Ballot hasn’t arrived? Need a replacement? Call the Whatcom County Auditor
And if you like pictures:
Wrench art by Kjersten Hayes
Ballot hasn’t arrived? Need a replacement? Call the Whatcom County Auditor
And if you like pictures:
Wrench art by Kjersten Hayes
“What we do not say, what we do not talk about, allows the status quo to continue.”
-Stephanie Wildman, Making Systems of Privilege Visible
Engaging in frank discussions of race and race-based issues is often a delicate task, requiring participants to recognize their status and privileges (or lack thereof) concerning another in a differently situated group. Many people remain ill-equipped with the skills necessary to navigate these encounters constructively. Discussions about race and racism need to be carefully crafted to resonate with people’s own experiences. Race, white supremacy, sexuality, and other aspects of an intersectional analysis may be perceived as too abstract if they are not presented in a manner to which participants can relate and connect.
Let’s Talk is about obtaining the foundational skills to explore better ways to connect with each other by engaging in deep listening and transformative dialogue about issues that divide us. Participants will learn to “see,” talk about, and be self-reflexive about race and racism, power and privilege, which can be both jarring and liberating.
Often, however, this transformation takes time. Nothing bridges the divide between race and culture like informed dialogue that’s grounded in shared understanding.
In the first hour, Gerry Ebalaroza-Tunnell and Ashanti Monts-Treviska will share their stories about race and racism, and power and privilege. Participants will then reflect on their own comfort level when talking about race and distinguish between intent and impact and reflect on what it means to enjoy or have a lack of privilege.
In the second hour, participants we will gather in a talking circle to debrief about what was learned and the takeaways to engage in transformative dialogue. In the last half hour, participants will be introduced to “Is Everyone Really Equal?” book club and receive a coupon for the book. To continue the dialogue on race and privilege, and perpetuate cohesive communities, participants will be asked to form book club groups with people having a different profile than their own.
SIGN UP TODAY!
ASL interpretation will be provided. Please email us at email@example.com if you need other accommodations.
For more information on Gerry and Ashanti, below are their very impressive bios. Having the opportunity to get to know them both, I have found that they are fantastic people to have in your life, and like me, you will be better for knowing them.
Gerry Ebalaroza-Tunnell is the founder and mastermind behind Co3 Consulting: Co-Creating Cohesive Communities.
She is a dynamic instructor and facilitator who demonstrates that the best gift we can give ourselves and others is the practice of resilience; our ability to promote positive emotional perceptions and manage our stress-induced reactions.
A certified trainer of the Institute of HeartMath’s Resilience Advantage Program, a graduate from Antioch University’s Masters of Whole Systems Design and currently a Doctoral student in Transformative Studies and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Gerry understands the importance of co-creating change and the dialogue of learning together. She believes that through systemic thinking and daily practice of resilience, we can move towards cultivating an environment of cohesiveness and synchronicity.
To add to her list of credentials, Gerry holds Graduate Certificates in Systems Thinking and Design, Integrated Skills for Sustainable Change, and Permaculture Design.
Ashanti Monts-Tréviska is the co-founder and the creative visionary of Cascadia Deaf Nation, a For Profit Social Enterprise of Deaf Black Indigenous People of Color (DBIPOC*) where it focuses on bringing creative solutions to dismantle socio-economic and social injustices through its transformative cooperative model. Ashanti demonstrates that Deafhood is the first step to bringing transformative narratives into co-creating collaborative relationship between Deaf and Hearing communities. Through this understanding, she offers spiritual insights on activism, human connection, the meaning of community, and education, and believes in the creative arts of deep listening and communication to convey the need to transform human connections.
Ashanti holds Master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology and Certificate in Spiritual Psychology from Sofia University and is currently a Doctoral student in Transformative Studies and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She enjoys coloring mandalas and writing poems as her meditative hobbies. She jogs frequently and is always unpredictable when it comes to her leisure activities.
Ashanti understands that deep change has to start at the individual level before the actual changes reach the community level based on her current transformative activism framework model. She seeks to reframe and transform current reductive worldviews of Deaf people globally.
September 23rd: Doorbelling for RC-endorsed candidates in collaboration with Whatcom Wins
October ?: Doorbelling AMA
Here’s the Lummi Nation’s ask for support (plus one RC ask, #3) in responding to the Cooke Aquaculture farmed fish release near Cypress Island.
Call Governor Inslee
Hi, my name is _____ and I live in ______, Washington.
I’m calling to ask Governor Inslee to do three things:
1. Join the Lummi Nation in declaring a State of Emergency in response to the Cooke Aquaculture release of farmed Atlantic salmon near Cypress Island.
2. Coordinate recovery efforts immediately
3. Direct WA State employees to name Cooke Aquaculture in all media and documentation, and omit the company-contrived eclipse story, which is intentional misdirection.
On Saturday August 19th, a Cooke Aquaculture pen containing Atlantic salmon failed, and released more than 300,000 farmed fish into the Salish Sea near Cypress Island. The company, inexplicably, blamed the eclipse, though actual data show that tidal currents had been higher in previous days and in every other month of the year. This is not the first such release, and yet there are no alert systems or back-up systems for this kind of situation. Lummi Nation is responding, but wants the State’s support.
Riveters Collective values a fair and compassionate justice system with decisions informed by data and community process. This is the community’s jail and should reflect our values. Acknowledging that Whatcom County’s existing jail requires upgrades at a minimum, we see an opportunity to implement a bold new vision. We expect and will support our elected officials in casting risky votes toward these ends.
We express our gratitude to county council members Todd Donovan, Barry Buchanan and Ken Mann for voting against sending an incomplete and costly jail proposal to the November ballot. The work of the Vera Institute of Justice and the Incarceration and Reduction Task Force is not complete, and while we don’t yet know what size our jail should be, in a recent email regarding the size of the proposed jail Vera wrote, “Using the correct population, one would arrive at a number more than 30 percent smaller.” That underscores a need to wait until the work is complete before developing a plan.
We are disappointed that county council member Rud Browne moved to put this costly jail on the ballot, and council members Carl Weimer, Barbara Brenner, and Satpal Sidhu voted in favor. The two council members who invested the most time into finding solutions, Donovan and Buchanan, argued forcefully for waiting and stated clearly that this proposal isn’t ready and will fail again in November. Their hard work was ignored in favor of haste.
We are disappointed that city councilmembers Michael Lilliquist, Pinky Vargas, Gene Knutson, Terry Bornemann and Roxanne Murphy voted for the Jail Funding Use Agreement (JFUA). This vote was premature; we expect a thoughtful, data-driven solution for our justice system. As citizens we are certain you have more power than you believe and wish you would have used your positions to urge the county to find a better approach. Given a choice between joining a poorly-researched project which perpetuates the prison industrial complex or declining to join and pursuing our own solution, we are ready to stand alone. At it’s core, the JFUA is a regressive sales tax that takes up 100-percent of our public safety tax capacity for the next 30 years. We also acknowledge that you each struggled with this decision, and we heard your statements as you voted yes — that you believed this was the best deal you could get for Bellingham in order to put some – albeit limited – funds into diversion programs. We thank city councilmembers April Barker and Dan Hammill for clearly expressing our shared values.
This year, Riveters Collective will work to defeat the jail ballot measure and will take pride in our work to find a better, more equitable path for justice in our community. We see better solutions on the horizon:
We believe that if we agree to put $110 million into a large jail in Ferndale, plus another $30-million for a sheriff’s office, that there will be insufficient funds for treatment, robust and effective diversion, or for re-entry into the community. Those are the very programs that make us safer. The proposed jail size, potential for expansion, distance from the courthouse, and proximity to Border Patrol are concerns. We will push for a serious look at either a smaller, less expensive jail or renovating our downtown jail.
Simply put, we believe that spending 100-percent of our public safety tax capacity for the next 30 years on a jail is not an investment in hope, but instead builds a legacy of despair. We stand ready to work with all of our elected officials on an equitable and comprehensive justice system after this ballot measure fails in November. Our goal will be an equitable, fair and less-costly solution that we can all support with pride.
The Riveters Collective Board of Directors
***Co-sign our letter below.***
Lisa Van Doren
Stephen W. Jackson
Bette C Williams
Helen E. Moran
Link to the Riveters Collective Calendar
Every Monday: Attend a vigil hosted by C2C and Keep Bellingham Families Working between 11:30a.m.-1:30p.m. or 5:00p.m. in front of City Hall. Show the powers that be that you stand by our undocumented workers and anyone else running afoul of ICE. Let the officials know it’s not alright to tear families apart!
Monday, June 19, 2017 at 7:00p.m.: Attend the Bellingham City Council meeting, sign in to speak during Open Session, and ask that they vote NO on the Jail Funding Agreement. More info here.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 from 6:30-8:00p.m.: Join a forum “Fund the solutions, price the pollution: The future of climate policy in Washington state” with the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy on a statewide policy initiative for 2018 to reduce carbon emissions and build a clean energy future while supporting impacted communities and a just transition for workers. The event will be held at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St., Bellingham. For more information, click on the link above for the RC calendar or visit Facebook.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 from 8:30-10:00p.m.: Join a session of Ask Me Anything with Ross Cohen from All in for Action to help us understand how fixing our tax code would solve many problems in our state. To learn how to participate, please visit the RC calendar (link above) or visit Facebook.
Sunday, June 25, 2017 from noon-3:00p.m.: June is Orca Month in the Pacific Northwest. For the whole month, we celebrate one of our region’s most iconic wildlife species — and work to make sure that they will still be here in the future. Come together for a family-friendly outdoor picnic and community event to protect our Southern Resident Orcas and the Salish Sea! Join a group to walk, bike or paddle to Boulevard Park (470 Bayview Dr., Bellingham, WA) for kite building and other family-friendly activities, refreshments, live music and a short program of incredible speakers. Please visit Facebook for more details.
Ward 4: Pinky Vargas
Ward 6: Michael Lilliquist
At-large: Roxanne Murphy
Position 4: Jenn Mason
Position 5: Douglas W. Benjamin
District 1: Michael Alvarez Shepard
District 2: Barry Wenger
District 1: Rud Browne
District 2: Todd Donovan
District 3: Rebecca Boonstra
At-large: Barry Buchanan
We have a cheat sheet for you! Click on the image below to download a shareable image for social media.
Want to know a little more about these candidates and why we chose them? Click here to read their questionnaire responses, along with the responses of several other candidates whom we interviewed.
Cover photo credit: Kjersten Hayes
The RC sent endorsement questionnaires to candidates on 19 May 2017. Our endorsement committee is still hard at work, building rubrics for evaluation of responses and scheduling interviews. You can see the questions linked below.
Dates will be added and linked as they are confirmed.
*AMA stands for Ask Me Anything. The candidate has agreed to take questions on the thread at the designated time. This is an online chat.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Elizabeth Hartsoch, Riveters Collective, 1-360-305-5624
Statement: Pick a job, Senator Ericksen.
WHATCOM COUNTY, WASHINGTON — Today the Washington State Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee held a hearing on HB 1001 and Senator Ericksen was in attendance. HB 1001 is a technical bill updating the payment schedule for utility easements on state owned aquatic lands. It passed the House 97-0 and is now being considered in the Senate. But Senator Erickson has introduced a major amendment which would overturn state protection of Cherry Point.
The amendment language mirrors that from one of his failed senate bills, a bill for which he was the sole sponsor, and missed the hearing because he was at his full-time job in Washington, D.C. – unsurprising since Senator Ericksen has missed more than three quarters of his committee hearings this year.
Citizens and elected Tribal leaders, however, showed up in force to the January 24th hearing in the Senate Natural Resources and Park Committee. Citizens and Tribal leaders opposing the bill filled the hearing room and an overflow room. Tribal leaders spoke in opposition and not a single person signed in to support overturning protections of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.1
In response to this renewed attempt to open the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve to industrial development, local activists with the Riveters Collective issued the following Statement:
“Our message was clear at the hearing in January – we want state protection for the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve,” said Elizabeth Hartsoch with the Riveters Collective and a resident of the 42nd Legislative District. “Unfortunately, our Senator was in D.C. at his other job. Nobody – not even Senator Ericksen – signed in to support his attempt to overturn protection of the Cherry Point Aquatic reserve, and it failed to advance out of committee. Today Senator Ericksen flew back from DC to try again to open up the Salish Sea for coal export. This is a waste of everyone’s time and both state and federal taxpayer money. Once again we urge Senator Ericksen to pick one full-time job and stick with it. Nobody – not his constituents back home nor his colleagues in Olympia – is well served by him trying to keep both jobs.”