Meeting Minutes – Apr. 27, 2022


CALL TO ORDER/FLAG SALUTE: Brian Gunn intro & Sarah Edwards to start the flag salute. Chairs privilege to introduce a new process—to acknowledge the land that constitutes the 31st District indigenous land of the Coast Salish the Muckleshoot and the Puyallup First Nation’s, they are a vibrant part of our community.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA Motion to adopt by Mark Dunning, seconded Linda Rutenberg, unanimous adoption. Agenda adopted


Meeting Minutes – February 23, 2022 Donna DeP moved to accept. Linda R seconded. Minutes unanimously approved

Meeting Minutes – March 23, 2022

Donna DeP moved to accept. Mark D seconded. Minutes unanimously approved


  • Mayor Jim Ferrell, Candidate for King County Prosecutor Currently elected Mayor of Federal Way. 3rd term 2014, 30th LD PCO. Council member, Senior Deputy Prosecutor of King County, Domestic Violence unit and hundreds of jury trials, special assault units and city prosecutor for Renton City, 8.e years as mayor of Fed Way. $100M budget. “These are transformational times as far as law enforcement and prosecution, As Mayor, I’ve implemented greater transparency in the community, Police body cameras, no vascular restraint. Any officer who is on list for misconduct—Brady List– will be terminated. We need balance between the rights of the accused vs public safety.” To learn more Jim website. He has many endorsements. From Community, and labor leaders, etc. Fed Way Coalition Against Trafficking, supportive of all advocates for victims for adult and sexual victims. Spent 2 years at special units. Robin M: update on Trafficking in Fed Way. Ferrell: It has moved away from street level activity—more online activity. Hotels and motels.

80 M budget, supported victim services to improve public safety, helped to implement Choose 180 program for juveniles, would be first woman and woman of color to be elected. Born in Seoul S. Korea to a US military officer who married a Korean wife. My mother faced racial discrimination here in Tacoma. She understands marginalization. “No one is the sum of their worst mistakes…”. We must strive to build a better system. Cares deeply about public safety, free from hate crimes, give non-violent youth a second chance, partner with laws enforcement, hold repeat and violent offenders responsible, many endorsements. Increased strong Dem support, across community, containing partnerships across the county to improve relationships and programs. How would you approach issues of race: equity social justice committee training on implicit bias, the film: “Thirteen” and educational. We have changed our hiring practice to be more inclusive.

Gov. Inslee appointed me to Supreme Court in 2020, then I was elected with Dems support; now seeking endorsement to retain my seat for a full 6-year term. Pierce Cty, Superior court Judge, received the highest rating from WA State Bar Association, endorsed by all WA justice elected officials. Conference panning committee for training, 5 years Civil Legal Aid .official. Served on the board of Institutional Justice, and also taught Civics at Lincoln High School in Tacoma for 5 years. Judge Whitener has received numerous awards [refer to 31st LD online questionnaire, hyperlink above]. I hope I can retain your trust. List of some of the Judge’s prior experience: Washington State Supreme Court Justice: April 2020-Present; Pierce County Superior Court Judge; Law Firm of Whitener Rainey Writt PS; Pierce County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney; Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel; Island County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. Additionally, “I have an extensive and consistent history of extra-judicial activities.” In 2017, Judge Whitener reated WA state’s first Color of Justice program in Pierce County. It is now held three times a year throughout the state. “I have worked very hard to keep your trust in the past 2 years. I am the state’s first female Chief Justice… My mother was an immigrant from Trinidad. I am a member of LGBT Community, and also identify as a person with disability.”

I’ve been on the court since 1992. Her 5th election when Clarence Thomas was elected, saw the treatment Anita Hill received. Identified as a young female attorney—decided to help change the justice system, so I ran and won, and would like to continue on the court, Served for 4 years as chief judge on the Municipal court, started a program for attys of color to serve as Pro-tem on the court to build a diverse bench and better serve our community. Prior to that I worked as City Atty Special Prosecutor for domestic violence. I organized annual summit on race and criminal justice system to eliminate bias on the courts. Goal to eradicate racial bias in the justice system, to bring reforms to eliminate racial bias. “It’s a Long road, with many entrenched biases in the system.” WA initiative for diversity to work with law firms to open their ranks for hiring, promotion and retention. Tribal Court Consortium—all judges should have access to all state training/resources. “All voices must be heard for our justice system to be truly representational.” Brian G: should justices be elected? Madsen: I was only the 3rd woman to sit on the State Supreme Court, in 120 years. This question really depends on who is in power and who makes the judicial appointments. There are pitfalls in electing judges—the endorsement process is fraught with complications. For example: should judges be seeking endorsement? “But since we are elected, we need to be savvy about the process.”

Judge Angelica Williams, Candidate for Pierce County Superior Court

The Gov. Inslee ensures that WA bench reflects our diversity, sworn in on April 1st. “Representation Matters!”—I am happy to represent our Asian community. My mother emigrated from Shanghai, married my white father and lived in the suburbs. Mother experienced racism. “Everybody must have a voice and be included.” She has worked as County Prosecutor on violence against minors, Special Assault Unit for 11 years—trying sexual & physical assault cases against children; supervised largest trial team in the prosecutor’s office. “Power must be balanced with responsibility;” served 3 years as Asst. United States Attorney, in terrorism and violent crimes unit in WA with the most violent offenders; Judge Van Doornick mentored and encouraged her to pursue serving on the Superior Court. “There are shades of gray—’loyalty to the law’– but I’m aware of all issues… With hard work and commitment to excellence anything is possible. I am honored to have endorsement of all (20?) Pierce Cty Superior Court judges, and elected Pierce County officials… I have loved serving my community.” [Judge Williams is running unopposed]


WA State Democrats Coord. Campaign, Dylan DiPaolo, Regional Field Director, King County –

Building volunteer base with phone banking and canvassing—please join us to speak with voters—info in the chat. Friends or family—more is better. Day of action on June 4th in Central Park in Issaquah. Tina Podlodowski will be there. Senator Murray. And Rep Kim Schrier. (Rebecca works with Dylan). If any PCO needs help with making lists for walking or calling, Dylan can help with that! Also upcoming event on May 4th phone bank (Star Wars themed) :

May 4th Virtual Phonebank (5-7pm) –

Federal Way Virtual Phonebank: May 29 (2-4PM)

  • People for Patty Murray: Vincy Fok, Political Outreach Associate The senator is working on many bills—but has passed the permanent Daylight Savings Initiative, support for Ukraine and for refugees, passing infrastructure bill—also included other initiatives which Murray wrote: Clean School Bus Act, plus $100M for WA State’s expanded rural broadband coverage , and grant funds to help close the digital divide for literacy k-12 classes, and for seniors; and voting to place our first Black woman on the Supreme Court. She is till working on Voting Rights and the Filibuster — urging the Senate to pass voting rights protections. Patty’s 2022 Campaign is gearing up—local orgs have begun the endorsement process. Contact:
  • Jonah Wolff, Organizing Director (WA-08) – DCCC WA08 is one of the most competitive races in the country—makes a huge difference in the House. So we need your help. We have 3 weekly phone banks. Mark D: Events—posting at: We are growing our local team so we can hold more local events—we need more help to house our junior staff: Housing –anyone with an extra bedroom for intern to board until they find housing. Also looking for volunteers to host canvasses.
  • Jordan McElroy, Political Coordinator for US Rep Strickland WA10 Jordan on behalf of Marilyn—introduced new package for vets housing, fighting for end to Federal prohibition on Cannabis, recent interview on importance of HBCU’s


  • March 2022 Report Mark D: Moved to accept report, Donna DeP: Seconded. No questions. Unanimously accepted


  • CHAIR: Brian G—“I will not be running for reelection next year.”— summarized his duties. Recently- 31ST LD held our caucus in March, we have a delegation for the 31st at the WA State Convention in June. 18 delegates—met our affirmative action goals, still have 2 positions open to join us if you are interested. Working on our platform for the convention. Covered some very specific areas –the diversity of our group shows in that we are looking at very diff areas. Submitted our amendments on time and we’ll be considering some resolution to be introduced at the convention. No news on potential candidates to run for State seats (1 senate & 2 leg seats). Had a few nibbles but no one stepping forward yet. It’s a big impact to run for office. Filing week is coming up so were at deadlines. Been Chair for 5 years –accordion game, very intense and also other times less time consuming, but requires investment of time for prepping materials, coordinating candidates, meetings. Planning for at least 2 meetings per month. Talked with other chairs in King Cty—can be anywhere from 20-40 hours per week, which is a big ask for a volunteer position—but it does have its rewards—people I meet, contact with candidates, awareness of the political spectrum in the state, front row seat to state politics. Mark Boswell has also served as Chair. Mark B: the more you do it—the better you get at it. We will support you. Brian G: I’m not disappearing. I will still be involved with the org and available to help.

Treasurer: Brian G: Rudy is absent tonight, but he has done a fantastic job as our treasurer, but he has signaled that he will not be available next year. Best way to transition is to shadow working Treasurer. With the recent law suits– we have all (WA Dems) learned our critical role to protect the orgs from frivolous attacks. The treasurer must complete financial reports and file by deadlines. Experience with accounting, spreadsheets, and filing dates with PDC (which are not uniform—they change as we get closer to elections as there is more reporting at that time). Probably the 2nd most time consuming role as Chair. Tracking and filing reports. We’d like to find an assistant for Rudy now to learn the steps. Mark B: GOP goal is to cause Dems to waste time & $$ so they can’t spend resources on candidates. But the PDC has a job to do—this tactic has been mainly fruitless, with some minor fines. Brian G: This is good training for getting involved with a state campaign in the future. There is a to look at the public data on all state campaigns.

  • Vice Chairs (Pierce & King) Sarah EdwardsV Chairs report: PCO support Committee—we are reminding PCO’s to refile. You’ll get a letter and a phone call reminding you to refile for your position. And also on May 7th Sat in Lakeland hills South King Cty Dems holding a rally to recruit PCO’s from 10:3-am—12:30pm meet at the Park and meet some candidates. Picnic and info about becoming a PCO or training and resources. Sent an email to 31st LD members. For current PCO’s or anyone who is interested. Ann Udaloy King Cty Dems PCO zoom event on April 30th, with info about being a PCO. Link in chat.

Secretary Robin M: I spoke about the duties of serving as Secretary. VIP backbone for the 31st—but not as time consuming as Chair or Treasurer.

Brain G: Reminder: Elected PCO’s are the ONLY people who have a vote in the 2023 reorganization—you’ll need to have filed in the previous May in order to participate as a voter in the Reorg for Statutory positions (Chair, Vice Chair, etc.)


  • Bylaws modernization – volunteers: committee formation. Need to be updated to for online meeting to make it retroactively valid method for conducting business and taking votes. Also any other issues which have come up in the past year. Tamara S and Sarah E, Charlotte Thompson. is interested. We need to have a by-laws update with new language in order to meet in person again. Brian G: As Chair, I am appointing a By-Law Update Committee, with myself (Brian Gunn) and Tamara Stramel, Sarah Edwards & Charlotte Thompson.


  • Sign-on letter from Washington Fair Trade Coalition: Brian G shared the letter to WTO. Requesting support for Covid-19 medical products. WTO has apparently placed some IP (intellectual property) patents/barriers for many smaller countries to gain access to vaccines. The letter supports open access and flexibility to be shared as widely as possible with all countries through special TRIPS-waiver. Donna DeP: Motion for the 31st LD to sign on to this letter. Charlotte T: This is complicated—involves patent law and intellectual property rights. We should have more time to consider the issues and the deadline is May 2. After discussion, Donna DeP. Motion to sign is withdrawn.
  • King County Democrats Endorsement Committeeperson: volunteer needed for this committee. No replies.
  • Endorsements: Senator Patty Murray’s endorsement will require a waiver for the questionnaire first.

Sarah E moved to endorse candidate Leesa Manion. Donna DeP seconded. Sarah E: Excited to see things changing in King Cty. Mayor Ferell focused more on the crime aspect, and Manion was more focused on reforms and preventing injustices in the prosecutor’s office. Her questionnaire had strong emphasis on reform and as adviser for the MIT police reform work, but didn’t feel that this was addressed by Mayor Ferell’s questionnaire.

Whit W: motioned to endorse Judge Helen Whitener. Donna DeP Seconded. Whit: I served on a jury with Justice Helen Whitener presiding.” Impressed by her in every way. Her questionnaire shows the depth of her experience.

Donna DeP: motioned to endorse Judge Barbara Madsen, Sarah E seconded. Has served for several years and supports inclusion of women and diverse representation in judicial system.

Brian G: Mary Yu—has submitted her questionnaire after speaking with us last month for WA State Supreme Court. Donna DeP: Motioned to endorse Mary Yu, woman of color, represents LGBTQ. Sarah E Seconded. Brian G: There are now Four names on the ballot for our endorsement.

Sarah E Motioned to waive the rules in order to endorse Sen Patty Murray to our ballot. Mark B seconded. Brian G: Motion to waive the questionnaire requirement—Any objection? Hearing no objection, we have waived the questionnaire requirement to endorse Sen Patty Murray. Is there a motion to add Sen Patty Murray to the endorsement ballot, Sarah E Motioned, Mark Boswell Seconded. “We love her! Go Patty!”

Brian G: Are there any other motions for endorsements? Hearing none, the Floor is closed. Sarah E: Preparing the ballot. Mark D: Moved to endorse these five candidates by a slate, by voice acclamation. Brian G: Is there any objection to by-passing the ballot? Hearing none. All in favor please say “Ay;”

Hearing none opposed, these five candidates are all endorsed by the 31st LD Democrats: Leesa Manion, Judge Helen Whitener, Senator Patty Murray, Judge Barbara Madsen, Mary Yu.


  • Mark D: Chris Vance is running as an Independent against Phil Fortunato. Brian G: If we field a viable candidate, WA State Dems will support candidate.


  • Mark D moved to adjourn, Donna DeP Seconded.

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