Thursday, April 19, 2012
South Bellingham Democratic Caucus
Sunday afternoon a robust crowd of 30+ Democrat supporters gathered at Fairhaven Middle School as one of the 20 Whatcom County district caucus meetings. PCO Maggie Hanson opened the table for registration of all Precinct #245 (Fairhaven/Chuckanut neighborhoods loosely defined) participants. Registration is a formal process by which a voter declares a party (Democratic) and indicate a candidate preference for president. Among the attending voters up to 12 delegates are selected to proceed to the County Level Caucus. Current policy only allows 15% of those 12 delegates to have undecided/undeclared status on their certification. We had only 11 voters at the event. Eight people registered were approved by PCO Hanson to be delegates to the Whatcom County Caucus April 28. Of those delegates, 6 declared themselves Obama supporters and 2 were undecided.
After delegate selection the floor was opened for discussion of the 2012 Democratic Platform. Precinct 245 was passionate about coal refining, so they included some revisions in the current Platform proposals. In the past, Whatcom County has required a two thirds majority vote (aka a "Super-Majority") rather than just a fifty-one percent majority (aka "Simple Majority"). Given a limited time frame for revisions, (the hall was actually being dismantled as we were still meeting at our table); two broad revised proposals were approved and the delegates agreed to continue the discussions directly with the Platform Committee at the April 28 County Caucus. The Platform Committee deadline is 11am Wednesday for inclusion April 28. This has been an ongoing project since 2010, and updates are published every other year.
In summary, the delegates chose 3 items for closer inspection. Environment, Education and Foreign Policy. Delegates want to expand the scope of the Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) relating to the rail transport of coal through Whatcom County. Delegates also want to withdraw support for Charter and Voucher schools that involve for-profit/anti union entities and maintain funding for public schools.