This really is a good investment in our future.
Important Bylaws change: As we have been working on creating new endorsement rules, which we will hopefully have ready by our October meeting, it has become apparent that the people getting to vote on endorsements would be limited to possibly as small a group as only the PCOs. My feeling is that we want to be as inclusive as possible and that we want to give those who attend our meetings reasons for attending, one of which could be to be able to vote on endorsements. Therefore, I proposed that our definition of “voting members” be expanded to include anyone attending at least two meetings in the previous year who otherwise meets our criteria. This would prevent packing the room for an endorsement vote while still allowing our regular (or semi-regular) attendees to participate. We will need to take attendance at our meetings, which we started today by passing around a sign-up sheet. The motion was passed unanimously.
Next Meeting: The next meeting will again take place at the community college in Friday Harbor on Saturday, Oct. 14. The possibility was broached about meeting on other islands at times, and there are good points to be considered on both sides of the argument. This is something we will keep looking at. Also, we really need to join the modern age and somehow have a teleconferencing way for people from more remote islands to virtually participate in our meetings. I will do some serious investigation of this, and if any of you have expertise in this area and want to help make this happen, please contact me.
David Turnoy, Chair
San Juan County Democrats