Local candidate forums, AMAs and Q&As for the 2020 primary election

Forums

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMAs and Q&As

Riveters Collective AMA 42nd LD State Representative Position 2 candidate Sharon Shewmake (Must be a member of the Riveters Collective Facebook group to view.)

Riveters Collective AMA 40th LD State Representative Position 2 candidate Alex Ramel (Must be a member of the Riveters Collective Facebook group to view.)

Riveters Collective Questionnaires for Whatcom County Superior Court Judicial candidates

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

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!

 

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