View of the 2018 Washington State Democratic Convention
Delegates participate in the 2018 Washington State Democratic Convention in Wenatchee (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Good morn­ing from Wenatchee!

This week­end, the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty is hold­ing its 2018 Con­ven­tion, the last event in the party’s bian­nu­al cau­cus and con­ven­tion cycle, at the Wenatchee Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in the Apple Cap­i­tal of the World.

As we have in years past, NPI is offer­ing live cov­er­age of the goings-on at the Con­ven­tion. Today’s gen­er­al ses­sion just got under­way a short time ago after being called to order by State Par­ty Chair Tina Podlodowski.

In keep­ing with last night’s dec­la­ra­tion by East Wenatchee City Coun­cilmem­ber that Democ­rats are proud patri­ots who love their coun­try and want to take it for­ward, the con­ven­tion’s first moments were filled with pageantry.

Del­e­gates par­tic­i­pat­ed in both the Pledge of Alle­giance and a moment of silence. The moment of silence was offered for the pur­pose of reflect­ing on the mean­ing of the Alle­giance and the need to elim­i­nate ongo­ing vio­lence and injus­tice in the Unit­ed States. Del­e­gates held up #Jus­tice­ForAll signs dur­ing and after the Pledge of Alle­giance, empha­siz­ing the final words of the patri­ot­ic pledge.

Del­e­gates were also treat­ed to a stir­ring ren­di­tion of Amer­i­ca the Beau­ti­ful by local artist, Michael Carlos.

Fol­low­ing the pageantry, the del­e­gates were wel­comed to Wenatchee by Chelan Coun­ty Democ­rats Chair Bill Miller, Dou­glas Coun­try Chair Karen Keie­man, and 12th LD Democ­rats Chair Dan Maher. “We wel­come you to North Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton and hope you come back often. Go out and do good work”, Keie­man said.

State Sen­a­tor Man­ka Dhin­gra (D‑45th Dis­trict) was appoint­ed Tem­po­rary Chair of the Con­ven­tion and will pre­side until a Per­ma­nent Chair is elected.

Fol­low­ing the appoint­ment, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Cald­well Con­fed­er­ate Tribe and the Yaki­ma Nation stood up and asked to be recognized.

Although Pod­lodows­ki request­ed that the con­ven­tion stay on time and stick to the sched­ule, Dhin­gra allowed them a moment to speak. The rep­re­sen­ta­tives sang a tra­di­tion­al song of the Cald­well Native Amer­i­cans that spoke of love, uni­ty, and strength. It was a pow­er­ful and fit­ting way to kick off the Convention.

Next, can­di­dates cur­rent­ly run­ning for office were asked to come up to the stage to intro­duce them­selves and the posi­tions they’re run­ning for.

These Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates are teach­ers, CPAs, fire­fight­ers, health­care pro­fes­sion­als, union rep­re­sen­ta­tive, cur­rent rep­re­sen­ta­tives, non­prof­it lead­ers, and mil­i­tary vet­er­ans who are run­ning for leg­isla­tive and con­gres­sion­al offices.

Cre­den­tials Co-Chairs Javier Valdez and our very own Andrew Vil­leneuve then took the stage to deliv­er the Final Report of the Con­ven­tion Cre­den­tials Committee.

Javier and Andrew report­ed that four hun­dred and six­ty-nine del­e­gates have signed in thus far, with six­ty-nine alter­nates signed in. Forty-nine alter­nates are eli­gi­ble to be seat­ed. If all alter­nates are seat­ed, then the total num­ber of eli­gi­ble vot­ers who may vote here in the hall would rise to five hun­dred and twelve.

Next, the cer­e­mo­ni­al roll call of the coun­ties and leg­isla­tive dis­tricts of Wash­ing­ton State was con­duct­ed by Rob Dolin, one of NPI’s found­ing board­mem­bers. Rob asked each del­e­ga­tion to describe them­selves in just three words.

Respons­es to this dif­fi­cult task were a mix of humor and Demo­c­ra­t­ic sentiment.

Some of the three-word phras­es includ­ed “We can count”, “Keep­ing it blue”, “Vote for Brown”, “Let’s go Mariners”, “Rise and run”, “Health­care for all”, “Keep fam­i­lies togeth­er”, “Lock him up”, and “Flip the 8th”. Oth­ers did not abide by the three word lim­it, offer­ing up longer respons­es such as “we pick the best apples”.

Many del­e­ga­tions sim­ply cheered as their dis­tricts and coun­ties were called.

Upon the com­ple­tion of the roll call, more Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates were rec­og­nized to address the assem­bled del­e­gates and alternates.

The first was con­gres­sion­al can­di­date for the 4th Dis­trict, Chris­tine Brown.

Brown opened her remarks by stat­ing that she is “run­ning to take a big table to Wash­ing­ton, D.C. with a seat for all of you”.

She reit­er­at­ed the impor­tance of ensur­ing every voice is heard with an espe­cial­ly loud and urgent call for com­pre­hen­sive immi­gra­tion reform. Brown also touched on issues of envi­ron­men­tal pol­i­cy and dou­bling down on renew­able resources. She asked Democ­rats all over the coun­try to get involved, can­vass, and advo­cate for Democ­rats run­ning in com­pet­i­tive dis­tricts in East­ern Washington.

“We want to turn East­ern Wash­ing­ton Brown”, she con­clud­ed, vocal­iz­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic sup­port for both her­self and her Demo­c­ra­t­ic col­league, Lisa Brown, run­ning in the 5th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict against Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers.

Stay tuned for more news and analy­sis com­ing to you live from the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­ven­tion in Wenatchee.

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