Gun Reform Actions

This post will be updated.

Youth/School Actions and Groups

District Wide Walkout for Gun Law Reform

Wed Feb 21st, 11:22 at Bellingham High Schools and Middle Schools, then students will meet at City Hall at 12:00 for the community to join in.

Organized by: Local high school students in Bellingham #studentsforaction.

On Wednesday February 21st at 11:22 am we invite students, families, and teachers to participate in an district wide walk out for gun law reform. At 11:22am, we will all get up and walk out of class.
SQHS: walk to the common area where lunch is where we will hold a ceremony to speak about the victims of the Florida school shooting.
SHS: meet in the student lounge for a 30 minute ceremony
BHS and Options: meet in the BHS commons for a 30 minute ceremony
AFTER THE CEREMONY: head to City Hall to march at noon.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1887594601530605/ (Note: this Facebook event is for the community to support the students.)

 

Teachers Take Action Against Gun Violence

Tues March 6th

Organized by Teachers Take Action Against Gun Violence: https://www.facebook.com/TeachersTakeAction/

Open to teachers, students, parents, and ANYONE ELSE who cares about a teacher or a student!

Teachers are starting to mobilize as a force to protect our schools, because apparently no one else is going to do it. We’re planning a lobby day, targeted legislative outreach, and teacher prep mobilization blitz for March 6, with the purpose of planning the lesson, scaffolds, outcomes, and more to help our students as they organize to demand gun control NOW on March 14 and April 20, while also organizing teachers wherever we can to take action and go to their state capitals as well.

No known local contact/organizer so far.

 

ENOUGH: National School Walkout

Wed March 14th, 10:00 am 

Organized by Women’s March Youth Empower: https://www.womensmarch.com/empower/

https://www.womensmarch.com/enough

Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes at 10am across every time zone on March 14, 2018 to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.

WWU

Whatcom Community College

Mount Baker High School

Orcas Island High School

Sedro Woolley High School

 

March for Our Lives

Sat March 24th, in Washington, D.C. with sister marches nationwide

Organized by March for Our Lives: https://www.marchforourlives.com/ 

On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.

Bellingham: https://www.facebook.com/events/218714885356746/

Bellingham organizers: https://www.facebook.com/BellinghamMarchForOurLives/

Blaine:http://act.everytown.org/event/march-our-lives-events/9543/signup/?source=&akid=s245206..kJIwnk&zip=

 

National School Walkout

Fri April 20th, 10:00 am

Organized by National School Walkout: http://act.indivisible.org/event/national-school-walkout/

On the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, walk out of school, wear orange and protest online and in your communities.

No knowl local contact/organizer so far.

 

Teachers, Parents, Students and Allies for Gun Reform NOW

Facebook group intended to mobilize people ready for action intended to produce real gun reform. Run by local folks.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GunReformNOW/

 

Whatcom County Students Against Gun Violence

Local Facebook page for students, teachers, and families that are tired of the gun violence, and want to make a change.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/WCSAGV

 

Students for Action

Students For Action is an organization with student safety in mind, and is led and created by students of the four high schools in Bellingham, Washington.

https://www.facebook.com/Students4Action/

https://www.instagram.com/studentsforaction/

 

WWU Students Against Gun Violence

WWU Students against Gun Violence is a student-led organization committed to action that brings change to ensure the safety of students on campus – here and across the country. This page is a place for students, faculty, staff and all members of the Western community to communicate, plan and share action opportunities with each other.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/WWUStudentsAgainstGunViolence

Other Groups

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Moms Demand Action is a program of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country, with more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters

New Member Meet and Greet Sat February 24th, 10:30 in Bellingham.

https://www.facebook.com/events/326049207884967/

Moms Demand Action Skagit County

Moms Demand Action WA

 

Everytown for Gun Safety

Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities.

https://everytown.org

Petition: Tell streaming services: Stop the NRA from spreading its hateful rhetoric and DUMP NRATV!

 

Alliance for Gun Responsiblity

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility is a nonprofit that works to end the gun violence crisis in our state. We work on gun responsibility issues, policy and programs in communities across Washington. Gun violence prevention is a priority for Washingtonians and we are proud to be a driver of meaningful change in our state.

https://gunresponsibility.org

Action: Join Students to Take OLYMPIA on Tuesday March 6th at 10:15am to help our final push for the School and Community Safety Bill SB-6620

 

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence works collaboratively with other groups to reduce gun violence and remedy the complex societal factors that contribute to a culture of gun violence.

http://www.grandmothersagainstgunviolence.org/

 

Drain the NRA

Drain The NRA is a  grassroots movement that  combats  the gun lobby’s stranglehold on Congress  by boycotting and divesting from the gun industry and its corporate partners, while shining a light on those politicians who value the NRA’s financial contributions over the lives of their own constituents.

https://www.drainthenra.com/

 

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

The mission of the Brady organization and its Million Mom March is to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025.

http://www.bradycampaign.org/

 

Moms for Gun Reform PostCard Campaign

Moms demand common sense gun control to ensure no more children are executed at school. Join us in our non-partisan post card campaign to our elected officials to let them know that the NRA does not speak for us and we demand that our voices are heard.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/154228091952177/

 

Current Pending Legislation

WA State

SB5992 – Concerning bump-fire stocks. Bans the sale, manufacture, and possession of bump-stocks, which are trigger-modifications.

Status – 2/27/18 PASSED both chambers

How did your legislators vote?

Roll call 40th LD

  • 1/25/18 Senator Kevin Ranker – yea
  • 2/23/18 Representative Christine Lytton – yea
  • Representative Jeff Morris – yea
  • 2/27/18 Final Senate vote with House amendments – Senator Ranker – yea

Roll call 42nd LD

  • 1/25/18 Senator Doug Ericksen – nay
  • 2/23/18 Representative Vincent Buys – nay
  • Representative LuAnne Van Werven – nay
  • 2/27/18 Final senate vote with House amendments – Senator Ericksen – yea

 

SB5553 – Preventing suicide by permitting the voluntary waiver of firearm rights for persons vulnerable due to suicide or other danger to self or others.

Status – 2/23/18 PASSED both chambers

How did your legislators vote?

Roll call 40th LD

  • 1/24/18 Senator Kevin Ranker – yea
  • 2/23/18 Representative Christine Lytton – yea
  • Representative Jeff Morris – yea

Roll call 42nd LD

  • 1/24/18 Senator Doug Ericksen – yea
  • 2/23/18 Representative Vincent Buys – nay
  • Representative LuAnne Van Werven – nay

 

SB5444 – Concerning enhanced background checks and licensure for assault weapons and large capacity magazines.

Status – IN COMMITTEE This measure has been revived by the Senate Ways & Means Committee as part of a larger package of school safety measures in SB6620.

 

SB6620 – Improving security in schools and the safety of students. This is a package of measures, including those proposed in SB5444. In addition, it would:

  • Prohibit the sale or transfer of a semiautomatic rifle or shotgun with tactical features unless both a federal and a state background check have been completed through law enforcement.
  • Prohibit a person under the age of twenty-one from purchasing a semiautomatic rifle or shotgun with tactical features.
  • Establish a grant program through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for school districts to implement emergency response systems to expedite the response and arrival of law enforcement in the event of a threat or emergency at a school.
  • Create the Students Protecting Students program within the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) to provide an anonymous way that students and the community can report unsafe, potentially harmful, dangerous, violent, or criminal activities or the threat of those activities.

Status – IN COMMITTEE (Rules). First read on 2/23/18.

National

HR 38 – Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. This would greatly weaken state laws on concealed weapon, mandating reciprocity of permits among states. If passed, a Washington resident who could not pass a background check under our state law could obtain a concealed weapons permit from another state with lax or no background check.

Status – PASSED THE HOUSE. May be taken up by Senate this spring.

How did your Representatives vote?

Roll Call 1st District

  • 12/6/17 Representative Suzan Del Bene – nay

Roll Call 2nd District

  • 12/6/17 Representative Rick Larsen – nay

(Thanks to League of Women Voters Washington State for the great summary on their site.)

 

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…

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

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. 

Urgent Call to Action: Protect Cherry Point!

Riveters, this is an urgent call to take action by Tuesday, March 21, to protect Cherry Point from fossil fuel export!  We need all who can to do BOTH of the following:

1. Oppose Senator Ericksen’s efforts to reverse the order that removed the 45-acre pier-sized cutout from the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve boundary.

  • In January 2017, honoring Lummi Nation’s request and with strong public support, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark issued an order that amended the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve boundary to remove the 45-acre pier-sized cutout that had been left for then-proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal when the Reserve was established.  See here for more information.
  • Senator Ericksen proposed SB 5171 to rescind that order and require that any future aquatic reserve designation, establishment, or enlargement be expressly authorized by the legislature.  That bill did not make it out of committee.
  • Now, Senator Ericksen is trying to amend a bill on utility easements for aquatic lands to include the language from SB5171.  He is flying back from DC to hold a hearing on Tuesday, March 21, at 10am in the Senate Committee on Energy, Environment & Telecommunications.
  • Take action! 
    • Call committee members and ask them to oppose amendment S-2118.1 to HB1001.  Let’s flood them with calls on MONDAY, 3/20!!
      • Hotline 1-800-562-6000
      • Committee members: 
        • Chair: Doug Ericksen, 42nd, (360) 786-7682
        • Vice-Chair: Tim Sheldon, 35th, (360) 786-7668
        • Reuven Carlyle, 36th, (360) 786-7670
        • Sharon Brown, 8th, (360) 786-7614
        • Steve Hobbs, 44th, (360) 786-7686
        • Jim Honeyford, 15th, (360) 786-7684
        • Kevin Ranker, 40th, (360) 786-7678
        • Shelly Short, 7th, (360) 786-7612
        • Lisa Wellman, 41st, (360) 786-7641
      • Suggested Script: My name is [insert name] and I live in [insert County].  I’m calling to urge the Senator to oppose Senator Ericksen’s striking amendment (S-2118.1) to HB1001. It’s a back-door approach to overturn protection of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. This reserve was based on science and significant public input over several years. It followed a decision by the US Army Corps that was based on 27 separate studies and 124,000 comments by citizens across Washington State. Prior to setting aside the reserve, the DNR received 5,000 responses in favor of the protected reserve and just 10 opposed, including one from Senator Ericksen. Please oppose this back-door approach to overturning science and the public’s will.
    • If you can, attend the public hearing in Olympia on 3/21 at 10am. Public leaders are being asked to attend the hearing to speak out on impacts of fossil fuel export projects.  Show your support for these speakers by wearing red!

2. Ask Whatcom County Council to extend the moratorium on unrefined fossil fuel export projects and strengthen Comprehensive Plan policies for Cherry Point.

***From ReSources Clean Energy Blog***  Sign up for updates!!

  • Although SSA Marine has withdrawn their 2011 county permits for a coal terminal at Cherry Point, the fact is still the same: Cherry Point remains a targeted route to export crude oil, tar sands, and fracked gas.
  • Whatcom County Council is working on updates to their Comprehensive Plan policies for Cherry Point.  Let’s call on Whatcom County Council to take action to protect the public by discourage projects that will bring more dangerous crude oil shipments through Whatcom County and the Salish Sea!   
  • Take action!

Dear Whatcom County Council,

As a [insert city] resident and citizen of Whatcom County, I implore you to act to the full extent of your power to protect our community’s health and safety, farms, fisheries and natural resources from the dangers of fossil fuel shipments by rail, pipeline and marine vessel. Cherry Point is a targeted route to export crude oil, tar sands, fracked gas, and propane from Canada, which would bring high risks of spills, leaks, explosions, pollution, traffic, a local tax burden, reduced property values, and the degradation of our quality of life.

I urge you to take the following actions, without delay:

  • Extend the temporary moratorium on permits for fossil fuel export projects until the Shoreline Master Plan is updated and until new development regulations are implemented. Additionally, please add a moratorium on applications for any modification of piers, docks, or wharfs in or adjacent to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.
  • Commence a legal study into Whatcom County’s powers to prevent future development for coal, oil, and gas exports.
  • Strengthen policies in the Comprehensive Plan to prevent piecemeal upgrades for oil exports by requiring Magnuson Amendment review of all permits that involve handling petroleum; block any new proposals for shipping piers in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve; recognize Lummi Nation’s history and treaty-protected fishing rights; and complete a legal study by December 2017.

I support your work to protect the ecological and cultural significance of Cherry Point. Thank you.

  • Attend the public hearing on Tuesday, March 21st, at 7pm in the Whatcom County Council Chambers, 311 Grand Ave., Bellingham, and WEAR RED!  RSVP to ReSources by sending an email to cleanenergy@re-sources.org.

Recommended Local Actions for the Week of 20170306

Act by Tuesday, 3/7! Support Whatcom County Council interim ordinance and state legislation responding to Hirst decision

**Source: RE Sources for Sustainable Communities (edited)**

In the Hirst decision, the Court ruled that Whatcom County, in issuing building permits with permit-exempt wells as water source, failed to comply with GMA requirements in protecting water resources.  Whatcom County Council has scheduled a special presentation on the issue at their 3/7 meeting, where they will show a 20-minute video, ask questions of state and local water experts, and hold a public hearing on a proposed interim ordinance.  Click for more information on the meeting and additional background information.  We also hosted an Ask-Me-Anything on Facebook on this issue last week.

  • Ask Whatcom County Council to renew the interim ordinance (AB2016-309D) that limits use of exempt wells in the Nooksack basin for new development in order to be in compliance with the State Supreme Court and protect senior water rights and stream flows.
  • Contact your legislators to support HB 1918 and oppose SB 5239!
    • Contact your legislators offices directly.
    • Submit comment online: HB1918 or SB5239.
    • Legislature Hotline: 1-800-562-6000
    • Suggested script:
    • Please support HB 1918, which allows people who were in the process of building homes when the Hirst decision was issued to resume development and use an exempt well. Counties must mitigate the use of those new wells within 5 years. This is common sense and will not undermine senior water right holders.
    • Please oppose SB 5239. New exempt wells that aren’t mitigated will further strain our limited water resources especially in the summer when everyone — people, farms, and fish — need it most. New exempt wells will be stealing water from other senior water right holders like farmers. The situation will only get worse with population growth.

 

ACT BY Tuesday, 3/7!  Support Whatcom County Council in Comprehensive Plan policies for Cherry Point, extending fossil fuel export moratorium

**Source: RE Sources for Sustainable Communities (edited)**

Although SSA Marine has withdrawn their 2011 county permits for a coal terminal at Cherry Point, Cherry Point remains a targeted route to export crude oil, tar sands, and fracked gas. In March 2017, the Whatcom County Council is working on updates to their Comprehensive Plan policies for Cherry Point. This is a huge turning point for the future of our community.  Join us in calling on the Whatcom County Council to take actions to protect the public by discouraging projects to bring more dangerous crude oil shipments through Whatcom County, Cherry Point, and the Salish Sea.  For more information, click here.

Send a comment to the Whatcom County Council by March 7th and encourage them to extend the temporary moratorium on permits for fossil fuel export projects.

  • Contact the Council by phone or email.
  • Talking points
    • As a [insert city] resident and citizen of Whatcom County, I implore you to act to the full extent of your power to protect our community’s health and safety, farms, fisheries and natural resources from the dangers of fossil fuel shipments by rail, pipeline and marine vessel. Cherry Point is a targeted route to export crude oil, tar sands, fracked gas, and propane from Canada, which would bring high risks of spills, leaks, explosions, pollution, traffic, a local tax burden, reduced property values, and the degradation of our quality of life.
    • I urge you to take the following actions, without delay:
      • Extend the temporary moratorium on permits for fossil fuel export projects until the Shoreline Master Plan is updated and until new development regulations are implemented. Additionally, please add a moratorium on applications for any modification of piers, docks, or wharfs in or adjacent to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.
      • Commence a legal study into Whatcom County’s powers to prevent future development for coal, oil, and gas exports.
      • Strengthen policies in the Comp Plan to prevent piecemeal upgrades for oil exports by requiring Magnuson Amendment review of all permits that involve handling petroleum; block any new proposals for shipping piers in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve; recognize Lummi Nation’s history and treaty-protected fishing rights; and complete a legal study by December 2017.
    • I support your work to protect the ecological and cultural significance of Cherry Point.

 

PROJECT NEIGHBORLY: Apply by 12 March

Whatcom Community Foundation is pairing people of diverse backgrounds for one-on-one dinners.  To be considered for the project:

  1. Take the PBS quiz (no personal information requested) and receive a score.
  2. Submit an application

 

HB 1611: Tell your legislators you care about protecting communities from crude oil

**Source: RE Sources for Sustainable Communities (edited)**

We are in the thick of the legislative session, and your legislators need to hear that you care about protecting your community from crude oil.  The Oil Transportation Safety Act (HB1611) needs additional support to move from committee and make its way to a full floor vote in the House. This is a commonsense bill that holds the oil industry accountable for the risks they pose to our communities and waterways.  For more information, click here.

Contact your legislators to let them know you support this bill and that it deserves a full vote on the House floor.

  • Suggested script: I am concerned about the ongoing threat that oil trains, pipelines, and tankers pose to my community and our waterways. The Oil Transportation Safety Act (HB 1611) is a commonsense approach to strengthening our prevention, response and preparedness program. Let’s not wait for a spill or other disaster to happen to take action. I urge you to vote YES on HB 1611 and protect all of Washington from crude oil transport. Thank you for considering my comments, and I look forward to your response.

 

From the Calendar

7 March 2017 – Whatcom County Council meeting.  Attend in person or attend our watch party.

14 March 2017 – Whatcom Conservation District ballot due – We sent questions to candidates and will share those responses as we receive them.

 

Recommended Local Actions for the Week of 20170227

Recommended Local Actions for the Week of 20170227

ACT TODAY: Support SB5501/HB1663 (Funding for Toxic Pollution Prevention and Cleanup)

Call or submit comment online to express your support for these important bills which will stabilize funding for preventing and controlling pollution and cleaning up toxic sites, including the Bellingham waterfront.

Funding to support toxics cleanup, as well as pollution prevention, in Washington state comes from a tax on hazardous substances – mostly petroleum products. With the drop in oil prices in recent years, there has been a significant shortfall in revenue to support cleanup. These bills will help stabilize funding by applying a modest surtax on hazardous substances when annual revenues fall below $160M.

  • Contact information
  • Suggested comment:

The voter-approved Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) has proven to be an effective means to clean up toxic waste sites, prevent toxic chemical pollution, and support communities to address toxics pollution threats. However, the state has lost an estimated $375 million in MTCA funding over the last three years, and the tax must be stabilized to keep Washington on track in reducing harmful pollution.

Thankfully, the legislature is considering HB 1663/SB 5501, which would:

  • Stabilize funding for cleaning up toxic sites, preventing and controlling pollution, and ensuring communities have a voice in reducing threats from toxic pollution.
  • Apply a modest and temporary surcharge on the state hazardous substance tax, which would generate an estimated $50 million over the next two years and help address a $70 million budget shortfall.
  • Allow for more predictability in the state budget process and provides reliability for local communities that depend on these dollars to improve public health and the environment.
  • Help maintain funding for critical state environmental programs that benefit all corners of the state.

I urge you to support HB 1663/SB 5501 so we can protect our communities from risks we face today and keep us safe for years to come. Thank you for considering my comments, and I look forward to your response.

Comment in Support of Extending Solar Incentives

Seen all the solar panels popping up on local roofs lately?  This phenomena is due largely to a three-pronged state/federal incentive program which provides tax credit, banking of excess production, and production payments which are much higher if you buy Washington-made equipment.  The state incentives that began several years ago will expire in June of 2020.  All along, the idea has been that legislators would revise the program based on experiences and then introduce new legislation to extend it with improvements.  Unfortunately, they have failed in at least a couple of attempts to do so, and now we are staring down the expiration of incentives in 3 years.  In my amateur reading, the new legislation steps down production payments, changes the requirements around community solar installations, removes the requirement of owning the building and land, changes the funding cap, and a few more administrative details.  

Contact information

Attend the Recall Hearing for Senator Doug Ericksen

Thursday, March 2nd at 8:30am, Whatcom County Superior Court.  We will provide further guidance later this week.  Please refer to our post on this for updates.

Thank Jay Inslee for Executive Order on Immigration

It’s that time of the week again, time to call Jay Inslee and say thanks.  Washington will not participate in civil immigration raids. Read about it in the Seattle Times and the Stranger.

https://www.facebook.com/WaStateGov/
https://twitter.com/GovInslee
360-902-4111

From the Calendar

Monday 27 Feb, 6pm, Candlelight vigil – Immigration enforcement

Monday 27 Feb, 7pm (but come at 6:15 for trading cards), Family Council Night at Bellingham City Council meeting

Saturday 4 March, 3-5pm, Riveters Collective Meeting and Social

SAVE THE DATE: 3/7/17, 6pm.  Whatcom County Council Special Presentation on the Hirst Decision.

In the Hirst decision, the Court ruled that Whatcom County, in issuing building permits with permit-exempt wells as water source, failed to comply with GMA requirements in protecting water resources.  Whatcom County Council has scheduled a special presentation on the issue at their 3/7 meeting, where they will show a 20-minute video, ask questions of state and local water experts, and hold a public hearing on a proposed interim ordinance.  More information here.

 

Recommended Local Actions for the Week of 20170220

42ND DISTRICT CONSTITUENTS: SIGN TOWN HALL INVITE
We are inviting Senator Ericksen to a town hall meeting.

IMPORTANT!: OPPOSE SB5239 (Ensuring that water is available to support development)
In the Hirst decision, the Court ruled that Whatcom County, in issuing building permits with permit-exempt wells as water source, failed to comply with GMA requirements in protecting water resources.   Per the Center for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP), this legislation “Overturns Hirst and allows unmitigated development to harm existing users of water, including instream flows… [It] Completely undermines instream flows, making them subordinate to new wells.”  This legislation absolutely has important implications for the overappropriated Nooksack River watershed.

  • Find your Representatives here.
  • Legislature Hotline: 1-800-562-6000.
  • Email addresses here.
  • Submit a Comment!
  • Watch the hearing: 2/21 at 1:30
  • Suggested comment: Hi, my name is [insert name] and I am a constituent of the [insert district #] legislative district. Please oppose SB 5239, which would overturn the Hirst decision and allow unmitigated development to harm existing users of water, including instream flows important for salmon. Ensuring there is sufficient water to support development is important for smart growth.

THIS TUESDAY, 2/21: Attend the Public Meeting to Support Grizzly Bear Restoration in the North Cascades

***From Friends of the Northwest Grizzly Bear (edited for length)***  While native to the Cascades, fewer than 10 grizzly bears remain.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are holding an open-house to answer questions about the Draft Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan/Environmental Impact Statement.  Attendance at this event will be vital for showing public support for grizzly bear restoration.  Specifically, please attend to voice your support for Alternative C: Incremental Restoration.  You may also submit written comment here by 3/14.  For more information, read this handy fact sheet.

Happy Hour hosted by Conservation Northwest and Defenders of Wildlife,
Happy Hour: Aslan Brewing Company, 1330 N. Forest St., Bellingham, Tuesday, 2/21, 5-6pm
Public Open House: Oxford Suites, 4051 Meridian St., Bellingham, Tuesday, 2/21, 6-8pm

Suggested comment: I am here (or “I am writing”) to voice my support for restoring a healthy population of grizzly bears to the North Cascades, their home for thousands of years. Specifically, I support Alternative C: Incremental Restoration, with additional bear transplants as needed to ensure sustained population growth. Alternative C strikes a sound balance to meet the mutual goals of grizzly bear recovery and the needs of people. I believe grizzly bears will benefit our region’s ecosystems and economies alike, and preserve true wildness for future generations to cherish and enjoy. During your scoping period and in recent public polling, broad support has been documented for grizzly bear restoration. Please do the right thing and bring back this native species through the strategy laid out in Alternative C. Doing so will restore an important piece of our ecosystem, regional culture, and natural heritage.

 

SIGN PETITION
Tell PSE CEO Kimberly Harris: Time to transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy!

***From Sierra Club (edited)***  Puget Sound Energy, Washington’s largest energy utility, prides itself on being a green utility. However, its actions tell a different story. While PSE recently agreed to retire 307 megawatts of coal-fired electricity from its dirty coal plant in Colstrip, MT, it wants to replace Colstrip with new gas-fired power plants.  It’s time to demand a complete transition off fossil fuels to 100% renewable and energy efficiency. No new gas!  Click here to submit your message to PSE’s CEO.  Note: By taking action, you will also receive periodic communications from the Sierra Club. You can unsubscribe at any time.

From the Calendar

Monday 20 Feb, 10am, Equity Rally at State Capitol. https://wecprotects.org/events/equity-rally/

Thursday 23 Feb, Noon and 4 pm, Ijeoma Oluo is speaking at WWU about race, gender & social change, and writing about politics .

Friday 24 Feb, 6:30, Pickford Film Center, I am Not Your Negro

Sunday 26 Feb, 10am-noon, Bellingham Kids March, Fairhaven Village Green

Monday 27 Feb, 6:15pm, Bellingham City Hall, Family Council Day