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

 

Focus on Climate Action – Rep Sharon Shewmake

In a recent poll completed by Riveters Collective seeking input on what areas the organization should focus on in the upcoming year, Climate Action was the top priority. Each month, Riveters Collective will highlight climate action mitigation policies and strategies that our endorsed elected officials are implementing in our communities.

Our first Focus on Climate Action is with Representative Sharon Shewmake. Representative Shewmake was elected in 2018 to serve in the 42nd Legislative District. Following are three policies related to climate that she plans to champion during the 2020 legislative session.

 

Natural Gas Leaks in Our Cities

Natural gas is a potent greenhouse gas. Even small leaks can add up to high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, the incentives utilities have to fix leaks encourage leaky infrastructure. Utilities are currently allowed to pass the costs of all the gas that leaks out of the pipes along to the ratepayers, unless the leak is likely to explode. We need to fix this for the environment and for rate-payers who shouldn’t be paying for gas they don’t get.

In partnership with the utilities, unions, and environmental community, Representative Shewmake is writing a bill that would change this. In short, it would mandate a cost-benefit analysis that would incorporate 1) the cost of the wasted gas, 2) the social cost of that carbon, and 3) the human safety-related costs of any leaky infrastructure. If 1+2+3 is a dollar figure larger than what the repair would cost, the utility would be required to fix the leak.

Representative Shewmake plans to introduce this bill for the first time in January. If passed, Washington would have the strongest policy in the nation to deal with fugitive emissions and she hopes other states would follow suit.

 

The “Sustainable Farms and Fields Act”

Farms don’t just produce food, they also have the potential to help us fight climate change by storing carbon. HB 2095 is a bi-partisan bill that Representative Shewmake helped develop that would pay farmers to sequester carbon and reduce fossil fuel use on farms. The idea is that we could have a local offset program where those looking to offset CO2, including the state government, could invest in carbon sequestration on farms. The Senate version of this bill made it pretty far through the process, but eventually got stalled. A few agricultural associations felt like they were insufficiently consulted during the bill’s development and asked that the House of Representatives step in to slow the process down. Representative Shewmakeis working on it over the rest of 2019.

This work is being funded by a “budget proviso” that Representative Shewmake wrote and got included in last year’s state budget.

She told us, “I’m really excited about this bill – I think it is a great policy both for our farmers and for our climate. My hope is that, together, the stakeholders will try to pass the new-and-improved “Sustainable Farms and Fields Act” in 2020!”

 

Tax Break for Electric Bikes

Representative Shewmake wrote a bill last year that would incentivize the purchase of electric bikes by setting up a tax break. It would get rid of the sales tax on the purchase of an electric bike, which can really add up! The idea is to decrease the barriers to adoption of electric bikes, which are a fantastic low-carbon alternative to cars.

Though the bill didn’t pass last year, the Governor’s office and other major stakeholders took notice and Representative Shewmake is having regular meetings with them about how we can move this innovative idea toward implementation in 2020!

You can email Representative Shewmake at Sharon.Shewmake@leg.wa.gov.
And, subscribe to her newsletter here.

Stay tuned for regular Focus on Climate Action updates from other elected leaders in our community.

Whatcom Conservation District 2018 Supervisor Election

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:

  1. DEADLINE PASSED: Before February 7th at 4 p.m.: request a ballot.  Fill out this online form before February 7th at 4pm.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Candidate Information

Riveters Collective has officially endorsed Alan B. Chapman.

  1. Alan B. Chapman
    Responses to RC Questions
  2. Larry Helm
  3. David M. Kroontje
    Responses to RC Questions

Candidate statements to the WCD

Still have questions?  Send us an email!

Call Governor Inslee Regarding the Cooke Aquaculture Farmed Fish Release

Here’s the Lummi Nation’s ask for support (plus one RC ask, #3) in responding to the Cooke Aquaculture farmed fish release near Cypress Island.

Call Governor Inslee
360-902-4111

Hi, my name is _____ and I live in ______, Washington.

I’m calling to ask Governor Inslee to do three things:

1. Join the Lummi Nation in declaring a State of Emergency in response to the Cooke Aquaculture release of farmed Atlantic salmon near Cypress Island.

2. Coordinate recovery efforts immediately

3. Direct WA State employees to name Cooke Aquaculture in all media and documentation, and omit the company-contrived eclipse story, which is intentional misdirection.

# Background

On Saturday August 19th, a Cooke Aquaculture pen containing Atlantic salmon failed, and released more than 300,000 farmed fish into the Salish Sea near Cypress Island. The company, inexplicably, blamed the eclipse, though actual data show that tidal currents had been higher in previous days and in every other month of the year. This is not the first such release, and yet there are no alert systems or back-up systems for this kind of situation. Lummi Nation is responding, but wants the State’s support.
http://www.npr.org/…/environmental-nightmare-after-thousand…

Recommended Actions for the Week of 20170703

***CLICK ON THE TOPIC HEADER TO EXPAND THE DETAILS***

Local Level Actions

National Level Actions / Other

From the Calendar

Link to the Riveters Collective Calendar

Every Monday: Attend a vigil hosted by C2C and Keep Bellingham Families Working. A vigil will be held from 11:30a.m.-12:30p.m. in front of City Hall until Aug. 28, 2017 or from 5:00-6:00p.m. at the WTA downtown bus station. Support undocumented and immigrant families to live in safety and dignity in our community. Come together and join in building power in people!

Friday, July 7, 2017 from 6:30-8:30p.m.: Attend the Homeless Person Summit at Maritime Heritage Park, 500 W Holly St, Bellingham, WA 98225. HomesNow. Not Later. is hosting a listening opportunity to hear from homeless people and to discuss what they need and want. Visit Facebook for more details.

Saturday, July 8, 2017 from 2:30-4:30p.m.: Attend the benefit for HomesNow. Not Later. at Squalicum Creek Park, 1001 Squalicum Way, Bellingham, WA 98225. Please join Amy Glasser and Jean M. Layton for music, food, games and to learn more information about our community’s newest non-profit HomesNow. Not Later. This new non-profit organization joined by The Stepping Stones, a program on Lummi Nation, is building tiny homes with volunteer labor and donated materials. Please feel free to bring a side dish and a pair of socks of the homeless. Visit Facebook for the event details. If you cannot make it, you can support them through Go Fund Me.

Sunday, July 9, 2017 from 11:30-1:00p.m.: March with Riveters Collective in the Pride Parade! Kids, families, and friends all invited. We’ll meet at Halleck and Ohio St. and march through downtown Bellingham towards Depot Market Square. The parade begins at 12:00p.m., so arrive early to find us! Visit Facebook for more details.

Recommended Actions for the Week of 20170612

***CLICK ON THE TOPIC HEADER TO EXPAND THE DETAILS***

Local Level Actions

National Level Actions / Other

From the Calendar

Link to the Riveters Collective Calendar

Every Monday: Attend a vigil hosted by C2C and Keep Bellingham Families Working between 11:30a.m.-1:30p.m. or 5:00p.m. in front of City Hall. Show the powers that be that you stand by our undocumented workers and anyone else running afoul of ICE. Let the officials know it’s not alright to tear families apart!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 from 6:00-8:30p.m.: Attend the City of Bellingham Townhall regarding the housing crisis affecting cities throughout the I-5 corridor. The meeting will be held at the Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225. The first half will consist of a panel, the second half will be an opportunity for members of the public to share their ideas and potential solutions. Click here for more information or visit Facebook.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 from 7:00-10:00p.m.: Attend the Whatcom County Council for an emergency public hearing on the proposed mega jail. People will be gathering outside the Whatcom County District Court, 311 Grand Ave., 1st Floor, Bellingham, WA 98825 at 6:00p.m. to learn more about the issues, and then the County Council will convene at 7:00p.m. Visit Facebook for more details.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 from 5:00-6:30p.m.: Join the ACLU People Power Postcard Party to tell our local representatives that the community wants an “independent oversight entity” to ensure the safety of undocumented residents and immigrants in Bellingham and Whatcom County. The event will be held at at Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro, 1107 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225 and is open to all ages. A small donation is appreciated to help with printing costs. Visit Facebook for more information.

ACTION ALERT: Protect our National Monuments: Keep it in the Ground!

Description: President Trump has ordered the Department of the Interior to review all designations of national monuments greater than 100,000 acres created since 1996.  Removing Monument protection will open the areas up to potential coal, oil and gas exploitation that would increase greenhouse gas emissions, hasten global warming, and cause untold harm to public health and safety, infrastructure and property, and ecosystems and species.

 This is the last week for comment: deadline is July 10, 2017.

Background:  On April 26, 2017, the White House issued a Presidential Executive Order on the Review of Designations under the Antiquities Act, directing the U.S. Department of the Interior to review certain National Monuments designated or expanded since 1996.  Removing protections will open monuments to coal, oil, and gas exploration, .  The Secretary of the Interior will use the review to determine whether each designation or expansion conforms to the policy stated in the Executive Order and to formulate recommendations for Presidential actions, legislative proposals, or other appropriate actions to carry out that policy.  The list of National Monuments under review can be found here.

Contact Information:  Submit comments online through regulations.gov (Docket ID# DOI-2017-0002).

Suggested Scripts:  Indivisible Washington Environment Network and others are sharing comments to inspire and inform your own.  Limited in time?  Use the generic script and submit for as many monuments as you can.  If you have more time, check out the aditional suggestions below.

Generic Script (adapted from several sources)

I oppose any effort to reduce the size of this National Monument.  Reducing National Monument protection will open the area to coal, oil, and gas exploration and exploitation, protracting the demise of an industry that has little future viability and delaying the transition to clean energy.  Considering the external costs of fossil fuel-based energy (associated with impacts to public health, property damage, and natural  resources provisioning), clean energy is safer, cheaper, and creates more jobs.

National monuments protect significant natural, cultural or scientific features for public benefit now and for future generations.  Commercial use of public lands costs the taxpayer without providing sufficient benefit, amounting to an enormous taxpayer subsidy to some of the richest corporations in the world.  Giving over more of our public lands for this purpose is not to the economic benefit of the American taxpayer—to say nothing of the cost of lost ecosystem services, and recreational, environmental, cultural, and scientific resources. 

Communities in the vicinity of National Monuments benefit from the tourism, outdoor recreation, and quality of life associated with healthy and protected public lands and waters. The Department of Interior would be hard-pressed to shrink, eliminate, or alter national monuments without undermining the very cultural and natural resources they seek to protect.

Please protect this National Monument. I am firmly opposed to any effort to revoke or diminish protections it, and I urge you to support our public lands and waters and recommend that our current national monuments remain protected.

Additional Script Inspiration

Modern Hiker

Nature Conservancy

Center for American Progress

Headwaters Economics

Indivisible WA Environment Network

Additional Information:

Recommended Actions for the Week of 20170501

Local Level Actions

 

National Level Actions / Other

From the Calendar

Every Monday: Attend a vigil hosted by C2C between 11:30a.m.-1:30p.m. or 5:00p.m. in front of City Hall. Show the powers that be that you stand by our undocumented workers and anyone else running afoul of ICE. Let the officials know it’s not alright to tear families apart! Also, a Dignity Dialogue will be held on May 15th. More details to come on the timing and location.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 from 2:00-3:00p.m.: Western Washington University’s Political Science Department will host a conversation titled, “See You in Court, Mr. President!” with Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The event is free and open to the public, and will be held on campus in Miller Hall 138. Please read the article in Western Today for more information.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 4:30-5:30p.m.: Bellingham Public Schools invites staff, families and the community to a presentation featuring Tom Ahearne, the lead attorney in the McCleary v. State of Washington legal case. Mr. Ahearne will speak about the history and outcomes of the McCleary case, and his thoughts about the future of public education funding. The presentation will be held at Bellingham High School Performing Arts Center, 2020 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225.

Thursday, May 4, 2017 from 6:00-8:00p.m.: Join the Pad Party at SpringHill Suites by Marriott, 4040 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, WA 98226 hosted by Jasleen Aulakh.  The Pad Party is a charity event to collect feminine hygiene products. All the items collected will be donated to DVSAS and Lighthouse Mission. Enjoy some food and drinks while giving back to your community! Visit Facebook to join and spread the word.

Friday, May 5, 2017 from 6:00-8:30p.m.: Join the Bellingham Giving Circle’s spring fundraiser to benefit homeless children. Call 360-305-9776 for availability and tickets. Visit the Bellingham Giving Circle website for more information.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 11:00-1:00p.m.: Beyond White Feminism: Part 1 Workshop at the Karate Church, 519 E. Maple St., Bellingham, WA 98225 hosted by Tina McKim and Natalie Jean Keiser Baloy. Space is limited, so click here to register. For more information, please view the Riveters Collective calendar, or join and spread the word on Facebook.

ACTION ALERT: Comment on EPA Rollbacks Daily Until 05/15/17

NOTE: This post will be updated with additional suggested comments until 5/15/17.  Please check back often.

Source: Indivisible Washington Environment Network and others

Description: As required by law, the EPA is calling for public comment on the planned rollback of environmental regulations. Comment early and often to show your support for regulations and programs that protect the environment.

Contact Information: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190, here. Under PRIMARY DOCUMENTS, click on the COMMENT NOW! button. Add your comments in support of EPA. Click on YOUR REVIEW, and EDIT as necessary. Be sure to click YOUR RECEIPT before leaving the site. You’ll be able to view your comments as soon as you post.

Sample Scripts:

These scripts are designed to inform and are for inspiration and ideas!  Choose a topic that resonates with you and then edit the script to make it your own and add personal commentary.

Background: The Trump Administration and EPA Director Scott Pruitt have proposed draconian cuts to EPA’s budget and roll-back of science-based regulations that protect us, our families and our environment. EPA oversees implementation of the Clean Water Act; the Clean Air Act; regulation of Toxics, Hazardous Waste Management and Disposal; and Superfund Hazardous waste cleanups. EPA also administers grants for brownfields clean up, environmental research, and environmental restoration–including the Puget Sound National Estuary Program. In accordance with Executive Order 13777 (Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda), EPA is seeking public comment on its evaluation of existing regulation. Comments must be received on or before May 15, 2017. We need to absolutely FLOOD THIS SITE with serious, well-thought-out comments.

Additional Information:

Recommended Actions for the Week of 20170417

Local Level Actions

National Level Actions / Other

From the Calendar

Mondays from 11:30a.m.-1:30p.m.: Attend a vigil hosted by C2C every Monday in front of City Hall. Show the powers that be that you stand by our undocumented workers and anyone else running afoul of ICE. Let the officials know it’s not alright to tear families apart!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 from 5:00-6:00p.m.: Please join the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center and the Veterans For Peace Chapter 111 at Lottie and Grand (by the Bellingham Public Library) in resisting a federal budget that fuels the U.S. war machine and corporate greed. Bellingham will be one of hundreds of sites of action across 35 countries calling on elected representatives to prioritize human needs over war. We will:

  • Unveil a massive banner exposing the outrageous amount of funding the U.S. federal budget allocates to the military in comparison to other federal programs.
  • Reflect on the problems caused by excessive militarism and the military-industrial complex.
  • Demand that Congress start to prioritize human needs over corporate greed by agreeing not to vote for increases to military spending.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 7:00-9:00p.m.: Community Forum: The Future of Affordable Care hosted by Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement at St. Luke’s Community Health Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Pkwy, Bellingham, WA 98225.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 7:00-9:00p.m.: Put a Cork in it, Trump! A postcard writing party at Vinostrology Wine Lounge & Merchant, 120 W. Holly Street, Bellingham, WA 98225.

Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 12:30-4:00p.m.: March for Science Bellingham at City Hall. Click here to learn more. Use the Facebook post to spread the word.

Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 1:00-2:30p.m.: RC Education Series: Campaign 101 at the Leopold Crystal Ballroom, 1224 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Join Riveters Collective for a nuts and bolts campaign training for candidates and campaign volunteers. This is a family-friendly event. Bring a snack or beverage to share if you’d like, potluck to follow!