submitted by Michael Clark
Okanogan County State Committee Member Report
Washington State Democratic Central Committee of April 7th, 2019
State Committee Members from every part of the state, came together in early April to vote on our states democratic primary and caucus process, attend and participate in our newly appointed committees, to address legislative and state committee resolutions and a variety of other issues explained in further detail in the following report.
Yours truly, having been appointed to the Resolutions Committee, attended the first meeting on Friday evening. It was quickly apparent that the function of the committee is to edit and/or amend, recommend a Do Not Pass, Do Pass as Amended, Return to Originator, or Table and send them to the WSDCC for further discussion and the same voting criteria used by the Resolutions Committee. The only differences are that the Resolutions Committee is a first stop at a WSDCC meeting and our decisions subject to further analysis by the State Committee Members as a whole. There is a growing consensus that the Advocacy Committee and the Resolutions Committee need to hold joint meetings because most of their work is tracking Legislation, ballot measures and initiatives. This general session came at the end of a main legislative session, so to stay up-to-date on future legislative agendas and so the Resolutions Committee can better understand the subsequent resolutions from the WSDCC, there is talk of the two committees working together so the Resolutions Committee will be better informed in regards to its amendment and editorial function.
Saturday mornings Resolutions Committee Meeting was a wrap up from the late night work carried out the previous evening highlighted by a spirited discussion on resolution 911; Resolution Opposing the Expansion of Gas Infrastructure. There was opposition from the Labor Caucus, a member from our side of the state with regards to potato/food processing and support from members who want to see a more progressive approach to the future of our states energy needs and the subsequent promotion of jobs and training for the next generation. A lesson that was learned from this particular discussion, was that it is not the job of the Resolutions Committee to judge and vote if Resolution 911 was right or wrong, it was to clean it up and send it to the floor for a vote with a recommendation. Furthermore, as mentioned in this State Committee Members last report, I would encourage our own LPOs to pay close attention to ballot measures and initiatives in our own part of the state that we believe would impact us, and formulate our own resolutions in support of or in opposition to, so that we can make a stronger impact to and through our legislators.
The following Advocacy Committee meeting was a confirmation that although they are well informed and have great leadership with an ambitious agenda for the next couple years, the Resolutions Committee needs their support in order to make the resolutions from concerned individuals and organizations more impactful when they reach the desks of our local and state legislators as they have more insight as to who should be the target recipient, when the best time to act will be, or more importantly, who has a record of support or opposition.
The Joint Affirmative Action and Rules Committee was a blur. But what I was able to ascertain, is that having a joint session between the Advocacy Committee and the Resolutions Committee would be a great benefit.
Attending the Small Business Caucus as a member and representative from the 4th CD was informative. The Chair, Perry Campbell, had a presentation on Funding for Small Business. He talked about Debt, Equity, and sources of funding. Most notable, is the SBA Microloans, Farm Credit Administration, Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists, and Crowd Funding. There was an issue expressed by Lynn, a member from the west side of the state, regarding Imminent Domain, and that she had to move her business when sound transit proposed, then acquired her landlords property thereby displacing her and her neighbors. We talked about the need for a level of fairness with regards to proper compensation to the tenants for relocation.
Saturday afternoon was the Primary/Caucus and DSAAP Conversation. The condensed version of the presentation is as follows;
Advantages of a Primary; primaries make it easier to vote. Caucuses cost money both locally and at the state level. The Primary and Caucus plans meet all the DNC standards. The Primary plan would move up the ballot deadline ahead of the Caucus Plan, it would also likely increase Washington’s influence and how much attention candidates pay to our state. The Primary Plan would move the actual vote date (when the ballots would be due) to March 10, 2020. The Caucus Plan would have the caucuses take place on March 21, 2020 after three additional large states hold their primaries. The Primary Plan would make Washington more relevant in the nominating process. Both options would have LD and CD caucuses for the delegate selection process. The new absentee ballot requirements in the Caucus Plan are not viewed to be much more effective at getting more voter participation, and there are security concerns.
Sunday was the General Session. It was one to remember. After reviewing online polling conducted by the WSDCC, I was compelled to vote Primary.