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Friday, April 4, 2008

Tomorrow’s Legislative District Caucus

posted by on April 4 at 17:13 PM

A couple of us here at Slog have been trying to figure out how to get a plank onto the Washington State Democrats’ 2008 platform.

Our idea was a plank that would make the caucus process more accessible next time around. I was actually angling for maximum reform, and calling for a changeover to a regular primary. But with the the top-two primary complicating that into oblivion, there’s always the idea of adding a mail-in component to the caucus process.

Having been told (incorrectly it turns out) at our respective precincts that the precinct caucus was not the place to float platform ideas, we were shocked to learn that the platform is already queued up for a vote, and it’s too late to suggest new planks … sorta.

Here’s the deal:

You were supposed to bring platform ideas to your precinct caucus on Feb. 9. At that level—where the real priority was choosing delegates—some precincts voted, and some didn’t, and some figured out their own method of forwarding plank proposals to the legislative district. (At my precinct, we didn’t talk about planks, and in fact, were told that business would be handled at the County Convention.)

All the ideas that came from the precinct level, were recently reviewed by legislative district committees. “We got a shopping cart full of envelopes,” reports a member of the 43rd District’s platform committee.

Her committee, like every platform committee at the legislative district level, forwarded the ideas—which they winnowed down by reviewing them all, finding common themes, consolidating, voting down, voting up—to the County level. And that’s how the current platform, with about 10 “do pass” new planks (which will be online in the next week) came to be.

The only change you can make now at the county level—that’s the next delegate meeting (April 13 at West Seattle HS for King County) after this weekend’s legislative district meeting where delegates will be winnowed down—is suggesting an amendment to existing language and proposals. You’ll need 25 hands up to support you. And I’m told there probably isn’t going to be time for amendments anyway.

As for offering up a full-on plank: You can try to do it at this weekend’s Legislative District meeting, but that’ll go LD by LD, and really, the business this weekend is to elect Obama and Clinton delegates from among the delegates who were chosen back on February 9 to go forward to the county. So good luck if you want to offer up a plank tomorrow (10am!) at your LD caucus.

Locations: Here.

11th Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge 751 IAM&AW
9125 15th Place South – Seattle 98108
Chair: Susan Kruller,

34th West Seattle High School Gym
3000 California Avenue SW – Seattle 98116
Chair: Ivan Weiss,

36th Ballard High School
1418 NW 65th Street – Seattle 98117
Chair: Peter House,

37th Cleveland High School
5511 15th Avenue – Seattle 98108
Chair: Rob Holland,

43rd Lincoln High School (Garfield currently using facility)
4400 Interlake Avenue N – Seattle 98103
Chair: Hillary Madsen,

46th Ingraham High School
1819 North 135th Street, Seattle, WA 98133
Chair: Javier Valdez,

RSS icon Comments



Only one problem, Josh.

You can only do platform planks next week - at the King County Convention, at West Seattle High, for more info.

(there is no truth to the rumor on Wikipedia that I'm part of the credentials committee there, even if you'll see me there)

But, you can talk about it at the LD caucus tomorrow morning - and remember, many Delegates may not show up, and we need Alternates in many cases to at least sign in for their candidate, be it Obama (yeah!) or Clinton (ironic clapping).

No irony was used in this post, unless you count the fourth para in brackets ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 4, 2008 5:39 PM

by the way, the actual platform draft is at if you want to see it.

And, unlike Fnarf, I actually asked the Pierce County Exec - in public - about ST 2.1 ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 4, 2008 5:47 PM

You are a complete tit, Will. Wikipedia. Right.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2008 6:02 PM

I thought we couldn't have a full on primary that matters without running afoul of the DNC's rules on moving elections forward?

Posted by bob | April 4, 2008 6:30 PM

yes we should have a primary.

the recent court decision does not screw that up: the state demo party would adopt rules saying that the top DEMOCRATS in the primary would get delegates allocated according to the votes for DEMOCRATS.

but good luck getting a plank passed for a primary from party activists who love the caucus system.

Posted by unPC | April 4, 2008 6:32 PM

completely off topic but completely adorable:
bronx highschool students on obama -

Posted by Phoebe | April 4, 2008 7:06 PM

You're welcome, Fnarf. I'll tell the superdelegates you said hi.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 4, 2008 7:46 PM

Sorry, the platform link is here.

Note that any delegate or seated alternate at the LD caucus can vote on and amend platform items at the King County Convention at West Seattle High School next Sunday. Because turnout at the County level - where no delegates are elected - is lower, so if you're an alternate, you will probably get seated and able to vote on the platform issues.

There's a playground next door, a refreshments room, and any Democrat can attend, even if they can't vote, including teens.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 4, 2008 7:55 PM

A playground? With Monkeybars? Hell, count me in!

Posted by Dr_Awesome | April 4, 2008 9:36 PM

In the 34th, we'll be collecting all platform planks, thanking those who submit them, and passing them on to the King County Platform Committee.

Posted by ivan | April 4, 2008 9:50 PM

I'm an alternate, but I can't imagine sitting through a platform discussion or vote. It's the document that no one ever pays any attention to, even at the national level.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2008 10:17 PM

Having been on the State Platform committee in MN, I can attest to the fact that Fnarf is, as usual, correct. Nobody gives a fuck about Democratic Platforms except (a) Republicans trolling for ways to demonize Democrats and (b) Platform Committees.

Utter. Waste. Of. Time.

Almost as big of a waste of time as County Conventions. Speaking of which, see you there next week, Swill in Seattle.

Posted by Big Sven | April 4, 2008 11:42 PM

Any SLOGers going to the LD5 convention at Pacific Cascade in the 'Quah? Jessica?

I'll be there supporting Clinton, of course.

Posted by Big Sven | April 4, 2008 11:46 PM

So, basically, participatory democracy is impossibly convoluted. Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by Gomez | April 4, 2008 11:59 PM

No, Gomez. The parts that are convoluted aren't important. The important parts are when our elected representative perform the job they are chosen to do. You know: representative democracy. That part's easy, if you can fill in a bubble.

Posted by Fnarf | April 5, 2008 7:57 AM

I'm going through this shit right now. A long line of people, mostly 60 something hill supporters, who just have to change the wording to their tastes. The chair asks for items to be flagged, and they start the speech. The chair reminds people that this isn't the place to give speeches, just to flag items for later. The next person in line starts the process all over again. Lather rinse repeat. Fuck. Why won't Hillary supporters listen to the fucking rules?

On another note, thanks to the hillites for slapping all the hard to remove stickers to the floors of inglemoor high school. I'm sure the unpaid clean up crew is going to enjoy pulling them up. The Obama people put up signs with painters tape

Posted by Wisepunk | April 5, 2008 1:27 PM


What? What wording? Of what document? What speech?

The only speeches supporters are supposed to be giving are in sub-caucus, for delegates. Clinton supporters to Clinton supporters, Obama supporters to Obama supporters. Your district chair must be a skidmark.

Posted by Big Sven | April 5, 2008 4:56 PM

I for one am glad the 43rd decided not to do platform/resolutions at the Caucus - we spent so many hours doing Candidate speeches my arms are tired from holding up the signs ...

See you at the King County Convention (website is if you need the time and/or maps - or the nifty online draft platform resolutions you might want to do amendments for (or vote up/down) there). Remember, you don't have to be a delegate or alternate, just a Dem, to participate in the County Convention - but only delegates and seated alternates (which should be almost all of them) can vote. If you were elected at the precinct caucus last month.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 6, 2008 1:39 AM

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