Roll (Blue) Tide!

Congratulations to Doug Jones, the next U.S. Senator from the state of Alabama, and the first Democrat to be elected to represent Alabama in the Senate in a quarter century!

On Tuesday, Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct against minors and whose views on equality, tolerance, and women’s rights were–in a word–archaic. Jones, on the other hand, is a former U.S. Attorney who prosecuted members of the Ku Klux Klan for their involvement in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham decades earlier.

With such a stark contrast between the candidates, Alabamians, Democrats, Independents, and even some Republicans mobilized on a breathtaking scale. In the seven weeks leading up to the special election volunteers knocked on 300,000 doors–including 80,000 in the final weekend of the campaign–and made 1.2 million phone calls. And they proved that Democrats can win anywhere, even Alabama.

Organizing Academies

In Washington State, we’re building our own grassroots movement to support Democratic candidates. We’ve written about our Organizing Academies several times in our Week In Review, always with the promise that soon we’ll be taking them to every part of the state. Well now that’s happening.

We now have upcoming Organizing Academies scheduled in Pasco, Spokane, Graham, Yakima, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Chewelah, Ellensburg, and Issaquah. Find one near you and RSVP now!

Our expert organizers will be leading these interactive training sessions for activists who want to be leaders in the effort to elect Democrats all across the state. Participants will learn and practice the core organizing skills they’ll need to lead the fight. The training will cover: Campaign Strategy 101, Phases of a Campaign, Tactics, Best Practices 101, Leading Events, Engaging Your Network, and Critical Conversation Skills. If this sounds exciting to you, sign up now!

Volunteer Appreciation and Maggies Tour Wrap-Up

This time last week we were still on our statewide volunteer appreciation tour, during which we held parties across the state to recognize our volunteers, and Chair Tina Podlodowski honored this year’s Maggie award winners.

We last left off on the night of Friday, December 8th, after we had been in Yakima, Spokane, Pullman, Dayton, Walla Walla, and Burien.

On Saturday morning, we headed south for Auburn to recognize Michelle Rylands and Brian Gunn with Maggie awards.

Michelle, who ran against Republican Phil Fortunato this year for state Senate in the 31st LD, was named a Candidate of the Year. And 31st LD Chair Brian Gunn was named as Chair of the Year.

Saturday afternoon we were in Issaquah to recognize state Senator Manka Dhingra as a candidate of the Year and Sarah Perry as Western Washington Organizer of the Year.

We also presented Maggie awards for Allies of the Year to two fantastic groups: WA 8th CD Alliance and Indivisible Washington’s 8th District.

The next day we headed east again to attend the Benton County Democrats Holiday Party. While in the Tri-Cities, we presented the final Maggie awards of the tour to the Central Washington Candidates of the Year: Kate Moran, Steve Lee, and Blanche Barajas.

Congratulations to everyone! It was a great tour, and we enjoyed seeing you all!

FCC Votes to Repeal Net Neutrality

Last week, Donald Trump’s Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai “joked” that he was a puppet for big telecommunications companies. He wasn’t joking, and it wasn’t funny.

On Thursday, the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality, effectively giving telecom companies free rein to take advantage of consumers.

While on its face the FCC decision technically “punts” decisions about net neutrality rules to the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC likely lacks the jurisdiction, the ability, or even the will to provide the same protections the FCC has provided in recent years to ensure that the internet remains open and fair. That means that telecom companies and internet service providers will be virtually unregulated and free to prioritize whatever content in whatever ways they choose, to the detriment of competitors, consumers — virtually everyone else.

That is unacceptable.

In Washington, we’re lucky to have Democratic elected officials who are proclaiming loud and clear that they will not put up with the repeal of net neutrality. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell is spearheading an effort to have Congress overturn the FCC’s vote. Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced he’ll be suing the Trump administration for violating the Administrative Procedure Act, stating that those in the administration “often fail to follow the law when taking executive action.” Governor Jay Inslee announced that Washington State will be taking steps to ensure net neutrality to the fullest extent legally possible from a state perspective.

Democrats believe that an open internet is fundamental to free speech and innovation. The internet needs to remain a level playing field where the reach of people’s voices is determined by the quality of their ideas — not the whims of a handful of CEOs.

Rise & Organize