Letter to Doug Ericksen re: First Amendment Violations

17 July 2018
Senator Doug Ericksen
PO Box 748
Ferndale, WA 98248

Dear Senator Ericksen,

You are violating the First Amendment rights of your constituents by blocking them from your social media pages.  As detailed in the letter you received from the ACLU in late 2017, deleting comments and blocking constituents on social media is a form of government censorship that violates the First Amendment.

We, your constituents named below, ask you to open your social media forums to all constituents and discontinue your practice of silencing those presenting opinions or facts that are inconvenient to your propaganda.  If any constituent is still blocked from your social media forums on August 1st or thereafter, you will elevate this matter to legal action.

Sincerely,

Riveters Collective, and your constituents named below.

Your legislative district:
Your name
E-mail:
Are you currently blocked from a Doug Ericksen "public figure" social media page?

{Unsure of your legislative district?  Search your address here}.

Eowyn Savela – constituent – blocked
Elizabeth Hartsoch – constituent – blocked
Michael Peñuelas – constituent
Dena Jensen / Dena Louise FB – constituent – blocked
Brenda Bentley
Treasure Samuel
Cory Blackwood – constituent – blocked
Maria DeMars – constituent
Rebecca
Judy Pratt – constituent
Susan Mulligan – constituent
Leigh woody – constituent
Margie Overhauser – constituent
Jillian Naccache – constituent
Tina McKim – constituent
Loretta Sheldon – constituent – blocked
Jennifer Hampton – constituent – blocked
Ann Mulvey – constituent
Jessica Tupper – constituent
Paula Rotondi – constituent
Christine Smith – constituent
Bob Burr – constituent

2018 Endorsement Process

Riveters Collective 2018 Endorsement Process and Information

  • Riveters Collective has Washington Nonprofit Corporation status, which allows electoral activity, including endorsements.
  • RC Member Jae Heidenreich volunteered to be the Endorsements Committee Chair.
  • RC recruited endorsement committee members by an open call to members through Facebook and email.
    • RC excluded anyone from the committee who had already begun working on a campaign, is a candidate for a local office, or has a formal leadership role in a major political party. For this reason, RC board members Lisa McShane and Stephen Jackson were excluded from the Endorsement Committee, and abstained from involvement in the process.  Michael Peñuelas began working on Tim Ballew’s campaign halfway through the endorsement process and excluded himself from participating in the 42nd district senate race endorsement work. Elizabeth Hartsoch and Eowyn Savela supported the committee’s work, but did not serve on the committee. Elizabeth actively worked on the campaigns of Tim Ballew and Carol Frazey, and excluded herself from assisting the committee’s work on the 42nd district senate race and the county council race.
    • Eleven people responded to the call, met the criteria, completed the application and were appointed to the endorsement committee.  Three of the eleven committee members, also serve on the RC board: Lisa Van Doren, Michael Peñuelas, and Towhee Wean. The other committee members were: Jae Heidenreich, Arlene Feld, Julie Batten (who had to resign from the committee early for personal reasons), Debbi Anderson-Frey, Galen Herz, Amy Rydel, Mehar Singh, and Maggie Davis-Bower.
  • Endorsement committee members formed sub-groups to work on the six different positions.
  • Recognizing that the RC leadership team and endorsement committee are not sufficiently representative of the larger community–and more importantly the more marginalized and vulnerable members of the community–and recognizing that many local progressive groups are prohibited from making candidate endorsements, RC solicited feedback from groups representing diverse interests.  We received and incorporated input from Recreation Northwest, Susan Marks, Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, the Lummi Nation, Racial Justice Coalition, Gender Diversity, Bellingham Tenants Union, and NAMI Whatcom.
  • The Endorsement Committee built questionnaires based on responses from community groups and RC’s platform.
  • The RC board invited the following candidates to participate in our endorsement process:
    • All progressive candidates who filed to run for 40th district representative, 42nd district representative, 42nd district senator, and Whatcom County prosecutor.
    • All candidates who filed to run for Whatcom County council (except Eric Bostrom, due to his hateful and discriminatory public statements and actions).
  • Final questionnaires were shared on the RC website and in the facebook group.
  • Declared candidates were sent RC endorsement questionnaires on May 10th and others were sent at the end of filing week.  Questionnaires were due May 25th.
  • The endorsement committee developed a rubric to rate how well each candidate’s questionnaire responses aligned with the RC platform.
  • The endorsement committee developed candidate interview questions and rubrics.
  • Eleven candidates submitted materials to the endorsement committee by the May 25th deadline.
  • The endorsement committee interviewed candidates June 4-7.  The interviews were recorded on video and will be made available to the public, along with the questionnaire responses.
  • Each endorsement committee member scored candidate written and interview responses.
  • Following extensive conversation, the endorsement committee recommended endorsements  to the RC Board on June 10th.
  • The RC Board used the recommendation of the endorsement committee to vote on the final endorsements.

 

Policy on Ethical Behavior for Campaigns

Our endorsement process is underway! This is one of the main ways that our collective shows solidarity with a specific candidate or issue. In other words, an endorsement is our way of saying “Hey, we like your vision for our community, we want to align ourselves with the actions you will take to achieve that vision, and we respect the way you conduct yourself as a candidate.” If you haven’t checked out the questionnaires – find them on our site!

In that vein, we think it’s important to be clear and open about our zero-tolerance policy for some behaviors. These are behaviors that will automatically disqualify a candidate from being eligible for, or may result in the withdrawal of a Riveters’ endorsement.  If a candidate or affiliated campaign employee, consultant or volunteer:

  • Engages in sexual harassment or sexual abuse;
  • Makes hateful or negative comments based on race, gender, sexuality, ability, or any other personal characteristic;
  • Engages in clearly unethical, illegal, or manipulative behavior.

We believe in a political environment and community where people are respectful of one another. We believe in a political environment and community where people are free to be themselves without fear of harm. We will work for a future that reflects those values. We will stand with candidates who believe in that same future. We are doing it!

Whatcom Conservation District 2018 Supervisor Election

The Whatcom Conservation District holds an election for one supervisor each year.  Unlike all other elections, WCD supervisor elections are not held by the Whatcom County Auditors office, and you will not automatically receive a ballot.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. DEADLINE PASSED: Before February 7th at 4 p.m.: request a ballot.  Fill out this online form before February 7th at 4pm.
  2. Mid-February: receive your ballot in the mail (we’re not sure when they will be mailed, but you can bet there will be chatter about this in our Facebook group).
  3. Also Mid-February: Read about the candidates.  Our recruiting committee sent these questions to the candidates and received responses from Alan Chapman and David Kroontje.
  4. Ballot return deadline is Tuesday, March 13th at 6p.m. (as far as I can tell from the WCD page).  If you are worried your ballot will be delayed in the mail, you can vote in-person at the WCD on Tuesday March 13th between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Candidate Information

Riveters Collective has officially endorsed Alan B. Chapman.

  1. Alan B. Chapman
    Responses to RC Questions
  2. Larry Helm
  3. David M. Kroontje
    Responses to RC Questions

Candidate statements to the WCD

Still have questions?  Send us an email!

#TaxScamBill Response

Rally on 2 December 2017, 5pm, Bellingham City Hall

The GOP just passed a Tax Scam bill that will forever change the United States. But the fight is NOT OVER!  The house and senate bills still need to be reconciled.

The Tax Scam bill is a giveaway to the rich and an attack on the most vulnerable among us. It’s designed to take from our communities and line the pockets of the wealthy. At the same time it makes irreversible changes by opening up the Arctic to drilling and classifying fetuses as people.

Americans across the country are taking to the streets and need us to join them. Today at 5:00 p.m. in Whatcom County we are taking to the steps of Bellingham City Hall to make our voices heard.

Stand up today. Together. Take a stand for our health care, our environment, our neighbors, our community.

Join us today at 5:00 p.m. at Bellingham City Hall.

Come with signs. Come without signs.

Come with your friends, neighbors, family. Come alone to know that you aren’t.

Come to stand shoulder to shoulder for our country.

#RESIST

Jail Ballot Measure Votes: An Open Letter from the RC

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:

  • Bail reform so that people are not held in jail simply because they cannot pay
  • Fully funding treatment first, before incarceration
  • Diversion from jail, with incarceration as the last resort for those who are a danger to themselves or others; and
  • A new look at less expensive options for a new or renovated jail.

 

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.

Signed,

The Riveters Collective Board of Directors

 

***Co-sign our letter below.***

Sign our letter:
Receive updates on the "No on the Jail Ballot Measure" campaign.

 

Roxann Kay

Sharon Shewmake

Lisa Van Doren

karen fisher

Maggie Wettergreen

Kathleen Hennessy

Stephen W. Jackson

Jennifer Gruenert

Susan Wood

Bette C Williams

Andronetta Douglass

Jenn Mason

Dena Jensen

Elizabeth Hartsoch

Eowyn Savela

Janet Hosokawa

Sandy Robson

Lisa Citron

Karlee Deatherage

Bert Monroe

Helen E. Moran

Brenda Bentley

Anna Wolff

Elma Burnham

Stephanie Allen

Wendy Courtemanche

Andrew Reding

2017 Endorsed Candidates

***Riveters Collective *** 2017 Endorsed Candidates***

Bellingham City Council

Ward 4: Pinky Vargas

Ward 6: Michael Lilliquist

At-large: Roxanne Murphy 

 

Bellingham School Board

Position 4: Jenn Mason

                Teri Hill-McIntyre

                (Dual Endorsement)

Position 5: Douglas W. Benjamin  

 

Port of Bellingham

District 1: Michael Alvarez Shepard

District 2: Barry Wenger

 

Whatcom County Council

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

2017 Candidate Endorsement Questionnaires

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.

Introduction

Candidate Information

Bellingham City Council

Whatcom County Council

Port of Bellingham

Bellingham Public Schools

 

Elections 2017

Candidate AMAs*

Dates will be added and linked as they are confirmed.

24 April 2017, 8:30pm – Amy Glasser, County Council District 2

8 May 2017, 8:00pm – Jean Layton, City Council

11 July 2017, 8:00pm – Rebecca Boonstra, County Council District 3

20 July 2017, 8:30pm – Michael Shepard, Port Commissioner District 1

16 October 2017, 8:00pm – Michael Lilliquist, City Council Ward 6

18 October 2017, 7:30pm – Jenn Mason, Bellingham School Board Position 4

26 October 2017, 8:30pm – Teri Hill-McIntyre, Bellingham School Board Position 4

1 November 2017, 8:30pm – Pinky Vargas, City Council Ward 4

 

*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.