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.

Policy on Ethical Behavior for Campaigns

Our endorsement process is underway! This is one of the main ways that our collective shows solidarity with a specific candidate or issue. In other words, an endorsement is our way of saying “Hey, we like your vision for our community, we want to align ourselves with the actions you will take to achieve that vision, and we respect the way you conduct yourself as a candidate.”

In that vein, we think it’s important to be clear and open about our zero-tolerance policy for some behaviors. These are behaviors that will automatically disqualify a candidate from being eligible for, or may result in the withdrawal of a Riveters’ endorsement.  If a candidate or affiliated campaign employee, consultant or volunteer:

  • Engages in sexual harassment or sexual abuse;
  • Makes hateful or negative comments based on race, gender, sexuality, ability, or any other personal characteristic;
  • Engages in clearly unethical, illegal, or manipulative behavior.

We believe in a political environment and community where people are respectful of one another. We believe in a political environment and community where people are free to be themselves without fear of harm. We will work for a future that reflects those values. We will stand with candidates who believe in that same future. We are doing it!

How to install the Amplify app

Get our weekly action list delivered to your smartphone via the Amplify app!

RC will deliver actions once per week and you will get a notification. Also, we will occasionally send a notification if there is an urgent request. No more searching through the Facebook feed! After you take the action, you click one of the response buttons – “left voicemail”, “talked to staffer”, “did it”, etc. – and then we get counts of how many people are taking the actions. These counts will be a powerful tool in working with elected officials, showing our strength in numbers. Amplify is developed by Indivisible San Francisco. There are no ads, no external content, just the RC.


  1. Install the app for iPhone (http://apple.co/2o8cQAG) or Android (http://bit.ly/2neIpnw) (NOT currently available for tablets)
  2. Press ‘Create New Account’ to sign up
  3. Enter the Riveters Collective invite code: 045-857-672
  4. Take an action & cheer others on!
Screenshot of the Amplify app.

RC 2017 Endorsement Process

Riveters Collective 2017 Endorsement Process and Information

  • Riveters Collective has Washington Nonprofit Corporation status, which allows electoral activity, including endorsements.
  • The RC Board voted to do endorsements on April 13, 2017.
  • RC Member Susan Wood volunteered to be the Endorsements Committee Chair.
  • RC recruited endorsement committee members by an open call to members through Facebook and email.
    • RC excluded anyone from the committee who had already begun working on a campaign, is a candidate for a local office, or has a leadership role in a major political party. For this reason, RC board members Lisa McShane, Stephen Jackson and Jenn Mason were excluded from the Endorsement Committee, and abstained from involvement in the process.  Board members Elizabeth Hartsoch and Eowyn Savela supported the committee’s work, but did not serve on the committee.
    • 11 people responded to the call, met the criteria, and were appointed to the Endorsements Committee.  One of the 11 committee members, Lisa Van Doren, also serves on the RC board.
    • Recognizing that the RC leadership team and endorsement committee are not sufficiently representative of the larger community–and more importantly the more marginalized and vulnerable members of the community–and recognizing that many local progressive groups are prohibited from making candidate endorsements, RC solicited feedback from groups representing diverse interests.
    • The Endorsement Committee built questionnaires off of these responses and RC’s progressive mission. The questionnaires were shared with the RC Facebook group and were amended based on the solicited feedback.
  • All candidates who filed for open positions on the Whatcom County Council, Bellingham City Council, Port of Bellingham Commission, or Bellingham Public School Board were contacted with an invitation to request the RC endorsement.  Final questionnaires were shared on the RC website and in the facebook group.
  • Candidates were sent RC endorsement questionnaires in mid-May, immediately after candidate filing week.
  • The Endorsement Committee met to develop candidate interview questions.
  • Eighteen candidates submitted materials to the endorsement committee by the May 30th deadline.
  • The Endorsement Committee interviewed candidate interviews June 5-7, 2017.  The committee declined to interview candidates in uncontested races, and declined to interview candidates whose values were fundamentally opposed to the values of the RC.  
  • All interview questions were asked in exactly the same manner to all candidates.
  • The Endorsements Committee considered questionnaire responses and interviews in making endorsement decisions. Following extensive conversation, the Endorsement Committee made their endorsement recommendations to the RC Board.
  • The RC Board formally voted to approve all endorsements as presented by the Endorsements Committee.

Reflections on 4,000


What is it about zeros that makes us so contemplative?  The 4000th RC member is not more important than the 3999th, but advancing that thousands place always feels weighty.  

My friend Eowyn says “people are amazing”.  And she’s right.  If this group has taught me one thing, it is that we will rise to this occasion.  And if the Jesuits taught me one thing, it is the value of critical self-reflection.

So, amazing people, let’s mark this four-thousandth member with a thoughtful look at what we are doing here.  How can we better serve our cause?  How can each of us make space for another person to be amazing.  How can we see opportunities and step bravely forward?  

The daily crush of resistance actions are primarily short-term investments of our time: make a phone call, attend a meeting, send an email.  And these are all important, but the election last November was not a message that we are taking too few of these short-term actions. Rather, the message is that we were doing it entirely wrong, stewarding our democracy wrong, living with each other wrong, stewarding our earth wrong.  

Last week I visited the Royal BC Museum in Victoria and saw their exhibit on First Nations languages.  My “aha!” moment happened during a video interview of First Nations language speakers on the importance of preserving language diversity.  When a language is lost, they argued, an entire way of seeing the world and our place in it is also lost.  

Is that what we need?  Do we need an entirely new lens through which to view our existence on this planet?  Would learning the language of a people who respect their place and each other provide a sufficient foil for our language of conquest and domination?  

Amid the crush of short-term actions, are we laying the foundations for the long-term life transitions which are necessary for our community, our fellow living things, our democracy, and our world?  How do we get to the place where we are not required to make phone calls every day just to prevent disrespectful and damaging actions on the part of those who purport to represent us?  How do we build a system which respects by default?  Which habits that are normalized now – air travel, garbage, racism, corruption – cannot be part of our future, and how do we support the small choices which advance the larger goals?

These are my 4000 member questions.

Written by Elizabeth Hartsoch

Recommended Local Actions for the Week of 20170227

Recommended Local Actions for the Week of 20170227

ACT TODAY: Support SB5501/HB1663 (Funding for Toxic Pollution Prevention and Cleanup)

Call or submit comment online to express your support for these important bills which will stabilize funding for preventing and controlling pollution and cleaning up toxic sites, including the Bellingham waterfront.

Funding to support toxics cleanup, as well as pollution prevention, in Washington state comes from a tax on hazardous substances – mostly petroleum products. With the drop in oil prices in recent years, there has been a significant shortfall in revenue to support cleanup. These bills will help stabilize funding by applying a modest surtax on hazardous substances when annual revenues fall below $160M.

  • Contact information
  • Suggested comment:

The voter-approved Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) has proven to be an effective means to clean up toxic waste sites, prevent toxic chemical pollution, and support communities to address toxics pollution threats. However, the state has lost an estimated $375 million in MTCA funding over the last three years, and the tax must be stabilized to keep Washington on track in reducing harmful pollution.

Thankfully, the legislature is considering HB 1663/SB 5501, which would:

  • Stabilize funding for cleaning up toxic sites, preventing and controlling pollution, and ensuring communities have a voice in reducing threats from toxic pollution.
  • Apply a modest and temporary surcharge on the state hazardous substance tax, which would generate an estimated $50 million over the next two years and help address a $70 million budget shortfall.
  • Allow for more predictability in the state budget process and provides reliability for local communities that depend on these dollars to improve public health and the environment.
  • Help maintain funding for critical state environmental programs that benefit all corners of the state.

I urge you to support HB 1663/SB 5501 so we can protect our communities from risks we face today and keep us safe for years to come. Thank you for considering my comments, and I look forward to your response.

Comment in Support of Extending Solar Incentives

Seen all the solar panels popping up on local roofs lately?  This phenomena is due largely to a three-pronged state/federal incentive program which provides tax credit, banking of excess production, and production payments which are much higher if you buy Washington-made equipment.  The state incentives that began several years ago will expire in June of 2020.  All along, the idea has been that legislators would revise the program based on experiences and then introduce new legislation to extend it with improvements.  Unfortunately, they have failed in at least a couple of attempts to do so, and now we are staring down the expiration of incentives in 3 years.  In my amateur reading, the new legislation steps down production payments, changes the requirements around community solar installations, removes the requirement of owning the building and land, changes the funding cap, and a few more administrative details.  

Contact information

Attend the Recall Hearing for Senator Doug Ericksen

Thursday, March 2nd at 8:30am, Whatcom County Superior Court.  We will provide further guidance later this week.  Please refer to our post on this for updates.

Thank Jay Inslee for Executive Order on Immigration

It’s that time of the week again, time to call Jay Inslee and say thanks.  Washington will not participate in civil immigration raids. Read about it in the Seattle Times and the Stranger.


From the Calendar

Monday 27 Feb, 6pm, Candlelight vigil – Immigration enforcement

Monday 27 Feb, 7pm (but come at 6:15 for trading cards), Family Council Night at Bellingham City Council meeting

Saturday 4 March, 3-5pm, Riveters Collective Meeting and Social

SAVE THE DATE: 3/7/17, 6pm.  Whatcom County Council Special Presentation on the Hirst Decision.

In the Hirst decision, the Court ruled that Whatcom County, in issuing building permits with permit-exempt wells as water source, failed to comply with GMA requirements in protecting water resources.  Whatcom County Council has scheduled a special presentation on the issue at their 3/7 meeting, where they will show a 20-minute video, ask questions of state and local water experts, and hold a public hearing on a proposed interim ordinance.  More information here.



Pantsuit Bellingham is a loosely organized group of activists who have found purposeful work in resisting regressive national leadership, while visioning and fighting for a more just future.  Our leadership team is comprised of volunteers with engaged lives, and as a result, changes regularly.  Members of the current team are below, and we will endeavor to keep the list up to date.  We have no formal process for joining the team; each of these people was invited for some combination of skill, trustworthiness, motivation, independence, and positive affect.

Elizabeth Hartsoch – utility bicycling enthusiast, working mother

Suzanne Munson – working mom, social justice warrior in training

Eowyn Savela – knitter, working mom, lover of humanity

Stephen Jackson – lawyer, journalist, father, husband

Jenn Mason – working mom, palatable feminist shrew, business owner, party planner and attender

Lisa McShane – electoral politics, community organizing, professional artist.

Sarah Kirkish – cat and crochet addict, portable professional, ginger gypsy

Sara Holliday

Arlené Mantha

Building action teams: an update