Eight days after the election, the monthly meeting of our area’s largest political organization, the 34th District Democrats, included looks ahead to other elections – including one of their own.
SEATTLE SCHOOL LEVIES: Two Seattle Public Schools levies – capital (BEX) and operations – are expiring, so in three months, Seattle voters will be asked to approve their replacements. The group endorsed “yes” votes after hearing from Leslie Harris, who said she was speaking as an individual and longtime 34th DDs member rather than as our area’s elected rep on the School Board and its president:
The School Board finalized the levy plans two weeks ago; here’s the info sheet, including what property owners will pay. The biggest projects the BEX levy would fund in our area are a rebuild for Alki Elementary and an addition for West Seattle Elementary; go here to see other projects listed school-by-school.
COUNTY BUDGET: The other elected official in attendance was King County Council chair Joe McDermott, who listed highlights of the $11 billion budget passed by the council:
County budget highlights directly affecting our area include $3 million for the Water Taxi’s dock improvements; McDermott noted that the budget stipulates no Water Taxi fare increase for the next two years.
NOT THERE: Councilmember McDermott also said he had spoken with 34th District State Senator-elect Joe Nguyen (latest results here) to offer his congratulations; Nguyen was not at last night’s meeting, announced as being busy in Olympia instead.
ENDORSING SIGNATURE GATHERING FOR I-1000: After falling short in signature gathering in a previous try, this is being proposed as an initiative to the State Legislature for next year’s general-election ballot, to reverse I-200 and re-legalize affirmative action (details here). The 34th DDs voted to support I-1000 signature gathering.
Also, some internal business:
REORGANIZATION: The current executive board’s two-year term is ending. Some roles are changing. Chair David Ginsberg (above left, with secretary Jason Cheung), asked if he’s running to continue in the role, said he hasn’t decided yet. Anyone interested in running for a leadership role is encouraged to do so.
FINANCES: The group’s current dues structure “is a mess,” proclaimed a slide put up by second vice chair Michael Taylor-Judd, who continued a discussion that’s being had regarding what it takes “to run this organization.” They are proposing asking for $15 “sustaining” monthly payments. The organization “does a hell of a lot more” than many other district organizations, Taylor-Judd noted. Former chair Ivan Weiss said the current dues structure dates back to his days in charge and that the organization raised more money because “We stuck our hands out and asked for it.” State committeewoman Ann Martin said no one’s being required to pay but “maybe we went to push ourselves a little further.” The new structure passed.
RESOLUTION OF CENSURE: Outgoing precinct committee officer Dan Gage was formally censured in a resolution that won approval; the situation dates back to summer, explained vice chair Taylor-Judd. (Background is in the resolution text on page 7 of the latest newsletter.) He said that the group had reached out to Gage to offer him a chance to respond but had not received a response. After some discussion ensued, including how to publicize the censuring, Gage himself stood up toward the back of the room and said he wanted to tell his side of the story. He claimed the allegations were “all bogus” tracing to a run-in with a neighbor and her dog. The group voted to censure him. “Well, I’ll have to sue you then,” he said, before the agenda moved on.
AWARD NOMINATIONS: They’re taking nominations for awards including the Cherisse Luxa Lifetime Achievement Award and the PCO of the Year Award.
The 34th District Democrats meet on second Wednesdays most months, 7 pm, at The Hall at Fauntleroy.