Local Democratic party elects new leadership

By David Turnoy,

Chairman San Juan County Democrats

The San Juan County Democrats held its biennial reorganization meeting on Saturday, Jan. 14 in Friday Harbor. Many of our precinct committee officers had been elected in the primary last August, and they were responsible last week for electing our new officers for 2017-18. David Dehlendorf had served as chair for the past three years, and he did an excellent job building up the number of participants in our local party.

I ran for the chair position unopposed, and not unsurprisingly I was elected. My main reason for running was to try to improve the world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren, which requires a more progressive path for the Democrats.

It is clear that the time has come for a new direction in the Democratic party. Many people no longer see us as the party of the people, which is what we aim to be. It is clear from the caucuses last year that our locals who consider themselves Democrats and came out to participate also favor a more progressive direction. To that end, we elected two very progressive younger people, Learner Limbach and Natasha Frey, for the positions of state committee man and woman. These two, along with their counterparts from all around the state, will be meeting in Olympia at the end of the month when they will have the chance to elect a more progressive state chair, Tina Podlodowski.

Change is in the air, and if you want to be part of a more progressive Democratic party, I urge you to get involved. While we need to unite behind our elected Democratic officials to fight for our progressive vision, at the same time we will not tolerate our officials acting against the interests of the people.

We are planning issue-related action teams at the next meeting, which will be at noon, Feb. 4 at Skagit Valley College in Friday Harbor. We began this process at a special meeting in December, and we will conclude the planning stage at the next meeting and get busy implementing concrete actions to improve the political process. For instance, we are working on a plan to end the Electoral College, and there is a method to do so without needing a constitutional amendment. We are also looking to take back the state senate, which we can do by helping the candidate in a special election later this year; if we are successful, both houses will have Democratic majorities, and we can actually pass progressive legislation. And — brace yourselves now — we might even be able to fully fund our schools.

If you are interested in being part of the change we need, contact me either at 376-4165 or davidgeri@centurylink.net.