General Meeting 2/19/2020

21st Legislative District Democrats

Location: Rose Hill Community Center

February 19, 2020 

Meeting call to order 7:01pm

We welcomed 5 new members 

Sharon did the usual reminder of the code of conduct. Although this is a public space, we are a private organization and if there is any danger, we will call 911.

We will be looking at the caucus venue at Mariner HS this weekend.

We went over the agenda, and it was decided that it needs to be shortened in the meeting as we have a different venue that closes earlier.

Agenda was voted for and approved with the changes

It was decided that last months minutes will be approved next month

Guest speakers:

Linda Hjelle, the Snohomish County Assessor:

She was grateful for the support in the last election even though she ran unopposed.

Linda wanted to come and inform us about a senior citizen property tax cut.

The income limit for the low income property tax exemption used to be $40,000, Snohomish county  increased the maximum income to $55,700. Another change to the rule is, now you need to live in your home for 9 months. Primarily this is for people 61 years of age or older. The year that you qualify, the taxable value of your home  is frozen.

At Linda’s office they have people to help fill out the forms.

Stephanie Schindler asked how property tax works:

Takes the rate times assessed value. Can only increase by 1% per year. State school levy and what’s voted for. Website link. Has a tax distribution tool.

Brian Sullivan, the Snohomish County Treasurer:

Brian grew up here. Went to UW and got 5 extra credits for running for office and winning. He worked for the state senate. Was on the Mukilteo city council for 4 years. Starting when he was 29 he became mayor of Mukilteo for 8 years. During that time he saw the largest annexation in history. He was the Chair of the finance committee for county council. He is currently the County Treasurer, managing $15 billion through his office. His office is the first treasurer’s office in Washington state pushing for zero carbon cost. He is putting forth initiatives for $750,000 from the foreclosure fund to fund veterans. Wants to put forth a billion dollars to fund vets who don’t qualify for vouchers because they make too much money from benefits. He is trying to put in place emergency vouchers for them to qualify. Him and Linda are working on a computer upgrade so the treasures and auditors offices work more seamlessly and effortlessly. He wants to work on bringing up wages in Snohomish County. He also wants to inform us that people now have to opt in to emails for info on meetings. 

Candidate Guest Speakers:

Sharon let the candidates know that we have the questionnaires out and will schedule interviews soon.

Each Candidate did a 1 minute intro speech:

District 4 Guest Speakers:

Nichole Webber: 

She is running for County Council district 4. She is part of the LGBTQ+ community and is currently a renter in lynnwood. She is running because she doesn’t see herself represented on the current council. She would like to use her experience as a campaign staffer to better the council. She has lived in Snohomish county for many years.

Colin McMahan:

Colin has beena public defender in Snohomish county since 2017. His entire career he has been focused on issues around law and justice. He takes a proactive response to behavioral health and mental health issues, which will make it easier to react to other issues.

Stephanie Vignal:

Stephanie started as a PCO and Secretary of Snohomish County Democrats. She has had boots on ground with various campaigns to get out the blue. Went on city council and learned a lot. Voted on things that affected the housing crisis, water basins, transportation, and living wages/jobs.

Anita Ferris: 

Superior court judge position 12

She is now a senior judge. There are 4 new judges and if they are opposed, she urged us to vote for the current judges. In her role she has had to rule on voting rights, gender rights, and environmental issues. She has been practicing for 37 years.

Cindy Larsen:

Cindy Snohomish County superior court Judge position #3 and has been since Jan 2017. She is in the Mukilteo school district. She focuses on kids and juvenile family drug treatments. This is working on getting parents clean and sober so they can keep the families together. She is on the executive committee for juvenile detention and juvenile justice. 

Jennifer Langbehn: 

Superior court judge position #13. She was a family law attorney. She expanded to foster care children. In June 2018 she was appointed to the Court ops committee and family law committee.

Edirin Okoloko:

Although he lost his reelection campaign last Nov in a close race, he was re-appointed to the bench in January by Jay Inslee. His career has been dedicated to public service even when he was a lawyer. He has been on lots of committees. He is happy to bring his experience as an immigrant to the courts.

Jason Schwartz: 

Local Snohomish County public defender. He came to ask for our support of House bill 2231. This would make it a misdemeanor to miss a court date, rather than a felony.

Cassandra Lopez-Shaw:

She is a 17 year vet going against WAZU. She would like to bring more diversity into the leadership.

Treasurers report: Total 3711.46 will need a lot of money for the caucus. 

Chair, Sharon Holt:

You can find the full chair’s report here.

First Chair, Al Apodaca: 

We have 95 members in our organization. We need to connect with voters to get people to vote. We need to knock on doors and get lists out of vote builder. 

There are 3 types of canvases: Candidate canvassing, Working with state to get out the vote targeting people who don’t vote, and PCO Canvassing. Due to State laws regarding PDC requirements, we do not mix messaging or delivery of printed materials when Canvassing.

Sat March 1st from 11-2 meeting to canvas. 

Second Vice Chair/Issues and Education Committee Chair, Peter Henry:

Working on new resolutions. If you have anything you would like added to resolutions, please let the issues and educations committee know.

State committee Reps, Shaun Olsen, Simone Gomez (reported by proxy Micah Rowland): State committee meeting on Jan 31-Feb 2 have lots of content and not enough time to manage it properly (rushed). There needs to more opportunity for the members of the WSDCC to be engaged democratically. At the last 2 State Conventions, there has been heavy reliance on WSDCC Executive Board and Committee Chairs, and less being brought to the body.
DNC Reps were elected, Charter, Bylaws, Rules governing many critical processes and the very existence of the various Constituency Caucuses were heavily revised, and a slew of Resolutions (some postponed from Sept.) were passed.

County Reps, Rose Andrews, Joel Ware IV:

Not much as the county hasn’t met yet. Refer to report special county meeting on Feb 29th, for District #4 Candidate elections. Snohomish County Executive Board had a mediation session. Full county report can be found here.

Sergeant at Arms: 

Will be gone Feb 28th- March 25th

Young Dems:

1st Sunday of every month 1-3pm Mukilteo City Hall. There will be a Young dems on March 8th, they welcome anyone under the age of 36th. 

Fundraising Committee, Sue Nicholls:

Fundraiser at Spiros will be Presidential Trivia. If you haven’t paid dues yet you can pay $25 for membership and the trivia night, non members will pay $20, and it will be  $5 if you already paid your membership dues. The doors open at 5:30pm. 

Endorsements, Clare VanHollebeke:

Since January they  had 4 meetings. Colin McMahan is the new committee secretary. The 21st LD created Judicial, Congressional, Snohomish County, and General questionnaires as online forms. We have our own 21st oriented questions, but worked closely with SnoCo Endorsements Committee and aligned with the Platform. 21st LD Forms will be ready in a week or two.

Technology Committee: We have a new person for this committee who is helping out with the website.

Other Committee reports here – Rules, Diversity & Membership, etc.

New Business:

Using ranked choice voting for presidential endorsement. Motion approved. 

Using the ranked choice system Bernie Sanders gained the majority and Elizabeth Warren came in second. 

Good of the order:

We have a lot of opportunities for everyone to get involved in the caucus. 

Meeting adjourned 8:45pm