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WA State Democrats Overturn Muslim Ban: Our week in review

This Week In Review – Friday, 2/3/2017

This was a big week in national and Washington politics – but we’ll  help you stay up to date on what’s going on, and what you can do to help out and advance the cause of progressive policies and politics.

1. Trump’s Muslim Ban

Late last week, Donald Trump delivered on his long-promised Muslim ban, with an unconstitutional executive order dramatically limiting the ability for Muslims and immigrants – many of them with every legal right to come to the United States – to come here. As children, seniors, translators who had helped our soldiers in Iraq, and more people were being detained at airports, we leapt into action. Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Suzan Delbene, along with Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire, lead the charge at SeaTac Airport. Democratic lawyers came to airports across the country to provide legal aid for those detained and millions of people across the country came to the streets in protest for the second weekend in a row. And Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson led the country by making Washington the first state in the country to sue Trump to overturn his unconstitutional ban.

We had a huge victory Friday when Judge James Robart ruled in favor of Washington’s lawsuit against Trump and issued a nationwide temporary restraining order preventing enforcement of Trump’s ban! While our work isn’t over and the lawsuit to permanently overrule Trump’s executive order will continue, this is a big win for human rights and suggests strongly that the full lawsuit will eventually be successful. Trump may be in the Oval Office, but this proves we can still fight back and win!

2. State Republicans Cutting Education Funding

The Republicans in the Washington State Senate released their long-awaited proposal for funding education and no surprise – it gets a failing grade. Their plan would actually cut school funding for 605,000 students, raise the largest property tax increase in state history on middle class families, and hurt teachers and students by cutting standards across the state and opening the door to privatization of our entire school system.

Every Democrat in the Washington State Senate stood up to the Republicans and voted ‘no’ on their plan, but now the time comes for negotiations between the Republican Senate and the Democratic House of Representatives. We need to keep up the pressure and fight for a plan that really solves the need for more funding for our schools!

3. Double-Dipping Doug Ericksen Doesn’t Serve the 42nd District

Doug Ericksen, the State Senator from the 42nd district in Whatcom County, is playing a strange game of “where’s Doug, and what is he doing?” He’s been hired by Donald Trump to help destroy the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC, while still trying to do his job as a legislator here in this Washington. No surprise – he’s doing a terrible job of it. He’s missed most of the meetings of the committee he chairs himself and he’s been absent for important action on the State Senate floor.

This week, Ericksen called a press conference to tell the public about how his DC job wouldn’t interfere with his state duties. He was humiliated when he had to cancel the press conference because he couldn’t get back from DC in time. He couldn’t even show up to tell the public that he wouldn’t have any trouble showing up!

Ericksen needs to do the right thing and resign. He can work for the people of Washington, or he can work for Trump, but trying to do both at once (and collecting two taxpayer-paid salaries at once!) isn’t going to work.

4. New State Democratic Party Chair and Vice Chair

We also welcomed our new state Party leadership this week! Tina Podlodowski was elected as our new state Party chair and Joe Pakootas was elected as our new vice chair. Our new team hit the ground running and is already hard at work organizing and fundraising for our grassroots efforts. We are excited to win big in the 2017 and 2018 with this team running the Party! Tina was on KUOW’s Week In Review program this week, discussing Trump and his Muslim ban – you can listen to the interview here.


What you can do

1. Call your legislators!

Our legislators need to hear from us that the Republican plan to cut education funding is unacceptable! You can find your legislators’ contact information here – call them or email them and let them know that you want a real plan to help students succeed! Here’s a sample script:

Dear (Representative/Senator Name)

I am (your name) and I oppose SB 5607, the education funding proposal passed by the Senate Republicans. Their plan has a huge property tax increase on middle class families, and has seriously troubling policies in it like rolling back teacher certifications and opening the door to privatizing our schools.

Washington students need a real solution for school funding, that actually address their needs. I support the plans proposed by Gov. Inslee and the legislative Democrats.

Please make the major progress we need for students and schools! Thank you!

2. Share the message on social media!

People trust their friends and family for information on what’s going on – if you can share a short message about education on Facebook, it would help spread the word about the Republicans’ plans for schools.

Share your message – The Senate Republicans in this state are cutting school funding and raising taxes on the middle class, all so they can advance extreme conservative education policies. Say no to the Senate Republican education proposal!

3. Help fund our grassroots organizing – join the DEM club!

We’re looking to expand our communications program and hire organizers to help the grassroots activate against Donald Trump and the Republicans. Joining our Democrats Every Month club (the DEM club!) is a great way to make a small monthly commitment to support Democratic organizing and progressive politics.

If you’ve already signed up for the DEM club, send this link or forward this email to a friend and encourage them to join us! This is the most important thing we can do to build our Party and the progressive movement.

Thank you for your support!