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OKDems Dispatch – February 2018

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Feb2018 OKDems Dispatch News

We can expect an increasing tempo of activities moving forward to the midterm elections. Our mission is replacing GOP candidates and their anti-democratic policies with forward-leaning Democrats– locally, statewide, and nationally. A number of you ended last year by reaching out to your friends and neighbors, seeking allies, solidifying relationships, and meeting new friends.

OKDems Dispatch Contributors

Our contributing writers/reporters/editors for the OKDems Dispatch are:

Michael Sarratt – Michael moved to Eastern Washington in 2007, after retiring from a 32-year career on three railroads: the Southern Pacific, Amtrak, and the BNSF. While working as a locomotive engineer, he served nine years as an elected union representative.

In early 1964, Mike enlisted in the US Navy in response to President Kennedy’s assassination. JFK urged us to: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Mike was honorably discharged in 1970, having logged over 30,000 nautical miles aboard three different ships.

Mike attended college in California on the GI Bill and graduated ‘with distinction’ in English. When the antiwar movement swept over campuses after the massacre of protesters at Kent State, Mike became an outspoken critic of the Nixon administration and joined the Vietnam Veterans Against War. He also joined the Democratic Party and became an activist. Having seen the horrible impacts of pointless wars, Mike remains an advocate for peace. He became a lifetime member of the Veterans For Peace in 2002.


Jim Brennan – Jim and his family moved from Bellingham, Washington to Okanogan County in 2008.  Previous employment includes work as County Building Official in San Miguel County, Colorado, a classroom teacher in both Colorado and Washington states, and owner of a wholesale bakery in Bellingham.

While living In Whatcom County, Jim was appointed to the County Board of Developmental Disabilities.  As a resident of Okanogan County, he served on the Methow Valley Citizen’s Council Board of Directors, was involved in the start-up phase of the Okanogan County Transit Authority, and became an early member of Represent Okanogan County, which contributed to the efforts in electing two new county commissioners in 2016.

Long in awe of the scale and natural beauty of Okanogan County, Jim has also come to recognize the stark disparities in opportunities, income and general welfare of too many of its citizens.  A lifetime Democrat, the 2016 elections brought a sense of urgency to bear, compelling him to become more active in party politics.  Appointed as a Precinct Committee Officer in 2017, he is now committed to dedicating time and effort to rebuilding the Democratic Party in the county as well as the legislative districts in Eastern Washington, refusing to write off an entire region as a place where progressive politics is not allowed to thrive.

ARE YOU AN ACTIVE DEMOCRAT WHO IS A MEMBER IN OKDEMS AND ENJOYS WRITING REVIEWS, ARTICLES AND/OR OPINION EDITORIALS? Let us know if you’d like to write for the OKDems Dispatch by emailing our Chairman, Michael Sarratt, with a writing sample to:

okdemocrats . chair @gmail . com (remove spaces).

OpEd by Jim Brennan 12/10/2017 or

December 10, 2017 – Jim Brennan, OKDems

It’s certainly true that things change over time.   Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to history—especially the history of a place where my family and I live.  In the greater scheme of things, what does a hundred years signify?  To a geologist, it’s a blink of an eye.  To a student of history, there’s a lot t keep track of.

If I’d been born in Okanogan County a century ago, or traveled here via railroad from Wenatchee to Okanogan at the time, I might have heard first hand accounts of the original Okanogan County seat of Ruby City, a wild-west town of sorts fueled by mining, gunpowder and cheap whiskey before sinking into a dilapidated ghost town after the national economic depression of 1883.

In Okanogan County, the past century has been a mixed bag politically, leaning Republican.  The presidential election has been won by a Democratic candidate nine times and by a Republican candidate sixteen times.  And while it’s been a long stretch since the Okanogan County Democrats could claim to be a powerhouse, the party has remained influential, with qualified Democrats filling important local positions.

As the all-important 2018 midterm elections approach, it feels like Democrats in Okanogan County are enjoying a resurgence of sorts.  An energized County party board is in place and the state Democratic Party is committed to making Eastern Washington competitive.   Recently, two women Democrats running in special elections for the state legislature faired better than many expected—in races that hadn’t even been contested in over a decade.  A qualified Democratic candidate, Christine Brown, has declared her candidacy for Dan Newhouse’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Perhaps even more important, a record number of Precinct Committee Officers have signed up to canvas and get out the vote.

With the Trump administration and the Republican Party trying as hard as they can to dismantle the best of America, the stakes couldn’t be higher.  Resist and organize.  Donate time and dollars to support Democratic candidates and organizations and, over time, we can make a difference.   Drop by this website and feel free to add your comments and stories.

Jim Brennan