Island County Democrats
To the Honorable Body of the Island County Democrats,
Good evening! My name is Joseph Busig, and it is my pleasure to be writing all of you this evening. At the last E-Board meeting (4/7/2020), the Honorable former Interim Chair Melody Risner decided to appoint me as the new acting Interim Chair. I am humbled and filled with gratitude to be vested, trusted, and put in good faith with this position of responsibility. Since yesterday I have been in contact with several executive board members as well as both of the former chairs.
To be an effective servant leader, one must listen to the people. That is why it has been so reassuring to have the support and be given sound advice from such great individuals. These are uncertain times, my friends. The pandemic we find ourselves in, our families and communities feeling the brunt of it, numerous issues at both local and federal levels, schools being shut down to prevent further spread, stay at home orders to promote public safety, workers being laid off or furloughed, and the new realm of switching the entirety of our activities online.
Amidst these times of crisis, we must remind ourselves of this simple belief. That power lies in the people, and that is where power shall always reside. This means solidarity to your friends, neighbors, coworkers, colleagues, and fellow human beings. When we stand united in confronting issues of injustice, whether in the form of a virus or systemically, there isn't anything we can't accomplish. Take this time to thank the "essential worker". Those that are nurses, customer service, retail workers, small business workers, grocery workers, municipal or county employees, mechanics, sanitation workers, recycling and garbage workers, educators, utility workers, and the many more that build our communities every day. Take the action of solidarity. In this moment especially, now is our time to give back all the service they diligently provide without hesitation.
I feel a deep connection to the plight of today. I was born in Coupeville when it was still called Whidbey General. Proudly raised in Oak Harbor in a working class home raised by a single mother, I graduated Oak Harbor High School in 2018. I understand what it is like to struggle. As a survivor of domestic violence, as someone who lives paycheck to paycheck, as someone who questions whether to keep the lights on or see a doctor, as someone who is always $200 away from bankruptcy, as a queer man, as a college student, and as an involved member of my community I felt the hurt of not just our own troubles, but the collective struggle of so many others in our community. That is why I ran for Oak Harbor City Council in 2019. We launched a historic campaign centered around a people's platform. While we came 200 votes short, we proved something. Don't write off a community. Engage it, and give them something to believe in. As newly appointed Chair, I hope to work with all members of this party to emphasize and continue on the importance of grassroots organizing, local matters, and local elections.
I still maintain my work on the Citizens Against Domestic & Sexual Abuse (CADA) Board of Directors as Treasurer, a member of the League of Women Voters of Whidbey Island, a member of the Island County Historical Society, a Planning Commissioner on the Island County Planning Commission, a member of the Young Democrats of Island County, and the co-advisor to the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) club at Oak Harbor High School. I also hold some awards such as the international Diana Award, the Linda Lee Marten's Community Health Hero Award, and Rotary Student of the Month Award in Leadership and Academic Excellence. In sharing this with you, I hope I may earn your trust as a devoted member of our community who never shies away from an opportunity to change things for the better.
As an update, there will be an emergency meeting held on April 25th at 1 PM. I will let you all know at once when we have the agenda and minutes prepared. Effective then, I shall submit them to all of you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me via this email. I look forward to working with all of you and am elated to be your new Interim Chair. Be safe, be well, and maintain faith in these times. I am here to serve and be present for you.
Joseph J. Busig
Island County Democrats
Your Monthly Newsletter
A note from ICD Chair, Steve DeHaven
To quote John Lennon, “Nobody told me there’d be days like these. Strange days, indeed.”
We’re coping with the COVID-19 crisis as well as can be expected. Since we’re all cooped up, we’re relying on electronic communications more heavily, so expect to see more of these emails during this time. We’ve also added Zoom online videoconferencing to our toolbox, and so far the outlook is promising. We hope to continue having remote meetings after this crisis, to whatever degree practical. I’m seeing faces from Camano that I don’t get to see often enough, and I hope that good feeling is mutual.
The next quarterly meeting of the ICDCC will be Thursday, April 2nd, at 6 PM. That meeting will be conducted entirely on Zoom. The link is at the bottom of this article.
The first time you use Zoom on a computer, smartphone, or tablet, you’ll have to install an app. After that, it’s smooth sailing. The best way to join a Zoom meeting is by computer, preferably one with a microphone, speakers, and a camera. If your computer lacks a microphone or a camera, you can still join to watch and hear all of us. But you can also join Zoom meetings with a regular landline phone; just dial the number and the access code. Our 1st Vice-Chair, Melody Risner, even showed us how to have 2-way audio when a computer doesn’t have a microphone: she joined by computer AND phone! That’s usin’ your noggin!
I want to give everyone plenty of chances to get familiar with Zoom prior to the April 2nd quarterly meeting. That way we can spend our meeting time being productive, rather than focusing on the platform. I’ve held two practices so far, and I’ll have two more before the quarterly meeting. Join us for a practice, or just try one of these links right now and start experimenting with Zoom on your own; you won’t harm anything, and you may learn something.
Zoom Practice #3
Sunday, March 29th, 2:00 PM: https://zoom.us/j/624562673
Dial-in: (669) 900-6833 Access Code: 624 562 673#
Zoom Practice #4 (Last practice before the meeting)
Tuesday, March 31st, 6:00 PM: https://zoom.us/j/247404885
Dial-in: (669) 900-6833 Access Code: 247 404 885#
What will we focus on at the quarterly meeting? Candidates! Our August Primary is going to be chock-full of Democrats, and they’ll all be seeking our endorsement. Endorsing a candidate means, among other things, that we can give them money. I’ll invite all candidates to give a 3-minute speech on why ICD should endorse them. Since there are 15 candidates, that’s potentially 45 minutes of our meeting time, not counting administrative time in between each. So settle in for an evening of listening to the candidates. Then we’ll proceed with conducting our other business as usual.
I hope to see or hear all of you online. Here’s the info:
Zoom ICD Quarterly Central Committee Meeting
Thursday, April 2nd, 6:00 PM: https://zoom.us/j/816759624
Dial-in: (669) 900-6833 Access Code: 816 759 624#
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay blue!