Blog Archives

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

 

 

Aside

A Special Message new OCDCC Chair, Micheal Sarratt June 29, 2017 At our general meeting on June 25, I was elected to the chair of the OCDCC by unanimous vote of the PCOs in attendance. Susan Swanson, our outgoing chair, … Continue reading

Logic and Accuracy Tests by Michael Sarratt

September 22, 2017 – Michael Sarratt, Chairman, OKDems

On Tuesday, I spent the morning at the Okanogan County Auditor’s office as they performed the required logic and accuracy test on the disabled voter’s polling station. It was a truly fascinating process. Next up: Friday, Sept 22 from 9:00AM to noon, we will witness the l&a test on the rest of the voting apparatus, along with an external auditor from the State of Washington Elections Bureau.

The process was amazingly labor intensive as the clerks used a ‘test deck’ pre-marked to represent every possible vote combination from every race in every district and precinct of the county. When it had all been entered into the disabled voter station, the result was taken by hand on the recording chip and entered into the tabulating machine which was used to generate a paper spreadsheet of the votes cast on a spreadsheet. That sheet was then hand checked against the copies of the original test deck to make sure that the sheet tallied exactly and in order. The ‘air gap’ between machines was created by hand carrying the tabulation from the polling station to the machine in the vault which distributed the results. Neither of these machines are in any way connected to each other, or the larger internet, so there is no chance of outside input. As long as the process is followed precisely by the clerks, the result is certain to be accurate. That is why witnesses are important. We are there to testify to the accuracy both internally (I signed the results) and externally to all of you. At the end, all the results, machine scores, disks, and papers are locked in an evidence box and placed in the vault. It is a long, tedious process. The skill, knowledge, care and integrity of the auditors is truly impressive. I learned a lot!

This process is at the very heart of our democracy and, in my opinion, is of the utmost importance. In this era of Russian hacking, voter suppression, tampering, etc. it is our duty and privilege to stand witness to the fairness of our local election processes. Check our page if you wish to participate.

Michael Sarratt

Hold These 2018 Dates: March 24th & June 16th or

August 16, 2017

Democrats in Spokane County will gather on Saturday, March 24, 2018 for the purpose of selecting delegates and alternates to represent their legislative districts at the 2018 Washington State Democratic Party Convention to be held in Wenatchee, Washington.

The number of delegates and alternates to be selected from Spokane County are as follows:

3rd Legislative District: seven (7) delegates and three (3) alternates,
4th Legislative District: six (6) delegates and three (3) alternates,
6th Legislative District: eight (8) delegates and four (4) alternates,
7th Legislative District: one (1) delegate and one (1) alternate, and
9th Legislative District: one-half (1/2) delegate and zero (0) alternates.
The number of delegates and alternates are based on the number of votes received by Hillary Clinton & Jay Inslee during the 2016 general election.

The location of the meeting is to be determined. It will start at 10:00 am.

Also to be considered at the meeting are platform issues. The most recent platform for Spokane County Democrats was adopted in 2016 and may be viewed here.

The Washington State Democratic Party Convention will be held in Wenatchee, Washington on Saturday, June 16, 2018. The meeting will start at 10:00 am. Delegates and alternates elected statewide at local meetings are expected to attend.

Aside

September 14, 2017 At its meeting in South Seattle on September 10, 2017, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee adopted a Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is for every Democrat, in every legislative district and county, and affiliated … Continue reading

Letter to Spokesman Endorses 7thLD Candidates

September 22, 2017

We are so very proud of our candidates for State House and Senate, Susan Swanson and Karen Hardy!

Change in 7th District

It is time for a change to our representation in Olympia. We have an opportunity this November to replace our 7th Legislative District representative and senator. Our incumbents seem to place investors and corporations ahead of us and our neighbors.