August 2018 General Business Meeting Minutes


August 29, 2018


1st Vice Chair

Christine Awad Schmalz offered a special “Thank you” to the volunteers who had worked at the Evergreen State Fair the preceding Sunday.


County Committeewoman

Rose Andrews gave her report of the latest Snohomish County Democrats meeting. Her summary of that meeting can be found here:

State Committeewoman

Sharon Holt informed the members of an upcoming volunteer training session on September 1st at the Everett Labor Temple. She also reminded the members of the upcoming 21st LD Democrats picnic, September 8 from noon to 5:00 PM.



Micah Rowland informed the members that he has recently accepted a new job, which may call him away from the area from time to time going forward. He looks forward to the organization turning its attention to the upcoming General Election on November 6.

Micah’s monthly report can be found here:


Report from the Endorsements and Elections Committee

2nd Vice Chair Bret Chiafalo, speaking on behalf of the committee, reported that there was only one item of recent business to report: David Chan, candidate for PUD Commissioner, Position 2, had requested the committee’s recommendation for endorsement. The committee considered Mr. Chan’s request, and had voted to recommend not endorsing him for PUD Commissioner, Position 2. Otherwise, all of the committee’s previous recommendations for endorsements were still in effect.


Report from the Diversity and Membership Committee

Roger Pence, Chair of the Diversity and Membership Committee, made a report of that committee’s recent business. One of the committee’s immediate goals will be attempting to increase the organization’s public visibility. He also suggested adding a group photo of the organization’s Executive Board to the landing page of the website.


At this point in the meeting, member Willy Russell was observed to be filming the meeting, a behavior he had been warned about at a prior meeting. After Mr. Russell refused to stop filming, Micah Rowland stepped down from the Chair to make a motion that Mr. Russell be removed from the meeting. The motion was seconded. The motion was debated against. The question was called; the vote to close debate passed by the necessary 2/3 majority, and debate was closed. The original motion was voted on, and passed. Mr. Russell refused to leave the meeting, and insisted that the police would need to be called to remove him. The police were called. Mr. Russell left the meeting.


Guest Speakers

Our featured speaker for the evening was State Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self. Representative Ortiz-Self discussed her recent experience in Puerto Rico. Her parents are both from Puerto Rico. The island was recently hit by Hurricane Maria, and is still recovering. She discussed the historical causes of Puerto Rico’s current political situation, and recent events including Hurricanes Irma and Maria. She described her personal experiences and observations during her recent trip to the island.


David Chan, candidate for PUD Commissioner, Position 2, spoke on his candidacy. He highlighted his long career with Alaska Sightseeing Cruise West, his accounting background, and his pro-environment positions. He spoke in particular about his experience witnessing the Exxon Valdez disaster in Prince William Sound.


Mario Lotmore, Republican candidate for State Senator from the 21st LD, spoke on his candidacy. In response to the unspoken question of why a Republican candidate was addressing a Democratic organization, he stated that he was tired of the divisiveness of modern politics. His priorities include addressing the opioid epidemic, enforcing existing laws, and restoring trust and accountability in Olympia. One of his goals, if elected, would be to develop a 10-20 year strategic plan for the state.


Bret Chiafalo spoke on behalf of Ivan Lewis, candidate for Representative from the 39th LD, Position 1. Ivan was unable to attend our meeting in person, but he needs help with his campaign in the (heavily Republican) 39th LD, and would appreciate any support our organization could provide.


Primary Update

Secretary Neil Shafer-Ross made a brief presentation on races of interest in Snohomish County, and encouraged members to contact him to volunteer with those campaigns (email: Campaigns featured include Scott McMullen and Dave Paul in the 10th LD, Ivan Lewis in the 39th LD, and Jared Mead in the 44th LD. For additional information on these races or any others, please contact the Secretary at the above email address.


New Business

There was a motion to endorse Mary Rollins for PUD Commissioner, District 1 (this is a different seat than that being contested by 21st LD members David Chan and Rebecca Wolfe). The motion was seconded. The motion was debated for. The motion was voted on, and passed with unanimous support. Mary Rollins is endorsed.


There was a motion to endorse David Chan for PUD Commissioner, District 2. The motion was seconded. The motion was debated for and against. The motion was voted on, but the vote was not in favor of passing. David Chan is not endorsed.


A resolution was proposed: Providing VAN to Dem Candidates (text visible here: This resolution would ask the Washington State Democratic Party to provide all Democratic candidates in general election races with access to VAN, provided they are confirmed Democrats running for state or federal legislature  against a Democratic party opponent. The resolution would also establish clear rules for what candidates should be given access to VAN. This would remove the requirement that candidates receive endorsement from a Democratic Party organization, which can be difficult to do when running against a senior Democratic incumbent, and is intended to provide a “level playing field” between Democratic candidates when there is no danger of the party losing a seat. The resolution was seconded. The resolution was debated, for and against. There was a motion to amend the resolution, removing the first and second “be it resolved” statements, leaving the third statement which asks for clear rules regarding VAN access. The motion to amend was seconded. The motion to amend was debated for and against. The motion to amend was voted on, and division was called for: there were 7 votes for and 15 votes against, therefore the resolution was not amended. Debate returned to the original motion. The resolution was voted on, and passed. The resolution will be adopted.


There was a motion to endorse Senator Maria Cantwell for reelection to the office of United States Senator from Washington State. Because Senator Cantwell has not expressed her support for a single payer health care system, she is ineligible for endorsement under the rules of the 21st LD. There was a motion to suspend that rule, which was voted on and passed by the required 2/3 majority. The motion to endorse was seconded. The motion was debated for and against. The motion was voted on, and passed. Senator Cantwell is endorsed.


Good of the Order

Jess Agi, campaign coordinator for Lillian Ortiz-Self and the rest of the 21st LD legislators, made brief remarks asking for the assistance of the members.


The Snohomish County Democrats asked for help with their booth at the Evergreen State Fair on August 31.


Scott Marshall, Chair of the Education and Issues Committee, announced that he would re-introduce his resolution regarding Puerto Rico sovereignty at the September meeting, as a response to Representative Ortiz-Self’s presentation on the current state of that territory.