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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

  • Help end world hunger
  • Saturday, August 29, 2009

    WASHINGTON FOCUS: Blogs, Progressive Candidates, Alternative Energy, Groups and Events

    News from the Pacific Northwest:

    Whole Foods = Whole Jerks: a local perspective on the Whole Foods boycott

    Looking for Members to Join the new Seattle Urban Forestry Commission

    Glenn beck loses 33 advertisers, and he's coming to Seattle! Here could be Seattle's chance to let Glenn Beck know what a complete racist nutcase you think he is. Give him a "nice" welcome.

    Efficiency Retrofitting in Northeast Seattle: SustainableWorks is an energy efficiency program that uses energy retrofits as a neighborhood organizing tool.

    PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES IN WASHINGTON STATE: Here are some Progressive Majority endorsed candidates in Washington State:

    Ken Mann: Candidate for Whatcom County Council (Open Seat)

    Ken Mann is running for the non-partisan Whatcom County Council. He is a property manager and historic building re-developer in Whatcom County and a local talk radio host. Ken is currently chairman of the Whatcom Planning Commission and is involved with the Downtown Renaissance Network & City Club. Ken ran two years ago against a conservative incumbent, Sam Crawford, losing by less than 1,000 votes in a district that George W. Bush received over 60 percent in! This year, Ken is running for an open seat being vacated by progressive Councilmember Laurie Caskey-Schreiber. After Ken ran in 2007, the county has changed the voting system; in the general election, candidates now run countywide rather than just in their particular district, which will be advantageous for Ken as he lives in the most conservative district in the county.

    Click here to support and learn more about Ken.

    Dan McShane: Candidate for Whatcom County Council (Open Seat)

    Dan is running for Whatcom County Council, District 1, Position A. The seat is being vacated by retiring conservative councilmember, Ward Nelson. This is a rare opportunity to pick up a seat on the Council, which currently has a 4 to 3 Democratic majority. Dan, a former Whatcom County Councilmember, was recruited by Progressive Majority and unsuccessfully ran for Bellingham Mayor in 2007 rather than running for releection to the Council. Dan, a geologist and former California Education Association member, owns the Stratum Group, a geology and environmental consulting firm. As a County Councilmember, Dan will work to protect agricultural land from further development. In his previous stint on the county council, Dan successfully worked to protect the Lake Whatcom Watershed, reduce sprawl, and brought forward a resolution requiring county government to protect the rights of all citizens regardless of race or sexual orientation. Dan and his wife Lisa have both been tremendous allies for Progressive Majority in the past, helping to recruit candidates in Whatcom County.

    Click here to support and learn more about Dan.

    Marilyn Strickland: Candidate for Major of Tacoma (Open Seat)

    Marilyn Strickland, whom we recruited and successfully fielded in 2007 for Tacoma City Council, is now running for mayor. The seat is being vacated by the incumbent due to term limits. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Marilyn's parents moved to Tacoma when her father was stationed at Fort Lewis a little over 40 years ago. A graduate of the University of Washington, Marilyn earned an MBA from Clark-Atlanta University and is the Interim Director of Marketing & Communications for Bates Technical College. She has worked in both public and private sectors, holding marketing positions with the American Cancer Society and Starbucks, and has an extensive list of non-profit boards she was served on. She is currently the only person of color in the area elected to any municipal office (local school board, city council, or county government).

    Brian Bennett: Candidate for Burien City Council (Open Seat)

    Brian Bennett is running for Burien City Council. Brian, who has worked in the legislature and on the campaign trail for several progressive Democrats, was referred to us from about half of our South King County farm team! Brian is corporate counsel for F5 Networks, but also represents numerous clients on a pro bono basis through the Northwest Immigrant's Rights Project and other nonprofits. A passionate environmentalist, Brian has served as editor of the New York University Environmental Law Journal, president of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and worked at an environmental non-profit in Ukraine. Brian is a native of the Highline area (where Burien incorporated) and has lived there for five years with his wife, Oksana, and their daughter. Brian is a true progressive, and is eager to serve on the Burien City Council to ensure that all citizens have equal access and opportunity, particularly as it pertains to public access of shorelines, recreation opportunities and services.

    Priya Cloutier: Candidate for Edmonds City Council (Challenger)

    Priya Cloutier is a first-time candidate running for the non-partisan Edmonds City Council. Priya was born in India, and came to the United States with her parents when she was two years old. Priya lives in Edmonds with her husband, Todd, a Navy Commander, and their two sons, Phoenix and Pascal. An attorney and active Democrat, Priya's work has been recognized for her community dedication by the Washington State Bar with its Pro Bono Publico commendation in 2007, and was selected by the Obama campaign to attend the inauguration due to her high-level volunteering on the race. Priya is also an Eagle Member of the Washington Association for Justice, an organization on our Advisory Council, and a Democratic PCO and Executive Board Member of the 32nd Legislative District and Snohomish County Democrats. Priya is running against City Councilmember Michael Plunkett. Plunkett has served on the City Council since 1998, and is the former chair of the 21st Legislative District Republicans and a former Republican candidate for the legislature. Republicans currently hold a one seat majority on the City Council, and a victory from Priya would give us a progressive majority.

    Click here to support and learn more about Priya.

    Adrienne Fraley-Monillas: Candidate for Edmonds City Council (Challenger)

    Adrienne Fraley-Monillas is running for the non-partisan Edmonds City Council. She is an executive boardmember of the Washington Federation of State Employees, an affiliate of AFSCME. This year, Adrienne will be retiring from Fircrest, a Washington State Residential Habilitation Center (RHC) for the developmentally disabled, located just north of Seattle. Fircrest offers habilitation services to its permanent residents, and is able to offer various licensed professional services to developmentally disabled clients who are served in community settings. She is married and has one son, Dominic, who has Down's Syndrome. Adrienne is a Democratic Precinct Committee Officer and is running for Edmonds City Council against the most conservative member, City Councilmember Ron Wambolt. Conservatives currently hold a 4-3 majority on the Council, and a win from Adrienne would give us a progressive majority. Adrienne ran for the Council two years ago and nearly defeated the current council president even though she was significantly outspent.

    Strom Peterson: Candidate for Edmonds City Council (Incumbent)

    Strom Peterson is running to keep his seat on the non-partisan Edmonds City Council. Strom was appointed earlier this year filling the vacancy of a moderate Democrat. Since taking office, Strom has been a strong progressive council member, particularly on environmental issues, leading to his early endorsement from the Washington Conservation Voters, an Advisory Council Member. Strom and his wife, Maria, have been married for 15 years and moved to Edmonds in 2001. Strom and Maria own Olives Cafe and Wine Bar and Resident Cheesemonger in Downtown Edmonds. Strom became Vice President of the Downtown Edmonds Merchants Association in 2003 and President in 2004. In 2004, he was also appointed to the Board of the Greater Edmonds Chamber of Commerce. Maria is also the Executive Director of a charitable foundation that provides scholarships and grants to military families. Strom was recruited and fielded by Progressive Majority two years ago and lost by only 131 votes. Strom is one of the three progressives on the 7 person council, and protecting his seat can help lead to getting a progressive majority on the City Council this fall.

    Click here to support and learn more about Strom.

    Sam Ross: Candidate for Lakewood City Council (Open Seat)

    Sam Ross is running for Lakewood City Council, Position 1. Sam has been a member of our farm team for the last several years and has attended many campaign trainings, including Camp Wellstone and Advanced Campaign Management School. He has also been very active in the community and serves on the city's Public Safety Advisory Committee, the Lakewood Lions, Relay for Life and his local Democratic Party. Sam works for American Reprographic Company, is under 35 and is running to bring a progressive voice to the city council. Lakewood is a highly swing city located in a highly swing legislative district in swing Pierce County. This area has been targeted by Progressive Majority since we opened our doors in 2004. If Sam is successful, he will take over from 2005 Progressive Majority candidate Helen McGovern, who is the lone progressive currently serving on the council and is retiring.

    Click here to support and learn more about Sam.

    Amber Waldref: Candidate for Spokane City Council (Open Seat)

    Amber Waldref is running for Spokane City Council, Position 2, an open seat. Amber was referred to us from former Progressive Majority candidate, Spokane City Councilmember Richard Rush, and with his help, we were able to recruit Amber to run. Although only 32 years old, Amber has an incredible resume; organizer for Heart of America Northwest, Vice Chair of her neighborhood council, founding board member of the Faith and Environment Network and is currently the development director for The Lands Council. Amber, a Spokane native, lives in Northeast Spokane with her husband, Tom Flanagan, a high school chemistry teacher and their 1 year old daughter, Karolina. Amber will be a strong environmental and neighborhood advocate, and put a second progressive on the city council. She is currently running against conservative initiative promoter Mike Fagan. Spokane is Washington's second largest city, and has fairly high number of progressives. However, the city council has a conservative majority, located in a swing county that has a conservative county commission. Progressive Majority successfully fielded a candidate for Spokane City Council in 2007 and we are looking to build on our success.

    Click here to support and learn more about Amber.

    Roger Zabinski: Candidate for Bremerton Port Commission (Challenger)

    Roger Zabinski is a first-time candidate running for Bremerton Port Commission, position 1. Although Roger's career is as a scientist in the bio-tech industry, he is a very involved member of the environmental and Democratic community on the Kitsap Peninsula. The West Sound Conservation Council and Hood Canal Watershed Education Network are just a few examples of his leadership in the area. Roger also served as a flight-crew medic and hospital supervisor with the US Air Force Reserves. Roger is running for port commissioner to address the lack of leadership on the Commission. Many of the Port's contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder resulting in jobs outside the area. Roger would like to strengthen the local economy by prioritizing contracts with local companies. He also plans to address food security issues as any emergencies resulting in closure of the Port also closes off food supply to the Peninsula.

    Click here to support and learn more about Roger.

    Rob Holland: Candidate for Seattle Port Commission (Open Seat)

    Rob is running for Seattle Port Commission, position 3, being vacated by long-term incumbent Pat Davis. As Rob's qualifications are quite extensive, a highlighted few include: industrial real estate professional, marine transportation specialist, former King County Agriculture Commissioner and has a degree in Seaport Management at the School of Marine Affairs at the University of Washington. Rob's history with the Port began with his childhood as his father worked for the Washington State Ferries for 34 years and was a member of the Inland Boatman's Union. Rob will bring his passion for the environment and his experience to help the Port become a leader in providing green jobs. Being a community leader has paid off for Rob. He has received the endorsement of seven Seattle City Council members and a number of VIPs in the local Democratic Party. Once elected, Rob will not only be the first African-American to serve as Seattle Port Commissioner, he will also be the first openly gay man on the commission. Rob has been on our farm team member for a number of years. We connected him with the Blue Green Alliance, a coalition of environmentalists and labor. In both 2005 and in 2007, we fielded two candidates for the Seattle Port Commission with the hopes of gaining a progressive majority. Each year, were able to switch one seat from conservative to progressive, however, each year also lost a progressive incumbent, thus continuing a 3 to 2 split. This year we have another chance to swing the Commission as an incumbent will be retiring.

    Click here to support and learn more about Rob.

    Amy Pivetta Hoffman: Candidate for Graham Fire Commission (Challenger)

    Amy Pivetta Hoffman, who has been on our farm team for nearly three years, is running for Graham Fire Commission. A Tacoma exurb, Graham's population has doubled in the last nine years bringing in young families and a host of new needs. Amy is under 35 and is running to reflect the changing demographics and dynamics of the area. As a practicing attorney with the Skokomish Tribe and former policy analyst with the WA Indian Gaming Association, she will bring much needed understanding of public policy and advocacy to the fire commission. Amy has volunteered as a pro-bono attorney with the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association and is the former chair of the Pierce County Women's Political Caucus. She is challenging Rick Skaggs, an incumbent of over 18 years. This area is very conservative; McCain won this area by 8 percent despite losing the state by 10percent, and a 22 year incumbent conservative Democratic State Senator lost her seat in November.

    Click here to support and learn more about Amy.

    Blogging Washington State:

    LeftyBlogs Washington is the place to find out what's happening in the progressive blogosphere across Washington.

    Horse's Ass: Strange name, but an excellent blogging team

    Upper Left: A Democrat - without prefix, without suffix, without apology


    SeattleActivism.org is a new website and project that provides information on upcoming events, actions, and meetings as well as links to organizations and resources in the Seattle area related to progressive activist issues.

    Alternative Energy in Washington:

    Some statistics from Repower America:

    * Two wind power farms in Washington - Hopkins Ridge and Wild Horse - produce enough renewable energy to meet the needs of approximately 100,000 homes

    * Washington's energy efficiency programs save enough electricity to power almost 50,000 homes for a whole year, save more than $43 million in energy costs, and prevent the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking over 48,000 cars off the road. Although great progress, the state still has much more potential to increase its energy efficiency.

    * Washington has a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires all public utilities to generate 15% of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2020.

    Alternative energy and YOUR energy bill: YOU can be part of the solution for America by signing up to purchase your energy through a Green Power Provider. My wife and I have been doing this in NYC for years. All our energy usage is provided through wind energy generation on American farms. So we use clean energy AND help American farmers. It costs us three cents per kilowatt-hour more per month, but we feel great about it. Although our actual energy may come from anywhere, we are paying to purchase wind energy for the energy grid. Each state has different programs available, usually through yuor existing energy provider right on your existing energy bill. To find such options in Washington State, go here and pick your energy provider from the list. If you need help, you can email me and tell me who you get your bill from (don't give me any other info!) and I can tell you who to contact to go green through that energy provider. Or you can do the same thing using Renewable Energy Certificates through an organization that works with utility companies, though in this case it is a separate bill. One off the cheapest (.4-1 cent per kilowatt-hour), but still e-Green certified, ways to do this is through Good Energy. Or, for about half a cent per kilowatt-hour you can purchase renewable energy certificates through Carbonfund.org. ANY of these ways you do it, you are helping the environment, helping America, and helping cut carbon emissions.

    Here are a biodiesel cooperatives in Washington State. If you drive a diesel car or truck, check it out.

    Tacoma Biodiesel
    Tacoma, WA

    Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum diesel made from vegetable oil that can be used in any diesel engine. Now this clean, renewable, domestically-produced fuel is available right here in Tacoma, and you can be a part of it! The Tacoma Biodiesel Cooperative is a grassroots group of Tacoma-area citizens who have chosen to support this alternative fuel through advocacy and use in our personal vehicles.

    Check out their website. And to find places to buy biodiesel for use in your car, truck or home heating, go here.

    And here are Propel Fuel Stations around Washington State that offer biofuels: (I came across them through their carbon offset program)

    * Seattle, South Lake Union Flagship
    609 Westlake Avenue North
    Seattle, Washington 98109

    * Bellevue/Factoria
    3204 129th Pl SE
    Bellevue, Washington 98005

    * Seattle, Ballard Neighborhood
    4420 Leary Way NW
    Seattle, Washington 98107

    * Kenmore
    8002 NE Bothell Way
    Kenmore, Washington 98028

    * West Seattle
    3500 SW Barton Street
    Seattle, Washington 98136

    * Mount Vernon
    2120 East College Way
    Mount Vernon, Washington 98273

    Here are some other alternative energy resources in Washington State:

    Our Wind Co-op is a unique cooperative of small-scale wind turbines on farms, ranches and public and private facilities across the Northwest. Through this collaborative effort, 10-kW turbines were installed at numerous rural sites serviced by publicly-owned utilities. To find out more or ask about participation, Contact:

    Northwest SEED
    1402 Third Ave #901
    Seattle, WA 98101
    (206) 328-2441

    Climate Solutions
    219 Legion Way SW #201
    Olympia, WA 98501
    (360) 352-1763

    Seattle Advocates of Renewable Energy: a group of interested citizens who want to learn more about Renewable Energy and Sustainability. Our goal is to foster discussion, networking, and action on these important issues. We meet on the fourth Thursday of every month from 7 to 9 pm at the First Seattle Presbyterian Church.

    Seattle Peak Oil Awareness (www.seattleoil.com) has been active for 2 1/2 years (it actually started out life as a Meetup.com group)!

    Seattle Peak Oil Awareness is a local citizens action network offering information and practical ideas for living in a time of reduced energy availability. Working in small, focused groups we advocate healthy, sustainable living choices for all interested residents in the Puget Sound region. Read more here.

    And for those who want to mix social and political fun, here are Drinking Liberally groups in Washington:

    Second and Fourth Tuesday of each month, 7:00 pm
    Horseshoe Cafe, Ranch Room, 113 E Holly St
    Hosted by Dave Willingham

    Fourth Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm
    Mick Kelly's Irish Pub, 435 SW 152nd St
    Hosted by Cherisse Luxa | Joe Fitzgibbon

    First and Third Monday of each month, 7:00 pm
    Urban Onion in Downtown Olympia -- In the Bar, 116 Legion Way SE (In the Bar--enter on Legion)
    Hosted by Bruce Lund | Barry Piercy

    Every Tuesday of each month, 8:00 pm
    Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Ave E
    Hosted by Nicholas Beaudrot | Chris Mitchell

    Seattle Eastside
    First and Third Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm
    Angelo's Restaurant, 1830 130th Ave NE
    Hosted by Norman Furlong | Doug Hightower | Rich Erwin

    Newport Hills
    First Monday of each month, 7:30 pm
    Mustard Seed Grill and Pub, 5608 119th Ave SE
    Hosted by Robert Sargent

    Third Monday of each month, 7:00 pm
    El Serape Restaurant, 2503 Olympic Hwy N
    Hosted by Mike Mosbarger | Drew Noble

    Every Tuesday of each month, 7:00 pm
    Working Class Heroes Bar & Grill, 1914 North Monroe Street - (509) 327-0448
    Hosted by Andrew Brewer

    Every Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm
    Hub Restaurant, 203 Tacoma Ave S (in the bar area)
    Hosted by Melissa Thompson | Traci Kelly

    Every Tuesday of each month, 7:00 pm
    O'Callahans - Shilo Inn, 50 Comstock Richland Washington
    Hosted by Jim McCabe | Kendall Miller


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