34th Democrats Membership Meeting – Held via closed Zoom
Pre-Meeting Program – Peter Donaldson and students from Sustainability Ambassadors
This program can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PMUHIixNks
7:33 – Call to Order by Chair Graham Murphy
Chair’s Opening Remarks
- Chair Murphy contrasted events in Tennessee during which two Democratic representatives were expelled for pushing for gun restrictions, and Washington State which had just passed a ban on assault rifles.
- We were urged to work to maintain our “Blue Wall” in Washington.
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s Build our America luncheon will be on Thursday, May 4th.
- County Executive Dow Constantine is hosting his annual Filing Week Luncheon Friday, May 19th.
- Adoption of Meeting Agenda
- Ann Martin moved; Julie Whitaker seconded. Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.
- Approval of the Minutes from March Membership Meeting.
- Rachel Glass moved; Tamsen Spengler seconded. March minutes approved by unanimous consent.
- 1st Vice Chair Rachel Glass gave a land acknowledgement and provided information for donating to organizations that benefit indigenous people locally and nationally.
- Teresa Mosqueda announced that there was to be a public hearing regarding the November Seattle Housing Levy on April 19th, followed by a public comment opportunity. She also spoke of the national attention the recently enacted Seattle gig worker sick leave requirement has received.
- Burien Mayor Sofia Aragon also spoke in favor of the Crisis Care levy; She was to be doorbelling on its behalf.
- Seattle School Board Member Leslie Harris rose to announce she is not seeking another term. She will assist any of those who wish to run for SPS Director Position 6.
- King Conservation District Board Member Chris Porter spoke in favor of the Crisis Care levy
- Former Seattle City Councilperson Jan Drago was recognized by the Chair.
Candidate King County Council District 8
- Sofia Aragon. Sofia expressed appreciation for the various areas of King County and stressed her life-long commitment to Democratic Party. She would advocate for housing affordability, health care, drug and homeless solutions, and for the environment.
Candidates for Seattle City Council District 1:
- Maren Costa. Maren is a former Amazon employee instrumental in their “Climate Pledge” initiative. She was fired for union advocacy, winning a lawsuit against the company. Her areas of concern are public safety, affordable housing, and gender pay equity.
- Preston Anderson. Preston is a social services professional and would tackle homelessness, drug use, work for more transit options, and see an increase in front line social services workers.
- Rob Saka. Saka was instrumental in the 2021 King County Charter amendments and the search process to select a new Seattle Police Chief. He addressed homelessness and the need for more humane sweeps, mental health treatment and police reform.
Chair Murphy informed the group that there will be a Candidate Forum at 1- 4pm on Saturday, June 10th at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. It will feature candidates for King County Council District 8 followed by the Seattle City Council District 1 race.
State Party Committeeperson Election (Male or Non-Binary)
- Joe McDermott nominated Ted Barker; Gina Topp seconded.
- Ted spoke on his own behalf.
- Joe spoke in favor of Ted.
- Ted is elected via voice vote of the PCOs present.
Update on Raising the Minimum Wage in Burien and Unincorporated King County
- Katie Wilson, General Secretary of the Transit Riders Union gave an overview of initiatives to raise the minimum wage in various local cities. Next efforts will be in the city of Burien and in unincorporated King County.
Reconnect South Park
- Reconnect South Park is a grassroots organization devoted to tackling issues in South Park related to the bisection of the neighborhood by Highway 99 as well as other areas of concern within that part of the city. 34th Democrats member Maria Ramirez spoke of their efforts to address those problems. Robin Schwartz from the Duwamish River Community Coalition also spoke. https://reconnectsouthpark.org/
Call to Action for King County Prop. 1 – Crisis Care Centers Levy
- PCO Chair Dorothy Gesick rose to encourage members to volunteer to get out the vote for the measure on the April 25th Special Election ballot. She also urged us to vote for the levy and to get others to support the levy.
Budget for 2023-2024
- Chair Graham presented a budget for fiscal year 2023-2024 starting in May.
- Rachel Glass moved to approve; Julie Whitaker seconded.
- Members approved the budget via voice vote.
- Treasurer Julie Whitaker gave the March financial report.
- The 34th has now transferred all banking activities from Umpqua Bank to BECU.
- As of the meeting, membership stood at 146, with 66 of those PCOs.
Good of the Order
- Carla Rogers announced that we will be taking part in the One Seattle Day of Service. Our participation was to be determined at meeting time.
- Ann Martin rose to say that the West Seattle Democratic Women’s March program on indigenous women was postponed until April 27th.
- Steve Butts announced that the 34th will have a booth at the White Center Cambodian New Year Festival on April 29.
- Maria Ramirez offered information on housing in South Park for qualified families.