San Juan Democrats Meeting Saturday January 13

The San Juan County Democrats will hold our first meeting of 2018 on Saturday, Jan. 13, at Skagit College in Friday Harbor starting at 11:30 a.m.

It is time to improve on our wins in late 2017 as we move to take back our country. One of our biggest accomplishments was helping Manka Dhingra win her race for state senate in Redmond by going down there to canvass, and by doing so we helped turn the state senate from Republican control to Democratic control. Now progressive legislation will no longer die in the state senate. There will be lots of important elections this year, and your help would be most welcome.

If you are traveling from an island other than San Juan, generous Friday Harbor drivers will pick us up at the ferry landing at 11:30, then return us to the ferry in time for the 2:50 ferry. If you cannot attend but would like to tune in, you can attend virtually via Zoom conference: go to, and our meeting ID is 206-693-831.

Thanks, and I hope to see you there!

David Turnoy

Summary of Important Information from SJC Democrats Meeting of Sept.16

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  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:, and

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

BlogIslanders 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  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

Update from SJC Democrats

Hello San Juan County Democrats,

We just had our monthly meeting in Friday Harbor this past Saturday, July 8.  A lot of news was shared, therefore I am putting this notice out so you are in the loop.

First, this coming Wednesday, July 12, Lt. Gov. Habib and Sen. Ranker will appear at the Orcas Senior Center at 3:00, then they will appear at an affordable housing rally on the Village Green at 5:00.  Dinner is available at the latter event for $5.

On Friday, July 28, at 7:00 at Orcas Center, Orcas Currents is presenting Hedrick Smith and Sarah Stillman on the future of journalism in a “post-truth” environment, a conversation moderated by Floyd McKay.  Admission is free but donations are welcome.

The county fair is coming up Aug. 16-19 at the fairgrounds in Friday Harbor.  The Democrats will have a double booth there, which is open to other progressives as well.  We still have some time slots that need a volunteer or two.  Here are times where there is already one volunteer, but another would be nice:
Aug. 16: 10-12, 12-2, 2-4, 4-6, 6-9
Aug. 17: 10-12, 12-2, 2-4, 4-6
Aug. 18: 10-12, 2-4
Aug. 19: 2-4. 4-6, 6-9
Here are times where there are no volunteers yet:
Aug. 17: 6-9
Aug. 18: 12-2, 4-6, 6-9
Aug. 19: 12-2
To sign up to work at the fair, please go
If you have any questions, contact Walt Cooter or Cindy Wolf  Also, if you would like to speak on a topic at the fair, let Cindy or Walt know about this.  Even if you can’t work at the fair, please come by the booth, and send others over to the booth.  We will have speakers, and we will have postcards available to fill out to send.

Keep in mind that we will be taking a busload of folks down to the 45th senate district near Seattle in early September to do some campaigning for Manka Dhingra.  We are hoping to have Kevin Ranker leading us.  Remember, if we can help carry Manka to victory, we can turn the senate blue and have control of both houses of the legislature, so be on the lookout for my notice about this later in August.  In addition, we may have an opportunity for those who would like to call voters in that district from their own homes.  Finally, if there are any of you who live in the islands part-time but live in Manka’s district at other times (from Kirkland on the west, to Duvall on the east, and Sammamish on the south; includes Redmond and Kirkland), please let us know who you are, as you could be a big help.

Thanks to all who gathered signatures and/or simply signed the petition to protect our undocumented residents from fear of being asked their documentation status if not relevant.  This is a matter of public safety, as all of us need to feel safe in calling for help if we need it.  The number of signatures gathered was 1,000 more than required, so you will see the proposed ordinance on the ballot this November.

For those who have been wondering what is happening with the move to change our nominating procedure where we have a whole bunch of people try to cram into a caucus room as opposed to using a primary, our State Committeewoman Natasha Frey reports that the State Democrats’ Rules Committee will be meeting this weekend, and one of the main items of business will be this topic.  We are hoping to have the primary become the vehicle for determining how many delegates each candidate receives, then have those who are interested attend a caucus to determine the delegates and possibly work on the platform.  Natasha will be attending and will update us afterward.  If you have any comments about this, please get them to me this week so I can forward them to Natasha, or email her at

If anyone is interested in participating in establishing a national bank to fund infrastructure projects, please contact me.  We are hoping to get one of our Washington State Congresspeople to introduce legislation for this.

PCO and Orcas Deputy Vice Chair Cindy Wolf has been elected vice chair of our county Democratic Party.  That opens up Cindy’s deputy vice chair position.  Keara Axelrod is very interested in filling this position, and she will do so unless anyone else from Orcas contacts me that s/he would like to be considered.

Our Platform Committee has not met in a few years, and it is time to update our county platform.  If youhaven’t read this document, it is well worth taking the time to do so, as it is a very progressive document.  Find it at  If you would like to be part of this committee, please contact me or let me know at the next meeting in September.

Due to our participation in the fair in August and the fact that lots of people take vacations that month, we will not have a regular monthly meeting in August.  Our next meeting will most likely be on Sept. 16.  I will send out a notice when we get closer to the time.

Thanks for reading!
David Turnoy
Chair, San Juan County Democrats
Tel. 376-4165

San Juan County Democrats Meeting Saturday July 8

SJCDs Meeting Saturday, July 8

Hello San Juan County Democrats:

Our next scheduled meeting of the San Juan County Democrats is Saturday, July 8, at Skagit Community College in Friday Harbor.  The inter-island ferry arrives at 11:20, so we would hope to start by about 11:35 or 11:40.  The ferry leaves at 2:15, so we will end the meeting about 1:50.   Thanks to our generous drivers in Friday Harbor, rides will once again be provided to and from the ferry. Also, we will have childcare available if anyone calls me that they would like to utilize it; call David Turnoy at 376-4165 or email  Please contact me by Monday, July 3, if interested.

We plan to elect a vice chair for our county organization.  We will still have individual deputy vice chairs for each of the three largest islands, but we need a woman in place as vice chair to follow state rules for gender equity, plus one more person in a leadership position will be very helpful.  I have not had anyone contact me expressing her interest, as of this date.  If you are interested, please let me know, and please be prepared to give a brief chat about yourself.

We will not have a meeting in August due to the county fair and our participation in it. Therefore, we should use part of the upcoming meeting to plan for that.  And if you haven’t signed up to help at the Fair, please go to  Simply copy and paste this link.

Even though the state legislature is still in session, Senator Ranker recently contacted me to say that he still wants to lead a busload of islanders down to the 45th district to campaign for Manka Dhingra later this summer.  If I have more news about this by the time of our meeting, I will relay it.

It has been several months since our committees have met, so I hope to have a substantial amount of time for this to happen.

If you have other items to add to our agenda, please contact me.  I look forward to seeing you on July 8.


David Turnoy
San Juan County Democrats
Tel. 376-4165

San Juan County Democrats Meeting Saturday June 10

Hello San Juan County Democrats:

Following our bylaws revision meeting in May, our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 10, starting at 11:30 am, ending by 2:00 pm, at Skagit Valley College in Friday Harbor. The inter-island ferry arrives in Friday Harbor at 11:15 am and leaves at 2:20 pm. Thanks to our generous drivers in Friday Harbor, rides will once again be provided to and from the ferry. Also, we will again have childcare available if anyone calls me that they would like to utilize it; call David Turnoy at 376-4165 or email  Please contact me by Monday, June 5, if interested.

You may be aware that the Immigrant Rights Group of the Orcas Women’s Coalition is seeking to put an initiative on the ballot for an election this November that would establish an ordinance preventing our county prosecutor and law enforcement from asking about immigration status.  If undocumented folks know they will be asked their status, they are less likely to report danger or crime to the authorities, compromising their safety.  In addition, there are many other reasons why this kind of ordinance makes sense.  We hope to have the author of the ordinance present at our meeting to tell us about it and answer questions, then we will vote on whether to endorse the ordinance.

It has been a couple of months since our committees have met, so I hope to have a substantial amount of time for this to happen.

At this point the state legislative session continues to go on, so Senator Ranker is not yet free to lead our charge to help in the senate election in the 45th district.  I hear really good things about the organization in place in that district to elect Manka Dinghra, so we will have to see how much help we can provide.

If you have other items to add to our agenda, please contact me.  I look forward to seeing you on June 10.


David Turnoy
San Juan County Democrats
Tel. 376-4165

San Juan Democrats Meeting Saturday April 8

Hello San Juan County Democrats:

Due to widespread interest, the San Juan County Democrats are continuing to meet once a month. Our next meeting is our regular quarterly meeting and will take place on Saturday, April 8, starting at 11:30 am, ending by 2:00 pm, at Skagit Valley College in Friday Harbor. The inter-island ferry arrives to Friday Harbor at 11:15 am and leaves at 2:20 pm. Thanks to our generous drivers in Friday Harbor, rides will once again be provided to and from the ferry. Also, we will again have childcare available in an effort to attract younger folks to participate in our meetings and actions.

Our agenda on April 8 will include:

1) Introductions, approval of minutes, and treasurer’s report;
2) Report on Rep. Larsen’s meeting in Friday Harbor on March 26;
3) Report on the April 1 coordination meeting in Friday Harbor of the leaders of the various progressive action groups throughout San Juan County;
4) Formation of new groups on minority and immigrant rights, legislative bills, and elections;
5) Planning for meet and greet with Manka Dhingra, Democratic candidate for State Senator for the 45th LD;
6) Addressing post cards in support of Planned Parenthood;
7) Calendar of upcoming meetings; &
8) Breakout into action groups, then report back to full meeting.

Gretchen Allison and others are putting on an art exhibit focusing on political protest and social and environmental issues in the first week of May at Maria Michaelson and Eban Shay’s new art center on San Juan Island. They would like to get the word out to a broad swath of artist types so they know it’s happening and can consider showing their work. Contact Gretchen at Gretchen also has “Resist!” bumper stickers available.

Speaking of resistance, you may be interested in the Resistance Manual website, which is a Wikipedia-style platform with background information on current issues. You can access it at This is a good site to use in conjunction with Indivisible actions or on its own.

It has been suggested that we may want to have a group, or individuals, tracking legislative bills and elections so we can act when it is timely. If you are motivated to initiate a group to do this, please come to our upcoming meeting. Or if you want to do this on your own, you can monitor happenings at and{%22source%22:%22legislation%22,%22congress%22:%22115%22,%22bill-status%22:%22passed-one%22} .

Another suggestion for a group is one to protect minority rights. The Orcas Women’s Coalition has had a group working on immigrant protection since soon after the election, and they have met with County Council Members, the sheriff, the county prosecutor, our state senator, and the school board on Orcas. If you have an interest in being involved, please contact me and I will put you in touch with them.

You are encouraged to bring blank postcards to our April 8 meeting. Rita O’Clair, the lead of our Planned Parenthood and Related Issues group and our most prolific political postcard writer, has acquired stamps to imprint the addresses of our legislators on postcards, and if you would like a turn to stamp a bunch of postcards for yourself to use as you continue to contact our legislators as part of the resistance, please bring your supply of postcards with you to the upcoming meeting.

If you will be attending our April 8 meeting and will require childcare, please call David Turnoy at 376-4165 by Monday, or email him at, so we will know if we should provide childcare or not.

I look forward to seeing you on April 8.


David Turnoy
San Juan County Democrats
Tel. 376-4165