Sunday, December 12, 2010

2011 Olympia House Standing Committees

Thanks to Seth Dawson, we have this useful information to share about the upcoming legislative session.

For the 2011-2012 Legislative Session, the Olympia House of Representatives will have 21 Standing Committees:

  • Agriculture & Natural Resources (AGNR)
  • Business & Financial Services (BFS)
  • Capital Budget (CB)
  • Community Development & Housing (CDH)
  • Early Learning & Human Services (ELHS)
  • Education (ED)
  • Education Appropriations & Oversight (APPE)
  • Environment (ENVI)
  • General Government Appropriations & Oversight (APPG)
  • Health & Human Services Appropriations & Oversight (APPH)
  • Health Care & Wellness (HCW)
  • Higher Education (HE)
  • Judiciary (JUDI)
  • Labor & Workforce Development (LWD)
  • Local Government (LG)
  • Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness (PSEP)
  • Rules (RUL)
  • State Government & Tribal Affairs (SGTA)
  • Technology, Energy & Communications (TEC)
  • Transportation (TR)
  • Ways & Means (WAYS)

2011-12 House Standing Committees/Issue Areas

Please note: This is a general description of issue areas considered by committees; not a definitive or exhaustive listing. It is provided solely to assist members in requesting committee assignments.

Agriculture & Natural Resources

The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee considers issues relating to agricultural production, marketing, and sales; animal and plant disease control; fisheries and wildlife; forest practices and forest fire protection; water; and mining. The committee also considers the management of certain state-owned lands.

Business & Financial Services

The House Business & Financial Services Committee considers the licensing and regulation of businesses and professions (except for health care professions). The committee also considers issues relating to insurance, including the activities of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency, the solvency of insurance companies, and the rates and practices of insurance companies. Financial services issues include the safety and soundness of state banks and credit unions, the regulation of consumer credit and lending, and the regulation of securities and investments. The committee also considers consumer protection issues relating to motor vehicles, financial services, and insurance.

Capital Budget

The House Capital Budget Committee considers the state capital budget which approves money for the construction and repair of public buildings and for other long-term investments, such as land acquisitions and transfers. In addition, the committee considers state money that is either given or lent to local governments or nonprofit organizations for infrastructure, housing, and cultural and heritage facilities. The committee also considers legislation that authorizes state debt and legislation that affects state buildings and land.

Community Development and Housing

The House Community Development and Housing Committee considers issues relating to the economic and social vitality of communities, including the establishment and operation of special districts that provide community services, community development funding, strategies to build self-sufficiency for low income communities, small business, business assistance and financing, tourism, and trade. Housing issues considered by the committee include the accessibility and affordability of housing, state assistance to low-income housing, housing authorities and the Housing Finance Commission.

Early Learning & Human Services

The House Early Learning and Human Services Committee considers issues relating to early learning from birth to kindergarten, as well as a broad array of issues affecting children and families, including parent education, foster care, dependency, child protective services, child welfare services, children's mental health and family reconciliation services. The committee also considers family support programs, including TANF and Disability Lifeline, issues relating to persons with developmental disabilities, adults in need of drug and alcohol treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and at risk-youth, youth violence prevention and juvenile offenders.


The House Education Committee considers kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) educational policy and finance issues.

Education Appropriations & Oversight

The House Education Appropriations & Oversight Committee considers issues relating to funding and oversight of early learning, K-12, and higher education programs and agencies and makes funding recommendations to the Ways and Means Committee. In addition, the committee considers bills relating to early learning, K-12 and higher education with limited fiscal impact.


The House Environment Committee considers issues relating to climate change, renewable energy standards, recycling and solid waste, hazardous waste, toxics, air quality, aquatic lands, oil spill prevention, the State Environmental Policy Act, and parks and recreation. The committee also oversees the Puget Sound Partnership's activities in Puget Sound and Hood Canal.

General Government Appropriations & Oversight

The House General Government Appropriations & Oversight Committee considers issues relating to funding and oversight of general government, natural resources and corrections programs and agencies and makes funding recommendations to the Ways and Means Committee. In addition, the committee considers bills relating to general government, natural resources and corrections with limited fiscal impact.

Health & Human Services Appropriations & Oversight

The House Health and Human Services Appropriations & Oversight Committee considers issues relating to funding and oversight of health and human services programs and agencies and makes funding recommendations to the Ways and Means Committee. In addition, the committee considers bills relating to health and human services with limited fiscal impact.

Health Care & Wellness

The House Health Care and Wellness Committee considers a broad range of issues relating to the provision of physical and mental health care services, long-term care, and strategies to promote better health. Health care service issues include the licensing and regulation of health care facilities and the credentialing of health care providers. The committee also regulates pharmacies and pharmaceutical drugs, and has oversight and regulatory responsibility for state and local public health programs. The committee also considers issues relating to the accessibility and affordability of health care in both the private health insurance market and public health programs such as Medicaid and the basic health plan.

Higher Education

The House Higher Education Committee considers issues relating to the state's public and independent baccalaureate colleges and universities, public community and technical colleges, and private career schools. Issues include governance and coordination of higher education, financial aid, tuition, distance learning, and the licensing of private colleges and career schools.


The House Judiciary Committee considers a wide variety of subjects relating to civil and criminal law, including issues involving commercial law, torts, probate, guardianships, civil commitment, drunk driving, courts and judicial administration, landlord/tenant law, and Consumer Protection Act remedies and processes; and family law issues such as marriage, marriage dissolution, child support and adoption.

Labor & Workforce Development

The House Labor and Workforce Development Committee considers issues relating to industrial insurance, unemployment compensation, collective bargaining, family leave, safety and health standards, and employment standards, such as wage laws and employment discrimination. The committee also considers issues relating to the building and construction trades, and workforce development issues, including apprenticeships, job skills and working retraining, and implementation of the Workforce Investment Act.

Local Government

The House Local Government Committee considers issues relating to the operations and financing of counties, cities, and some special districts. The committee also considers issues relating to the Growth Management Act and related land use issues, such as local permitting and the subdivision of property.

Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness

The House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee considers issues relating to law enforcement agencies, crime prevention, criminal penalties and sentencing, registration and civil commitment of sex offenders, adult correctional programs and institutions, mentally ill offenders, and state and local government preparedness to respond to public emergencies, including the interoperability of emergency communications systems.


The House Rules Committee considers all bills reported from policy and fiscal committees and determines whether, and in what order, to schedule their consideration on the floor of the House. The Rules Committee also reviews, adopts and schedules consideration of floor resolutions.

State Government & Tribal Affairs

The House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee considers issues relating to the processes of government, including state agency rule-making, state government reorganization, elections and campaign finance, public disclosure, ethics in government, procurement standards, and public employment. The committee also oversees various state agencies and officials, and considers the regulation and oversight of liquor, tobacco and gambling, and issues relating to veterans and the government-to-government relationship of the state and Indian tribes.

Technology, Energy & Communications

The House Technology, Energy & Communications Committee considers deployment, regulation, and access to technology and electronic communications; energy availability, production, and conservation; and related infrastructure issues.


The House Transportation Committee considers the transportation budget, revenue sources for transportation funding, and issues relating to transportation policy and transportation agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the Washington State Patrol.

Ways & Means

The House Ways and Means Committee considers the operating budget bill, global fiscal issues such as pension policy and compensation, and bills with larger fiscal impacts. The committee also coordinates the work of the Education Appropriations & Oversight, General Government Appropriations & Oversight, and Health and Human Services Appropriations & Oversight Committees in developing the operating budget. The committee also considers issues relating to state and local revenues, such as increases or decreases in taxes, exemptions from taxes, and changes in the administration of taxes. (Note: Issues involving revenue for transportation purposes, such as gasoline taxes, are usually considered by the House Transportation Committee.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stand Up for Grocery Store Workers

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ivan Weiss <>
Date: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 8:08 PM
Subject: FW: Stand Up for Grocery Store Workers
To: King County Democrats

Time for Democrats to stand up and be counted, and to support our UFCW brothers and sisters. A note for the 34th -- Thriftways -- and, I think, Saar's Marketplace are not included. Metropolitan Market, Morgan St. Thriftway, and Vashon Thriftway are under "me too" contracts. In case of a strike or lockout, they would not be picketed and their UFCW members would continue to work under the present contract. Once UFCW and the "Big 4" agreed to a new contract, Thriftway and Saar's UFCW employees would be bound by it.
Every local Democratic Party organization should get this call out to its members and mobilize for support. We should all adopt stores as Steve asks us to do below. We did this successfully in 2004 and we can do it again. We also should begin passing the hat for contributions to the Puget Sound Labor Agency, which raises money to support striking and locked-out union members. 
Let's roll. Thanks.
Ivan Weiss         King County Committeeman, 34th District Democrats
PO Box 860
Vashon WA 98070    206-463-4647
"When they're working, we're working
When they're sleeping, we're working."


From: Steve Williamson []
Sent: Friday, November 12, 2010 7:51 PM
Subject: Stand Up for Grocery Store Workers

94%Stand Up for Puget Sound Grocery Store Workers

Grocery store workers at the big chains have been in negotiations for a new contract since March. After nine months, the employers are still proposing cuts to pay, cuts to health benefits, and cuts to the pension. There are three unions bargaining together – UFCW 21, UFCW 81 and Teamsters 38.
Earlier this week, grocery store workers from across King, Snohomish and Kitsap Counties attended standing-room only meetings to vote on the employer proposals. After the final meeting on Wednesday night, the ballots were counted and 94% of grocery store workers from Safeway, QFC, Fred Meyer, and Albertsons had voted to reject the employers' proposal and authorize a strike. The vote sends a strong message to the employers that grocery store workers want a fair contract and that the current proposal by the employers is extreme.

Today (November 12th) both the union and the employers were able to agree to set bargaining dates for next Thursday and Friday, the 18th and 19th of November — the week before Thanksgiving.

Seatac Vote MeetingWhat your members can do

As a labor and community ally, we thought you may want to know about three actions that you can ask all your members to do today and over the coming weeks to show support for grocery store workers:

  1. Talk to your local checkers, meat cutters, produce workers, and deli clerks at Safeway, QFC, Fred Meyer and Albertsons and let them know that you stand with them and support their fight for a fair contract.
  2. When you do your shopping, ask to speak to the manager or person in charge. Let them know you will not be shopping at the store if the companies force the workers out on strike because they will not make a fair contract offer.
  3. Click here to watch our Stand UP video, then post it on your Facebook page and share it with your friends and family.

What your organization can do

  1. Pass along this email to your membership list.
  2. Adopt the local QFC, Safeway, Fred Meyer, or Albertsons store where you would join actions for a fair contract in the next week and would offer support in case of a strike or lockout. Please fill out this form if you or your organization is willing to adopt a store.

Click to view this email in a browser

5030 First Ave S #200
Seattle, Washington 98134

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Update on the Shoreline Master Program

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 3:50 PM
Subject: SMP update

Thank you for contacting me regarding King County's Shoreline Master Program (SMP).  I appreciate your feedback and am writing with an update.


Two weeks ago, I proposed a striking amendment to the SMP that included a "natural" designation for the property in question on Maury Island.  I was prepared to vote for that amendment on Monday in order to meet the state's December 1 deadline for SMP adoption.  A majority of my colleagues chose to delay that vote by sending the legislation back to committee.  


This afternoon, however, I had the great pleasure of joining Executive Constantine at a press conference to announce the proposed purchase of the 235-acre site on Maury Island's eastern shore, owned by CalPortland.  This is exciting news, as it will allow us to preserve this critical shoreline area.


Again, thank you for your input on this issue.  Please feel free to contact me in the future at (206) 296-1001 or 




Bob Ferguson
King County Councilmember
Metropolitan King County Council, District 1
516 3rd Avenue, Room 1200
Seattle, WA 98104
ph: (206) 296-1001 | fx: (206) 296-0198 
For more information: 
Visit our website to view the latest District 1 eNews




Chad Lupkes -
Chair, 46th District Democrats -
1st Vice Chair, King County Democrats -
Webmaster, Washington State Democratic Chairs Organization -

Sunday, November 7, 2010

King County Democrats Newsletter, November 2010 Week 1

You can read the current edition of "The King County Democrat" here,

Thank you to everyone who supported the Democratic campaigns - King County is showing its strength in numbers once again and you all should be very proud of your efforts. And, thank you to all candidates for representing our values and for running great campaigns.

You may want to visit the Secretary of State's election results

to see when Charlie Wiggins takes the lead in the Supreme Court Justice race - GO CHARLIE!!

And, Luis - we love ya! Luis is now 638 votes ahead in LD 1, Position 2.

Thanks to all,
Susan Sheary

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Four Questions and Four Answers


What was the average monthly private sector job growth in 2008, the final year of the Bush presidency, and what has it been so far in 2010?

What was the Federal deficit for the last fiscal year of the Bush presidency, and what was it for the first full fiscal year of the Obama presidency?

What was the stock market at on the last day of the Bush presidency? What is it at today?

Which party's candidate for speaker will campaign this weekend with a Nazi reenactor who dressed up in a SS uniform?


In 2008, we lost an average of 317,250 private sector jobs per month. In 2010, we have gained an average of 95,888 private sector jobs per month. (Source) That's a difference of nearly five million jobs between Bush's last year in office and President Obama's second year.

In FY2009, which began on September 1, 2008 and represents the Bush Administration's final budget, the budget deficit was $1.416 trillion. In FY2010, the first budget of the Obama Administration, the budget deficit was $1.291 trillion, a decline of $125 billion. (Source) Yes, that means President Obama has cut the deficit -- there's a long way to go, but we're in better shape now than we were under Bush and the GOP.

On Bush's final day in office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 closed at 7,949, 1,440, and 805, respectively. Today, as of 10:15AM Pacific, they are at 11,108, 2,512, and 1,183. That means since President Obama took office, the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 have increased 40%, 74%, and 47%, respectively.

The Republican Party, whose candidate for speaker, John Boehner, will campaign with Nazi re-enactor Rich Iott this weekend. If you need an explanation why this is offensive, you are a lost cause.

The moral of the story is this: if you vote Republican, I hope you enjoy Election Day -- because you're not going to like what comes next.

Thanks to Jay Brand for passing this out.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ballots on the way… WE need you for GOTV!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 2:51 PM
Subject: Ballots on the way… WE need you for GOTV!

Dear R-52 supporter,
Believe it or not, ballots will be hitting our mailboxes any day now.  We're just over 2 weeks out from Election Day and there is still much more work left to do.   That's why we're ramping up our efforts to contact voters about Referendum 52 - but we need your help! 
We'll be partnering with the Protect Washington campaign to run canvasses to turn out supportive voters in Seattle.  Can you attend one of the following events?
  • Saturday, October 23rd - 10am at Jefferson Community Center
  • Saturday, October 30th - 11am at Phinney Community Center. . .Join Bill Gates, Sr!
Email for more information or to sign up.
Canvassing's not your bag?  You can still help us reach our base voters by flyering at one of the upcoming events:
  • Monday, October 18th, Rally with Bill Clinton at Paine Field (Everett) at 2pm
  • Thursday, October 21st, Rally with President Obama at Hec Ed Pavillion (UW) at noon
  • Saturday, October 30th, Rally to Restore Sanity at Westlake Center at 9am
Please email if you are able to attend and help spread the word about Referendum 52.

Thank you!
Meagan Dixon
Deputy Manager, Approve R-52
(425) 273-6976
Our kids can't wait for healthy schools!  Support R-52 at, donations needed for voter contact effort!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What Making A Difference Looks Like...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Senator Eric Oemig <>
Date: Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 4:21 PM
Subject: What Making A Difference Looks Like...
To: Chad Lupkes <>

Dear Chad,

I spent Saturday walking Duvall in the rain to meet with neighbors.

A lot of folks asked why I am running again. Why endure the attacks. the long hours. time away from family. and campaigning in the rain?

The answer is simple. Because we made a difference. Some good bills died. But when we won, when we made a difference, that's the reward.

Four years ago I ran to fundamentally change "the system". We can keep fighting one-by-one on issue-by-issue, but to get really big and lasting change, we must rewrite the rules of the game. Unlimited corporate campaign finance and media consolidation have stacked the deck. Big corporations practically write their own regulations. That is why I work so hard on campaign finance reform.

Ironically, (but not surprisingly) now I am under a well-funded and coordinated attack by big corporations. I need your help.

I put together a short list of some important things we have done together. On top everything I do in Olympia, here are some things that would absolutely, positively not have happened if you hadn't gotten me there in the first place.

In my first year, we changed the constitution to allow simple majorities to fund our schools. There was not a single vote to spare. Education advocates spent 2 decades trying to get the Senate to pass that bill. Because of your help, I was there to cast the 33rd vote to make that happen. And because of it, we've put hundreds of millions of new dollars into public schools.


In my second year I created Staff joked that I left Microsoft to come to Olympia to design software. But I believe we need many budget hawks scouring the budget to make us better. This web site puts budget and performance data on the web so it is easy to use.


In my third year, I helped pass the most comprehensive education reform in over 30 years. I worked under threats, but I brought people together and forged just enough votes to pass it. We redefined school funding, set up new accountability, and created a blue print for ambitious improvements over the next 8 years.


And this year, in the worst recession in over 80 years, I protected funding for public schools. I created local financing tools that put over 150 million dollars back into local school districts to protect classes and class sizes.

Here are a couple more:

Changed the constitution to create a "rainy day fund"
Limited campaign contributions for local races and allowed community financing.
Increased school funding and created the "Education data & research center".
Helped small businesses and local businesses compete and create local jobs.     
Helped poor kids get access to healthcare and fed them at school.
Limited toxic chemicals used in toys and baby bottles.

And that's the short list.

To keep fighting for all the things we care about, I need your help. Please send an email to your neighbors and friends. Tell them in your own words why you support me. Or forward this email.

So why are out-of-state companies spending so much money to attack me? Because I fight every day to protect our local businesses, our families, and our local communities.

I am trying to close some terrible loopholes that create pathological incentives.

One loophole gives corporations a volume discount for generating huge amounts of hazardous waste. Besides being utterly stupid, that loophole hurts small businesses. I want to close it.


Another loophole gives out-of-state banks a hundred million dollar tax give-away. That lost revenue does not create a single local job. I want to close it.


Another loophole lets insurance companies deny coverage for autistic kids. The burden on parents is ripping families apart and taxing our safety net. I want to close it.


Another utterly stupid loophole gives a foreign-owned company a tax break for burning dirty coal. If they used a cleaner fuel, they would pay tax. I want to close it.

It is no wonder banks, oil and insurance companies are funding attacks. Corporations want me out of Olympia.

You can help. Forward this note to your friends and neighbors, contribute online, or ask for a yard sign.

I'm ready to keep up the fight, but I can't do it without you.

Thank you,



Tonight at 7:00 PM
PTSA Candidate Forum
Wilder Elementary School
22130 NE 133rd St
Woodinville, WA 98077

Monday at 6:00 PM
Fundraiser with Enviro Leaders
Montlake Ale House
2307 24th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98112

Volunteer! Email Winston at


The Times endorses Suzan DelBene in the 8th Congressional District

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Scott Whiteaker <>
Date: Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 4:34 PM
Subject: The Times endorses Suzan DelBene in the 8th Congressional District
To: Scott Whiteaker <>


The Times endorses Suzan DelBene in the 8th Congressional District


WHEN Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn retired in 2004 from the 8th District that spans eastern King and Pierce counties, the Republican Party looked far and wide for a candidate to fill her capable shoes.


King County Sheriff Dave Reichert was chosen and elected on a wave of popular appeal for a law-enforcement officer whose dogged decades-long work led to the capture of the Green River killer. Now a three-term congressman, Reichert has failed to ably fill the Dunn legacy.


The Seattle Times endorses Democrat Suzan DelBene. The technology entrepreneur from Medina is politically untested but offers tremendous promise.


A deep and continuing financial crisis calls out for someone with sharp business and entrepreneurial skills and an acute understanding of what went wrong in the first place. DelBene is an unambiguous supporter of the tough financial reforms recently enacted by Congress. Reichert would work to repeal parts of the reform legislation. A repeal would signal a return to diminished federal oversight and watered-down consumer protections.


The two candidates also disagree about the newly created consumer finance protection agency. DelBene supports it. Reichert does not.


DelBene is not a guaranteed Democratic vote. She would have gone further to reform Wall Street, including reviving the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era legislation that once kept commercial lending separate from investment activities. DelBene seems to grasp the urgency to simplify and reinvigorate government oversight.


Her push for political leadership that hews toward smaller, shorter bills is compelling after a year focused largely on legislation thousands of pages long – health-care reform, for example.


By contrast, Reichert supports repealing health-care reform, an effort that would further distract Congress from guiding a still-fragile recovery.


DelBene is unequivocal about the need to disengage America from two protracted and expensive wars. Long-term stability in Afghanistan, DelBene says, is best led by the Afghans.


The Democrat supports significant investment in transportation infrastructure as a way to speed up the movement of cargo and help this region's bottom line on trade.


DelBene supports net neutrality and the role of the Federal Communications Commission in regulating the Internet. Unfettered access to the Internet resonates in the tech-oriented 8th District. Reichert has gone back and forth on the issue, supporting net neutrality in his 2006 re-election campaign, but more recently signing a letter urging the chair of the FCC not to proceed with plans to protect net neutrality.


Jennifer Dunn represented the 8th District with a balanced, pragmatic and district-focused style. Reichert knows his district well as the former King County Sheriff. On issues such as federal funding of stem-cell research, he has hesitatingly – but in the end correctly – parted with the GOP and voted in favor of science-based efforts to cure many illnesses.


But Reichert's leadership after six years has failed to invoke the same shrewd, bipartisan tone demonstrated by Dunn. Time to give DelBene, a smart moderate, a chance.


Copyright © The Seattle Times Company


Scott Whiteaker

Communications Director

Delbene for Congress



Chad Lupkes -
Chair, 46th District Democrats -
1st Vice Chair, King County Democrats -
Webmaster, Washington State Democratic Chairs Organization -

Monday, September 20, 2010

Please sign the voting pledge!!!

Imagine…it’s election night 2010. The first round of ballots has been counted. Initiative 1098, a major tax policy reform in support of schools and health care, leads by a handful of votes. Both I-1098 and Ref. 52, which creates jobs by renovating schools for energy efficiency, will head to an automatic recount.

Washington’s future – our ability to educate our children and care for our seniors – hangs in the balance!

There are only 43 days until election day, and only 25 days until voters receive their ballots in the mail. The scenario we are imagining could very well happen – that’s why we’re asking you to sign our pledge to vote today!

We have an historic opportunity to help build a world-class education system and invest in health care for kids and seniors. I-1098 cuts taxes for small business and property- owners while establishing a limited income tax on the wealthiest 1% of households. Both I-1098 and R52 are supported by the King County Democrats as well as local teachers, nurses, firefighters, and people who care about our communities.

The rest of the initiatives are sponsored by lobbyists and special interests. In fact, BP Oil, Conoco Oil and Tesoro Oil are all behind I-1053 because it would let them keep their tax breaks. The BIAW is pushing I-1082 to benefit big insurance companies like AIG. Wal-Mart is behind the risky liquor initiatives, and Big Soda Lobbyist the American Beverage Association has pumped in over $14 million to run a deceptive campaign behind I-1107.

In order to sweep all the ballot initiative races, we need 1.2 million voters on our side by November 2nd.

The only way we can do that is to identify as many supporters as possible, get them the information they need, and get their commitment to vote.

We need your help.

Please, sign our pledge to vote today and ask 10 of your friends to sign the pledge as well.

Please, read over the attached Fact Sheet, and let us know what you need to make an informed decision on all the ballot initiatives.

Do it for Washington’s future, for our kids and our seniors, for the education and healthcare systems that we know we need.

Thank you.

Evening with Aaron Brown

A Fundraiser for the Municipal League of King County

Western Bridge (at the foot of the West Seattle Bridge in SoDo, south of downtown Seattle)
3412 4th Avenue South
Seattle, WA

Sunday, October 3, 2010 from 5-8 PM

He was a Northwest staple for many years before he made it to the "big leagues" and became a network anchor, covering everything from 9/11 to the frontlines. Now he is back to meet you, talk about where he has been and what he has seen, enjoy Western Bridge's gallery, and talk about why the Municipal League of King County deserves your support. Come and meet Aaron Brown, sample Northwest wines, enjoy appetizers, meet our new Executive Director, and support your Muni League.

Tickets are based on a suggested donation of $150 at the door, or you can get your ticket now by clicking here. They are going fast, so rsvp today!

We are happy to introduce Lauri Hennessey, our new Executive Director. Lauri brings 20 years of experience working with the media, government, fundraising and events, and elected officials. Please join us in welcoming her and come and say hello!

CLICK HERE TO Register Now!

This event is generously brought to you by Alaska Airlines, the Seattle Pan Pacific Hotel, Perkins Coie, and Western Bridge.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moving America Forward



Following the momentum generated for Democrats as a result of the outcome of Tuesday’s primaries, the Democratic National Committee today launched its latest initiative to motivate and mobilize thousands of activists and to provide them with the resources they need to tell voters what is at stake in this Fall’s elections. In addition to the site above, these materials will be sent via email, posted on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and will be printed out and given to activists at events across the country.

Voters have made it perfectly clear that they want to move the country forward and not back to the Bush-era Republican policies of the past that put our nation in the mess it finds itself today. With less than three months to go until the midterm elections, these resources – downloadable talking points and pockets cards framing the election - will inform voters and activists about the choice in this election and what is at stake – moving America forward as Democrats and President Obama have done or taking us backward.

The site also features a video of the President making the most forceful contrasts he has made with Republicans to date, laying out clearly for Americans what is at stake and motivating our supporters to get in gear and to get to work to elect and re-elect his allies.

Monday, August 9, 2010

An invitation to our Veterans

My name is Jared Axelrod, and I am a Field Organizer for Senator Patty Murray's campaign. On behalf of Patty Murray, I wanted to invite you to a Veterans for Murray Reception with Patty on Friday, August 13 at 1:30PM at the Renton VFW Post 1263, located at 416 Burnett Avenue South, Renton, WA 98057. This will be a great opportunity to meet Patty, and hear from her on issues affecting the veterans and military family community.

As the daughter of a disabled World War II veteran, Patty Murray has worked tirelessly to fulfill the commitments made to our men and women in uniform. She’s fought to ensure they have access to the health care, education, and housing assistance they deserve. She’s pushed to keep our state’s VA hospitals open, build new clinics, increase access to housing for homeless veterans, made the needs of women veterans a priority and helped pass a new GI Bill.

Keeping our promises to our veterans is a core American value and one that Patty Murray upholds every day.

If you are interested in attending, you can RSVP to me, either via email or by calling 425-941-8536. An invitation is attached, so please feel free to send to others who may be interested.

We hope to see you on Friday.

Thank you,


Jared Axelrod
Field Organizer
People for Patty Murray
O: 425-462-5288
C: 425-941-8536

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Put BP on the hook!

Dear Susan,

Through risk-taking and negligence, BP has created an environmental and economic catastrophe in the Gulf Coast in the form of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

And by the time all is said and done, the pure economic cost of the disaster will likely be many billion dollars.

That's why I proudly signed on to a letter with 54 of my Democratic Senate colleagues Monday, calling on BP CEO Tony Hayward to establish a special $20 billion account -- to be administered by an independent trustee -- for cleanup and economic recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

Today, I'm asking you to join us.

Please add your name as a citizen co-signer of our letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward: Urge BP to fund a $20 billion special account for Gulf cleanup and recovery efforts!

Let me be clear: This $20 billion fund would not limit BP's liability. Instead, it would be just the first down payment on the total cleanup and recovery costs from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

As we learned in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, companies often say all the right things at the time -- only to walk away and leave taxpayers holding the bag for years.

I'm not going to let that happen here.

By establishing this $20 billion special account now, managed by an independent trustee, we can make sure that BP won't be able to delay payments or attempt to avoid responsibility for the damage it's caused -- not now, not five years from now, not ever.

Please add your name as a citizen co-signer of our letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward: Urge BP to fund a $20 billion special account for Gulf cleanup and recovery efforts!

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has quickly become one of the greatest environmental disasters in history -- and I want to be sure that nothing like it happens again.

That's why I've joined my Senate colleagues from Washington, Oregon, and California in calling for a permanent ban on oil drilling off the West Coast. It's also why I'm pushing to eliminate the $75 million cap on oil company liabilities, so we remove incentives for excessive risk-taking and make sure BP pays for what it has done.

As for the Gulf of Mexico, we must ensure that BP takes full responsibility for the corners they cut and the damages they've caused. And having earned more than $6 billion in profits last quarter alone, not only can BP afford to do it, the rest of us can't afford it if they don't.

Please join our call today -- and urge BP to fund this initial $20 billion special account for Gulf cleanup and recovery.

Thank you,

Patty Murray
U.S. Senator

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Partners in Preservation campaign result

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "Town Hall Seattle"
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:37:27 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Want To Guess How It Ends?

Dear friends,
As you might have seen last night, the Schooner Adventuress edged out Town Hall, 20%-19% in the Partners in Preservation campaign.

Well, the bigs over at Partners in Preservation slept on it, and “in recognition of the extreme closeness of the competition and the extraordinary efforts of both organizations to rally support,” decided that “Town Hall Seattle will also receive their full grant request of $125,000.” This is unprecedented in the five years of PIP programs across the country (Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, New Orleans)…

In announcing the decision, PIP said that “Town Hall Seattle staged a comeback resulting in several swings of the tally on the final day of voting.”

That was yesterday, and that was you, along with thousands of other Town Hall members and friends. Your vote, and your unflagging advocacy to others, truly made this possible. It was that close.

We’ll be back in touch regarding our project itself—if all goes according to plan you’ll see scaffolding around the building this summer.

In the meantime, our sincere congratulations to the Schooner Adventuress for a great campaign, and to the other 23 truly wonderful sites awaiting word on their levels of funding. These places are integral to our sense of collective memory that is the foundation of a healthy community. Western Washington is a richer place for these treasures, and for the people who ensure their continued life. (And I am personally grateful to PIP for giving me at least 10 things to check out this summer—from Johnson Farm on Anderson Island to the Bowman Bay Kitchen Shelter!)

But really, congratulations to you. Your ideas, energy, and commitment are the font of all good things at Town Hall. Not just in this crazy campaign, but all year long.

Wier Harman
Executive Director
Town Hall Seattle

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Share your priorities with Congressman Jay Inslee!

I am so grateful for your support.

Over the past few weeks, we've accomplished some things no one thought we could. We made some major strides on important issues -- and I wanted to take a moment to recognize how much I've valued your insight, your feedback and critiques, and your tremendous support throughout the process.

Big issues like health care reform touch us all deeply and stimulate strong, passionate debate. I've heard from many of you about your feelings on this -- from anger to excitement, frustration to hope. What I think distinguishes us in Washington State is the way that -- no matter how our opinions may differ -- we can remain civil and constructive, always building bridges, seeking positive ways to make our community stronger, and listening with respect to each other.

I know good listeners make stronger leaders -- so I want to know what you think.

With the first health care fight behind us, I want to hear what you think is the most important issue to confront next.

I am ready to dig in on Wall Street reform, push clean energy to the forefront, and make sure we pass other measures to grow the economy and create more new jobs.

What do you think should be at the top of our priority list? Let me know -- click here and tell me which issue you think is most important.

Thanks again for your support and for taking the time to give me your feedback -- together we can continue to accomplish great things.

Very truly yours,

Jay Inslee
Member of Congress

King County Democrats LAC Meeting this Sunday with Special Guests!

Please come this Sunday, April 18, 2010 from 2 PM to 4 PM for a special post-Legislative session briefing with special guests Representative Ross Hunter, Representative Larry Springer, and Senator Eric Oemig!

Redmond Public Library

15990 NE 85th St
Redmond, WA

Click here for directions.

This is a great opportunity to be updated on the just completed Legislative session in Olympia and what we can look forward to next year regarding new and unfinished legislation. In addition we expect a lively discussion of what we can expect to look forward to next year regarding the budget and its impact on services and revenue sources.

This event is open to the public.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Say yes to a permanent beer tax increase

A message to Democratic budget leadership: Say yes to a permanent beer tax increase

I was once a lobbyist for chemical dependency treatment programs. The first day I was in Olympia, one of the lobbyists for the big brewers shoved his card in my hand and made every effort to intimidate me. I can only guess how the combined pressure feels to you.

Nevertheless, I would ask you to consider the beer tax on its merits, which are many. I am in favor of raising the beer tax because its value has decreased 25% in Wa State since it was last increased in 1997. While it is true that some beer will be brought from Oregon to WA, the data I found showed 86% as many sales from WA going into Canada, so that point was pretty much canceled out.

There is strong public support for a beer tax if it is spent on prevention and treatment. This should be taken into account, especially since the final budget cut drug treatment across the board by 3% (if this is still true). Requiring people on GAU disability to go to treatment will require more treatment slots, and outpatient slots won't do much good if these people are jobless and homeless. They need inpatient treatment for 60 to 90 days. By extension, dedicating some of the tax to GAU disability medical coupons would make a good nexus.

Increasing the cost of beer will cause a decrease in teenage drinking, since beer is the favorite beverage of underage drinkers and they are more affected by cost increases than the general public is. Increasing the cost of beer has the documented effect of lowering rapes, STDs and teen pregnancies, by about 2%. Over 90% of domestic violence cases involve drunken behavior, according to police. Again, beer is most often involved and raising the price will marginally decrease this behavior. Beer is the beverage of choice of most alcoholics, so, while increasing the price will not stop their drinking, it will cause them to drink marginally less, causing less physical harm to themselves.

The federal beer tax has been increased only once since 1951. It would have to increase about 350% to reflect the cost of inflation since then. Beer is effectively much cheaper than it was in the '50s. It is also making us fatter.

There is no relation between the amount of beer tax and the amount of beer drinking. Wisconsin has among the highest rates of beer consumption and the lowest beer tax. The amount of beer consumption is mainly cultural. Tourist towns such as NYC and New Orleans have among the lowest rates.

Many of these facts are documented on a site called Beer Soaks America.

Please do not make this tax temporary. We have a deficit in the next biennium and a structural deficit thereafter, with obligations to fund pensions and education. We can take this one to the bank and work on closing tax loopholes and other good policy initiatives.

King County Democrats and Washington State Democrats voted in January to oppose regressive taxes and to support revenue increases, particularly non-performing tax exemptions, as opposed to more cuts.

Sarajane Siegfriedt, co-chair
King County Democrats Legislative Action Committee

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

King County Convention on Saturday, April 10th!

The King County Democrats invite you to participate in the 2010 King County Democratic Convention. We welcome all Democratic, registered voters in King County:

Saturday April 10, 2010
Registration Opens at 10:00 am
Convention Starts at 10:45 am
IAM Local 751 Seattle Hall
9125 15th Place South - Seattle 98108

The planning team has put together a great agenda where Senator Patty Murray will headline.

Officially released April 6th, the Platform committee has made their proposed document available at,

Five resolutions have been forwarded for DO PASS consideration and are available at,

You will also be able to view the platform online and in a side room at the hall. Comments will be allowed by using "post-its." The room will open at 9:00 am and be open to all voters until the platform is officially presented on Saturday afternoon.

Food and refreshment, music, door prizes and many elected officials and candidates will address the convention.

Join the King County Democrats in celebration of our candidates and platform work.

See you on Saturday,
Susan Sheary

Friday, March 26, 2010

Special Election on April 27th

There are three measures on the ballot for April 27th:

. City of Black Diamond - Public Safety Levy
. Skykomish School District No. 404 - Maintenance and Operations Levy
. Proposed Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority

Read about them here,

Monday March 29th is the deadline for registering to vote in the special election as noted in the attachment.


King County Election News, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Congressman Jim McDermott on Health Care Reform

At last: a National Health Care Reform Bill!

For me and many of colleagues, passing a national health care reform bill is the culmination of a long process. In the late 1950s and early 60s, when I was going to medical school in Chicago, Canada’s Tommy Douglas was beginning a national health care plan in the province of Saskatchewan. As I came to the end of my medical training, doctors began to strike in Canada because they didn't want to practice medicine under any system that was not totally free enterprise in nature. But as a new physician at the time, it seemed to me that the benefits of extending health coverage to everyone in Canada far outweighed the benefits a free enterprise system. Between 1963 and 1970, while I got my training in adult and child psychiatry and served two years in the United States Navy, I had the opportunity to observe the American healthcare “nonsystem” firsthand. Every day, I watched as people fell through the cracks. When I entered politics in the Washington state legislature, I knew that it was my obligation to do all that I could to bring about a national system that would provide coverage for everyone. And during my campaign for governor in 1972, I made my first speech declaring my support for a single-payer system similar to Canada. Each year that I served in the state legislature, I faced the institutional resistance to the creation of a more orderly system. Yet people complained they couldn't get care. Hospitals complained about uncompensated care. People complained about cost shifting of the expenses of the uninsured onto the policies paid for by the insured.

In the early 1980s, I began trying to establish an uncompensated care fund that would be paid into by all hospitals and the receipts would be given to those hospitals that took care of those in the community who had no health insurance. But hospitals resisted. I did a study to find out how many people in the state of Washington either were not covered by a government program or didn't have insurance through their employment. Unsurprisingly, we found that it was a huge number. So In 1983, I began the process of trying to do in Washington State what Tommy Douglas had done a few hundred miles away in the province of Saskatchewan.

As I tried to get universal coverage in the state of Washington, I ran into numerous obstacles. The medical establishment was more interested in capital investments than they were in ensuring that medical coverage was available to everyone in Washington. Large businesses were reluctant to accept any responsibility beyond what they were already doing for their employees. Any mandate was out of the question because under a technical loophole, big employers are exempt from many regulations that deal with insurance. So instead, I ended up authoring the Washington State Basic Health Plan, which is a subsidized health insurance program to help lower-income families afford coverage. But I wasn’t able to get universal coverage.

This experience taught me that it was going to be incredibly difficult to create a health care plan in one state that could be replicated across the country as had been done in Canada. I wrote the plan originally when the governor of the state of Washington was a Republican, so it didn’t get anywhere until Democrat Booth Gardner was elected governor of Washington in 1984. The process was so frustrating and the final legislation so modest that I decided I'd go back to medicine. I went to work for the State Department in Africa where I saw the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic in 1987.

One day my brother called me when I was in Africa and told me there was a seat open in Congress. He suggested that I return to the U.S. to run for the seat and work on getting universal health care. The dream was not dead, it has just been dormant. So I returned, ran for Congress and was elected in 1988. I made the decision to get on the Ways and Means Committee because I thought that was where I could be most effective in getting a national plan established. I was appointed to the committee in 1991 and began working with 95 other members who were dedicated to a single player plan. In 1993 President and Mrs. Clinton came to Washington to enact a national health plan, but we were unsuccessful.

The years between 1994 and 2006 were a painful period as we watched Republicans try to dismantle the only national health care program we have, Medicare. We breathed a great sigh of relief at the 2008 election of President Barack Obama who stated that he wanted to enact a national health plan. The President was determined not to repeat the errors of the Clinton administration, and the process of writing the bill has been a long and tortuous. Over the course of many months, we’ve watched this bill wind through three committees in the House and 2 committees in the Senate, which brought us to where we are today.

I still believe that a single-payer model is the most effective to achieve both cost control and universal coverage. But 40 years of experience prevent me from being ideological about the solution to the problems of universal coverage. Rather than establishing a single-payer system, Congress has designed a less desirable model that that would more tightly regulate private insurance companies much in the same way that we do with utility companies. Members of Congress have opted for a model that provides for insurance regulation at the national level, rather than the state level as it is today. It has much in common with the French system which provides universal coverage to the French people at half the cost of what we spend here in the United States. Their system provides a quality of care that is considered the best in the world according to the World Health Organization.

I know that this bill is far from perfect and will require continued efforts to adjust and improve it in the years to come. But today we began. As the Chinese adage says, “every journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” We have taken that step.

Congressman Jim McDermott

Friday, March 19, 2010

Gut Check

Dear Chad,

By all accounts, the health care vote is coming this weekend or Monday. For my colleagues in Congress, it is gut-check time: Do we crack under the pressure and threats, or do we see this cause for what it is -- something far bigger than any of our individual political futures.

Thirty million Americans' health care is at stake -- this is a no brainer.

We must pass health care -- we must, as I've said in the past, "Finish the Kitchen." Sign my pledge now to make sure my colleagues know there is support for the decision, that wavering will not be tolerated.

Click here to sign now!

The Republican threats of electoral catastrophe if health care reform passes are empty caterwauling -- a cynical, last-ditch attempt to gain political power. As I've said to you before, I believe that NOT passing health care reform threatens our majority far more.

But even if I did believe these ridiculous threats, I would still vote for health care reform -- because I believe it is my job as a public servant to put those 30 million Americans ahead of any political calculus.

Making decisions like this is why I ran for office in the first place. I came to Congress to do as much good as I can for the people in Washington and this country. How could I possibly sit by and let a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a difference in millions of lives pass by because it may put my job at risk?

I can't sit by and miss this chance -- and no other member in Congress should either.

Tell them to join me by signing my "Finish the Kitchen" pledge now.

For years, health care has consistently been at the top of the list of voters' biggest concerns -- we are desperate for a solution, and have been for decades. Senators and members of Congress throughout history waited their whole careers for this kind of opportunity -- to make such a profound difference for so many with one vote -- and yet, we may let it go because we're spooked by make-believe threats and political pundit spin.

Americans need relief, and now voters are demanding action. Now is the time -- we must get this done.

Thank you for your support -- and your work making sure our representatives do what's right, not just what's easy.

Very truly yours,

Jay Inslee
Member of Congress

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An Organizing Benefit for 3-Strikes Reform


Professor Alexander served as the Director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California. She holds joint appointments with the Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University.

Presented by Justice Works! Co-sponsored by ACLU Washington; Black Prisoner’s Caucus; Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites; Concerned Lifers Organization; Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy; Hotel Max Seattle, SEEDArts, a Program of SEED; STEPS: Steps To Ethically Profiling Stability; University Behind Bars, Washington Defender Association


1 in 30 adult Washingtonians are behind bars or under community supervision. An estimated 1 in 20 children is affected at any one time. This impact falls with severe disparity depending on race. Washington is less than 4% Black. Our prison population is 20% Black. Our 3-Strikes population is 40% Black.

Professor Alexander traces how racial disparity in the criminal justice system nationwide connects with the historical Jim Crow, creating a new form of the old social ill. She presents her vision for grassroots organizing for social change to enable policy changes that put Jim Crow behind us forever.

The evening begins with short presentations by champions of recent positive developments that put Washington at the center of the nation’s criminal justice reform movement:

In Farrakhan v Gregoire, January 2010, Federal court ruled that people in Washington State prisons should vote because the racial disparities in Washington’s criminal justice system cannot be explained in race-neutral ways. A 2009 law change restores the right to vote to approximately 167,000 Washingtonians. There has been a resurgence of the campaign to reform 3-Strikes. Despite positive developments, our criminal justice system remains one of the most racially disproportionate nationwide.


Please download and share the event flyer!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Support Health Care Reform! from DFA and the Coffee Party

This is an email coming from the Coffee Party USA:

"For those of you who would like to do one small thing that can make a big difference, here’s your chance: on Friday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin announced that the Senate will support and pass whatever the House includes in a reconciliation bill -- even if it includes the choice of a public health insurance option.

This gives House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a big opportunity to take the reins back on behalf of the House of Representatives and the majority of Americans who want a non-profit public option to compete with the private for-profit insurance corporations. Getting this done in the House bill will give us huge leverage to pass it in the Senate. Speaker Pelosi needs to know how much of the general public supports this.

Click on the link below if you want to send your support. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions about it."

Executive Constantine on the King Conservation District election


Tomorrow (Tuesday) is Election Day for the King Conservation District. While largely unknown, the King Conservation District has a big impact, for our environment, our agricultural economy, and many of our rural neighbors. That's why I'm supporting Max Prinsen in tomorrow's election. Max currently works at KCD and is the President of Save Habitat And Diversity of Wetland (SHADOW). He is also on the WRIA 9 (Green/Duwamish salmon recovery) Committee, the Cedar River Council, and is the endorsed candidate of the Sierra Club Cascade Chapter and the King County Conservation Voters.

I encourage you to take some time this evening, find your nearest polling location (click here), and go cast your vote for Max tomorrow. Every property owner in King County pays into the Conservation District, and every voter has a right to help choose its leadership. Please take the time to make sure your voice is heard.



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fire the Insurance Man!

This video comes from:
Rick Aydelotte
PO Box 221
Skykomish WA 98288

2010 Proposed KCDCC Platform

Hi everyone,

The new proposed platform is available at,

We hope this is timely and that you willl use this copy for your caucus - platform work on Sunday March 14, 2010.

The committee earnestly requests that any feedback or resolutions which you wish to be considered be provided to the committee immediately after your caucus concludes, but in no case, later than March 19, 2010. The KCDCC Platform and Resolutions Committee meets on Monday 22, 2010..

Thank you,

Susan Sheary, County Chair
Joel Ware, Platform Chair

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

From Washington Conservation Voters, elect Max Prinsen!

In 7 days King County will hold an election that will determine how millions of natural resource dollars are spent, yet many voters have never even heard of it.

On March 16, voters will elect a new member to the King Conservation District, and environmentalists say the choice is clear - elect Max Prinsen.

The King Conservation District (KCD) is a natural resource agency authored by Washington State. KCD programs range from assisting farmers with creating conservation plans to investing in environmental protection and habitat restoration programs.

King County Conservation Voters endorsed Max Prinsen because of his strong background in habitat and water conservation. Prinsen is the President of Save Habitat and Diversity of Wetland (SHADOW), an organization he founded to preserve critical areas in SE King County.

Unlike other King County elections, the KCD election process requires that voters show up in person at polling locations - there is no absentee or mail in ballots. Last year only 2,700 people voted in this election. Your vote always counts, but when only a few thousand people might cast a ballot, your vote for a pro-environmental candidate is critical.

A list of all the polling locations and hours are below. Please take a minute right now to plan where and when you can vote next Tuesday, March 16. See you at the polling booths!

Jesseca Brand
King County Conservation Voters

Polling Locations:

Auburn King County Library
1102 Auburn Way South, Auburn
Poll hours 10:30am – 8:00pm

Bellevue King County Library
1111 110th Avenue NE, Bellevue
Poll hours 10:30am – 8:00pm

Carnation King County Library
4804 Tolt Avenue, Carnation
Poll hours 10:30am – 8:00pm

Des Moines King County Library
21260 11th Avenue South, Des Moines
Poll hours 10:30am – 8:00pm

Downtown Seattle Public Library
1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle
Poll hours 10:30am – 7:30pm

Shoreline King County Library
345 NE 175th , Shoreline
Poll hours 10:30am – 8pm

Vashon King County Library
17210 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon Island
Poll hours 10:30 am – 8:00pm

Monday, March 8, 2010

Executive Dow Constantine's remarks on March 8, 2010

It’s good to be back in a familiar setting among colleagues and friends.

It was just 105 days ago, Mr. Chair, that I chaired my last council meeting and then handed you the gavel. The next day I was honored to take the helm of this, one of the nation’s largest, most diverse and most vibrant counties — one with a history of innovation and transformation, and a future with boundless potential.

I’d like to first acknowledge my family—who are sitting in the front row. Also joining us today are members of my transition team and of senior county staff.

Between here, and our vibrant and sustainable community of the future, are a host of immediate and long-term challenges.

We must invest, without delay, in a 21st century transportation infrastructure that helps shape land use and create prosperity as our region evolves.

We must protect, in an era of diminished revenue, our health and the most vulnerable in our communities.

We must maintain, in the face of cost pressures, excellence in public safety and justice for all.

We must partner, despite antiquated political divisions, with our cities and regional governments, business and labor leaders, to focus on creating jobs and opportunity.

These are the goals for what my administration will deliver.

Read the rest here.

100 Days


Just over one year ago, I announced my candidacy for King County Executive. I sought this position to bring new energy and a needed focus on innovation and reform to King County government. I knew we could do better for the hard working people in our urban, suburban and rural communities. We can be better partners for economic growth, better stewards of tax dollars, and better caretakers of our environment.

After a long campaign, I took office in late November. Immediately, we began taking needed steps to change the culture of King County government. We're putting the emphasis on customer service, financial management, delivering essential services, and working with cities, the state and federal partners to invest in our communities and families.

I'm proud of the team I have assembled - led by Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett and a diverse group of experienced professionals who share our vision and values. But I have not forgotten about the "team" of people who delivered last fall’s victory, including you.

I want to pause as we mark our first 100 days in office and thank you for all you have done over the past year. And, I want to ask again for your help.

I ended the last campaign with a modest debt. Due to the generosity of many, we paid most of that by the end of the year. I am already looking forward to the next election. Even a small contribution of $50 or $25 will help maintain and grow the grass roots support that fueled our success last year - the largest “low dollar” donor base ever assembled for a local election in Washington history.

This morning, I will be delivering my 100 day speech before the King County Council. This speech will outline our Countywide Strategic Plan - a blueprint that integrates public input, Council initiatives, and the comprehensive reform agenda developed by my administration. Along with the plan, I am previewing Executive orders and policy proposals to jump-start the changes we must implement. It will take time and thoughtful, coordinated effort to realize our goals, but we're going to make it happen.

Yesterday the Seattle Times ran an article outlining many of our early successes, and the challenges we face. You can read the article here.

We're off to a great start for our administration! With your continued help, we can focus on delivering for the people of King County, and look forward to future success.

Thank you so much,


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2010 PCO Candidate Filing in King County

There is good news on how PCO filings will be handled this year. As you know, last year the legislature passed the bill that removed the filing fee for PCOs. This was great news for election administrators because now we can extend the accuracy and efficiency we have experienced with online candidate filings to candidates for PCO.

We are developing an online candidate filing for PCOs! This will be done exactly like the other candidate filing but it will be completely separate. I am going to attempt to explain how it works and why it is important for all candidates to use it.

There are many benefits to the parties, candidates and our department. Candidates will be able to file from their home, a library, maybe from your headquarters or from our office: anywhere they have access to a computer. Every year we have numerous candidates file in the wrong precinct and we have to contact these individuals to inform them of the errors they have made on the forms. Candidates also find out (sometimes too late for those who file at the last minute) that they have failed to update their voter registration if they have recently moved. When we receive the bulk filings from the party representatives there may be missing information, again requiring our office to make contact with candidates. All this is very time consuming and puts everyone at a greater risk for error.

When a person files online it is as simple as filing out the paper form. Candidates will enter required information and only the precinct for which they are eligible will be offered as a filing option. If their address is out of date they will know this immediately. If they omit any information they will not be able to proceed, prompting you to not skip a required field. Candidates who have completed their filing will be listed on our web site twice daily throughout filing week. This will keep everyone up to date on which precincts have no candidates filed and limit the number of unintentionally contested races.

Accuracy and efficiency will realized by King County Elections in the processing of declarations. In addition to the number of reasons requiring staff to make contact with candidates, we also experience a challenge in deciphering handwriting on forms; lay out and proofing the ballot is a labor intensive endeavor. When a candidate uses online candidate filing the information entered will be drawn directly from our voter registration system and linked directly to the system that puts the candidate on the correct ballot. We will drastically reduce the number of hours spent entering candidate names and therefore reduce the number of errors. We have experienced this improved process over the past 4 years when other elected officials have used online candidate filing.

Some quick answers to potential questions:

  • A space will be provided to enter the name you want to appear on the ballot.
  • A line will be provided for a mailing address.
  • If you want to see who has filed, go on our website and see if someone has filed in your precinct and party.
  • If you do not have access to a computer our office will have a bank of computers available with staff available to assist, no computer skills required.
  • This is a secure and private way to file. Any information you provide becomes a public record after you complete the declaration.
  • We have been using online candidate filing for all offices for the last 4 years and receive great reviews from users. More than 80% of candidates used on line candidate filing last year.
  • Our office will have a paper record of all filings.

I have included a flier for you to print and distribute to any potential candidate for PCO. Distribute them at your upcoming meetings. It includes when filing will begin and offers contact information. As we get closer to candidate filing time our web site will have more information. I will also organize a meeting in April with party representatives to have a demonstration to answer questions so in turn you will be able to assist PCOs. The entire state is aiming at no paper declarations this year. In years past the Public Disclosure Commission produced paper declaration for candidates, as a cost-savings measure they will not be distributing forms to counties. With the Secretary of State office now making online candidate filing available across the state everyone is hoping for no paper, no waste. As I stated earlier, our office will have a printout of the completed form that every candidate files as a record.

Any question, please contact me. Please share this news with your PCOs. I am confident that we will all benefit from this new development.

Sandy McConnell
Program Manager Election Operations
King County Elections
919 SW Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The West Seattle Democratic Women take on Corporate Personhood

At our February 24th meeting, the West Seattle Democratic Women did their skit "Corporate Personhood", and we asked for a link to their video. Enjoy!

Note from Georgie Kunkel, who wants to meet the "corporation" in the video above:

I want to mention that the video was not produced by the WSDW. It was produced by Joseph Sacks, videographer, and Georgie Kunkel, script preparer and actor with the help of Flora Belle Key as corporate secretary and a young fellow who played the security guard. His name is mentioned at the end of the video.

Our committee to educate the public about Corporate Personhood has been meeting for several months to gather background material about Corporate Personhood and prepare to give programs for groups all over the area. I knew this young videographer and when I was ready to work on the video he offered his skill as videographer.

Cheers, Georgie

Another sucessful election

From King County Elections:

Yesterday morning the King County Elections Canvassing Board certified the February 9 special election, with zero discrepancies. King County has been conducting all elections entirely by mail for a year now, and this past election was our largest mail ballot spring election in terms of volume, with nearly 400,000 ballots processed; our fifth largest mail ballot volume ever.

Read more in the Stakeholders Report.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

KCDCC Endorsements

Dear King County Democratic District Chairs,

Endorsement meetings are approaching. Judicial appointments by the King County Council Executive Dow Constantine (District Court) and the Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire (Superior and Appellate Courts) are expected soon. Filing of “C-1's” and “the buzz and rumor” of aspirants to State legislative races are picking up.

The questionnaires are online for the candidates to fill out. We will decide on endorsement procedures at tonight's KCDCC meeting.

We are looking at June 5th and 6th at the Carpenters' Hall in Renton (231 Burnett Avenue North) for candidate interviews. I would like to populate the KCDCC Endorsement Committee promptly and begin meeting in April.

I look forward to working with you as the KCDCC Endorsement Chair. Please forward my contact information to your LD Endorsement Chairs or the person that is designated to participate upon the KCDCC Endorsement Committee.

In Unity,

Karl de Jong
KCDCC Endorsement Chair

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Join us on February 15th for our Lobby Day!

KCDCC Lobby Day is shaping up to be an exciting day with the Governor as our keynoter.

Please carpool if at all possible. Parking is going to be challenging with a large rally going on at the same time. Please arrive early. You can tour the Legislative Building, locate the Bill Room near the Gift Shop and have coffee in the cafeteria in the Pritchard Library Building across the way until we start checking people in at 10 AM outside in the hallway. The 36th LD has the room from 10 to 10:30. Our program begins at 10:30.

From I-5 Southbound: Bear right on ramp at sign reading "Exit 105A to State Capitol " and go West for 0.8 miles. Continue on 14th Ave SE. Almost immediately, at the light at Jefferson, turn left. At the public parking lot at Wheeler, park. Be prepared to pay with two $1 bills. The free Dash shuttle will circle the lot, stop and take you directly to the Capitol campus. The stop is diagonally in front of the John A Cherborg Building. Meeting Room A-B-C is the first room on the left.

Here's a map of the area showing the "remote" parking on the lower right:

Note that the other public parking lots on the map are limited to two hours and the economic justice coalition is trying to get 5,000 people to campus, so these spaces are likely to be full. We recommend arriving early to take advantage of the remote lot, which is really very convenient.

The free Dash shuttle also goes downtown, so if you can find street parking with a 10-hour meter, not 2 hours, the shuttle goes up and down Capitol Way every few minutes, or downtown is a 10- or 15-minute walk. Downtown is to your right on Jefferson, instead of going left to the remote parking lot. Jefferson runs parallel to Capitol Way, so any place on the street after you turn right will work. Street parking in the residential area around the campus is very limited and should be avoided.

If you haven't reserved a lunch, please email Sarajane Siegfriedt by noon Thursday: