September 2004 Archives

Special Events for the Weekend of September 25th-26th

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1) Western Washington University vs. Central Washington University
Saturday, Sept. 25
Quest Stadium
5:00pm - 6:00pm (wave signs and greet folks for one hour prior to the game)
Meet across from FX McRory's

2) Seahawks vs. S.F. 49er's
Sunday, Sept. 26
Quest Stadium
12:00noon - 1:00 (wave signs and greet folks for one hour prior to the game)
Meet across from FX McRory's

Jack Smith - High Energy Caller

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"I look for someone with decision-making ability and Chris has demonstrated again and again that she is a problem solver. She's very credible and very competent. "

jacksmith.jpgJack comes in to work the phones for us twice a week. He's very high energy and clearly likes people. He's engaging and gets into meaningful conversations with the people he is contacting on the phone. Occasionally he's taken off work to come in and make calls when we need him to because he feels that this election is so important.

Although Jack is a lifelong Democrat and has volunteered in Democratic campaigns for decades, he has never followed the party line. He likes Chris for a number of reasons. He says he looks for someone with decision-making ability and Chris has demonstrated again and again that she is a problem solver. She's very credible and very competent.

Don Wittenburger - Passionate about being a Democrat

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"Chris has big dreams. She believes that it's possible to find solutions to big problems. She doesn't take 'No' for an answer. You don't often get that with people in politics and when you do, you need to take advantage of it."


Don, one of our master phone-bank callers, is passionate about the reasons for being a Democrat. This spring, following the Presidential caucus primaries, Don received an invitation to a Gregoire campaign event and was then asked to volunteer. After recovering from a bout of illness, Don, who is a retired administrative law judge, started coming in to volunteer in mid-August. Since then, he has volunteered 2-3 times a week, making calls to get out the vote, get people to Gregoire events and ask for money.

There are lots of important races and Don says he has to make some choices. He says that this is his highest personal priority because we need a Democratic governor. The governor's race impacts all 6 million people in the state.

Don is passionate about being a Democrat. He says, "We're the party of the little guy. We see the world in terms of a community. We're a party that feels we have an obligation to help people and to promote diversity. Without Democrats and the philosophy we represent, it would be a hard country to live in. We're the real party of compassion. We're the party that uses government to help people. This is why we need to win elections like this one."

Long a close observer of government, Don says that the two biggest items in the state budget are education and transportation. For him, education is critical. Kids need to get a good education to be able to compete in the future economy. The amount of money a state spends on education determines whether we are amongst the dynamic states that provide opportunities for its citizens or among the sluggish states whose children are unprepared to take a role in the future economy. He trusts Chris to understand the importance of education.

Don says that there are people like Chris who realize what needs to happen and then they make it happen. She's special as far as politicians go. Chris knows that there are not enough resources, particularly now. We need someone like her who is a problem-solver, someone who is a visionary leader. Chris has big dreams. She believes that it's possible to find solutions to big problems. She doesn't take 'No' for an answer. You don't often get that with people in politics and when you do, you need to take advantage of it.

Canines for Chris!

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Today we have a set of photos of dogs wearing Gregoire signs. The first was sent in by Ruth Smethers, a teacher in Snohomish County. She and a friend and her son all walked in the Kla Ha Ya Days parade in Snohomish County with their dogs Shiva and Beau, shown here. They support Chris because of her strong commitment to making Washington schools a priority.


The second was sent in by Marian Svinth, co-chair of the Gregoire Steering Committee in King County. She and her husband, Gene, take walks with her chocolate lab, Koko, often generating interesting conversations w/ other dog owners!!


The third was taken at the rally for Chris at Boeing Field the day after the primary election. Tara Jo Heinecke , Chair of the 33rd Legislative District, holds her dog, wearing a special doggie t-shirt she had made up to show her support for Chris.


Sharon Langs - Long-Time Volunteer

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"I've admired Chris for many years for her integrity, warmth and intelligence."

sharon.jpgSharon has been making calls for us, sending out mailings and answering the phone for a year now. She is retired from work as a social worker and college administrator, is married and has two grown children and a 5-year old granddaughter. Although she has not been active in politics much before in her life, Sharon has come in once a week for a year until recently when she's begun coming in several times a week. Sharon has watched the campaign grow from a few staff members to a relatively large organization in that year. During that entire time, she has noticed that whenever Chris comes into the office, she is warm and caring and respects everyone. She is very thoughtful and always comes to hug Sharon and tell her how much her efforts are appreciated

Sharon admired Chris for many years for her integrity, warmth and intelligence. However it was Chris' efforts spearheading the negotiations and settlement with the tobacco companies that made Sharon decide to volunteer in her campaign. Sharon's mother smoked all her adult life and died from breast and lung cancer. She appreciated that Chris was willing to take on the tobacco industry and that that suit was so wildly successful.

Sharon's daughters are very proud of their mom for many reasons. While we were sitting in the office, between the phone calls that Sharon was answering, she received a bouquet from one of her daughter's. The note with the flowers read,

Dear Mama,

Thank you for raising me to
Be a strong, independent
Person and for being a
Wonderful role model.

Much love, Lee.

Post-Primary Rally at Boeing Field - Sept. 15th

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The day after the Primary Election rallies were held for Chris Gregoire in Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Seattle, Vancouver and Olympia. The rally in Seattle was held at Boeing Field from 5:00 to 6:30. It was jam-packed with supporters, many from the various Unions that have endorsed Gregoire.


Supporters at the Boeing Field Rally

Prior to Chris' arrival, Senator Karen Keiser of the 33rd Legislative District, spoke briefly about the widespread support Chris has from state legislators. A few minutes later, the small plane with Chris and her family arrived and Chris, Mike, Michelle and Courtney came into the room. Courtney introduced her mother as the "energizer bunny". Here she was the day after the Primary going from rally to rally while most of her staff and supporters had slowed down from the immense efforts of the previous two days.

When Chris came to the podium, amidst wild applause, she said that people are enthused all over the state. She told us that she had received 80% of the vote in the Spokane area and people are pleased about what that means for success in November. She also said that she was running to be the governor of the entire state of Washington, not just one region. She said, "We are ready to bring this state together." She talked about the website that had just gone up for Republicans and Independents for Gregoire (

Chris said "Dino Rossi is not a bad person. We just have a fundamental difference in what we want for this state." She again challenged him to hold three debates, saying those debates would make the contrast clear. Chris closed by asking the audience to join her in moving this state in the right direction. She said that people say we can't do the range of things she wants to do for the state and she said, "I say, yes we can."

The crowd responded with chants of "We want Chris. We want Chris."

Chris added that this state is a bit fearful right now. "But we are a hopeful state and a determined state." And then she closed with "If the daughter of a short-order cook can grow up to be the next governor of the state of Washington, then let the message go out to every girl and boy in the state that they can grow up to be anything they want to be."

After the applause, Chris walked through the crowd, greeting long-time supporters, meeting new-comers and pausing for photos. It was a rousing beginning for the general campaign.


Chris with King County Steering Committee Leaders John Ellis and Becky Bogard

Yakima Primary Eve Rally

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Clarence Gipson, a dedicated Gregoire supporter from Yakima, sent us these photos from Gregoire's rally late morning in Yakima on Monday, Primary Eve.


Chris meeting supporters at Carpenter's Hall


Tom Bothwell, Chairman of the Gregoire Steering Committee in Yakima

Election Day Excitement

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The hum of Primary Election Day excitement started at 7:00am around the state with sign-waving and built through the day until Gregoire's acceptance speech at 10:00pm in Bellevue.

The big morning commute sign-waving in Seattle was at the intersection of Mercer and Fairview just off the freeway near downtown where hundreds of cars moved in every direction every minute. Gregoire for Governor supporters definitely led in numbers. Out of the sixty or so people standing on the middle island and the various corners at least a dozen were waving Gregoire signs. Most drivers were still a bit blurry-eyed but many gave us the nod or a thumbs up in support. It was a beautiful morning. And it was fun being in the midst of all that energy, both from the cars and from the many other candidates' supporters, knowing that Gregoire supporters all over the state were waving signs where they lived as well.


Next it was over to the pedestrian overpass above the freeway at 45th. There were five members and friends of the King Country Steering Committee waving signs for Gregoire as well as a Union member from one of our supporting unions. They were all volunteering their time to make sure that voters know they think it's important for people to vote and to consider voting for Chris.


Barb at Union office phone bank on Ravenna Ave. in Seattle

Meanwhile, the phone banks continued non-stop in our two offices in Seattle and in Spokane, Olympia, Vancouver, and Tacoma. In our Seattle headquarters office, we have volunteers calling on every available phone. All day long we hear, "Thanks, Catherine. You have a nice day" or "Great. Well, have a happy birthday" or "Glad you already voted. I hope your leg is better" or "Thanks for supporting us." Their very humanity is heart-warming to hear and more so knowing how important this campaign is to the people who come in to volunteer.

Later in the day, Chris came down to the main Seattle office in Fremont to thank the many volunteers and staff people who had worked so hard during the primary season. We had decorated the famous sculpture of people waiting for a bus at the corner of Fremont and 34th with Gregoire tee-shirts and signs. After Chris and her family got out of the car to the massive welcome of our volunteers and staff, we all walked across the intersection to the sculpture and joined the decorated statues for a picture. fremontstatues.jpg

Chris with campaign volunteers at Fremont District bus stop sculptures

In the evening we had a large celebration party at the Doubletree Hotel in Bellevue. There were a couple hundred people gathered waiting for the results, eating and drinking and talking through the evening. Intermittently, Lyle, our political director, stepped up to the mike on the stage to introduce a speaker. First up was Cindy Christenson, a nurse representing the 64,000 nurses and health care workers in the SEIU supporting Chris for Governor. She said that nurses and health care workers are supporting Chris because she is "ready to fight for quality, affordable health care and Washington State can't afford to take a chance on the alternative: Dino Rossi." Christenson listed the ways that Chris' health care plan supports the people of Washington State rather than the special interests and closed with "Let's all stand up for affordable health care and vote for Chris Gregoire." At 8:30, Chris and her family came down to thank us for all our support. Although the results were looking good, not enough precincts had reported for anyone to make an official call. Chris talked a couple of minutes, saying "I believe we're going to be able to take Washington State in the right direction." Then she went back up to her suite and the party continued.

Later, Lyle introduced Gary Locke, the incumbent governor who had recently endorsed Chris. He said that "The people of the state of Washington do not want right-wing conservatives". He went on to say that although Rossi can come across as moderate and reassuring, he is "just as conservative as Ellen Craswell and John Carlson," Locke's two previous highly conservative Republican opponents. After talking about Rossi's opposition to a variety of moderate proposals such as a Patient's Bill of Rights and a Woman's Right to Choose, Locke said that Chris exemplifies all that is good with the state of Washington. "She's been one of our state's greatest Attorney Generals and she is the one who will lead us into the 21st century."


Chris on Primary Election Night 


Chris with her mother, Mary, and daughters Courtney and Michelle

When Chris was introduced at 10:00 after it was clear that she had won the race, she was given a rousing welcome. She started by saying that this was a great night for the campaign and a great night for Washington State. She talked about how proud she was of the 1000's of volunteers across the state who worked hard for her campaign and share in this victory. She thanked Ron Sims for living his life with passion, for being such a good public servant, and for making this such a spirited campaign. She repeated again as she had at several public gatherings, "There's more that unites us than divides us."

In talking about the general election race with Rossi, Chris said that the stakes couldn't be higher and the choices couldn't be clearer. She said, "We see the world very differently. We will talk about the issues. We will show that Dino Rossi's agenda would take us in the wrong direction." She also challenged Rossi to join her in a series of debates so the issues can be made clear.

As she ended, Chris pumped up the crowd by asking, "Are you willing to join me in creating good jobs? Are you ready to join me in getting Washington workers back to work? Are you ready to join me in investing in our schools to make them the best quality in the nation? Are you ready to join me to protect the quality of life in the state of Washington?"

It was a wonderful celebration and a wonderful way to end an exciting day.


Gilbert Myers


Darmell Jones, Jay Jones and Yalonda Gill




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