Republicans aren’t competitive in Washington’s 10th district– basically most of Thurston County (Olympia) and part of Pierce County (Tacoma area). With incumbent Denny Heck retiring, the jungle primary attracted 19 candidates, including 8 Democrats and 8 Republicans. The PVI is D+5 but the three top vote-getters in the high turnout election were all Democrats.
In November, progressive Democrat Beth Doglio will face off against corporate conservative Marilyn Strickland. Although Strickland is the establishment candidate, Doglio out-raised her– $616,683 to $595,105– despite Strickland’s substantial self-funding. Predictably, the Wall Street-funded New Dems— basically the Republican wing of the Democratic Party– has endorsed Strickland and the Congressional Progressive Caucus has endorsed Doglio. This week, Blue America has also endorsed Doglio.
Our endorsement process started with an outreach from the Progressive Caucus. Pramila Jayapal, one of the co-chairs told me that Doglio “is willing to take on power, willing to do the work, willing to push for bold ideas like Medicare for All– even before they are popular. As a legislator, organizer and climate champion, Beth has a proven track record of standing up for working people against special interests, and delivering on policies that matter.
She is not taking corporate PAC money and is directly confronting the abysmal state of for-profit health care in this country that has been only illuminated with COVID-19. Washingtonians need to send Beth to Congress to join me in moving forward bold solutions like Medicare for All and humane immigration reform, and fighting for working families, environmental justice, women and underserved communities. Beth will be a fantastic progressive partner for me in the state delegation and I cannot wait to have her strong voice in Congress.”
That was good enough to begin the vetting process. Basically, everything I could discover since showed that Pramila was right about her.
On top of that, the conservative running against her is exactly the kind of Democrat that has turned Congress into a cesspool that doesn’t serve the interests of working families. As mayor of Tacoma, Strickland stood in the way of the $15 minimum wage campaign as well as the paid sick days campaign, which has a lot to do with why labor is backing Doglio– and why the Chamber of Commerce is backing Strickland, who helped kill an employee hours tax on large employers that was meant to fund affordable housing.
When I asked Beth about it she told me that “If we take our talking points and marching orders from corporate special interests, we’ll constrain change to ‘impossible aspiration’ and never accomplish the progress this country desperately needs. Not all Democrats approach this challenge the same way. While I’m fighting for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and other bold policies to move this country forward, my opponent rejects these ideas. She even worked side-by-side with Amazon in a blatant attempt to buy the Seattle City Council and halt any possibility of progressive taxes where large, profitable corporations would pay their fair share. That’s simply not the progressive and principled leadership this moment calls for.”
Today, as a candidate, Strickland apologizes for her support for building the world’s largest methane plant in Tacoma. She has always been an enemy of environmental activists and told them to focus their energy on “recruiting 1,000 volunteer summer reading tutors for children from underserved neighborhoods” instead. Last year, as chair of the Chamber of Commerce, Strickland spent millions of corporate dollars in an attempt to unseat the Seattle City Council’s progressive majority.
Both candidates have records. We know exactly who Marilyn Strickland is and who Beth Doglio is. The former is unfit for office and the latter would make a great, and sorely-needed, addition to Congress.
Beth is a working mom, a climate activist, a longtime community organizer and state legislator running. She told me she’s running because “I am worried for my kids and their generation. What kind of jobs will exist to provide for their families? What kind of planet will we leave them? Will they have access to healthcare? Will justice for all be a reality, not just a tagline? We’ve got a lot of work to do. And the time for incrementalism has long past– we have to get it done now.”
She told me, as she’s been telling voters in the district, that “bringing our country together, creating a future that makes good on the hope I see in my children’s generation, finally breaking down the systemic racism and inequality that has been in the very fibers of this country, will require solutions that weave together uplifting the working class with better wages and working conditions as well as universal access to healthcare, just and equitable solutions to climate change, and ensuring that all of these things are done with racial and social justice centered within the solutions.”
I’ve spent my life fighting for local communities and taking on special interests. I’ve faced off against the fossil fuel and chemical industries– and won. And to be clear, I’ve also lost. But with each loss, I came back ultimately prevailing by putting people and community first. In 2018, fossil fuel giants spent record amounts– over $30 million– to mislead voters and defeat Initiative 1631, a ballot measure that would have implemented a modest fee on their pollution and helped move us to a clean energy future.
This is where resilient leadership, coalition-building, and the ability to craft real, transformative policy comes into play. After that loss at the ballot box, we reorganized, and I helped lead efforts to work on a suite of legislative climate solutions. We developed Washington’s best-in-the-nation 100% clean electricity bill. This bill passed in the legislature and helped chart a course to a clean energy future.
And even while corporate special interests continue to stymie progress in the fight against climate change, we in the legislature haven’t taken no for an answer, continuing to pass bold and innovative climate legislation.
Now I want to go to Congress to fight for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, a $15 per hour minimum wage and other ambitious– and necessary– policies to move this country forward. Families can no longer afford a “business as usual” approach, kowtowing to the demands of giant, obscenely profitable corporations.
I’m not taking corporate PAC or fossil fuel contributions because they have enough advocates in Congress, and enough is enough. I will fight the same fights as I have as a community organizer and a member of the Washington state legislature on behalf of people and our planet. I have no doubt the same bad actors will work overtime to prevent reform on climate, healthcare, guns, and so much more. We need to elect leaders who have shown they will stand up to special interests, not work hand-in-hand to water down legislation and erode progress.
Activists and community leaders have shown how the fight can be won– now, we just need more of them in office.
Blue America couldn’t agree more, and ask if you can, to please help Beth fund her campaign so we can have a great progressive team of fighters to make the Democrats do what’s best “For the Many, not just the Few.”
Thanks for always doing what you can to help make this a better world,
Howie, for the entire Blue America team