Yelm Democratic Caucus, Yelm Middle School
Steve Klein, Caucus Coordinator reads the rules
Photo credit: Sonya El Debssi
– Yelm precincts score historic turn-out to Caucus for their candidates
The excitement, passion and enthusiasm was palpable as voters from 17 Yelm-area precincts and 7 precincts in Pierce County (i.e. Roy, McKenna) gathered for the Democratic Caucus to select delegates for candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to be the party’s nominee for President of the United States. Steve Klein (this blog’s host) was the Democrats Area Caucus Coordinator (ACC) and convened the precincts at their designated tables approx. 10am. That provided an opportunity for voters and neighbors of those areas to introduce themselves to each other and get situated where they needed to be prior to the Caucus formally beginning at 10:30am.
Klein gave an opening welcome noting this Easter weekend is very apropos for the Washington Caucus, which represents the hope of Spring and a rebirth into a new future – and the interest in this Caucus is no different in our Presidential candidate selection. After leading the Caucus in the Pledge of Allegiance, Klein introduced Sonia Pena, Myra Pena and Zander Layden in a beautiful rendition of America The Beautiful, noting the talent we are so fortunate to have in our midst right here in Yelm. Klein asked for a show of hands of the 471 participants plus observers gathered as to how many were attending their first Caucus, which clearly reflected most all were, perhaps as many as 90% of the group [Ed. Note: Yelm caucuses usually get 50 participants]. Klein then read the rules and a letter from WA State Dems Chair Jaxon Ravens. Then Precinct Chairs were selected by each precinct collective, a Secretary and Tally Clerk chosen by the respective Precinct Chairs, and then the hall was filled with a cacophony of discussions about each candidate, the process, procedures, applause, cheers and excitement, all while maintaining civility, which was wonderful to observe. Klein referenced this is the democratic process at work right down to the grassroots level in our communities.
Once the precinct tallied their votes, designated their delegates and turned-in their packets to be counted, that precinct was adjourned and participants were free to leave. Most of the precincts had concluded their business by 12:30pm. Yelm designated 56 Sanders delegates and 7 Clinton delegates. The Yelm Caucus was complimented on being so organized by the people staffing the Hillary for President table, and added they had been traveling the country and had not seen such a large crowd handled so well!
– Sanders sweeps Washington Caucuses by almost 3-to-1 margin!
[Final: Sanders = 72.7%, Clinton = 27.1%]
“Bernie Sanders Wins Washington State and Alaska Democratic Caucuses, NBC News Projects”
“Looking to find any ground to chip away at Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s wide delegate lead, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders scored decisive wins Saturday in the Washington state and Alaska caucuses, NBC News projects.”
“‘OK, are you ready for a news alert? We just won the state of Washington!’ Sanders told the crowd to cheers and applause. ‘That is what momentum is about.’
‘So don’t let anybody, don’t let anybody tell you we can’t win the nomination or win the general election — we’re going to do both of those things,’ Sanders said,” quoting Carrie Dann, NBC News.
– “Bird lands on Sanders’ podium during Portland [Oregon] rally”
From CNN, rally held March 25, 2016.
Click here for the video.
As Yelm’s Democratic Area Caucus Coordinator (ACC), I would like to extend my sincere thanks and deep appreciation for all of the volunteers who gave so freely and cheerfully of their time and energy, the Thurston County Democrats, and candidates’ volunteers. Also appreciate the assistance of Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil sending Patrol Sergeant Adam Wood to oversee the traffic flow on arterial streets, and Yelm School’s Superintendent Andy Wolf and his staff in the District Office (Lisa) and at Yelm Middle School (Paul and Suzanne) for insuring the facility was properly set-up for such a large group. Everyone was fantastic. – Steve Klein
Yelm Democratic Caucus, Yelm Middle School
Photo credit: Dave Champagne
Rainer Caucus led by Area Coordinator John Marley
Photo credit: Rory Sagner Photography & Fine Art,
award-winning Yelm-area photographer.
Rainer Caucus, Michael Savoca, former Rainier Schools Board Director leads discussion
Photo credit: Rory Sagner Photography & Fine Art, award-winning Yelm-area photographer.
Michael Savoca was an advisor to the Campaign for Mayor of Yelm by Steve Klein in 2005.
Post a comment
Steve: I was so pleased to have you host us today…the host w/ the most!
All information was clear and everything was “in order…” your hallmark.
Thank you to all of the volunteers. I get a 2nd bite at the next one.
I have been active in politics of one kind or another for many years. This was the first Democratic caucus I have ever attended. I congratulate Mr. Klein and all his volunteers for holding such an organized smoothly run event. There must have been 500 or more participants crammed into the school’s cafeteria. Yet, it was very orderly and well planned. Thank you for a wonderful experience.
I would like to point out as a PCO for my precinct that the caucus was a complete chaotic mess. Steve Klein wasted time reading letters and having people sing when he could have been instructing the PCO’s (most who were on the spot nominated) on how to proceed with the caucus. Volunteers spent over an HOUR afterwards trying to sort out the packets which were a mess because the instruction sheet / script for the PCO was so badly written that many precincts didn’t hand out their delegate slips to the delegates! And Steve, when this was brought to his attention, stood there harassing the volunteers stating “I’m not responsible”. He was also constantly pushing for people to just ignore the mistakes and leave because the school was booked for a certain amount of time, instead of helping out to make things go faster! I don’t think people understand that IF the delegates do not show up for the next two rounds (April 17th and May 1st) than their votes don’t count and all of that time spent at the caucus will be wasted. The scene itself was loud, confusing and cramped. 14 precincts were crammed into one room, each at a single table. The noise in the room alone obstructed progress not to mention the fact that most people had no idea how a caucus worked. Because most precincts did not have a PCO someone at their table had to volunteer for the job. WE KNEW this would be the case yet Steve did not take the opportunity to give some extra instruction for these brave souls before the caucus began. I also witnessed Steve toss all the packets out on the tables prior to the caucus beginning. No explanation was given during his little “speech” as to how to use these packets, or how important giving the delegate slips to the delegates was! As volunteers worked tirelessly to organize and get the final tally, Steve stood around pressuring them to hurry up. As ACC, Steve takes on a very important responsibility to ensure the caucus process goes smoothly and without mistakes! Yet it was quite apparent to myself and many others he had better things to do. The democratic party needs to take a SERIOUS look at how they organize these caucuses and who they allow to be ACC.
Funny I posted a comment and it seems to be gone… perhaps you should change this to “Post a comment and I will keep it if I like it”
By submitting a comment you grant Yelm Community Blog a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate and irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin’s discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.