Endorsements 2021


Whatcom County



Ballot Initiatives & Propositions

Learn More About the Candidates

Links will be added as they become available.

How are our endorsements made? Read our 2021 endorsements process timeline here.

Endorsements 2021 Update

Our endorsement committee is hard at work preparing to interview candidates who are interested in receiving our endorsement!

Questionnaires were emailed to candidates in eligible races using the email address they provided when they filed for office. If you did not receive an email from us, you probably did not provide an email address when you filed. If you did not receive an email from us and are interested in pursuing our endorsement, please send us an email at riveterscollective@gmail.com. The deadline to submit completed questionnaires to us is Friday, May 28.

These are the 2021 races that we are making endorsements in:

  • Whatcom County Council
  • Port of Bellingham
  • Bellingham Municipal Court Judge
  • City Council: Bellingham, Blaine, Everson, Ferndale, Lynden, Nooksack, Sumas
  • Mayor: Blaine, Everson, Lynden, Nooksack, Sumas
  • School Board: Bellingham, Blaine, Everson, Ferndale, Lynden, Meridian, Mount Baker, Nooksack Valley

Tell Bellingham what you want in a Police Chief by this Friday, April 16th!

Tell Bellingham what you want in a Police Chief by this Friday, April 16th!

The City of Bellingham is asking for feedback on priorities to consider in the selection of the next Police Chief. Details about the position available in the job posting (External link) and recruitment brochure (External link).

The survey questions are below in bold; responses are limited to 255 characters. We’ve included some potential responses followed by character counts in italics below each question.  Feel free to use them or provide your own.:

What skills and characteristics do you want to see in our next Police Chief?

  • Ability to build a culture & practice of policing that reflects the values of protection & promotion of the dignity of all, especially the most vulnerable (155)
  • Compassion for the community, integrity, and professionalism (61)
  • Trustworthy and transparent (29)
  • Commitment to eliminating white supremacy and systemic racism in the department and in the community (100)

What background, experience, and/or achievements should we consider when selecting our next Police Chief?

  • Demonstrated collaboration with community members to develop policies & strategies supported by data made publicly available in communities & neighborhoods disproportionately affected by crime (193)
  • Experience leading a department that achieved decreases in use of force and increases in de-escalation & alternatives to arrest (128)
  • Experience collaborating with communities to identify problems & collaborate on implementing solutions that produce meaningful results for the community (153) 

What do you believe should be the top priorities for our next Police Chief?

  • Advancing transparency in data and reporting and accountability to the public (78)
  • Civilian oversight of law enforcement to strengthen trust with the community and hold officers accountable (107)
  • Building relationships based on trust with immigrant, indigenous, unhoused,  and visible minority communities (110)
  • Tracking and addressing biased policing (40)
  • Curbing the excessive militarization of the police force by imposing meaningful restraints and adopting best practices (119)
  • Partnering with the city to develop 24/7 mobile crisis intervention first responder units that are not law enforcement (119) 

What else would you like us to consider when selecting our next Police Chief?

  • Community engagement in this process requires meaningful opportunities to engage including but not limited to open forums with questions from the public, a transparent process, and members of the public enduring disparities on the hiring committee (248)
  • Reducing incarceration, focusing on rehabilitation, and reducing recidivism (76)
  • Review & publicly disclose candidates’ complaint and misconduct records, including lawsuits filed, as an individual and for previous departments prior (151) 

Please complete the survey HERE: https://engagebellingham.org/police-chief


Many of these bullet points were borrowed or adapted from:




Write to Your Legislators: Support Adjudication of the Nooksack Basin

The state House has released its budget proposal, and it doesn’t provide separate funding for adjudication of the Nooksack basin. If funding isn’t provided for the adjudication, it won’t happen.

This is where you come in! We need to contact legislators to tell them to support the Senate language for the Nooksack basin adjudication. This is the ONLY version of the budget language supported by the Nooksack Tribe and Lummi Nation.


Sample Letter:

Dear Legislator,
Please support the Senate budget language for Nooksack basin adjudication. This is the only version supported by the Nooksack Tribe and Lummi Nation. I ask that you stand with the Tribes in supporting the Senate budget language.

Last week both operating budgets were released but unfortunately the House budget merges funding for ecology to do the work of preparing water rights for court, with a separate funding request for Whatcom County. Those should remain separate so that Ecology has the funding they need to begin the work of adjudication.

Adjudication is how the state makes sure there’s enough water in the Nooksack for salmon. This will protect water for salmon, honor Treaty rights, and create certainty around water use for everyone.

I ask that you please:
1. Support the Senate version only.
2. Do not amend the House version.
3. Reach out to Rep. Ormsby, Rep. Fitzgibbon, and House Appropriation Staffer K.D. Chapman-See to ask them to accept the Senate language on adjudication during the upcoming budget conference.

Report Hate Crimes


Many in our community are breathing a collective sigh of relief, now that Covid 19 infection rates are diminishing and local vaccine rates are up. Despite this good news,   we must be ever more vigilant to stand in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Island community who are experiencing virulent attacks across the nation, parallel to the pandemic. We must stand up against hate and demonstrate solidarity with ALL who are victimized by it. If you experience or witness a hate crime:

  • Get medical help, if necessary.*
  • Write down all details of the crime as soon as possible after the incident. Include the perpetrator[s] gender, age, height, race, weight, clothes and other distinguishing characteristics. If any threats or biased comments were made, include them in the report.*
  • Make a report. Report the incident to local law enforcement who are required to document and keep statistics on hate crimes. If victims do not want to go to the police, submit a report to the local Civil Rights/Human Rights Task Force in your area. Even if an incident doesn’t meet the legal definition of a hate crime, it is still important to report it to the appropriate entity.*
  • Locally, you can contact The Whatcom Human Rights Task Force for further support:
    Phone: 1-360-389-3898
    Email: whatcomhrtf@gmail.com
    Web: whrtf.org

*Source: https://capaa.wa.gov/resources/report-hate-discrimination/

Join Our 2021 Endorsement Committee!

Update: applications for the 2021 Endorsement Committee have closed.

Want to get in on one of our main activities in 2021? No experience necessary. Apply for our Endorsement Committee now!

Do you want to help shape the names that appear on Whatcom County ballots, meet candidates, and learn more about local issues?

New this year–we are excited about tiered committee involvement! The pandemic has everyone strapped for time. Our process can be tailored to work for your situation.

Our goal is to engage people from a variety of backgrounds–our committee will have both well known names in local politics, and people stepping up for the first time. This is a grassroots effort and part of our goal is education! Come engage, learn, and influence with us!

You won’t need to attend all the meetings if that doesn’t work for your schedule. Meetings will all be on Zoom from 6:30 – 8:30 pm every other Wednesday from March through June. Evening in-person candidate interviews will likely be scheduled during the week of June 7th- June 11th. To apply, please complete this form.