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Susan Carmela “Suzie” Sheary sadly passed away at the age of 74 this week. Throughout her life, Suzie was an activist, leader, and role model. Raised in Raymond, Washington, she grew up in a strongly Democratic household and counted herself a Democrat all her life. She first became a volunteer in the 1960 Presidential Election, 8 years before she could even cast her first vote. Living in South King County, she served in every conceivable leadership position in the 33rd and 11th LD Democrats, including stints as chair of those organizations. From 2002-2004, she was secretary of the King County Democrats, and in 2004 she set her sights on becoming chair. She assembled an accomplished and talented team of people who assumed the leadership of the King County Democrats in 2004 and would help Suzie lead the organization through the end of her third term in 2010.
In her years as a leader in the Democratic Party, Suzie always tried to make the work of being a Democrat and an organizer fun for those involved. When she was still in the 33rd LD, she became a delegate to the National Convention and brought back souvenirs that she distributed to members. She planned successful fundraisers, put together engaging community events, wrote and led her famous training courses, and organized her fair share of protests against the Bush Administration. One of her accomplishments was ensuring that the instructions for having caucuses were clear and made sense – before her, the instructions were often confusing to local precinct captains. During her time as chair, the King County Democrats rose to the occasion. Suzie was never afraid to challenge received wisdom and the normal way of doing business, and in so doing left in her wake stronger and better organizations than she found.
Suzie worked for Boeing for over 36 years, spending nearly half her time there in computing management. She left Boeing in 2001, but she never truly seemed to retire, however, as she continued her volunteer work in the Party, worked briefly in property management, and even set up Suzie’s Shelf consulting firm.
As a lifelong volunteer and activist, as chair of the 33rd and 11th LDs, as chair of the King County Democrats from 2004-2010, as friend to all who knew her – Suzie will be sorely missed by all those who have come across and been impacted by the Democratic Party in our region.
Now is the moment to get involved and become a PCO! A Precinct Committee Officer (“PCO”) is the most grassroots elected office in our state. It is the office in charge of educating and organizing neighborhoods and local communities.
There are many benefits to becoming a PCO, including automatic membership in your Party, social recognition, and increased access to other elected officials. But becoming a PCO is what you make of it – you can be as active and take advantage of as many opportunities as you like!
The one big, unavoidable duty is when there is a vacancy in the State Legislature for your district. If your State Representative or State Senator resigns or dies in office, you will be tasked with choosing their replacement. It’s a solemn and important duty and one that will place you at the heart of policy-making in Olympia.
If you have ever wanted to find a way to make a difference, this is your chance! As long as you are a registered voter in the district, over the age of 18 at the time of filing, you can effect change in your community today by becoming a PCO!
So You Want to be a PCO?
We’ve got the guide for you!
Maybe you don’t want to be a PCO, but you know somebody who would be great at it? Share this post on social media, email them the PDF, or download the image (PNG). Let’s make sure that the 11th is well-represented when it comes time to count PCOs.
Check back to kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/for-candidates.aspx between May 11 and 15 to formally register. If you have any questions about becoming a PCO, be sure to contact us.
Now is the time for you to decide if you want to represent your community at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee this August. Both the Republican and the Democratic Parties have chosen their nominees, but the National Convention is a chance to formalize that choice, to write the national platform, and for organizers and activists from across the country to meet and strategize. As a national delegate, you would be an active participant in a world-historical event at the center of national media attention and American political power.
Why would I want to be a delegate?
Becoming a delegate for your candidate at the National Convention of your party is a high honor. If you were a delegate, your community would be entrusting you to represent not only their choice for president, but also their views and values. This is a critical job as the Party makes fateful decisions about its course for the upcoming four years.
If this chance to represent your neighbors isn’t enough to catch your attention, know that as a delegate you will have a direct impact not only on the national political conversation, but also directly on the decisions that the Party makes. You will also get the chance to advance your personal career and experience by networking with other delegates and dignitaries at the National Convention. Imagine the chance to sit in the crowd as the Party’s candidate for president makes their impassioned acceptance speech in front of party and country.
I’m convinced. How can I become a delegate?
The process of becoming a delegate to the Democratic National Convention starts right now. You have until April 24 to register at waelectioncenter.com to run for delegate at your legislative district caucus. What is a legislative district caucus? It is the forum at which the delegates to the congressional district (CD) caucuses are chosen. Usually, voters from across your legislative district would gather to elect these delegates, but in 2020, legislative district caucus voters are limited to the PCOs of the legislative district. (Interested in becoming a PCO? Stay tuned and check back to 11thLDdems.org.)
If you get elected at the legislative district caucus (chances might be good!), you will get the chance to go to the congressional district caucus. There, you will run to represent your congressional district at the National Convention. Two steps and you’re done!
If at the congressional district caucus you aren’t elected, you still have the chance to run to be an at-large delegate at the State Convention. The State Convention will also be the place where those elected at the legislative district caucus get to vote on the Washington State Democratic Party platform and other Party decisions.
Are you ready?
Good luck! We know you’d make a great delegate and representative of the Party. If you have any questions, let the 11th LD Dems answer them. Go to our contact page, follow us on social media, or send us an email.