Recommended Local Actions for the Week of 20170327

Support State Funding of Environmental Programs

Source: Nature Conservancy in Washington

Description: Contact your legislators to ask them to adequately fund environmental programs, especially in light of proposed cuts to federal funding. (Also, please see Contact State Legislators About the Republican Senate Budget Proposal.)

Background: On 3/21, the state Senate released their operating budget proposal, which included cuts to Puget Sound recovery, habitat restoration, and salmon recovery and no funding for climate action through the Clean Air Rule.  Since the 2007-2008 recession, our state’s investments in protecting clean air, clean water, and healthy natural resources have shrunk from 1.6% of our state’s general fund to 0.7%.  Conserving our state and national resources is not a partisan issue and it is not optional. Nature is essential to our well-being, and it offers solutions to some of the greatest economic and security challenges we face.

Contact Information: Contact your legislators to let them know you care about our natural resources.

Governor Jay Inslee, 360-902-4111, TTY/TDD call 711 or 1-800-833-6388
http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message

42nd District
Senator Doug Ericksen, (360) 786 – 7682, Doug.Ericksen@leg.wa.gov
Representative Luane Van Werven, (360) 786 – 7980, Luanne.VanWerven@leg.wa.gov
Representative Vincent Buys, (360) 786 – 7854, Vincent.Buys@leg.wa.gov

40th District
Senator Kevin Ranker, (360) 786 – 7678, Kevin.Ranker@leg.wa.gov
Representative Kristine Lytton, (360) 786 – 7800, Kristine.Lytton@leg.wa.gov
Representative Jeff R. Morris, (360) 786 – 7970, Jeff.Morris@leg.wa.gov

Suggested Script: My name is [insert name], and I am a resident of [insert city or County] in the [insert legislative district #] district.  I am writing/calling to ask for the following:

  • Hold the line: No more reductions to natural resource agencies that have already borne the brunt of post-recession cuts in our state’s operating budget.
  • Take action to pass smart carbon pricing policy that protects our natural resources and works for all of Washington. Until that happens, we must continue to fund existing policies like the Clean Air Rule to drive down carbon emissions to protect our communities.
  • Use the Capital Budget, set to be released next week, to make bold investments in Puget Sound and coastal restoration, cleanup of polluted stormwater runoff, forest health and wildfire risk reduction, salmon recovery, recreation and public land.

Additional Information: Click here for the Nature Conservancy action alert.  See Seattle Times articles about proposed federal and state environmental funding cuts.  The website with full Senate and House Budget and Funding Proposals is here.

Contact State Legislators About the Republican Senate Budget Proposal

Source: Washington’s Paramount Duty

Description: Contact Governor Inslee and your legislators by phone or email to express your concerns about the proposed Republican budget. (Also, please see Support State Funding of Environmental Programs.)

Background: Article from the Seattle Times, click here. Article from U.S. News, click here. Article from King 5, click here. And Crosscut.

Contact Information: 

Governor Jay Inslee, 360-902-4111, TTY/TDD call 711 or 1-800-833-6388
http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message

42nd District
Senator Doug Ericksen, (360) 786 – 7682, Doug.Ericksen@leg.wa.gov
Representative Luane Van Werven, (360) 786 – 7980, Luanne.VanWerven@leg.wa.gov
Representative Vincent Buys, (360) 786 – 7854, Vincent.Buys@leg.wa.gov

40th District
Senator Kevin Ranker, (360) 786 – 7678, Kevin.Ranker@leg.wa.gov
Representative Kristine Lytton, (360) 786 – 7800, Kristine.Lytton@leg.wa.gov
Representative Jeff R. Morris, (360) 786 – 7970, Jeff.Morris@leg.wa.gov

Suggested Script:

Hi [ LEGISLATOR NAME ],

I’m a parent/constituent in the [ LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT ] District. I am contacting you because I am deeply concerned by the Senate Republican budget proposal. This proposal balances the budget on the backs of low-income communities, with huge cuts to vital programs that serve our most vulnerable communities. And it doesn’t even fully fund our public schools! Nor does it require massively wealthy companies and individuals to pay their fair share towards educating Washington’s children. I am asking you to reject the Republican budget. Instead, I am asking you to support new, sustainable revenue for fully funding public education, that does not take away from vital state services and instead asks wealthiest Washingtonians to pay their fair share.

[ YOUR NAME ]

Thank Whatcom County Council for Extending Moratorium

Description: Thank Whatcom County Council for extending the moratorium on unrefined fossil fuel export projects.

Background: At their 3/21/17 meeting, County Council voted 6-1 for ordinance 2017-011, “imposing an interim moratorium on the acceptance and processing of applications and permits for new or expanded facilities in the Cherry Point Urban Growth Area, the primary purpose of which would be the shipment of unrefined fossil fuels not to be processed at Cherry Point.”

Contact Information:  Send an email to council@co.whatcom.wa.us or click here for contact information of individual County Council members.

Suggested Script:  Thank you so much for supporting the moratorium on unrefined fossil fuel export projects in Cherry Point Urban Growth Area.  Your efforts 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 are so appreciated!!

 

Protect Blanchard Mountain

Source: Conservation Northwest

Description: Contact the Governor, your legislators, and chairs of the House Capital Budget and Senate Ways & Means committees to ask them to fully fund the effort to protect the Blanchard State Forest core from logging.

Background: Encompassing Blanchard Mountain and Oyster Dome, Blanchard State Forest is a hugely popular recreation area visited by tens of thousands of people from across the Puget Sound region each year. This cherished area could be clearcut this summer if the state legislature doesn’t act!  n 2007 an agreement was reached to protect the core of Blanchard State Forest from logging. But $7.7 million in funding is still needed, and the 2017 legislative session is the last chance to secure full funding before logging will begin.

Contact Information: Please use this automated comment form to ask legislators and the Governor to fully fund the agreement before it’s too late!

For more information, including additional actions you can take to save Blanchard Mountain, click here.

 

Protect the Methow Headwaters (Deadline: 3/30)

Source: Conservation Northwest

Description: Tell BLM to say No to industrial mining in the Methow Valley.

Background: The Methow Valley in north-central Washington is celebrated for its extraordinary natural diversity, clean water, and rural culture, and a resilient economy fueled by outdoor recreation, scenic tourism, agriculture, and fish and wildlife.  The Methow Headwaters are threatened by a proposed large-scale industrial mine.  In December 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it is considering a 20-year mineral withdrawal that would prevent new mining developments on 340,000 acres of Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in the Methow Headwaters to allow time for Congress to secure permanent protection through the Methow Headwaters Protection Act of 2017, introduced.  The BLM is accepting public comments on the Methow mining withdrawal until March 30, 2017.

Contact Information: Please use this automated comment form to convey your support for the Methow Headwaters mineral withdrawal by March 30.

For the full Conservation Northwest action alert, click here.  For the Methow Headwaters campaign page, click here.  The Methow Conservancy has compiled a list of resources on the issue here.

 

Watch Video on Washington’s Tax Code

Description: Watch the video “Washington’s Upside Down Tax Code, Explained.”

Background: A huge obstacle in the fight to fully fund public education, as well as fund many other social service issues/agencies, is to rectify Washington State’s regressive tax system. This video explains the problem well, click here.

 

Comment on Bill on Gender Segregated Bathrooms

Contact: Use the comment form: http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1011&Year=2017

Background: HB 1011, co-sponsored by our very own Vincent Buys, says that the state civil rights act does not prevent gender segregation in bathrooms.  It is unclear to me how this would be enforced.  And more importantly, it conflates the unrelated issues of transgendered people using bathrooms with that of dangerous people using bathrooms.  Let’s just get to the point already and ban dangerous people from using bathrooms!

 

Attend the Stand and Resist Exhibition

Source: Sylvia Center

Description: Attend the Stand and Resist Exhibition between Wednesday, March 29th to Friday, April 7th at the Studio Theater at Sylvia Center for the Arts, 205 Prospect St., Bellingham, WA 98225.

Background: A ten-day exhibit of visual arts and one evening of live performances, showcasing local and regional artists who are exploring the intertwined issues of threats to the Salish Sea, climate change, and alternative futures. Click here for more information.

 

National Level Actions

Call MoCs in Support of Internet Privacy

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

Description: Call your MoCs

Contact: Call (415) 360-0555 on MONDAY and you’ll be connected to your member of Congress.

Background: Facebook Event: “We are one vote away from a world where your ISP can track your every move online and sell that information to the highest bidder. Before the House votes on Tuesday, call your lawmakers and tell them to protect federal online privacy rules.”

Additional Info: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/technology/congress-moves-to-strike-internet-privacy-rules-from-obama-era.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/26/technology/internet-privacy-state-legislation-illinois.html