Honoring Our 2018 Strong Contributors

45th District Democrats members and volunteers. Photo credit: Lincoln Potter

At our December 2018 meeting, we took some time to honor many of the volunteers who have dedicated countless hours to building a diverse, engaged, educated, equitable, and healthy Eastside. Honorees were nominated by the board and from the membership in attendance.

To the volunteers named below and to all those supporting the Democratic project—thank you for all you’ve done for this organization and our community. A special shout out to each and every PCO who walked a turf this year; your work to motivate people to vote makes a tremendous difference on election night, with a lasting impact for our region, our state, and beyond.


Christy Ackerman for leading the Membership Committee’s nutritious snacks team, contributions to our successful Flag Day Fundraiser, and volunteering and training to become our next treasurer.

Ken Albinger for his commitment as chair. In addition, Ken took on double duty canvassing, walking both his precinct and 8th CD precincts in both the August primary and the November general election. Ken walked more turfs than almost everyone. He also spent many hours on the phone, cajoling PCOs to get out and walk their precincts.

Benjamin Berry has taken on a series of jobs, including King County committee man and sergeant-at-arms. He has gotten involved in King County Democrats and dug into policy issues, where he is making an ongoing contribution.

Karina Duchastel for all of her work on the Eastside Democratic Dinner, including finding us the Cascadia location, her great catering work, organizing food and drinks, her work on the blue wave logo, and table designs for the Eastside Dinner. She was the force behind the Dinner’s success this year!

Nicolas Duchastel for his work chairing our Rules and Bylaws Committee and for his organizing work in the Woodinville area. His work on the Planning Commission and interest in elected office in Woodinville got him considered for replacement of the open seat on City Council. Thank you, Nicolas!

Steve Fields for supporting our Flag Day Event at Downpour Coffee and being an active member of our membership. Thank you for your work on Redmond City Council and sharing the developing news in Redmond with our members.

Annette Hamilton for actively representing the 45th at both the King County Democrats during a tumultuous year and
at the Washington State Democratic Party meeting in Wenatchee, while stepping up to help the board get organized and run our board meetings. We love your passion, Annette!

Jodie Hastings, who has staffed our membership table and interfaced with Priscilla as Priscilla was not able to attend our meetings. Jodie took on managing the membership list and mining it for credentialing and many other uses. She also took responsibility for chairing the Data Committee.

Tom Johnston, who has waded in this year to energize and organize us. He is moving our membership forward with structure, greeting new members and providing nutritious snacks. Tom produced our Flag Day event and helped organized the Eventbrite account for us. He has been pushing us to raise money in multiple ways and helped the Eastside Democrats with a logo for their annual dinner.

Clarise Mahler was one of our hardest working PCOs, walking several precincts in both Sammamish to help flip the 8th CD and in her home turf in Duvall.

Manka’s Teen Campaign Committee for the incredible work they put in to support not only Manka Dhingra, but the Eastside Dinner and the Democratic ticket on the Eastside. They are our next generation of leaders!

Lincoln Potter has been Roger’s official photographer for years and has been our unofficial photographer. Thank you Lincoln for seeing us and reliably catching us in our best moments. You have allowed us to show off our work and strong efforts in the community.

Orchideh Raisdanai for representing the 45th District Democrats on the King County Democrats leadership team during a difficult time, standing up to the harassment and those who wanted to minimize it and helping with the transition to new, strong leadership. Thank you so much Orchideh for your strength and heart and sinew. We cherish your work among us!

Shawn Roland for keeping the board on the right side of our financial management rules and regulations and doing our PDC reporting so well! We owe him thanks for twice writing strong responses to defend the 45th from Glen Morgan complaints. Not only has he done a good job keeping our finances in order, he found and trained an able and well-qualified person to replace him in this important job.

Darby Stewart for his technical help behind the scenes for the Communication Committee and helping us set up and take money online. Darby set up and supported Eventbrite sites for the 45th’s Flag Day fundraiser and the Eastside Dinner. Thank you managing our bits and bites.

Liz VanBemmel for transforming the 45th’s communications presence to regular email announcements on all the areas our members can take effective action and updating and maintaining our Facebook page. She has developed our website into an excellent repository of our leadership roles, bylaws, election rules, and activities. Liz has produced increasingly strong endorsement guides and gives the 45th a professional look and feel in the community. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have given us, Liz!

Michael VanBemmel for taking a series of roles this year, including helping to rework our rules and bylaws and serving us as both King County committee man and our secretary. Thanks for keeping us on track.

Tara Van Niman for her outstanding work as the driving force organizing PCO get-togethers and supporting 45th District Democrats PCO training, canvassing, and events. Tara was a big help in canvassing as well, taking on more than her own precinct.

Joshua Vaughn for his work with us in organizing our resistance activities and representing us at the King County Democrats. He is now our third vice chair at King County Democratss and served Congresswoman Suzan DelBene and the Coordinated Campaign this year. Thank you Josh! Good luck in the 48th LD.

Andrew Villeneuve for serving the 45th as state committee man and leading the Washington State Democratic Party in creating a new Advocacy Committee. For his strong understanding and tracking of legislative candidacies across western Washington and offering election results coverage, Andrew continues to be a well-informed resource on many issues and a strong advocate for improving our democracy!

Duane and Barb Wentz for helping with set up at most of our events and for hosting us for our summer picnic in their wonderful backyard and home.

Cat Williams for serving the 45th as state committee woman and King County Democrats as first vice chair of fundraising—and for actively standing up against the abusive behavior of our former King County Democrats Chair Bailey Stober.

Dave Williams for his strong work as leader of the hard working Endorsements Committee and his delicate work in the controversial position of explaining their recommendations for endorsements, even while many of us are vocally opposed. Last year, Dave took on the PCO support chair role and worked to lead us in calling to recruit weekly canvassers. He has mastered VoteBuilder and produced piles of printed and MiniVan walk lists this year. He is hard working, well-spoken, self-effacing, and an excellent servant-leader.

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