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August 03, 2006

The 34th LD Goes East to Assist the 15th

Irrepressible Ivan, Chair of the 34th LD, has a great post up at both DailyKos and Washblog on a "sister district" relationship that the 34th LD, in the West Seattle area, is establishing with the 15th LD in the Yakima region.  This very active Democratic group is helping to re-elect Cantwell and providing assistance to the Burner campaign in the absence of competitive races for the seats currently held by Jim McDermott and Adam Smith. 

The district organization's First Vice Chair has a cousin in Sunnyside in Yakima County.  The two got to talking about Tomas Villanueva, the incredible Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 15th LD.  Villanueva is running to unseat Jim Honeyford, chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus and one of the most conservative Republicans in the Legislature.  Here's more about how they are approaching this project:

Members of the 34th had met with Tomas Villanueva and 15th District chair Wendell Hannigan at the state Democratic Convention in Yakima in June. Last Saturday eight of us went over again, to the 15th's fundraising dinner, at the Filipino Hall in Wapato. There, over grilled salmon, chicken adobo, pancit, salads, and fruit pies, we got to know our fellow Democrats, heard speeches from candidates, watched dancers from the Yakama Nation and the Filipino community, and talked strategy.

The 15th lacks some of the organizing and campaigning tools that we take for granted in the wired, tech-savvy Seattle area. We are helping them set up a Web site and an effective e-mail list. It was suggested that we conduct Precinct Committee Officer training and help with voter registration.
Unlike more densely populated areas, meeting places and community organizing revolves around the individual small towns. Still, a precinct is a precinct, and many of the same tactics apply. We'll be picking people's brains to find out what works in the 15th and what doesn't, and helping our fellow Democrats to maximize what they have used successfully.

But such nuts-and-bolts organization building, necessary though it might be, is just an adjunct to the real task at hand in the 15th District--organizing and mobilizing Latino voters and giving them something concrete to work toward--and making sure that they, just like all other voters in this country, get a return on their investment in the political system.

In Tomás Villanueva, they undoubtedly have a candidate with the vision of where the Latino community has been and where it needs to go. In an incredible interview with the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington, Tomás tells the story of his life as an immigrant from Mexico, a farm worker, a union organizer, a lobbyist, and now, a candidate, and lays out his vision for the future.

Way to go, 34th.  Ivan has promised to keep us updated on this great partnership.

Posted by Lynn Allen on August 3, 2006 at 08:17 AM in Best Practices, Candidate Races | Permalink


I met Tomas Villanueva at the Clark County fair. Although Clark County is not in yet near the 15th Mr Villanueva drove 3 hours to make his presence known

He is a man of quiet dignity and stature.

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Yakima newspaper saluting Mr. Villanueva but they rejected it as I am not a resident of Yakima

Mr. Villanueva is a good man with a good message. I hope other Democrats and Progressives will salute, support and send money for his candidacy

Posted by: Jim Martin | Aug 11, 2006 8:26:17 AM

Thanks for that report back.

Posted by: Lynn | Aug 11, 2006 9:34:20 AM

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