JOIN US: Community Voting Project 2020


UPDATE: All Postcards Are Claimed!!! Nearly 200 members of our community stepped up and committed to write a total of 10,000 personalized postcards to voters in the 42nd LD. We’ve just started delivering postcards

Here’s how you can still help:

  • DONATE! Postage is expensive, and we are still a ways away from having enough funds to pay for this project.
  • Still want to write postcards, and help re-elect Representative Sharon Shewmake and elect Alicia Rule to the Washington House of Representatives? Their campaigns are doing their own personalized postcard campaign! Email them to sign up.
  • Sign up below to help us sort 10,000 postcards (no easy task!) on Oct. 4 before we put them in the mail. This will be a socially distanced, masked, outdoor event. We will contact you with more details TBD.

PENS OUT! TEXTING FINGERS READY! In 2020, we’re winning in Washington’s 42nd Legislative District by reaching out voter-to-voter and WE NEED YOU! Sign up to volunteer below, and donate here.

WHO: YOU and 42nd LD voters

WHAT: DONATE (we need $10,000) AND/OR volunteer (we need 250 volunteers!) to “adopt” a batch of voters. You’ll provide information about their ballot and the voting process by writing postcards, and making phone calls and sending text messages using our online tool (training provided! you can do it!). (Email Sharon & Alicia’s campaigns to sign up for their own postcard writing project.)

WHEN: Donate now, write postcards to your voters in September, make phone calls and send text messages in October through Election Day, Nov 3!

WHY: To re-elect Representative Sharon Shewmake, elect Alicia Rule to the Washington House of Representatives, elect Christine Grant to the Whatcom Public Utility District, and increase voter turnout for many more candidates and ballot measures. Handwritten postcards WORK. Warm contacts WORK. We do what works.

Questions? See our FAQ.

Local candidate forums, AMAs and Q&As for 2020

AMAs and Q&As

Riveters Collective candidate AMAs (Ask Me Anything) (Must be a member of the Riveters Collective Facebook group to view.)

Riveters Collective Questionnaires for Whatcom County Superior Court Judicial candidates

General Election Forums

WA State Indivisible candidate forums.

League of Women Voters Bellingham and Whatcom County election forums.

Bellingham City Club election forums for Whatcom PUD and Judges. 42nd LD election forum.

Primary Election Forums

Indivisible Bellingham primary election candidate forum for Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Position 2

Bellingham League of Women Voters primary election candidate forum for Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Position 2

Indivisible Bellingham primary election candidate forum for Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Position 4

Bellingham League of Women Voters primary election candidate forum for Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Position 4

Bellingham and Skagit League of Women Voters primary election candidate forum for US Congressional Representative District 1

Bellingham and Skagit League of Women Voters primary election candidate forum for US Congressional Representative District 2

 

Endorsement Process 2020

June

  • Endorsements announced! 
  • The board voted to endorse the candidates.  Note: Stephanie Allen, Debbi Anderson-Frey, Michael Peñuelas, Jennifer Wright, and Amanda Zimmerman abstained from voting on endorsements in the 42nd legislative district.
  • Recommendations were submitted by the committee to the board and voted on at a June 16th meeting. 
  • Committee members scored the interviews using rubrics and discussed the candidates.
  • Candidate interviews were held the first week of June!  Interviews were recorded via Zoom, and captioned by volunteers.

May

  • Questionnaires were prepped for distribution to candidates.
  • Based on our questions, we made rigorous rubrics that were aligned to the platform. 
  • Questionnaires were emailed to candidates on May 20th.  Candidates must return completed questionnaires by May 29th to be considered for endorsement.
  • The committee reviewed and scored the questionnaires using the rubrics. 

April

  • The committee met to write, revise, and finalize questions aligned to the positions and platform.

March

  • Special Guests Atul Deshmane, Whatcom PUD Commissioner, and Michael Peñuelas, Legislative Assistant to Sharon Shewmake informed us about elected positions, terms, and responsibilities. 
  • We did training on question writing, mapped out what information we needed to write questions targeted to both the positions and the platform, and we did tech training. 

February

  • Special Guest Whatcom County Prosecutor Eric Richey opened the first meeting. He spoke about the enduring impact that going through our endorsement process had on him as a candidate and how it continues to impact him in his current work. The committee met for the first time to get to know each other, learn some background of Riveters Collective and learn why we make endorsements, discuss the races and decide which races we can cover, decide who will work on which races, discuss writing questions and using rubrics to rate answers against the Riveters Collective platform, and learn about the online collaboration tools we use to work. We began listing topics for questions and figuring out what information we would need in order to ask questions that would elicit candidates views, actions, plans, and vision around application of the values in our platform. 

January

  • Our endorsement committee consists of volunteers from the community. We used a Google form to recruit endorsement committee members and shared it in our Facebook group, on our Facebook page, to our mailing list, and on our other social media channels. Qualifications for committee members:
    -Live in Whatcom, Skagit, or San Juan county.
    -Work collaboratively with positive intent to identify candidates who align with the  RC platform.
    -Commit to attending meetings and communicating with the committee February-early June.
    -Commit to making time outside of meetings for question development, editing, response review and scoring, and communication with the committee.
    -Anyone who is an officer, committee member, or employee of a political party, or who is already working on a campaign for which we plan to endorse is not eligible for the endorsement committee. Committee members will refrain from involvement in campaigns until endorsements are made in early June.
  • In addition to steering committee members, 16 people applied to be on the committee prior to the date of our first meeting and we invited all of them to join.  Four people were not able to commit to the meetings and so declined to participate in the committee.  Endorsement Committee Chair: Jennifer Wright, Steering Committee Members: Stephanie Allen, Debbi Anderson-Frey, Lisa Van Doren, and Amanda Zimmerman. Committee Members: April Barker (April did not participate in the PUD endorsement process), Zenda Boss-Hall, Rita Jefferson, Paloma Edison, Monea Kerr, Elaine Morado, Emily Sharpe, Inmara (Jonna Anne) Sodt, and two more.

September – December

  • The steering committee met to finalize plans for the year and map out how to accomplish a rigorous process that would help educate the committee and community about how candidates align with the RC Platform. 

August

  • Based on feedback from the previous cycle, a plan for the upcoming Endorsement Committee cycle was developed and the steering committee formed.

Endorsements 2020

Endorsements

Read endorsement questionnaires. Watch endorsement videos.

A square image saying "Riveters Collective proudly endorses" in white letters on a blue background across the top. Below is a cut-out photograph of Christine Grant from the shoulders up. Behind Christine is a blue pentagon frame, and behind that are gray, starburst rays emanating from behind Christine and stretching to the edges of the graphic. There is a red banner below Christine that says "Christine Grant Whatcom County PUD Commissioner Dist 1"Christine Grant for Whatcom County PUD Commissioner District 1

Candidate Christine Grant is the voice this community needs on the PUD. She is a transformative candidate with a deep knowledge about public utilities learned during her decades of work with PUDs, rural electric cooperatives–and via her years of teaching energy policy at WWU. She opened our eyes to what the PUD could be and has the skills to help the PUD be more responsive to community needs. She has a background in finance and does her homework.  She has clear plans for making broadband universally available and growing green jobs in our community, both which align with our platform. Christine Grant is smart, capable, collaborative and genuinely passionate about broadening  the services the PUD offers to our community. She is committed to incorporating social equity into how the PUD sets policy. We are excited to recommend endorsement for such a stellar candidate!

DONATE or VOLUNTEER for Christine’s campaign!

 

A square image saying "Riveters Collective proudly endorses" in white letters on a blue background across the top. Below is a cut-out photograph of Alicia Rule from the shoulders up. Behind Alicia is a blue pentagon frame, and behind that are gray, starburst rays emanating from behind Alicia and stretching to the edges of the graphic. There is a red banner below Alicia that says "Alicia Rule 42nd LD State Representative Pos 1"Alicia Rule for 42nd LD State Representative Position 1

Candidate Alicia Rule has gained valuable governing experience on the Blaine City Council that has prepared her to be successful in Olympia. As an experienced mental health counselor, she will be a strong advocate for expanding access to mental health services. Alicia is a good listener who will take the needs of her constituents into consideration, and she strives to find solutions to our state’s economic issues that work for the middle class. One of her goals is improving economic prospects in Whatcom County, particularly in light of the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and we look forward to sending her to Olympia so she can get to work.

DONATE to Alicia’s campaign!
VOLUNTEER for Alicia’s campaign!

 

A square image saying "Riveters Collective proudly endorses" in white letters on a blue background across the top. Below is a cut-out photograph of Sharon Shewmake from the shoulders up. Behind Sharon is a blue pentagon frame, and behind that are gray, starburst rays emanating from behind Sharon and stretching to the edges of the graphic. There is a red banner below Sharon that says "Sharon Shewmake 42nd LD State Representative Pos 2"Dr. Sharon Shewmake for 42nd LD State Representative Position 2

Representative Dr. Sharon Shewmake has been a reliable ally to 42nd LD progressives during her first term in Olympia. She made intentional efforts to reach out to constituents during her 2016 campaign and continued forging this connection throughout her tenure, for example, by opening a district office in Whatcom County.  She uses a data-driven approach to solving problems and has a willingness to partner with other legislators in their areas of expertise in order to make the progressive changes we need. Her support for early childhood programs, environmental justice, and education are significant to our platform goals.

DONATE to Sharon’s campaign!
VOLUNTEER for Sharon’s campaign!

 

A square image saying "Riveters Collective proudly endorses" in white letters on a blue background across the top. Below is a cut-out photograph of Liz Lovelett from the shoulders up. Behind Liz is a blue pentagon frame, and behind that are gray, starburst rays emanating from behind Liz and stretching to the edges of the graphic. There is a red banner below Liz that says "Liz Lovelett 40th LD State Senator"Liz Lovelett for 40th LD State Senator

During Senator Liz Lovelett’s first term she has demonstrated leadership by drafting bills on gun safety and tax reform. She is intentional in her work to learn about issues and reaches out to stakeholders to include their perspectives. Senator Lovelett shared her knowledge of educational inequities for her District and stated her commitment to fully fund education. She is on two economic recovery work groups and is also committed to supporting all efforts at the state level to expand resources for early learning and childcare. She specifically stated in her written questionnaire responses, “As a single mom, I understand that few things are more critical to a woman’s ability to achieve professional success and to provide for her family than access to childcare.”

Senator Lovelett has worked with other legislators on prioritizing the health, safety and dignity of farmworkers in her district and is working to have part of agriculture investment go into safe and dignified migrant housing. In her oral interview she was adamant about protecting social services for the state’s most vulnerable during the budget discussion post-COVID-19. Senator Lovelett presented an inspiring vision of how she’ll continue her work in Olympia and clear evidence of how she considers equity in all her decisions.

DONATE to Liz’s campaign!
VOLUNTEER for Liz’s campaign!

 

A square image saying "Riveters Collective proudly endorses" in white letters on a blue background across the top. Below is a cut-out photograph of Debra Lekanoff from the shoulders up. Behind Debra is a blue pentagon frame, and behind that are gray, starburst rays emanating from behind Debra and stretching to the edges of the graphic. There is a red banner below Debra that says "Debra Lekanoff 40th LD State Representative Pos 1"Debra Lekanoff for 40th LD State Representative Position 1

Representative Debra Lekanoff welcomes everyone from all walks of life, working with people of varying beliefs to achieve the best possible results for the community and state. She is passionate about her work serving the people of the 40th Legislative District and intentionally works to include those most impacted by ensuring they have a seat at the table throughout the decision-making process. During her first term as Representative of the 40th LD, she worked to build bridges and authentic relationships with her constituents, making her work relevant and effective.

Representative Lekanoff communicated clearly to the committee her support for equitable healthcare, especially in light of the pandemic. She gave examples of her work to support the health, safety, and dignity of food service workers. She is already working with Whatcom County to reform our criminal justice system and create more certified, affordable childcare opportunities. She shared her strategic work with other legislators to move critical issues forward, such as finding alternate means for sustainable and fair revenue sources. Representative Lekanoff is effective, incredibly thorough, and has done tremendous work that aligns with the RC platform. She is the whole package! Our community is fortunate to have someone with Debra’s mind and talents willing to represent us.

DONATE to Debra’s campaign!
VOLUNTEER for Debra’s campaign!

 

A square image saying "Riveters Collective proudly endorses" in white letters on a blue background across the top. Below is a cut-out photograph of Alex Ramel from the shoulders up. Behind Alex is a blue pentagon frame, and behind that are gray, starburst rays emanating from behind Alex and stretching to the edges of the graphic. There is a red banner below Alex that says "Alex Ramel 40th LD State Representative Pos 2"Alex Ramel for 40th LD State Representative Position 2

Representative Alex Ramel has spent his career working for environmental justice, and he brings expertise and passion to Olympia on this critically important topic. In his tenure in Olympia, he has demonstrated his commitment to sustainable, progressive tax reform. Representative Ramel promises to work with caucus leaders and budget writers to meet upcoming budgetary challenges by preventing cuts to services for those most vulnerable, especially children. His principles and values align with the RC Platform. He is a strong advocate for stopping gun violence, for access to healthcare, universal access to broadband, and incarceration reduction. Representative Ramel has had a good start in Olympia and should be returned there so he can continue to do good work on behalf of our community.

DONATE to Alex’s campaign!
VOLUNTEER for Alex’s campaign!

 

APPROVE Referendum-90

Riveters Collective has endorsed R-90, which would uphold the law passed by the legislature last session that would require schools to teach age-appropriate, inclusive, and comprehensive sexual health education to K-12 students. This means our children will learn about things like coping with feelings, how to give and respect consent, and how to make the healthiest choices for them. We hope you’ll join us in voting to APPROVE R-90!
There is a lot of misinformation about R-90 out there, so here are some resources to learn more:

DONATE to the APPROVE R-90 campaign!
VOLUNTEER for the APPROVE R-90 campaign!

 

YES on Prop 2020-14 Bellingham Transportation Fund

We’re voting YES to renew the Bellingham Transportation Fund! This is an existing fund that improves mobility options in Bellingham, garners matching funds from the state and federal governments, improves access to WTA service, and saves Bellingham money by maintaining pavement instead of fixing it AFTER it breaks down.

DONATE to the Renew the Transportation Fund campaign!
VOLUNTEER for the Renew the Transportation Fund campaign!

 

YES on Prop 2020-13 Ferndale School Programs and Operations Replacement Levy

Fully funding schools is critical for our community.  We all do better when we provide all children high quality education. We’re voting YES on the Ferndale school levy.

VOLUNTEER for the Support Ferndale Schools campaign!

Recommendations

Governor: Jay Inslee (D)
Lieutenant Governor: Denny Heck (D)
Secretary of State: Gael Tarleton (D)
State Treasurer: Mike Pellicciotti (D)
State Auditor: Pat McCarthy (D)
Attorney General: Bob Ferguson (D)
Commissioner of Public Lands: Hilary Franz (D)
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Chris Reykdal
Insurance Commissioner: Mike Kreidler (D)

 

Local candidate forums, AMAs and Q&As for 2020

Hear directly from the candidates themselves here.

 

Voted? Download our “I VOTED” stub sign and remind your neighbors to vote, too.

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.

PAC 2019

***CLICK ON THE RACE TO EXPAND THE DETAILS***

 

Whatcom County

Bellingham

Ferndale

 

Primary Election Endorsements 2019

***CLICK ON THE RACE TO EXPAND THE DETAILS***

40th Legislative District

Whatcom County

Bellingham

Ferndale

 

Endorsement FAQ

General

Why does Riveters Collective make endorsements?

  • To support the candidates who will best advance our platform.
  • To build political power and relationships with elected officials.
  • To provide the community more information about candidates.

Why does Riveters Collective endorse in the primary election?

  • The RC endorsement process utilizes a committee rather than a vote of the members.  The committee has access to extensive information about the candidates gathered via in person and written interviews. Each position has questions carefully crafted by endorsement teams surrounding current issues and needs of each elected position.
  • We want candidates who best align with our platform to win.  That means they need our support first in the primary election in order to make it to the general election.

How does being endorsed by Riveters Collective help candidates?

  • Endorsed candidates benefit from public support from RC, including social media and website posts, as well as volunteer support from RC members.
  • RC may choose to use PAC funds to print slate cards.
  • RC may choose to undertake an independent expenditure campaign through the PAC in support of endorsed candidates.
  • All candidates who participate in the RC endorsement process will have their questionnaires and interviews shared publicly.

In which races does Riveters Collective make endorsements?

  • RC endorses in local races, from school board up to state legislators.  We focus primarily on races in Whatcom County and Bellingham, but will endorse in smaller cities and Skagit and San Juan counties as our endorsement committee capacity allows.

 

Process

How are members of the endorsement committee selected?

  • We post an application form for the committee to our Facebook group and page, send to our email list, post on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Qualifications for committee members:
    -Live in Whatcom, Skagit, or San Juan county.
    -Work collaboratively with positive intent to identify candidates who align with the  RC platform.
    -Commit to attending meetings and communicating with the committee March-early June.
    -Commit to making time outside of meetings for question development, editing, response review and scoring, and communication with the committee.
    -Anyone who is an officer, committee member, or employee of a political party, or who is already working on a campaign for which we plan to endorse is not eligible for the endorsement committee. Committee members will refrain from involvement in campaigns until endorsements are made in early June.

How does the endorsement committee evaluate candidates?

  • The committee is tasked with identifying which candidates will best advance the vision described in the Riveters Collective platform. We ask them to attempt to endorse one candidate in each race, but dual endorsements or no endorsement is allowed at their discretion.
  • Candidates are evaluated based on their responses to questions about campaign viability, issues and experience questions, and an in-person interview.  The committee scores how well their responses map to the RC platform, but is also encouraged to consider the person’s record, life experience, and vision.

How should candidates seek endorsement from Riveters Collective?

  • After filing closes, the committee sends an invitation to be considered for endorsement including instructions and a questionnaire to all candidates.  The endorsement committee may decide to exclude candidates with antithetical views. We use the email address provided by the candidate and available on the county auditor’s page.
  • To be considered for endorsement, the candidate should complete the candidate information sheet and the written questionnaire, and email them to riveterscollective@gmail.com prior to the deadline. Candidates returning their written questionnaire before the deadline will be invited to schedule an interview.  Candidates seeking our endorsement are also required to use a code of conduct in their campaigns.

How does the endorsement committee decide what questions to ask candidates?

  • Typically, the committee wants to ask each candidate 30 questions, but we ask them to narrow the list to 10. That requires negotiation and tough decisions.
  • Race subcommittees meet in person and online multiple times to formulate questions for each race that relate to the RC platform. Once drafted, the wider committee is invited to review and make comments/suggestions on each race’s questions.

How does the endorsement committee decide which candidates to recommend for endorsement?

  • Committee members score replies to the written questionnaire and in-person interview based on a rubric, outlining higher scores for ideal answers based on the Riveter’s platform of ideals.
  • The committee is also encouraged to consider the person’s record, life experience, and vision.
  • At the committee’s final meeting, they discuss and decide the final recommendations they will make to the the RC board of directors.

What about dual endorsements?

  • Since the goal is to provide clear guidance to voters, we ask the committee to use dual endorsements sparingly.  
  • Still, we’ve had one dual endorsement each year we’ve endorsed.

How is the final endorsement decision made?

  • The endorsement committee presents recommendations to the board of directors.
  • Usually the board votes to endorse all recommended candidates, but it is possible for the board to vote in a way that’s inconsistent with a committee recommendation.

Can an endorsement be revoked?

  • Revoking an endorsement requires a vote of the RC board of directors.  The directors will consult the endorsement committee chair prior to such a vote.
  • We would consider revoking for a code of conduct violation, if we learned that the candidate had intentionally falsified their endorsement materials, or other unethical or inconsistent behavior on the part of the candidate, at the discretion of the directors.

 

Campaign Training for Everyone Resources

Whether or not you attended our Campaign Training for All event, here are some links to help you make your make your campaign inclusive and get started on the right track.

Inclusivity

ASL Voter Assistance Hotline:
https://www.nad.org/asl-voter-hotline/

Communicating with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Person:
https://dhcc.org/dhcc-outreach/communication-info/

Including People with Disabilities in Your Political Campaign: A Guide for Campaign Staff:
https://www.ncil.org/campaign-guide/

Issues that matter to Disability Community:
https://www.aapd.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018-REV-UP-Issues-Guide-Print.pdf

Getting started

WA Secretary of State guide for candidates https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/candidates/state-candidates-guide-2019.pdf

NGPVan How to Run for Local Office https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/661521/How%20to%20Run%20for%20Local%20Office.pdf

WA Democrats Rise and Run resources:
https://www.wa-democrats.org/riseandrun