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9:09 AM (Ruairi): Podlowski has laid out the efforts the state party has made towards diversification, rejecting “the outdated notion of electability.”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