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This is a profoundly complicated matter, so I will attempt to sum up the basics.
On December 22nd, the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) issued a "Determination of Invalidity" of a portion of Whatcom County's Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) is what it sounds like, a plan for how our county will grow. See previous article for more discussion about this.
In the beautiful 42nd, a new set of leaders have risen to tackle the challenges of retaking their district. Sherry Zielstra, a passionate Ferndale activist, will be taking the helm as chair of the 42nd, with Steve Lydolph sliding into Vice-Chair, a position he has been looking forward to for a while. Teresa Taylor-Oliver and Peggy Borgens round out the leadership as Treasurer and Secretary respectively. Catherine Chambers and Al Jensen were soundly elected as State Committee People.
We met last January and were treated to a presentation from our County Auditor Shirley Forslof about the redistricting process. She outlined what the timeline is for the state, and county to redraw the various political boundaries. She then took questions on the size of precincts, and where the line between the 40th and 42nd legislative district will move (most signs point towards north).
It’s Time to Join
If you haven’t joined the Whatcom County Democrats during the past 12 months, it’s time. We currently have 600 dues paying members. This pays our basic expenses which is great, but there is so much more we need to do to assure that Whatcom County stays as Blue as possible. And, as we all know, there is strength in members, so the more members we have, the stronger we are.
In fact, if everyone on our email and newsletter distribution joined, there is so much we could do.
King County Democrats
Legislative Action Newsletter #2
Monthly Membership Meeting
Thursday, January 20, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
1419 N. Forest St, Bellingham, (between Champion & Magnolia)
All Democrats Welcome
Whatcom County Auditor Shirley Forslof will explain the ins and outs of re-drawing of district lines based on the decennial census. The County is charged with re-drawing precinct and local district boundaries to balance voter numbers. A state commission will re-balance legislative districts and carve out a 10th Congressional District for Washington State.
Members will also consider for adoption 2011 State Legislative Priorities and the Whatcom Democrats' 2011 budget, including whether to hire a part-time staffperson.
Discussion and voting on all business is open to members of the Whatcom Democrats.
Remember the thrill of the 2008 election? Looking back now, it is sometimes hard to feel as optimistic about changing the world, so I have gathered here (with a little help from Rachel Maddow) the biggest accomplishments of the last two years. This is what can happen when Democrats control both houses of congress and the presidency. There has been a great deal of legislative progress here. Yes, we got shellacked this last election, but in many ways, it is too late. We have already put in place some incredible reforms.
The Whatcom County Democratic Women's Club hosted their annual Holiday Celebration on December 13th at the Harborside Bistro at the Bellwether Hotel for a tasty luncheon. Over 40 guests attended to thank Representative Kelli Linville for her years of service to Whatcom County.
Whatcom Democrats chair Natalie McClendon announced her candidacy today for Washington State Democratic Party Chair.
Warning: This article could be a little confusing if you are not up to speed on the Growth Management act. The Growth Management ACT (GMA) passed in 1990, rules that every county must have a plan for how they grow (a comprehensive plan). Meaning they can’t just build developments willy-nilly, they must show that they need to expand and do so in a responsible manner. Now, onward with the article. It is exciting, I promise.