April 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to Issue #1 of Friends of Washington's monthly newsletter, your source for ways to help Democrats win control of the State Senate.


We're one seat away, with two key special elections just six months from now! (November 2017) Gaining just one seat will break the gridlock in Olympia and open a path to progress in Washington: for our schools, for clean energy, for protecting health care, and more. This newsletter will introduce you to the candidate in the essential swing district #45, Manka Dhingra. Read about her below, or visit her website now to contribute to help get her elected. Let's flip the State Senate!

Meet Manka Dinghra

In this month's newsletter we introduce you to Manka Dhingra, the Democratic candidate running for State Senate in the 45th District (Kirkland, Woodinville, Redmond, Totem Lake, Sammamish, Duvall).
Manka is a King County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, where she has worked for 17 years leading programs that restore the lives of veterans, young adults, and those struggling with mental illness.

She has also been a strong community leader, organizing communities to fight against domestic violence. She founded the Chaya organization to curb abuse through education, prevention and survivor support.  She's also a winner of the Golden Acorn award for her outstanding service as a PTA parent and has two teenagers attending Redmond public schools.

Manka was well on her accomplished career path as an advocate and leader when Trump’s election made her realize she needed to get even more involved to make a difference. “I was quite shaken up. I decided we needed to look to our state; that that was our best defense,” she told us.

She decided to step forward in what's sure to be a hotly contested special election.

Manka’s experience and background would position her as a fearless new voice in the legislature, and a key force in resisting the Trump agenda here in Washington State. Flipping the State Senate would positively impact our children's education, our access to health care, and protections of our civil rights. As Manka says, “We have to get rid of this gridlock so we can govern.”
The Opposition

On April 11, a GOP operative, Jinyoung Lee Englund, announced she was also running. Jinyoung, who moved to the district for the campaign, has no public service experience, having worked instead as a lobbyist and staffer for the extreme right-wing Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Vice Chair of Trump's transition team. While on Rodger's staff, Englund worked against affordable health care and fiercely opposed women's rights. It is surprising that someone so right-wing would emerge as the GOP choice to represent the independent-minded District 45.

Ways You Can Help Manka Win
  1. Donate! Early donations to Manka (now!) will allow her to build a successful campaign. Republican funders like the Koch brothers will also be very interested in this critical race. Donate today to help launch her campaign at www.electmanka.com
  2. Volunteer! Manka’s campaign needs people to sign up to help. You can also get started canvassing this Saturday, April 22,  with the 45th Democrats. In future newsletters, we'll keep you up to date on how the group Sister District will also be organizing to help elect Manka.
  3. Spread the word! Write a note to 10 friends about Manka, the candidate who will flip the State Senate, and about Friends of Washington, the source for ongoing monthly updates on how we can all help turn Washington blue. The more people we can connect with, the better! Also think of people who live in the 45th. Help build buzz to Get Out the Vote. That's how Democrats will win in a special election such as this.
  4. Show up! Rally for Manka at her Campaign Launch! Sunday, April 23rd from 2-4 pm, at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse 16600 NE 80th St, Redmond 98052. Families are welcome: bring your kids!

And stay tuned. Future issues of the Friends of Washington newsletter will include updates on the other special 2017 election in the 31st District (no candidates declared yet, will be soon!), profiles of other groups doing important election work, and more.

And the action is only going to get more exciting a year from now, in 2018, when there will be several more critical state-wide races to cover. We’ll expand our coverage to keep you abreast of the State Senate and State House races that will help us solve our schools crisis, create better opportunities to support clean energy, and much more.

Can you think of others who might enjoy reading about how to help Democrats win in Washington State?

If so, forward this newsletter and invite them to join Friends of Washington. Spread the word by directing friends to www.friendsofwashington.org and explain why November 2017 is so important. With off-off cycle elections like this, friend-to-friend word of mouth will be the key to victory.

Do you have friends who live in a swing district? Our website lists the critical towns for this year’s special elections. These friends need a personal invite from you. Their votes, and their neighbors' votes, will make the difference.

We need all hands on deck to raise awareness, to raise money for Democratic candidates, and to sign up to volunteer. Let’s make some noise!

Sincerely yours,
The Folks at Friends of Washington