Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Let's Win This!

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Kittitas County United!

We believe in a better, fairer, and brighter future for every American and are working together to empower voices of equity and justice from the cities and towns of Kittitas County, to Washington State and the White House.

Together We Stand For

Where We Stand

Democrats believe health care is a right, diversity is a strength, the economy should work for everyone, and facts and truth matter. Here is where we stand on key issues. View our platform statement for a comparison to the Kittitas County Republican Party.

A variety of agricultural and related industries play an important role in our local economy, and we respect farmers as stewards of the land that sustains us. We support policies consistent with the Washington State Growth Management Act in order to preserve agricultural land. We call for policies that will support and promote small local farms, further encouraging the use of organic and other sustainable practices, We support the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified products. We call for the re-evaluation of subsidy programs in light of climate impact of commodity crops and their uses, and to reduce or eliminate support for mega- or multinational corporations that ‘farm the government”. We support policies that ensure continued public access to public lands for recreational purposes while protecting and enhancing the environment and ecosystem. We support the end of government subsidies for the production of ethanol for use in gasoline. Our water and healthy ecosystems are a part of the public trust. We encourage practices needed to adapt to climate change and the needs of future generations. We support aggressive funding and enforcing of current safety, ecology, and environmental laws based on credible, peer-reviewed scientific research. We oppose development of irrigated farmland for utility-scale solar projects. We support the legalization of hemp for fiber and oil and its recognition as a viable agricultural crop. We support a guest worker policy to supply labor for agriculture.
Global climate change has been scientifically shown to be exacerbated by human activity primarily through extracting, refining and burning fossil fuels. Reducing demand for this resource is a critical goal. Creating economic incentives for businesses and individuals to deploy and use energy-efficient technologies, and adherence by state and national governments to global carbon reduction targets are initial means to this end. Funds currently directed to benefiting fossil fuel industries should be redirected to low- and no-carbon energy sources. We support sound environmental protection laws and vigorous support for and enforcement of these laws. Adequate funding and oversight for responsible agencies is imperative. All wildlife (both flora and fauna), especially endangered species, should be protected and nurtured through government and private initiatives. Decisions regarding water resources must be based on reliable scientific information and equitable economic policy. We support working toward creative solutions for the equitable distribution of clean water resources to all citizens nationwide including traditionally undeserved populations and Native peoples. We urge our governments to help develop improved public transportation programs. Repair of our national transportation infrastructure is critical. We must establish clean, sustainable, and renewable energy sources such as geothermal, tidal and ocean wave, wind, solar, and other innovative energy technologies and research into the development of energy storage systems that makes these technologies viable. We advocate We support policies and regulations the allow individuals to power their homes and builidngs with off the grid on-site power generation. We support development of locally controlled municipal power systems. We support rewriting and amendments to Washington State energy siting processes that provide more citizen control. We advocate research based methods of fire suppression suited to the unique conditions of the Cascade Mountains, scrub lands, and dry rolling hills of Kittitas County. We support the preservation of places of archaeological or historical significance. The national power grid should be modernized and decentralized. Fracking and any future technologies developed that cause similar detriment to our fragile ecosystem and geological stability must be stopped. We think transporting and storing gas oil, coal and nuclear water are inherently hazardous practices. We support appropriate regulatory responses to protect the environment, human health and public safety including the development of re-processing technologies. Storage of nuclear waste at the Hanford site is of special concern.
We support across-the-board public financing of elections. We support campaign finance reform at the local, state and national levels. Such reform should include timely reporting and full disclosure of campaign contributions and elimination of Super PACs and soft money. We support a constitutional amendment to overturn “Citizens United” and address unlimited corporate financial influence on our government, including elections. We believe that corporations are not “people” and that money is not “speech”. We support media access for all viable candidates in all national, state and local elections. We call on our government to underwrite the development of voting systems that record all precinct ballots equally. We support the right of convicted felons to vote except when they are incarcerated. Access of citizens to vote should be increased and we call on governments at all levels to avoid voter suppression. We uphold a constitutional amendment to establish voting as a right of all citizens. We support a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College. We call for increased protection against foreign interference in our election process at all level of government. We support exploration of alternative models of county government that improve efficiency, transparency, and professionalism.

We believe corporations should be regulated to serve the public interest. The economic history of the last century establishes the absolute necessity of a strong middle class in maintaining a healthy county, state and country. We support the elimination of the “Citizen’s United” U.S. Supreme Court decision by reversal or legislation. We strongly support a living wage for all workers. We encourage the expansion of tax credits, low interest loans and nonprofit micro lending for small businesses. We call for tax credits and incentives to be adjusted appropriately according to business size to reduce burdens and protect non-corporate businesses. We call for an adoption of a fair and progressive tax system. Corporations should be taxed on a fair assessment keyed to corporate income levels and use of infrastructure and effects on the environment. We support regulations limiting lobbying and contributions to government officials in order to create separation between corporations and government. We support protection and expansion of social security benefits. We support national and state single-payer health insurance including Medicare for all. We call for an increase in funding for the development of affordable and low-income housing in Kittitas county and Washington state, and increased funding and services to eliminate homelessness. We support fair trade agreements that acknowledge human rights and protect the environment. We support the establishment of a port district for Kittitas County. We support the elimination of exemption from insider trading laws for Members of Congress. We support equal access to technology for all Americans and investment in the infrastructure to make this a reality and to make us more globally competitive.

We support full government funding for comprehensive public schooling, from early childhood through a bachelor’s degree or certification, at no cost to students. Schools shall provide a safe and healthy environment for all students, including members of sexual minorities. Schools shall provide access to a variety of programs to meet the wants and needs of their students including basic, gifted, English Language Learning, special eduction, vocational and technical education. We support adequate consistent funding to provide for the full implementation and funding of the State Board of Health 52009 rule revision “Health and Safety Standards for Primary and Secondary Schools” (WAC 246-366). We expect school districts to raise awareness about the struggles of minority groups and other historically marginalized groups in the past and in the present. We support full inclusion of people with disabilities in all school activities and seek to implement programs to further encourage interaction among all students. We call for an increase in academic freedom for school districts to implement programs and assessments using best practices to reduce dropout rates, increase graduation rates and raise student achievement. We oppose public funding of charter schools. We support educational research and pilot programs that utilize well resourced information to improve teaching and learning. We oppose the arming of faculty, staff or any other non-constabulary person to implement any so-called “safety program” as a counter effort to school shootings or any other on campus threat.

We support movement toward an affordable single-payer system that includes all aspects of physical and mental health care for all citizens. Our goal is affordable accessible health care for all Washingtonians. We support expansion of Medicare and Medicaid. We support removal of the income cap on Social Security Tax. We strive to ensure that women and families can receive family planning consultation from professional health care providers.

We oppose discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, political participation and education based on race, religion, age, gender, or gender identification, sexual orientation disability, national origin, or marital status.  We respect rights and conditions established in treaties between the United States and of Native American Tribes of Washington and all other States and territories. We support comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers and a plan for guest workers. We support the Dream Act. We recognize privacy as a right and support phasing out of the Patriot Act and any other legislation or executive orders that permit infringement on citizens rights to free, unmonitored communication. We believe that women have the right to determine whether and when they will bear children and that all decisions regarding a woman’s reproductive medical care are private matters between the individual woman and her health care providers. We must improve the service to our veterans by providing full compensation, educational benefits, rehabilitation and treatment for their injuries, both physical and psychological, as well as support for their families. We support legislation that provides asylum to citizens from other countries who, for political or cultural reasons, live in fear for their lives and well being. We respect the rights of senior citizens and individuals with disabilities to direct their own lives. The State has the responsibility to help provide adequate housing, extended education, employment supervision, nutrition and medical care to those who cannot provide such services for themselves. We believe in the separation of church and state and we oppose prayer in public meetings and in publicly funded and charter-like schools. We are in favor of religious liberty as stated in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. We support the adoption of legislation that allows asylum for citizens from other countries who for political or cultural reasons live in fear for their lives and well-being.

We call for fair and living wage jobs with portable and secured health, retirement and pension benefits, with hourly wages indexed to the cost of living. All workplaces must be safe and healthy environments. We expect equal pay for work of comparable worth, overtime pay, and due process in workplaces free of discrimination and harassment. We insist on equal pay for women. We encourage the protection of all workers’ rights to organize, strike or use collective bargaining and arbitration when necessary. The National Labor Relations Board and state-run worker compensation programs are crucial parts of a fair economy. We call for the repeal, and for challenges to any resistance to repeal, — any and all anti-labor laws. We stand against any efforts to implement local or state-wide so-called right to work laws. We support a fair and just guest worker policy.

We expect actions to be taken to implement:

  • Funding to retrain workers who are displaced or underemployed
  • Effective protection for whistleblowers, including for non-government workers
  • Meaningful penalties for employers engaged in unfair practices
  • Extending unemployment benefits to locked-out workers, and to the long-term unemployed in seriously depressed economies
  • Reductions in replacement of workers with low-wage, volunteer or prison labor, or replacing skilled workers with low-benefit contractors.
  • Continued and increased use of state-approved apprentices and local hiring programs
  • Elimination of employment barriers to ex-offenders, and increased efforts to provide rehabilitation and work for them
  • Continued state and federal protections for pension funds.
Reduction of crime can be best achieved through education, secure living conditions and gainful employment. We support police officers in the performance of their duties to serve and protect all citizens. We advocate for training which encourages de-escalation in violent situations and greater awareness of mental health issues. Law enforcement personnel who knowingly violate civil rights by activities such as racial profiling or harassment should be suspended, investigated, and prosecuted. We support sentencing reform eliminating mandatory sentencing and pretrial detention for misdemeanor, nonviolent, or cases where flight is not an issue. We call for the end of mass incarceration which primarily impacts poor and minority groups and closure of private prisons. Mitigating the negative consequences of a felony record such as job loss and rent housing refusal should be researched. We recognize the importance of hunting and other sporting uses of firearms to our economy and respect individual’s rights to gun ownership. Gun owners should be fully responsible for the safekeeping and safe use of their weapons. Gun control and safety laws that currently exist should be energetically enforced. Responsible expansion of gun laws to achieve and enhance these goals include background checks, gun use safety and education. We support a ban on military-style semiautomatic rifles, weapons designed for military purposes, modifications to increase rate of fire, restoration of high-capacity ammunition magazines, and for the repeal of legislation (PLCAA 2005) barring gun manufacturer and dealers from legal liability.

Value Tradition.
Embrace Progress.
Expect Change.

Let's Vote!

When everyone votes, Democrats win!

Washington has been a vote-by-mail state for decades. Ballots are mailed to voters about three weeks before Election day. No postage is required to mail them back, and they must be postmarked by 8 pm on Election Day. Many voters choose to return their ballots to secure ballot drop boxes maintained by the County Auditor’s Office — this saves the county money and ensures ballots will be received directly by the county for counting on Election Day.

Upper County
Drop Boxes

  • Roslyn City Hall/Library
  • South Cle Elum Town Hall
  • Cle Elum Upper District Court
  • Easton Fire Station
  • Ronald Fire Station #1

Register to Vote

Register to vote or confirm/update your registration at vote.wa.gov.

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Lower County
Drop Boxes

  • Thorp Fire Station #1
  • CWU – Southside of SURC
  • Kittitas County Courthouse
  • Kittitas City Hall

Get Connected!

Headquarters

Our headquarters at 416 N. Main Street in Ellensburg is closed during Covid, but feel free to email us or come to a monthly meeting via Zoom.

Monthly Meetings

Join us on the 4th Thursday of every month except November and December. For more information, sign up for our newsletter or follow our Facebook page.

Volunteer

Want to volunteer? We need you! Email, call, reply to a newsletter, or PM us on Facebook!

Join Our List!

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Party Officers

Steve Verhey

Chair

Rob Fraser

Vice Chair

Beth Parker

Vice Chair

Jesse Hegstrom Oakey

State Committee Member

Molly Verhey

State Committee Member

Vacant

Secretary

Harvey Brown

Treasurer

Dave Nerpel

Public Information Officer/PCO Coordinator

Don K. Voter

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