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Delegates gather May 1st for next step in Presidential nomination process

Whatcom County Convention and Legislative District Caucuses (42nd LD and 40th-Whatcom) will be held Sunday May 1, 2016 at Whatcom Community College.

9 am – 1:30 pm Registration open in Syre Center
10 am – 12:15 pm Platform Debate and amendments Committee of the Whole
1:00 – 6:00 pm County Convention & LD Caucuses

Printable Documents


What to do ahead, and what to Bring

Proposed RULES for Platform Debate (10 am)

Proposed RULES for convention (1 pm)

How to Run for Delegate to next level

WCC Campus Map and directions


Precinct Caucuses a success! On to the LDs May 1

Thanks to everyone who came out to caucus on Saturday — all 12,806 of you in Whatcom County!

Here are the county-wide results:
Sanders Delegates 695
Sanders Alternates 568

Clinton Delegates 166
Clinton Alternates 139

Uncommitted Del 2

And thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who lead their caucus, organized sites, and assisted their caucus leader. We literally could not have done it without you!

The elected Delegates and Alternates will gather on May 1 at Whatcom Community College to winnow the field by electing delegates to the 1st and 2nd Congressional District Caucuses. Even if you were not elected at the Precinct Caucus, you can run for delegate at the next level, even for National Delegate.

ALL ELECTED DELEGATES AND ALTERNATES will be contacted by email and snail mail with all details they will need to participate in the LD Caucus and Co. Convention. We have over 800 delegates to pull out of precinct paperwork and get into a usable form. Please be patient.

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Democrats Caucus for President March 26

by Natalie McClendon, Chair, 42nd Legislative District Democrats

Find your caucus site and pre-register

Every election is determined by the people who show up. As a vote-by-mail state, we’ve all become accustomed to the convenience of voting at our kitchen table when we get the time. Clearly caucusing is different. It may seem a bit quaint. But once or twice a decade the decisions we make as voters are so important that we should “show up” to have our voice heard.

Washington State’s Democrats will have our turn to weigh in on our choices for presidential nominee about half way through the national process. It seems like it’s been going on forever, but only a little over half of the total delegates will be decided by mid-March. A lot can still happen.

Democrats in Washington State will be selecting delegates on Saturday, March 26th, as the first step to their national nominating conventions. You must attend to vote, except for the following: anyone who cannot attend because of a need to participate in observance of their religion, responsibilities related to military service or work schedule, or because of a disability or illness, may submit a Surrogate Affidavit in advance*, kind of like applying for an absentee ballot.

The March 26th Democratic Precinct Caucuses begin at 10 am. Check to find the location of your precinct’s caucus, or call 647-7661. These caucuses are the only opportunity for Democrats in Washington State to participate in selecting the Democratic Party’s Presidential nominee. The Presidential Primary on May 24th will not be used by the Democrats in their Presidential nominating process.


The process of nominating a party’s Presidential candidate involves two steps: determining each candidate’s support by some popular voting method (caucus or primary), and identifying people to represent that support as delegates to the national convention.

When Democrats show up at the caucus, they sign in and record their preference for a presidential candidate, or as uncommitted. After tallying up that initial vote, everyone has an opportunity to change their vote, and after changes are made they do a final count.

Any registered voter who considers him or herself a Democrat may participate in the Democratic caucus. This includes 17-year-olds who will be eligible to vote (i.e., 18) on November 8, 2016. Anyone may register to vote, or update their voting address, at the caucus and participate fully. Participation is free, but donations are welcome because the local party pays for the local caucuses, and renting over 30 meeting spaces can be expensive.


Each precinct has a set number of delegates based on the average number of votes cast for Obama and Inslee in 2012. This 2012 vote gives us a base number of Democrats in the precinct, so the number of delegate slots can be apportioned fairly between precincts.

Once the vote tally is finalized at the caucus, these delegate slots are divided proportionately among the candidates based on that vote. There is no “winner-take-all.” Every vote counts.Then people are elected to the delegate slots to represent their candidate at the next level of the process — the Legislative District Caucus on May 1, 2016.


Many voters do not consider themselves a “member” of either major party. Since we do not declare a party affiliation on our voter registration here in Washington State, party affiliation is only in your head or your heart. Any voter may participate in either caucus (not both) and that same party’s ballot in the Presidential Primary, but they must be willing to sign a declaration that they are a “Democrat” to take part in the Democratic Caucus. The parties wish that only committed party members participate in the selection of their party’s nominee, but there is no way for them to know who these voters are. So it’s a wide-open process for anyone who wants to join in.

It is this lack of certainty of who are party members that causes the Democrats to continue to use the caucus system. An open primary makes it too easy for non-members to influence the choice of a party nominee. A nominee gets the entire national, state and local party infrastructure, volunteers, funds, communications, etc, to help him or her run for office. So this person should be the one a majority of party members want.

*Surrogate Affidavit Form  must be received at the State Democratic Party headquarters no later than Friday, March 18, 2016 at 5:00 P.M. This is because the form must be forwarded to the proper local party organization prior to the Saturday, March 26, 2016 Precinct Caucuses.

January 15 Social and Meeting

Official Call to Meeting
Precinct Committee Officers of 42nd Legislative District (PCOs)

Special Meeting to fill officer vacancy
Friday, January 15     5 – 7 pm

4682 Wynn Road, Bellingham, WA 98226

AGENDA (everyone welcome, but only PCOs may vote on these items)

5-6 pm: Social hour, refreshments provided.

6-7 pm: Meeting

Election of State Committeeman, to fill unexpired term
Eligible Electors are the PCOs elected in the August 2014 Primary to represent their precinct, and those duly appointed, for the term December 1, 2014 to November 30, 2016.
Nominations will also be taken from the floor. Any Democrat living in the 42nd LD is eligible to run for a position, but this open position is for a committee”MAN”, so we need men to apply.

Consideration of Bylaws changes (see proposals below)

Additional Agenda items, discussion and voting open to all members of the 42nd LD Dems

2015 Report of activities and finances
Preview of 2016 Election, including the caucuses
Recruitment of Committee Chairs and committee members


PROPOSED BYLAW CHANGES. Proposed language in bold.

Recommended by the 42nd Dems Executive Board:

Article II. Section 3.1.(c) General members of the 42nd LDDC shall be any Democrat registered to vote in the 42nd LD and who pays their dues to the Treasurer of the 42nd LDDC or to the Whatcom County Democratic Central Committee.

Additional sentence in the same paragraph, proposed by Natalie McClendon:

Membership must be paid at least 20 days in advance of exercising voting privileges.

You can read the entire Bylaws document HERE,

2015 Local Election Endorsements

Primary Election – Tuesday, August 4, 2015.

General Election – Tuesday, November 3, 2015.


I-1366 (Eyman proposal) — NO
I-1401 (Endangered Species) — YES
County Council District 1 – Todd Donovan
County Council District 2 – Satpal Sidhu
Port of B’ham District 3 – Robert (Bobby) Briscoe
Charter Amendment 1 — REJECT
Charter Amendment 2 — REJECT
Charter Amendment 3 — REJECT
Charter Amendment 9 — APPROVE
Charter Amendment 10 — APPROVE


Ferndale Council Position 4 – Teresa N Taylor
B’hm Mayor – Kelli Linville
B’ham City Council Ward 1 – April Barker
B’ham City Council Ward 3- Dan Hammill
B’ham City Council Ward 5 – Terry Bornemann
B’ham City Coucil At Large – Roxanne Murphy
B’ham School Board Position 2 — BOTH Quenby Peterson and Jono Manion


House Budget Proposal Prioritizes Funding for Education

The State House of Representatives have unveiled their budget proposal. The Republicans argue that the economy is getting better and revenue is increasing, so we have plenty of money to fund whatever we need without raising taxes. They ignore the drastic cuts that were made during the recession that have left our state suffering. And while they may give lip-service to the idea of tax fairness, their fixation on “no new taxes” means supporting the status quo of a really unfair tax structure.

“After seven years of cuts totaling more than $12 billion, we have to take an honest look at the state of our state,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-Covington). “We have to ask: ‘Is this really what we want?’ This budget is a stand against mediocrity. Just being ‘Okay’ is not acceptable.”

What the House Democratic Budget will do:

  • $3.2 billionAdditional K-12 spending, a 21% increase in funding over last biennium
    • $1.4 billion in K-12 policy adds that will count towards that state’s McCleary obligation including:
      • K-3 class size reduction
      • Full funding for all-day kindergarten for every child in the state
      • Materials, supplies and operating costs
      • Supports to prepare students for college and careers
    • The remaining $1.8 billion investment pays for the policy decisions made towards fully funding education in the 2013-15 budget.
  • $385 million – Restore cost-of-living adjustments for school employees.
  • $227 million – Expansion of quality early learning and childhood education.
  • $256 million – Investments in higher education including two years of tuition freezes, student financial aid, and high-demand, high-salary degrees.
  • $100 million – New mental health capacity to ensure that people get the help they need in their time of crisis.
  • $9.6 million – Restore previous cuts to the state’s Food Assistance program that feeds hungry children, families, and seniors in the state.

As a result of an unfair and outdated tax structure, state revenues are becoming increasingly inadequate to pay for essential state services like basic education, health care, and prisons. The state doesn’t have adequate resources despite a growing economy. After seven years and $12 billion in budget cuts stemming from the Great Recession, many lawmakers believe now is time to act on revenue reform.

“We have the most unfair tax structure in the nation,” said Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle), House Finance committee chair. “Our tax system hurts working families, the middle class, and small businesses, while the wealthiest individuals and corporations don’t pay their fair share. It’s time to build fairness in the system so that we can make critical investments in our state’s economy.”
Read more from the House Democrats

Legislative cut-off shows clear differences between Democrats and Republicans

Democrats prioritize equality, hard-working families, the environment, and schools as legislative deadline passes.

OLYMPIA – Wednesday evening marked the legislative cut-off, where bills either get passed on to the other chamber or die a legislative death for the year. As the cut-off came and went, the differences in priorities between Democrats and Republicans became increasingly clear.

On Wednesday, the final bill Democrats in the House took up was the Equal Pay Opportunity Act sponsored by Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island), aiming to eliminate gender discrimination when it comes to compensation in the workplace. Despite the state’s 1943 Equal Pay law, women make just 79 cents to the man’s dollar, ranking Washington 33rd in the nation.

The bill, which was opposed by an astounding 43 Republicans in the House, would seek to lessen that gap by prohibiting employers from retaliating against employees for discussing workplace compensation.

“The difference in priorities is clear,” said Jaxon Ravens, Chair of the Washington State Democrats. “Actions speak louder than words, and Republicans in Olympia have repeatedly shown that instead of investing in Washington, they side with special interests, big corporations, and extremists who want to take us backward when it comes to our basic rights.”

Other key policies passed by the House and opposed overwhelmingly by Republicans include:

  • The passage of the Reproductive Health Act, which requires health carriers to cover contraceptives and other women’s health services, better allowing women, not employers or special interests, to control health decisions.
  • Landmark legislation to support workers and economic growth by increasing the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour incrementally over the next four years and provide sick and safe leave for workers who may fall ill, have a loved one get sick, or be victim of domestic violence.
  • The Washington Voting Rights Act, which ensures equitable and fair elections and protects all Washingtonians’ right to participate in local elections, regardless of where they live.
  • New laws to protect our environment by holding oil companies accountable through the implementation of new safeguards on oil train transport and banning of toxic chemicals flame retardants from furniture and children’s products.
  • Expanded investments in early learning through the Early Start Act, which expands the effective, high-quality programs and policies that have made Washington state a nationally recognized leader in early learning.

Additionally, Senate Republicans showed their misplaced priorities by advancing an agenda that aimed to roll back environmental protections, attack workers rights, and eliminate needed school funding despite an overwhelming budget deficit.

Policies passed by the Senate Republicans, despite objections from Democrats, included:

“Republicans in the Olympia are out of touch with the priorities of Washington residents,” said Ravens. “When hours are spent on the floor of the Senate debating if scientific consensus exists on climate change or when good policies like increasing the minimum wage and providing sick leave for workers don’t even get a public hearing in committee – we need a change in leadership.”

2015-16 Leadership Elected

The Democratic Precinct Committees officers of the 42nd District gathered on January 10th to elect new officers for the 2015-2016 term. The new leaders are:

Chair: Natalie McClendon
Vice Chair: Tom Brakke
Secretary: Aileen Satushek
Treasurer: Don Starr
State Committee Woman: Teresa Taylor
State Committee Man: Justin Finkbonner

Our State Committee persons will be representing us at the Washington State Democratic Party meeting on January 24th, where they elect the state party leaders for the next two years. These leaders, at both the local and state level, will be responsible for organizing and executing the 2016 Precinct Caucuses, to select a presidential nominee.

The new 42nd District Board will be meeting soon to set goals for the coming two-year cycle. Any Democrat in the 42nd District interested in participating in leadership and decision-making may contact the chair, Natalie McClendon, at 360-319-8287.

New Officers Elected January 10th

The Jan. 10th, 2015 meeting of the 42nd LD Democrats will include an official PCO Call to meet and elect new Officers for the 42nd legislative district.   At this meeting we will hold our biennial re-organization and elect new officers for the 42nd LD.  Only PCO’s who were elected in the last August primary will be allowed to vote.  An official post card will be sent out to those members.  Rules state that the Chair and Vice-Chair must be of opposite gender.  Other positions include Secretary, Treasurer, State Committee Man and State Committee Woman.  We will be taking nominations from the floor.  I will not be running for re-election this year and I hope some of you will step up and keep our organization going strong.

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR January 10th, 10am, Machinists Hall in Ferndale.  We look forward to seeing you!

More info:   Sherry Zeilstra, Chair, 380-1438