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By Kate Kruller
My fellow State Committeeperson, Santiago Ramos, and I are very grateful to have represented you for the past two years. They have been interesting years with many unexpected challenges, but we hope that you know we have done our best to represent you. With Santiago on the Executive Committee and me on the Rules Committee, the 11th Legislative District had a voice!
At the beginning of our term, we thought the BIG CHALLENGE would be making some serious changes in and preparing for the 2020 Democratic Convention delegate and Elector selection processes. Then it would be on to the U.S. Presidential nomination and election process. By the time 2020 started, those changes were in place – and along came 2020. We were presented pandemic and some historic challenges during the U.S. Presidential Election year. Here are the highlights:
- Literally, you were represented in countless hours of efforts changing the rules on how we select our delegates to the national convention. Result: For the first time ever, precinct caucuses were eliminated and we pulled our allocations on what candidates got how many delegates from the statewide Primary elections. The actual delegates were selected from our legislative district caucus processes on up. It was a success and completed as we moved into the pandemic.
- The pandemic meant that we needed to figure out how to hold a state level convention online. More countless hours making changes to our rules and innovating how the meeting would operate with 300 people online together. With the plethora of ways we know to hold meetings online today, that may not seem significant, but we made history and anyone could participate – even if they only had a telephone. Result: Delegate contender forums were held, information was provided online for each contender, nominations went smoothly and so did the voting. For the first time, we changed our bylaws to included non-binary nominations. We selected our delegates and Electors – of which our own Santiago is one and he will be voting on December 14, 2020.
- The next challenge was to simply hold a normal meeting online – again with hundreds participating. The ability to make motions, personal privileges, points of order/information all had to be organized in advance and we were able to reasonably address all comments raised and get through significant by-law, charter and resolutions as if we’d been conducting meetings online all along.
- Through all of the above, your WSDCC succeeded in: Holding the physical meeting in January, the Legislative District caucuses and the Congressional District caucuses were completed successfully, we held a virtual convention in June and the September general membership virtual meeting – never skipping a beat on addressing the business of the state Democrats. The National Convention selected our Democratic Nominee and ultimately won the U.S. Presidential election! It doesn’t get any better than that!
COMING UP NEXT:
The Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC) General Membership meeting will convene January 30, 2021, online for the sole purpose of re-organizing. This happens every two years and all of the State Committee Officer positions are in contention (Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary), along with 10 Congressional District Chairs that when elected, will be on the WSDCC Executive Committee.
State Committee rules prescribe that the WSDCC Vice Chair must be of the opposite gender and typically resides in the opposite side of the state of Washington from where the Chair resides.
The WSDCC Chair will have immediate business at hand announcing what state committee members will serve on what standing committees. Considerations include: geographic location, gender, race and diversity in selecting and appointing committee leaders. The Chair also will set the schedule for the year with the approval of the Executive Committee.
Anyway, that is what work has been done this year and what’s next at the state level of the Democratic Party.
The 11th LD Dems have created some outreach materials that you can use to encourage your friends and neighbors to vote before November 3rd! Share directly on Facebook, or download them in multiple languages here! (Just right click on the image you want, and hit “save image as”.)
The 11th LD Democrats and Indivisible RentonWA are coming together to host a virtual candidate forum on Tuesday, September 8 at 6 PM that may decide the future of the 11th Legislative District for years to come. The two candidates for State House Pos. 1 – Rep. Zack Hudgins and David Hackney – will join a moderator and a virtual audience from across the 11th Legislative District to discuss issues of wide-ranging effect for the people of Washington State. Join us online and submit your question to the candidates at 11thLDdems.org/CandidateForum!
The race in the 11th LD is one of the most important this year in King County – if not the entire State. This will be one of the most widely accessible candidate forums in the history of the 11th LD. The forum will be broadcast online for anyone to watch. And you’re invited to submit a question in advance – the moderator just might ask the candidates your question!
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.