31st LD Democrats General Meeting Minutes 1.26.22 Draft v1
CALL TO ORDER /FLAG SALUTE (7:01) Brian Gunn welcomed attendees, called meeting to order. Ingrid Curtis led the flag salute.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA: Brian Gunn presented the agenda; –Christi Keith & Rudy Adams motioned to adopt, seconded. Hearing no objections, the agenda is adopted.
READ/APPROVAL OF PRIOR MEETING MINUTES – Robin Macnofsky
Meeting Minutes – December 8, 2021 —Moved and seconded by John Westland & Rudy Adams. Minutes are adopted.
Dr. Kim Schrier, U.S. Representative, WA-08
“Thank you for helping me in the past—And I’m going to need all your help to hold this seat and keep moving in the right direction—this is a high stakes race with newly drawn districts. I share your frustration with the lack of progress on voting rights, and BBB which is taking a nap or something– but where were we a year ago? No vaccines; kids not in school. There has been a remarkable economic recovery and we are going to get something through with BBB– and not gripe about what didn’t make it through.”
Donna D: President Biden is trying to pass individual pieces of legislation. Like breaking things up: voting rights. Rep Schrier Insider baseball. We may try to pass Universal Pre-K., Tax the wealthy, child tax credit—but all GOP Congress will vote it down. So it will be a ‘message’. “Even for something as popular as lowering Medicare drug costs,–we have no good faith partners to get it passed.” Best hope is to get GOP on record opposing. The only way to pass is thru reconciliation one shot per year. So it will be a narrow package. We’ll have to get Biden, Cinema & Manchin in a room to see what they can agree on. Amber OW: child tax credit is so popular—how will this rank in the BBB plan for 2022. Rep Schrier: the expanded income range for beneficiaries, a larger tax credit, monthly—which was a lifeline 80 % in the 8th CD benefitted from the credit! Across the board—high priority of Kim’s—but it depends on Sen. Manchin’s and Sinema’s priority list. They are blocking the majority of Democrat’s priorities. Rudy A: How can S&M block such a popular thing like Universal Child Pre-K? Rep Schrier: “High quality preschool for everyone improves outcomes for EVERYONE in America. But I believe they will find some excuse to not support it.” But we need to put it up for a vote. Rudy A: also–Medicare drug costs—“Big Pharma is saying we won’t get the drugs we need/want because of cost control” Rep Schrier: We’ll be looking at the most egregious actors, insulin companies, Epi-pens, the worst actors. We passed this in the House. It’s stalled in the senate: And, Sen. Manchin has Conflict of Interest—his daughter-in-law works for the Epi-pen company.
Marilyn Strickland, U.S. Representative, WA-10 Rep Strickland: TY for having me here today. 10th CD represents. Freshman but not a rookie—2 term mayor in Tacoma. I’ve been given privilege of governing during a pandemic. As Dr. Schrier pointed out—much good has been accomplished already in just a year. Jim Clyburn—“focus about what’s good about the ‘brownie’! The tax credit, helping small businesses, from the American rescue plan.” Passed the infrastructure pan is a jobs plan, historic investment in mass transit, repair crumbing bridges, expands broad band access—and financial help for those who could not afford ho-speed internet, clean up drinking water. Member and co-chair of 12 causes: Asian Pacific American, Cong. Black Caucus, Small Brewers, HBCU Caucus. Sits on both House Transportation and Infrastructure and the Armed Services Committee. We have a tie in the Senate—we have a chance to pick up some Senate seats. If we can expand the senate we can finally get our agenda moving forward. Voting Rights could be passed by stand-alone bills: national Holiday, early voting, etc. 2022: expand the majority in the senate. Holding on to the House. Jan 6th failed attempt to overthrow the government—we cannot let this be a dress rehearsal for 2024.Julian Wheeler: As a US Army vet, what is being done for disabled vets? Rep Strickland My father was a disabled vet. I’m looking at housing issues, Vets Admin must be fully functional, “Vets are not a monolith.” Rep’s Strickland and Kilmer met with the VA to make sure they are more responsive, Advocated for the new VA center in Olympia for So Sound. “We must take care of our vets who fought for us.” After redistricting, Sumner is now within the 10thCD. Rep Strickland I want to be most responsive to all of my constituents… US Admin agencies are grossly understaffed right now due to COVID and also to GOP agenda. “Our Messaging: GOP do not have platform. They are running on fear-mongering: “…these Dems are a bunch of socialists who want open borders, take your guns,” etc. — “We need to do everything we can to register new voters and get people out to vote. They [GOP] are putting people in place at the local level to try to control the elections…” “Democracy requires constant cultivation! TY for all your activism.” 2021 Year in Review | Representative Marilyn Strickland (house.gov)
Kate Baumgartner, Senator Patty Murray Kate: Sen Murray believes Voting rights is the VIP issue for Congress this year—‘we should use every legislative tool in the box!’ She has a strong commitment on getting this passed. The Senate currently is broken due to the filibuster and the GOP. Sen Murray Has written comments (www.murray.senate.gov/health-care ) re: costs of medical care in the Build Back Better Act– Dems are still working on it—Patty believes we can get this done! High-quality, in-home senior care, cap on drug costs, and the bill will be paid for; impact middle income families most. We must deliver tangible results. On the ‘concrete’ side: resources are starting to come to the state to expand Broadband, repairing bridges—largest investment since the interstate system was created over 50 years ago, largest investment in public transit since the country was founded. News Today! Justice Bryer is retiring: Sen Murray supports Pres. Biden’s commitment to nominating a Black woman to SCOTUS— She has been strong protecting our local federal courts—prevented conservative judges being confirmed here in WA State—has helped to recommend more diverse judges here: US Attorney Nicholas Brown, Tana Lin US District Court, Lauren King US District Court,– first ever Native American woman justice in WA.(—6th in US History), Sen Murray has been working hard on COVID—Omicron, as Chair of Health, Education, Labor & Pensions [HELP] committee— Dr. Fauci has been working the committee to make sure testing is adequate. The endorsement process of her campaign is starting. Patty Murray Campaign
Dana Coggon, Executive Director, Pierce Conservation District Dana C—today is my 3rd day on the job as Ex Director for Pierce Cty CD. We plant 30,000 trees a year! Planting season volunteer actives to help plant trees! Health of planet and your health too. Natural environment is a long term commitment. Diff sites throughout—Mt Tahoma to Puget Sound, on streams in backyards and farms. Rain Gardens in your backyard? We can evaluate if your yard is a goof. Farm plans, streamside planning, infrastructure, removing culverts so restore streams to restore salmon, de-pave program to allow water to filter back into the ecosystem. Election coming up: we are your direct line to making government work. On the ground, you vote these local folks in to work for you. You can contact main office and request a ballot! (2) Positions are open. After your request your ballot–Ballots will show up in March. COVID protocols small teams and safety is priority. Outdoors, spread out. Good for humans and trees. Brian G: What positions are open, [check link below]. County wide Board of Admin: commit to spending time with the board. Sets policy for work on the ground. Big decisions about how to value and use the public lands. We are on ancestral lands of indigenous populations, brig that cultural context—and to maintain and heal those relationships. Christi K: why isn’t this already on our ballot—why do we have to request it? Dana C—short answer is it costs a lot—we need to work on it.
Kirstin Haugen, Board Chair King Conservation District
We are already working on getting this on the state ballots, to put all conservation districts on the state ballot, looking at 4-year terms (3 year terms now) also restructuring into zones not counties, all of our board members are from Seattle, we ned more geographical representation as well. Running for re-election in 2019. Salmon recovery and orca health, new Ex Dir. from NY just came in to help us. Commitment to equity and work in urban areas, make a bigger impact. Fixing the elections are critical. We need to get more voter participations—skews heavily white. 37% in the KCCD are POC, but voting participants were only 23%. Mark B: could you come up with a one-page history of how these CDs came into being? Kirstin: on our website—urban forestry, salmon recovery, but budgets haven’t evolved, still such a small scale. RCW are diff by state. Dedicated % of property tax could go to CDs. WA is a flat fee per district. These are underutilized in the state and we can do much more. Check link below for House Bill 1910 to add Conservation District elections to the regular ballot so everyone can vote: Washington State Legislature
Please come out to volunteer with either King or Pierce CDs. Kirstin has filled our questionnaire and is eligible to be endorsed. Amber OW: What’s being done for salmon & orca: Kirstin historically, half of our funding went to salmon recovery, Riparian restoration, bulkhead removals in Puget Sound, incentive with farmers, Reality is that we need more funding. We need resources to fund the restoration.
Rebecca Duran, Field Organizer, WA State Democrats N/A
TREASURER’S REPORT (Rudy Adams)
2021 Final Report: Rudy reviewed the 2021 final report and 2022 budget. January month report will be out next week—show up for next meeting. Close our for December report. Rudy Adams moved for acceptance of 2021 Report, seconded by John Westland. No objections 2021 Final Report is accepted!
2022 Budget Rudy reviewed the exempt and non-exempt accounts.
No motion tonight on the 2022 budget. Not seeking adoption, just a review of the proposed expenses for the coming year. Next month—he will ask for approval of this budget. 31st LD voting members can request a digital copy of the budget prior to the February meeting for review.
OFFICERS’ & COMMITTEE REPORTS
Chair, Brian Gunn: We cannot afford to lose a democratic seat from WA State. Still looking for a viable candidate for the 31st LD. Introduced Shasti Conrad of King Cty Dems: “This is the year that we can win in the 31st!” TY for all the hard work in the 31st. This part of the pandemic is feeling even more exhausting heading into year 3. 2022—we need to do even more than before—with less in our tank of resources… rest when we can—and as we head toward filing week—we have the solid candidates to protect the seats we can and grow where we can. Keep Dr. Schrier, and Marilyn Strickland in the House. Stymied by 2 senators—if we can get (2) more progressive Senators, protect Warnock, and be strategic. Author, Michelle Alexander says, “As scary as these times are—that we are bringing people off the sidelines is proof of change.” For better or worse—the Right [GOP] is ready to fight at all levels—we have to do the same. Fight for democracy and protect our rights. Sunday is a county wide PCO meeting, on redistricting, school bond levies. Kathy Orlando says Pierce Cty PCO’ are also welcome. Sat. Feb 6, is KCDs Winter Soiree virtual fund raiser. We have a big community, and we are ready to go.
Winter soiree https://secure.actblue.com/donate/2022party
Cathy Orlando: Pierce Cty Dems: Shift gears so PCOs have great support for 2022: State committee member and Sargent at Arms will be elected at the February meeting. also. Senator Patty Murray and Rep’s Kilmer, Schrier and Strickland will be there. Discuss Meeting issues—and having endorsement conversations. Brian G. I need support of my fellow chairs. We pull each other up—we are none of us in this alone!
Vice Chairs (Pierce & King)
Sarah Edwards: membership Chair: 31st LD starts fresh each year—need to renew for 2022. Please pay your dues this January. Voting rights come 4 weeks after you’ve paid your dues. Link to be included.
Tamara Stramel: Candidate Questionnaires: They’ve been updated for 2022 season: Some essays are optional, some Yes/No answers with option to qualify. Maybe missing some topics—having more eyes is helpful. This falls in middle of many different formats for candidate questionnaires. Haven’t been distributed yet—candidate filing is in May. We can delay to February and pass budget and questionnaire at Feb. meeting. Discussion ensues. Christi K: Motioned to send to Ex-Board for review. Schedule for discussion at E-board on Feb 2nd to review—and make recommendation to then adopt at next general meeting. James Jeyaraj Seconded. Ingrid asked about the other revised questionnaire (by Greg and Darlene) from 2020. Tamara S: yes. Members felt that questionnaire was too brief and did not fully vet the candidates. Ingrid wants both questionnaires to be reviewed side-by-side. Motion to Poll? Virtual vote: 14 yes, 2 no. Motion passes.
CANDIDATE SEEKING ENDORSEMENT:
Christi Keith motions to endorse Kirstin Haugen for Chair, King County Conservation Dist. James Jeyaraj: Seconded. Hearing no objections, Motion approved. Kirstin Haugen is endorsed by the 31st LD Dems
GOOD AND WELFARE
Julian Wheeler: I have some family issues / emergencies so I’ll need to step down as SAA’s. TY Kirby et al, for serving as election observer.