Skip to content

Endorsement Committee Members

  • Chairs: Jennifer Wright and Amanda Zimmerman
  • Steering Committee: Stephanie Allen, Zenda Boss-Hall, and Emily Sharpe
  • Committee: April Barker (recused from all races), Bernice Chang, Annalee Dunn, Paloma Edison, Yarrow Greer, Kim Harris, Shu-Ling Hergenhahn-Zhao (Recused from Bellingham City Council Ward 6 and At-Large), Rita Jefferson, Kris Lytton (recused from County Council District 2), Kathleen Mangan, Katherine Murphy, Natalie Ransom, Liz Stuart, and Megan Yeates.


  • Committee members (other than those recusing on certain races-see below) scored the written responses using rubrics.
  • Candidate interviews were held the first full week of June!  Interviews were recorded via Zoom.
  • Committee members scored the candidates based on the information given to the candidates in the letter we sent to them in May.
  • Committee members reviewed scoring results and discussed the candidates and additional considerations. They reached consensus on recommending candidates to the board.
  • The following committee members recused themselves from all scoring, discussion, and recommendations related to the following races: April Barker, all races; Shu-Ling Hergenhahn Zhao, Bellingham City Council Ward 6 and At-Large; Kris Lytton, Whatcom County Council District 2.
  • Recommendations were submitted by the committee to the board and voted on by the board at a June 17th meeting.
  • The Board of Directors voted to endorse the candidates.
  • The following board members recused themselves from all discussion, and voting related to the following races or were absent: Michael Peñuelas, recused himself from all endorsement discussion and voting for Bellingham City Council At-Large, Whatcom County Council At-Large and District 1, and Bellingham Port Commission District 2. Elizabeth Mulligan Hartscoch and Sarahbeth Bede were absent.
  • Endorsements announced!
  • Endorsement statements written
  • Candidate graphics created
  • Candidate graphics and statements published.
  • Candidate questionnaire responses prepared and organized
  • Videos prepped and captioned
  • YouTube updated and playlists created and organized
  • Written responses and Zoom video recordings of candidates published.
  • Website updated with 2021 information, videos, and links to questionnaire responses.
  • Timeline published


  • Questionnaires were prepped for distribution and distributed to candidates.
  • We provided committee members training in how to write rubrics.
  • Based on our questions, we made rigorous rubrics that were aligned to the platform.
  • Questionnaires were emailed to candidates as they filed during the week of May 17 through May 21st.
  • Candidates were required to return completed questionnaires by May 28th to be considered for endorsement.
  • The committee reviewed and scored the written responses to the questionnaires using the rubrics.


  • The committee met to write, revise, and finalize questions aligned to the positions and platform.
  • We gave the committee instruction on providing effective feedback on questions and what we could do to move them forward.
  • We learned from committee member Shu-Ling Hergenhahn-Zhao about the Port, what it oversees, how it functions, and current issues.
  • We learned about the Bellingham Municipal Court from Sarah Kooistra and Kellen Kooistra, Deputy Prosecutor for Whatcom County.


  • Our First Meeting:
    • Keynote speaker, former 40th LD Representative and Majority Floor Leader Kris Lytton opened the first meeting, talking about the impact of Riveters Collective in the community and our influence in politics.
    • The committee met for the first time to get to know each other, learn some background of Riveters Collective and learn why we make endorsements, discuss the races and decide which races we can cover, decide who will work on which races, discuss writing questions and using rubrics to rate answers against the Riveters Collective platform, and learn about the online collaboration tools we use to work.
    • We began listing topics for questions and figuring out what information we would need in order to ask questions that would elicit candidates views, actions, plans, and vision around application of the values in our platform.
  • Moving Forward:
    • We learned from committee member and former Bellingham City Council Member April Barker about how city and county council government work–what they oversee, how the system functions.
    • We provided training on how to write effective questions mapped out what information we needed to write questions targeted to both the positions and the platform, and we did tech training.
    • We began writing the questions.


  • The board met to discuss goals for the endorsement committee for the upcoming year and appointed chairs and steering committee.
  • The steering committee formed and initiated work planning the year and recruiting committee members.
  • We used a Google form to recruit endorsement committee members and shared it in our Facebook group, on our Facebook page, to our mailing list, Instagram and Twitter. Qualifications for committee members:
    • Live in Whatcom, Skagit, or San Juan county.
    • Work collaboratively with positive intent to identify candidates who align with the 2021 RC Platform.
    • Commit to attending Zoom meetings and communicating with the committee March-mid June.
    • Commit to making time outside of meetings for question development, editing, response review and scoring, and communication with the committee.
    • Anyone who is an officer, committee member, or employee of a political party, or who is already working on a campaign for which we plan to endorse is not eligible for the endorsement committee. Committee members will refrain from involvement in campaigns until endorsements are made in early June.
  • Our endorsement committee consists of volunteers from the community. In addition to steering committee members, 16 people applied to be on the committee prior to the date of our first meeting and we invited all of them to join. Two people were not able to commit to the meetings and so declined to participate in the committee.