ELECTION AFTERMATH: 34th District Democrats’ open microphone, ranging from regret to resolve

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The night after the Democratic Party lost the White House, you might have guessed a local party meeting would be funereal.

Sadness, however, was only one of the sentiments and emotions displayed at last night’s 34th District Democrats meeting. Also: Resolve, fury, pragmatism, and optimism, among others.

It started early. The Pledge of Allegiance always opens 34th DDs meetings, and this time, at the end, someone added: “HOPEFULLY, justice for all.”

Shortly thereafter, chair Marcee Stone-Vekich, after saying, “I can’t give you any kind of speech right now… I’ve got nothing to say,” managed to offer her thoughts: “I never in a million years thought it was possible for this particular person to become the president-elect. So what I do know is that we need to gather, we need to organize, and if we need to, we need to take to the streets like the hundreds who did so in our city tonight, New York, Chicago, all over the country, and that may be what it takes. This has an impact on people’s daily lives. My daughter .. is a Type 1 diabetic. She is 28 years old. If Obamacare goes out the window, what do you do? … I am comforted that you are here and hopeful that we can move forward.”

Stone-Vekich also noted that Clinton, who is ahead in the nationwide popular vote, has 72 percent of King County votes. And, she said, almost everyone endorsed by the 34th DDs was elected, “with some sad spots,” including Secretary of State candidate Tina Podlodowski losing to Republican incumbent

The chair also read a statement from State Senate Democratic leader Sen. Sharon Nelson, including: “We must believe there will be a brighter day for our country.”

Much of the meeting was devoted to an open-microphone format, and also an invitation to people to suggest a toast to something positive. What was said took many forms. Perhaps the most poignant, the daughter of well-known local political activist, writer, performer, and “Rosie the Riveter” Georgie Bright Kunkel, who said that she wanted to see a Democratic woman president, especially “for my mother, who is 96 years old, and she cried all night (Election Night) because she thought it was her last chance to see one.”

But gender equality had a bright spot, cited by State Rep. Eileen Cody of West Seattle:


The Democratic Caucus in the State House “will be majority women for the first time.”

There was pragmatism. Les Treall: “I think we had, in Washington state, a great election. Unfortunately the rest of the country didn’t join us.”

Words of praise for a post-election action:


Sam Samaniego offered a toast to the West Seattle High School students who had walked out earlier in the day to protest the presidential-election results, “because their mind is in a tremendous place, their heart functions with charity … they had strength and courage to stand up and say no, this is not what we want for our future, not what we want for kids when we have them, not what we want for our parents, our grandparents …not the vision of the future that we believe in. We should toast and honor them for a very long time.”

A WSHS alumnus, King County Executive Dow Constantine, took a turn at the microphone, speaking not only about the presidential election, but also about the victory of the issue for which he had fought the hardest – Sound Transit 3 – and about the need to not ignore the people responsible for electing Donald Trump president. First, he reminded the group about 1988:

He went on to his joy over the passage of Sound Transit 3 (whose board he chairs):

Going back to the presidential election – which he called “a genuine national disgrace” – Constantine urged people to understand the fear and pain of many who support Trump because they feel “left behind.”:

Part of Constantine’s theme was also heard in what Bill Schrier had to say, warning that the group seemed to have gone too far into the “tax-and-spend” mode, and urged them to be mindful of the economic effects of that philosophy. Another speaker also told the group – shouting at times – that it had to be respectful of those in all economic strata. “I want you guys to represent the working class – if you do not, this is what happens. Do you understand?” Yes, came the murmurs in response.

Concern for others also was voiced by many including Ann Martin, who read part of a letter circulated among Southwest Youth and Family Services, for which she serves on the board, an organization helping people including many refugees, who, she noted, “will be directly affected by the policies that Donald Trump says he wants to implement.” The letter from SWYFS leadership said in part, “… the results of the election … will shake the resolve of many of the families and children that we work with … you all have worked so hard to create a safe place for families … i have no doubt that our space will be where families and children run to for support … it is important that we support them …the challenge is to be open and honest with children about what is going on without placing our fears and anxieties on them … to reassure them without making false promises.”

Many speakers brought up concerns voiced by youth. Among them, David Ginsberg: “(Tuesday) night, this country elected a fascist. (Wednesday) morning I was sitting downstairs.. my (14-year-old) daughter came down the stairs with tears welling in the eyes. She was clearly scared, confused. She has heard all of the horrible things that man has said, and … she watched this country elect him president. I cannot sit on the sidelines and watch him do the things he has said he wants to do.” With that, Ginsberg announced his candidacy for the group’s chair, which Stone-Vekich is relinquishing at year’s end.

Jason Cheung said he was heartened to see analysis showing that an election in which only young Americans voted would have been a Democratic landslide. Otherwise, he was disheartened:


“Those who fail to learn from history are due to repeat it … Santayana’s words have never seemed more viscerally true to me today … today is the first day of what I think is a profoundly changed America … the first election in 50 years not covered by the protection of the Voting Rights Act, first time in 16 years where our candidate won the popular vote but lost the election … I’m half-Chinese, and today we face the fact that for the first time in American history, the candidate that was openly and unequivocally embraced and endorsed by white supremacists and Nazis, is our president. … (People who) would call my mother a race traitor, would kick my dad back to China. … Today, after 46 years of loving this country, waking up and telling anyone who would listen that this country is the best country on Earth, today I woke up and felt like this country – or a big part of it anyway – didn’t love me back.”

Resolve to work harder was heard from more than a few speakers. Chris Porter said he is resolved to do more than before. Ted Barker offered the quote that most of life “is just showing up.” Mike Heavey said, “Friendly reminder, only 1464 days until our next election.”

The 34th District Democrats’ December 14th meeting will be its holiday party; watch 34dems.org for details.

36 Replies to "ELECTION AFTERMATH: 34th District Democrats' open microphone, ranging from regret to resolve"

  • Ron Swanson November 10, 2016 (3:35 pm)

    Well, the logistical horror show that some of these speakers orchestrated with the caucuses is emblematic of how terribly, terribly organized the whole national party is.  

    If you’re going to be honest, you have to reckon with the fact that the DNC on down ensured the field would be cleared for a candidate with one of the lowest likeability ratings of all time because “it was her turn.” Except for one cranky old man who refused to budge until the party pummeled him out of the race and marshalled bloggers to denounce his supporters as misogynist.  

    Bernie would’ve won this, (non-idiot) outsider vs. outsider.  Instead you had a candidate campaigning with Beyoncé and Lady Gaga and ignoring the rural rust belt as a basket of deplorables.  Look how well that went!  

    Face it, Trump performed better than Mitt among minority voters.  Yelling about racism isn’t going to accomplish anything except making yourself feel better.

  • M November 10, 2016 (3:38 pm)

     Why does the West Seattle Blog never come to the 34th District Republican meetings?

    • WSB November 10, 2016 (3:47 pm)

      Actually we did cover one that was held in West Seattle. Otherwise, they often meet elsewhere, and on a night when we are committed to covering the Delridge District Council. We don’t cover every 34th DD meeting but last night was an obvious must-cover. As is the 34th DRs if they meet here; their website says date/loc for this month is still TBD.

  • Mark Schletty November 10, 2016 (4:01 pm)

    I am a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran. I volunteered thinking, at that time anyway, that i was trying to do my part to protect our free, democratic country and way of life from encroaching totalitarianism.  I did not put my life on the line to watch my country vote fascist. This election has hurt me and made me embarrassed by, and ashamed of, my country.

  • JK November 10, 2016 (4:10 pm)

    Marcee Stone-Vekich is exactly the reason that Trump was elected.  She railroaded HRC through the caucus and dismissed Sanders supporters.  She did not care to listen to the mass of people that ran counter to her preconceived notion of who the next president was going to be.

  • Andy November 10, 2016 (4:38 pm)

     I was very pleasantly surprised that Trump won.  After eight years of Obama, who I consider to have  been the worst President this country has had in my lifetime, I am very happy to not have to live under what would  have amounted to Obama’s third term. On the state level, however, most everything I voted for was defeated. So I think those of you who were disappointed that Hillary lost, should at least take some comfort in the fact that you live in what I like to jokingly refer to as the Peoples Soviet Socialist Republic of Washington.

    • DEP November 10, 2016 (6:37 pm)

      Thank  you Andy!!

      • Pops November 10, 2016 (8:46 pm)

        Agree with Andy too. 

  • Howard November 10, 2016 (4:48 pm)

    I thought Marcee Stone-Vekich said she would step down as chair after the precinct caucus? Furthermore you can thank the forward thinking of Stone-Vekich and super delegates like Joe McDermott for not supporting the candidate the people of the 34th chose. We learned that Democrats are not the progressives and that the will of the people is second to the will of the establishment. Who wants to go become voting members of the 34th District Democrats and wipe their elected members from office?

    • WSB November 10, 2016 (5:01 pm)

      Their reorganization meeting is in January and yes, she has said for months that she would not run again. By all means, get involved in local groups, political or otherwise. They ALL need more help. Vice chair is going to be open, too.

  • Marcee November 10, 2016 (4:59 pm)

    Joe McDermott wasn’t a super delegate either.  

    • Howard November 10, 2016 (5:56 pm)

      Oh Joe was not? My mistake. WA has 17 super delegates, is my understanding, and I can not find a complete list of them. I can find partial lists on ST but I have never seen the complete list. 

  • Marcee November 10, 2016 (5:01 pm)

    Looks like my first comment didn’t go through. It simply isn’t true that Hillary Clinton got railroaded through the 34th’s caucus or any other caucus in Washington State.  Bernie Sanders won a resounding majority in all of them.  

  • Double Dub Resident November 10, 2016 (5:08 pm)

    How many protests ,  calls for “peace”,   calls for unity ,  walk outs,  marches for “Justice ” ,  etc .  are people going to have ? 

    I agree with you Ron  Swanson ,  the arrogance of the DNC and Hillary is what lost the race .  The DNC didn’t listen to the people and decided for them who they thought should be the Democratic president through the Super Delegate primary fiasco ,  or dare I say scandal.

    If Hillary was smart,  she would have made Sanders her running mate.  This would /could have helped heal the disillusioned Sanders supporters and grab those much needed votes from this demographic.  

    Instead ,  naively and arrogantly ,  she picked a vanilla VP who did nothing to help her . 

    As Chuck Todd and Lester Holt pointed out as the election unfolded ,  there are many people voting for Trump who voted for Obama.  This in top of the disillusioned Sanders voters that worried both Hillary and Sanders after the primary .  

    Trump didn’t win because he that well liked ,  but how hated Hillary is. 

  • Double Dub Resident November 10, 2016 (5:10 pm)

    Anyone thinking that Obama is the worst president in history must have short term memory loss to the previous president 

    • mark32 November 10, 2016 (5:24 pm)

      I’m old enough to remember a lot of presidents, I wouldn’t say he’s the worst president in history but I believe he’s up there!


  • uncle loco November 10, 2016 (6:00 pm)

    Nice to know there is a support group for post election depression. It’s kind of absurd that people in this state protest Trump’s election when all of the EC votes from WA went to Hillary, kind of like preaching to the choir. Thankfully we have three branches of the government. If there is some sort of repeal of Obamacare, it won’t happen without something else in place.

  • Wseattelite November 10, 2016 (7:36 pm)

    I have some advice for local DNC folks that I believe would apply to the entire organization if you are really looking to do better.  Learn how to talk to people without being elitist “better than you” types.  There are many issues in a national election, and different people have different priorities.  For whatever reason, the DNC decided to paint anyone who disagreed with them as racist, homophobic, etc.etc.  I found it impossible to have a reasonable conversation about any issue with the vast majority of democrats without being called names if I disagreed with them.  All I wanted was real conversation.  Instead, if I disagreed with anything, I was “uneducated”, “misogynistic”, “racist”, and “privileged”.  I am none of these things.  The result was a lack of discussion, and a real distaste for this “shove it down your throat” attitude “because clearly you are not smart enough to understand the real issues”.  Yeah, you lost my vote.  The saddest part of it all is that many in the DNC wrongly used this election to gauge racism in this nation.  Many people voted for many reasons, and most Trump supporters are not racist or gender biased.  Unfortunately, I know of several parents that were so confident in Clinton winning, they prepped their kids with that idea that this election would show that the country is not racist.  Wow.  Now there needs to be re-education to so many little minds that there are many reasons to vote differently in an election, and that half of the country is indeed not racist and misogynistic.    So my advice?  Listen.  Get off your high horse.  Understand the issues that are important to others, and the lens they may be looking through.

  • Double Dub Resident November 10, 2016 (8:06 pm)

    What else is funny and what has not been addressed is that not so long ago the Trumps and Clinton’s were good friends,  you know,  when Trump was a douche back then 

    • Pops November 10, 2016 (8:48 pm)

      Yeah the Clintons were at his wedding.

  • Eric1 November 10, 2016 (8:17 pm)

    As an independent who didn’t vote for either of these toxic choices, the Democratic party just has to think about what the chair just said.  “I never in a million years thought it was possible for this particular person to become the president-elect”


    Just think how bad your candidate must be to loose to this guy……

  • Space Dust November 10, 2016 (9:26 pm)

    I give everyone a fair chance, will everyone be happy? no, but at least give them a chance. Does America need a change? Yes!

    I’m not happy with what either party, they put up two terrible candidates, but I would support who was elected.

    I do believe the American people are tired of the Bull Sh|t  of politics and the waste of the tax payer dollars.

    Time to get with the program Cup Cake generation…,Video game, Red Bull and Ritalin are not going to change things in the real world.

    If you want change…, run for office and vote!

    One thing to remember… the older you get, the fast time goes by!

    Back to my normal life.., which is not effected by who is in office.

    • GOP in WS November 11, 2016 (5:17 am)

      I am a rare breed, a moderate Republican who supported John Kasich. Trump should not have won, but the Democrats nominated the one person he could defeat. 

      The Democrats have lost touch with middle America. The middle class wants middle class jobs. When the UAW spoke out about how bad NAFTA was for the US auto industry, it fell on deaf ears in the Democratic party. In this state, the lumber industry was decimated by liberal environmental policy. That’s how you lose the labor vote. 

      HRC and the Democrats see the wealthy and corporations as sources of tax revenue. Republicans can offer tax relief. We believe the middle class does not want socialism. They want to create wealth and not to see it taxed. 

      Both parties are being pulled to the far end of the political spectrum. Do you want political sanity? Move to the center. I’ll meet you there.

  • Danno November 10, 2016 (11:55 pm)


    No truer words have been posted here.

  • Peter November 11, 2016 (7:32 am)

    @GOP in WS:  You are not so rare.  I’m an independent, social liberal and fiscal conservative.  I’ve confidently voted for both Reagan and Obama.  I considered not voting for either viable candidate for the first time in my 40+ years of voting life, but held my nose and voted for Clinton when it looked like things might be closer than expected because the alternative was so appalling.    Several posters already nailed it.  Not everyone who doesn’t like Clinton is a dumb, uneducated , racist, homophobic, narrow-minded, misogynist.  I would’ve voted for just about anybody other than these two offerings.    

    And, where were all the protesters before the election?  That was the time to protest.  You’re not going to get a do-over.   From what I understand, one of the reasons for this outcome was comparatively low voter turnout for such a charged election.  Those complaining about the results who didn’t even bother to vote have only themselves to blame.  Go look in the mirror if you want somebody to be angry at.

    • Double Dub Resident November 11, 2016 (9:35 am)

      LOL,  there were no protests before the election because most people thought Hillary was a lock for the presidency.  The election commentators even made a comment during the election with Trump winning how Hillary was on a show earlier that day and was borderline cocky about winning the election.  

      People underestimated the disdain there is for Hillary,  including Hillary.  I think the shock and awe seen at Hillary’s headquarters of all her supporters  during the election kind of says  it all.  Not to mention all the protests now.  

      I begrudgingly voted for Hillary,  but I filled that bubble with  a lot of anger and disdain 

    • Double Dub Resident November 11, 2016 (9:45 am)

      Just to add,  I’ll quote Peter,  

      Not everyone who doesn’t like Clinton is a dumb, uneducated , racist, homophobic, narrow-minded, misogynist.  I would’ve voted for just about anybody other than these two offerings.    

      DD: This is the typical soundbite bumper sticker go to slogan that Clinton supporters say.  

      What’s overlooked is before all this election season,  Trump and the Clintons were friends.  Do people really think that Trump just all of a sudden became the man you see today?   I don’t think so.  In fact his infamous grabbing women recording was quite a few years ago.  So does this mean that the Clintons are the very thing  of what her supporters accuse others of being?  Something to think about 

  • Steve November 11, 2016 (9:37 am)

    Well at least you can take solace in that the cubs won!!!

  • Millie November 11, 2016 (10:05 am)

    Last Tuesday’s presidential election resulted in President-elect Trump.  It has also shown, perhaps, how little attention is truly paid to issues.  Yes, both candidates were flawed.  However, one, at least paid their national/state income tax,  knows the Constitution and showed civility throughout.

    Oh well!   Come January 20th we will have completed the peaceful transition from one President to another.    


  • ScubaFrog November 11, 2016 (11:46 am)

    Before the election, Trump’s supporters kept claiming “rigged!”.  Trump said “ONLY if I win… it’s not rigged!”.  Then Trump’s animals threatened civil war, revolution, and “guns at the White House” if Clinton won.  We let that slide, too.

    Hillary Clinton is up almost 500,000 votes, in the popular vote.  Protesters have a lot to be angry about.  Trump calling Mexicans “rapists”.  Calling women “bitches”, and “bimbos”.  Bragging about grabbing women by their genitals.  Tweeting false crime statistics about blacks.  Threatening a Muslim ban.

    The DNC’s leadership is atrocious.  Wasserman-Schultz was outed and ousted.  Donna Brazile forwarded a debate question to the Clinton Campaign – and according to Megyn Kelly, Fox News floated some answers his way.

    Clinton had her baggage.  But my God, so did Trump!  The man’s on trial for fraud, he’s being sued for child molestation, and 14 women have come out, accusing him of sexual assault (some have eye-witnesses).  God only knows how many contractors he’s never paid.  And no one will ever see his tax returns.  Russia says “we were in contact with the Trump campaign for the entire election”.  Sick

    These little demonstrations are appropriate.  If you feel they aren’t, show up to the protests, and voice your support for Trump – and your disdain for the protester’s causes.  Walk the talk for once, conservatives.  Or kindly let the tensions decompress on their own.

    The 34th needs new leadership.  I was appalled by the caucus.  In fact the DNC needs massive reform, from top-to-bottom, and new leadership across the board.  They haven’t won substantively since 2012.  And They were beaten by an orange gremlin, who has no place in Washington DC, let alone the White House.  He will fail.  And we will all suffer for it.

  • flimflam November 11, 2016 (1:39 pm)

    first post by Ron Swanson really said it well in my opinion.

  • Andy November 11, 2016 (2:05 pm)

    There has got to be a better way to improve medical care than Obamacare. The insurance companies have all of us by the short hair. If we could buy coverage across state lines instead of being limited to insurance within state boundaries, it seems to me, it would be a win win for cosumers. Of course , insurance companies own the politicians.  I know that President Trump would like to make this an issue, which is one reason I voted for him. I am sick to death of career politicians!

Sorry, comment time is over.