Jail Tax Results Mapped by Precinct

Voters Guides and Endorsements – 2017

 

Ballot hasn’t arrived?  Need a replacement? Call the Whatcom County Auditor 

Riveters Collective Endorsements

Candidate responses to the RC endorsement questionnaires

Lummi Indian Business Council Endorsements

Cascadia Weekly (see pages 7 and 8) 

Whatcom Democrats Endorsements

Progressive Voters Guide

The Stranger 

Whatcom Republicans

 

And if you like pictures:

LIBC Endorsements 2017

 

Wrench art by Kjersten Hayes

Call Governor Inslee Regarding the Cooke Aquaculture Farmed Fish Release

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
360-902-4111

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.

# Background

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.
http://www.npr.org/…/environmental-nightmare-after-thousand…

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

RC 2017 Endorsement Process

Riveters Collective 2017 Endorsement Process and Information

  • Riveters Collective has Washington Nonprofit Corporation status, which allows electoral activity, including endorsements.
  • The RC Board voted to do endorsements on April 13, 2017.
  • RC Member Susan Wood 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 leadership role in a major political party. For this reason, RC board members Lisa McShane, Stephen Jackson and Jenn Mason were excluded from the Endorsement Committee, and abstained from involvement in the process.  Board members Elizabeth Hartsoch and Eowyn Savela supported the committee’s work, but did not serve on the committee.
    • 11 people responded to the call, met the criteria, and were appointed to the Endorsements Committee.  One of the 11 committee members, Lisa Van Doren, also serves on the RC board.
    • 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.
    • The Endorsement Committee built questionnaires off of these responses and RC’s progressive mission. The questionnaires were shared with the RC Facebook group and were amended based on the solicited feedback.
  • All candidates who filed for open positions on the Whatcom County Council, Bellingham City Council, Port of Bellingham Commission, or Bellingham Public School Board were contacted with an invitation to request the RC endorsement.  Final questionnaires were shared on the RC website and in the facebook group.
  • Candidates were sent RC endorsement questionnaires in mid-May, immediately after candidate filing week.
  • The Endorsement Committee met to develop candidate interview questions.
  • Eighteen candidates submitted materials to the endorsement committee by the May 30th deadline.
  • The Endorsement Committee interviewed candidate interviews June 5-7, 2017.  The committee declined to interview candidates in uncontested races, and declined to interview candidates whose values were fundamentally opposed to the values of the RC.  
  • All interview questions were asked in exactly the same manner to all candidates.
  • The Endorsements Committee considered questionnaire responses and interviews in making endorsement decisions. Following extensive conversation, the Endorsement Committee made their endorsement recommendations to the RC Board.
  • The RC Board formally voted to approve all endorsements as presented by the Endorsements Committee.

Urgent Action to Stop the Mega-jail

Riveters!

This Monday the 19th at 7pm it is all hands on deck to ask the Bellingham City Council to vote NO on the Jail Facility Use Agreement*.

If the City Council says yes to funding the big jail, this will send a loud message that the City Council supports a mega-jail. We want them to represent our progressive values and say NO to the big jail because this is the wrong plan for our community.

Please attend the City Council meeting on Monday, June 19th at 7pm, sign in to speak during Open Session, and ask that they vote NO on the Agreement.  If you are unable to attend the meeting, scroll down for city email and phone info and contact them today.

*The Jail Funding Agreement states that the big jail (note: there’s been NO needs assessment to know how big it should be) will be funded with a regressive sales tax that will use 100% of the public safety sales tax capacity available to our community for the next 30 years. It details how the tax will be divided. 

You can view the funding agreement here: Interlocal Jail Facility Financing and Use Agreement. (Click on the “JFFUA” pdf on that page.)

 

What happens after the City Council votes NO?

This goes back to the County Council with a clear message that once again the City of Bellingham does NOT support a big jail in Ferndale. We then turn to the County Council and ask that they vote NO to putting this on the ballot. We can then step up to work with the councils on a solution that’s more fair, that isn’t a mega-jail in Ferndale and that prioritizes treatment over a huge building to lock people up.

 

Talking points

Please choose just one or two and add your own thoughts or story!

  • You are taking one of the last steps towards a mega-jail and it’s the wrong direction for Bellingham. This isn’t just about the funding or how the tax is divided, you’re taking a vote on the big jail. You have no other vote on the jail. This is it. Please vote no.
  • Are we really going to be the last community in America to build the mega-jail? Throughout the US incarceration is dropping and communities are rethinking this failed approach. While there are some who should be in jail, 73% of people in our jail haven’t been convicted. With work, such as the good work Bellingham has been doing, we can reduce incarceration.  
  • This jail proposal is $100-million. We can find a solution that doesn’t include a mega-jail and doesn’t take up all of our public safety tax capacity for the next 30 years. A new building won’t make our community safer.
  • Moving the jail to Ferndale removes a key part of Bellingham’s civic center and puts it in the Ferndale suburbs. This makes it harder for incarcerated individuals to meet with their attorneys, most of whom have offices near the current jail. It will increase the environmental impacts on our community when attorneys and inmates and staff drive back and forth.
  • The VERA Institute is completing a report to the Incarceration Task Force with recommendations to reduce how many people we jail in our community. Until that work is finished and implemented, we won’t know how big our jail should be. Please do not agree to fund the big jail without the data to know if we need it.
  • Our community should reconsider the Ferndale location and ask if the existing downtown Bellingham location might be better. That can only happen if you vote no on this funding agreement.
  • Bellingham has been moving in the right direction by aggressively reducing incarceration. I applaud that work! Please keep moving forward by voting NO on the big jail and this jail agreement.
  • We need to focus on services that will keep people out of jail such as treatment and other services. If we build a mega-jail our sheriff and judges will fill it and we will have less money for the treatment we know will both save money and make our community safer.
  • This proposal includes 36 ‘mental health beds’. But without a needs assessment we don’t know if that’s the right number or if the mentally ill should receive treatment inside the jail or outside, in a dedicated mental health facility.
  • We ask that you vote no on the Jail Funding Agreement and tell the County that this plan isn’t in the best interest of Bellingham.

Contact Information: If you are not able to attend and comment on Monday evening, contact the council today.

Email council at ccmail@cob.org, phone their office at (360) 778-8200, or give them a call:

  • April Barker, (360) 325-5128
  • Gene Knutson, (360) 734-4686
  • Dan Hammill, (360) 778-8213
  • Pinky Vargas, (360) 778-8210
  • Terry Bornemann, (360) 305-0606
  • Michael Lilliquist, (360) 778-8212
  • Roxanne Murphy, (360) 778-8211

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

Recommended Actions for the Week of 20170529

***CLICK ON THE TOPIC HEADER TO EXPAND THE DETAILS***

Local Level Actions

National Level Actions / Other

From the Calendar

Every Monday: Attend a vigil hosted by C2C between 11:30a.m.-1:30p.m. This week will be a bit different because City Hall will be closed for Memorial Day. We will meet at City Hall like normal and then march over to the Police Station. 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!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 from 5:30-8:30p.m.: Meet the candidates for Whatcom County Council and Bellingham City Council and provide feedback to the political committee for the Sierra Club Mt. Baker Group. The event is being held at YWCA, 1026 N Forest St, Bellingham, WA 98225. Social hour will start at 5:30p.m. (bring an appetizer to share if you wish) and the program starts at 6:15p.m. Please visit the Riveters Collective calendar or Facebook to learn more.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017, from 6:30-8:00p.m.: Come and learn how you can help Riveters Collective Earth Team plan and promote environment-related action.  We shall meet at Bellingham Public Market, 1530 Cornwall Ave., in the conference room (near Film is Truth).

Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 9:00-11:00a.m.: Come join the UterRun Fun Walk or Run. All proceeds go to benefit the Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood. Please visit Facebook for tickets.

Recommended Actions for the Week of 20170417

Local Level Actions

National Level Actions / Other

From the Calendar

Mondays from 11:30a.m.-1:30p.m.: Attend a vigil hosted by C2C every Monday 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!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 from 5:00-6:00p.m.: Please join the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center and the Veterans For Peace Chapter 111 at Lottie and Grand (by the Bellingham Public Library) in resisting a federal budget that fuels the U.S. war machine and corporate greed. Bellingham will be one of hundreds of sites of action across 35 countries calling on elected representatives to prioritize human needs over war. We will:

  • Unveil a massive banner exposing the outrageous amount of funding the U.S. federal budget allocates to the military in comparison to other federal programs.
  • Reflect on the problems caused by excessive militarism and the military-industrial complex.
  • Demand that Congress start to prioritize human needs over corporate greed by agreeing not to vote for increases to military spending.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 7:00-9:00p.m.: Community Forum: The Future of Affordable Care hosted by Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement at St. Luke’s Community Health Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Pkwy, Bellingham, WA 98225.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 7:00-9:00p.m.: Put a Cork in it, Trump! A postcard writing party at Vinostrology Wine Lounge & Merchant, 120 W. Holly Street, Bellingham, WA 98225.

Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 12:30-4:00p.m.: March for Science Bellingham at City Hall. Click here to learn more. Use the Facebook post to spread the word.

Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 1:00-2:30p.m.: RC Education Series: Campaign 101 at the Leopold Crystal Ballroom, 1224 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Join Riveters Collective for a nuts and bolts campaign training for candidates and campaign volunteers. This is a family-friendly event. Bring a snack or beverage to share if you’d like, potluck to follow!

Press Release: Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve – HB 1001 Amendment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Contact:

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.”

 

1Summary Report Showing No One Signed in to support SB 5171.