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:
  • Call your state legislators to ask them to support the bill.
    • Find your Representatives here.
    • Send a brief message to your district legislators through the in-state toll-free Hotline :800.562.6000.
    • Click here for one-step email.
    • Suggested script:
      • Washingtonians continue to be at risk of oil spills and other disasters. In the wake of the Mosier, OR, derailment this past June, the threat of the Kinder Morgan pipeline increasing tanker traffic 7-fold, and the increase in use in pipelines for crude oil transport, we need to continue to improve our system.
      • Please support HB 1611/SB 5462 – Oil Transportation Safety Act – and protect Washington’s communities and waterways.
      • Key parts of the bill include:
        • Ensuring the oil industry pays in the case of a spill or other disaster;
        • Updating the funding for prevention, preparedness and response;
        • Protecting Puget Sound from increased oil barges and other vessels from the Kinder Morgan Pipeline;
        • Protecting against refineries turning into transshipment terminals; and
        • Strengthening oversight of pipeline safety.
      • I urge you to support and move forward HB 1611 and SB 5462.

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

Step 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:

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.




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.

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

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):…

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:…


It’s also time to boycott

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

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:

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.

Saturday 20161217 – Meet the Press

2 days until Electoral College votes

Ask reporters for more coverage of Russian interference in our election.  (Credit to for research).

Increase pressure for GOP electors and leaders to oppose Trump on Monday.

My name is —- —–, and I am writing to thank you for covering the incoming administration’s ties to Russia and to ask you to continue doing so. Between Russian interference in the campaign, big oil interests in the State department, and the admiration Trump has for Putin, there is enormous potential for conflicts of interest. The American people need to see these conflicts and concerns clearly explained and frequently publicized.  Please continue to give these conflicts and concerns the attention and  press they deserve.

NYT Public Editor:

NYT Reporter:

Washington Post Investigative Reporter:

WSJ Reporter:

WSJ Reporter:

Tweet at any of these handles:

Draft tweet:
Please continue reporting ties between Trump admin and Russia – America deserves to know it all


A few recent articles…

Don’t lose hope, because…


Keep fighting!

Friday 20161216 – Delay the Vote

2 days until Electoral College votes

Contact Democratic Governors in Trump States and convince them to delay the vote until the Electors have time to evaluate foreign influence in the election and Trump’s conflicts of interest.

Convince enough states NOT HOLD AN ELECTORAL VOTE on Monday. If they don’t hold a vote (thanks for the idea, Paul Ryan, who refused to follow the constitutional guidelines to hold a Supreme Court nominee hearing), then those states’ 49 votes won’t be counted and Trump will not have enough votes to win the election.

Script and Contacts:
Here is the contact information for the Democratic Governors and Secretaries of State in states that went for Trump. A twitter campaign would spread more quickly (by Monday!) than an email campaign, but every state would certainly need some personal phone calls.

Twitter handles: @demgovs @govmalloyoffice @govinslee @wolfforpa @govjaynixon @govtomblin @LouisianaGov @governorbullock

Tweet this to all of the Governors above: No EC vote until Electors are briefed on DT’s foreign influence and conflicts of interest. #NoVote #DelaytheVote

Script for calls or emails: “My name is ___________ and I live in Washington.  I am urging you to delay the Electoral College vote in your state. The vote must NOT be held on Monday the 19th. I believe the Electors should be given all information relevant to foreign interference in our election and Mr. Trump’s conflicts of interest before they cast their votes. The vote must be delayed until the Electors are fully briefed.”   

Governor Tom Wolf: 717-787-2500
contact form:

Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes: 717-787-6458
contact form:…/ReportElectionCom…

Governor Jay Nixon: 573-751-3222
contact form:…/contact-the-governors-office

Secretary Jason Kander: 573-751-4936

West Virginia
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin: 304.558.2000
contact form:…/…

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant:(304) 558-6000
contact form:

Governor John Bel Edwards: (225)342-7015
contact form:

Secretary Tom Schedler: 225-922-2880
contact form:…

Governor Steve Bullock:406-444-3111
contact form:

Secretary Linda McCulloch:406-444-2034

Democratic Governors Association
Chair: CT Gov. Dan Malloy:(860) 566-4840
contact form:…/Contact-Governor-Malloy/Share-your-O…

Vice Chair WA Gov. Jay Inslee:360-902-4111


Virginia congressman calls for delay in electoral college vote.



Thursday 20161215 – Brief the Electors Now

3 days until Electoral College votes

Call or tweet Department of Intelligence Director James Clapper and request that he honor the Electors’ request for a briefing before they vote on Monday.

Get the Department of Intelligence to brief the Electors NOW on Russian interference in the election.

Script and Contacts:
Department of Intelligence: (703)-733-8600

Script: “My name is ________ and I’m calling from Washington. In light of the growing number of Electoral College members requesting information on the nature and scope of Russian interference in our democratic process and election, I am requesting you honor the Electors’ request for a briefing on this issue so they are fully informed before casting their vote.  They need this information now.”

Twitter handle: @ODNIgov

Tweet: @ODNIgov The electors demand to know the truth behind Russian election interference. Brief the electors now! #BriefTheElectors

This week, a bipartisan group of 50+ members of the Electoral College sent an open letter to the Department of Intelligence Director James Clapper demanding a briefing on Russian interference in the election.  They require a full briefing before they vote on Monday the 19th. We need to support the Electors’ requests for information.


Wednesday 20161214 – Call for Complete Investigation Before January 6th

5 days until Electoral College votes

Today we have one main action and two bonus actions.  Be a #SuitUp hero and complete all three actions.

Call the White House. Ask that President Obama move the completion date of the CIA’s investigation into Russian hacking of our elections to December 30, 2016.

Persuade President Obama to move up completion of the CIA report of Russian hacking of the US elections to 12/30 so that Congress can take action when they meet to tally the electoral college votes on January 6th.

Script and Contact:
Hello, my name is ___ and I live in _____. I’m calling to ask that President Obama complete and release the CIA report on Russian hacking of our elections no later than 12/30. This must happen before Congress counts the electoral votes on January 6th. We all have an ethical duty to ensure that Russia doesn’t influence the highest office in our country.

To send an email, use this portal:
To call: 202-456-1111

Last week President Obama ordered a full CIA review of Russian hacking of the Presidential elections and asked that the report be concluded by January 20th. That date is too far away. Congress has an ethical duty to ensure that Russia does not influence the highest office in our country and they must have this report before they count the electoral votes on January 6th. On January 6th Congress can and must object.…/31d6b300-be2a-11e6…

Bonus action 1:
Donate to the Electors Trust.  This group, headed by Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig, has been created to provide free and confidential legal support to any elector who wishes to vote their conscience.

Bonus action 2:
Start prepping your signs now for Sunday evening’s candlelight vigil.  More details to come.

From the Hamilton ElectorsThe BEST action that can be taken right now is to organize within your communities. Hamilton Electors is recommending that those events be Candlelight Vigils – this will appeal to Republicans’ best sense of self – and, the more of these events there are across the country, the better. If this catches fire nationwide, it will send an undeniable signal to leadership of both parties to support our efforts in the Electoral College.”

Tuesday 20161213 – Call for Investigation of Russian Interference

6 days until Electoral College votes

Action: Call senators at their home offices and DC offices in support of a nonpartisan investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election to be completed before the electoral college vote is certified on January 6th.

Goal: Get as many senators as possible to support this investigation and support an independent, nonpartisan commission.  Call for a deadline prior to the January 6th Joint Session of Congress where electoral college votes are tallied.

Contacts and Scripts:
Senator John McCain DC (202) 224-2235, AZ (602) 952-2410

Senator Lindsey Graham DC (202) 224-5972, SC (864) 250-1417
Senator Chuck Schumer DC (202) 224-6542, NY (518) 431-4070
Senator Jack Reed DC (202) 224-4642, RI (401) 528-5200
Senator Mitch McConnell DC (202) 224-2541, KY (502) 582-6304
Representative Paul Ryan DC (202) 225-3031, WI (262) 637-0510

Script: [for McCain, Graham, Schumer, Reed, McConnell and Ryan] Thank you for calling for an investigation into Russian cyberattacks on our elections. These attacks pose a grave threat to our national security.  Investigations must be conducted by an independent, nonpartisan commission, and be completed prior to the Joint Session of Congress on January 6th.

Senator Patty Murray: WA (206) 553-5545, DC (202) 224-2621
Senator Maria Cantwell:  WA (206) 220-6400, DC (202) 224-3441
Congressman Rick Larsen:  WA (360)-733-4500, DC (202) 225-2605
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene WA (425)485-0085, DC (202) 225-6311

Script:  [For your senators and representative]

  • Publicly endorse the joint statement of the Senate Committee on Armed Services on Russian interference in the presidential election.
  • Call for the investigations to be conducted by an independent, nonpartisan commission, and
  • Set a deadline for completion prior to the the Joint Session of Congress on January 6th.

On Sunday morning, Senators
John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Jack Reed (D-RI) from the Senate Committee on Armed Services issued a joint statement with Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Senate Democratic Leader-elect, calling for a bipartisan investigation into cyberattacks on the US election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) have shown support for bipartisan investigations by standing committees.  Also on Monday, three Senate democrats, Benjamin Cardin (MD) Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Patrick J. Leahy (VT) called for the creation of an independent, nonpartisan commission to conduct the investigations.

Monday 20161212 – Release the CIA Report to the Electors

7 days until Electoral College votes

Release the CIA Report on Russian Interference in the Presidential Election

Call your senators and representative at their home offices and DC offices and ask them to publicly call on the White House to release the CIA report to the electors NOW.

Release CIA report to electors ASAP so that they can make an informed vote.

Hello, my name is ____ and I’m a constituent from _____, Washington. A fair election, free from foreign influence, is critical to a healthy nation. Please call on the President to release the CIA report on Russian cyberattacks to the Electoral College immediately so that they can make an informed choice when they vote in seven days.

Senator Patty Murray: WA (206) 553-5545, DC (202) 224-2621
Senator Maria Cantwell: WA (206) 220-6400, DC (202) 224-3441
Congressman Rick Larsen: WA 360-733-4500, DC (202) 225-2605
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene: WA (360) 416-7879, DC (202) 225-6311

The CIA report on Russian interference in the election must be released to the electors so that they can make an informed decision. Remember, one of the elector’s roles is to prevent a candidate who is under foreign influence from becoming president. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) is calling for the White House to publicize information surrounding the CIA’s assessment that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump.

Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve letter writing

Background information:

Submit public comments:  Send comments to the SEPA Center at or P.O. Box 47015, Olympia, Washington 98504-7015. Include file number 16-110401 on all comments.

Organize an action for this:  contact leader

Organizing page: