APRIL 2024

Challenging Times and Opportunities Abound!!!

Elections 2024 have begun, and we all know there are some real challenges in the coming elections.  At the local level there are only county council races and a considerable number of legislative races. The state level has all the statewide races up for election and there are multiple candidates for every seat. The national level has Congressional, US Senate, and Presidential races. All these challenges offer opportunities and challenges. As we prepare for Election Season 2024, we can utilize these challenges as opportunities to organize and mobilize on behalf of Black and minority communities.

First Opportunity, the election of State Delegates to the Washington State Democratic Party Convention. Each legislative district held an election April 6th to elect their delegates to the Washington State Democratic Party Convention. There were a large number of minority candidates running for these seats. These individuals will get to elect delegates to the Democratic National Convention (DNC). More importantly they will get to vote on the Party Platform (Vision and Beliefs) of the Washington State Democratic Party. Their attendance will ensure that issues and concerns impacting communities of color are discussed and voted on.

Second opportunity, the election of legislators. This challenge provides us an opportunity to review the work and responsiveness of our current legislators to our issues and concerns. Based on their actions these past sessions we will make endorsements for them or their challengers for those seats. Look for more information about the endorsement process and timelines soon.

Third opportunity, Community Engagement and Outreach. All politics is local and impacts the residents of the community at the local level. This provides DDI an opportunity to register new voters and talk with residents and voters of the districts about issues and concerns important to them. From their Community, Candidate Forums are held so the residents and voters of the Legislative District can hear directly from the candidates what they know about and how they plan to address and resolve the concerns and needs of the community. Look for dates for community outreach and engagement events, voter registration drives, and the Community Candidate Forums.

Keep a look out for additional news on all of this in the near future as plans are finalized.


As DDI prepares for the coming election cycle we are also working to initiate various programs and activities. Our first project is to increase the number of young people engaged and involved in the political process. This youth program should begin prior to the end of the school year with voter registration drives of all graduates and plans form drives at the beginning of the school year this Fall.

Next, we plan to increase and expand our community outreach and engagement. We will work to increase the number of community partners in the different areas we have historically worked with in the past.

Additionally, we look to increase coordination of communities of color around common legislative issues and concerns and will work to increase and enhance communications with the correct proper authority/s to get responses and action.


Over the past few months DDI and DDI Members have been active representing the issues and concerns of minorities and communities of color. Below is a short listing of just some of the events and activities DDI has been present at:

MLK Day – DDI presented a Workshop entitled “Diversity in Action” Women’s Empowerment Workshop – DDI Sponsored and coordinated a workshop focused on women’s issues and concerns.

Voter information training detailing how to recognize and connect with issues that affect marginalized communities and work with community leaders, legislative districts and representatives bring about positive changes.

CBTU – Black History Month Program:

Focus on Black Labor Leadership. ”Black History Is Now!”

Moderated by Puget Sound Chapter CBTU President Cherika Carter who is also Sec-Treasurer of the WA State Labor Council, AFL-CIO   Panelists. April Sims WSLC President, Sean Bagsby, Principal Officer of IBEW Local 46, Janie White, Vice-President Washington Education Association, and Secretary  Treasurer of SEIU 1199 NW, Yolanda King-Lowe. Several DDI members were in attendance. Food and soft drinks were provided.


Each month at the DDI meeting leaders for various communities and/or elected officials attend and present updated information for DDI to respond and react to. These elected and community leaders answer questions posed by the DDI members. Often there are healthy conversations about issues and concerns and various suggestions and ideas about potential solutions or paths to resolution.

At the April m1eeting we had both King County Councilman Girmay Zahilay and Hamdi Mohamed, from the Port of Seattle. In the past several months we have had Sheley Secrest, Regional NAACP President; Dow Constantine, King County Executive; Monique Taylor-Swan Hospital District Commissioner; April Simms, Washington State Labor Council President; and many more. Look for more interesting presenters at the coming DDI General Membership Meetings.


DDI Members have been renewing their memberships over the last 2 months. Once they realized their membership had lapsed at the end of the calendar, they began renewing their membership. This week alone more than 6 people have renewed. In addition to renewals, there have been several first-time new members that have joined DDI.

Now is the time for YOU to RENEW their YOUR membership so you can participate in the endorsement process, as well as other activities and events DDI will be working on this Summer and Fall.

JOIN TODAY!!! The link to renew YOUR DDI Membership is Join DDIDEMOCRATS FOR DIVERSITY .



February is Black History Month. It originally began as Negro History Week by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1925. People first observed the event in February of 1926 during the week of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays. Over time, the celebration gradually became officially supported by the mayors of several American cities. The federal government formally adopted the occasion and expanded it to the entire month of February in 1976.

Black History is American History. There is NOT an era in American History where blacks did not play a role (Black History Milestones: Timeline | HISTORY) .  There is NOT a single industry, occupation, or economic endeavor where blacks have not made significant contributions. (List of African-American inventors and scientists – Wikipedia


DDI was created to ensure the voices of Black and minority communities are heard. DDI works to ensure the increase of Black and minority precinct committee officers (PCOs). DDI works to ensure the election of Black people and minorities so they can adequately represent their communities and the issues and concerns of those communities. DDI works to ensure the advocacy for issues and concerns impacting Black and minority communities are heard and addressed by elected officials at all levels of government, as well as, within the Democratic Party

“WE, DDI, will continue to fight to increase advocacy for Black and minority communities. DDI will continue to fight to make sure Black and minority voices are heard and their issues and concerns are addressed. DDI will continue to fight to increase the number of Black and minority elected officials and make sure the elected officials that represent Black and minorities communities are reflective of the communities they are elected to represent at all levels of government. DDI will continue to fight to make sure the Democratic Party stands up and reflects the diversity of the communities it represents and that it stands for and fights and advocates for issues and concerns impacting Black and minority communities,” said Clarence Gunn, DDI President.

He continued, “If these goals are something you believe should be happening in and for Black and minority communities then I encourage you to join the fight and Join DDI today. Black History happens every day in America. Join DDI today and become a part of a movement to make America responsive and reflective of ALL communities and addresses the concerns and needs of ALL.”

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr said it best in his “I Have a Dream” speech, I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”


Tuesday, March 12th each Party in the state of Washington will hold their Presidential Primary. The purpose of the Primary is to allow members of each party an opportunity express their preference for the person they wish to become President of the United States. In the Democratic Party the election results determine the allocation of committed delegates (based on the Primary Election results) that go to the National Democratic Convention where the Democratic Party officially nominates its candidate for President of the United States.


AS mentioned in the Presidential Primary article there will be delegates elected and sent to the National Democratic Party Convention. Delegates to the State Democratic Party Convention are a part of the process to elect the delegates to the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

The process for Democrats to run for State Delegate is quite simple they must register as a candidate for e State Delegate position from their local Legislative District. State delegates begin electing National Delegates from Congressional District and State level, ending with the Democratic Party Convention State

To become a State Delegate go to the following website to learn more and to register as a Candidate for State Delegate go to this link: Run for Delegate – Washington State Democratic Party (wademsdelegates.org)

If you need help or additional information about running as a State Delegate or a National Delegate attend one of these training sessions: Events from March 24 – February 4 › Delegate Candidates › Candidate Training › – Washington State Democratic Party (wademsdelegates.org)

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact Clarence Gunn, Azziem Underwood, or your local legislative District Chair. Azziem and Clarence are on the State Democratic Party Black Caucus working to increase minority representation and are here to help.


January and February have been busy months for DDI members and Leaders. Below is a brief list of some of the activities and events they have participated in on behalf of DDI:

January 15th MLK Day Garfield HS, Seattle – DDI and CIRCC jointly presented a workshop “Diversity in Action.” 

January 27th – Washington State Democratic Party Central Committee Meeting and Training, Bellingham, WA – Clarence Gunn, DDI President, Azziem Underwood, Andrew Ashiofu, and Lisa Weber attended meeting and Training sessions.

February 8th – Federal Way Black Collective, Zoom, Federal Way – DDI participated in Community Forum.

February 10th – Renton Technical College, Renton, WA – DDI and CIRCC attended and hosted an informational table at the Renton Black History event.

February 11th – King County Democrats Campaign 2024 Kick-Off Machinist Hall, S. Seattle – DDI leaders and members attended this campaign Kick Off rally.

February 19th – African American Legislative Day. Olympia, WA – DDI Leaders and Members attended legislative lobbying activities in Olympia.


Major Activities DDI will be involved in over the next 2 months will be focused on

  • Working to increase Black and minority participation in the Democratic Party in preparation for the coming elections Summer and Fall 2024.
  • Recruiting, assisting, and supporting Black and minority Candidates running for State Delegate. Election on April 6th.
  • Working with Black and minority community groups and organizations to avert major negative impact as the result of potential budget shortfalls by city and county governments.

DDI QUICK CALENDAR (Up to Date events/activities check Facebook page (insert address here)

            March 2nd– Poor People’s Campaign – Legislative Activities in Olympia

            March 4th – DDI General Membership Meeting 7:00p.m. zoom

            March 12th – Presidential Primary Election

– Return YOUR Ballot No Later than this date.

            March 31st Last day to become a member of your Legislative District to be run or for National Delegate.

            April 1st – DDI General Membership Meeting, 7:00p.m. Zoom

            April 6th – State Delegate Elections – Hosted by State Democratic Party –

ONLY Local Legislative Members (by March 31st) get to vote electronically.

Vote for Your Legislative District Candidates running for State Delegates.

DDI Advocacy Alert October 2023

Presidents message – Boots to the Booth

It is October and General Election campaigns are running in high gear. There are candidates running for city council across the region. There are campaign events and functions where you can meet and talk to the candidates to determine which candidate best understands and represents you and your communities’ interests. There are a series of candidate forums for these races. Please look for additional information about these events and other opportunities to meet and talk with candidates. DDI will post events and activities as we become aware on our Facebook page.

It is key that you take advantage of these advantages to learn more about the candidates to see how they represent you. Be ready to vote. Confirm you are registered to vote. You can check your registration status by going to My Voter Information – King County. You can register to vote by going to Register to vote – King County, Washington.

Look for YOUR Ballot in your mail. Ballots are being mailed out October 18 th . Be sure to return Your ballot. You can mail it via US Mail, or you can drop it off at Ballot Boxes located throughout King County. The locations of these ballots are found at this link:
Ballot drop boxes – King County, Washington.

Please be sure to vote and Return YOUR Ballot in No Later than November 7 th , but it is best to vote prior to then to be sure your ballot gets postmarked or in a ballot box, so it counts.

YOUR VOTE is YOUR VOICE!!! Use Your Voice and VOTE!

Candidate Forum series
Candidate Forums are being set up across the region. Look at the DDI Facebook page for exact dates, times, and locations for forums in Federal Way, Kent, Renton, and Seattle. Check your local newspapers and community blogs for additional information as well.

National Voter Registration Day
National Voter Registration Day was September 25 th . DDI and other community partners supported activities and events to get more people registered to vote. It is not too late to register to vote for this year’s elections. You can register online at Register to vote – King
County, Washington.

You can register up to election day, but it is best to register in advance, so you get your ballot mailed to you. Young people can register at age 16 although they cannot vote until the elections after their 18 th birthday. Do not delay – Register today.

Seattle Democracy Vouchers
Democracy Vouchers are certificates Seattle residents can give to the candidate of their choice to support that candidates campaign. These vouchers are available to any Seattle resident over the age of 18. Please find your vouchers and use them to support the candidate of your choice. For more information about the Seattle Democracy Voucher please go to Information for Seattle Residents – DemocracyVoucher | seattle.gov
If you can’t find your voucher you can get a replacement voucher at this link Request Replacement Democracy Vouchers – DemocracyVoucher | seattle.gov.
Happy Vouchering!

PCO Training and Support
One of DDIs goals is to support and assist PCOs in their role of supporting and representing their communities. DDI is already in the planning stage of preparing a variety of ways to support and assist PCOs as they prepare for the 2024 election cycle.

DDI will be preparing PCOs for the future opportunities in 2024 including, but not limited to, the Presidential Primary, National Delegates selection, Democratic National Convention, and of course Elections 2024.

Keep an eye out for these events and activities to support you in your role as a community activist and leader and PCO.

DDI Membership Campaign
Look for some exciting information and opportunities to become a DDI member and become an active representative of your community. At DDIs monthly meetings we have a series of presenters that provide our members with the latest information and trainings to help them be up to date and have tools and resources to do their job as a
representative better.

As a member you have access to elected officials, party leaders, and policy decisions makers on a regular basis. If there are community issues of matters of concern these are often discussed at DDI meetings, and we work with and partner with community organizations to help create solutions.

If members have issues or concerns, they want to see addressed we discuss those and determine the best path to move forward on those. If members have someone with resources and valuable information, they think will help them they can let us know and
we will see if this person or organization can come and make a presentation at DDI.

JOIN DDI Today and be prepared for the coming year. You can join DDI by going to Join  DDI – DEMOCRATS FOR DIVERSITY (democratsfordiversityandinclusion.org)

DDI Newsletter July 2023

Presidents Message

A 4th of July Reflection and A Call to Action

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.” 

While these words are stirring, they did not include the slaves in America, as evidenced by the recent celebration of Juneteenth, when slaves in the South finally found out they were free in 1865, more than 100 years after the Declaration of Independence. The lives of the slaves were not their own, but rather were property. There was no liberty and no opportunity to pursue happiness.

Fast forward to today, while liberty has been won, each day there are instances that show the direct denial of the right to life due to daily assault and attacks resulting in injury and deaths of Black people and minorities. While freedom has been won, the opportunity to pursue happiness has been denied by redlining, inferior quality schools, inadequate healthcare systems, lack of access to capital, and other measures, rules, legislation, etc. to restrict and limit black. These directly impacted Black people in America reducing their Opportunity to pursue happiness.

That the Bad – The Good I that no there are Primary Elections that can change the elected officials and force them to address and resolve the matters and concerns that impact Black, brown, and other historically neglected communities. Read the article about the importance of the Primary Elections being held August 1t. Be sure to return YOUR Ballot to make YOUR VOICE count and is heard!!

Look for several exciting opportunities to get involved beyond the Primary Elections to increase the power and impact of our communities! The Communities must ban together to overturn and address the recent travesties and actions.

Become a DDI Member today and stay tuned for updates!!!

Primary Election Endorsements (AZ)

who did them (id team), what was process (brief overview of requirements and process), why endorsements matter (why do we do endorsements), and who DDI endorsed (send to website)

DDI Endorsements

DDI’s Endorsement Committee made multiple recommendations that were approved by the membership. City, county, and judicial races were considered covering Seattle, King County Council, Port of Seattle, and other cities across King County.

For the complete list of endorsed candidates go to the DDI website. 2023 DDI CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS – DEMOCRATS FOR DIVERSITY (democratsfordiversityandinclusion.org)

DDI Was There – DDI members have been active across the region representing DDI in numerous community events and activities. The response has been overwhelming.

At the May Washington State Democratic Party Committee Members meeting DDI members advocated for a responsive and equitable plan for the election of delegates to the National Democratic Convention. DDI members will be following the implementation of this plan closely to ensure the election of representative delegates from Washington to the National Democratic Party Convention. DDI Had a table at this State Party meeting and there was a huge interest in the work of DDI.

At the Juneteenth event in Renton DDI members registered more than a dozen new voters and passed out literature about DDI membership.

In July, DDI members were active and attended several Community Candidate Forums to provide the voters in different regions of Seattle and the County opportunities for local voters to hear directly from candidates running for local city council races.

Later this July, DDI Members will be active in the Primary Election campaigns of the endorsed candidates, supporting them with community outreach and engagement activities as well as Ballot return activities.

What have you been doing this summer to increase diversity and inclusion? DDI wants to know so we can acknowledge your work and support and assist you in these efforts. Let us know by sending us photos and background information about your actions. We will highlight them in coming editions of the Advocacy Alert.

New Website – The DDI Website has been revised and updated, thanks to the hard work and leadership of Yvonne Brandon. DDI members supported these efforts and provided feedback.

Check it out at www.democratsfordiversityandinclusion.org.

Please send us your ideas and suggestions for content. The website is a work in progress and needs your thoughts and ideas to meet your needs.

Member Spotlight – Who? What? and why a member of DDI?

Time for Membership – request for action and membership (with correct link to membership form)