Recommended Local Actions for the Week of 20170313

DON’T FORGET: ACT BY TUESDAY!  Whatcom Conservation District election, North Cascades Grizzly Restoration. 

WCD ELECTION: Drop off your ballot or vote in person (at WCD’s office at 6975 Hannegan Road, Lynden. Polls will be open between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm) for District Board Supervisor by Tuesday 3/14 at 6pm the Whatcom Conservation District Board Supervisor election.  In case you missed our post about the candidates, we have more information here.

GRIZZLY BEARS: Have you had a chance to submit written comment to support the Draft Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan/Environmental Impact Statement Alternative C?  Public comment ends Tuesday.  More information from an earlier post here.

 

CARBON TAX: Support Clean Energy by Creating a Carbon Tax (HB 1646/SB 5509)

**From Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, Washington Environmental Council, Sierra Club (edited).  Despite a federal government that refuses to acknowledge climate change, Washington state can and must step up as a leader and a beacon of hope for equitable climate policy.  How can you help?

 

PUGET SOUND: Stand Up for Puget Sound

Alarmed at the news that the Trump administration plans to dramatically cut funding for Puget Sound protection and restoration?  The Washington Environmental Council has identified five ways to stand up for Puget Sound.  We’d like to highlight and elaborate on just two of those:

  • Talk to your state legislators about why we must adequately fund Puget Sound protection and recovery at the state level. State support for natural resources programs as a whole and Puget Sound protections specifically has declined dramatically over the past several years.
    • Contact your legislators offices directly.
    • Legislature Hotline: 1-800-562-6000
    • Suggested script: I am a constituent of [insert legislator name], and now more than ever, it is important that we take action to protect and restore Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.  Please support funding for important Puget Sound Protection and Restoration programs, including toxic cleanup and prevention (Support HB1663/SB5501), sound floodplain management (“Floodplains by Design” program), and habitat protection and restoration (“Puget Sound Recovery and Acquisition Fund”).
    • Thank the Congressional Puget Sound caucus for championing our region at the national level. They have their work cut out for them, and saying “thank you” is important. Click here to remind them that you have their backs.

FAIR CHANCE: Call/Comment: People who have served their time deserve a fair chance.

The Fair Chance Act (Substitute House Bill (SHB) 1298), which would prevent employers from asking about arrests or convictions until after an employer has determined that the applicant is qualified for the position, was voted out of the House and is now in the Senate committee on Commerce, Labor and Sports.

Suggested comment:
“One of the biggest problems facing people convicted of a crime is “the box.” Job applicants who answer that they’ve been convicted of a crime, even something rather minimal, are less likely to get hired.  People who have served their time deserve a fair chance.  Please vote for SHB 1298″.

 

SAVE THE DATE!  3/21, 7pm: Whatcom County Council public hearing on Cherry Point moratorium and Comp Plan Amendments.

**From ReSources for Sustainable Communities.  Come speak out in support of extending the moratorium on fossil fuel exports and strengthening policies in the Comprehensive Plan protecting Cherry Point.  See here to RSVP and for more information.

 

From the Calendar

15 March 2017.  Eric Hirst to speak on “Water in Whatcom County, and Why We should Be Concerned”, 7-8:30pm, Carl Cozier School, 1330 Lincoln St., Bellingham.

 

Whatcom Conservation District Board Supervisor Election: Candidate Information

Thank you for your interest in the Whatcom Conservation District Board Supervisor Election!  We contacted the three candidates and asked them to respond to the following questions:

  1. What background, experience, and skills do you bring to support the Whatcom Conservation District in its mission to assist land managers with their conservation choices?
  2. What do you think are the most pressing challenges facing farmers in their stewardship choices and how will you work with the District to address those challenges?
  3. What do you think are the best approaches to protecting and restoring habitat, instream flows and water quality for salmon, steelhead, shellfish, and other organisms?
  4. Describe your connections with the agricultural community in Whatcom County and how you will use those connections to support the District in their outreach efforts.
  5. What will be your top three priorities if elected?

Two candidates answered the call, and their responses are provided in their entirety below.  While we shall not be endorsing a candidate, we hope that these responses and the additional information linked below will inform your voting.  You may vote in person at the District’s office at 6975 Hannegan Road, Lynden, on 3/14/17, 9 am-6 pm.  If you received a ballot, you may deliver it to the District’s office by 6pm on election day, or mail it so it will be postmarked on day of election or sooner. Good luck to you!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS (Alphabetical by Last Name)

Heather Christianson

1. What background, experience, and skills do you bring to support the Whatcom Conservation District in its mission to assist land managers with their conservation choices?

Most of the work of the Whatcom Conservation District is accomplished through Federal and State grants. I have extensive knowledge in grant management having worked in both grantmaking and grant requesting organizations. I understand the importance of good grant management from both sides, and the necessity for thorough proposal reviews and measurable outcomes reporting to ensure proper and effective use of funding. I will help the Conservation District continue to work toward accomplishing their mission, and search for additional sources of revenue and programs to expand their work toward achieving their vision of a Whatcom County with healthy soils, water and air.

In addition, I have an in-depth understanding of board services. I currently serve on the Executive Board of the Whatcom County Democrats and chair the Finance Committee. I have also worked with many non-profit boards in a professional capacity. I strongly believe in the role of a board member as an advocate for the organization and its constituents. In that capacity, I believe it is important to help spread the message of the organization to networks beyond their reach. I have strong experience in advocacy having volunteered with local non-profits like Community to Community and with my union, Public School Employees. Through the role of advocate in the community, I will also be an active listener to the community, and will bring those thoughts to the table as a representative of this community in conservations strategies for a positive impact on Whatcom County’s water systems, natural resources, and wildlife habitats.

I also bring a wealth of diverse experience in event management from planning fundraisers to poetry slams to youth soccer tournaments, in program planning and implementation under funding constraints, in bridge-building between diverse communities, and in financial oversite and guidance. If elected to the Board of Supervisors, I will be able to offer my expertise to the staff for their various event and program work.

2.  What do you think are the most pressing challenges facing farmers in their stewardship choices and how will you work with the District to address those challenges?

The Whatcom Conservation District is in a unique position to be a partner with farmers in helping with stewardship choices. They offer cost-share programs that encourage farmers to adopt conservation strategies. These cost-sharing and financial assistance programs help tackle the very first barrier facing farmers, which is how to implement conservation strategies without having a negative impact on an often unreliable bottom line. Many factors have an influence on yearly profits for farmers and planning for lean years can be a top priority over implementing conservation programs. With the District’s funding, these financial barriers are mitigated to encourage farmer participation. In addition, finding the time to develop and implement these programs can be challenging. With the District’s staff of experts available to help farmers with their plans, the District is able to help overcome that challenge as well. As a non-regulatory entity, farmers can feel comfortable approaching the District for their services. And through the District’s outreach efforts, such as the Small Farmer Expo and the Farm Speaker Series, the District takes every opportunity to educate farmers on available conservation programs and provide financial incentives to implement those strategies. If elected, I will advocate for the continuation of these programs as well as search for further opportunities to expand the District’s impact in Whatcom County.

3.  What do you think are the best approaches to protecting and restoring habitat, instream flows and water quality for salmon, steelhead, shellfish, and other organisms?

There are many approaches to protecting and restoring habitat, instream flows and water quality for salmon, steelhead, shellfish and other organisms. These programs include watershed management, water quality protection and restoration, estuary and floodplain habitat restoration, shoreline protection, efficient irrigation systems, proper manure storage facilities, streambank restoration, manure application risk management systems, and many more. The Whatcom Conservation District, as well as the Washington State Conservation Commission, offer several programs to assist land managers in their conservation strategies to help in these efforts. The best approaches are the ones that land owners are willing to follow through with and opt-in to be part of the solution. Our district offers expertise, planning assistance and cost sharing programs that include fish barrier removal, livestock waste management, streambank stabilization, and salmon habitat conservation. Often these programs aren’t sought out until a problem has been identified. Through my service on the board, I will help the District to motivate land owners and land managers to be proactive in utilizing these programs throughout Whatcom County. The best approaches involve partnerships so that many stakeholders are involved and help keep each other accountable in our roles to protect and improve our natural resources. Our district has been a strong partner in this process, including winning an Environmental Excellence Award last November. Unfortunately, I believe we have reached a critical juncture in which not one strategy will be the best solution. That is why I will be an advocate for expanding the programs and impact of the Conservation District. While their current programs and partnerships have had a positive impact on our water systems, I don’t believe we can allow for the status quo to continue. Significant progress needs to be made now before the damage is too great to be restored or recovered.

4. Describe your connections with the agricultural community in Whatcom County and how you will use those connections to support the District in their outreach efforts.

I live in the small farmhouse my grandfather built with his father in 1933, and where I spent most afternoons working with my grandparents on their farm. Currently, we harvest an annual organic hay crop on our farmlands which is used as feed by various farmers in our community. This deeply personal and historical connection to Whatcom County contributes to my dedication to preserving what we value most about living in such a beautiful, community-minded area. The economic interests of our farmers are vital to our community’s health, as are the environmental conservation measures that help preserve what we love about our County. The outreach efforts of the District are important in educating farmers, as well as the general public, in what efforts we can all make to have a positive impact on the health of our water systems, natural resources, and wildlife habitats. While it is the farming community that is most significantly served by the District, the District offers programs for all land owners and land managers in Whatcom County, from in-school educational programs to land owner programs such as soil testing and firewise programs. I have comprehensive experience in outreach efforts and strategies through other nonprofit work and if elected, will bring that experience to the Board of Supervisors as an active member in our community.

5. What will be your top three priorities if elected?

Among my priorities, if elected, will include being a progressive voice for Whatcom County on the Conservation Board. I will be an advocate for our environment and for the best conservation practices that will have a significant impact on protecting and restoring our natural resources. Our farming economy is vital to our overall economy, but I will bring an open mind and fresh perspective for new ideas in the conservation field. A top priority will be to advocate for the best programs that utilize taxpayer dollars to have the highest impact on conservation in Whatcom County. For example, and another priority, will be the Conservation District’s role in water quantity for Whatcom County. While the District’s long ranch plan includes working to encourage widespread adoption of water conservation practices on working farms and ranches, I believe these practices will be essential in tackling Whatcom County’s ongoing and growing issue of water quantity. I will advocate that the District prioritize these programs, many of which are available through the Washington State Conservation Commission’s water conservation programs such as the Irrigation Efficiencies Grant Program which offers financial incentives for upgrading to more efficient, water-saving irrigation systems. This will be essential to ensuring available water for all users in the system as well as protecting salmon habitats in our river. I will also prioritize advocating for the District to explore innovative approaches to conservation. I appreciate the District’s lagoon pasteurization pilot project, which makes potable water from liquid manure, and I look forward to further exploring the viability of such programs for Whatcom County. If elected to the Board of Supervisors, I will bring an eager energy to exploring new programs and creative solutions for farmers and land managers in their conservation strategies. It is imperative that we make significant strides now to protect and restore the quality of our water systems, natural resources, and wildlife habitats, without having a detrimental impact on the viability or economic prosperity of our important farming community.

Suzzi Snydar

1.What background, experience, and skills do you bring to support the Whatcom Conservation District in its mission to assist land managers with their conservation choices?

As a woman involved actively in the Agriculture Community for over 20 years, I have hands on knowledge of farming the land as well as working closely with the Conservation District through the services they provide land owners. I have found it a productive ,amicable working relationship . The staff at the Conservation District are extremely knowledgeable in their area of expertise. I work well with others and have been involved in Whatcom County Farm Bureau as well as the Portage Bay Partnership. As the “stewardship” and “Manure Manager” for our family farm I have worked closely with the Conservation District , Department of Ecology and USDA. I am an Advocate for the work they do for our community. I have volunteered with countless groups and service organizations throughout the years . I have managed several businesses through out the years , and have overseen large groups of employees and volunteers .

2.What do you think are the most pressing challenges facing farmers in their stewardship choices and how will you work with the District to address those challenges? 

Ask three producers in the Agriculture community and you will get three different answers. For our farm I would Say the perpetual hoop jumping . Let me explain my answer in general terms . Four years ago (approximately) we were working towards a solution of an issue we had on our farm . Conservation District was spearheading the efforts and going through the process of the solution coming to fruition on our farm. The Conservation District Employees had a magnificent solution . Many government agencies were on board and had given their approval and support of the solution. Conservation District, Dept. of Ecology, USDA, Whatcom County. And then after many hours invested in getting to this solution — A single Government Agency says — NO. A singular Agency had the ability to completely keep the solution from being put into place.

So challenging to be part of the process working towards a great solution and have it all be for naught. The layers and layers of regulations across many different agencies that in many industries is repetitive and redundant. It is important that land owners understand that the Conservation District is there for them. They are effective and have access to great tools and clear science .

Late this spring we will begin a large project on our farm that the Conservation District , USDA and Ecology have all been part of . We are excited to break ground and see their hard work and planning on a project come to life.

3.What do you think are the best approaches to protecting and restoring habitat, instream flows and water quality for salmon, steelhead, shellfish, and other organisms?  

It is not my job to define these practices independently . As I am sure you are aware this is a complex and complicated issue that has been  tweaked by special interest groups and there is  significant misinformation in the press on these issues.  As a supervisor  I see my position as one  to allow the paid staff for the District to utilize their knowledge in these practices as they identify solutions and practices to be put into place by land owners. In my role as a Supervisor I will support their efforts ,ask questions ,and coordinate assistance as needed from other Agency’s and groups.

4. Describe your connections with the agricultural community in Whatcom County and how you will use those connections to support the District in their outreach efforts.

As a vocal advocate for Agriculture , it is my desire to raise awareness to land owners of the voluntary,incentive -based programs available that increase their stewardship of their land and natural resources. Our family farm is a signer and partner in the Portage Bay Partnership, this alone models that working together towards resolutions we can accomplish solutions for many . We are involved in Custom Harvesting forage for many farmers in our county. This puts me in contact with many farmers on a continual basis. As a rural land owner I and business owner I frequently interact with citizens who own parcels of land that could be served by conservation district if they needed services or advice on how to steward their land.

5. What will be your top three priorities if elected?

  • Advocate for Best Management Practices for our County. We in Whatcom County have been blessed with beautiful plentiful resources , that provide food, fiber and energy, It is my desire to protect their contributions to the local economy.
  • Encourage and work toward no net loss of farm land in Whatcom County.
  • BE a positive voice for the work that the Conservation District does.

 

Event: Hope & Action with Senator Kevin Ranker and Chairman Timothy Ballew II

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!

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.

https://www.facebook.com/WaStateGov/
https://twitter.com/GovInslee
360-902-4111

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.

 

Recommended Local Actions for the Week of 20170220

42ND DISTRICT CONSTITUENTS: SIGN TOWN HALL INVITE
We are inviting Senator Ericksen to a town hall meeting.

IMPORTANT!: OPPOSE SB5239 (Ensuring that water is available to support development)
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.   Per the Center for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP), this legislation “Overturns Hirst and allows unmitigated development to harm existing users of water, including instream flows… [It] Completely undermines instream flows, making them subordinate to new wells.”  This legislation absolutely has important implications for the overappropriated Nooksack River watershed.

  • Find your Representatives here.
  • Legislature Hotline: 1-800-562-6000.
  • Email addresses here.
  • Submit a Comment!
  • Watch the hearing: 2/21 at 1:30
  • Suggested comment: Hi, my name is [insert name] and I am a constituent of the [insert district #] legislative district. Please oppose SB 5239, which would overturn the Hirst decision and allow unmitigated development to harm existing users of water, including instream flows important for salmon. Ensuring there is sufficient water to support development is important for smart growth.

THIS TUESDAY, 2/21: Attend the Public Meeting to Support Grizzly Bear Restoration in the North Cascades

***From Friends of the Northwest Grizzly Bear (edited for length)***  While native to the Cascades, fewer than 10 grizzly bears remain.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are holding an open-house to answer questions about the Draft Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan/Environmental Impact Statement.  Attendance at this event will be vital for showing public support for grizzly bear restoration.  Specifically, please attend to voice your support for Alternative C: Incremental Restoration.  You may also submit written comment here by 3/14.  For more information, read this handy fact sheet.

Happy Hour hosted by Conservation Northwest and Defenders of Wildlife,
Happy Hour: Aslan Brewing Company, 1330 N. Forest St., Bellingham, Tuesday, 2/21, 5-6pm
Public Open House: Oxford Suites, 4051 Meridian St., Bellingham, Tuesday, 2/21, 6-8pm

Suggested comment: I am here (or “I am writing”) to voice my support for restoring a healthy population of grizzly bears to the North Cascades, their home for thousands of years. Specifically, I support Alternative C: Incremental Restoration, with additional bear transplants as needed to ensure sustained population growth. Alternative C strikes a sound balance to meet the mutual goals of grizzly bear recovery and the needs of people. I believe grizzly bears will benefit our region’s ecosystems and economies alike, and preserve true wildness for future generations to cherish and enjoy. During your scoping period and in recent public polling, broad support has been documented for grizzly bear restoration. Please do the right thing and bring back this native species through the strategy laid out in Alternative C. Doing so will restore an important piece of our ecosystem, regional culture, and natural heritage.

 

SIGN PETITION
Tell PSE CEO Kimberly Harris: Time to transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy!

***From Sierra Club (edited)***  Puget Sound Energy, Washington’s largest energy utility, prides itself on being a green utility. However, its actions tell a different story. While PSE recently agreed to retire 307 megawatts of coal-fired electricity from its dirty coal plant in Colstrip, MT, it wants to replace Colstrip with new gas-fired power plants.  It’s time to demand a complete transition off fossil fuels to 100% renewable and energy efficiency. No new gas!  Click here to submit your message to PSE’s CEO.  Note: By taking action, you will also receive periodic communications from the Sierra Club. You can unsubscribe at any time.

From the Calendar

Monday 20 Feb, 10am, Equity Rally at State Capitol. https://wecprotects.org/events/equity-rally/

Thursday 23 Feb, Noon and 4 pm, Ijeoma Oluo is speaking at WWU about race, gender & social change, and writing about politics .

Friday 24 Feb, 6:30, Pickford Film Center, I am Not Your Negro

Sunday 26 Feb, 10am-noon, Bellingham Kids March, Fairhaven Village Green

Monday 27 Feb, 6:15pm, Bellingham City Hall, Family Council Day

Recommended Local Actions for the week of 20170206

Thank Bob Ferguson and Jay Inslee

Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee have taken bold leadership roles in opposing the president’s  immigration order.
Background: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/04/us/trump-travel-ban-washington-seattle-ferguson.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/05/how-washington-state-became-the-epicenter-of-resistance-to-trumps-agenda/?postshare=5921486325841420&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.fea5f05b0067

Ferguson
https://www.facebook.com/bobfergusonforAG/
https://twitter.com/agowa
(360) 753-6200

Inslee
https://www.facebook.com/WaStateGov/
https://twitter.com/GovInslee
360-902-4111

Support HB 1611 – Oil Transportation Safety

Watch the hearing, submit a comment.
Background, comment links, contact information here: http://riveterscollective.org/2017/01/support-washingtons-oil-transportation-safety-bill-hb-1611-sb-5462/
Watch live: http://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2017021092
We may have a virtual watch party in our Facebook group.
If you will attend the hearing, please contact us at pantsuitbellingham(at)gmail(dot)com so we can discuss delivering testimony.

*Updated* Write a letter to the editor about Doug Ericksen jobs conflict

If you have not yet written a letter, now is the time!  We are responding to Senator Ericksen’s claims from his press conference last week.  Join the virtual letter writing party on Monday night   in our facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/958756480935567/permalink/1020698808074667/.

Find all the information and talking points you need here:
http://riveterscollective.org/2017/01/42nd-district-unrepresented/

42nd district constituents: Post a photo of yourself at your place of work

{or on your way to work if political activity is prohibited at your work}
Either tweet the photo to @wheresdoug42 or post it in this thread on the Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/958756480935567/permalink/1020786118065936/

Follow @wheresdoug42 on Twitter

Someone is undertaking to locate our 42nd district state senator and document his absence in Olympia.  Follow this twitter handle for updates.  https://twitter.com/wheresdoug42

Request a ballot for the Whatcom Conservation District board election

The Whatcom Conservation District is holding an election for a board member.  Our friend Kelly Krieger is running!  Ballots for this election are not automatically distributed, you must request a ballot before February 14th (or vote in person on March 14th).  Requesting a ballot is easy using their online form.  http://www.whatcomcd.org/board-elections

DAPL Public Comment DEADLINE FEBRUARY 20

Contact information and suggested language at the end of this article.  Modify the text at least a bit, remember in the GPT NEPA/SEPA process they counted total comments and UNIQUE comments.
http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/dont-let-trump-distract-you-public-comment-on-dapl-is-now-open-20170125

From the Calendar

http://riveterscollective.org/calendar/

4, 11, and 18 Feb * Islam 101 * St. Pauls Episcopal Church, www.stpaulsbellingham.org

Monday 6 Feb 1:30pm * HB 1611 hearing (see above) http://riveterscollective.org/2017/01/support-washingtons-oil-transportation-safety-bill-hb-1611-sb-5462/

Monday 6 Feb 6:30pm * Clean Energy Activists Meeting https://www.facebook.com/events/1909863462565875/

Monday 6 Feb 7pm * Town Hall Meeting – Future of Bellingham Immigrant Families https://www.facebook.com/events/377699329263343/

Tues 7 Feb (begins) * 45 min Free Online Class: Communication Skills for Bridging Divides  https://www.edx.org/course/communication-skills-bridging-divides-catalystx-ildiv1x

Sat 11 Feb * Fund Planned Parenthood–Support Rally in Bellingham https://www.facebook.com/events/1671930566433605/

Sun 12 Feb * Worker and Immigrant Solidarity March Burlington https://www.facebook.com/events/409732362695018/

 

Support Washington’s Oil Transportation Safety Bill (HB 1611 / SB 5462)

Oil transportation is a hot issue this legislative session.  Despite the critical gains around public disclosure and preparedness measures, significant gaps remain that put our communities and waterways at risk of an oil spill or other such disaster.  Given the Trump Administration’s support of the oil industry, it is now more important than ever to make sure that we here in Washington are holding the line.

In response, Representative Farrell (46th) and Senator Carlyle (36th) introduced the Oil Transportation Safety bill (HB 1611 / SB 5462). Highlights of the bill include:

  • Ensuring the oil industry pays in the case of a spill or other disaster;
  • Updating the funding for prevention, preparedness and response;
  • Protecting Puget Sound from increased oil barges and other vessels from the Kinder Morgan Pipeline;
  • Protecting against refineries turning into transshipment terminals; and
  • Strengthening oversight of pipeline safety.

This is a great time to engage and show your support!  You have two choices for action:

  • Attend the hearings scheduled in the Senate and House. RSVP (and arrange carpools) here.
    • THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND, at 10 a.m. in the Senate.
    • MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6th, at 1:30 p.m. in the House. The House is more favorable to the bill, so this hearing is more important. Watch live here: http://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2017021092
  • Call your state legislators to ask them to support the bill.
    • Find your Representatives here.
    • Send a brief message to your district legislators through the in-state toll-free Hotline :800.562.6000.
    • Click here for one-step email.
    • Suggested script:
      • Washingtonians continue to be at risk of oil spills and other disasters. In the wake of the Mosier, OR, derailment this past June, the threat of the Kinder Morgan pipeline increasing tanker traffic 7-fold, and the increase in use in pipelines for crude oil transport, we need to continue to improve our system.
      • Please support HB 1611/SB 5462 – Oil Transportation Safety Act – and protect Washington’s communities and waterways.
      • Key parts of the bill include:
        • Ensuring the oil industry pays in the case of a spill or other disaster;
        • Updating the funding for prevention, preparedness and response;
        • Protecting Puget Sound from increased oil barges and other vessels from the Kinder Morgan Pipeline;
        • Protecting against refineries turning into transshipment terminals; and
        • Strengthening oversight of pipeline safety.
      • I urge you to support and move forward HB 1611 and SB 5462.

For more information, please see the press release for the bill.  

Step Three to Taking Action

Now you are informed and ready- time to act! Your best two tactics are your money and your time. Let’s talk $$.

Photo by Newton Free Library on flickr. Used under Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

First, donations.

There are a bajillion organizations working to do good. Many run on donations. It can be hard to figure out who to donate to. What do you care about? Which organizations are legit? How much money? How often? What about local groups vs. national organizations?

Narrow it down
This might be difficult. Many of us care about all of it- the environment, women’s rights, healthcare, LGBTQ rights, etc. Try picking your top three issues and start with those. Maybe even make a calendar where you focus on different issues each month or quarter.
This is a good list of ideas (check the comments, too): http://jezebel.com/a-list-of-pro-wo…

Find legitimate organizations
Charity Navigator is a great tool to help you decide who will use your donation effectively.

Every bit helps
If you only have a few bucks to spare and are wondering if it’s even worth donating that much, know that it DOES HELP. We are working on a scale of millions of people making donations. A buck or two adds up.

If you can swing an automatic monthly donation, go for it.

Think globally, act locally (and nationally and globally)
Don’t forget about your hometown organizations. You can often have the most impact with these small fish. Use our Civic Tithing tool to help find local organizations and set up monthly donations. Also, Charity Navigator has a rich search function, including a way to look for local charities: https://www.charitynavigator.org/in…

 

It’s also time to boycott

You can also make a difference with your everyday spending habits.

Anti-Trump
You can choose to spend your money at places that do not support Trump or his family’s businesses. Shannon Coulter started the #grabyourwallet boycott in late October. Here is the current list of business to boycott, scripts to use to tell them why you’re boycotting, and alternative businesses to use instead: https://grabyourwallet.org/

Pro-justice
You can also sign up to participate in the Injustice Boycott, which began last December. This boycott is about preventing police brutality and racial injustice.
Do you know of any other current boycotts?

That’s your first action: donate and spend wisely. Next up, how to use your time to make a difference.

Missed step two? Read it here.

Ready for step four? Read it here.

Take action:

SB 5171 – Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve

Our eyes are on the prize of a clean energy future.  We know the carbon must stay in the ground, and we have worked for years to reject proposals to transport it through our neighborhoods and export it from Xwe’chieXen, traditional fishing grounds of our Lummi neighbors.

Just weeks ago, after years of study and public input and the denial of permits for the  Gateway Pacific Terminal – which would have been North America’s largest coal terminal – Washington DNR commissioner Peter Goldmark updated the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve boundary to include the pier-shaped hole once reserved for the pier.  Do you see it there on the map below, just below Henry Rd?  Since there will be no pier built, the cut out is not necessary.

Senate Bill 5171 proposes we re-open the possibility of a fossil fuel export pier in the herring spawning area by reversing the DNR decision.  It is a signal to fossil fuel darlings in DC that there’s still hope for the GPT project.

We are having none of it.  We can kill this bill and send a strong message that any efforts to revive the project are wasted.


The bill will be heard by the Senate Natural Resources Committee on TUESDAY JANUARY 24th.  We expect tribal leaders from throughout the state to attend and speak against the bill.  You have three choices for action.

  1. Attend the hearing in Olympia – WEAR RED. 1:30pm (subject to change) Natural Resources & Parks, Senate Full Committee, Senate Hearing Rm 3, J.A. Cherberg Building, 304 15th Ave SW, Olympia, WA 98501
    Pantsuit Bellingham members RSVP here.
    Carpools are being organized from Whatcom County.
    If you are not a member of Pantsuit Bellingham RSVP here.
  2. UPDATE: calls worked!  No more calls needed.
  3. Watch the hearing on the live broadcast.  If you are a member of the Pantsuit Bellingham Facebook group, you can participate in the watch party.

Civic Tithing

Civic tithing can stabilize funding for our local organizations in an uncertain economic future. And that future will arrive on January 20. From the Old English for “one-tenth”, tithing has traditionally meant giving part of one’s income to a church or government. In civic tithing, we take the routine giving concept and apply it to civic and community organizations in Whatcom County. Together, our group could improve and stabilize the financial outlook for organizations serving our community in 2017.

First, decide how much of your income you could part with on a monthly or yearly basis, whether 0.1% or 10%. Take the annual cost and divide by 12. Then set up monthly donations to an organization in that amount.

To help you identify organizations, a few Riveters Collective members curated this list for us. Improvements to this list and tool are coming, but we’re pushing this in draft form so you can start using it now. You can search by topic; that’s pretty much the only bell or whistle.

Please note: As always, we welcome your constructive feedback (especially if it is packaged with an offer of help in improving the online accessibility of this list)!

Take action:
How much $/month are you pledging to donate to these groups? Enter the monthly total in the box. Your response is ANONYMOUS and will help Riveters Collective demonstrate our people power!