Fawn Sharp speaking at the 2020 WSD Convention
Fawn Sharp speaking at the 2020 WSD Convention

Good morn­ing, and wel­come to our live cov­er­age of the 2020 Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­ven­tion… the first state con­ven­tion in par­ty his­to­ry to take place exclu­sive­ly online instead of in-per­son. This bien­ni­al event is, accord­ing to the par­ty’s char­ter, its most impor­tant gath­er­ing and assem­bly, with the author­i­ty to mod­i­fy the par­ty’s plan of gov­ern­ment and the respon­si­bil­i­ty to adopt a platform.

Today’s con­ven­tion gen­er­al ses­sion will run from 9 AM until a time to be deter­mined. We will bring you high­lights through­out the day; the par­ty also invites you to watch the livestream your­self using YouTube.

The main busi­ness of the con­ven­tion gen­er­al ses­sion will be as follows:

  • Hear­ing from can­di­dates and par­ty leaders;
  • Con­sid­er­ing char­ter and bylaws amendments;
  • Dis­cussing, debat­ing, and vot­ing on a platform.

Notably, del­e­gates to the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion will not be elect­ed as part of today’s gen­er­al ses­sion. Some del­e­gates were already elect­ed at the con­gres­sion­al dis­trict elec­tion using an online elec­tion process a cou­ple of weeks ago. (Note that secret bal­lots were not used for nation­al del­e­gate selec­tion, which means the results are auditable even though the vot­ing took place online.) The remain­ing at-large and PLEO nation­al del­e­gates will be cho­sen by the par­ty’s leg­isla­tive dis­trict state com­mit­teemem­bers today and tomorrow.

Our live cov­er­age begins below.

UPDATE, 9:04 AM (Ruairi): Wel­come again to NPI’s live cov­er­age of the Wash­ing­ton State Democ­rats’ 2020 Con­ven­tion! Tina Pod­lows­ki, Chair of the Wash­ing­ton State Democ­rats, is deliv­er­ing her open­ing remarks.

UPDATE, 9:07 AM (Ruairi): Chair­woman Pod­lows­ki has addressed the impact of COVID-19 and the efforts of Wash­ing­ton Democ­rats, both in-state and in D.C. to help Wash­ing­to­ni­ans strug­gling with the impact of the coro­n­avirus pandemic.

UPDATE, 9:09 AM (Ruairi): Pod­lows­ki has laid out the efforts the state par­ty has made towards diver­si­fi­ca­tion, reject­ing “the out­dat­ed notion of electability.”

UPDATE, 9:10 AM (Ruairi): Pod­lows­ki reminds the audi­ence of the state Democ­rats suc­cess­ful efforts to pres­sure the GOP to oust the white nation­al­ist State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Matt Shea.

UPDATE, 9:14 AM (Ruairi): Pod­lows­ki com­mits the par­ty to stand­ing with those march­ing for jus­tice, not only for black lives, but for sur­vivors of sex­u­al assault, immi­grant rights, cli­mate jus­tice and oth­er issues.

UPDATE, 9:15 AM (Ruairi): “Togeth­er, we’re unstop­pable, and I can’t wait to remind Repub­li­cans of that real­i­ty on Novem­ber 3rd 2020!” – Podlowski

UPDATE, 9:16 AM (Ruairi): Pod­lows­ki not only wants to express Demo­c­ra­t­ic val­ues, but to orga­nize com­mu­ni­ties and encour­age them to vote.

UPDATE, 9:25 AM (Ruairi): Wel­com­ing remarks were giv­en on behalf of Washington’s trib­al com­mu­ni­ty by Leonard Fors­man and Fawn Sharp.

UPDATE, 9:27 AM (Ruairi): The May­or of Taco­ma, Vic­to­ria Woodards, wel­comed del­e­gates to the state con­ven­tion. (The con­ven­tion was sched­uled to occur in Taco­ma,  before the pan­dem­ic hit.)

UPDATE, 9:29 AM (Ruairi): May­or Woodards says the U.S. faces three pan­demics: COVID-19, racism, and the rule of the man in the White House.

UPDATE, 9:31 AM (Ruairi): Rev­erend Leslie Brax­ton then deliv­ered remarks in recog­ni­tion of lives lost to police vio­lence and racism.

UPDATE, 9:32 AM (Ruairi): “For the first time in our 401 year odyssey…the peo­ple march­ing for racial jus­tice are not African Amer­i­can. It seems for the first time that racial jus­tice has become a human issue.” – Rev. Braxton.

UPDATE, 9:32 AM (Ruairi): Rev­erend Brax­ton told del­e­gates he looks for­ward to mak­ing a “more equi­table soci­ety for all our cit­i­zens,” encour­ag­ing the con­ven­tion to adopt poli­cies that encour­age racial justice.

UPDATE, 9:34 AM (Ruairi): Gov. Jay Inslee deliv­ers remarks of grat­i­tude for the emer­gency work­ers com­bat­ting COVID-19.

UPDATE, 9:36 AM (Ruairi): “We have made deci­sions based on sci­ence” says Gov. Inslee, tout­ing Washin­gon state’s achieve­ments in com­bat­ing COVID-19.

UPDATE, 9:37 AM (Ruairi): Gov­er­nor Inslee called out and praised NPI’s own Gael Tar­leton, who is run­ning for Sec­re­tary of State.

UPDATE, 9:38 AM (Ruairi): “I would love for your vote as well…I’m stand­ing for re-elec­tion as gov­er­nor of the best state in the coun­try!” – Gov. Inslee

UPDATE, 9:40 AM (Ruairi): Cre­den­tials Com­mit­tee co-chairs Javier Valdez and Made­line Brown pre­sent­ed their committee’s report on del­e­gates and alternates.

UPDATE, 9:41 AM (Ruairi): Made­line Brown: “We have a final seat­ing 1,338 total del­e­gates” That means that six hun­dred and sev­en­ty votes are required to pass a bylaws amendment.

UPDATE, 9:43 AM (Ruairi): Chair Pod­low­dows­ki offered a report on pre-con­ven­tion prepaa­tions. She start­ed by thank­ing the large num­ber of par­ty mem­bers who worked to make the con­ven­tion happen.

UPDATE, 9:44 AM (Ruairi): One of the biggest chal­lenges of a dig­i­tal meet­ing was cre­at­ing rules that were fair and representative.

UPDATE, 9:46 AM (Ruairi): The 2020 plat­form com­mit­tee met six times (over forty hours!) to draft the plat­form for the con­ven­tion. The dig­i­tal nature of the con­ven­tion made it eas­i­er for del­e­gates to sub­mit amend­ments to the platform.

UPDATE, 9:49 AM (Ruairi): Chair Pod­lodows­ki applaud­ed the vol­un­teers who made the con­ven­tion logis­ti­cal­ly and tech­no­log­i­cal­ly possible.

UPDATE, 9:50 AM (Ruairi): No one sought the role of Per­ma­nent Chair for the Con­ven­tion before the dead­line – per­haps because nobody wants to run a 2,000 per­son Zoom meet­ing, Pod­lodows­ki wry­ly observed.

UPDATE, 9:51 AM (Ruairi): Now Per­ma­nent Chair Pod­lodows­ki, lack­ing a gav­el, used a cof­fee cup to gav­el in the next phase of the proceedings.

UPDATE, 9:57 AM (Ruairi): While the first bal­lot goes live, a help­ful video is play­ing explains how to fill in the bal­lot. Del­e­gates have thir­ty min­utes to fill out the first bal­lot, which is to adopt the con­ven­tion rules.

UPDATE, 9:58 AM (Ruairi): While del­e­gates vote, videos from Demo­c­ra­t­ic lead­ers across the coun­try will play, start­ing with pre­sump­tive nom­i­nee Joe Biden.

UPDATE, 9:58 AM (Ruairi): “It’s time for us to face the deep open wound of sys­temic racism in this coun­try.” – Joe Biden

UPDATE, 9:59 AM (Ruairi): Biden promis­es to “restore real lead­er­ship,” and empha­sizes that the Democ­rats need to hold the House and win the Sen­ate – and achiev­ing those goals will require strong state parties.

UPDATE, 9:59 AM (Ruairi): “If we stand togeth­er, we’re going to win the bat­tle for the soul of this nation.” – Joe Biden

UPDATE, 10:00 AM (Ruairi): A video from DNC Chair Tom Perez is up next. He wants to keep build­ing on his­toric Demo­c­ra­t­ic suc­cess­es in Wash­ing­ton state.

UPDATE, 10:01 AM (Ruairi): “Noth­ing will stop Democ­rats from orga­niz­ing to improve the lives of our friends and neigh­bors.” – Tom Perez

UPDATE, 10:02 AM (Ruairi): “We must con­front the orig­i­nal sin that we have not con­front­ed as a nation.” – Tom Perez

UPDATE, 10:02 AM (Ruairi): Tom Perez denounces the vio­lence that was met­ed out to pro­test­ers across the coun­try by police and Nation­al Guard forces: “These are night­mares that our chil­dren will read about in his­to­ry books.”

UPDATE, 10:03 AM (Ruairi): “Civ­il rights is indeed the unfin­ished busi­ness of Amer­i­ca.” – Tom Perez

UPDATE, 10:04 AM (Ruairi): “Don­ald Trump and Her­bert Hoover are in a pitched bat­tle to see who can have the worst jobs record!” – Tom Perez

UPDATE, 10:06 AM (Ruairi): Perez praised pre­sump­tive nom­i­nee Joe Biden, describ­ing him as “the cap­tain of the Democ­rats” in the U.S. Sen­ate in the 1990s. “Joe Biden is a tru­ly decent man!”

UPDATE, 10:07 AM (Ruairi): Chair­man Perez thaneds Gov­er­nor Inslee for his lead­er­ship dur­ing the COVID-19 cri­sis. He also praised Sen­a­tors Mur­ray and Cantwell. “You have so many good Democ­rats in Washington!”

UPDATE, 10:27 AM (Ruairi): Vot­ing is com­plet­ed, and the con­ven­tion will now pro­ceed on to the next item of busi­ness – the state par­ty is going through the bal­lots to ensure there are no discrepancies.

UPDATE, 10:30 AM (Ruairi): Par­ty Affairs Direc­tor Drew Estep announces the results: 1,036 votes are in favor of pass­ing the pro­posed rules vote. There are eighty-four nos and six­teen abstentions.

UPDATE, 10:31 AM (Ruairi): The next item on the agen­da is con­sid­er­a­tion of any char­ter and bylaws amendments.

UPDATE, 10:34 AM (Ruairi): Char­ter amend­ments require an absolute major­i­ty of the elect­ed del­e­gates. David McDon­ald, a DNC mem­ber, pro­posed the char­ter amend­ments, and explained them via video.

UPDATE, 10:36 AM (Ruairi): Chair Pod­lodows­ki also sub­mit­ted a bylaws amend­ment. These amend­ments from Pod­lodows­ki and McDon­ald are all house­keep­ing mea­sures and most per­tain to orga­niz­ing a cau­cus and con­ven­tion cycle in a year with­out precinct cau­cus­es or oper­at­ing the state par­ty and its local affil­i­ates in a time of emer­gency like the coro­n­avirus pandemic.

UPDATE, 10:41 AM (Ruairi): Chair Pod­lodows­ki takes a moment to tout the orga­ni­za­tion efforts of the state Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty – vol­un­teer train­ing is going on across the state, as Democ­rats pre­pare for a cam­paign under pan­dem­ic conditions.

UPDATE, 10:43 AM (Ruairi): Bal­lot Two has gone live, and del­e­gates have a thir­ty minute vot­ing peri­od to decide the fate of these char­ter and bylaws amend­ments. After this vote, the meet­ing will move onto the platform.

UPDATE, 10:44 AM (Ruairi): Eliz­a­beth War­ren addressed the meet­ing through a pre­re­cord­ed video. “As a nation, we have some seri­ous soul-search­ing to do.”

UPDATE, 10:46 AM (Ruairi): War­ren called for “brave, inclu­sive, moral pub­lic poli­cies… the idea that com­mu­ni­ties of col­or are respon­si­ble alone for fight­ing racism every day is misguided.”

UPDATE, 10:46 AM (Ruairi): “It is up to us to take action to heal our nation and to save our democracy…elections are the beat­ing heart of our democ­ra­cy.” – Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth Warren

UPDATE, 10:48 AM (Ruairi): War­ren has four steps in mind to help Amer­i­cans vote. First, every vot­er must be able to get their bal­lot – end vot­er purges. Sec­ond: Every vot­er needs to be healthy – every vot­er needs access to mail-in bal­lots. Third: Fight dis­in­for­ma­tion and increase elec­tion secu­ri­ty! Fourth: Give states resources for vot­ing and keep­ing poll work­ers safe.

UPDATE, 10:50 AM (Ruairi): The con­ven­tion was also addressed by Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray. “Stay engaged, stay involved, and again, vote!” She asked Democ­rats to help elect strong, pas­sion­ate, deter­mined can­di­dates in November.

UPDATE, 10:51 AM (Ruairi): NPI’s own found­ing board­mem­ber Gael Tar­leton – run­ning for Sec­re­tary of State – was the next to make an appear­ance. She is “out­raged” by Trump’s use of the mil­i­tary against peace­ful pro­test­ers. She promised to defend Wash­ing­ton from Trump’s attacks on its democracy.

UPDATE, 10:53 AM (Ruairi): “We need a leader pre­pared for the chal­lenges ahead…I will fight to pro­tect every vote and every vot­er.” – Gael Tarleton

UPDATE, 10:56 AM (Ruairi): Com­mis­sion­er of State Lands Hilary Franz also addressed the con­ven­tion. “We as a state and a nation are tru­ly at a cross­roads.” She says that Trump’s agen­da “embraces hatred and evil.”

UPDATE, 10:58 AM (Ruairi): “We must be relent­less in our push for bold trans­for­ma­tion­al change…we must use every sin­gle minute for progress.” – Hilary Franz

UPDATE, 11:00 AM (Ruairi): “I am deter­mined to keep the Ever­green State ever-green.” – Hilary Franz

UPDATE, 11:16 AM (Ruairi): Drew Estep has pro­vid­ed the vote counts: Char­ter Amend­ment I has 1,056 yes votes, mean­ing it will pass. Char­ter Amend­ment II has 847, so it failed. Char­ter Amend­ment III has 1,117 votes, so it pass­es. Bylaws Amend­ments I and II also both passed.

UPDATE, 11:18 AM (Ruairi): Albert Ondo and Claire Roney pre­sent­ed the plat­form committee’s ini­tial report. “The pil­lars of this plat­form stand as a uni­fied call for jus­tice and equality.”

UPDATE, 11:20 AM (Ruairi): The plat­form com­mit­tee spent over 1,000 com­bined hours in online col­lab­o­ra­tion, work­ing on the par­ty plat­form. 1,149 amend­ments to the plat­form were proposed.

UPDATE, 11:22 AM (Ruairi): Speak­ers will address the con­ven­tion, in sup­port of the cur­rent plat­form and in sup­port of dif­fer­ent amend­ments. Each speak­er has five min­utes to address the convention.

UPDATE, 11:23 AM (Ruairi): The first minor­i­ty report pro­pos­es adding a new line to the crim­i­nal jus­tice sec­tion, call­ing for out­side inves­ti­ga­tions of police vio­lence. Jeff Beaulac will argue against the amend­ment, and Chris Porter will argue in favor of the amendment.

UPDATE, 11:25 AM (Ruairi): Beaulac wor­ris that the def­i­n­i­tion of “out­side juris­dic­tion” is unclear. He feels that rein­forc­ing close rela­tion­ships between near­by juris­dic­tions is not real reform. “There’s a prob­lem when it’s not specified…it’s one group of police let­ting off anoth­er group of police.”

UPDATE, 11:29 AM (Ruairi): Chris Porter remind­ed the con­ven­tion that yes­ter­day was Lov­ing Day, the day that inter­ra­cial mar­riages became ille­gal. He argues that leav­ing the “sta­tus quo” is not accept­able. Myopia with­in police forces con­tin­ues to be a problem.

UPDATE, 11:30 AM (Ruairi): Porter, a del­e­gate for Joe Biden, not­ed: “82% of blacks, 81% of whites…76% of Repub­li­cans” favor out­side inves­ti­ga­tions of police vio­lence. “The cor­ner­stone reason…is point­ing out they have trou­ble putting charges against the offi­cers they are whol­ly reliant on.” He sees that con­flict of inter­est nev­er sid­ing on the side of the aggrieved.

UPDATE, 11:32 AM (Ruairi): Mean­ing­ful change has to “rat­tle the com­fort­able stool that many have sat on” – Porter sees this amend­ment as a way of prov­ing that Democ­rats are seri­ous about mak­ing mean­ing­ful steps to end racism.

UPDATE, 11:55 AM (Ruairi): The results from the amend­ment vote are in. There are 149 votes against and 1,137 votes in favor of amend­ing the plat­form to include the crim­i­nal jus­tice lan­guage. The amend­ment is adopted.

UPDATE, 11:56 AM (Ruairi): The sec­ond minor­i­ty report pro­pos­es to put lan­guage in favor of can­celled stu­dent loan debt and cap­ping stu­dent loan inter­est rates. Albert Ondo pre­sent­ed the argu­ment in favor of the cur­rent platform.

UPDATE, 11:58 AM (Ruairi): Albert Ondo said that “the exor­bi­tant costs tend to pay off…jobs that require a col­lege degree have addi­tion­al ben­e­fits.” He argued that “stu­dent loan for­give­ness is wel­fare for the rich.” He says that, if stu­dent debt is up for can­cel­la­tion, per­haps car loans and mort­gages should be con­sid­ered too.

UPDATE, 12:00 PM (Ruairi): Ondo sup­ports the cur­rent plat­form helps the most dis­ad­van­taged, but the amend­ment would help upper income people.

UPDATE, 12:01 PM (Ruairi): Jas­mine Ines spoke in favor of the amend­ment. The stu­dent debt cri­sis caus­es an entire gen­er­a­tion of Amer­i­cans to put off buy­ing a home, start­ing fam­i­lies, start­ing busi­ness­es, etc.

UPDATE, 12:02 PM (Ruairi): Ines asked del­e­gates to imag­ine the eco­nom­ic stim­u­lus that would come from res­cu­ing those with stu­dent debt, instead of leav­ing them to fend for them­selves while bail­ing out cor­po­ra­tions. It would be cheap­er to take care of peo­ple instead of just mas­sive cor­po­ra­tions, and the ben­e­fits would over­whelm­ing­ly go to the bot­tom 80% of Americans.

UPDATE, 12:03 PM (Ruairi): The Fed­er­al Reserve low­ered bank loan rates dur­ing 2008 and the cur­rent cri­sis, but NOT stu­dent loan rates – how is that fair, Ines asked. She con­clud­ed her pre­sen­ta­tion by talk­ing about the dif­fi­cul­ties of pay­ing off her own stu­dent loan debts.

UPDATE, 12:05 PM (Ruairi): Del­e­gates now have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to vote on amend­ing the plat­form to add stronger stu­dent loan for­give­ness lan­guage. There will be a fif­teen to twen­ty minute vot­ing period.

UPDATE, 12:27 PM (Ruairi): Amend­ing the plat­form received 724 yes votes and 408 no votes. There­fore, the lan­guage seek­ing to strength­en the stu­dent loans for­give­ness plank will be included.

UPDATE, 12:28 PM (Ruairi): The next amend­ment involves lan­guage in favor of remov­ing per­son­al belief excep­tions to vac­ci­na­tions. Amber King spoke in favor of the cur­rent plat­form. She is con­cerned about pub­lic agen­cies mak­ing deci­sions about what hap­pens to people’s bodies.

UPDATE, 12:30 PM (Ruairi): “All child­hood vac­cines have test­ed pos­i­tive for con­t­a­m­i­nants.” King is con­cerned about the pro­lif­er­a­tion of child­hood vac­cines, and the CDC’s con­flicts of inter­ests over vac­cines (the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion own a num­ber of vac­cine patents).

UPDATE, 12:32 PM (Ruairi): “This boils down to a moth­er’s choice…these are med­ical deci­sions that deserve to be made in the med­ical office, not the principal’s office” – Amber King

UPDATE, 12:35 PM (Ruairi): Tim Noo­nan spoke in favor of the amendment.

UPDATE, 12:36 PM (Ruairi): Noo­nan says that, “we need to close the immu­niza­tion gap.”

UPDATE, 12:41 PM (Ruairi): With the speech­es con­clud­ed, the vot­ing has begun. A series of videos record­ed by orga­niz­ers is play­ing encour­ag­ing del­e­gates to join them in orga­niz­ing for Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates across the state.

UPDATE, 12:59 PM (Ruairi): The results of the pro­posed amend­ment con­cern­ing vac­ci­na­tions are in: there are 299 votes against the amend­ment and 776 in favor of the amend­ment, so the amend­ment passes.

UPDATE, 1:00 PM (Ruairi): There are four sets of minor­i­ty reports involv­ing the envi­ron­men­tal pil­lar of the plat­form. The first pro­pos­es adding a new line to the plat­form, call­ing for the gov­ern­ment to ana­lyze the costs and ben­e­fits of age­ing nuclear pow­er plants against renew­able ener­gy solutions.

UPDATE, 1:03 PM (Ruairi): Steve Ver­hey and Mike Castinel­lo pre­sent­ed the argu­ment against the amend­ment. Steve con­tend­ed that wind and solar pow­er is extreme­ly vari­able, and that nuclear pow­er is more reliable.

UPDATE, 1:05 PM (Ruairi): Ver­hey argued that the Colum­bia Gen­er­at­ing Sta­tion saves $100 per hour in the social cost of car­bon diox­ide com­pared to nat­ur­al gas plants, amount­ing to hun­dreds of mil­lions per year.

UPDATE, 1:07 PM (Ruairi): Hunter Brown went next and spoke in favor of the amend­ment. “We do have the capac­i­ty to have base load ener­gy on demand…we sim­ply need to build capac­i­ty to store” poten­tial ener­gy. He says that the amend­ment is “real­ly about mak­ing sure due dili­gence is done.”

UPDATE, 1:08 PM (Ruairi): As a civ­il engi­neer, he wants to make sure that tax pay­ers are receiv­ing the best val­ue for their mon­ey – “this is already a stan­dard prac­tice in most indus­tries.” Brown esti­mates that tax­pay­ers could save mil­lions by decom­mis­sion­ing the Colum­bia Gen­er­at­ing Station.

UPDATE, 1:11 PM (Ruairi): “We cur­rent­ly pro­duce more pow­er than we use,” Brown said, point­ing out that Wash­ing­ton sells to oth­er states at a rate low­er than Wash­ing­ton­ian ratepayers.

UPDATE, 1:13 PM (Ruairi): The sec­ond envi­ron­men­tal amend­ment calls for the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment to ful­ly fund cleanup of the Han­ford site. Steve Ver­hey spoke against the amend­ment, but agreed that the fed­er­al gov­ern­men­t’s pre­vi­ous weapons pro­grams were ridiculous.

UPDATE, 1:14 PM (Ruairi): Ver­hey assert­ed to del­e­gates that “the nuclear waste at Han­ford has noth­ing to do with nuclear ener­gy,” but rather is a con­se­quence of cre­at­ing weapons.

UPDATE, 1:17 PM (Ruairi): State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ger­ry Pol­lett argued in favor of the amend­ment. “Han­ford is the most con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed area in the West­ern Hemi­sphere… the only places more dan­ger­ous than Han­ford are the Sovi­et Union’s for­mer weapons sites, Fukushi­ma and Chernobyl.”

UPDATE, 1:18 PM (Ruairi): Pol­let says that the State of Wash­ing­ton should not be pay­ing for Hanford’s cleanup. “No! The pol­luter is sup­posed to be paying…the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has to pay for the full cost of clean­ing up Hanford.”

UPDATE, 1:19 PM (Ruairi): The Trump regime has pro­posed slash­ing the bud­get for Han­ford cleanup. Not only does this mean the loss of thou­sands of jobs, but it vio­lates treaties with tribes like the Yaka­ma Nation.

UPDATE, 1:20 PM (Ruairi): Pol­let adds that the cost-cut­ting mea­sures float­ed by the Trump regime are opposed by every Demo­c­ra­t­ic law­mak­er in the region, and the Demo­c­ra­t­ic plat­form should reflect that.

UPDATE, 1:21 PM (Ruairi): The next minor­i­ty report pro­pos­es a mora­to­ri­um on the con­struc­tion of new nuclear pow­er plants.

UPDATE, 1:23 PM (Ruairi): Steve Ver­hey, in oppo­si­tion to the amend­ment, said the amendment’s pro­posed mora­to­ri­um is “for no good rea­son… anti-nuclear peo­ple have suc­ceed­ed in scar­ing people.”

UPDATE, 1:24 PM (Ruairi): Ver­hey argued that “next-gen­er­a­tion” reac­tors will solve all the prob­lems that have been raised against nuclear ener­gy. He says that wind and solar ener­gy will not plug the ener­gy gap left by fos­sil fuels.

UPDATE, 1:28 PM (Ruairi): Nico­lette Oliv­er spoke in favor of the amend­ment. She told del­e­gates many coun­tries plan to phase out nuclear ener­gy in the next few years, cit­ing sev­er­al Euro­pean nations’ plans to wind down their plants. “We don’t want to be rush­ing in the oppo­site direc­tion of the rest of the world.”

UPDATE, 1:29 PM (Ruairi): Oliv­er points out that the plank does not pro­pose shut­ter­ing cur­rent­ly oper­at­ing plants. She points out that there is no “final end-of-life stor­age facil­i­ty” for the Unit­ed States’ nuclear waste, observ­ing that plans to put one at Yuc­ca Moun­tain failed. It would cost a huge sum to build an ade­quate stor­age facil­i­ty for 1,000 years (which is not enough for the waste’s half-life).

UPDATE, 1:31 PM (Ruairi): Invest­ing in safe nuclear ener­gy would cost tril­lions over the next few years, and the U.S. should invest that mon­ey in smarter ener­gy grids and oth­er renew­able tech­nolo­gies, Oliv­er told delegates.

UPDATE, 1:31 PM (Ruairi): “We can think beyond nuclear. There is a glob­al cli­mate cri­sis, but nuclear is not the only option,” says Oliv­er. “This is the time for a Green New Deal, not just old nuclear ver­sus new nuclear.”

UPDATE, 1:32 PM (Ruairi): The last envi­ron­men­tal minor­i­ty report pro­pos­es oppos­ing the con­tin­u­a­tion of sub­si­dies to fos­sil fuel and nuclear ener­gy indus­tries. Steve Ver­hey attempt­ed to speak in oppo­si­tion of this amendment.

UPDATE, 1:35 PM (Ruairi): Due to tech­ni­cal issues, Mike took over. He point­ed out that the U.S. Navy (and pri­mar­i­ly the Navy’s air­craft car­ri­ers and sub­marines) run on nuclear ener­gy. He warned that next-gen­er­a­tion nuclear plants will be built out­side the U.S. if nuclear com­pa­nies do not receive subsidies.

UPDATE, 1:37 PM (Ruairi): Cassinel­li argued that if nuclear ener­gy does not receive sub­si­dies, fos­sil fuel ener­gy will replace it. “Three Mile Island was replaced because fracked gas is cheap, not because nuclear is expen­sive.” Casinel­li also argued that nuclear ener­gy is the safest form of energy.

UPDATE, 1:39 PM (Ruairi): Amber King spoke in favor of the pro­posed amend­ment. “The real­i­ty is that fos­sil fuel and nuclear sub­si­dies go hand-in-hand” in leg­is­la­tion and appli­ca­tion. The sub­si­dies were sup­posed to pro­vide a tem­po­rary sup­port for fledg­ling indus­tries, but they have nev­er been tak­en away.

UPDATE, 1:40 PM (Ruairi): King argued that the sub­si­dies “allow the indus­try to exag­ger­ate its eco­nom­ic effi­cien­cy,” adding that gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies to nuclear ener­gy have been so large that it would have cost tax­pay­ers less to sim­ply buy kilo­watt hours on the open market.

UPDATE, 1:42 PM (Ruairi): “The more tax­pay­ers invest in renew­ables, the greater the ben­e­fits. The more tax­pay­ers prop up fos­sil fuels and nuclear indus­tries, the greater the bur­den.” – Amber King

UPDATE, 1:43 PM (Ruairi): The fifth bal­lot (for con­sid­er­a­tion of all these nuclear ener­gy relat­ed amend­ments) has gone live, with twen­ty min­utes for voting.

UPDATE, 1:52 PM (Ruairi): Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Rick Larsen spoke to the con­ven­tion about racial jus­tice, espe­cial­ly the vic­tims of police violence.

UPDATE, 1:54 PM (Ruairi): Car­olyn Long, who is run­ning to rep­re­sent the 3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict addressed the con­ven­tion. She talked about the impact of COVID-19 on small busi­ness­es in Wash­ing­ton State.

UPDATE, 1:55 PM (Ruairi): Long also spoke in favor of expand­ing health cov­er­age, includ­ing adding a mean­ing­ful pub­lic option.

UPDATE, 2:06 PM (Ruairi): Results have come back for the envi­ron­men­tal amend­ments. 265 opposed the first amend­ment, while 834 vot­ed yes. The sec­ond result was 192 against the amend­ment and 918 for. The oth­er two amend­ments also passed. All four amend­ments will be incor­po­rat­ed into the platform.

UPDATE, 2:08 PM (Ruairi): The eighth minor­i­ty report pro­pos­es a plank that calls for reduc­ing the full time work week to thir­ty-two hours before over­time applies. Jeff Bern­er spoke in oppo­si­tion to the amend­ment. He says the amend­ment has mer­it, but leaves a lot of ques­tions unanswered.

UPDATE, 2:09 PM (Ruairi): Bern­er asked whether the thir­ty-two hour week is com­pat­i­ble with the goal of a liv­ing wage. He argued that liv­ing wage cal­cu­la­tions would need to be changed for a dif­fer­ent work­ing week. He also argued that reduc­ing the work­ing week could make peo­ple need a sec­ond job.

UPDATE, 2:10 PM (Ruairi): The thir­ty-two hour week would put busi­ness­es at a com­pet­i­tive dis­ad­van­tage to oth­er coun­tries, and would lead to out­sourc­ing, Bern­er con­tend­ed. “A 32 hour week could incen­tivize sev­er­ing jobs,” and reduce job secu­ri­ty. Bern­er point­ed to France, which has a 35 hour work week and does not seem to have bet­ter employ­ment rates than the rest of Europe.

UPDATE, 2:14 PM (Ruairi): Liz VanBe­m­mel spoke in sup­port of the amend­ment. “A thir­ty-two hour work week is a flex­i­ble policy…more over­time pay, for more work­ers.” She also sug­gests that pro­duc­tiv­i­ty could increase (cit­ing a New Zealand study) while com­pa­nies would not pay as much over­time as many fear.

UPDATE, 2:15 PM (Ruairi): Low­er work­ing hours can reduce depres­sion, fatigue, health issues, ener­gy con­sump­tion and emis­sions. “Think about what you could do with an extra day a week!” – Liz VanBemmel

UPDATE, 2:17 PM (Ruairi): VanBe­m­mel points out that reduced work hours improve gen­der equi­ty. Women today are over three times as like­ly to work part time – a dif­fer­ent work week will give women more pro­fes­sion­al opportunities.

UPDATE, 2:18 PM (Ruairi): The sixth bal­lot has gone live (for con­sid­er­a­tion of this amend­ment), and del­e­gates have fif­teen min­utes to fill the ballot.

UPDATE, 2:19 PM (Ruairi): Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Derek Kilmer addressed the con­ven­tion, argu­ing that “we have work to do” in order to improve racial equal­i­ty, stop mil­i­ta­riz­ing the police, and reduce police brutality.

UPDATE, 2:22 PM (Ruairi): Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kilmer declared that Democ­rats should pri­or­i­tize eco­nom­ic equal­i­ty, vot­ing rights, health­care reform, immi­grant rights, and uni­ver­sal back­ground checks for gun purchases.

UPDATE, 2:35 PM (Ruairi): The result of the last minor­i­ty report vote are in: there were 429 votes against the amend­ment, 674 in favor of amend­ing the plat­form, there­fore the amend­ment passes.

UPDATE, 2:36 PM (Ruairi): The final minor­i­ty report pro­pos­es lan­guage that oppos­es restrict­ing low-cost hous­ing to areas that expose res­i­dents to pollution.

UPDATE, 2:38 PM (Ruairi): Tracey Car­los spoke against the amend­ment. She points out that “envi­ron­men­tal racism and clas­sism is a very real prob­lem.” She argues that the amend­ment does not full express what envi­ron­men­tal racism actu­al­ly is. Re-zon­ing neigh­bor­hoods could dis­place vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple. What we need to do is work as a state to move the indus­tri­al zones, not the res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hoods, she told the delegates.

UPDATE, 2:40 PM (Ruairi): Car­los point­ed out that res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hoods adja­cent to high­ways and arte­ri­als are often there because of con­ve­nience for trans­port and jobs that work­ing peo­ple bad­ly need.

UPDATE, 2:41 PM (Ruairi): Car­los wants to frame the issue as an issue of inva­sive tox­i­c­i­ty in pre­vi­ous­ly safe areas, not mak­ing it look like vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties are “in the wrong place.”

UPDATE, 2:42 PM (Ruairi): Jef­frey Robin­son spoke in favor of the amend­ment. He lives in a rur­al area that is only begin­ning to real­ize the mar­gin­al­iza­tion of cer­tain com­mu­ni­ties. Robin­son says that the Lat­inx pop­u­la­tion in his area are “still being told that they are sep­a­rate and not equal.”

UPDATE, 2:44 PM (Ruairi): Robin­son argues that the amend­ment forces white peo­ple (includ­ing him) to ask dif­fi­cult ques­tions of them­selves. The amend­ment acknowl­edges that peo­ple of col­or were forced to live in cer­tain areas because their lives were val­ued less than those of white people.

UPDATE, 2:46 PM (Ruairi): The final bal­lot has gone live, with fif­teen min­utes for del­e­gates to vote.

UPDATE, 3:04 PM (Ruairi): The result­shave come back. There were 286 votes against the amend­ment, 795 in favor of the amend­ment. All nine amend­ments have now car­ried, and will be added to the platform.

UPDATE, 3:08 PM (Ruairi): Albert Ondo and Claire Roney offered final remarks before the con­clu­sion of the plat­form seg­ment of the gen­er­al ses­sion. The final bal­lot, num­bered eight, has gone live.

UPDATE, 3:13 PM (Ruairi): Chair Pod­lodows­ki thanked all those involved in the con­ven­tion, and remind­ed every­one of the stakes involved: “Amer­i­ca has always been a promise!” It is up to Democ­rats to ensure that promise is ful­filled, she told the del­e­gates. There are less than six months until Elec­tion Day.

UPDATE, 3:19 PM (Ruairi): The final count on the adop­tion of the plat­form has been announced. There were 1,052 yes votes and 43 no votes. The 2020 plat­form has offi­cial­ly been adopt­ed with the inclu­sion of all the pro­posed amendments.

UPDATE, 3:21 PM (Ruairi): The con­ven­tion gen­er­al ses­sion has been gavelled out by Chair Pod­lodows­ki (or rather, cof­fee cupped-out). We are adjourned.

Thanks for fol­low­ing along with us!

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

Adjacent posts

2 replies on “What’s happening at the online-only 2020 Washington State Democratic Convention?”

Comments are closed.