Meeting Minutes – May 27, 2020

MAY 27, 2020   VIRTUAL 31st LD General Meeting Minutes (via ZOOM)

ZOOM Host: 31st LD Chair, Brian Gunn


Approval of Agenda (7:02)   36 participants attending online via Zoom.

Body adopted April 15, 2020 meeting minutes with no changes.

Meeting Minutes – April 15, 2020   adopted by voice vote

Chair Brian Gunn: This meeting is being recorded via Zoom; it is a candidate endorsement meeting–all endorsement votes will take place via e-mail, following the meeting on 5.28.2020. Candidates seeking endorsements will each have (3) minutes to address the members; Candidates will speak first, followed by 31st LD members who then have 2 minutes to speak either for or against.


Scheduled Guest Speakers:

Ryan Calkins, King County Port Commission – Ryan presented a slideshow on COVID-19 related impact of Port properties including Sea-Tac airport.  Also relief and recovery plans, impacts on tourism related industries: ‘Trade, Tourism, Workforce, Small Businesses:

Intn’l and domestic cargo-shipping containers are down 22%; CDC has issued a “No Sail” order for cruise ships–an industry which has huge economic impact on King Cty of est. $900 Million annual revenue loss impacting business-supply chain. Ryan emphasized the need for small business support via CARES Act. Port is helping Business manage PPP and grant & loan apps, apprenticeship programs etc.  Port aims to lead recovery in Puget Sound with increased safety protocols for re-opening of essential services like commerce & supply chain, transit for medical workers.


Dr. Kim Schrier, U.S. Congress, WA-08 – “Update from the ‘other’ Washington.”  HAs been honored to represent WA 8th as the first sitting Dr –esp during COVID crisis. Will continue to work on critical policies of climate/environment, food security/ SNAP benefits for low income families, access to rural health hospitals/clinics– Kim co-sponsored bill to pay 1st Qtr of missing revenue from cancelled non-essential procedures. Now working on same for ALL hospitals; Kim then spent 5 minutes in a Q & A with members:

Tamara Strammel asked about misinformation coming from WH;

Brian Gunn asked about need for more $$ for small businesses;

Rep. Schrier “I worked on the Paycheck Recovery Act w/ Rep Pramilla Jayapal.”


Several state and judicial candidates addressed the general body in timed presentations of 3 minutes each. Time will be allocated for debate following the last speaker with a 2-minute limit. Tamara Strammel is acting as time-keeper.

King County Superior Court, Pos. 30 – Carolyn Ladd

Carolyn spoke to the 31st LD Dems in April. 30th anniversary of being atty. She values “diversity, equity, inclusion, & social justice,” and has served as protem substitute judge. Carolyn stated that her challenger, incumbent Judge Douglas North, had been admonished by a report on judicial conduct for making a  ‘racially biased’ statement– which she then read aloud to meeting attendees. [Questionnaire is posted online; eligible for endorsement]

Chair Brian G. shifted the order of speakers to allow Judge North to respond:

King County Superior Court, Pos. 30 – Douglass North

Judge North reminded the body that he has been serving for 20 years as a judge-and that King County is severely lacking judges with more than 4 years of experience at this time. He requested that people check his website for the link to the incident (re: Charisma Precious-Reid) in question, to view it in context. He also stated that he has taken Implicit Bias training. [Questionnaire posted on 5/11; not yet eligible for endorsement]

King County Superior Court, Pos. 51 – Cindi Port

This is Judge Port’s 2nd visit to 31st LD Dems. She was appointed by Gov Jay Inslee on May 1, 2020. She was raised on a farm in ID, and has served as a deputy prosecuting attorney handling DUI, homicide, etc. as D.A. for King Cty on a mix of civil and criminal cases, with more than six years of local community service. There is a COVID backlog of cases, so great need for experienced trial judges. King County Superior Court lost sixteen judges last year. She also endorses Judge North as “serving with humility and unbiased reputation on the bench.”[Quest. is online; eligible for endorsement]

King County Superior Court, Pos. 13 – Andrea Robertson

Ms. Robertson was recruited by other judges to replace a retiring judge. She has been in private practice, Since 2010, in civil cases involving domestic violence and harassment representing 1500+ clients.She has 56 endorsements by trial judges and believes …”courtroom experience is critical for a new judge so there is no need to learn on the job.” She faces a challenger, Hillary Madsen.  [Questionnaire posted on 5/27; not yet eligible for endorsement]

King County Superior Court, Pos. 13 – Hillary Madsen

Ms. Madsen spoke to the 31st LD in April,  She has been endorsed by the retiring judge, and by Former Gov. Christine Grregoire, King County Executive Dow Constatine, and 40 judges. She stated, ”I understand the law through the perspective of someone who has no power.” She has volunteered as an advocate for incarcerated children’s-youth rights against solitary confinement;immigrants detained at ICE; and other marginalized defendants. [Questionnaire posted 4/25; eligible for endorsement]

Pierce County Superior Court – Diana Lynn Kiesel  unopposed –not present

Pierce County Superior Court – Sabrina Ahrens    unopposed –not present

Supreme Court, Pos #6 – G. Helen Whitener

On April 4th, Judge Helen Whitener was appointed as the first female African American Judge from Pierce County to WA State Supreme Court. She has experience in civil, criminal and jury trials in Tacoma Municipal Court.where she served as both public defender and prosecutor. She is a faculty member at Washington Courts-college for new justices (teaches classes in implicit bias), and ‘Street Law’ civics: “making the law real” –at Lincoln H.S. in Tacoma. She “We are facing serious issues with COVID-19” with greater “need for experience and new insights.”. [Quest. posted 4/25; eligible for endorsement]

Pierce County Executive – Larry Seaquist

Mr. Seaquist has been managing the COVID-19 Public Health crisis in Pierce County. He said that “we are all called to action” to vote out the incompetent and corruopt administration in Washington DC. “This is not a traditional campaign” due to the shutdown, “we need businesses and people to mobilize right now.” Seaquist said he has managed 3000+ gov. employees with a $2 Billion dollar budget. He stated that his service as a  community leader gives him the necessary experience to “help pull ourselves out of this hole to a better future.” [Questionnaire posted 5/18; eligible for endorsement in June]

Commissioner of Public Lands – Hilary Franz     Not present, 2nd visit to 31st

Lieutenant Governor – Marko Liias

Mr. Liias stated that he is the most progressive candidate in this race. He has been serving as the President of WA State Senate scheduling bills, etc. Current sitting Lt Governor, Cyrus Habib, has endorsed Mr Liias. He is a champion of a progressive platform on healthcare, student debt, climate change,and “no Fossil Fuels” pledge.He has the experience to “move legislation swiftly for an economic recovery that is inclusive, with education for retraining unemployed workers. [Questionnaire is online; eligible for endorsement]

Lieutenant Governor – Denny Heck

Rep. Heck (WA10)  emphasized his “most important values, “as an advocate on behalf of our most vulnerable residents [on] social and economic justice,” “…It is the paramount duty of state legislators…”  continuing to fight against systemic racism, with solutions for [equal] access to public education and healthcare… (..he also listed more core democratic values). “.. and for a clean Puget Sound.” He also stated he would push for tax reform and HR-763 –a proposed carbon fee. His many endorsements include state tribal leaders and labor unions. [no questionnaire online yet; not eligible for endorsement]

Governor – Jay Inslee     –did not attend or send surrogate

31st LD State Representative, Pos. 1 – Katie Young

Ms Young will be challenging incumbent, State Rep. Drew Strokesbary. She is Sumner City native, raised in a small business family. She is a free-lance professional working in theater arts and member of the Actor’s Equity Assoc.  Ms. Young stated that her priorities are equal access to quality education, a living wage jobs, affordable healthcare and the climate crisis. [no questionnaire online; not eligible for endorsement]

Brian Gunn: “…Sometimes it feels like no one is listening–but not this time.” He explained his last minute plea for ‘brave souls’ to step up as candidates prior to filing deadline, and the incredible response he received from five people in 48 hours — leading to Katie Young and Tom Clark declaring their candidacy in the 31st LD.

31st LD State Representative, Pos. 2 – Thomas Clark

Mr. Clark is running for seat currently held by Morgan Irwin who will not be running.  However, there will be a GOP challenger. Mr Clark is a retired Boeing engineer, SPEEA Rep. who served six years in the US Navy. His work on defense projects required him to solve complex problems; he has taken diversity training, and worked with broad coalitions of people. He states that “…Divisiveness prevents good and reasonable things from happening…. If we work together we can achieve great things…and focus on getting things done.”. [no questionnaire online; not eligible for endorsement]


Brian G: Digital mobilizing will be critical for GOTV. “‘Thank You’ to Sarah Edwards and Tamara Strammel for your fabulous work.”


TREASURER’S REPORT (Ending date 4/30/2020)  Rudy Adams

  • April 2020 Treasurer’s report – The report was accepted as submitted following discussion re: cancellation/rescheduling of annual local fairs due to Covid-19. Motion to accept by Alli Pincus, seconded by John Westland.


Despite the challenges of coordinating our first-ever virtual Caucus due to COVID-19, and–after making 150 phonecalls to recruit delegates– the 31st LD fielded 34 delegates to the WA state Democratic convention! Thank you to all who stepped up to become delegates. Soon, another digital ballot will be arriving to elect WA delegates from the 8th & 10th CDs to attend the Democratic National Convention.


The assembled body agreed to skip committee reports– due to C-19 shutdown, there has been little activity. Next month we will have reports on 2020 election strategies.

Brian G: Made a motion to move to ‘New Business’ for candidate endorsements.

Jan F.: There are still 2 new PCO’s waiting to be approved.



Jan F.: Motioned to approve appointment of new PCO’s: Christi Keith & Whit Worcester. Motion So Moved by unanimous Voice Acclamation. Welcome new PCO’s!

Tamara S.: Recommended that we vote on the official endorsement ballot tomorrow. Tamara requested clarification on eligible candidates.



Endorsement debates for & against each candidate to be placed on the official 31st LD Endorsement Ballot –to be emailed only to voting LD members on 5/28/2020.

Brian G: Candidates eligible for endorsement by the 31st LD Democrats today are: Carolyn Ladd, Cindi Port, Hillary Madsen, Diana Kiesel (unopposed-withdrawn), Sabrina Ahrens (unopposed-withdrawn), Marco Liias –he is ONLY eligible for endorsement if motion to waive requirements is passed.[re: completion of candidate questionnaire 30 days prior to endorsement).


Alli P: Reminded the body that we can endorse multiple candidates for one position.

Alli P. moved to add Hillary Madsen to the endorsement ballot  for “increasing access to the judicial system for systemically marginalized, under-represented foster youth & juvenil es. Seconded by Tamara Strammel. So Moved.


John W: Moved to add Carolyn Ladd to the endorsement ballot for her stated solid progressive values.

Ingrid C.: Spoke against Ms. Ladd, stating that “for the past 25 years, MS Ladd has squashed claims against Boeing (her main client) for sexual harassment and discrimination; that she was considered as a candidate for POTUS’ federal bench, that she has always been on wrong side of the table on democratic values.”

Sarah E: Motioned to suspend rules–to allow for the candidate to respond.

Christi K: Seconded. By 2/3rds majority, the body voted to allow time for rebuttal.


Carolyn Ladd: “I have done alot of work in the area of accommodation for religious practice at work and have led national training on sexual harassment…I have been an ally of ‘Trans’ people for last 20 years, worked in private practice prior to Boeing with experience as pro-tem judge on the bench…I value diversity.”

Judge North: Stated that his “values are aligned with Democratic values which must be effectively  manifested in court.” including ESL interpreters and ASL as needed. Said that Ladd has opposed all claims against Boeing for harassment for the past 20 years.


Alli P: Moved to add Cindi Port to endorsement ballot, based on her breadth of experience–despite fact she is running unopposed–since she requested endorsement.

John W: Seconded.

Robin M.: Spoke against Ms Port’s endorsement–stating her questionnaire failed to reflect an understanding of the systemic racial bias in the US criminal justice system.

Sarah E:  Moved   to waive requirements for consideration of Helen Whitener.

Alli P:     Seconded. Motion passed by vote of 2/3rds.

Sarah E: Moved  to add Judge Helen Whitener to Endorsement ballot, based on her impressive background.

John W: Seconded  Stated that when he interviewed Judge Whitener, “she knocked it out of the park!”– and that she is clear about keeping implicit bias out of the courts.

Christi K: Question: Do we need a vote to add Marko Liias to the ballot?

Christi K:Moved to waive requirements for consideration of Marko Liias. 

Dan P:  Seconded. Passed by majority vote. (9 to 3 )

Christi K:Moved to add Marko Liias to Endorsement ballot. “Liias is a dedicated WA Leg member & floor leader, an avid advocate for family leave and Whole WA Healthcare, public education for everyone, and knows how to DO the job on day one.”

Dan P:  Seconded


Tamara S:  Moved   to waive requirements for consideration of four candidates: Hillary Franz, Gov Jay Inslee, Katie Young, Thomas Clark.

Alli P:     Seconded. Motion passed by vote of 2/3rds.

Tamara S:Moved to add Gov Jay Inslee to the Endorsement ballot, for his past work and handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Dan P:  Seconded

Christi K: Moved to amend to slate of four candidates for endorsement ballot

John W: Seconded.

Christi K: Moved to withdraw motion to amend to slate of four candidates for endorsement ballot. Then, Moved to add Gov Inslee to the Endorsement ballot

John W: Seconded

Dan P: :Moved to add Hillary Franz to the Endorsement ballot —spoke in her favor.

Rudy A:  Seconded

Tamara S:: Moved to add Katie Young to the Endorsement ballot, “for stepping up to run– Katie Young & Tom Clark deserve our support. We should put our faith in people who answer the call.”

Ingrid C.: Seconded.

Sarah E: Question–If we do not move to place them on the ballot at this time-do they get a second chance for endorsement later?

Brian G: Affirmative. The 31st LD Dems have such a rule.

Alli P:: Moved to add Thomas Clark to the Endorsement ballot

Rudy A.: Seconded. Spoke in favor of Tom Clark.


Tamara S:: Moved to allow time for candidate Phil Gardener to address the body.. 

Alli P:  Seconded

Phil Gardner is a candidate for the US House of Representatives, in WA 10th CD.

Mr. Gardner is District Director and member of the 27th LD– and a candidate who is actually lives within the 10th CD. He has been endorsed by the Pierce County Democratic Central Committee. “We are at a crossroads for our country…” stated that young people are a crucial part of this conversation.


Tamara S: Moved to waive requirements for consideration of Dr Kim Schrier. 

Christi K:  Seconded.

Robin M: Moved to add Kim Schrier to the Endorsement ballot,

Tamara S::  Seconded.

Christi K: Moved to add Carolyn Ladd to the Endorsement ballot. 

Rudy A:  Seconded.



31st LD have voted to include the following candidates on the official 31st LD Democrats Endorsement Ballot.  Members voted based on completion of the online questionnaire and motions by members for specific candidates to be considered for endorsement [using Zoom tool and voice vote]:

Carolyn Ladd, Cindi Port, Judge Helen Whitener, Hillary Madsen, Gov. Jay Inslee, Hillary Franz, Dr. Kim Schrier, Marco Liias, Katie Young, Tom Clark



Julian Wheeler spoke about recruitment for election observer training on July 13, at Pierce County Election HQ.



Christi Keith,  Moved

Rudy Adams  Seconded

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