Sad news: Robert Porterfield has died. He will be greatly missed as a wonderful husband, father, friend, and a committed Democrat.

Hello all,

I learned last week that Robert Porterfield, our dear friend and Democratic Party brother, died on July 2. I had been thinking of him just a few days before. Thank you to Paul Berry for letting me know.

Robert had served as chair of both the 11th and 37th District Democrats. He was a Kennedy delegate to the 1980 Democratic National Convention. He was instrumental in helping a 25-year-old Helena Grant (now my wife, Helena Stephens) become a national Kennedy delegate as well.

I really got to know Robert during my first term as chair of the 37th LD Dems for 1999-2000. Robert was on the executive committee as a multi-term male representative to the State Party Central Committee. He served double duty as my parliamentarian, but more importantly as a close and private advisor whom I trusted without question. I was honored to succeed him as 37th LD male rep to the State Party Central Committee.

Robert worked for more than 20 years as an economist for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, primarily responsible for preparing the Medicaid forecast. During that time he commuted daily from Seattle to Olympia and back as a vanpool driver and rider. In addition to his service to the Democratic Party, Robert served a three-year term on the board of the Group Health Cooperative.

Helena and I spoke to Judy, his wife of 63 years, who told us that she and daughters Elaine and Karen were with him as he peacefully passed. Judy said, “It was like a candle that simply went out.” He leaves behind Judy, his daughters, and one grandchild.

In his 80+ years, Robert touched the lives of many. He will be fondly remembered as a strong and gentle man. Thank you, Robert, for enriching our lives with your presence. We are better for it. You will be remembered.

Our deepest condolences to Judy, Elaine & Karen.

Peace to you all.
Alec & Helena Stephens ✌🏾❤️

NOTE:  A memorial service for Robert will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 24 at the Lakewood Seward Park Community Club, 4916 S. Angeline St., Seattle 98118.

Above: Photo by Andres F. Uran on Unsplash

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As of April 15, all people in Washington age 16 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Check the King County website for the most current information on vaccines and appointments:


Transportation Resources
If you or someone you know is in need to transportation to a vaccination site, please see the COVID-19 Transportation Resources guide issued by the Washington State Department of Health. This document compiles transportation resources for communities and partners who have access barriers. This is a living document and may be updated as needed. Please feel free to contact info@37dems.org if you have information about resources that maybe missing from the guide. 

Links to Vaccine Locator website:

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A Statement in Condemnation of Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

Since January 2020, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has seen a dramatic increase in reports of hate crimes and violence in the U.S.. According to Stop AAPI Hate, more than 3,000 documented anti-Asian hate incidents occurred over the past year. Unfortunately, many cases are misclassified, ignored, or unreported. Seattle Police received more than 10 reports of anti-Asian hate crimes in the city in 2020, which is nine more than 2019 and six more than 2018. A recent example of this occurred during the week of February 15, 2021, in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. While walking through the neighborhood, an assailant attacked a young Asian woman and her partner, injuring both.  

During the tumultuous Trump Administration, Donald J. Trump and his Republican allies continued using inflammatory and racist language to misrepresent COVID-19. Such rhetoric  breeds divisiveness, inflames xenophobia, undermines the dignity and safety of Asian communities, and seeks to question the rights of all immigrants in our country.

The 37th LD Democrats proudly stand with the Asian American community as well as immigrant communities and communities of color in strongly condemning inflammatory, racist, and xenophobic rhetoric used to mischaracterize COVID-19 and disrespect the Asian community. Further, we strongly condemn violence of any kind. Advancing racial equity and economic inclusion for people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds is critical to guaranteeing the safety and security of everyone. President Biden’s Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States acknowledges the impact of hateful political rhetoric on our communities. However, much more must be done at both the local level and nationally to combat the vitriol unleashed by the Trump Administration, which continues to this day.

We encourage all members of the Puget Sound community to join us in promoting scientifically factual information about the virus, exhibiting cultural competence while discussing it, and creating an inclusive environment for everyone during this very difficult time.
The Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs has resources for reporting hate incidents (https://capaa.wa.gov/resources/report-hate-discrimination/) and for bystanders (https://capaa.wa.gov/bystander-resources/). Locally, the Chinatown-International District Community Watch is seeking support and volunteers and can be reached at www.facebook.com/groups/cidcommunitywatch.