MINUTES OF THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS OF THE WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATS
JANUARY 29, 2005
This being the organization meeting of the Progressive Caucus, Nathe Lawver made general announcements. Washington State Democratic Party staff made suggestions as to organizing the caucus, which included the election of officers, and undertook to run the meeting until a chair was elected.
Nathe Lawver and Larry Kalb were nominated for chair, their nominations were seconded and the two candidates made speeches in support of their candidacy.
Nathe Lawver: Nathe indicated that he had been a Dean Delegate, is involved in Democracy for America in Pierce County and is a passionate progressive on social issues while believing in fiscal responsibility. In the real world he sells insurance.
Larry Kalb: Larry announced that he is from Bellingham, had been a national delegate for Bradley in 2000 and Kucinich in 2004. He is very active in the Democratic Party, a member of the public transportation union, an employee of Whatcom Transportation Authority and State Committeeman for the Whatcom County Democrats. He is a past member of the Washington Conservation Voters and worked to elect three county council members in Whatcom County. He is passionate about health care and discussed his children’s experience with the French healthcare system.
A caucus participant asked each of the nominees to address how they would be involved with the caucus.
Larry Kalb discussed a plan to divide the caucus up by Congressional Districts and make one person responsible for organizing each CD. He envisioned networks in each DC made up of individuals and groups in the LDs and Counties. He supports advancing progressive issues by hosting forums and by training people how to run campaigns for progressive candidates.
Nathe Lawver stated that he feels the progressives are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party but that progressive ideas are often watered down. He wants to recruit PCOs and open the lines of communications between progressives. He supports workshops, like one upcoming workshop featuring George Lakeoff, the author of Don’t Think of An Elephant. He thinks the progressives can assist the Democratic Party with adhering the truly Democratic ideals.
A caucus participant then stated that the caucus should understand the importance of communicating with Eastern Washington and having forums and other educational events in Eastern Washington.
Debbie Srail, 28th LD, asked about a progressive meeting scheduled in Seattle for January 30. It was discussed that there is a national organization, Progressive Democrats of America, that is meeting in Seattle on January 30. That meeting is not connected in any way with the Washington State Democrats. Jim McDermott and Dennis Kucinich will be at that meeting.
The question was called and voting commenced. The results were tallied as follows: Nathe Lawver, 17, Larry Kalb, 21.
Whereupon Nathe Lawver was nominated for vice chair and his nomination was seconded. As Mr. Lawver was the only person nominated for vice chair, he was elected by acclamation.
Whereupon Stacey Klinzman was nominated for Secretary and the nomination was seconded. As Ms. Klinzman was the only person nominated for the position of secretary she was elected by acclamation.
Whereupon the position of treasurer was discussed. The caucus treasurer’s main duties would be to collect money from workshops and to make payments for workshops and other progressive educational events. It was determined that none of the caucus attendees felt comfortable being nominated for or assuming the position of treasurer. A motion to table nominations for treasurer was made, seconded and passed.
Dave Woodruff, 24th LD, Jefferson County then introduced a resolution put forth by the Jefferson County Democrats, to be considered at the State Committee Meeting in the afternoon. The resolution supports the election of Governor Howard Dean to the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. He indicated his concern that such resolutions are often put off until the end of the meeting and, in that case, often do not get considered and voted upon by the body. Mr. Woodruff then made a motion that the Progressive Caucus endorse the resolution that Governor Dean be elected the Chair of the DNC and that the Caucus Chair express the Caucus’s support for the resolution at the afternoon meeting. Ron Nelson, also from Jefferson County, spoke in support of the motion and Dan Wakely, Chair of the 40th LD, also spoke in its favor. It was discussed that Paul Berendt, the Chair of the Washington State Democrats, supports Governor Dean for DNC Chair and that the other candidates for State Chair do as well. The question was called, whereupon the following motion, which had been seconded, passed:
That the Progressive Caucus endorse the Jefferson County resolution to the Washington State Democrats to endorse Governor Dean as Chair of the Democratic National Committee and that the Chair actively support this resolution at the afternoon meeting.
Karen Chase, 32nd LD, then made a motion that the Caucus elect a second Vice Chair to represent Eastern Washington and discussion ensued, including whether the Second Vice Chair should be the opposite sex of the first Vice Chair. A motion was made and seconded that the Caucus elect a second Vice Chair from Eastern Washington. The motion passed. Whereupon nominations for the position of Second Vice Chair were held and the following individuals were nominated: Bob Parazian, Tri Cities; Ellie Webb, Moses Lake and Chair of the Grant County Democrats. The candidates made speeches in support of their candidacy as follows:
Bob Parazian: Mr. Parazian stated he is Vice Chair of the Benton County Democrats and is a lifelong Democrat. He worked with Dean for America and has progressive ideals.
Ellie Webb: Ms. Webb stated that the Eastern Washington Democrats are more progressive than most people think and that she would like to be the person to give a voice to those progressive Democrats. The question was called and the vote ensued with Ellie Webb being elected Second Vice Chair.
Whereupon the Chair introduced two items of business, the first being a plan of attack for supporting the resolution in support of Governor Dean being elected Chair of the DNC. It was discussed that 1) people need to be actively engaged in contacting the state party members who will vote on the DNC Chair and 2) ask those with the power to vote on DNC chair to declare who they will be voting for.
State party staff then brought to the Caucus Chair’s attention that several other resolutions remained to be reviewed by the caucus and that time was running out. Thus the remainder of the meeting was spend discussing the resolutions in the meeting packet. The Caucus voted to endorse the following resolutions:
Resolution for an Agricultural Caucus
Call for Action Opposing the Draft
Replace Signed Ballots with Unsigned Ballots (after much discussion)
Proper Conduct and Count of 2004 Presidential Election ballots
Social Security Anti-Privatization
Abolish Electoral College
Accurate Vote Tracking
Establish Eastern Washington Office – it was discussed that the Caucus would support Resolution No. 2 on this issue (King County version) as the two resolutions are similar and the makers of Resolution 1 on this issue don’t care about the specifics, they just want an Eastern Washington office and the King County resolution is most likely to pass at the afternoon meeting.
Equitable Opportunity for All
Establish National Voting Standards
Whereupon, candidates for Chair and Secretary of the Washington State Democratic Party addressed the caucus, including Greg Rodriguez, Paul Berent and Julian Wheeler.
At the conclusion of candidate speeches, the Caucus voted to adjourn.