Michael ArnoldPosted March 2, 2014
King County Democratic Central Committee

February, 2014
Report by 34th District King County Committeeman Michael Arnold
Click here to download this report as a PDF

The February 2014 meeting of the KCDCC at The Carpenters' Union Hall in Renton must have started early, as Chair De Jong was fully engaged when I arrived.

The message this evening was a direct question to the body: "What can we do to build our party" Electing a secretary was a good place to start; Jen Minich ran uncontested and won without dissent. Then Navy veteran Matt Isenhower, running for State Senate in the 45th against Andy Hill, expressed his motivations to support public schools and acknowledged concerns around disparity in discipline and transit shortcomings in Redmond & Kirkland communities. King County Council member Larry Phillips followed with the intent to provide a status report on the transit ballot, only to get ambushed by members of the 33rd, who were still fuming about King County meddling with their process. Rules were suspended nonetheless to endorse the transit package. Essie Hicks spoke for a couple minutes about running for State Representative in the 5th against Jay Rodne, as did Jason Ritchie, going up against GOP incumbent Dave Reichert.

Following the LD reports, Endorsements committee chair Michael Maddox asked the body to pass a block of no less than 10 rules changes and a "Minority Report". Omaha Sternberg, Chair of the 33rd, countered with a flurry concerns and the discussions that followed played havoc with the balance of the evening's agenda items. Most of the rules changes passed; two were sent back to committee for further review.

Resolutions were passed requiring county or local candidates to complete the questionnaire process to receive endorsements, calling for $15hr min wage and, preventing denial of lawful healthcare services in Washington. PCO Chair Ken Taylor should have been the opening speaker; he announced the acquisition of an office where meetings will be held every fourth Thursday of the month and a goal of 85% across all LDs by the end of the year! Want to find out more...? Contact Ken by email here or 206-687-6713

Michael ArnoldPosted February 23, 2014
King County Democratic Central Committee

January, 2014
Report by 34th District King County Committeeman Michael Arnold
Click here to download this report as a PDF

POTUS & Pizza made for a warm welcome to members of the KCDCC Tuesday night, Jan 28th as they returned to The Carpenter's Union Hall in Renton for the 1st meeting of 2014. Some folks hung on to every word and offered applause as our president spoke, while others seemed oblivious to the SOTU address, and anyone near by who might be interested in attending to it.

The January meeting began in earnest at about 7:30pm, with acknowledgement to those who attended lobby day; props to Tamsen and the 34th! Then we were treated with the singing of the National Anthem by Alex Gonzoles. Very Nice.

Immediately following approval of the evening's agenda and minutes from November, Chair De Jong introduced David Shadeed to describe an ever growing US Border Patrol that operates in a 'constitution free zone' where a brush with the law can send immigrants on the ICE fast track to deportation.

Then the law, our own Sheriff Urquhart discussed the 'U Visa' for immigrants who are victims of crimes, and why King County will begin to see greater diversity within his department. Among the recognized candidates this evening, Dana Laurent was the only one given the opportunity to speak; she's especially concerned about the level of support our grass roots leaders receive.

Omaha Sternberg presented the salient LD report: Frustration with a King County appointment process that doesn't hear PCOs in the 33rd. Shaune Saelee announced her resignation as KCDCC secretary; election for her replacement will be held at the Feb meeting. A resolution opposing US government mass domestic surveillance passed, but took so long that 'Good of the Order' was 86'd from the agenda to make room for more business.

A vague resolution supporting needs of medical marijuana users passed, leaving some scratching their heads. The body passed one resolution to boycott two of Seattle's three Hyatt Hotels, and another to close big oil tax loopholes. Then we were treated to a resolution with teeth, 'Urging effective remediation of illegal campaign tactics by grocery manufacturers association' the effect of which would void the results of the 2013 GMO vote. Passed unanimously!

KCDCC 1st vice chair, and chair of the finance & development committee, Christina Lewis made a good effort to reach out to all the LD's. Treasurer Dave Fish was asked about the budget and the nebulous nature of the treasurer's report, and it was qualified as a private matter. $700 was donated to Mayor Murray's debt retirement and another $500 was promised to consultants.

Ken Taylor couldn't make it, but he did text on behalf of his PCO committee; meetings will be held every 4th Thursday of the month. 16 Special Elections will occur on Feb 11th; details available in the KCDCC Newsletter. Ann Martin brought us full circle, speaking in behalf of WAmend initiative 1329: An Act regarding the influence of corporations and money in our political system.

Michael Arnold
King County Committeeman, 34th District Democrats

November, 2013
Report by 34th District King County Committeeman Michael Arnold
Read the report as a PDF here

State Senator, Marilyn Chase of the 32nd LD, Shoreline, opened the November 2013 Regular Meeting of the KCDCC at The Carpenter's Union Hall in Renton. Co-sponsor of initiative 522, Chase says "The fight is not over ... We have to be about the business of defending our democracy" Absolutely! We have to be about the business of defining our democracy as well. Washington State Dems will elect a new party chair on February 1st to succeed retiring State Party Chair Dwight Pelz. Pretenders and contenders turned out to profess their candidacy and respond to questions from LD Chairs and State Committee Persons.

Mario Brown spoke quite well on behalf of Jay Clough, a 2012 candidate for State Representative out of Tri-Cities who, unfortunately, could not make it to the meeting. Lobbyist Jim Kainber , who served as Executive Director the Washington State Democratic Party from 1994-2003 did show up; he has plans to "pump up events" as a means to make fundraising his priority. Former Chair of The Jefferson County Dems, Nancy Biery was on hand wielding an impressive 25-1 campaign record and brings all kinds of State Party experience to the contest; simply put, she wants more democrats elected. The 36th LD's own State Committee Woman, Dana Laurent ran the political division of Planned Parenthood before becoming Executive Director of Win/Win; she intends to connect disconnected parties and grow grass roots. Several King County LDs will be working on a "Candidates Forum" to be held Jan 8th at Richmond Masonic in Shoreline. Most LDs reported positive election results, announced holiday parties, and in one instance, a donkey auction. PCOs from the 43rd & 36th will be called upon December 3rd, along with voting members of the KCDCC to fill two vacancy appointments. Details should be made available on line at the KCDCC website, or contact chair@kcdems.org RISING STAR Watch: Ken Taylor of the 33rd LD, and current PCO Committee Chair for KCDCC, was elected 2nd Vice Chair of the KCDCC by unanimous acclimation!

After a Treasurer's report and subsequent 'State of the FundRaiser' report, the body voted in favor of contributions to the campaigns of Lynne Robinson, Sue Peters and Martin Moore.

Lastly, we need Democrats from the 34th on committees at The KCDCC! The 34th District constitutes a large part of King County. We contribute funds to the KCDCC at least once each year. We should have some say in what goes on at KCDCC, and the way that happens is through participation. Please contact Maria Ramirez or myself for more info.

October, 2013
Report by 34th District King County Committeeman Michael Arnold
Read the report as a PDF here

After days of low clouds and fog, skies cleared just long enough for Democrats to find their way to The Carpenters Union Hall in Renton for the October 2013 meeting of the KCDCC. Chair de Jong got started a few minutes early, no doubt to accommodate the daunting agenda in front of him. Following discussions about missing minutes from September, Rebecca Bryant from the office of Adam Smith led a parade of speakers with a post mortem on the recent bipartisan achievements in congress, and a timely suggestion that dems move beyond talking points to have reasonable conversations.

Shari Song stepped up to the mic to remind us we have only two weeks left until the election, then Mayoral candidate Tim Clark offered his description of Kent as the 6th biggest city in the state. My-Linh Thai is fending off ugly tactics in the Bellevue School board race and Catheryn Campbell, running for city council pos 2, says "...Nobody's seen Rick?"

The body hung in there through a long winded LD report to elect Christina Lewis KCDCC's 1st vice chair by unanimous acclimation. Devon Alisa Abdallah received the majority of ballot votes to become the 4th vice chair. deJong formally announced the resignation of the 2nd vice chair, to be elected in November and appointed Ken Taylor as the KCDCC's new PCO Chair.

The treasurer's report included meaningful explanation of budget amendments made to accommodate newly acquired fundraising assistance. Courtney Gregoire said hello and campaign contributions to Shari Song, SeaTac Prop 1, Seattle Prop 1, Tim Clark & John Creighton were approved without contention; seriously. Grocery workers requested removal of their resolution, leaving only one in support of an initiative urging an amendment to the US Constitution, which boils down to 'money is not speech'. We adjourned on time, only to be greeted by the fog that once again settled upon King County.

Posted September 26, 2013
King County Democratic Central Committee:

September, 2013
Report by 34th District King County Committeeman Michael Arnold
Read the report as a PDF here

Shari Song welcomed us to The Carpenter's Union Hall in Renton with a meet & greet event preceding the September 2013 meeting of The KCDCC. Chair De Jong presented campaign contribution checks to Song, Carol Gregory of Federal Way, and Tim Clark, running for Mayor in Kent.

The meeting progressed into LD reports early to allow for pending presentations; PCO recruitment is red hot across the county and Halloween parties will take place in just about every district next month!

KC's Larry Phillips opened the featured State Transportation Bill symposium, explaining how the Metro System faces a 17% cut, when it needs an additional $75m annually to continue to provide service. Sara Franklin, speaking on behalf of transit operators said that without funding, 65 bus routes will be terminated and another 86 impacted. That means another 25-30k cars on the streets of Seattle, according to Phillips.

Dale Bright from Laborer's local 440 was adamant about the need for us to maintain Prevailing Wage. Take action! Go to: www.transportationchioces.org

Meetings will be held at Evergreen Campus on 10/9 and at The KC Courthouse on 10/14. After a brief testimonial on behalf of SeaTac Prop #1 ($15 min wage), the body agreed unanimously with resolutions in support of Transportation in Washington and to Extend Background Checks to ALL Gun Sales in the state.

Finally, we did not allow process to stand in the way of making contributions to the campaigns of Shari Song and Steve Kasner, or the hiring of a fundraiser who can produce heading into the home stretch of the 2013 campaign season.

August, 2013
Report by 34th District King County Committeeman Michael Arnold
Read the report as a PDF here

The August meeting of the KCDCC took place at The Carpenter's Union Hall in Renton as usual, though one week early to allow for endorsements. A new review of the process for nomination of candidates provided an opportunity to improve transparency and emulate the State Democratic Party practice of three ballot endorsements. The baton was then passed to the endorsement committee, who recommended support of Fair Elections and Charter 19 (districts), then argued against any suspension of the rules to allow for further endorsements. That didn't fly; endorsements went to the following:

  • No on all Tim Eyman initiatives
  • Sue Peters, School Board #4
  • Hilda Thompson, Lake Forest Park city council #1
  • Wade Schwartz, Kent city council #2
  • Yolanda Trout, Auburn city council #4
  • SeaTac minimum wage to $15 p/hr
  • Tom Mann, Enumclaw city council #5
  • Stacy May Knudson, Pacific city council #5
  • Tris Samburg, Bothell city council #6
  • Martin Moore, Federal Way city council #6
  • Shelley Kloba, retain for Kirkland city council #2
  • Mark Phillips, Lake Forest Park city council #5

A campaign update from Shari Song provided necessary process reprieve; she needs only about 3000 votes to displace Regan Dunn. Steve Kasner's campaign report indicated he needs only about 400 more votes in Bellevue to lock up a democratic majority there; like him today on Facebook! Upon return to the agenda, PCO committee chair Richard Chamberlain advised the body that PCOs are required to officially resign upon moving out of their precinct; after some debate however, it seemed an email notification would suffice. The LAC will meet somewhere in Federal Way on Sept 15th to hear guest speaker, Superintendent Randy Dorn. KCDCC pledged money in support of The Washington Senate Dem Caucus, a Patty Murray event on Aug 22nd, as well as an event for Dow Constantine on Aug 27th.

July, 2013
Report by 34th District King County Committeeman Michael Arnold

A perfect summer evening in the Puget Sound provided for an unusually relaxed atmosphere, and plenty of good seats from which to choose for the July 23rd meeting of the KCDCC at The Carpenter's Union Hall in Renton. With swift approval of the agenda & June minutes, Chair DeJong carefully covered the process of filling legislative vacancies, as the 41st district's own Marcie Maxwell has vacated her position to serve in Gov Inslee's cabinet as Senior Educational Policy Advisor. The KCDCC will call a Special Caucus of the district's PCOs on Aug 21st for the purpose of filling that vacancy. The 41st is currently looking for candidates.
The main event this evening was election reform. Fair Elections Seattle was clearly prepared to demonstrate how public financing can provide "clean money" to fend off PACs and corporate interests. By matching the individual contributions of local residents, candidates won't have to come up with $300k to run for city council! Funded by a very small property tax levy, public financing in Seattle presents us with an opportunity to differentiate candidates who take private money from those who rely on local public support and sets the stage for fair elections state wide. Further reform was suggested by the panel representing Charter Amendment 19, with a familiar proposal to elect 7 of the 9 city council members by district; for more info, visit: www.SeattleDistrictsNow.org

June, 2013
Report by 34th District King County Committeeman Michael Arnold

United in frustration over today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Democrats met in Renton at the Carpenters Union Hall for the June meeting of the KCDCC. We began at 7:15 with the introduction of Ken Taylor as the new co-chair of the Voter Outreach/Multicultural Networking committee, then went directly into amending the agenda. The body agreed to allow consideration of locally endorsed candidates, but chose not to make time for budget discussions. Unanimous election of Shawnie Saelee as the new Secretary of the KCDCC was followed by our guest speaker, Chair of the Pierce County Democrats, Jeannie Mitchell. King County dems are encouraged to volunteer for a shift at the Puyallup Fair booth, Sept 6 th-22 nd; KCDCC will provide financial support to help cover cost of the booth. We are also invited to join Pierce dems for an outing at a Rainier’s game on July 12 th! More info available at: www.piercecountydems.org

A motion to suspend the rules so we could endorse Jeremy Nutting to hold onto his Des Moines City Council position received unanimous support, as did the motion to endorse Steve Kasner, who has a plan to turn Bellevue Blue if he gets position #4. Chair of the KC Young dems, Betsy Walker requested financial support for members who need help with the cost of attending their bi-annual convention in San Antonio, Aug 8 th-11 th, and also invited us to their picnic, July 21 st at Gasworks Park. Farhana Satti is in need of volunteers to help with the KCDCC picnic on June 29 th at Roger’s Park. Sonja Rossman expects a huge turnout for the Seattle Pride Parade on Sunday, June 30 th; see KCDCC website for picnic and parade details, and check out the 43 rddist website for a Sat AM Pre-parade brunch.

Treasurer David Fish addressed the body regarding the KCDCC’s published budget, as well as the numerous requests to discuss it; he did a nice job explaining the unique nature of how budgets work in a non-profit organization. That settled, we agreed to spend $2250 in support of Shari Song, John Creighton, Carol Gregroy & Tim Clark. Moved on to remove a resolution supporting public financing of campaigns, then adopted one resolution supporting cuts in Pentagon spending and another in opposition to cuts in Social Security. Details available under 'committee reports' on the KCDCC website. The next LAC meeting will be at the Library on July 21 st in Kirkland at 2: PM; you can find them now on Face book! Want to see elections run by voters, not donors? Check out www.fairelectionsseattle.com

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