Urgent Call to Action: Protect Cherry Point!

Riveters, this is an urgent call to take action by Tuesday, March 21, to protect Cherry Point from fossil fuel export!  We need all who can to do BOTH of the following:

1. Oppose Senator Ericksen’s efforts to reverse the order that removed the 45-acre pier-sized cutout from the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve boundary.

  • In January 2017, honoring Lummi Nation’s request and with strong public support, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark issued an order that amended the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve boundary to remove the 45-acre pier-sized cutout that had been left for then-proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal when the Reserve was established.  See here for more information.
  • Senator Ericksen proposed SB 5171 to rescind that order and require that any future aquatic reserve designation, establishment, or enlargement be expressly authorized by the legislature.  That bill did not make it out of committee.
  • Now, Senator Ericksen is trying to amend a bill on utility easements for aquatic lands to include the language from SB5171.  He is flying back from DC to hold a hearing on Tuesday, March 21, at 10am in the Senate Committee on Energy, Environment & Telecommunications.
  • Take action! 
    • Call committee members and ask them to oppose amendment S-2118.1 to HB1001.  Let’s flood them with calls on MONDAY, 3/20!!
      • Hotline 1-800-562-6000
      • Committee members: 
        • Chair: Doug Ericksen, 42nd, (360) 786-7682
        • Vice-Chair: Tim Sheldon, 35th, (360) 786-7668
        • Reuven Carlyle, 36th, (360) 786-7670
        • Sharon Brown, 8th, (360) 786-7614
        • Steve Hobbs, 44th, (360) 786-7686
        • Jim Honeyford, 15th, (360) 786-7684
        • Kevin Ranker, 40th, (360) 786-7678
        • Shelly Short, 7th, (360) 786-7612
        • Lisa Wellman, 41st, (360) 786-7641
      • Suggested Script: My name is [insert name] and I live in [insert County].  I’m calling to urge the Senator to oppose Senator Ericksen’s striking amendment (S-2118.1) to HB1001. It’s a back-door approach to overturn protection of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. This reserve was based on science and significant public input over several years. It followed a decision by the US Army Corps that was based on 27 separate studies and 124,000 comments by citizens across Washington State. Prior to setting aside the reserve, the DNR received 5,000 responses in favor of the protected reserve and just 10 opposed, including one from Senator Ericksen. Please oppose this back-door approach to overturning science and the public’s will.
    • If you can, attend the public hearing in Olympia on 3/21 at 10am. Public leaders are being asked to attend the hearing to speak out on impacts of fossil fuel export projects.  Show your support for these speakers by wearing red!

2. Ask Whatcom County Council to extend the moratorium on unrefined fossil fuel export projects and strengthen Comprehensive Plan policies for Cherry Point.

***From ReSources Clean Energy Blog***  Sign up for updates!!

  • Although SSA Marine has withdrawn their 2011 county permits for a coal terminal at Cherry Point, the fact is still the same: Cherry Point remains a targeted route to export crude oil, tar sands, and fracked gas.
  • Whatcom County Council is working on updates to their Comprehensive Plan policies for Cherry Point.  Let’s call on Whatcom County Council to take action to protect the public by discourage projects that will bring more dangerous crude oil shipments through Whatcom County and the Salish Sea!   
  • Take action!

Dear Whatcom County Council,

As a [insert city] resident and citizen of Whatcom County, I implore you to act to the full extent of your power to protect our community’s health and safety, farms, fisheries and natural resources from the dangers of fossil fuel shipments by rail, pipeline and marine vessel. Cherry Point is a targeted route to export crude oil, tar sands, fracked gas, and propane from Canada, which would bring high risks of spills, leaks, explosions, pollution, traffic, a local tax burden, reduced property values, and the degradation of our quality of life.

I urge you to take the following actions, without delay:

  • Extend the temporary moratorium on permits for fossil fuel export projects until the Shoreline Master Plan is updated and until new development regulations are implemented. Additionally, please add a moratorium on applications for any modification of piers, docks, or wharfs in or adjacent to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.
  • Commence a legal study into Whatcom County’s powers to prevent future development for coal, oil, and gas exports.
  • Strengthen policies in the Comprehensive Plan to prevent piecemeal upgrades for oil exports by requiring Magnuson Amendment review of all permits that involve handling petroleum; block any new proposals for shipping piers in the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve; recognize Lummi Nation’s history and treaty-protected fishing rights; and complete a legal study by December 2017.

I support your work to protect the ecological and cultural significance of Cherry Point. Thank you.

  • Attend the public hearing on Tuesday, March 21st, at 7pm in the Whatcom County Council Chambers, 311 Grand Ave., Bellingham, and WEAR RED!  RSVP to ReSources by sending an email to cleanenergy@re-sources.org.

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.

 

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!

Step Five to Taking Action

How are you doing? What was the last action you took?

Maybe you’re feeling fired up and taking action every day.  Maybe you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and disheartened by the news each day, making it hard to act.  Maybe life has interrupted and your best intentions have taken a backseat to dealing with urgent personal matters.

No matter how many actions you’ve taken so far, know this: WE ARE IN THIS FOR THE LONG HAUL.

This is not normal.  And we must never ever allow ourselves to let it feel normal.

There is no finish line. No future end date we are aiming towards.  This is not a diet or a challenge or a campaign.

This is brushing your teeth.  This is grocery shopping.  This is paying bills.  This is exercise.  This is drinking coffee.  This is weeding the garden.

This is a habit. This is you making a permanent slot in your regular routine for taking action to protect our rights, fight injustice and inequality, and protect vulnerable populations.  You can do it.  You must.

Good news!  You already know how to start new habits.  (And if your life does not allow you to commit to a new habit right now, work in actions as much as you can until you have more bandwidth.)

Tips for Sustaining Action

Schedule it

Set aside some time for your reading the news, researching, reading books, writing letters, making calls, and planning actions. Schedule it on your calendar just like any other appointment and set a reminder. 

Remember to set up recurring, monthly donations, too.

 

Narrow Your Focus

There are so many actions to take and so much work to do.  It can feel overwhelming.  One way to fight this problem is to narrow your focus to your top three issues you are most passionate about.  Follow groups that are organizing issues on those topics.  Maybe you’ll branch out in the future, the most important thing is to keep acting and not get stuck at inaction.  Keep this in mind, though.

 

Use a Cheat Sheet

People out there are doing the  work of researching and selecting regular actions so that you don’t have to.  Here are a few cheat sheets to follow that will deliver regular actions to you, along with the rationale and sources behind them.

Wall of Us

Pantsuit Resources

Resistance 365

Fight Trump

Resist Tinyletter

 

Join a Group

Thousands of grassroots groups sprung up immediately after the election with the purpose of organizing action against Trump. These groups are working online and in person.  They are planning actions on a local level,  state level, national level, and world level.  Find one near you. (This list is not comprehensive, but a good round up.)

 

Form an Accountability Circle

This is simple.  Find some buddies who also are taking and agree to regularly check in with each other to see how it’s going.  Meet in person, do a group chat online, form a Facebook group, or however you want to go about it.  Every (one, two, three) weeks, ask everyone to report in with their latest actions. Knowing someone is going to check on you can give you that extra motivation you need.


Or, simply post your latest actions on social media and ask what your friends have been up to.  Use this hashtag: #actionaccountability

 

Celebrate, Reward, and Take Care of Yourself

Are you tired yet?  I am.  This work is exhausting physically and emotionally. Don’t burn out. Please take care of yourself.    We need you and your voice.  Take a break when you need to, but come back, refreshed and full of fire. Practice your favorite self-care.  Reward yourself for taking action.  And celebrate our victories!  Because there will be victories.  You can do it.  You must.  Remember, we are the ones we have been waiting for.

Missed step four? Read it here.

Take action:

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.  

Immigration Ban

By Abhinaba Basu from Redmond, United States (Peace arch Canada-US border Uploaded by X-Weinzar) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

How to support our community

Pantsuit Bellingham members are seeking effective means of supporting members of our community affected by the immigration ban.  We are using this page as a clearinghouse for information on organizations and events supporting members of our community who are affected by the ban.  Submit constructive feedback or ideas in this Facebook thread.

Events

29 January 2017 Emergency Rally Against Muslim Ban
Peace Arch Park

12 February 2017 Worker and Immigrant Solidarity March

 

Organizations

ACLU of Washington 

CAIR Seattle

IRC Seattle

KIND

NWIRP

OneAmerica

ReWA

Step Four to Taking Action

Here we go- time to get busy.  Let’s look at how you can use your time to influence change.

Some of these actions are quick and introvert-friendly.  Some are harder and require you to step out of your comfort zone.  You can do it.

 

Petition (quick and easy, but low impact)

Signing online petitions is a simple, entry-level action.  You sign your name and zip code to support a cause you believe in. It takes about 30 seconds.  BUT, it’s hard to say how much they actually accomplish. (Read here, here, and here.)  Keep in mind that signing will probably get you on an email list, and right after you sign, you will probably be asked to donate money and share the petition.  That being said, there’s no harm in signing a petition, as long as it’s not the only action you take.

Here are some petition sources:

Moveon.org

CREDO Action

Petition the White House

Moms Rising

 

Vote (moderate research time, impactful, it’s your duty)

Duh.  You must vote. Vote in every election: local, state, and national.  Vote, vote, vote. Here’s some ways to get informed:

Vote Smart

Vote 411

Tell your friends, family, and neighbors to vote, too.  If our friends just voted in local and midterm elections we could change the world. Far too many people (it would surprise you who) are inconsistent in voting.  We should all be helping to get out the vote. Check out the Whatcom Democrats for get out the vote opportunities.

 

Call and Write Letters (quick to moderate time, moderate impact)

Contacting politicians and policy makers to share your opinion about specific issues is a simple, tried and true way to influence change.  If you’ve never done it, it can sound intimidating.  Luckily, there are scripts out there to follow to make it easy.  And the people who answer the phones are nice.  You don’t have to be a political junkie to call or write.  These public servants are there to serve YOU.  Let them know what you think.

Tip: Write handwritten letters instead of using the contact forms on their webpages or sending email.  Real letters get noticed.

Tip: Put the numbers for your congresspeople (state and national) in your phone.  You’re going to be calling them a lot. Find your elected officials.

Fabulous, rich resource: The Sixty-Five

Sometimes it’s as simple as a postcard campaign or a letter writing campaign.

 

Attend Town Hall Meetings (moderate time, high impact)

Word is, the best way to get your legislator’s attention is to attend one of their Town Hall meetings and ask questions.  Check out this wonderful, detailed guide put together by a handful of former DC staffers.  And, this former congressman confirms it: go to the Town Halls and ask hard questions.

 

Protest (moderate time, high profile impact)

Seattle Womxn’s March

Why should YOU participate in a peaceful protest?  Read this.

For many of us, this will be our first time protesting.  You don’t have to be a young radical to protest.  Here are some tips for protesters.  (These are very practical and may make you feel uncomfortable.  Peaceful, organized protests are not without risk, but they are entirely different than violent destruction and looting.)

Tips from the ACLU

More tips

Watch the news and your networks for upcoming peaceful protests.  There will be many.

Watch for local Planned Parenthood support rallies to counter anti-PP vigils.

Bellingham is the home of the longest running weekly peace vigil in the country. Downtown, every Friday from 4-5.

 

Volunteer (moderate to high time, high impact)

Remember all those organizations (big and small) you just donated too?  They could use your time, too. Most of them have volunteer opportunities.  Yes, life is busy.  Sometimes there are volunteer opportunities that can be accomplished online, from the comfort of your pjs. Look into it. Bonus- it’s good for your health!

Serve 306 is asking you to pledge 306 hours of volunteer time over the next four years.  That’s about 1.5 hours per week. Totally doable.

Also, your city or county probably has boards and commissions that need volunteers to guide decisions. Here’s Whatcom County’s current vacancies.

 

Campaign (moderate to high time, high impact)

Signing up as a volunteer for a political party or organization will get you on the list of folks to help out in the next campaign, whether it’s local, state, or national.  There are lots of ways to help a campaign, ranging from low to high time commitment.

Democrats

Bernie

 

Run for office (high time, high impact)

Yes, you!  If you are passionate about local issues, consider running for local office: School Board, City Council, etc.  Especially if you’re a woman.

 

Try a few of these and see how it goes.  Then try a few more.

Next up, the final step: sustaining action.

Missed step three? Read it here.

Ready for step five? Read it here.

Take action:

Why I March – a Sound Bite

Uncomfortable with the idea of speaking to others at the march (possibly while being recorded) about your participation? The below are “script-let” ideas that may provide you with a helpful guide of sorts for expressing your involvement concisely and confidently. Please feel free to use this “fill in the blanks” template as a guide if you’re in that boat. This is not a prescribed script, meaning you should of course feel free to individualize and use YOUR voice! Again, this is wording people can choose to use if they’re not comfortable soap-boxing and it should probably be cautioned that while the press can always use unseemly snippets, it can benefit all if we work to represent the entire group in a positive, cohesive way.

Other suggestions one might find helpful are:
Be polite but serious
Stick to facts
Avoid too many specifics and also over-generalizations
If you feel intimidated or anxious, you can always just lean back on a simple “I’m marching because I support human rights” – say your piece and keep marching.
There is no shame in feeling flustered speaking to relative strangers; don’t feel bad about keeping it ‘short and sweet’.

______

I’m marching to:
… increase visibility for _____________ (human rights issues, women’s right to choose, the disenfranchised, environmental issues, etc.)
… promote awareness of __________ (LGBTQ issues, equal pay, _____ reform, etc.)
… stand against the assault on our _________ (environment, health care system, free press, etc.)
… support ____________ (human rights, justice for all, etc.)
… end ______________ (racism, sexism, classism, discriminatory legislation systems and harmful practices, etc.)
… increase visibility for ___________ (environmental issues, refugee issues, etc)
… show my neighbors, community and friends that I take their concerns seriously, and have deep respect and love for all the inhabitants of this country.
… bring attention to the plight of many marginalized groups because we’re all connected, and we can do better for all. There is room for all. This is a time for all.
… give a voice to non-human beings that are impacted by our actions.
… say that we cannot heal and improve upon that which we ignore or denigrate, no matter how difficult, inconvenient or time-consuming.
…send a message to our government and politicians that people of all creeds, colors, backgrounds, religions, genders, abilities and income levels deserve dignity, respect and equality. They can and do make contributions, seen and unseen, to this great nation. We owe it to present and future generations to strive for a better, safer, healthier, more just, and prosperous nation and world.

By Lindsay Sandbar

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:

Alternative Inauguration Day Events

By Jnn13 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Take back Inauguration Day by participating in one of these alternative events on Friday, January 20th.

Because you can love this country AND skip the inauguration.

Local

Our Inauguration Day: The Bellingham People’s Movement Assembly

WWU Student Walkout to #ResistTrump on Inauguration Day

WCC Resists Trump: Student Walkout on Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day Cabaret, at Sylvia Center

Bring Your Light to the Library

Don’t Mourn – Organize!

Unite Turtle Island: Inauguration Protest at the Border

Rest up and prepare for the Women’s Marches the next day.

National

Women Strike

Love-a-thon