In Support of COVID Vaccine Mandates

It is disappointing to learn that a substantial number of our community’s first responders refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but it is astonishing to see their unions and leadership assert that special accommodations for these members are the solution. The message you are sending is that the personal beliefs and feelings of individual members are more important than the health and safety of your colleagues and those you serve.

We expect our public health and safety professionals to keep us safe. We require – and provide – training, equipment, and proactive measures to keep our community safe and healthy. Compliance with these measures is a requirement for the job and the vast majority of our first responders participate gladly. We don’t give exemptions for gloves or masks or any other measure for protecting both firefighters and community members; why would we do so with the COVID-19 vaccine? 

We ask first responders to risk their personal health and safety in the line of duty, and in return, we commit to minimizing that risk to the best of our ability. Reducing COVID-19 transmission at their workplace is one way we can reduce risk to our first responders, just as it is for the many workplaces requiring vaccination. Now their union is using their dues to fight improved workplace safety, and their leadership are going along for the ride. 

Unions and leadership are using fear tactics, imploring us that they will be so understaffed they will be unable to respond to all emergencies. There are two solutions to this problem which we prefer over providing special exemptions.

  1. Reduce the number of unvaccinated first responders. How are we helping hesitant staff choose to be vaccinated? People can and do change their minds about vaccination. Strategies known to be effective include: providing on-site, on-shift consultations with trusted doctors, modeling information-based decision making, scheduling on-site vaccine clinics, granting paid leave for a vaccine appointment, and providing incentives. Clear and consistent messaging is key, and leadership should openly support the mandate so it is clear to first responders that the vaccines are safe and effective and no special exemptions are forthcoming.
  2. Hire new staff. Refusal to participate in a safe and effective public health measure is disqualifying. We know that specialized first responder jobs require training, and that training takes more time that we have before the mandate goes into effect. We also know that firefighting positions are highly competitive, well compensated, and represented by a powerful union – these are coveted jobs. Public safety leadership, what do you need to ramp up hiring? How can we rely on “volunteer” firefighters to fill in? How can we use this opportunity to recruit a more diverse workforce? How can we hire already qualified staff who live locally but work in other communities? As of today, the number of firefighting job openings on the City of Bellingham website is zero. Let’s rally around a recruiting and training push that results in better fire and police departments.

Eighteen months into a pandemic, with our hospital reaching record numbers of largely unvaccinated COVID-19 patients, with multiple safe and effective vaccine options, we support vaccine mandates for workplaces, especially for public health & safety first-responders. 

Leadership involves doing what’s right in service of your community’s most vulnerable. We look to our leadership for creative and compassionate problem-solving, not special exemptions.

Sincerely,

Riveters Collective Board of Directors
Elizabeth Hartsoch
Krystal Rodriguez
Sarahbeth Bede
Dena Jensen
Teizeen Mohamedali
Bridget McShane
Eowyn Savela
Kris Lytton
Roman Stadtler
Jasmine Goodnow
Arlene Feld
Zenda Boss-Hall
Misty Manherz
Kelly Krieger
Morgan Kay
Delaney Manherz
Melissa Bird
Brenna Manherz
Sandy Robson
Julie Reimann
Amber Owen
Suzanne M Rosser
Suzan Mulligan
Debbi Anderson-Frey 

Bellingham Climate Action Catch-up

We’re emailing Bellingham staff and elected officials to find out their plans to catch up on climate action. Email addresses and a suggested script below. JOIN US!

Addresses for copy/paste:

ecjohnston@cob.org, rlacroix@cob.org, savidana@cob.org, cfogelsong@cob.org, smfleetwood@cob.org, hestone@cob.org, gknutson@cob.org, dchammill@cob.org, pvargas@cob.org, mlilliquist@cob.org, hahuthman@cob.org, ​laanderson@cob.org

Suggested Script

Dear City of Bellingham,

The Bellingham Climate Action Task Force finished its recommendations for Bellingham City in December 2019, and these recommendations enjoyed broad public support.  https://cob.org/wp-content/uploads/Climate-Task-Force-FINAL-Report-12_2_19.pdf

While I understand COVID-19, homelessness, racial justice and economic recovery have been at the top of the City’s agenda, it’s time to catch up on addressing climate change. 

I would like to know what your plans are for some of the recommendations from the Climate Action Task Force including:

  • Measure B1 which requires energy efficiency requirements be met at point of sale. When will this be brought to council? 
  • Measure B5 which recommends all new buildings must use only electric systems and appliances immediately. Eighteen months later there is still not an ordinance to this effect. When and how will this be implemented?
  • Measure T1 which recommends banning the internal combustion engine by 2034. This could start as a small section of the city and expand. Who is working on this? 
  • Measure T10 which urges the city to prioritize physical bike lane separation. What are the plans for this? 

Are there other recommendations that you are prioritizing? What has been done to implement them?

There are many more recommendations in the CATF report, these are simply four I have not yet seen action on and I would like to see more. These bold and concrete actions will have substantial climate impacts while improving the liveability of our city. I understand that these actions are not politically easy, but they are necessary and need your leadership. 

Addressing climate change will require standing up to special interests, ignoring fossil fuel industry propaganda and truly caring for the earth and its inhabitants. I understand the City has been working on the problems brought up in 2020, but it is no longer acceptable for climate action to wait. 

Our community needs real-time access to the status of these critical projects, and timelines for major phases and completion. The city’s current update (https://cob.org/services/environment/climate/emissions-reduction-measures) is not even dated, and lacks basic details such as the expected emission reductions from each measure. Additionally, the update includes terms such as “ongoing” and “incomplete” which provide no tangible idea of where this is on the track for completion.  Please respond with detailed updates on the status of each of these actions, and on how the city plans to dramatically accelerate progress on the Climate Action Task Force recommendations.

Bellingham resident {your name here}

 

Sign up here to be notified of future actions. Let’s do this thing.

 

Meals for Unhoused Neighbors

We’re teaming up again with Representative Sharon Shewmake, and Sarah Chan, chef and owner at Calypso Kitchen, this time to feed our unhoused neighbors on Thanksgiving. 

Sarah has been making meals for our homeless community and wants to make everyone a Thanksgiving meal. She is donating her labor, but we can help with the cost of ingredients. Can we raise $1,000 to make 300 meals for community members? 

***UPDATE – This fundraiser reached our goal and is FINISHED.***

THANK YOU!

JOIN US: Community Voting Project 2020


UPDATE: All Postcards Are Claimed!!! Nearly 200 members of our community stepped up and committed to write a total of 10,000 personalized postcards to voters in the 42nd LD. We’ve just started delivering postcards

Here’s how you can still help:

  • DONATE! Postage is expensive, and we are still a ways away from having enough funds to pay for this project.
  • Still want to write postcards, and help re-elect Representative Sharon Shewmake and elect Alicia Rule to the Washington House of Representatives? Their campaigns are doing their own personalized postcard campaign! Email them to sign up.
  • Sign up below to help us sort 10,000 postcards (no easy task!) on Oct. 4 before we put them in the mail. This will be a socially distanced, masked, outdoor event. We will contact you with more details TBD.

PENS OUT! TEXTING FINGERS READY! In 2020, we’re winning in Washington’s 42nd Legislative District by reaching out voter-to-voter and WE NEED YOU! Sign up to volunteer below, and donate here.

WHO: YOU and 42nd LD voters

WHAT: DONATE (we need $10,000) AND/OR volunteer (we need 250 volunteers!) to “adopt” a batch of voters. You’ll provide information about their ballot and the voting process by writing postcards, and making phone calls and sending text messages using our online tool (training provided! you can do it!). (Email Sharon & Alicia’s campaigns to sign up for their own postcard writing project.)

WHEN: Donate now, write postcards to your voters in September, make phone calls and send text messages in October through Election Day, Nov 3!

WHY: To re-elect Representative Sharon Shewmake, elect Alicia Rule to the Washington House of Representatives, elect Christine Grant to the Whatcom Public Utility District, and increase voter turnout for many more candidates and ballot measures. Handwritten postcards WORK. Warm contacts WORK. We do what works.

Questions? See our FAQ.

Sewing for our Community

Riveters Collective ‘Mask Makers’ group is sewing cotton face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for donation to vulnerable people in our community. We’ve burned through everyone’s fabric and elastic stashes sewing more than 3000 masks. Your donation will allow us to purchase materials in bulk. Like our namesake Rosie, we’re stepping up to meet our community’s needs.

Want to help or donate materials? Contact Kelly Krieger or join our Facebook group.

Mask Materials

$400.00 of $500.00 raised
$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

All funds raised through this campaign will be used to buy materials to sew PPE for donation locally. Any remaining funds will be donated back to local partner nonprofits.

masks mask Kelly Krieger delivering masks to Tim Ballew Tyvek suit masks

Decarbonize Bellingham!

Let’s act on climate. We all need to be engaged and informed as Bellingham makes bold strides toward a clean energy future. December 9th is a big day for progress. WE NEED YOU!

WHO: YOU, your kids, your friends, your family

WHAT: Bellingham’s Climate Action Task Force (CATF) presentation to City Council and public comment period. Here’s information on the task force’s directives and work

WHEN: Monday December 9th, come for any or all events!

— 1pm CATF presents recommendations to the council. You can attend in person or online on our virtual watch party.

— 5:30pm: Pizza at Wander Brewing, then walk to the council meeting together. Pizza and kid-friendly snacks provided.

6:30pm: sign up for public comment

— 7pm: meeting begins. 15 minutes of public comment, remaining comments happen at the end of the meeting. Attending – even if you don’t speak – is important and impactful!  We are providing political will and political cover.

HOW:

— Attend in-person – WEAR RED – or live chat in our virtual watch party

Send email Bellingham City Council members.  Thanks to Stand.Earth for making it so easy!

WHY:

Bellingham’s CATF has done outstanding work to identify actions Bellingham can take to exceed our climate emissions reduction and mitigation goals. On December 9th, the CATF will present their recommendations to the City Council. We need YOU to BE INFORMED and SHOW UP to provide the political will and political cover for our council and encourage them to take BOLD ACTION on climate change. Attending to show support is important even if you don’t speak!

Read more about the months-long misinformation campaign here:  http://www.cascadiaweekly.com/cw/currents/dueling_data

 

PAC 2019

***CLICK ON THE RACE TO EXPAND THE DETAILS***

 

Whatcom County

Bellingham

Ferndale

 

Cascadia Deaf Nation + Riveters Collective Campaign Training

Come learn about how to run for office, plan a campaign, raise money, and engage the local deaf community. Led by Ashanti Monts-Tréviska, Lisa McShane, Alex del Rosario, Morgan Steele and Karlee Deatherage. RESERVE YOUR TICKET (by donation) HERE.

The last hour (8:30-9:30) is reserved exclusively for deaf people to engage in Q&A with trainers.

Snacks provided.

Access the second-floor space via stairs or the elevator (no stairs). ASL translation provided. If childcare or cost are a barrier for you, please email us at riveterscollective@gmail.com and we’ll work something out!

Ticket donations cover space, food, ASL/spoken English interpretation, and other event expenses. The suggested donation rate will not cover all of the costs; if you are able to give more we appreciate it!

Can’t come, but want to support? Donate via the form below.

Fundraiser for Cascadia Deaf Nation + Riveters Collective Campaign Training

$235.00 of $400.00 raised
$ 25.00
Personal Info

Donation Total: $25.00

We need your support to make this happen! Cascadia Deaf Nation proposed a joint CDN/RC campaign training, with CDN leading on how to engage the deaf community, and RC leading on campaign and fundraising. We said YES TO THAT!
As always, we’re committed to making this training accessible. We’re asking for a $10 donation for attendance, and the RC is planning to contribute up to $300 from our savings, but the total event cost including ASL interpretation will be around $900.
So, we’re hoping you agree that candidate training which supports deaf candidates, and helps hearing and deaf candidates and campaign workers engage with each other is something in which YOU want to invest.
EVENT DETAILS AND TICKETS HERE.

Fundraiser for Cascadia Deaf Nation + Riveters Collective Campaign Training

Fundraiser for Cascadia Deaf Nation + Riveters Collective Campaign Training

$235.00 of $400.00 raised
$ 25.00
Personal Info

Donation Total: $25.00

We need your support to make this happen! Cascadia Deaf Nation proposed a joint CDN/RC campaign training, with CDN leading on how to engage the deaf community, and RC leading on campaign and fundraising. We said YES TO THAT!
As always, we’re committed to making this training accessible. We’re asking for a $10 donation for attendance, and the RC is planning to contribute up to $300 from our savings, but the total event cost including ASL interpretation will be around $900.
So, we’re hoping you agree that candidate training which supports deaf candidates, and helps hearing and deaf candidates and campaign workers engage with each other is something in which YOU want to invest.
EVENT DETAILS AND TICKETS HERE.