Island group invites elected leaders to talk democracy

On the heels of its first community meeting, the islander-organized group Unifying for Democracy will hold a second meeting, this time with three state political leaders on hand. The group that aims to unite Vashon’s left-leaning voters in an effort to fight for the country’s democracy will host guests Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-Maury Island), Dylan Cate of the Washington State Democratic Party and Shaun Scott, a field organizer for Rep. Pramila Jayapal, at a gathering on Saturday.

“We will bring material forward from the first meeting to get some expert opinions and ideas at this second one,” Kevin Jones, one of the group’s organizers, said. “It will help us set the stage, to decide if we should do anything beyond this and if so, what will that be.”

Jones said that the group’s first meeting in May saw about 50 to 60 people attend, ranging in age from late teens to 80s, with a fairly even gender split. At the meeting, attendees were divided into groups — each asked to identify issues, concerns and possible solutions regarding current threats to our democracy.

The responses from each group were collected, then prioritized.

“We had about 24 issues that we collected from the meeting,” Jones said. “The top four were election reform and funding, multicultural and multiethnic tolerance, inclusion, and, tied for fourth, news media and public education.”

And the idea, Jones explained, is to put forth these identified issues and potential solutions to the experts on Saturday.

“We’ll round up what we talked about, and the speakers will have the opportunity to address those issues,” he said. “Maybe they can offer different perspectives or even add to the ideas. Maybe they’ll say, ‘Forget it, don’t even bother trying’ to some. But the hope is to inform ourselves as a community, to take some of this information and work to figure out how to access and improve the service of our democracy.”

Jones noted that these two meetings are the result of about six months of work, with a focus on bringing different sides of the Democratic party within the community together to work on the issues determined to be the most important in the run up to November’s mid-term elections.

“How do we get the democracy we want? What issues motivate us?” Jones said. “We on Vashon have had a conversation about our democracy, but we are all amateurs. Now we are taking our ideas to the experts. Here is a problem with how democracy serves us. Let’s see what the speakers have to say. What input do they have?”

Unifying for Democracy will will meet from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Presbyterian church.

More in News

Woman’s body found near Dockton Park

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies found the body of a 37-year-old woman… Continue reading

Park district adjusts fiscal management policy

Last week, board members voted to change the Vashon Park District’s general… Continue reading

Gene Sherman, ‘a man of history,’ leaves a legacy

Sherman died on Nov. 19, 2018, having experienced nearly a century of life and change on the island.

Water district rescinds certificate for housing project

Water District 19 will reissue new certificate following residential property policy

County to host shoreline management workshop

King County will host a workshop from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.… Continue reading

County certifies election results

King County has certified the results of the November midterm election, and… Continue reading

Santa Claus comes to town

Santa and Mrs. Claus came to town Saturday night and joined in… Continue reading

Transport fees come back into focus at fire district

More than a year after the Vashon fire district began charging for… Continue reading

Melinda Powers’ ‘Relish’ is open for classes, events and more

As the business landscape of downtown Vashon continues to evolve, one space… Continue reading

Most Read