Endorsement Process 2019

Follow along here as we share each step of our endorsement process.  We will update this post from now until we announce our endorsements in June.

 

March

  • 19 people applied to be on the committee and we invited all of them to join.  One person was not able to commit to the meetings and so declined to participate in the committee.
  • The committee meets 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.

February

  • We asked Riveters Collective board members and endorsement committee veterans Debbi Anderson-Frey and Lisa Van Doren to chair the committee.  We also invited Alicia Rule from Blaine to co-chair to help us expand our endorsement capacity to the smaller cities.
  • We asked for input to help plan which races we should endorse include in our endorsements.
  • 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, and on our other social media channels. Qualifications for committee members:
    -Live in Whatcom, Skagit, or San Juan county.
    -Work collaboratively with positive intent to identify candidates who align with the  RC platform.
    -Commit to attending meetings and communicating with the committee March-early 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.

Good Neighbor Election Pledge

The 2019 Elections are already taking shape. With several key local elected positions opening up, many fine progressive candidates will put their lives on hold to do the hard work of campaigning this year. Maybe even you! Or maybe you’ll work or volunteer for a campaign, or be a thoughtful, informed voter. It is all vital, consequential work. Let’s do the work in way that encourages participation and removes barriers to involvement, and let’s do it with grace.

 

Local political activists and community members, will you take this pledge with us?

 

I pledge to participate in elections by:

  • Acting in good faith when participating in political discussions and events.
  • Assuming positive intent of all participants in the electoral process.
  • Campaigning on issues and not on the shortcomings of opponents.
  • Refusing to spread rumors. Rumors are harmful. They waste time and energy, damage relationships, and discourage people from participating in campaigns and electoral politics. I pledge to research and verify claims made about candidates, campaigns, and supporters, including speaking directly with the people about whom the claims are made, before sharing such claims.
  • Informing myself on issues and policies so that I can make the most educated choice when choosing which candidates to support with my time, money and vote.
  • Agreeing to offer my support to progressive candidates on the ballot in both the primary and general elections.
  • Refusing to work with, or support, candidates or campaigns that commit or tolerate sexual harassment/assault, and committing to believing victims and survivors of sexual harassment/assault.
  • Rejecting the assumption that politics includes winning at all costs. Instead, I pledge to support the idea that in our community candidates only truly win when they are elected on the strength of their values, communications, character, and hard work.

Sign:

Sign your name above to be added to the list of neighbors who have pledged:

Eowyn Savela

Nathan Carnes

Stephanie Allen

Kris Lytton

Karlee Deatherage

Mike Estes

Carol Frazey

Michael Peñuelas

Teizeen Mohamedali

Towhee Wean

Dena Jensen

Valeri Wade

Steve Hansen

Naomi Bunis

Suzanne Munson

Jon Humphrey

Loretta Sheldon

Cheryl Robison

Alicia Rule

Colleen Harper

2019 Riveters Collective Platform

Riveters, we are proud to announce our 2019 platform!  Our platform states where we stand on the issues. It guides our collective actions and focuses our expectations of elected officials.  

We revise our platform annually and in December, we asked the group what changes we should make for 2019.  We also reached out to community organizations and invited them to make suggestions.  We were surprised and thrilled to receive over 60 comments and ideas!  The board has been carefully considering your feedback over the last few months and we have done our best to incorporate your ideas.  Is it perfect? Nope. Our platform is a living document that will always be in a draft state. We will keep refining it each year, making adjustments to reflect the changing needs of our community.  If you have ideas for future revisions, please email us at riveterscollective@gmail.com and we’ll keep them on file for next year’s edit round.

Click here to read our 2019 Platform.

Local Resources for Furloughed Government Workers

For those in need

Free haircuts Jan 21-27 at Barbershack.
https://www.facebook.com/bellinghambarbershack/posts/2237278193152976

Free bread from Great Harvest. https://www.facebook.com/212874904923/photos/a.212884089923/10157253430464924

Interest-free charge account for copays or over-the-counter products at Hoagland Pharmacy. https://www.facebook.com/hoagland.pharmacy.bellingham/posts/2042127412519066

Free fitness classes at Love to Move Studioz.  https://www.facebook.com/BrianKennemerPhotography/posts/2381542688587751

Free or reduced priced lunch for students in Bellingham School District.  http://bellinghamschools.org/news/supporting-families-impacted-by-the-government-shutdown/?fbclid=IwAR1O-KoUwcFtxqp4X_0pUl9sNXZjOC4Hl2gsOG26CIvafjbkHMcyA9y3fmA

Free indoor play for kids at Perch & Play.  https://www.facebook.com/PerchandPlay/posts/2410963712312324

Happy hour prices all day at Kulshan Brewing. https://www.facebook.com/114462868651493/posts/1929254883838940/

50% off all purchases at Growler’s Keep.  https://www.facebook.com/growlerskeep/photos/a.1360558094025662/2013230978758367

Free birthday cake for kids with Feb birthdays from Cakes by Emily.  https://www.facebook.com/CakesByEmilynw/photos/a.1680318775553134/2167649880153352

Free pizza from Ovn.  https://www.facebook.com/ovnwoodfiredpizza/photos/a.1022450027769932/2503836702964583/

50% off at Gandolfo’s New York Deli  https://www.facebook.com/GandolfosNYDeli/photos/a.10150163331920155/10156752142045155

For those who want to help

Donate food to furloughed workers at Bellingham International Airport.  https://www.facebook.com/BellinghamAirport/posts/2378586375508446

Donate infant formula to those who usually are supplied by WIC and will be in need in March. (WIC is being funded through February, but not after that.)                          https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10218634096582340

In Response to Sen. Ranker’s Resignation

Today, Senator Kevin Ranker resigned his position as state senator for Washington’s 40th Legislative District. Riveters Collective believes that resignation was the right decision, as we can no longer tolerate abuse of power at the expense of women’s safety, well-being, and professional advancement, and we also believe that the ongoing investigations of Ranker would impact his ability to serve his constituents.

Communities across our country are grappling with new ways to reconcile after sexual harassment and abuse allegations surface. We do not know the perfect answer, but we believe it starts with listening, learning, and apologizing without excuses. We are grateful to Ann Larson for coming forward and speaking her truth in the face of immense of personal and political risk. We are grateful to the people who listened to and believed Ann. We are grateful that Kevin recognized the harm his actions have caused and decided to step aside.

The events at the center of Ranker’s resignation remind us that much work remains to be done to ensure our State is a safe place for women, and Riveters Collective will continue to be active in calling for change.

First, we call on the Legislature to do more to protect victims of sexual harassment. Ranker’s appointment in the Fall to multiple major leadership positions, while Senate leadership was aware of formal sexual harassment allegations, casts doubt on whether their new respectful workplace policy and the addition of a Human Resources Officer are sufficient. The recently implemented policy and staffing resulted from the efforts of 170 women and their allies who asked that the legislature make a “tangible commitment to end sexual harassment in all its forms in Olympia”. Based on how Ann’s sexual harassment allegations were handled, it seems clear that the steps taken are inadequate. At a minimum, credible allegations of mistreating subordinates should be disqualifying for leadership positions.

Riveters Collective also expects that the person that is selected to replace Ranker firmly believes in advocating for better workplace culture, standards, and a grievance process to build a culture of respect for everyone working in the State capital.

Ann Larson has reaffirmed that one woman can change the world by speaking her truth. She is doing it. Let’s do it with her.

Signed,
Riveters Collective Board of Directors

In support of Ann Larson

We believe women and we support survivors.

Creating a safe space for people in the political world is an integral part of our work as Riveters. Our policies clearly state that we do not work with anyone who has harassed, abused and/or assaulted others. (See our zero tolerance policy for candidates).

But our work goes beyond simply refusing to work with harassers and predators. We must affirmatively stand with survivors who are willing to come forward and share their stories.

Today, we are standing with Ann Larson. We believe her story of harassment and retaliation perpetrated by Washington state 40th district senator Kevin Ranker. In the past, Kevin has been our political ally and our friend, and this story is not easy to read for any of us.  We’ve compiled a list of resources that we have found useful in supporting survivors, responding when a friend or family member is accused, and apologizing for past complicity or enabling of an abuser.

Speaking out against harassment and abuse can be hard, especially when the perpetrator is in our community, an ally, or in a position of power. But we MUST listen to and believe survivors’ stories. We believe Ann. And we believe that supporting those who share their stories will lead to a political community where people feel safe and valued, especially individuals who are in lesser positions of power. This will require us all to dig deep and dive into a difficult issue. We call on the State Senate to hold themselves to high standards in conducting this precedent-setting investigation.

Thank you, Ann, for your bravery in telling your story. Reach out if there’s more we can do to help.

#westandwithsurvivors #weAREdoingit

Forget the “Blue Wave:” We Did It

A reflection on the 2018 election

by Morgan Steele, Campaign Manager for the Riveters Collective Pledge to Vote campaign

As you watch the recount for the 42nd State Senate seat, don’t attribute the historic closeness of this election to the “blue wave.” It was us: the everyday people of Whatcom and Skagit Counties who stood up, got organized, and fought for change. We didn’t oust Sen. Doug Ericksen like we intended, but we won in many other ways.

 

As the Campaign Manager for the Riveters Collective, I saw it firsthand. The Riveters Collective is a women-led grassroots group with over 4,000 members. Most of us are moms with full time jobs that we balance in addition to the 40+ hours a week we put into building a culture of civic engagement in our community. We were mobilized to action when our local politics ran headlong into the Trump Administration as Ericksen took a second job working for Trump’s EPA.

This fall, the Riveters launched an innovative voter contact program that involved the painstaking work of building relationships with over 15,000 infrequent voters and aiding them throughout the entire electoral process. Most of the voters we talked to were completely unaware there was an election happening, much less an election about the issues most affecting their lives.

For example, one young man we spoke to didn’t know about the election and said he was disinclined to vote. After a conversation with our canvassers, he agreed to take the time to cast his ballot. When our reminder-to-vote postcard showed up in his mailbox a week before the election, he remembered our conversation and voted right away. We met him again at our election night party, where he showed up in person to thank us. Without us, he said, he would never have known how much of a difference one vote could make.

Evan, who voted because we canvassed him.

Our hard work paid off: Our data show that voters we reached were almost 2 times more likely to vote than those we didn’t. We saw dozens of volunteers step out from behind their computers and engage in the nitty-gritty of the electoral process for the first time. To us, this proves that the historic level of voter turnout in the 42nd LD wasn’t due to some intangible “blue wave,” but due to the hard work of everyday people stepping up to lead.

This trend was reflected in the diversity of first-time candidates stepping up to run for office. Riveters Collective held a candidate recruitment event in May to encourage more women and people of color to run. Of the dozen attendees, half decided to compete in 2018 elections. Notably, one of them flipped a historically Republican seat in the State House: Representative-Elect Sharon Shewmake, the economist, mom, and professor who is also our new state representative in the 42nd Legislative District.

Our community’s effort wasn’t just reflected in who we sent to Olympia (a notably more diverse cohort including Debra Lekanoff, the first Native American woman elected to our state legislature), but also in what principles we supported. Our values are clear: we want progressive leadership on the issues affecting our lives. A whopping 66.8% of Bellingham voters chose to tax ourselves in order to bring more affordable housing to our city. Whatcom County voted overwhelmingly in favor of common sense gun control, as 60.2% voted for I-1639. We supported accountable policing with 58.89% voting for I-940. Bellingham voted overwhelmingly in favor of the climate change action at about 54% supporting I-1631.

Ericksen is trying to spin the fact that he hung onto his seat by the skin of his teeth as some kind of victory of people power over big money in elections. He’s right, but not for the reason he thinks: it wasn’t “big money” that brought Justin Boneau within 80 votes of snatching Rep. Luanne Van Werven’s seat in Olympia. Boneau raised less than a third of the donations Van Werven received. It was voters’ thirst for genuine candidates who look and live like us and who will champion the most pressing issues.

When you look back at these elections, don’t see 2018 as “a wave year.” See it as the year everyday folks decided enough was enough. See it as the year Riveters Collective and other local progressives joined forces to build lasting grassroots power. See it as the year we used that power to elect progressive champions at all levels of government.

Then, when you look forward to the upcoming city and countywide elections in 2019, know that we’re just getting started.

Tell Whatcom County Council to support ALL immigrant families

Take Action: Write to Whatcom County Council Members to support the recommendations of the Public Health Advisory Board to the Whatcom County Health Board to support of immigrant families of all statuses.

Feel free to provide any expertise or experiences you have regarding the negative impacts on immigrants or our greater community resulting from the harassment, apprehension, detention, and/or deportation of immigrants.

The council will likely take up the PHAB request at their November 20th meeting, so write your emails before then.

Email addresses (use all email addresses below on your email, so that the email will be part of the public record, and will be sure to reach each individual Council Member in a timely manner):
council@co.whatcom.wa.us
bbrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us
bbuchana@co.whatcom.wa.us
rbrowne@co.whatcom.wa.us
ssidhu@co.whatcom.wa.us
tdonovan@co.whatcom.wa.us
tballew@co.whatcom.wa.us
tbyrd@co.whatcom.wa.us

Source: Whatcom County Public Health Advisory Board: http://www.whatcomcounty.us/572/Public-Health-Advisory-Board

Background: The Public Health Advisory Board (PHAB) met in early October 2018 to review health and safety impacts which recent detentions of undocumented workers are having on immigrants of all statuses and on our community. They also talked about the potential impacts proposed changes to the “public charge” rule (in other words, the Department of Homeland Security seeking to reshape how the federal government defines “public charge”) would have on immigrants and our county.

On November 7, 2018 Public Health Director Regina Delahunt came before the Whatcom County Council Public Works and Health Committee meeting with a request for Council support for immigrant families in Whatcom County. An October 25, 2018 letter had been sent from the Public Health Advisory Board (PHAB) to the Whatcom County Health Board (WCHB) outlining recommendations for creating a resolution and task force focused on support systems and services for families of immigrants of all statuses affected by detention and deportation. The letter also recommended that the WCHB submit comments to the Department of Homeland Security and letters to U.S. Senators and Representatives opposing changes to the “public charge” rule.

Additional Information:
Community to Community Development blog post, “Community Organizing in Response to the August 29, 2018 ICE Raid”: http://www.foodjustice.org/blog/2018/10/26/community-organizing-in-response-to-the-august-29th-ice-raid?fbclid=IwAR2M51PQhAxh9b4cVIOn_fOPDg1BWKappL7kAyMkci2pq-IKlne_HXMerWA

Letter from the PHAB to the WCHB: https://noisywatersnw.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/letter-from-rachel-lucy-screen-shot-2018-11-08-at-6-52-07-pm.png
https://noisywatersnw.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/letter-from-rachel-lucy-screen-shot-2018-11-08-at-6-52-07-pm.png

Copy of the Agenda Bill and attached materials from the PHAB regarding the request for support from County Council for families of immigrants in Whatcom County: http://www.whatcomcounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/37858/ab2018-302?bidId=

Thank you

After countless doors knocked, donations tallied, texts sent, and vote after vote sought, pledged and returned, and so many races yet to be called, there’s only one thing left for the board of directors to say to you, the Riveters Collective.

Thank you.

Thank you for your time, your efforts, your voices, and your bravery.

Thank you to every person who ran for office—who braved campaigning and forums, who earnestly listened to a cacophony of differing opinions, and made the choice to offer your leadership to our community. No matter the outcome of your race, thank you for your willingness to serve.

Thank you to all who served on our endorsement committee and gave hours of your time vetting candidates, not to determine who was the most enigmatic choice, but to determine the candidates you believed most capable of accomplishing the goals of the Riveters’ platform.

Thank you to everyone who showed up to a candidate forum and asked tough questions. Thank you to everyone who wrote a letter to the editor, attended a rally or a protest, joined a new group, donated to a campaign or cause you believed in, or simply engaged in the type of political conversation you would have shied away from 3 years ago.

Thank you to everyone who sat still and listened. Who paused to examine their own privilege, had uncomfortable conversations, and read and learned and discussed new views on intersections and identity.

Thank you to everyone who knocked on doors and made calls and sent mail (both e- and snail) to their fellow voters and our elected representatives. Thank you for holding our government officials accountable. Thank you for helping to crush turnout records. And thank you for inspiring so many others to join in our work.

Two years ago, in the wake of an election that shattered so many of us, the seeds of a movement were planted in our ever-fertile Northwest corner of Washington. Riveters was born out of moxie and collaboration, when a group of ordinary people—women, parents, perfectly average individuals—stopped waiting for those in power to fix things. Although so many of our members would still consider themselves unremarkable, together we’ve accomplished the exceptional, simply through our commitment to doing the work at hand—work that too many of us have neglected for too long.

It’s work we’ve not done perfectly, with plenty of missteps and painful lessons learned. There have been times when we’ve been blind to our privilege and had our edges painfully stretched. We’ve experienced a taste of the personal attacks that too often are directed at any woman in the public sphere. We’ve learned, we’ve grown, and we’ve persisted.

In these election results there are wins and not-wins, and lots of continued nail-biting and challenges to act upon. But what we’re building is not an event or a single election, it’s a habit. It’s an acceptance of our responsibility to one another and the world we live in. We’re reclaiming our space in civic life.

At our election celebration, board member Marissa McGrath quoted Henry Rollins and said “The only thing worse than complacency is complacency.” With all that you’ve made happen these last weeks, months and years, we know that as a community and group, we’ll never be complacent again. So today we celebrate our wins and grieve our losses, and then we get back to the practice of civics. There’s a platform to revise, a candidate bench to build, and so much more to do to nurture our community and democracy. However, one thing is abundantly clear: however much work there is to do, we ARE doing it.

Thank you for all that you do.
The Riveters Club Board of Directors

Bellingham City Council At-Large Position

Earlier this summer, Councilmember Roxanne Murphy announced her resignation from the Bellingham City Council.  This initiated an appointment process to fill the vacancy.  The council will meet on Monday, October 1st to hear from the applicants and vote to appoint an interim council member who will serve out the remainder of the term, ending November 2019.

The Riveters Collective has, with input from a number of community groups, crafted a 10-question questionnaire as a way to collectively get to know the applicants. We are sharing the responses we received so that you can:

  • Learn more about the applicants and their positions.
  • Evaluate how well each applicant aligns with our platform.
  • Email the Bellingham City Council and urge them to vote for the candidate you think would best represent you.  You must do this before 6:00 pm Monday, Oct 1st.

Please note that we did not receive questionnaire responses from all applicants. It was difficult to share our questionnaire with all applicants because the city removed the contact info from their applications before posting them online. Click here to view the 12 responses we received.

You can view more information about all of the applicants, including those who did not complete our questionnaire, by going here and viewing the “special meeting packet”, linked in the Final Candidate Applications section.

Email contacts for Bellingham City Council (use individual emails AND group email for best results).

ccmail@cob.org  (all 6 Council Members)

gknutson@cob.org (2nd ward) Gene Knutson

abarker@cob.org (1st ward) April Barker

mlilliquist@cob.org (6th ward) Michael Lilliquist

ptmvargas@cob.org (4th ward) Pinky Vargas

tbornemann@cob.org (5th ward) Terry Bornemann

dchammill@cob.org (3rd ward) Dan Hammill