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.

Demand citizen oversight for BPD

UPDATE: Partial victory!

While Bellingham turned out to express outrage at the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, it’s disappointing that Bellingham Police still lacks a permanent citizen community-led oversight body with a lead role in police accountability.

Instead, the Bellingham Police Department displayed the “blue lives matter” insignia — both desecrating the US flag and implying an alliance with reactionary and white nationalist groups – until the morning of May 31st.

While we appreciate Chief Doll’s willingness to listen the community and find a more inclusive way to honor those who have died serving Bellingham, we still need an independent civilian review board for true accountability.

Take action and demand that Black Lives Matter in Bellingham: contact Mayor Seth Fleetwood MayorsOffice@cob.org and/or (360) 778-8100 and Police Chief David Doll at ddoll@cob.org and/or (360) 778-8600 to make your voice heard.

Feel free to use or modify the draft below.

 

Mayor Fleetwood and Chief Doll,

Recent weeks have been filled with devastating news: on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, police continue to kill black people. 

The most recent death to receive national attention is the police killing of George Floyd as an officer knelt on his neck as he lay handcuffed in a Minneapolis street saying “I can’t breathe.” Mr. Floyd’s last words echo the words of Eric Garner in 2014 when he was killed by the NYPD and understandably provoked a community that never saw justice in the 2016 Minnesota police killing of Philando Castile witnessed and recorded by his partner.

While I am heartened by Chief Doll’s facebook post joining the chorus of law enforcement leaders across the US recognizing the excessive and unnecessary force in the death of Mr. Floyd and his swift action in removing the “Thin Blue Line” insignia from police department signage when community members raised fears about its association with white supremacist groups, we are still concerned about accountability regarding Bellingham Police Department use of force occurrences.  

We appreciate the department’s de-escalation training as well as Chief Doll’s reassurances that the Bellingham Police Department reviews officer use of force at multiple levels, all the examples of review you cite are internal.  True transparency and accountability require citizen participation, not only internal review. Body cameras and sharing statistics monthly and a start but without external oversight, these depend entirely upon the honesty and commitment of leaders. As I think we all recognize, not every leader is honest or committed to justice. This is why Bellingham must have a permanent community-led oversight body that is independent of the police department and fully empowered to investigate complaints and serious injury at the hands of police. 

Many people find it difficult to report police misconduct to the police, especially for those of us who are visible minorities or who have witnessed or experienced less than professional conduct from law enforcement in the past. I hope we all recognize that visible minority members of our community – including but not limited to Black people, First Nations people and LGTQ people – have had [our/their] safety and freedom compromised by systems of oppression that discourage them from interacting with law enforcement.   

Moreover, a permanent community-led oversight body could benefit not only an individual reporting potential misconduct, but also the larger community, the police department, and even elected officials. Potential benefits include:

  1. Complainants are given a place to voice concerns outside of the law enforcement agency.
  2. Oversight can help hold the police or sheriff’s department accountable for officer’s actions. 
  3. Oversight agencies can help improve the quality of the department’s internal investigations of alleged misconduct. 
  4. The community at large can be reassured that discipline is being imposed when appropriate, while also increasing the transparency of the disciplinary process. 
  5. When the oversight agency confirms a complainant’s allegation(s), complainants may feel validated. Similarly, when the oversight agency exonerates the officer, the officer may feel vindicated. 
  6. Oversight agencies can help improve community relations by fostering communication between the community and police agency. 
  7. Oversight agencies can help reduce public concern about high profile incidents. 
  8. Oversight agencies can help increase the public’s understanding of law enforcement policies and procedures. 
  9. Oversight agencies can improve department policies and procedures. Policy recommendations can prevent issues by identifying areas of concern and subsequently offering options to improve policing. 
  10. Oversight agencies can assist a jurisdiction in liability management and reduce the likelihood of costly litigation by identifying problems and proposing corrective measures before a lawsuit is filed.  
  11. By establishing an oversight system, public officials are provided the opportunity to demonstrate their desire for increased police accountability and the need to eliminate misconduct. i

Respectfully, I ask that you both uphold the mission of the Bellingham Police Department, “Committed to Community.”  by establishing a permanent community-led oversight body for the Bellingham Police Department with a lead role in police accountability that includes communities who are disproportionally incarcerated.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

[signed] 

Bellingham resident

 

NOTES: 

i https://www.nacole.org/benefits

 

A photograph of the sign outside the downtown Bellingham Police station that says "Bellingham Police Department". To the left of the words on the sign is the BPD crest and to the right is a circle insignia with a black and white American flag with a blue stripe just below the field of stars.
Above picture taken May 24th, 2020.
A photograph of the downtown Bellingham Police Station sign, which has been removed. Only the blue frame of the sign remains.rem
Above photo taken May 31, 2020.

 

Editor’s note: This action was written by Lee Che Leong.  It origniated as a post in our Facebook group. Join us for more action and discussion facebook.com/groups/RivetersCollective.

Three Vs for Victory!

We know how to win on November 6th.

Volunteer

  • Knock doors for candidates and campaigns
  • Sign up for phonebanking or textbanking
  • Babysit for candidates or other volunteers
  • Work on a campaign

GiVe

  • Give $ to candidates and campaigns
  • Give $ to grassroots PACs (donate to Riveters PAC here)
  • Attend fundraisers
  • Co-host a fundraising houseparty with your friends
  • Donate your professional services to a campaign (photography, web skills, graphic design, etc.)

Vote

  • Vote the entire ballot in every election
  • Make sure all of your friends and family are registered to vote
  • Register voters in the community
  • Remind your friends and family to vote
  • Have a voting party at your house

We win when we all do our part. We ARE doing it!

Use these social media graphics to remind your friends to get involved. Right click to save images.

Social media profile pic

 

Facebook cover photo

 

Social media profile pic

 

Graphics by Olivia Hahnel.

June Immigration Actions

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

Local Level Actions

Regional Level Actions

National Level Actions

 

 

 

Whatcom Conservation District 2018 Supervisor Election

The Whatcom Conservation District holds an election for one supervisor each year.  Unlike all other elections, WCD supervisor elections are not held by the Whatcom County Auditors office, and you will not automatically receive a ballot.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. DEADLINE PASSED: Before February 7th at 4 p.m.: request a ballot.  Fill out this online form before February 7th at 4pm.
  2. Mid-February: receive your ballot in the mail (we’re not sure when they will be mailed, but you can bet there will be chatter about this in our Facebook group).
  3. Also Mid-February: Read about the candidates.  Our recruiting committee sent these questions to the candidates and received responses from Alan Chapman and David Kroontje.
  4. Ballot return deadline is Tuesday, March 13th at 6p.m. (as far as I can tell from the WCD page).  If you are worried your ballot will be delayed in the mail, you can vote in-person at the WCD on Tuesday March 13th between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Candidate Information

Riveters Collective has officially endorsed Alan B. Chapman.

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

Candidate statements to the WCD

Still have questions?  Send us an email!

Call Governor Inslee Regarding the Cooke Aquaculture Farmed Fish Release

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

Call Governor Inslee
360-902-4111

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

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

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

2. Coordinate recovery efforts immediately

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

# Background

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

Recommended Actions for the Week of 20170417

Local Level Actions

National Level Actions / Other

From the Calendar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

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.