NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

LIVE from Wenatchee: Candidates address the Washington State Democratic Convention

Good morn­ing again from Wenatchee.

The 2018 Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­ven­tion con­tin­ues here at the Stan­ley Civic Cen­ter in the heart of the Apple Cap­i­tal of the World.

Fol­low­ing the open­ing cer­e­monies, Tem­po­rary Con­ven­tion Chair Man­ka Dhin­ga (D‑45th Dis­trict) rec­og­nized can­di­dates run­ning for leg­isla­tive and oth­er elec­toral posi­tions to speak for a few min­utes each. More than a dozen can­di­dates lined up in front of the stage to speak to the del­e­gates, alter­nates, and guests.

Many spoke of the need for bet­ter edu­ca­tion fund­ing.

Valerie Sar­ratt is a mid­dle school teacher run­ning for the 12th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict (for Posi­tion #2). She said: “I expect to get into the House and work for full fund­ing for edu­ca­tion, vot­er rights, and to cre­ate com­mu­ni­ties where we are work­ing togeth­er and have a strong econ­o­my.”

Sylvia Ham­mond is run­ning in the 13th LD, a dis­trict that’s been deeply red for thir­ty years. Sylvia thinks Democ­rats have the momen­tum to turn the dis­trict blue. Like Sar­ratt, a top pri­or­i­ty for her is strength­en­ing Wash­ing­ton’s pub­lic schools.

A recur­ring theme of the speech­es was the need for women to run “to nur­ture and heal our coun­try and state.” (Women are woe­ful­ly under­rep­re­sent­ed at almost every lev­el of gov­ern­ment in our coun­try, from local and state to fed­er­al.)

Mul­ti­ple can­di­dates touched on the impor­tance of sup­port­ing the par­ty’s stan­dard bear­ers in rur­al areas, includ­ing Karen Hardy, the par­ty’s 7th LD Sen­ate hope­ful. A democ­ra­cy like the Unit­ed States should­n’t have so many uncon­test­ed elec­tions, Hardy said, declar­ing that she’s tired of see­ing only Repub­li­cans on her bal­lot.

“Rus­sia gets bal­lots with one name, Libya gets bal­lots with one name,” she said. “Wash­ing­ton State will not con­tin­ue to get bal­lots with one name on them.” She fin­ished by thank­ing the crowd and declar­ing, “Keep it up! Work, work, work!”

Car­olyn Long, run­ning for the 3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict against entrenched Repub­li­can incum­bent Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler, was the next to receive a warm recep­tion from the Con­ven­tion. She’s a polit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor at Wash­ing­ton State Uni­ver­si­ty’s Van­cou­ver branch. Like Man­ka Dhin­gra, she says she was inspired to run after Democ­rats lost the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tions. She said she’s par­tic­u­lar­ly dis­turbed by the con­tin­ued polar­iza­tion of our pol­i­tics and wants to see a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress exer­cise its over­sight pow­ers to rein in the Trump regime.

Tirzah Ida­hosa, a can­di­date for the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate in the 30th Leg­isla­tive dis­trict, told the Con­ven­tion: “I am a moth­er, union mem­ber, mil­i­tary brat, dis­abled, and a care provider.” She explained that she has raised over fifty chil­dren in fos­ter care and helped start Democ­rats for Diver­si­ty & Inclu­sion.

The Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate has not had any black women mem­bers since Rosa Franklin retired sev­er­al years ago, and Ida­hosa hopes to change that this year.

Everett Maroon, a 16th LD hope­ful and a mem­ber of the state par­ty’s Advo­ca­cy Com­mit­tee, described how he took a strug­gling non­prof­it that sup­port­ed peo­ple with HIV and turned it into a $500,000/year orga­ni­za­tion. He added that he would be the first trans­gen­der per­son in the Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture.

Can­di­dates run­ning in the 12th, 3rd, 13th, 6th and 35th Leg­isla­tive Dis­tricts are also here at the Con­ven­tion, as well as can­di­dates for Spokane Coun­ty Clerk and Jef­fer­son Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­er.

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