Monthly Archives: September 2013

This Week in our community…get active and become informed

Two Special events…

  • October 1 – Tuesday, 6:30 PMPort Townsend Community Center – “Open Government How to Discussion featuring a panel of attorneys and legal experts.”  Ask questions and become informed.  Panel is moderated by Scott Wilson, Publisher of the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader; former president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government. Sponsored by the Jefferson County Bar Association and the Washington Coalition for Open Government.
  • October 2– Wednesday – 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM  District 2 Freeholder Candidate Forum – Tri area Community Center, Chimacum, WA Sponsored by the Yes! on Home Rule Ballot Committee and the Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County
  • open government event
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CRC GENERAL ASSEMBLY THIS SATURDAY!

Salish BeeSEPTEMBER 28th – Saturday- 9:30 to 11:30 AM – GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County.

Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (2333 San Juan Ave) Port Townsend, WA – ALL FRIENDS ARE WELCOME.  Come join us as we make real change happen and stand up against corruption.

Agenda items:

  • Update on I-522 action group (Label GMO’s in Washington state) – the big guys with their big money come to Washington State, the people respond by using community activism Phone banks, flyers, action meetings.  The Senate in Washington votes to stop the Monsanto Protection Act!
  • Update on Home Rule Charter campaign and Freeholder Candidate forums.  WE HAVE YARD SIGNS TO DISTRIBUTE.  If you live on a major thoroughfare or street in Jefferson County or know someone who does, please put a Yes! On Proposition 1 Home Rule sign in your yard or property.
  • Consensus study group about to start.
  • Community Bill of Rights update

…and much more.  Join us

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What is Home Rule and Why is it Good for us

Update from the Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County Home Rule Chartering Taskforce

yes on home rule - let the people decideIn the ancient Roman Empire, “Home Rule” was designed  to give limited self-government to the people who lived in Rome’s colonies, the local citizens, instead of having everything determined from the distant city of Rome.

In the 1800s, the British Empire began to embrace the concept they called “Home Rule”, which ultimately gave Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and India, powers of limited self-government, as Dominions in the British Empire.

In the United States , many states to granted limited self-government, or partial autonomy, to cities and counties wanting to manage their local affairs, rather than everything being determined from afar.

The idea was to give cities and counties the flexible ability to address local concerns not preempted by the states.  It was “local solutions for local problems”. The citizens most affected by local problems would be in the best-position know.

The Washington Constitution of 1889 was drafted in the hot season in a mere 51 days (July 4 to August 23) by 75 citizens.  It was ratified on October 1, 1889, by a vote of 40,152 to 11,879.  That’s right – a total of 52,031 votes.

Since 1889, the Washington population has grown to almost 7 million, with 19 cities having larger populations than the entire state-wide vote in 1889.

The 1889 Washington constitution created a simple, off the shelf  “three member commissioner” form of county government – which combined both the legislative and the executive functions, as opposed to keeping them separate as they are in the US Constitution where they are divided, and balanced, between the Congress and the President.

Back then, the commissioners dealt mostly with “roads and taxes”, since roads were scarce. In 1948, shortly after the end of World War II, and as the needs of government became more complex, the legislature decided to provide a “Home Rule” option for Washington cities and counties to create their own forms of local government tailored to specific needs of each community.

Who is Chartered in Washington State?

Washington State map of Chartered counties and cities

Washington State map of Chartered counties and cities

Generally, larger and more progressive counties with increasingly complex problems lead the effort to create, and tailor, “Home Rule” charters.  King in 1969, Whatcom in 1978, Clallam in 1979, Snohomish in 1980, Pierce in 1981 and San Juan in 2005.

King, Whatcom, Snohomish and Pierce decided to split the legislative and executive functions of county government between legislative council members and an elected executive, to match the separation of powers in the US government and all state governments.

We in Jefferson County still have the simple, off-the-shelf version of county government designed in 1889 when the population was small, most travel was by water, the horse and wagon used dirt roads, most people walked a lot, and the technological revolution was far in the future. “Don’t fix what ain’t broke” is a timeless perspective which is often heard but rarely taken seriously.

Since 1889, we’ve fixed a lot of things that weren’t  “broke”.  Paved roads replaced dirt roads weren’t broke, the automobile replaced the “horse and buggy” that wasn’t broke, electric lights replaced candles and oil lamps which gave decent light, the telephone came in even though the Pony Express was never broke, computers replaced adding machines, and smart phones are way ahead of the old hand crank party-line phones that have been relegated to museums and antique stores.

We have major improvements all around – except for our form of county governance – which was invented in 1889 during the high-water mark of the horse and buggy days.

We still let three “commissioners” decide and implement, if they choose, all the good ideas.  A charter form of government can provide for greater citizen participation, more good ideas, and far more vigorous and interesting elections.

Do we trust our fellow adult citizens, many of whom are well-educated, and experienced in many fields, especially in Jefferson County, to have a voice?  Do we trust in the brain-power of our fellow citizens or do we leave it to the three overseers to have all the wisdom?  Are there good ideas, from a wider selection of experienced thinkers, which deserve a hearing before our fellow citizens? Or are all the good ideas held by three people?  By insiders?

To be adopted, new citizen ideas would still have to have merit and command a majority of county support in order to become law.

Should we elect 15 conscientious freeholders and ask them to come together to see if they can craft a charter flexible enough and intelligent enough to meet the interests, needs and scrutiny of the majority of Jefferson County voters? A charter, to be adopted, will have to be written well enough to survive a county-wide examination and satisfy a majority of our voters in a future election, perhaps in 2015.

Have we heard some say we should reject the idea of the Charter before we find out what it contains.  Who could seriously reject an offering sight unseen? Let’s give the freeholders, and ourselves, the chance to be heard.  Let’s challenge the freeholders and ourselves to create the best and most responsible charter possible, a charter with the flexibility to serve our coming generations.

Let’s vote to have it written, to see it, to discuss the finished product, and then vote it up or down after we’ve scrutinized it. Let’s give ourselves the option of initiative and referendum, and a protective citizen Bill of Rights.  Let’s separate the executive and legislative functions, as they should be separated in the best interests of all citizens.

Let’s move into the modern world and retire the “horse and buggy” commissioner form of government to a well-earned corner in the museum of history.

Written by John Wood –  September 2013

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Jeffery Smith advocate and expert on the dangers of GMO’s at Chimacum High School

Seeds-of-DeceptionMr Smith comes to Chimacum!  On Monday, September 30th at 7:00 PM at the Chimacum High School –  Meet Mr. Smith. The leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices, Jeffrey M. Smith, is the author of the world’s bestselling and #1 rated book on the health dangers genetically modified organisms (GMOs). His meticulous research documents how biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials to put the health of society at risk, and the environment in peril.

He is the author Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating. He is also the author of Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

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This Week in the Community…become informed – Join us!

groundswell_hillSeptember 24th – Tuesday – 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM – District 3 Freeholder candidate forum – Quilcene community center, Quilcene, WA (Just south of town on right)  Sponsored by the Yes! On Home Rule Charter Ballot Committee and the Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County. For more information about the agenda and a list of District 3 Freeholder Candidates follow this link  to the Yes! on Home Rule Ballot Committee website

September 26th –  Thursday – 6:30 to 8:30 PM – District 2 Freeholder Candidate Forum – Tri Area Community Center, Chimacum, WA   Sponsored by the Republican Caucus of Jefferson County

SEPTEMBER 28th – Saturday- 9:30 to 11:30 AM – GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CRC: Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (2333 San Juan Ave) Port Townsend, WA – 

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Yard Signs! Yes on Home Rule Charter – Help needed to distribute.

yard sign picThe Yes! on Home Rule Ballot Committee has yard signs available to distribute to Freeholder Candidates and others who will distribute the signs to high-profile locations along major highways and arterial streets throughout the county.

The signs will be available at two upcoming events or by calling Val and making arrangement for delivery.

The two events are as follows:

September 26th, Thursday –  starting at 5:00 p.m. before the Home Rule Charter forum sponsored by the Jefferson County Republican party.  The meeting will be held at the Tri  Area Community Center in Chimacum.   We will be distributing “Yes! On Home Rule” yard signs to candidates and volunteers who have places to put them.

September 28th, Saturday – Then, we will be distributing signs at the CRC General Assembly meeting of the Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County.  The meeting will be held a the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2333 San Juan Ave  Port Townsend, WA at the starting at 9:30 a.m.

ALSO, a notice will go out to all candidates and Community Rights Coalition  listserve participants about how to get yard signs.  We can deliver!.  We are looking for high-visibility places in all three districts.   We will also be asking for DONATIONS when signs are picked up.

Please call Val at 360-390-4547 if you would like some delivered.

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Yes! on Home Rule Charter now has a new website and facebook page

The Yes! oHome rule new website bannern Home Rule Ballot Committee in conjunction with the Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County Home Rule Taskforce now has a new website.  You will find a complete events calendar for Proposition 1 – Home Rule Charter forums as well as Freeholder Candidates forums on the website under the “Events” tab.  Plus lots of other helpful information.

The website can be found at:  http://yesonhomerule.com/

and the FACEBOOK page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/658697147475123/

Please “Like” us on Facebook and send the link to your friends…

The Next Yes on Home Rule Charter Ballot Committee strategy meeting is tonight September 20th –  At the Tri-area Community Center in Chimacum.  6:00 PM.  Join us.  Next week we get our yard signs and they need distributing…so much to do, so little time to do it.

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Draw the Line: Local Action – The Northwest Says No! to Fossil Fuel Export

Pipelines across WA stateA local group will rally on the lawn by the Port Townsend farmer’s market Saturday Sept. 21 at 10:AM. Unfurling a red banner with the national slogan, Draw the Line: The Northwest Says No! to Fossil Fuel Export, the group hosts an information table in front of the community center from 10AM until the market closes.

At 11AM, the participants plan to parade through the market and down the steps to Haller Fountain, circling the block there and ending near the Rose Theater. All members of the community are invited to join this educational gathering and walk. It is designed to alert the community to the threats of the Keystone XL pipeline and the 12 oil and coal export terminals that have been expanded or are planned for Washington. Even more export facilities are designed to follow the coastline through Oregon and British Columbia. The resulting dirty energy shipments directly affect us on the Straits of Juan de Fuca. The group encourages more people to take a stand and speak up.

“The costs are all to us,” Karen Frank said, “in terms of harm to our health and the environment. The benefits go to international corporations and China, resulting in more lost jobs.”

More than 75,000 people across the country have signed a pledge of resistance if President Obama approves the Keystone XL pipeline. Although only part of the climate change problem, it symbolizes the effort by business and government to continue business as usual, rather than paying attention to the escalating problem of global climate change. It is with Keystone that environmental groups say we must Draw the Line against these harmful policies.

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September 2013 – A Very Busy Month for the CRC

democracy hands with borderJoin us in making REAL change!

This week:

  • Home Rule Strategy Meeting, Wednesday, September 4th Tri-area center, Chimacum 6:00 PM
  • September 4th 2:30 PM, and September 6th 8:00 AM Jefferson County Grassroots
    Volunteers for YES on I 522 to Label GMO’s in Washington State –Two
    organizational training sessions
     have been scheduled in the Fellowship Hall at the Quimper Universalist Unitarian Fellowship (QUUF), 2333 San Juan Avenue, Port Townsend, WA 98368
  • BILL OF RIGHTS TASKFORCE – Thursdays, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM Townsend Community Center

GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CRC MEETINGS FOR SEPTEMBER:

Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (2333 San Juan Ave) Port Townsend, WA – 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM

  • SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 14
  • SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28

CRC STUDY GROUP– Tuesdays 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM- QUUF in the Loft (September 3rd meeting is cancelled)

BILL OF RIGHTS TASK FORCE  -Thursdays 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM Townsend Community Center

NEXT HOME RULE CHARTER CAMPAIGN STRATEGY MEETING: 6:00 PM – Wednesday, September 4th, Tri-Area Center, Chimacum – We need volunteers to confirm activities and help finalize literature.

Home Rule Charter and Freeholder candidate forums – SEPTEMBER and early OCTOBER 2013

  • September 9th – District 3 Freeholder candidate forum – Sponsored by the Brinnon Boosters  7pm – 9pm  151 Corey lane, Brinnon, WA (1 block so of the fire dept.)
  • September 19th – Thursday- Forum and discussion – 7:00 PM – at the Masonic Lodge, 1350  Jefferson Street, Port Townsend.  Participants:  registered ballot measure committee representatives, Bruce Cowan speaking for “NoCountyCharter” and Valerie Phimister speaking for “Yes! On Home Rule” (she also represents the Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County).Co-sponsored by American Association of University Women, Jefferson County; League of Women Voters, Jefferson  County; and The Port Townsend Leader.
  • September 24th – District 3 Freeholder candidate forum – Quilcene community center, Quilcene, WA  6:30 PM – 8:30 PM.  (Just south of town on right)  Sponsored by the Yes! on Home Rule Ballot Committee and the Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County.
  • September 26th –  District 2 Freeholder Candidate Forum – Tri Area Community Center, Chimacum, WA  6:30 PM – 8:30 PM-  sponsored by Republican Caucus of Jefferson County
  • October 2nd –  District 2 Freeholder Candidate Forum – Tri area Community Center, Chimacum, WA  6:00 PM – 8:00 PM-  sponsored by Yes! on Home Rule Ballot Committee and the Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County
  • October 8th – Noon- Informational Meeting about Home Rule Charter -12 noon –Port Townsend Community Center – Sponsored by Port Townsend Rotary
  • October 8th – District 1 Freeholder Candidate Forum –  Port Townsend Community Center,  6:00 PM to 8:00 PM – sponsored by Yes! on Home Rule Ballot Committee and the Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County
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Local group gets active for I-522 – Label GMO’s in Washington State

I 522 label it logo
Jefferson County Grassroots Volunteers for YES on I 522  – Organization and Training Session: what can be done to be sure that WA I-522 passes in November.
 

Beginning with the Uptown Parade, then the All County Picnic, and at the GMO Movies Series we have asked that persons interested in GMOs, and especially in the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in human foods, sign up for receiving important GMO information during the next two months, so as to be better informed about how they will want to vote on passage of I-522 this November.  I-522 will require that most foods containing GE and/or GMO ingredients must be labeled, and will give each of us the Right To Choose what we eat and feed our families.

 We have formed an active Group: Jefferson County Grassroots Volunteers for YES on I 522 to help inform citizens in Jefferson County and across Washington state that we all should have the right to know what is in our foods,.i.e., whether each food contains GE or GMO ingredients.

Two organizational training sessions have been scheduled in the Fellowship Hall at the Quimper Universalist Unitarian Fellowship (QUUF), 2333 San Juan Avenue, Port Townsend, WA 98368:  

September 4th 2:30 PM, and September 6th 8:00 AM  (Hope to see you, your friends, and anyone you know who might be interested on the 4th and/or 6th).

Upon seeing the GMO movies many of us feel alarmed, but are at a loss for what we could do that will matter.  We will introduce nearly a dozen  Action Group possibilities that you may choose among:

 
Jefferson County Grassroots Volunteers for YES on I–522 — Action Groups
 

ACTION GROUPS:   An important reason for inviting everyone who attends any event (Movies right now) or who can be contacted in any way to add their names to the sign-up Lists is to get them into the loop for receiving ongoing information and eventually being sure that they vote. Invite your friends and any other interested persons —  all are welcome to call in or write:  Rick Doherty, Coordinator of JC Grassroots Volunteers for

YES on I – 522   ricdoh@gmail.com   360 554 0550  206 409 4918

Getting this list of individuals who are interested enough to pass the threshold of signing up is that they will be receiving ongoing information, and if they decide to do nothing else they will be tracked as “near-certain YES votes” and will be contacted in our get-out-the-vote sequence to be sure that they actually have voted come November. Seeing these movies is quite depressing for most of us.  Many feel frustrated in not knowing what can be done – what they as individuals can do.  There is much that needs to be done quickly; there are only about 8 weeks left before we VOTE.

ACTION GROUPS   (Not in order of priority yet)(More to be added yet)

  • 1)    Data entry   ASAP email list(s) continuing effort (typing only required)
  • 2)    Data management of Excel database for generating mailing lists, work groups, etc., for various Action Group tasks, and for sending out information as well as informational documents as generated (requires some skills in using Excel to generate these)
  • 3)    Generation of a stream of Letters to the Editor for Olympic Peninsula newspapers, and Seattle papers   —   an overall plan for drafting a continual sequential version of these (using the Misrepresentations ~= “Lies” document  — this will be completed for the Action Group Training Sessions). The same information can be used educationally to expose widely the Truth answers to the Lies that were used very effectively the last time around in California to defeat Prop 36.  These same untruths are beginning to surface now in WA.  Strategy of these streams, collection of good information for them, skilled writing of them, tracking them and responses to them with countering information.  The Misrepresentations – Truths document is nearly completed. We have two persons who are interested in leading Action Group 3.
  • 4)    Coordinating 3) with newspaper articles and radio activities
  • 5)    Signs and handouts in as many businesses as possible in PT and other JC towns, using a check-off assignment list of businesses to be contacted.
Education of persons to do these (scripted) interactions positively and efficiently
Coordination of these businesses activities and interactions
Note:  These need to be in place urgently in PT to be ready for, and take advantage of The Wooden Boat Festival influx
  • 6)    Interact with various organizations in PT Elks, Veterans, all of the Churches, Synagogue, Healthcare groups of various types, etc, etc. in PT and throughout the County to ask whether they are willing to endorse I – 522 publicity individually and possibly as groups
Also, ask whether they are willing to send out information about I-522 and related events during the next 8 weeks to help educate and to get out the vote.
  • 7)    Develop a plan for what the most strategically effective sites in addition to businesses (in PT and the County) will be for  distributing posters, and other informational materials.  Coordination of implementation of all of this.
  • 8)    Work with Farmers to get them individually or as groups to support I – 522 publicity (in newspapers and on radio stations, etc.) (Important !)
  • 9)    Organize outreach to Jefferson County communities (in addition to PT) to determine how they want to be involved, and how we can help them with educational materials, etc.  Coordination of implementation of all of this. (Important !)
  • 10) Organization of Home (Kitchen) Educational sessions – training of persons to do these. Providing scripts and informational materials.
  • 11) Get younger persons involved.  Need some dynamic younger persons to lead this – not so easy to accomplish.
  • 12) Phone banking to Get-out-the-vote in Jefferson County – Work directly with the JC Democratic Party for phone-banking after their Executive Meeting decision in early September.
  • 13) Phone banking to Get-out-the-vote in WA State.  Work directly with the YES on I 522 Campaign to enable persons who are interested in this (very important activity) to be able to become trained and involved in the online sessions Very Important !
  • 14 – ways to pay for buttons etc.
  • 15) Doctors and Health Professionals for YES on I – 522
  • 16) Lists to be continued – Anyone have any favorites to add?  or any
  • suggestions about any of the above. Finally,  you will continue to receive information about GMO crops and their effects on human and animal health. AND, you will have opportunity to take ACTION as described above, so that we can each feel that we are doing something important to improve the foods that we eat and become more healthy.
https://mail.google.com/mail/images/cleardot.gif
Information:
Rick Doherty, Coordinator-Jefferson County Grassroots Volunteers Grassroots Volunteers for Yes on I-522   ricdoh@gmail.com    360  554 0550   206  409 4918
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