A Warm Welcome in Eastern Washington’s 5th District

Washington's 5th district covers an enormous and diverse area, including Spokane, Walla Walla and 10 rural counties along the state's eastern border.  Former Speaker of the House Tom Foley represented this district in the “other” Washington for 30 years – the last Democrat to hold the position.  Now, Democratic candidate Lisa Brown is poised to topple Republican incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers.  Common Purpose registered voters there during Wave 1, and in the final weeks before midterms, are turning out the progressive vote. 

Common Purpose volunteers report a warm welcome in the 5th, with campaign staff and supporters opening their homes for those who need a place to stay.  “The staff have been amazingly supportive, helpful and friendly,” says Washington state Co-Chair Marty Jacobs.  “The campaign folks have been really happy and excited to have us.  It’s just a small, close-knit community.”  In addition to Brown’s campaign, they are also canvassing in support of Yes on 1631, the carbon emissions fee that will create jobs in clean energy.  

Marty relishes her work coordinating CP volunteers for the 5th.  She brings personal passion for Lisa Brown’s campaign, having worked alongside her in Olympia when Brown was a state representative.  “She’s remarkably smart and personable.  She was the first female Democrat to serve as Senate Majority Leader.  She’s an amazing leader, with deep roots in the community,” Jacobs remembers.  “I was a huge fan of hers, even back then.”

Most of the 25+ Common Purpose volunteers have headed to Spokane County, where 70% of voters in the district live – but some have canvassed in Walla Walla and even squeezed in a bit of wine tasting afterward.  “Those who are scheduled can expect to be very welcomed and well-prepped – and we go out in pairs,” mentioned volunteer Shelley Morrison.  “The most important thing to share is how grateful the Lisa Brown campaign is to have Common Purpose here.” 

Consider adding the 5th to your own canvassing plan before the midterms.  Marty hopes to send even more Common Purpose volunteers there in the next few weeks, in support of Lisa Brown and Yes on 1631.  Eastern Washington represents an opportunity to spread the blue wave in our own state - and support fellow progressives from across the mountains.  Shelley adds, “We’ve had beautiful days and crisp weather.  I encourage anyone interested to plan a trip here.” 

Written by Christena Coutsoubos