The Young Democrats of Washington have done our best to be present at every WSDCC chair candidate forum in the state. The very last forum was scheduled to take place in Spokane, and without hesitating we climbed into a vehicle and headed out. In what was undoubtedly the most fun and productive car in the state, we had: Lynda, YDWA President, Conor, VP of Development, Nick, National Committeeman, Betsy, Chair of KCYD, and Josh, chair of PCYDs.
Our first stop was in Ellensburg to enjoy Mexican food done right and meet our most recent chapter’s chair, Vic Savino. Central Washington University Young Democrats are in their early stages as a group, and we discussed how their goals are to work on promoting the group and fundraising for projects, as well as long term dreams of making a political impact on central Washington. If you know any CWU Democrats, hit us up and we’ll connect you with Vic. There will be snacks and West Wing marathons in it for the lucky students who join up!
We continued on our way through ice fog (a special Eastern Washington treat that was only mildly terrifying) until we reached the great city of Spokane! We decided to make the most of the 15 hours we’d be in town and went straight to the Red Lion BBQ & Pub to get a drink with WSDCC Chair candidate Jim Kainber. We’d had a lot of chances to quiz him on his issues and what he’d do for the party, this time around we got to know him better and heard (unrepeatable) stories of his days as a Young Democrat. If he wins he will be a must have at our convention in Bellingham!
Breakfast was at Perkins, due to tradition. It was great to have WSDCC Chair candidate and current executive director Jaxon Ravens join us. Jaxon emphasizes the importance of relationships in all of his presentations, and we were able to talk with him about different projects and goals we had and who we could connect with to help move them forward. He also holds a “Young Democrat for Life” award, and we picked his brain on how the Young Democrats could be more successful in our endeavors this upcoming year.
Then there was the main event: Spokane’s candidate forum. It was possibly the best forum put on in the entire state, in part because after months of campaigning all the candidates knew what they stood for and could fully articulate their strengths.
Moderator Christine Johnson asked hard hitting questions about how the candidates would tackle eastern Washington and red areas of the state. That was followed by each candidate getting the chance to ask one question to another candidate. Everyone asked Jaxon questions, and Jaxon asked Dana one. Possibly a telling sign of where the race is at?
The Young Democrats of Washington were there in force – from Spokane, Benton-Franklin YDs, and the Western side of the state. Two of the four questions from the audience came from us, and the conversation often came back to the need for Young Democrats to be engaged and supported within the state party. I know Spokane county was video taping the forum, if they post it you should definitely watch! (Here’s a link to the event page in case they post it).
After the event the Young Democrats went over to Rocky Rococo Pizza and Pasta to have an Eastern Washington Young Democrat strategy discussion. WSDCC Chair candidate Jay Clough joined us and added his knowledge and passion for the east side of the state to our discussion. It was absolutely fantastic to have Natasha, the high school co-chair of Spokane YDs, Alex Clardy, our VP of poli/leg affairs, Megan, a YD at Whitworth College, and Israel, Blanche and Leo from the Tri-Cities each give their unique perspective on what it’s like to be a Democrat on the east side. After our discussion, we strongly encouraged them to invite us out again for a meeting of Spokane, Benton-Franklin, and Washington State University YDs to help develop eastern-specific goals for YDWA.
We didn’t have time for a one-on-one meeting with WSDCC Chair candidate Dana Laurent, but we invited her to meet up with us in Olympia before the vote. If you’re interested in attending, let us know! Email Lynda[dot]Foster[at]YDWA[dot]org.
Over all it was a great trip! To learn more, follow #ExecutiveRoadTrip on facebook and twitter. Join us in Vancouver for our next YD field trip, and be sure to bring Seahawks gear for the group photo!!!!