Volunteers of the month

Martin B. (November, 2023)

Our volunteer of the month for November literally protects democracy every day, at least within our organization. Our IT rockstar, Martin B., generously works “under the hood” to secure our website, our process for voting on endorsements and other decisions, and our overall meeting infrastructure. He keeps us safe from all kinds of bad actors, whether overseas or local yokels who would disrupt our online discourse. As the need arises, Martin also leaves his ivory tower to serve as “boots on the ground,” whether waving signs on a street corner or helping assemble a booth at the last minute for a community festival. We could never thank him enough for his contributions, but we can put our gratitude in writing (or at least pixels) for everything he’s done to safeguard our technological estate, often with a gentle twinkle in his eye.

Eric D. (October, 2023)

Our volunteer of the month for September is our treasurer, Eric D. Eric keeps a relatively low profile in meetings but, more than almost anyone, he both understands and epitomizes the phrase “Still waters run deep.” Eric not only prepares and presents our annual budget but also monitors and guides our financial decisions throughout the year to ensure that we remain viable, vibrant, and on the right side of campaign-finance regulations. His profound expertise is matched by his friendly, respectful patience in the face of our many questions, from the super-basic to the eye-glazingly detailed. We treasure Eric’s commitment, and we honor his ongoing and invaluable contributions this month and every month.

Elliot P. (September, 2023)

Elliot P. supports our organization by crunching numbers to ensure that key decisions are rooted in current, cold, hard facts rather than assumptions and opinions, no matter how entrenched or well-intentioned. We frequently rely on his due diligence and detail-orientation to help us separate the necessities from the “nice to haves.”

In addition to serving as our first vice chair and our membership chair, Elliot excels at Excel, pulling data out of VoteBuilder, redistricting maps, and election results down to the precinct level. He also massages and presents that information in a way that’s coherent and legible even to non-statisticians. Elliot is a great example of how our organization needs volunteers who can leverage diverse skill sets in service of putting and keeping Democrats in elected offices.

Tim N. and Jessica S. (August, 2023)

Tim has been a champion for conservation, responsible land use, and progressive Democratic politics for decades in the Snoqualmie Valley. A retired IBEW Electrician, Tim carries the union values of teamwork and solidarity throughout his work in the 5th LD and beyond. Among his many responsibilities, he currently serves as a Board Member for the Meadowbrook Farm Preserve; as a State Committee Member, representing the 5th at the State Party; and as Western Vice-Chair for the Washington State Progressive Caucus. If that wasn’t enough, Tim is also currently in the lead in his race for Si View Metropolitan Park District Commissioner (Pos 1), and he can tell you anything you might want to know about the elk herd that lives at Meadowbrook!

He is doing incredible work within the state party’s Advocacy committee, focusing on fighting bad Republican policy, and advocating for our elected officials to uphold the values espoused in the state party’s guiding documents – the platform and charter. Much of his work in the state party is centered around leaving a strong foundation for the next generation of Democrats to fight for progressive policy.

Tim is an adventurer; he loves road trips with his family, and being out in nature – he is a tireless advocate for animals, the environment, and his community. We are so lucky to have him representing us in the 5th! Thank you, Tim!

Jessica Soderman serves as the chair of the state party’s progressive caucus, working on plans for endorsements and advocacy. She’s also in her third term on the state committee and, outside of the 5th LD, works with Headcount and similar organizations to register voters at festivals and concerts.

Jessica lives in Preston, where her family has lived for six generations. As her day job, Jessica works at Microsoft as a program manager; when she’s not working, you can find her planning her next road trip or Dave Matthews concert.

Events Committee (July, 2023)

Beth B., Kathleen H., Roger L., and KC S. became co-chairs of the Events committee earlier this year and have put countless hours of work into making sure that the 5th Dems have an outstanding presence at every local festival in our district! They have come up with new ideas to engage the public at our booths (the Wheel of Fortune has been an especially big hit), created displays for candidate signs, and motivated members of the 5th to help staff the booths and parades. And they’ve done all this while balancing not only family and work responsibilities but also other volunteer roles in the 5th Dems!

Johna T. (June, 2023)

Johna contributes to our organization and community in myriad ways. She is consistently incredible as our Communications Chair, keeping our entire membership informed of our activities, events, and opportunities through multiple communication channels. She is a generous and gracious host, opening her beautiful home for multiple membership events. She is an invaluable part of our candidate support infrastructure, partnering with our Endorsements Committee Chair to help endorsed candidates with the logistics and process of being a candidate, which is so important to growing a community of public servants who share our Democratic values. We are a much better organization because we have Johna on our team!

Jenn A. (May, 2023)

Jenn is a great example of an engaged member of the 5th Dems. She shows up at meetings, serves on the endorsement committee, supports the endorsed candidates and helps them get elected. She has helped U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier as an active volunteer on Kim’s campaign. Jenn states she enjoys making phone calls for Dr. Kim. (We think she needs to teach us her secret to phone banking!)

She’s also involved in her community of Maple Valley, embodying our democratic values by being involved in the community and supporting local school board elections, school bonds, and levies.

Beth B. (April, 2023)

Beth is a pillar of all of our 5th Dems community. We are lucky to have her leadership, strength, wisdom, compassion, and determination, wrapped in a beautiful smile, wicked brilliance, and grace.

In addition to her years of service with the 5th Dems as a stellar fundraiser, volunteer organizer, and our current Endorsements Chair, Beth also works with King County Democrats on their endorsement committee. This work, which often requires long meetings, has really helped the 5th Dems bolster our processes and interviews.

Jesse W. (March, 2023)

We recognized Jesse as a volunteer who’s dependable, humble, and helpful in a variety of ways. Jesse shows up to walk in parades, helps at event booths, and serves on the endorsement committee. He’s been a dependable volunteer in our organization for several years, and we appreciate all the ways–big and small–he participates with the 5th Dems. 

Roger L. (November, 2022)

Roger was recognized for his tireless work to help get Democrats elected by communicating with others the important differences between Democrats and Republicans through his social-media posts and letters to the editor. Roger serves as our representative to King County Democrats and is an invaluable member of the endorsement committee. We are grateful for the time and passion he gives to help get good, qualified candidates who share our democratic values elected to office.

Mary W. (June, 2022)

We are so fortunate to have the amazing leadership of Mary as the chair of the 5th! She has been at the helm, doing an amazing job of navigating our virtual meetings, including our virtual caucus in March. She is the chair of our delegation to the state Democratic convention later this month and, as such, oversaw a complicated process to amend the platform. Mary leads by example, showing up for candidates – making phone calls and knocking on doors. And she leads with grace – encouraging everyone to remember we are all volunteers who are doing our best. We wish this award came with a big check or a monumental statue – but alas, it simply comes with our gratitude! 

Beth B. (May, 2022)

Beth was recognized for her extraordinary efforts in chairing the endorsement committee. From setting the meetings, coordinating the candidates and committee members – she does it seamlessly and makes it look easy. She supports the efforts of the 5th Dems in so many other ways — walking the walk by doorbelling, donating, and encouraging the rest of us to come along with her for the win!