Recommended Local Actions for the week of 20170206

Thank Bob Ferguson and Jay Inslee

Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee have taken bold leadership roles in opposing the president’s  immigration order.
Background: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/04/us/trump-travel-ban-washington-seattle-ferguson.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/05/how-washington-state-became-the-epicenter-of-resistance-to-trumps-agenda/?postshare=5921486325841420&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.fea5f05b0067

Ferguson
https://www.facebook.com/bobfergusonforAG/
https://twitter.com/agowa
(360) 753-6200

Inslee
https://www.facebook.com/WaStateGov/
https://twitter.com/GovInslee
360-902-4111

Support HB 1611 – Oil Transportation Safety

Watch the hearing, submit a comment.
Background, comment links, contact information here: http://riveterscollective.org/2017/01/support-washingtons-oil-transportation-safety-bill-hb-1611-sb-5462/
Watch live: http://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2017021092
We may have a virtual watch party in our Facebook group.
If you will attend the hearing, please contact us at pantsuitbellingham(at)gmail(dot)com so we can discuss delivering testimony.

*Updated* Write a letter to the editor about Doug Ericksen jobs conflict

If you have not yet written a letter, now is the time!  We are responding to Senator Ericksen’s claims from his press conference last week.  Join the virtual letter writing party on Monday night   in our facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/958756480935567/permalink/1020698808074667/.

Find all the information and talking points you need here:
http://riveterscollective.org/2017/01/42nd-district-unrepresented/

42nd district constituents: Post a photo of yourself at your place of work

{or on your way to work if political activity is prohibited at your work}
Either tweet the photo to @wheresdoug42 or post it in this thread on the Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/958756480935567/permalink/1020786118065936/

Follow @wheresdoug42 on Twitter

Someone is undertaking to locate our 42nd district state senator and document his absence in Olympia.  Follow this twitter handle for updates.  https://twitter.com/wheresdoug42

Request a ballot for the Whatcom Conservation District board election

The Whatcom Conservation District is holding an election for a board member.  Our friend Kelly Krieger is running!  Ballots for this election are not automatically distributed, you must request a ballot before February 14th (or vote in person on March 14th).  Requesting a ballot is easy using their online form.  http://www.whatcomcd.org/board-elections

DAPL Public Comment DEADLINE FEBRUARY 20

Contact information and suggested language at the end of this article.  Modify the text at least a bit, remember in the GPT NEPA/SEPA process they counted total comments and UNIQUE comments.
http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/dont-let-trump-distract-you-public-comment-on-dapl-is-now-open-20170125

From the Calendar

http://riveterscollective.org/calendar/

4, 11, and 18 Feb * Islam 101 * St. Pauls Episcopal Church, www.stpaulsbellingham.org

Monday 6 Feb 1:30pm * HB 1611 hearing (see above) http://riveterscollective.org/2017/01/support-washingtons-oil-transportation-safety-bill-hb-1611-sb-5462/

Monday 6 Feb 6:30pm * Clean Energy Activists Meeting https://www.facebook.com/events/1909863462565875/

Monday 6 Feb 7pm * Town Hall Meeting – Future of Bellingham Immigrant Families https://www.facebook.com/events/377699329263343/

Tues 7 Feb (begins) * 45 min Free Online Class: Communication Skills for Bridging Divides  https://www.edx.org/course/communication-skills-bridging-divides-catalystx-ildiv1x

Sat 11 Feb * Fund Planned Parenthood–Support Rally in Bellingham https://www.facebook.com/events/1671930566433605/

Sun 12 Feb * Worker and Immigrant Solidarity March Burlington https://www.facebook.com/events/409732362695018/

 

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.  

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:

42nd District – Unrepresented

Constituents of Washington’s 42nd legislative district, our state senator is not showing up to work, but we are still paying him.  He has taken a new job at the EPA and spends his weeks in Washington DC while his seat in Olympia is empty. Doug Ericksen needs to resign his senate seat so a new senator can be appointed and we can have representation who shows up.
{Look up your district here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/}

Suit up, pants peeps!  Here is our strategy:

***TOWN HALL MEETING***

Senator Ericksen has no constituent events scheduled for the 2017 legislative seasion, so we are scheduling one for him.  To be scheduled in march.  You can read the invitation and sign it.  Constituent signatures will be added to the letter, others will be updated on the campaign.

***WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR***

Talking Points

Contact Information

Cut & paste email addresses: letters@cascadiaweekly.com; news@ferndalerecord.com; editor@lyndentribune.com; letters@bellinghamherald.com

Bellingham Herald – post letter in story comments – http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article128339024.html

Cascadia Weekly – http://www.cascadiaweekly.com/contact

Ferndale Record-Journal – http://www.ferndalerecord.com

Lynden Tribune – www.lyndentribune.com

Northern Light – http://www.thenorthernlight.com/submit-a-letter/

 

***FOLLOW “WHERE’S DOUG” ON TWITTER***

Someone is keeping track of Senator Ericksen.  Follow @wheresdoug42, RETWEET @wheresdoug42‘s tweets to political reporters and other interested parties.  If you are a constituent of the 42nd district, use this hashtag: #42ndconstituent
Suggestions:

@Jim_Brunner  What a waste of taxpayer money.  #wheresdoug42 http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/politics-government/article131138229.html

 42nd district constituents are looking for our state senator. Help us find Doug?

We are in Washington’s 42nd legislative district and we are looking for our state senator. Have you seen Doug?

***WATCH SENATOR ERICKSEN’S PRESS CONFERENCE – 2 Feb 2017***

If you missed it, you cans see the recording here: http://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2017021067

***STAY TUNED FOR QUICK-RESPONSE LETTERS***

We need to highlight every missed vote and absence from a hearing. Basically, we want his constituents to know that he’s not showing up for work. Where will those letters be sent? To local papers. We’ll need to act quickly when he misses critical votes in Olympia so keep an eye out.

***LOCAL EVENTS***

Pantsuit Bellingham plans to hold one or more actions to highlight that Doug Ericksen isn’t showing up for work. Where will those be held? Here, in his district. His voters need to know he works for them and he’s just not showing up for work.

Many have asked about events elsewhere, to put pressure on the state or visit his office. Pantsuit Bellingham recommends you put your energy here, in his district, talking to his voters, letting everyone in the 42nd know that Doug just isn’t showing up for work.

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:

SB 5171 – Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve

Our eyes are on the prize of a clean energy future.  We know the carbon must stay in the ground, and we have worked for years to reject proposals to transport it through our neighborhoods and export it from Xwe’chieXen, traditional fishing grounds of our Lummi neighbors.

Just weeks ago, after years of study and public input and the denial of permits for the  Gateway Pacific Terminal – which would have been North America’s largest coal terminal – Washington DNR commissioner Peter Goldmark updated the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve boundary to include the pier-shaped hole once reserved for the pier.  Do you see it there on the map below, just below Henry Rd?  Since there will be no pier built, the cut out is not necessary.

Senate Bill 5171 proposes we re-open the possibility of a fossil fuel export pier in the herring spawning area by reversing the DNR decision.  It is a signal to fossil fuel darlings in DC that there’s still hope for the GPT project.

We are having none of it.  We can kill this bill and send a strong message that any efforts to revive the project are wasted.


The bill will be heard by the Senate Natural Resources Committee on TUESDAY JANUARY 24th.  We expect tribal leaders from throughout the state to attend and speak against the bill.  You have three choices for action.

  1. Attend the hearing in Olympia – WEAR RED. 1:30pm (subject to change) Natural Resources & Parks, Senate Full Committee, Senate Hearing Rm 3, J.A. Cherberg Building, 304 15th Ave SW, Olympia, WA 98501
    Pantsuit Bellingham members RSVP here.
    Carpools are being organized from Whatcom County.
    If you are not a member of Pantsuit Bellingham RSVP here.
  2. UPDATE: calls worked!  No more calls needed.
  3. Watch the hearing on the live broadcast.  If you are a member of the Pantsuit Bellingham Facebook group, you can participate in the watch party.

Step Two to Taking Action

 

Alright, so you’ve got your non-biased news sources and you’re keeping up with things- nice! Now it’s time for step two: homework.

I know, you already have a busy life, and you’ve just upped your news intake on top of that. The thing is, you won’t be able to make effective or meaningful actions until you fully understand the situation.

First, the basics.

  • Here’s a nice civics brush up.
  • These gamified civics lessons are aimed at students, but look like fun for any age. Bonus- they’re an initiative of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
  • And here’s a handy post of our own about how the local Democratic party works.

Next, you might be wondering how this happened.

While we’re at it, we need to understand how to be better allies, too. Don’t forget the kids.

Putting a few of these books on reserve at the library is a great way to go. Get reading!

Missed step one? Read it here.

Ready for step three? Read it here.

Take action:

Womxn’s Marches – Bellingham, Seattle, DC


We’re getting a lot of questions about the Women’s Marches.  Here are links to information for marches in Bellingham, Seattle and DC.

Womxn’s March on Washington – Bellingham

Event Information
Website
Facebook page
Facebook event

 

Womxn’s March – Washington State – Seattle

Event Information
Website
Facebook group
Facebook event

Transportation
Our bus is full, and there are at least three buses departing from Bellingham for the march.  I will update this as I get new information.  If you don’t have a ticket and you want one, watch the Pantsuit Bellingham Facebook feed and then bus event closely, I have seen several posts selling tickets in the past couple of days.

If you purchased a bus ticket through Pantsuit Bellingham and Bellair Charters, your bus departure information:
Sunset Square Kmart parking lot at 7a.m. on 21 January 2017.
Join the Facebook Event for some pre-march pep-talking and organizing.

If you have a ticket for a bus chartered by Whatcom Democratic Women’s Club, event details can be found here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/womens-march-charter-bus-round-trip-bellingham-tickets-30571121046

 

Women’s March on Washington – D.C.

Event Information
Website
Facebook page

 

 

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

Action:
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.

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

Script:
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

Background: 
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. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/electoral-college-russian-hack-david-cicilline-232469

Take action:

Becoming Active in the Democratic Party

If you’re new to political involvement or if you just need a refresher, we’ve outlined the structure of the Whatcom County Democratic Party to give you a comprehensive list of local organizations.

Whatcom Democrats meet the third Thursday of every month and you can attend! Local parties reflect the values and energy of those who show up. By showing up here, you make a difference. Joining costs $20 ($10 for students, seniors and reduced income).

Read more “Becoming Active in the Democratic Party”