February 2019 General Business Meeting minutes

The February 2019 General Business Meeting of the Washington State 21st Legislative District Democratic Party Organization took place on February 20, 2019, at the Mukilteo City Hall.

The meeting opened at 7:05 PM with a flag salute.

Guest Speakers
Prior to the start of formal business, we were honored to have some guest speakers make brief remarks. Our speakers this month were all Snohomish County judges who had been appointed in 2018 by Governor Jay Inslee, and are now running to be elected to their positions for the first time.

Judge Edirin Okoloko was a deputy prosecuting attorney for 13 years in the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s office. His experience is in homicide and other serious crimes.

Judge Jennifer Langbehn has a background in dependency law, which means that she specialized in helping parents whose children had been removed by Child Protective Services.

Judge Paul Thompson had been a Snohomish county public defender for 11 years prior to his appointment to the bench. Before that he was a public defender in Chelan county.

Approval of the Agenda
There was a motion to approve the agenda. It was seconded. There were no amendments and the agenda was accepted unanimously.

Approval of the Minutes
The minutes of the last General Business Meeting were considered for approval, the meeting having taken place on January 16th, 2019. There was a motion to approve the minutes, which was seconded. The minutes were approved unanimously.

Old Business
There was no Old Business

New Business

As the first item of New Business, Chair Sharon Holt presented her proposed committee appointments. The proposed committee rosters are subject to approval by the membership, and even if approved they would not be binding, but would serve as the starting place for committee organization. There was a motion to accept the Chair’s proposed committee appointments as a slate. It was seconded. There was no debate, and the proposed committee appointments passed unanimously. The member volunteers are duly appointed to their committees, as proposed by the Chair.

The second item to be considered as New Business was the preliminary budget plan for the 2019-2020 biennium. Chair Sharon Holt emphasized that the preliminary budget was not binding, and would only serve as a starting place from which a more specific budget could be developed in the future. Questions were asked and answered about the budget, but no amendments were proposed. There was a motion to accept the preliminary budget, which was seconded. There was debate for and against the motion. The motion was voted on and passed. The preliminary budget was accepted.

There was a special report from Shaun Olsen and Simone Gomes, our State Committeepeople, regarding upcoming proposed changes to the Washington State Democratic Party’s caucus system for presidential candidates. No motions or votes were required, but because of the importance of this issue the Chair felt it was critically important to discuss early in the meeting. Further information on the proposed changes will be shared with the members as it becomes available, and the Chair has scheduled a working session to discuss the matter at the Lynnwood Public Library, from 10 AM to noon, on Sunday, February 24.

The next item was the proposed procedures related to the Code of Conduct. The Code itself was adopted at the January meeting, but the procedures thereof (such as enforcement or disciplinary action) were not adopted yet. Both the Code of Conduct and the proposed procedures are based on rules adopted by the Washington State Democratic Party, and recommended as a template to all LDs in the state.
There was a motion to adopt the proposed procedures, which was seconded.
There was a motion to amend the proposed procedures, section IV, subsection B. Submission. There was discussion on exactly what the wording of the amended text should be, and several friendly amendments were offered. Following the discussion, it was generally agreed that the current proposed text of section IV, subsection B, should be stricken and replaced with the following: “A complaint must be submitted to the Chair, or a Vice Chair, and at least two other members of the Executive Board.” This amendment to the proposed procedures was voted on, and passed without objection.
Based on parliamentary advice from a member, the Chair realized that the current version of the proposed procedures would be in conflict with the organization’s bylaws, and is therefore out of order. There was a motion to refer the proposed procedures back to the Rules Committee, for further review and to make sure that the procedures for our Code of Conduct will be in agreement with our bylaws. The motion was seconded. The question was called, which passed by the necessary two thirds. The motion was voted on and passed.

New Business now turned to three proposed resolutions. There was a motion to adopt the first two resolutions as a slate, which was seconded. There was no debate. The slate of resolutions was voted on, and passed. The resolutions so adopted are as follows:
Resolution Supporting the Plan for a Green New Deal and Creation of the Select Committee for the Green New Deal
Resolution Supporting a Legislative Requirement that Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates Disclose Eight Years of Tax Returns in Order to Appear on Washington’s Primary Election Ballot

The third resolution considered was simply called “Ranked Choice Voting.” This resolution is related to the proposed changes to the Washington State Democratic Party’s caucus system, discussed above. In summary, the currently proposed changes may result in all Democratic Party candidates failing to receive a minimum number of caucus votes, requiring the Washington State Democratic Party to send only un-pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention, which selects the party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates. This resolution would urge the Washington State Legislature to implement ranked choice voting for all presidential, federal, and state level primary, general, and special elections.
There was a motion to adopt the resolution. It was seconded. The resolution was debated for and against. The question was called, which passed by the necessary two thirds. The resolution was voted on, and there was a call for division; the vote was counted 12 in favor, 9 opposed. The resolution was passed.

Officers’ Reports

First Vice Chair Al Apodaca announced that we have moved from mini reporting to full reporting with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. He also gave an update as PCO Coordinator. Al’s full report can be found here: https://21dems.org/vice-chair-officer-report-feb-2019/

State Committeeperson Simone Gomes asked members to consider donating to the Washington State Democratic Party’s Latino Caucus. They do not have a website for donations yet, but are assembling one soon. Questions can be directed to wadem.latinocaucus@gmail.com.

Shaun Olsen mentioned that the Washington State Democratic Party had started an Economic Justice Caucus.

County Committeeperson Joel Ware informed the members that the county party is moving forward with securing a booth at the Evergreen State Fair. He also announced that he had been reelected as the Vice Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party’s Veterans’ Caucus.

Rose Andrews gave a detailed report of what happened at the last Snohomish County Democratic Party meeting. Her written report can be found here: https://21dems.org/county-committee-report-february/

Chair Sharon Holt reported that appointments still pending in the organization include the Young Democrats Liaison, Deputy Treasurer, and Parliamentarian. She would also like to recruit representatives for geographic areas within the LD–such as municipalities–who could communicate to the membership important events in their area, coordinate transportation for members who can’t otherwise make meetings, and provide periodic reports on the business of their local city government.

Good of the Order

Joel Ware made the members aware that we have a donation bucket at the meeting, as we will at future meetings. We have set a goal of collecting $100 per month.

Alex Lark announced his candidacy for Snohomish County Council, position 2. His campaign website is: https://www.facebook.com/ElectAlexLark/

Louis Harris announced his candidacy for Snohomish County Council, position 2. His campaign website is: http://www.electlouisharris.com/

Micah Rowland informed the members that the single payer health care resolution, which we had passed at our meeting in January, had been passed at the state meeting thereafter. He emphasized the importance of what our organization does, and how we can affect policy in the state.

Larry McIntosh pointed out that we had recently had a special election, and he encouraged all 21st LD voters to vote in every single election, even special elections.

Willie Russell informed the members that the Snohomish County point-in-time count (PIT) had been successfully completed, and that it found a total of 1,467 people living homeless within the county.

Rose Andrews reminded members to please return their credentials after the meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:32 PM.