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:

County Exec Dow Constantine is acting quickly to ensure public safety

Department of Transportation

News Release

Date: Feb. 10, 2010
Contact: Rochelle Ogershok (206) 296-6515

King County Executive orders Metro Transit to review policies that restrict transit security guards from intervening in criminal activity

Guards in surveillance video followed current “observe and report” procedures

King County Executive Dow Constantine has ordered Metro Transit to review policies that restrict unarmed transit security guards from intervening physically in fights or other criminal activity, following a disturbing chain of events involving the assault and robbery of a teenage girl in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel on January 28.

“Public safety is our top priority. I am appalled by the sight of uniformed guards standing by while a person was kicked and beaten,” said Executive Constantine. “I have ordered a full review of all operating polices that govern Metro’s contract with civilian security guards to determine what changes must be made. People have an expectation of safety when riding public transit, and we must take every measure we can to assure that.”

“The events surrounding this incident are troubling, and the video images distressing,” said Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond. “The County Executive has ordered us to work with the Sheriff’s Office to review the circumstances surrounding this incident and seek advice from other security experts to determine whether we need to change our security protocols,” added Desmond.

To augment Metro’s transit police force, it contracts with a civilian firm, Olympic Security Services, Inc., to provide transit security throughout its system. According to Metro policies that govern that contract, unarmed security guards are instructed not to intervene when witnessing suspicious behavior or criminal activity, but to “observe and report” and radio the Metro Transit Control Center, which relays requests for assistance to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

“Safety and security is Metro’s top priority, and we rely on a combination of security guard patrols, uniformed police patrols, field supervisors and various surveillance systems to maintain ongoing safety in the tunnel,” Desmond said. “The security guards have a range of duties, including providing routine assistance and safety reminders to customers and reporting suspicious objects, disruptive behavior and equipment problems in the tunnel stations. Intervention by civilian security guards when a violent crime is being committed can have serious consequences for bystanders and the guards themselves. Therefore, we will rely on the expertise of our Sheriff’s department and others as we review the circumstances surrounding this particular incident, and review a range of issues including the appropriate level of response that should be authorized to effectively defuse such situations.”

In addition to contracting with a private security firm, Metro contracts with the King County Sheriff’s Office for 68 commissioned officers to provide law enforcement as the Metro Transit Police.

According to police, an apparent argument between several teenagers and young adults inside a downtown Seattle department store preceded the assault and robbery of a 15-year-old by another teenager on the bus tunnel platform at Westlake Station on January 28.

While the department store disturbance prompted an initial response by Seattle Police, the dispute flared up again after the teens arrived at the Westlake Station platform. As the teen was repeatedly punched and kicked, the guards immediately used their radio to call the Transit Control Center, but did not directly intervene in the assault.

Seattle Police arrived minutes later but by that time the suspects and the rest of the group had fled. Officers took an initial report and over the next week the Metro Transit Police investigation of the incident resulted in four arrests last Saturday, including the suspect in the assault.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tired? Frustrated? Ready to give up?

Have you had it with the Democratic Party? Are you sick and tired of the lily-livered "compromises" that strip away any breath of Progressivism from bills and laws debated and passed by Congress? Are you ready to "sit-out" the next election to "teach them a lesson"? Yeah, I know -- I feel that way, too! I tell myself, "They're not getting another dime from me!" "No more doorbelling; screw the phone banks; voter registration -- who's voting for these losers?" "They can just whistle for support; llke I'm whistling for that oft-promised 'Change' I can believe in!"

But then I look at my Drivers License and remind myself that I'm not two years old anymore -- and, as an adult, temper tantrums, stubbornness, storming off, and holding my breath are incredibly ineffective tools for resolving real-world grown-up problems.

Then I put on my "grown up hat" (which has been wadded up, stomped on, and thrown in the corner!) and consider the meaning of democracy, activism, citizenship, and self-responsibility ... and I remember my mom's advice when I was in the throes of a momentary childish anger; threatening all manner of short-term retribution that would provide me with momentary satisfaction and do long-term damage. She would say, "Well, you could always take your dollies and go home. Just be sure you don't cut off your nose to spite your face."

Lately, we are hearing Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, and Independents saying, "I contributed to him, doorbelled for him, phone-banked for him, voted for him, and wept when he won." "I believed in 'The Audacity of Hope'." "I thought this guy was different." "Never again." "I'll stay home next year." "I'll vote for the third party candidate."

To these people, I would say, "Now let's not cut off our noses to spite our faces. Let's not take our votes and go home." In this crazy, fractious, argumentative, exciting and wonderful country we call ours, change has never been easy -- or rapid. In the days of the Continental Congress, Abigail Adams petitoned her husband, John, for women's rights. In the decades after the Civil War, Suffragettes set aside their campaign for womens' voting rights in favor of voting rights for recently-freed (male) slaves. Women finally won full voting rights in 1921. Abigail would be so proud!

Before we decide to "take our toys and go home", consider the long-term effect of a weakened Democratic President, and a diminished Congressional majority. Consider the havoc that can be wreaked by an emboldened Corporatist Republican Party.

And, most of all, remember Democracy is not a spectator sport; activism doesn't stop the day after the election; we must not hang up our passion with our campaign signs; our Government IS "We the People" -- and it is up to every single one of us to suit up, show up, and hold our elected officials' feet to the fire when they break campaign promises and/or work against the best interests of "We the People".

If we don't like our electoral choices, it is our job to recruit and support a primary challenger. Whether or not we score a Primary upset, the \competition will help move the eventual candidates in a different direction ... a direction that "We the People" have influenced. Now, that is Democracy in action! In fact, just this past weekend, Ben Nelson (D-Ne) withdrew his demand for perpetual Medicaid funding in his state -- we shouted so loudly, he actually heard us and was shamed into doing the right thing! Democracy works! ...And we must never stop shouting!

In his Innaugural Address, President Obama told us to "pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of re-making America". As we all know, the mess we are in has been in the making for 30 years or more; merely accelerating in the past eight, and will not be cured in days, or weeks, or months -- or even a short span of years -- and the burden cannot rest on the shoulders on only one man -- or even 535 pairs of Congressional shoulders! The burden rests on all of us.

This is THE marathon; the big race that will define the future of our country -- the race that really counts. Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work of fixing and re-making our country? Are you ready to commit every spare minute and resource to the job ahead? Are you ready to suit up, show up and save our country from blowing up? I am! Let's go!

Paula Joneli
PCO DES 33-2625

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Urgent action needed to support Clean Elections!

----- Original Message -----
From: Craig Salins
To: Undisclosed
Cc: Marcee Stone
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2010 9:52 AM
Subject: Results - House W&M Comm on Saturday


WPC testified at the House Ways & Means Committee on Saturday - our bill (HB 1738) was on the agenda, #8 out of 22.

Once again we had a great WashClean crowd (thanks Monica, Betty, Louisa, Brian, Seth, Roger and many others!) in the audience and signing in "in favor". Also testifying: Katy Sheehan, on behalf of League of Women Voters. And once again, Mellani McAleenan, staff deputy policy director for the Admin. Ofc of the Courts, testifying that the Board for Judicial Administration (all the judge organizations, and others) has no position yet (they decide Feb. 16th) on the merits of the program - but they are against the filing fee surcharge as a funding means. We knew and know that.

Mostly a friendly reception by the W&M Committee - which was well-attended of course; a few questions, about how much participating candidates would get (as their campaign grant), and how to combat really large independent spending, opposing. We're needing to challenge the fiscal note on the bill - which is more costly than warranted; it says $640k per biennium - too high. We're working with Reps. Liias and Hunt, on that; and, we've obtained cost information from North Carolina on their program (which costs approximately $50k/year to administer.

The Ways and Means committees in BOTH Senate and House must vote to approve (pass the bills, in executive session), no later than Tuesday, Feb. 9th - or the bills die. So for the House, that means Chair Rep. Linville must have it on the agenda for a committee executive session, either Monday or Tuesday. For the Senate, it means a hearing, and then executive session voting.

We are now scheduled for a hearing in the Senate W&M Committee - Monday, at their 1:30 PM committee session. See this list - our bill (SB 5912) is #10 on the agenda.

So, Olympians and nearby folks - can you attend in Oly, on Monday? John King and I will be there, of course.

In Olympia, they're calling us "Nine Lives Lazarus" - can't believe the influence of WPC on the legislature, keeping our bills alive and moving. But I know it's due to all of you - our support around the state, citizen lobbying!

Never underestimate the power of the people, united!

But keep those cards and emails coming. Let the Ways & Means Committee chairs and members know that we want this bill passed along to the Rules Committee - see the list attached, or go here:

SENATE W&M Comm Mbrs:

HOUSE W&M Comm Mbrs:

The list is posted here on

Thanks! Call me if questions.

- Craig
Craig Salins
Executive Director
WA Public Campaigns
206-949-3285 (cell)
206-784-2522 (office)
206-784-9695 (home/ofc #2)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Congressional Update from Senator Patty Murray

High Speed Rail: A Major Investment in Getting People and Goods Moving in Our State

On Thursday, I announced that Washington state will receive $590 million in federal funding for high speed rail upgrades in the Pacific Northwest Cascades corridor. The funding is part of a major high-speed rail initiative that, as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I helped to include in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Since last year, when the Pacific Northwest was named one of the 10 potential regions to receive funds for high speed rail, I have worked with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to build support for states like ours where the groundwork for high speed rail lines has been underway and where improvements would help provide an alternative to congested roadways and spur economic activity. – Details

“Washington to get $590 million for high-speed rail improvements”
Seattle Times

“Wash., Oregon to get $590 M for high-speed rail” – Associated Press


State of the Union: Top Priority is Getting Our Economy Back on Track

On Wednesday, President Obama spoke directly to the American people about creating jobs, getting our economy back on track, moving forward with health insurance reform, holding big Wall Street accountable, and protecting our nation. The President’s first State of the Union speech came at a critical time, with many across our state and nation anxious about the direction of the economy and our country.

Read my reaction to President Obama’s speech.


Agriculture: Working for our State’s Wheat Growers

Last Tuesday, I was honored to receive the Washington Association of Wheat Growers’ “Legislator of the Year” award for my efforts to advance Washington’s wheat industry. The Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG), which represents wheat farmers throughout our state, is a non-profit group dedicated to the enrichment of the Washington wheat industry. I will continue to work to provide our agricultural community with the tools and resources they need to succeed in this competitive global market. – Details


A Qualified and Respected Judge Confirmed to Eastern Washington Bench

Last Monday, I delivered a speech on the Senate floor urging my colleagues to support Gonzaga Law Professor Rosanna Peterson to be the next District Court judge for the Eastern District of Washington State. In the speech, I praised Peterson’s work ethic, professionalism, and understanding of the law. After the speech, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm Judge Peterson as the first women to serve on Eastern District bench. Peterson’s nomination was the product of the bipartisan selection commission I worked to help create in our state.

Details | Listen to my speech