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Obituary: Phil Johnson 1946-2019

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Donate to the Phil Johnson Scholarship Fund
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From Al Bergstein: This is one of the hardest obituaries I’ve ever written. I knew a small piece of Phil Johnson. I never knew him as he grew up in Port Townsend, on the farm just north of the county fairgrounds. Nor did I know him as he went off to college, and then became a salmon fisherman. Nor when he married the love of his life, Sandy. Nor the daughter that they had, Maia. I didn’t know him when he became a property owner in downtown PT, nor when he helped a young guy named Rocky buy and restore the Rose Theater. I didn’t know him as he built homes, and then ran for County Commissioner. But then I got to know Phil when he and I bumped into each other fighting for environmental protections in Jefferson County, first on the Shoreline Master Program, to write in rules to better regulate aquaculture and then to work to ban Atlantic salmon raised in net pens in the Salish Sea. Then on the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee. READ MORE:

• FYI: The League of Women Voters is Hosting a CANDIDATE FORUM ON June 27 for Legislative District 24!

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The League of Women Voters will be hosting a Public Forum for Legislative District 24 on June 27th, 7-9 p.m. Port Townsend Community Center.   620 Tyler St, Port Townsend, WA 98368


State Representative Pos. 1: Mike Chapman, Democrat Incumbent Jodi Wilkes, Republican Opponent

State Representative Pos. 2: Steve Tharinger, Democrat Incumbent Jim McIntyre, Republican Opponent

Keeping Up with Legislation

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Our first Legislators Round Table was held Sunday, March 12th at the Bay Club in Port Ludlow, with approximately 75 members attending. Assistant Majority Whip Mike Chapman and Representative Steve Tharinger were our guests, in an open question format without moderation or screening of questions. Video of this event can be viewed by clicking here.

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(FYI) How Corporations use the Constitution to Thwart Environmental Justice

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How Corporations use the Constitution to Thwart Environmental Justice Featured Speaker: Keyan Bliss, Move to Amend National Staff Communications Coordinator Admission is free and open to all. Co-sponsored by the Jefferson County Move to Amend affiliate and the QUUF Green Sanctuary Environmental Action Committee. Free childcare is available if arranged by Dec. 5th by calling Julia at 360-821-1926. For more information call 360-379-0370

The Real Story

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[caption id="attachment_4621" align="alignright" width="300"] January 26th Membership Meeting[/caption] While we were saddened to learn of the resignation of our chair, we would be more disappointed if that were the story that overshadowed the real story... because it's an incredibly positive one. People in Jefferson County are taking action and willing to make JC Dems the vessel for their voices. Imagine our surprise, delight and gratitude at the sheer volume of members in attendance, including many who just joined or rejoined, ready for action. As we scrambled to change to a large venue, members old and new alike pitched in and helped move and set up. We can't thank Chimacum School District Superintendent, Rick Thompson, enough for his emergency hospitality. It is a sign of a healthy body and community that we moved forward so well under exceptional circumstances. We're going to make changes as a result of people speaking up last night: bigger venues and rearrangement of agenda items to more quickly facilitate empowering grassroots action. We have greatly appreciated all of the emails and phone calls of support after the meeting, the patience of everyone who attended last night. And be assured ... our eyes as a party are focused resolutely in one direction. Forward. We look forward to seeing everyone back next month and getting to work.

January Highlights

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[caption id="attachment_4569" align="alignright" width="109"] Phil Johnson[/caption] January 3rd -- Your Executive Board held their first meeting in Brinnon. Standing Committee appointments were made, and the Chair's theme of grassroots activity emphasized. The 2017 budget was adopted. An environmental studies scholarship fund was approved to honor the legacy of retired Commissioner Phil Johnson. Holding our March membership meeting in Port Ludlow was approved. More in minutes, to be distributed January 26th. January 12th -- Dems Dined Out.  35+ people gathered at The Cup in Port Townsend for an evening of camaraderie and conversation. Our first Legislators Round Table was announced. Petitions opposing Growler noise quickly filled! [caption id="attachment_4574" align="alignleft" width="181"] Connie Gallant transitions LD24 Chair to Matt Sircely[/caption] January 14th -- LD 24 Reorganization. Elected PCOs from Clallam, Grays Harbor, and Jefferson counties voted in four officers. Congratulations to Matt Sircely, Chair; Julie Johnson (Clallam), Vice Chair; Diane Jones, State Committeewoman, and Jeff Engels, State Committeeman. Filling 3 of 4 positions, Jefferson County democrats continue to volunteer as leaders in helping people shape the future through our party. Thanks and congratulations to all! A special thanks to Connie Gallant, for her leadership of LD24 over the past two years. January 21st - Women's March in Port Townsend: the Resistance has been born.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Resistance Words roll off my tongue and into the chill of winter. Ideals mightier than swords, Words vitalized by our resistance.   January 24th -  Meet and Greet Reception at PTCC.  It was great to see so many and hear a great buzz at this coffee reception, prior to  Diane Jones' PSARA presentation on retirement security.  There was lively debate and networking, a healthy sign among people who are shaping the future through active democracy. Visitors ranged from honored past board members to someone for whom this was their first Dems event; an encouraging dynamic. Membership Report: 1/1/2016 membership count: 309. 1/16/2017 membership count: 654. Take our Survey: Click here to help us gather information on the best ways to communicate with people in your area.

Economic Impact of Invasive Species: Official Report Links

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JCD member David Tonkin is thrilled to announce the completion of a Washington State study on the economic impact of invasive species: plants, animals, and insects. David began working on this issue in 2014, with formation of the Scotch Broom Working Group – which he co-founded with Jill Silver, former Chair of the Jefferson County Noxious Weed Control Board. The public release of the report occurred on January 12. Funded and initiated by several Washington State agencies and conducted by Community Attributes Inc. of Seattle, the study involved 12 invasive plant species, 3 invasive animal species and 3 invasive insect species. Its major conclusions are that these invasive species costs Washington's businesses and government $1.3 billion and 8000 jobs lost each year, and that the most costly species are: Rush skeletonweed, Scotch broom, apple maggots, and zebra & quagga mussels. Read the press release, fact sheet, and the full report by going to the links below.

  • Click here to view the Press Release.

  • Click here to view the Project Website.

  • Click here to view the Full Report.

It took a lot of phone calls, emails and meetings, but David got support from the Jefferson County Democrats, 24th LD Democrats, and the WA State Democratic Party (aided by several JCD members), a quarter of the WA State Republican Party State Committee, the WA State Assoc. of [county] Noxious Weed Control Board Coordinators, 6 tribes, and a dozen WA business associations representing WA farm, ranch and timber businesses. With that support behind him, he lobbied the relevant state agencies and got support from 2 state agency heads. Then the Washington State Invasive Species Council and Noxious Weed Control Board were able to persuade those state agencies to put together a funding package and do a study of the economic impact of 18 invasive species: plants, animals, and insects Please note that former JCD E-Bd members George Yount, Bill Miller, Claire Roney, Bruce Cowan, and Deborah Pedersen all contributed to the successful passage of the resolution by the WSDP Agriculture Caucus and Resolutions Committee and finally by the WSDCC. David Tonkin gives special thanks to Jill Silver for her excellent presentation to the Ag Caucus. Congratulations and gratitude to all who worked hard to focus attention and bring together the forces that created this study. We'll look forward to hearing from David at our January 26th membership meeting and learning more about how this may impact legislation.

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