LD Officer Candidates

The purpose of the Reorganization meeting on January 10 at 2pm is to elect a Chair, Vice Chair, and two State Committee Members. Nominations closed on January 3. Candidates were offered the opportunity to submit statements of 500 words and a picture. Nominees listed in order received.

As the only contested position is State Committee Member, their statements are shown first and in the order received.

Candidates for State Committee Member

Diane Jones

female, 360-379-9193, dianefrjones@gmail.com

My name is Diane Jones and I’m running to represent legislative district 24 Democrats at the state party. I have served this position since 2016. At the state party I help elect party leaders that will lead us for the next 2 years, vote on resolutions, bylaws amendments and our governing rules. To better understand and represent LD 24, I early on decided to attend the meetings of the local county parties of Jefferson, Clallam and Grays Harbor. That way I learn what is important to local parties and members, and report back to them what the state party is up to and how that ties into what we do at the local level.

I also serve on the Advocacy Committee of the WSD, which is currently putting together a 2021 legislative priorities list of what we see as possible this year from our state legislature, educate Democrats on ways they can influence legislation and track relevant bills. 

In addition, I spend time focusing on the value of PCOs and other volunteers canvassing voters and identifying their party leanings. If we know who the Democrats are, we can remind them to vote and share with them our endorsed slate of candidates and ballot measures. If we know who the independents are, we and our endorsed candidates can focus on getting their votes. The more we know the voters in LD 24, the more strategic, efficient and focused we can all be on getting Democrats elected.

I organized group and individual canvassing throughout Jefferson County over the last few years. During the 2020 election season, I worked with the WSD’s coordinated campaign in recruiting volunteers to help phonebank voters. I called over a couple thousand voters myself and while I had some interesting conversations, I am convinced phone banking a poor substitute for knocking on doors. There is more trust and civility at the door than on the phone allowing for better conversations allowing us to win their vote. Phone banking has merits though. It is more data driven, we can reach voters that would be hard to reach otherwise, and it will allow more focused door knocking when we can do so safely. There are new tools, like virtual phonebanks, allowing information to be automatically and instantaneously entered into VoteBuilder. When we can go back to knocking on doors, MiniVan allows data we collect to be easily committed into VoteBuilder without the time consuming effort of manual data entry

In LD 24 there are big gaps in our knowledge of voters. It would be a good goal to narrow that gap.

I hope you will vote for me.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

David Griffiths

non-binary, dwgblackthorn@gmail.com, 360-888-4255 

My name is David Griffiths, and I’m running to be a State Committee Member for LD 24. 

At this crucial time, it is more important than ever that we not only broaden the scope of who gets listened to in our party, but also of who gets to do the listening.

I live with multiple disabilities, some I’ve had since birth, others acquired over time, mostly resulting from physical and emotional trauma. 

I identify as gender non-binary, an understanding of myself that I’ve come to fairly late in life.

Despite my parents’ economic status, and the relative affluence I was born into, I have lived in or near poverty for my entire adult life. 

These, and other, aspects of my identity that place me in marginalized and underrepresented groups, don’t cancel out my relative privilege as a middle-aged, white-skinned, male-bodied person from an upper middle-class family. All of these factors coexist within me simultaneously, and each of these perspectives is informed by all of the others. 

Reconciling differing, even opposing, perspectives, is something I wrestle with almost daily. This balancing act has also given me invaluable insight into the dynamics of privilege and oppression in our society, and how they play out on both the interpersonal and sociopolitical levels. 

I believe that this insight, and the ability to acknowledge both my relative privilege and my relative oppression as important factors in my identity, are among my greatest strengths. 

For the past two years, I’ve brought these strengths to my work with the State Committee on behalf of Jefferson County. They have served me well in the state party’s Affirmative Action Committee, as well as the Disabilities Issues Caucus, Economic Justice Caucus, and other groups and committees within the party, at the local, state, and even national levels. 

In the coming term, our party will have a lot of important work to do, and important choices to make. And with a Democrat as president (whew), we can no longer afford to approach that work or those choices reactively. We’ve gotten as far as we can expect to on “We’re not them.”  It’s not enough to just be better than the other team. We have to be a better team than we were four years ago. 

Now, our work and our choices need to be rooted in an honest acknowledgement of who we are, and who depends on us to amplify their voices. 

Read that sentence again. 

If we still think it’s OK for the same “us” to be responsible for amplifying the voices of the same “them”, then we’re still not doing it right, and we have failed to learn, grow, or evolve as an organization. 

I believe that we are in a position where change is as possible as it is necessary, and I want to do my part to help bring about the changes this party needs, for us to be the better team that we all deserve, and many of us need so badly. 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Joe McGimpsey

male, 360-640-0931 and email is appleboxjoe@msn.com

                                 vote

                       Joe Mc Gimpsey

                       For the 24th LD

                State Committeeman

*I am an “enrolled” member of the Makah Tribe, Neah Bay.

         I have been on the Reservation my entire Life.

*A past precinct committee officer of Neah Bay.

         The most valuable step in learning to elect GOOD Democrats!

*A past Dues paying Union member of WFSE, Teamsters & PSE SEIU

I have been a local president, shop steward and State level   Executive Board member.

*A current State Committeeman for the 24th LD.

I have been successful to organize valuable campaign fund raisers for  Federal, State and Local Democratic Candidates.

I am a newly “re-elected” District 3 Trustee for the Clallam County Democrats.

I have attended all of the WA. State Democratic central committee meetings across the whole state.

*A Cultural Leader of the Makah Tribe.

I continue with each living day, to sing, dance and share the ancient teachings of the Makah Tribe with everyone. I have been an Emcee for Traditional Potlatches, Funerals and Tribal Journeys my whole life.

*A Democratic Activist!

As a Native Vote Coordinator in Neah Bay, “We” were able to substantially INCREASE the Voter turnout for the 2020 Election. The Neah Bay Precinct had one of the highest percent of votes for all of the Democratic candidates for National, State and local offices in the state! I have been actively involved with numerous National, State and Local candidate’s campaigns for 40 plus years. Experience is Valuable.

*As the 24th LD state committeeman, I will continue to work hard to      

Represent All Democrats.

          Thanks for your consideration.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Candidates for Chair

Bruce Cowan

male, 360-774-6678, mrbrucecowan@gmail.com

For the last two years, it has been my pleasure to serve as Chair. I like the people and the challenge of the work. We’ve accomplished a lot together. I am asking for your vote so we can continue the work.

I said two years ago that I would form a cohesive team and make our organization stronger. I said that I’d connect Democrats, activist groups, elected officials, and our candidates. I said that we’d support the work of county parties and help them collaborate.

Together, we’ve done that … and more.

I took work on communications and fundraising. I started a newsletter and kept our website and facebook fresh. I keep in touch with party leaders, elected officials, and campaigns. I pursued grants, and our bank balance was higher than ever.

Through the Executive Committee, county parties collaborated on newspaper advertising and signs, programs I implemented. And county leaders began talking together about their work and their challenges.

Our leadership team put on public meetings, increased turnout of Native American voters, and helped organize phone banks across the district.

I showed up at Indivisible and county party events across the district, sometimes as the featured speaker. I connected local groups with candidates, who also spoke to them.

When COVID came and county conventions were canceled and plans changed. The LD was called to round up PCOs to elect state delegates. I led a successful process.

I saw that COVID meant Zoom. I held trainings for Democrats. Our two endorsement meetings this summer went very smoothly.

My qualifications: I am a retired primary grades classroom teacher, a musician, and a music teacher. After retirement, I jumped into Democratic party work, following my wife Deborah Pedersen and her parents. I’m a PCO and I’ve served as Chair of the Jefferson County Democrats. I have led measure campaigns and worked with several candidates in every cycle.

My politics: The struggle for social, racial, and economic justice motivates me. Growing income inequality and corporate influence are destroying the social fabric of our country … and the environment. The American dream is diminished. COVID and 45 have made things that much worse. We must address the needs of people. We must rein in corporations. It will take all we’ve got.

My view of the party and leadership: To win elections and change our country, we need a strong coalition of engaged and committed Democrats spreading our message to voters, a message we develop together.

Our processes are meant to lead to consensus of Democrats, not winners and losers. Party leaders must create a safe space for members to have respectful conversations and hear from the members.

Conclusion: I said two years ago that I am a hands-on chair. I hope that I have shown you that I am always ready and able to organize the work of the party and make sure it happens.

The 24th LD Democrats are on a good path. With your vote, we can continue this work together.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Candidates for Vice Chair

Julie Sa’Leit’Sa’ Kwina Johnson

Female

Julie Johnson, an Enrolled Lummi Tribal member has spent her life working to enhance services for Native people on the local, Regional and National Levels. She has worked as a Social & Health Services Department Director, School Superintendent  a Grants/Planner and Intergovermental Director over 30 years.

Julie served for 10 years on the Peninsula  College Board of Trustees, 10 years on the  UC Berkley American Indian Graduate Program Committee, 6 years on the  NW Indian College Board of Trustees and 5 years as the Vice Chair of the NW Portland Area Indian Health Board for 43 Tribes.

For the past 25 years she has volunteered and  organized a National Indian Women’s “Supporting Each Other” Honoring Lunch to recognize the accomplishments of Native Women in the United States. She has secured Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Maria Cantwell, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Heidi Heikamp and like elected officials to attend the Honor Lunches to recognize and talk about the accomplishments of Native Women. 

Currently Julie is the Co-Chair of the  “Native Vote Committee” of the Affiliated Tribes of NW Indians (58 Tribes).  She serves as the Chair of the Native American Caucus of the Washington State Democrats and has supported Native people running for public office. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Washington State Democrats.

Long active as a Democrat in Clallam County, has served as a State Committee Member of the WSD and currently serves as Vice Chair of the 24th LD Democrats.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++