Meeting Minutes – September 27, 2023

[ 12 on zoom (plus, Admin) 26 in person (plus 5 speakers). Attendance: 43

Disclaimer: timing and order of agenda items is tentative, subject to the availability of our guests and speakers.


“We acknowledge that our legislative district is on the traditional homelands of the Puyallup and Muckleshoot tribes, who have lived on and stewarded these lands since the beginning of time, and continue to do so today. We recognize that this land acknowledgement is one small step toward true allyship and we commit to uplifting the voices, experiences, and histories of the Indigenous people of this land and beyond.”

APPROVAL OF AGENDA   Rudy A motioned to approve Agenda. J James Seconded. Unanimously approved.



  • Hanan Amer, Auburn City Council, Pos 7: She did well in the primary, but her candidate questionnaire (posted on our website for endorsement) has been used against her in an online commercial. Doorknocking for Hanan on October 29 at 10:00 LEE Hill Park.

(In DC: at 10:30pm may go back to house floor for a vote—Thank you for hosting me, and helping me win!! Need your help next year, bring us all back and add 5 more [Dem House Reps]. 90 plus GOP members just voted to stop funds to Ukarine. And decrease Secy Austin and FDA and CDC to $1. They’re just degrading their office and taking a wrecking ball to our government—So we need to take back the House and get rid of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker.  Monica W. Special Aviation specialist: FAA, and Union rep: Q: Any insight on the shutdown. Misinformation –we (Dems) have funded the government—twice during DJT, and are responsible for reopening the government during 2019! Terrible+ essential to work without pay or being furloughed –wreaks havoc in people’s lives because this GOP House has been hijacked by the extreme right. The bi-partisan agreement passed in the Senate—so bring it to the floor for a vote! But won’t go anywhere, they [GOP] are not serious. Expect about 8,000 workers in the 8th CD to be affected. People will continue to get Soc Sec checks and Medicare payments, but military will not get paid. Many military families rely on SNAP. Shutdown affects TSA, airport security, air traffic controllers (must work without pay). Widespread impact and totally unnecessary, since bipartisan in the Senate AND Dems in House already agreed what it would take to keep the government open.  Attendee: Q: Local Drs & healthcare staff are being depleted around the state—Is there any hope for the future?  KS: Early retirements and Medicaid reimbursement rates are too low + too much red tape = health care staff leaving. We are working to speed up the pipeline for new physicians, and have NP’s, CNA’s move up to carry the load. Shortages are everywhere at every level: policing, teaching, service. Need smarter and strategic immigration policy. Also: Housing shortage, not enough affordable housing—best start for children is consistent routine / good school in the neighborhood. Brian G: Health prescriptions are difficult to purchase: too $$, need better access to and control of drugs? KS: drug shortages—no easy solution. Saline and lidocaine need private public partnerships. Ozempic—people with urgent need for Ozempic can’t get the drug (now popular for weight loss); Succeeded last year so Medicare will be able to negotiate prescription drugs. Each year 15 new drugs will be added to the list. Ozempic didn’t make the cut this year—but prob next year.

43 years of service, 100% volunteer run. All donations go back into the food bank. No paid employees. 10 drivers. 40 volunteers. Come and volunteer, were flexible—we’ll work you in. We schedule 3 months out, so we can find a sub for you: drivers and riders, to the store, and loader. Sorters go through cans checking for expired or damaged cans. (Farmers will use it for their stock.) Kitchen workers to sort veggies and fruit. Greeters. FB Clients don’t load their boxes. We have a personal shopper to assist clients to prevent spread of germs, We are open Wed & Fri 10-noon. Last 3 months we served 415 families /1135 people. Last year 291 families. WE are seeing a surge of need right now. COLLECTED ABOUT $1800, BUT SPENT ABOUT $4000. Pickup from stores are 3 xs a week. We go from Enumclaw to Lakewood. Also Food drives are very helpful, White River SD: each school runs a drive monthly. Today we ran out of everything. Please come and help—we need you! Thank you.


Opposition incumbent has been on board with outdated opinions. AHS grad 1982; grad CWU, Ph.D. in educational dev and psychology. Assoc Provost at Golden Gate Univ in SF, then he moved closer to his mom in Auburn. Very involved in community, engaged in kids’ elementary school—parents & staff council; participated in resource allocation to achieve successful strategies working with school leadership and the budgeting process. Great way to give back to comm. Our sons attend public schools. Still need more focus around social justice—how to support marginalized students, to stand up to bullies. In 2021 our youngest started 4th grade. Was bullied by kid who said racist remarks to him. (my son is black). Learned the schools did not have the tools to solve these problems, so he developed training to create inclusion and belonging (JEDI: Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion): everybody has opportunity to succeed—no matter skin tone, religion, etc. Monica W: Grange could host a training for adult education, could you lead a training session for members. RL: Q: What is a good education? Learning basics, but how do students apply it to be successful in a multicultural community? Are they able to navigate differences in a community that doesn’t look like them. Growing up in Auburn 1983, some First Nation. No black students, some Asian. Not diverse. Today, teachers feel more anxiety/stress—feel disrespected by the community at large; people are taking leaves to get away from the negativity. Attendee; What can you do as Board member to help the teachers?: RL: Need to appreciate teachers’ work and commitment of intrinsic value. Shutdown the scary hateful people at the meetings. Need more resources for the classroom, support teachers better so students do better. Ensure that teachers & students are SAFE. Safe to express yourself. We need to value / appreciate and show it with more resources and hopefully better pay. Attendee: how do we end the negativity that has been emboldened in past years? People are tired of hearing it. RL: We can’t get tired. Too much at stake. Keep the message going–eventually over time it will change. Goal: students thrive in a multicultural community. Today –69/31 majority white—but changing. If I don’t win, I won’t stop. I’ll still go to board meetings. BLSB has a strategic plan—but must have board members/parents who will push that forward.

  • Bill Gaines, Sumner Bonney Lake School Board Position #4

Yes”—to Rocco. Background: educator for 41 years—headed up covid for the district. After that time to retire. 3 grandchildren in the district. I moved into the sciences—taught as much science to be safe at home in with science, coached. Assnt principal at Sumner HS. Then moved to Assnt Superintendent for 5 years. Stayed away from politics—but we need some common sense. ALL kids can learn, all kids need to be safe. Kide were reqady to be successful wherever they were going. “Service learning”—watched kids connect with colleagues to help gradudate HS. Came from extreme poverty. Never considered going to college Until a teacher sat me down to help me fill out application.  Doesn’t mtter what kids do: vocational, military, etc . Buses need more funding so more adults on the bus. Also—bad modeling from many adults isn’t helping. Bullying on social media, etc. I have a vision for where the district wants to go. Ill listen to anyone. Intervened with a suicidal teen. Calmed him down, got his parents and mediated the conversation. You can always Find middle ground and a way forward. Rudy A: M4L active in our community. How do you counter these folks imposing their demands on a school board? Need to listen to them first. Try to Find common ground. As a board member I will always listen—but sometimes we have to agree to disagree. Monica W: Always believed in public schools. Teachers strike was challenging time, teachers pushed off sidewalks–—can you tell us about that time? At that time we had rapid growth, challenges with past admins in central office with priorities of funding—hadn’t planned for the growth/resources. Need to always look to the future and be prepared financially. Levies and bonds desperately needed. Our communities are growing again. So we have to look forward to be ready.  Q??  Labor relations & unions. Attys getting overinvolved hampering admins ability to do the right thing. Admins should be allowed to make the appropriate changes for best of school.


  • Endorsement of Eligible Candidates

Monica Motionedto endorse Rocco Lamanna, James J seconded. His attitude is forward thinking and would be a godsend to Sumner SD—I’ve had kids in the district since 1996, at diff schools, Tehaleh schools, etc.Voice vote: Rocco Lamanna is unanimously approved for endorsement.

Bill Gaines just submitted his questionnaire todayso doesn’t meet our by-laws rule for endorsement:  Kirby P: motioned to waive the rule for questionnaire being filled out 3 weeks before endorsement. John W seconded. Bill is a well qualified candidate worthy of waving rule. Tamara S: against waving rule, wants more specific answers to our values. Voice vote: Motion passes to waive rule for Bill Gaines. John W: moved to endorse Bill Gaines. Kirby seconded. Imperative to have someone with a steady hand and a lot of experience as a principal and assnt superintendent. Monica W: endorses as he has been apolitical in his roles. Vote: Present: 9 yay 5 yay: Bill Gaines has been endorsed.

  • Expenditures
    • Request from James Jeyaraj for $500. Monica W moves to fund James J. Rudy A seconds. Time to get signs in the ground and help him across the finish line. James has been a good candidate and consistently shown strong presence in Auburn and meshes with Dem values. Vote 10 in person and 5 online poll: Motion passes.
    • Robin M: Motioned to approve funds for Hanan Amer of $300 to go towards newsletter and advertising. Tamara S: seconded. Vote 11 in person. Online: 6 Hanan Amer has been approved for $300.
    • Brian G motioned to approve $100 to each SB District endorsed candidate: Kevin Lewis, Bill Gaines & Rocco Lamana, James J seconded. Brian G: anything that involves politics needs support funds—we need to help these folks who represent our values to pay for signs and ads. Vote: 10 present; online 6. Motion passes.


  • Sarah Edwards (chair)

Go Labor this week!! First time a US sitting President joined striking workers. Summer picnic: Raised $1,000. Silent auction and dessert dash. Thank you to all who donated the delicious desserts and to those who purchased them! Also—we received Grant funds from the Dem state party to refurbish fair booth for 2024! And Print a new color banner. And print color lit. Thank you Robin M. for work on grant.  31st LD needs a new point person, or committee to manage Fairs and events. Please help next year.

Oct 1, Sunday: Data cleanup at Sumner Library, 3-5pm. No calling

Oct 25th Wed:( Gen Meeting) GOTV Phone banking: great chance to learn. Calling Democrats on behalf of our endorsed candidates. Please come. Start TBD: at 6:30pm. Not persuasion! Using our list. Personal cell phones needed.

Oct 29, Book club, 5pm at Amber’s house. Informal.

  • Michelle DP: Communications / Newsletter: send her info for inclusion of info online etc. Making new graphics: customized QR codes newsletter & membership, donations= generates a contact list! Easy way to capture new contact info.
  • Kirby Pollard: PCDCC Pierce Cty elections: ballot box observers training & guidelines!  Keep Pierce Blue: 0ct 27th Environmental Center (Chambers Bay) in Lakewood, tickets: $50. Gov Inslee keynote speaker. Starting a hybrid meeting.
  • Mark Boswell: KCDCC: endorsement committee recommendations for candidates. Went thru the slate of candidates (–not applicable to 31st.) Comm. Rule: 1 candidate per office only. An appeals process resulted in no changes. No dual endorsements. No changes. Auburn City Council candidates have been endorsed at earlier meeting


Monica W: Looming Govmnt Shutdown: “On behalf of federal workers –please call and ask our elected officials to end this ASAP without concessions and a clean continuing resolution.” She spent 42 days without pay last time in 2019. SNAP, WICK, meals on wheels, etc. will all be impacted. Stop the Shutdown petitions are online. It saves no $$. harms thousands of people.

Michelle DP: Food for the Buckley Food Bank, Michelle collected and bought several boxes of food! Monica offered to take the food tomorrow to the FB.

ADJOURNMENT  James J motioned to adjourn, Tamara S seconded. Meeting adjourned.

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