How the Washington State Democrats are Responding to the COVID-19 Outbreak
As Governor Inslee has repeatedly reminded us, we all have a responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 to keep our hospitals from being overwhelmed, keep our vulnerable friends and neighbors from being infected, and keep our social ties strong through this difficult time. By frequently washing our hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, minimizing the amount of time spent in public spaces, and keeping a safe physical distance of at least 6 feet from one another, we can all be a part of the fight against this pandemic.
In order to do our part to protect the health and safety of all Washingtonians, the Washington State Democratic Party has shifted to entirely remote programming through May 30th:
- The Legislative District Caucuses used to select delegates to the state convention are now shifting to an entirely digital voting process that we will be working with our local party organizations to put in place. This process will be modeled after the procedure used to fill state legislative vacancies and will include all Precinct Committee Officers in each legislative district.
- The Congressional District Caucuses will also be shifted to a similar remote voting process. We are still developing a digital process for the election of delegates to the national convention, but will work closely with any presidential campaign receiving delegates once they are allotted following the certification of the presidential primary election. As has always been the case, each presidential campaign retains the right of refusal over any person elected to serve as a delegate pledged to their campaign.
- We have also recommended to all our county party organizations that they shift their county conventions to an entirely digital process or postpone their events originally scheduled for May 3rd. Any Legislative District Caucuses that were scheduled to take place at a county convention are included in our shift to a digital process for the April 26th Legislative District Caucuses.
- We are also postponing the 2020 Magnuson Awards Dinner from May 9th to August 8th. The event will still be held at the Washington State Convention Center on the new date at 5pm, and any tickets purchased for the event will of course be honored for this new date.
- Our organizing team is continuing with voter outreach, but shifting our tactics to meet voters where they are for the duration of these public health countermeasures: online, on the phones, or from a safe physical distance. Our state party has been a national innovator in organizing techniques for years, and adapting to these ever changing circumstances is just the latest challenge we’ll overcome.
The most important thing to remember is that this outbreak will end, and our work to build community and empower people to make their voices heard at the ballot box cannot slow down as we shift our voter outreach strategies to follow public health advisories.
Below is a list of resources for Washingtonians to find accurate information about the COVID-19 outbreak and where to look for financial and other assistance if you or someone you know is in need during this difficult time:
- Washington State’s Emergency Management division has centralized all state policy responses and news updates about the COVID-19 outbreak, including the latest public health advisories from the Washington Department of Health and a visual dashboard where you can find the latest data informing our leaders’ assessment of the risks posed by the coronavirus.
- The Governor’s Office is providing frequent updates and explanations of each step the state government is taking to help those affected by the outbreak.
- Additional public health guidance is available from the counties most affected, namely King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County, Clark County, and Thurston County. There are confirmed cases in other counties, but these are the only counties with specific public health guidance at this time.
- The Center for Disease Control has additional guidance on travel, how healthcare providers should prepare, and how you can help slow the spread of the virus.
- The Employment Security Department here in Washington State has resources for workers or business owners financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The City of Seattle has compiled a list of local and statewide resources available to help with any of the ways you might be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The Public Disclosure Commission has created a resource for candidates, campaigns, local party organizations and other political committees with frequently asked questions about filing during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The Department of Commerce has set up drive-in wifi hotspots for students who need to do homework, people working remotely, or checking in with your doctor. You can find a directory of locations here.
These resources are provided purely as an informational tool, and there may be additional resources not listed here available to you through your local government. We will update this page as often as we can as new public health advisories and aid programs are announced, but always rely on the government sources linked on this page for the most up-to-date information.