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2018 Weekend Dates and Summaries

This is the currently planned schedule for the IDF Class of 2018. Programming will be finalized closer to the dates. The topics listed below are representative of past programming and subject to change based on speaker availability. Final schedules will be emailed to the class about one week prior to the session. IDF program fellows are expected to miss no more than two weekends (not counting Washington, DC, which is optional) and are all expected to attend kickoff weekend.

  • Kickoff – January 5-7 (Friday evening – Sunday)
    This IDF session will be in Seattle and will begin with a kickoff reception Friday evening.

    • Program Overview
    • Preview of Basic Political Institutions & State Government
    • Breakout Session on Race and Social Justice
    • State Budget Simulations
    • Our speakers for this weekend have generally included:
    • State Democratic Party Chairs
    • State elected officials
    • Constitutional experts
    • Motivational speakers on the issues of race/social justice, leadership, and public service
    • Other political leaders who provide overviews on elections, state government and politics
  • Olympia – January 14-16 (Sunday – Tuesday)
    This IDF session focuses on Washington state government, state agencies, state elected officials, lobbying and policymakers. Programming may include:

    • Shadowing a state legislator
    • State executive elected officials and state agency directors
    • Lobbyist panel discussion
    • Tours of Washington Supreme Court
    • Bad Karaoke
    • We plan this weekend over MLK Jr Day, which is a holiday for most. However, this is a big day in Olympia as many activists, protestors, concerned residents and youth organizations plan their trips down to Olympia.
    • Accommodations: IDF will cover the cost of the hotel in Olympia for Monday evening as well as dinner for a panel discussion on Monday evening.
  • Puget Sound Weekend One – February 10-11 (Saturday – Sunday) 
    This IDF session, along with the other Puget Sound Weekends, focuses on local governments, Central Puget Sound issues, significant current issues impacting Washington state that are on the radar politically (including labor, education, transportation, housing, business, and health care), campaigns/elections. We pick two or three broad issues impacting the state and/or national politics to learn more about. Programming may include:

    • Tour of the Port of Tacoma and/or Tour of the Port of Seattle
    • Overview of Local Governments
    • Elected Officials from City of Seattle, King County, Port of Seattle and City of Tacoma
    • Simulations on local government
    • Speakers discussing issues relating to women’s health, education, transportation, human trafficking, healthcare, and taxation
    • Labor leaders panel discussing union history and the labor movement
    • Accommodations: The three Puget Sound weekends will be based in the Puget Sound area. These are not overnighters and hotels are NOT provided by IDF. If you are a remote IDF’er outside Central Puget Sound and need help being matched with some housing, let us know.
  • Clark County /  I-5 Corridor – February 23-25 (Friday night – Sunday)
    Spend full day in Vancouver / Clark County on Saturday then hit Cowlitz /  Lewis / Thurston issues on the way north on Sunday.
  • Puget Sound Weekend Two – March 10-11 (Saturday – Sunday)
    See topics listed in Puget Sound Weekend One.
  • Kitsap County / Puget Sound Weekend Three – March 24-25 (Saturday – Sunday) 
    IDF will spend one day in Kitsap County and one day learning about issues in the greater Puget Sound, including the region’s resource economy, logging, environmental issues, ferry transportation, tribal issues, and military issues. This is not an overnighter weekend.
  • SW Washington – April 13-15 (Friday night – Sunday) 
    This weekend IDF will travel to Pacific County and the rural, coastal region and its economy and politics.

    • Accommodations: We will spend two nights in Long Beach.


  • Central WA – April 27-29 (Friday night – Sunday )
    This IDF session focuses on the economics, politics and issues affecting Central Washington.  Programming may include:

    • Tour of a winery
    • Tour of a wind farm
    • Tour of apple or cherry orchard
    • Meetings with cattle ranchers and migrant farmer advocates
    • Discussion on water rights issues
    • Tour of a prison and talk with local law enforcement
    • Discussion of gun rights
    • Accommodations:
      Hotels will be provided both Friday and Saturday nights.


  • WASHINGTON, DC – May 8-12 (Tuesday night – Saturday) 
    The Washington, DC session is one of the highlights of IDF’s program. This is an optional trip, and missing it does not count against your attendance. Because of the content of the programming for DC, we HIGHLY recommend you attend, but understand it may be difficult for cost and work related reasons to participate (program fellows have fundraised in the past to cover travel costs). The dates may change based on the congressional calendar.

    • Programming Schedule: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of the week we are in Washington, DC.
    • Accommodations & Cost: IDF covers your Potlatch tickets and your hotels during your stay in DC. Plane tickets, transportation and food are your own responsibility. Hotel rooms will be covered Tuesday night through Friday night.
    • Programming may include:
    • Meetings with our Democratic delegation in Congress
    • Think tank speakers and policy makers
    • Tour of the Democratic National Committee’s HQ
    • Meetings at the White House
    • Brown bag lunch with national consultants, lobbyists and policymakers
    • Tour of Embassies
    • Meetings with Department Directors, NGO staffers, and committee staff
    • Meetings with veterans organizations
    • Tour of the Pentagon
  • Northwest WA Weekend – May 19-20 (Saturday – Sunday)
    This IDF session focuses on the economics, politics and issues affecting Northwest Washington.
    Programming may include: :

    • Skagit Valley Farmers and agricultural experts
    • Border patrol and immigration policy advocates
    • Coal terminals
    • Conservationist presentation
    • Accommodations: Hotels will be provided Saturday night and, depending on logistics, Friday night.
  • Eastern WA – June 1-3 (Friday night – Sunday)
    This IDF session focuses on the economics, politics and issues affecting Eastern Washington.  Official schedules will be emailed to the class about one week prior to the session.

    • Programming may include:
    • Meeting with Spokane business and elected leaders
    • Discussion on water rights issues
    • Tour of a prison and talk with local law enforcement
    • Discussion of gun rights
    • Homelessness and drug addiction
    • Accommodations: Hotels will be provided both Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Puget Sound Day Four and Graduation – June 16 (Saturday)
    One day of Programming (TBD)

    • Annual graduation ceremony/IDF alumni reunion.

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