Click through to view our 2018 endorsement questionnaires. Many thanks to the hard work of our all-volunteer endorsement committee!
The Whatcom Conservation District holds an election for one supervisor each year. Unlike all other elections, WCD supervisor elections are not held by the Whatcom County Auditors office, and you will not automatically receive a ballot.
Here’s what you need to do:
- DEADLINE PASSED: Before February 7th at 4 p.m.: request a ballot. Fill out this online form before February 7th at 4pm.
- Mid-February: receive your ballot in the mail (we’re not sure when they will be mailed, but you can bet there will be chatter about this in our Facebook group).
- Also Mid-February: Read about the candidates. Our recruiting committee sent these questions to the candidates and received responses from Alan Chapman and David Kroontje.
- Ballot return deadline is Tuesday, March 13th at 6p.m. (as far as I can tell from the WCD page). If you are worried your ballot will be delayed in the mail, you can vote in-person at the WCD on Tuesday March 13th between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Riveters Collective has officially endorsed Alan B. Chapman.
Still have questions? Send us an email!
Rally on 2 December 2017, 5pm, Bellingham City Hall
The GOP just passed a Tax Scam bill that will forever change the United States. But the fight is NOT OVER! The house and senate bills still need to be reconciled.
The Tax Scam bill is a giveaway to the rich and an attack on the most vulnerable among us. It’s designed to take from our communities and line the pockets of the wealthy. At the same time it makes irreversible changes by opening up the Arctic to drilling and classifying fetuses as people.
Americans across the country are taking to the streets and need us to join them. Today at 5:00 p.m. in Whatcom County we are taking to the steps of Bellingham City Hall to make our voices heard.
Stand up today. Together. Take a stand for our health care, our environment, our neighbors, our community.
Join us today at 5:00 p.m. at Bellingham City Hall.
Come with signs. Come without signs.
Come with your friends, neighbors, family. Come alone to know that you aren’t.
Come to stand shoulder to shoulder for our country.
Riveters Collective values a fair and compassionate justice system with decisions informed by data and community process. This is the community’s jail and should reflect our values. Acknowledging that Whatcom County’s existing jail requires upgrades at a minimum, we see an opportunity to implement a bold new vision. We expect and will support our elected officials in casting risky votes toward these ends.
We express our gratitude to county council members Todd Donovan, Barry Buchanan and Ken Mann for voting against sending an incomplete and costly jail proposal to the November ballot. The work of the Vera Institute of Justice and the Incarceration and Reduction Task Force is not complete, and while we don’t yet know what size our jail should be, in a recent email regarding the size of the proposed jail Vera wrote, “Using the correct population, one would arrive at a number more than 30 percent smaller.” That underscores a need to wait until the work is complete before developing a plan.
We are disappointed that county council member Rud Browne moved to put this costly jail on the ballot, and council members Carl Weimer, Barbara Brenner, and Satpal Sidhu voted in favor. The two council members who invested the most time into finding solutions, Donovan and Buchanan, argued forcefully for waiting and stated clearly that this proposal isn’t ready and will fail again in November. Their hard work was ignored in favor of haste.
We are disappointed that city councilmembers Michael Lilliquist, Pinky Vargas, Gene Knutson, Terry Bornemann and Roxanne Murphy voted for the Jail Funding Use Agreement (JFUA). This vote was premature; we expect a thoughtful, data-driven solution for our justice system. As citizens we are certain you have more power than you believe and wish you would have used your positions to urge the county to find a better approach. Given a choice between joining a poorly-researched project which perpetuates the prison industrial complex or declining to join and pursuing our own solution, we are ready to stand alone. At it’s core, the JFUA is a regressive sales tax that takes up 100-percent of our public safety tax capacity for the next 30 years. We also acknowledge that you each struggled with this decision, and we heard your statements as you voted yes — that you believed this was the best deal you could get for Bellingham in order to put some – albeit limited – funds into diversion programs. We thank city councilmembers April Barker and Dan Hammill for clearly expressing our shared values.
This year, Riveters Collective will work to defeat the jail ballot measure and will take pride in our work to find a better, more equitable path for justice in our community. We see better solutions on the horizon:
- Bail reform so that people are not held in jail simply because they cannot pay
- Fully funding treatment first, before incarceration
- Diversion from jail, with incarceration as the last resort for those who are a danger to themselves or others; and
- A new look at less expensive options for a new or renovated jail.
We believe that if we agree to put $110 million into a large jail in Ferndale, plus another $30-million for a sheriff’s office, that there will be insufficient funds for treatment, robust and effective diversion, or for re-entry into the community. Those are the very programs that make us safer. The proposed jail size, potential for expansion, distance from the courthouse, and proximity to Border Patrol are concerns. We will push for a serious look at either a smaller, less expensive jail or renovating our downtown jail.
Simply put, we believe that spending 100-percent of our public safety tax capacity for the next 30 years on a jail is not an investment in hope, but instead builds a legacy of despair. We stand ready to work with all of our elected officials on an equitable and comprehensive justice system after this ballot measure fails in November. Our goal will be an equitable, fair and less-costly solution that we can all support with pride.
The Riveters Collective Board of Directors
***Co-sign our letter below.***
Lisa Van Doren
Stephen W. Jackson
Bette C Williams
Helen E. Moran
***Riveters Collective *** 2017 Endorsed Candidates***
Bellingham City Council
Ward 4: Pinky Vargas
Ward 6: Michael Lilliquist
At-large: Roxanne Murphy
Bellingham School Board
Position 4: Jenn Mason
Position 5: Douglas W. Benjamin
Port of Bellingham
District 1: Michael Alvarez Shepard
District 2: Barry Wenger
Whatcom County Council
District 1: Rud Browne
District 2: Todd Donovan
District 3: Rebecca Boonstra
At-large: Barry Buchanan
We have a cheat sheet for you! Click on the image below to download a shareable image for social media.
Want to know a little more about these candidates and why we chose them? Click here to read their questionnaire responses, along with the responses of several other candidates whom we interviewed.
Cover photo credit: Kjersten Hayes
The RC sent endorsement questionnaires to candidates on 19 May 2017. Our endorsement committee is still hard at work, building rubrics for evaluation of responses and scheduling interviews. You can see the questions linked below.
Dates will be added and linked as they are confirmed.
*AMA stands for Ask Me Anything. The candidate has agreed to take questions on the thread at the designated time. This is an online chat.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Elizabeth Hartsoch, Riveters Collective, 1-360-305-5624
Statement: Pick a job, Senator Ericksen.
WHATCOM COUNTY, WASHINGTON — Today the Washington State Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee held a hearing on HB 1001 and Senator Ericksen was in attendance. HB 1001 is a technical bill updating the payment schedule for utility easements on state owned aquatic lands. It passed the House 97-0 and is now being considered in the Senate. But Senator Erickson has introduced a major amendment which would overturn state protection of Cherry Point.
The amendment language mirrors that from one of his failed senate bills, a bill for which he was the sole sponsor, and missed the hearing because he was at his full-time job in Washington, D.C. – unsurprising since Senator Ericksen has missed more than three quarters of his committee hearings this year.
Citizens and elected Tribal leaders, however, showed up in force to the January 24th hearing in the Senate Natural Resources and Park Committee. Citizens and Tribal leaders opposing the bill filled the hearing room and an overflow room. Tribal leaders spoke in opposition and not a single person signed in to support overturning protections of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.1
In response to this renewed attempt to open the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve to industrial development, local activists with the Riveters Collective issued the following Statement:
“Our message was clear at the hearing in January – we want state protection for the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve,” said Elizabeth Hartsoch with the Riveters Collective and a resident of the 42nd Legislative District. “Unfortunately, our Senator was in D.C. at his other job. Nobody – not even Senator Ericksen – signed in to support his attempt to overturn protection of the Cherry Point Aquatic reserve, and it failed to advance out of committee. Today Senator Ericksen flew back from DC to try again to open up the Salish Sea for coal export. This is a waste of everyone’s time and both state and federal taxpayer money. Once again we urge Senator Ericksen to pick one full-time job and stick with it. Nobody – not his constituents back home nor his colleagues in Olympia – is well served by him trying to keep both jobs.”
Join us for an inspirational and practical forum featuring state senator Kevin Ranker and Timothy Ballew II, chair of the Lummi Nation.
Senator Ranker will provide specific ideas for what each of us can do to stand up for our core values in the face of our current administration. Ranker is clear: there are core areas about which we cannot compromise: women’s rights, minority rights, LGBTQ rights, access to quality education, reproductive health and choice, environmental protection. Chairman Ballew will share opening words.
You’ll leave the presentation fired up, with a list of ideas for what you can do now to bring about positive change!
This free event is co-sponsored by the Lummi Nation and Riveters Collective.
Date: Sunday, 19 March 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. Lobby doors open at 12:00, theater doors at 12:30
Location: Mount Baker Theatre
Tickets: This is not a ticketed event. Attendance is free, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
R.S.V.P. To receive updates, r.s.v.p. to our Facebook event or check this page.
Accommodations: We plan to have an ASL interpreter. Guests can also request assistive hearing devices from theatre ushers or staff. The theatre has eight permanent wheelchair spots.
DONATE HERE: We met our fundraising goal, no more donations!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2017
42nd District Citizens Undaunted by Recall Decision
The citizen-led recall of Washington State Senator Doug Ericksen, D-42, was dismissed in court this morning with a finding of “insufficient grounds”. In her decision, Whatcom Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis confirmed that there is no standard expectation of service against which Washington State senators can be judged. Senators are not required to do anything, and therefore cannot fail to meet the standard.
“The performance of Sen. Ericksen in his duties as senator has to mean something,” Montoya-Lewis said. “But there’s no standard that’s laid out in the statutes. There’s no description. There’s no case law that indicates what ‘discharge of his duties under his oath of office’ means.”
Petitioners were disappointed to learn that the remedy of recall is not available when a senator so clearly and intentionally neglects the business of the senate and the work of representing the people of his district.
“It is astonishing to learn that our state senator can just decide not to do his job and there is literally no remedy available to us until he is up for re-election. In my mind, showing up to work is a bi-partisan value”. Said Elizabeth Hartsoch of Riveters Collective. “Finding sponsors for legislation to close this loophole is a clear path forward for us. As is identifying a responsive and collaborative leader willing to take Senator Ericksen’s seat in the next election”.
Stephen Gockley, counsel for the petitioners, introduced evidence showing that in addition to his extensive record of meeting absences, Senator Ericksen has inappropriately claimed per diem payments of $120/day on days when he was demonstrably not working on senate business in any way. He also argued that while occasional absences from meetings or votes are normal for senators, it is unprecedented for a senator to acknowledge a complete disengagement from senate business by declining per diem on so many days. A timeline of Senator Ericksen’s 2017 legislative session attendance and per diem claims is available on the Riveters Collective website.
“I’m proud of this citizen led effort and the amazing response we’ve had by constituents”. Said petitioner Michael Shepard. “Nearly 3000 people have signed petitions, provided evidence, made calls and participated in this recall effort. We will continue to be engaged, seeking accountability and effective representation for the 42nd district.”
Petitioners intend to continue holding Senator Ericksen accountable, beginning with attendance at his town hall meeting on Saturday.