[12 on zoom (Plus, Michelle) 14 in person plus 2 speakers. Attendance: 28]
Disclaimer: timing and order of agenda items is tentative, subject to the availability of our guests and speakers.
CALL TO ORDER/LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT 7:00
“We acknowledge that our legislative district is on the traditional homelands of the Puyallup and Muckleshoot tribes, who have lived on and stewarded these 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 John W motioned to approve agenda, Brian G Seconded. Unanimously approved.
READ/APPROVAL OF PRIOR MEETING MINUTES
Meeting Minutes – May 24, 2023 Michelle DP motioned to accept minutes, John W: Seconded. No opposed. Minutes have been approved unanimously.
CANDIDATES / BALLOT INTIATIVES:
- Sumner Library Levy Bill Pugh (past Mayor of Sumner) to speak about the Library Levy. Speaking on behalf of Citizens for Sumner Library. There will be an initiative on the August 1st ballot. ‘A “YES” vote would result in an up to 20,000 sq foot new library centrally located in Sumner.’ Up to $20M will be needed, state partnerships and private donors have been secured for $5M. Requesting levy for $15M in bonds to construct new Library. The existing library structure is in bad shape structurally, so needs replacement rather than repair. Committee urged to relocate new facility near higher density residential area: a property has been acquired by the city on Main St, across from Fred Meyer. The new building would include: “…spaces for toddlers to gain literacy skills, for children and families to read together, a zone for teens to study and collaborate, computers and technology for jobseekers and entrepreneurs; books and movies to check out, and public meeting spaces.” The new bond would cost est. of $10 p month for avg homeowners. Committee is seeking endorsement from both Dems & GOP (FYI:Drew Stokesbary has approved $2M from WA state budget.) Brian G: Art there plans for a ‘Green’ build or low carbon impact? BP: That is in Sumner’s in the master plan Robin M: What about adhering to LEED standards? That is not included in the RFP at this time…BP “First, we have to pass the bond, then move on to RFP process.” Mark B: You mentioned private donors being solicited? Will that give them any authority over book selection? BP “Absolutely not! $$ is for construction only.”
· Jeffrey Moon, Sumner-Bonney Lake School Board, Position #4 not present Amber OW: FYI: Dieringer Sch Board Pos 4 just opened up –this position will be a 2 year appointment NOT elected. Non-partisan. Progressives in the POS 4 area need to find a candidate for 2 years position—MFL will be seeking their own. ASK your neighbors: ‘Desperately seeking’ schoolboard Pos 4 candidate (on North side of the Lake).
· Paul Gilmartin, Dieringer School District, Position #5 Parent of 2 children in the school district. Watched board response to action in the district, no one working with the superintendent. Began with baby wipes during covid. Superintendent reported that staff /teachers were using baby wipes to disinfect student’s hands– not using hand sanitizer; school nurse said it was “all approved.” Board did not push back. So, Gilmartin contacted the Cty Dept of Health which disagreed with their safety protocol. After much back & forth, the school district started using hand sanitizer. Additionally, post covid, the board did not replace a teacher (who relocated), so school was overenrolled and understaffed. Board members were still not acting on behalf of student welfare. After PG repeatedly advocated, new staff was hired. 2021-2022 brought more lack of oversight and action from Board regarding political misinformation by Superintendent. This is what prompted PG to run, even before the more recent book banning & LGTBQAi controversies. Then he learned about the Mom’s for Liberty (MFL) candidate in his own neighborhood. PG reports strong local support for the MFL candidate. Robin M: What is your position on Charter schools? PG: This is a ‘red herring’–not a possibility in the Dieringer District. Charter Schools are a State level decision, not something the school board can rule on. Linda R: MFL is a hate group neo-Nazi group.
· Dow Constantine on behalf of King County Prop 1 not present
· Kevin Lewis, Sumner-Bonney Lake School Board Pos #3 Kevin is currently a board member and will be seeking reelection) DEI / JEDI. Today, he is speaking as an individual. He & his wife are alums of Sumner HS, 1987, at that time a majority white school, and still is. “As I became more engaged in the community, in PTA through HS, I became engaged with the school board.” He got more engaged with JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion), issues. “As a white, cis-gender male I have had certain privileges growing up in BL that other non-white students have not. I joined the Strategic Planning Committee to better assist all students –about “inter-equity” concerns: disabilities, gender ID’s, multi-lingual challenges, ethnicity—to help all students make it to graduation.” The BLSS District Strategic Plan is renewed every 4 years. “The BLSSD Strategic Community Plan is centered around equity. Some local people came out against the plan as ‘Too Woke. Too Political’—but racism is not political. Valuing all students to assist them graduate and become great citizens is not political.” The Strategic Plan recommends that school staff have equity training to recognize bias and address situations that come up in class, also reflect the students within the staff: mirror student diversity—recruit/retain more diversity and gender. Updating the policy on LGTBQAI policy changes incurred much debate and controversy. Sarah E: How will the plan approach ‘hot button’ (fake) issues like gendered bathroom misinformation. Kevin: I ask [them] to provide a specific example of what is happening in our district schools? People are often acting/speaking about false flags/fears raised by national campaigns. [Our goal is] “…making sure kids feel comfortable and safe at school. I decided to run for the BLSSB in 2019. Back then, not many people wanted to run…now every open position has multiple candidates. Post covid board meetings have been ‘controversial’—, etc. “Intent vs Impact. I realized that although everyone has good intentions, and every parent cares—good intentions can have negative impacts. Heather: How do we address board members who have made, or may make in the future, discriminatory comments online? Kevin: That individual has been re-districted out of Sumner/Bonney. In the future, such a person could also be asked to resign. (Board would have to vote to censor a member.) Michelle DP: If you are re-elected, will you speak out immediately when these things happen? It is CRITICAL for these kids to be recognized in the moment. Later may be too late… Is there a process for parents to speak up at the time?” Kevin: Yes, there is.
· Endorsement of Eligible Candidates & Initiatives:
Tamara S: motioned to endorse the Library Levy, The Sumner library is small but a great community asset. Has a wonderful collection of books. Linda R Seconded: so many services, ability to get online for many without internet, and helpful community resource. Voice Vote: motion passed unanimously.
Amber OW motioned to endorse Paul Gilmartin, who is a resident in her neighborhood. It’s so important to have someone who represents Democratic values on the Dieringer School board to keep the board focused on the job of supporting students! Rudy A Seconded. When a candidate comes to speak and presents their qualifications as a Democrat, we should step up and support them.” Voice Vote 31st LD Dem’s Unanimously approved Paul Gilmartin for endorsement.
OFFICER & COMMITTEE REPORTS (8:15)
· Chair Report: Sarah Edwards
SUMMER FAIRS: Point Person for each Fair are: Tamara S: 4th of July and Robin M. July 15 Edgewood Picnic. Please contact them through the 31st FB page to RSVP for 2-hour booth shifts. This is a fun and easy way to engage with community members.
STEP UP with the 31st LD There are still key positions open for members to become more directly engaged in saving our democracy: Outreach Chair (Fair Coord), King Cty Vice Chair, Secretary (Back-up). For more information on roles & responsibilities, contact Sarah Edwards: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Annual Summer BBQ Tamara S: as our August General meeting: at Lakeland Hills Sunset Park on August 27. Please invite friends and neighbors.
· PCDCC: Kirby P, (Sarah E reporting for KP) Keep Pierce Blue looking for store bought desserts. July 26 Tacoma Rainiers PCDCC social event. Observer training July 17 Monday: 9-1pm
- PCO Coord. Amber OW: Training at the Sumner Library went well, 31st is hosting a July 8th Canvas Training. This is a Listening Canvas to hear people’s concerns. More of an informal teaching day. 31st LD Book Club: “Saving Us” by author, Katherine Hayhoe. Meeting Date & Location TBD in August. Sarah E: “My Canvassing Spiel –Going out & talking to people helps me feel better about the national news. This a way to feel more engaged.” Robin M: “Saving Democracy” book advocates citizens to get more engaged locally.
- Treasurer’s Report: (Sarah E for Mark D): Kudos to Rep Derek Kilmer! Contributed $500 to support move to hybrid meetings, outreach, etc. Rudy A: Please ask friends to contribute to the 31st LD, to help with monthly expenses. Recurring monthly $10 or 15 would help a lot. Find the donate button on our website:
Your support is needed! Click below to renew membership, and you can also contribute.
GOOD AND WELFARE
Brain G: Thank you Kirby Pollard for opening up the Marion Grange Hall for us today–we all send our healing wishes to Kelle for a speedy recovery.
Linda R: Don’t spend your $$ at companies that do not support your values: I bought a rainbow banner online from Human Rights Campaign and other items from the Trevor Project—so don’t shop at Target or ?? if they don’t represent / support your values (LGTBQAi rights).
ADJOURNMENT (9:00pm or earlier) Tamara S. Motioned to adjourn: John W Seconded. Unanimous vote to adjourn.