Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tri-Citians Demonstrate Support for DREAMers

On a hot, smokey Tuesday afternoon, dozens of people lined George Washington Way in Richland to demonstrate against President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Many wore protective masks to avoid breathing in the throat-searing smoke. Most held signs expressing their views on the issue. All were supportive, and most of the traffic along GW Way, blew their horns and raised their thumbs in solidarity with the demonstrators, including a couple of semi-truck drivers, who blasted out their accord on their big rig's air horn.

According to Johanna Walters, writing in the Guardian, “The DACA program was a compromise devised by the Obama administration after Congress failed to pass the so-called Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (Dream) Act (thus the term “DREAMers), which would have offered those who had arrived illegally as children the chance of permanent legal residency. The bipartisan act was first introduced in 2001 and has repeatedly failed to pass,” due to Republican opposition.

The Northwest Immigrants' Rights Project provides basic information on DACA including President Trump’s decision to end the program as of March 5, 2018. The website also provides specific information on what you can expect if you’re a DACA recipient, and what to do under a variety of circumstances.

If you want to show your support for DACA, a good place to find ways to do that is the Faith Action Network page. To express concern and to demand legislative action to restore DACA and create a pathway to citizenship for its recipients, contact Rep Dan Newhouse, who has  already spoken out against this decision.

Washington AG Bob Ferguson has labeled the decision “cruel and unlawful,” and is threatening “to take Trump to court to protect the thousands of Dreamers in Washington state.” Go to his Twitter page and tell him thanks @AGOWA.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

First Day at the Benton-Franklin Fair

Richard Badalamente (L) and Mickey Beary (R) manning the Democratic Booth on the 9:30 am to 3:30 pm shift

Buck Sisson joining us at the booth. Buck manned the first shift with Barbara O'Brien and son, John

Hollis Morris, who served aboard the heavy cruiser, USS Baltimore from 1951 to 1955 stopped by to chat. Hollis said the Baltimore docked in England in 1953, he received liberty and was ashore for Queen Elizabeth's coronation.

Cristine Brown, Democratic Candidate for the 4th CD, stopped by the booth to chat.
We'd like to see some of our candidates for local elections come by the booth. Bring along your campaign literature. I brought extra copies of the WA Indivisible Voters' Pamphlet. Although the council seats are non-partisan, the opportunity to talk to voters is important, and you're welcome at the booth.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Democrats at the Benton-Franklin Fair & Rodeo 2017

Democrats of the 8th Legislative District and Benton County will be represented at this year's Benton-Franklin Fair & Rodeo again this year. Becky Voll, who managed the fair committee for us last year, rode in from Portland on her white steed to rescue the project.

When we looked at sign-ups for the fair last Friday, we had only about 10% coverage. By the end of the day Sunday, we had 90% of the shifts covered -- thanks to all of you who stepped up! -- and we had the booth up at the fair grounds. We're looking forward to meeting with all of you democrats at the fair. By the way, the "El Fat Cat Grill" is right next to the back entrance to the building.
As you enter the fair from the ticket windows, you'll see the Mattress Firm Expo Building Straight Ahead
Mattress Firm Expo Building
 Our booth location has changed from last year. We are still in the building labeled "Mattress Firm Expo Center," but the booth is along the side, rather at the entrance. The booth will be manned from 9:30 am to 11:00 pm, from Tuesday, August 22nd to Saturday, August 26th.

We still need some help on shifts. I need a partner for my 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm shift Tuesday, August 22nd. Ginger Wireman needs someone to help with her 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm shift Wednesday Aug 23rd. We need someone to take 11:30 to 12:30 Thursday, Aug 24th, and we'd like to get another person Friday, Aug 25th, 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Please let me (Richard 509-546-1420) or Becky (971-222-8862) know directly if you can help.
Becky enlisted the aid of her husband, Jim, to help construct the booth. John and Mimi Latta came over from the West Side to help.
Backdrop is up
Mimi Latta putting up the banner.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

8th LDDCC Bylaws -- In Case You Wondered

The 8th LD Democratic Central Committee (LDDCC) Bylaws are amended as part of the reorganization process undertaken in December or January following each state General Election held in even numbered years. The 8th LDDCC Bylaws were amended after the 2016 General Election, and approved by the Body on April 15, 2017.

As part of the process, the 8th Legislative District Democratic Organization (LDDO) was renamed the 8th Legislative District Democratic Central Committee (LDDCC).

The new Bylaws are awaiting the LDDCC Chair's sign-off and decision on their distribution and disposition. You can read the unofficial version here. Refer to the April 15th Meeting Minutes to see the discussion on the Bylaws.

8th LD Committee Woman Report, 8/23/2017

by Barbara O'Brien

WSDCC MEETING

The next meeting of the Washington State Democratic Central Committee will be held September 9-10, 2017 at the South Seattle Community College at 6000 – 16th Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98106. The host hotel will be the Red Lion Seattle Airport (18220 International Blvd., Seattle, WA 98188).

Unlike past State Committee meetings, this meeting will be held over a Saturday/Sunday

All State Committee members are expected to attend (those committee members with unavoidable conflicts should send a proxy. Chairs, Vice Chairs, and other Party Leaders are also invited.


FULL TIME EASTERN WASHINGTON ORGANIZER (tidbits from Tina)

Full-time, long-term Eastern Washington Organizer to our team!  Alex Scott - most recently Ben Stuckart’s Congressional Campaign Manager - started on August 14th. Alex trained with our team in Seattle for that week, and hit the ground running the following weekend in Spokane!

This marks a very important moment for us - delivering on a commitment to have full-time, long-term organizers on the ground in Eastern WA to help us compete in every race, in every place.  We're so excited to bring Alex's extensive local political experience to bear on our long-term project of building our grassroots organizing infrastructure from Asotin to Northport.

Information about Alex:

Alex is a Eastern Washington native.  Born and raised in the Walla Walla Valley, Alex served a four-year term on the College Place City Council, where he was elected as a college sophomore.  After graduating from Walla Walla University, he moved to Spokane to study law at Gonzaga University.  During his time in law school, Alex was a student intern in the Environmental Law and Land Use Clinic, the WSBA Moderate Means program and the Washington State Senate in Olympia. 

Following his graduation from law school, Alex worked for Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart as a legislative aide, and later as campaign manager during Stuckart’s congressional bid.  Alex is a member of the Institute for a Democratic Future Class of 2017.  He lives in Spokane, where he enjoys playing basketball, performing with his band Grooveacre, and exploring the great outdoors with his wife Camlynne and their two dogs, Kingsley and Beatrice.

Alex joins our full-time organizing team with Dylan, Kali, Maria and Nathan on data - a team that did not exist at all six months ago.  It’s The Resistance, and low dollar grassroots fundraising, that has made this possible.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GRANT AWARDED TO TRI-CITIES REGION

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This past week U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that the Benton-Franklin Council of Governments had been awarded an Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to implement a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) for the Tri-Cities region.

The grant contributes $75,000 to the $150,000 CEDS project, which establishes a roadmap for private and public sector collaboration to create economic development that strengthens and diversifies the regional economy, supports private investments, and creates jobs in the region.


HANFORD REACH PROTECTED

The Antiquities Act was signed by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906 to safeguard and preserve federal lands and cultural and historical sites for all people to enjoy. Since then, 16 presidents have used this authority to protect stunning landscapes, including the Grand Canyon, Acadia, Zion, and Olympic National Park.  Trump had included Hanford Reach as one of the sites he was not going to support.  Hanford Reach is 195,000 acres of land that is important to our area

JULY 12th

BREAKING: Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray have met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and have confirmed that Hanford Reach will continue to be protected.

She thanked members for submitting comments to protect our national monuments!   I was one of them.  So if you receive requests, please do so.  It's something you can do at home even if you can’t make it to other events due to physical or other commitment problems.  

MISC

Even though I was traveling this summer, I signed numerous petitions and questionnaires to save Planned Parenthood, Environmental Issues, Overturn Citizens United, Save Affordable Care Act, Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, gun control laws, petitions against his cabinet, too numerous to name.  Most of them to dump Trump.  Also wrote letters to Congress and the House.  I really fear for our country under Trump's leadership.

If you have any questions or want further information, I’ll be glad to email you more information.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Resolution Censuring President Donald Trump

Rep Pramila Jayapal's (D-WA)
From CNN today, 8/16/2017:

"Three House Democrats drafted a resolution to formally censure President Donald Trump for saying Tuesday that "both sides" shared responsibility for the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a young woman protesting hate groups, as well as injuring more than a dozen people.

Rep Jerry Nadler of New York, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey and Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington announced they planned to introduce the resolution when the House of Representatives has a brief "pro forma" session Friday. The House is currently on a five-week summer recess and members are not scheduled to be back in Washington until after Labor Day."

Here is Democratic Rep Pramila Jayapal's (WA-7) tweet linked to the resolution:
Call Rep Newhouse's office and urge that he support this resolution. Tell whoever answers the call that there aren't "many sides" to blame for the horror of Charlottesville. There's only one side. The side that supports Donald Trump, and vice versa. The side that spouts bigotry and hate. The side on which the White Supremacists and neo-Nazis reside. The slimy underbelly of the alt-Right movement to which Donald Trump panders. That side. That side's to blame. And he along with it.

His local office numbers are:

Tri-Cities: 509-713-7374
Yakima: 509-452-3243

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Early Returns for the 2017 Primary

We Tri-City voters are well on our way to exceeding our 16.85% voter turnout for the 2015 primary. Voter turnout for the 2017 Primary as of 8:03 PM was already at a whooping 19.85%! There are an estimated 3000 ballots to count, which would bring our total returned ballots to 24,390. The number of registered voters is 107,770. Thus, we could achieve 22.63% voter turnout for the 2017 Primary, exceeding our 2015 turnout by almost 6 percentage points!

Clearly, Tri-City voters are excited about electing people to local office who represent their values and beliefs and will best reflect those values and beliefs in the policy decisions they make on voters' behalf. For example, city council council seats were featured during this election. What do they deal with? You can get a feel for it from this list of commissions/committees:
  • The Arts Commission
  • Block Grant Advisory Committee
  • City's Consolidated Plan
  • Community Development Block Grant,
  • HOME Grant, and other grant programs as they relate to housing and community needs
  • The Civil Service Commission
  • Diversity Commission addressing the diverse culture in our community
  • Conservation Commission works to identify and actively encourage the conservation of the City's historic
  • The Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Planning Commission is a seven-member body appointed by City Council as advisers on matters relating to land use, economic development, infrastructure, and urban design.
So, voters pretty much determine the livability and sustainability of our communities.

That's apparently why voters were so willing to pry open the envelop in which their ballots were delivered -- practically to their front door -- fill in the few boxes for their city, and put the ballots in the mail box sometime during the more than three weeks they had to do this. Some voters may even have done background checks on the candidates. WA Indivisible CD4 provided them a pamphlet that did the job for them, so perhaps the decisions they made were actually informed. One can only hope.

Something less than one quarter of voters in our communities will choose the people who may ultimately determine the livability and sustainability of our communities.

I'm overwhelmed!