Tag Archives: Direct democracy

The Ten Commandments of Movement Solidarity

Reprint from an essay by Josh Schlossberg – From The Energy Justice Network


Ten_CommandmentsAfter a decade of grassroots advocacy, my personal belief is that the greatest obstacle to positive change in the world isn’t corporations, the government, or the 1%, but lack of movement solidarity.

And no, I’m not pretending to be some modern day Moses bringing the divine truths down from the mountain. I’m just someone who has participated in the entire spectrum of the environmental movement — from mainstream to “radical,” on both coasts — who has witnessed a lot of unnecessary failures over the years, in large part because people can’t figure out how to work together.

Since my work these days focuses on the health and environmental impacts of dirty energy —  nuclear, fossil fuels, and biomass/trash incineration — most of the specific examples I give in this article will come from that realm. However, chances are the “Ten Commandments of Solidarity” can also apply to your movement, whatever it is…unless it’s evil. In which case, it won’t, so don’t bother.

Now, I’ll admit that limiting this list to just ten points is arbitrary, so if you’ve got other “commandments,” please post them in the comments, where I’ll ignore them…Just kidding, I’ll read and carefully consider them, because that’s what solidarity looks like.

1. Thy movement shalt not have ambiguous goals

Whatever your movement, even if you can’t figure out exactly what you want, you can almost guarantee that your opposition can. For instance, a corporation that logs forests typically wants to cut down as many trees as it can and sell them for as high a profit as possible, for as long as is feasible. Its goals are crystal freaking clear — unlike the streams it silts up in pursuit of the dollar.

Unfortunately, Big Timber’s counterpart, the forest protection movement, doesn’t have the same clarity of purpose. Instead of these organizations banding together to achieve a concrete goal, such as passing a Congressional bill to protect National Forests, they have split off on literally hundreds of different missions under the banner of forest protection — including pushing for more logging.

This isn’t to say that simply declaring a specific goal, like banning private land clearcutting, means it will happen. In many cases, especially for some of the bolder goals, it might never. But what many — most? — forest protection groups have done is thrown in the towel before they even set foot in the ring. While it’s true that you can fight the good fight and still get knocked out, you can damn well guarantee defeat if you throw the fight before the bell is even rung.

In my opinion there’s one way, and one way only, to go about advocacy of any sort. And no one has explained it better than David Brower, the archdruid himself: “Our role is to hold fast to what we believe is right, to fight for it, to find allies, and to adduce all possible arguments for our cause. If we cannot find enough vigor in us or our friends to win, then let someone else propose the compromise, which we must then work hard to coax our way. We thus become a nucleus around which activists can build and function.”

Suffice it to say, were Brower alive today, he’d have some, um, suggestions for the ever-shifting and seemingly arbitrary goals of the 21st century’s forest protection movement.

2. Thou shalt not contradict movement goals

A movement is only as powerful as its message. In fact, messaging is pretty much the only tool the grassroots has to enact change. When speaking to the media, commenting on policy, or protesting in the streets, make sure you aren’t advocating for anything that would stand in the way of your movement reaching its ultimate goals.

For instance, if your organization opposes biomass power plants because of their impacts on public health from air pollution, you can’t support slightly smaller and/or barely more efficient biomass facilities with even less effective pollution controls without invalidating your main talking point. 

Which isn’t to say that you can’t have your priorities straight and focus on the biggest, most conspicuous 50-megawatt facilities and not devote many resources to, say, opposing a college’s 2-megawatt combined-heat-and-power facility. But, actually endorsing one of these incinerators not only contradicts your public health concerns, but makes the work of those in the movement who are fighting those facilities that much harder.

3. Thou shalt not confuse partial agreement with solidarity

It may seem easy to tell the difference between organizations and individuals who support your movement and those who do not, but it’s a common mistake within the grassroots and a major reason for a given movement’s seemingly inevitable fragmentation.

While it’d be nice to take the “big tent” approach and invite anyone claiming to be an ally into a pivotal role in your movement, the reality is that’s one of the best ways to ensure its demise. On the surface, they may appear to support all of your movement’s goals, but a deeper look may reveal otherwise. For instance, not everyone who opposes a particular nuclear power plant is necessarily against the entire concept of nuclear energy. While they may share the anti-nuclear movement’s goal of shutting down one specific facility, a closer look may reveal them to merely be in favor of a more technologically-advanced nuclear reactor.  

This isn’t to say you can’t have friendly and respectful working relationships with those entities or individuals whose goals mostly, or even partially, overlap. But you are setting yourself up for disappointment if you actually expect them to have solidarity with your movement. A difference of opinion doesn’t always mean they are weak-willed or in the pocket of industry, but it usually does mean they are coming from a different place, and therefore it’s unlikely for any amount of sweet-talking or brow-beating to change their mind. Solidarity in the anti-nuke movement can only be achieved by those who are, well, anti-nuke. Opposing one facility while supporting another is still pro-nuke. 

Of course, if they do reconsider their position, you can leave the past in the past and welcome them with open arms. But letting them in before they recant just weakens the movement. The best way to achieve movement solidarity is by creating it slowly but surely, building a strong foundation upon which to expand — instead of on shifting sands that can topple the entire structure.   

4. Thou shalt not sidestep calls to action

If someone in your movement has an initiative, be it a rally, a call-in day to elected officials, or even an online petition, even if it’s not your favorite thing in the world, help them out with it at least a little bit. If you have constructive criticism to offer in regards to their project, or even have concerns that it doesn’t align with movement goals, then privately speak to them about the issue. But don’t shun them out of disagreement, or because it’s a bit of a hassle, as that will only foster hurt feelings, and be the beginning (or widening) of a rift in the movement.

If you’re jazzed about the proposal, then of course, offer as much support and resources as you can. But even if you’re lukewarm or just don’t have the means, it literally only takes a few minutes to spread the word via email or social media. Even if doing so doesn’t make or break the initiative (it might), rest assured that your ally will make note of your support, and keep your efforts in mind in the future.

This quid pro quo support of organizations is the currency of grassroots movements. Therefore, the movement aside, it’s in your own best interest to make sure your credit’s good.

5. Thou shalt not respond emotionally to criticism

The only thing more important than criticism from inside a movement is how you respond to it. Whether it’s a well thought out, point-by-point refutation or just a knee-jerk outburst from someone having a bad day, sit with the information — not the tone — before responding to it, so as to filter out the hurt and/or anger.

No matter what they’ve said, if they are a fellow movement member, chances are it’s not important enough to ruin your working relationship over. Many times, in fact, it’s simply a misunderstanding that can be cleared up quickly. But even if it’s not, responding in anger will only make the situation worse, guaranteed.

Criticism from outside the movement is another matter entirely, as in that case it’s coming from those who don’t share your mission, such as a gas industry lackey beating up on your anti-fracking stance. If it’s simply verbal abuse without any specific points being addressed, then feel free to ignore it. But if there is actually a coherent argument, it can be seen as a sign of weakness to ignore it entirely, especially if it’s done on a public forum.

If you choose to respond to an external critique, make certain you do so calmly and without malice, as you never know who might be watching the interaction. Don’t think of it as an attack you need to defend yourself against, think of it as an opportunity to educate the public on a particular point, and a model as how to respond to the opposition.

6. Thou shalt not ignore internal conflicts

For those of us who have bought into the whole evolution concept, we believe that modern day humans are descended from an ape ancestor. And while the Great Apes family is generally a social one, it is also one prone to frequent conflict and strife. Typically, these conflicts don’t end in bloodshed, but the disturbances are often enough to tear the social fabric.

In a movement, conflicts will always come up, and how they are dealt with by other members of the movement can often determine how much of a problem it will ultimately become. If the conflict is between individuals, it’s not always necessary to take a side, but it’s in the movement’s best interest for someone to intervene before things get out of hand.

It’s easy to step aside as tempers flare and mud is slung by telling yourself it’s a personal conflict and not your place to get involved. But if there’s turmoil inside your movement, guess what? You’re already involved. To decide not to act is taking action — it’s deciding to allow the fighting to get worse.

7. Thou shalt not turn a blind eye to attacks

If the work or character of fellow movement members is attacked from the outside, you have a duty to come to their aid. This doesn’t mean you need to respond to negativity with more negativity, nor does it mean you have to defend everything this person has ever said or done, but at the very least get involved in the discussion.

One unparried attack may signal weakness to the opposition which, like a predator searching for the easy kill, might embolden them enough to intensify the onslaught — and you just might be their next target.  

 8. Thou shalt not abuse thy power

Most of the interactions between grassroots movement members happen on a level playing field, where no one is really in charge of anyone else. But, in the case of managing someone as an employee or volunteer, a power dynamic comes into play.

The key thing is fairly obvious: make the best use of your (probably underpaid or unpaid) worker by being a good boss or manager. This means being on top of your organization’s priorities and maximizing the use of your worker’s time. Do your best to provide clear direction (which can include constructive criticism) while offering support, without bottlenecking their work.

If you have a legitimate and professional reason to fire this person, realize that there are very few people out there willing to devote themselves to the often thankless and undercompensated (or uncompensated) work of an advocate, and therefore — unless you honestly believe the person does more harm than good — it’s your responsibility to the movement to help them on their feet (think severance pay and a recommendation) so they can smoothly make the transition to another role in the movement.

Nonprofit workers burn out very quickly and a lot of it has to do with poor management. If you’re not good at being in charge, there are many resources out there to help you learn how to get better. And if you’re not willing to improve, for the good of the movement, you might want to think about stepping down, so someone who can handle the responsibility can take the reins.

9. Thou shalt not align thy movement with a political party

One political party may be more of an obvious ally to your movement than another and it may be tempting to hitch yourself to their wagon. But while one party may be more likely to support your cause, such as the Democratic Party and the dirty energy resistance, chances are there are many, many examples of them harming your cause, like the left’s support for dirty biomass/trash incineration.   

The greatest risk of a movement backing a political party or candidate is its disinclination to offer criticism when they do wrong. As we’ve seen with President Barack Obama, blind endorsement by the environmental movement has resulted in him taking its support for granted and given him the go ahead to start backsliding on his promises in regards to climate change.

Loudly and publicly applauding a politician’s good vote or strong policy should be encouraged, so long as you’re also critiquing the bad votes and weak policy.

10. Thou shalt not avoid personal relationships

A movement isn’t just about a cause, like replacing industrial-scale dirty energy with distributed clean energy, it’s about people. In our age of internet activism, it’s vital to take opportunities to connect with movement members as living, breathing creatures. Take some time to have some in-person meetings (if you’re far away from each other, go to a conference), share a meal or a beverage, or go on a hike together.

Nothing bonds a movement together tighter than personal relationships — you’re much more likely to do what it takes to achieve solidarity with an actual human being you care about than a disembodied avatar on the other side of a screen. 


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General Assembly of Community Rights Coalition meets May 3

GA meeting annoucement w birdsALL FRIENDS WELCOMED!

Come one, Come all friends

The Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County will hold a bi-monthly General Assembly meeting

this Saturday, May 3rd from 10:00 AM to Noon.  All Friends are welcome.

Address: Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship hall – 2333 San Juan Avenue Port Townsend, Washington.

Agenda Items include:  update on weed board tax funding,~ upcoming values and consensus training~ Navy Trident fleet upgrade issues~ grumblers over Eby and the peninsula~and organizing panel discussion event.

Then off to the Saturday Farmers Market for a bit of sun and camaraderie

Definition of Camaraderie:   [ kaàmə ráadəree ]

1. friendship: a feeling of close friendship and trust among a group of people synonyms: friendship · amity · companionship · solidarity · company · comradeship

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Democracy lost at Weed board hearing on creating a new tax (with video)

quote 2 democracy derailed is democracy deniedHearing goes to the weed board – citizens comments are not heeded– county to create large budget for weed board with little democratic process followed.

The Jefferson County Noxious Weed board held a hearing on April 21, 2014 and although advertised as being a public hearing on the discussion of the proposed assessment, the funding is already a done deal.  And although the local paper reported the weed board is asking for $93,000 to pay for their activities, a weed board representative reported at the April 21 hearing that the amount will be in excess of $122,000. Plus another $50,000 would be collected to pay a contractor to set up the assessment on landowners.

The audience of about 20 people spoke against the assessment.  Many of the citizens were told they could not speak about their dislike for the assessment and could only speak about what to charge landowners, and who would be charged the annual tax.

That did not keep the citizens from speaking out  against lack of democracy in deciding to create a new tax or about the increase use of chemicals to control plants and the shoddy way the volunteer weed pullers are organized. The majority of citizens who attended the meeting believe that with proper volunteer organization and education of landowners, plants can be controlled without the use of toxins.spraying weeds tax composit

The Jefferson County Noxious Weed board has increased the amount and location of chemical destruction of plants from twelve locations from 2010 to 2012 to eleven or more locations in 2013 alone.  These new locations included pathways, park trails, lanes next to homes and gardens and rural areas where people manage their own water supply.  Members of the Jefferson County Ecological Roadsides (JCER) reported that they are unable to locate online or through weed board representatives, records of spray use for 2013 and have only locations reported by the local media.  There are no known published records of the amounts, types or locations of sprayed areas as required by law.  Locations on the county website have been moved.

As reported by records from 2010 to 2012 the  weed board is using mostly glyphosate-based chemicals.  These chemicals have been banned in many countries around the world and are being evaluated by Environmental Protection Agency for destruction of prime habitat for endangered and threatened species as well as a cause of major illness in humans.

Jill Silver, Noxious Weed Board member told the audience that the weed board will not stop using the chemicals and the money will be used to hire more people who will be licensed spray applicators. Silver reports that using chemicals to control plants is a last resort to control of plants, but that the chemicals are effective in their use.

Here is a series of links to short videos of citizen testimony and Jill Silvers response during the hearing.  All citizens spoke against the assessment and increased budget.  (Video provided by Nancy Botta). Thank you Nancy!

  • #1 – Jill Silver of the Noxious Weed Board tries to keep people from speaking about the assessment and the use of the money to increase use of Toxic Chemicals.  Ellen O’Shea speaks anyway.  She reports that the process in place is not democratic and that the citizens should be asked first if they want a new tax before organizing a assessment process.  O’Shea believes that just asking the commissioners if they want new taxes will do nothing to support a democratic process.  http://vimeo.com/92686596
  • #2 – Val Phimister – a property owner asks good questions and reports that the land classifications are not equal – which owners should be responsible…all of us foot the bill…or the land owners who refuse to control plants should clean up their own mess. Use of chemicals to control plants should be controlled. And finally this question: “What is it about Silent Spring that you didn’t understand?” – http://vimeo.com/92695189
  • #3 – Mike Regan – citizen has concerns and questions about process of creating a new tax and how much people will have to pay.  Why are public comments being re-directed?  Will the county commissioners know how many citizens are against the new tax assessment? http://vimeo.com/92758469
  • # 4 – Mike Phimister – concern about the non-democratic process of setting up a new tax assessment.  Asking citizens to come to a hearing in which the deal is already done is not democracy.  Weed Board member states that by law the only way to get money is to assess landowners.  Also the voters will not be able vote on whether the new assessment will go through.  Mike asks will anyone associated with the weed board will be able to be hired for the job.  Jill of the weed board says the hiring process will be open to anyone and the best person will be hired. http://vimeo.com/92770594
  • # 5 = Tom a property owner has concerns about the assessment. Especially concerned about Misc non-classified lands such as boats.  He states the boats bring in lots of invasive species.  –  tax code used to set up assessments is complicated and excludes many who are not controlling invasive plants.  Everybody needs to pay no matter what exemptions they have.  – http://vimeo.com/92782838
  • #6 – Gail Chatfield tries to speak and told to keep her comments only about assessments and not whether there should be increase in funding for the Noxious Weed board.  Gail asks “Will there be a vote on whether there will be a new tax in the county?”.  Two weeks ago the local news reporter reported that this hearing would be about the need for an assessment, now it is only about how much to charge – poisoning the roadsides is now a matter of convenience,  and the need to curtail the spraying activities of the Jefferson County Noxious Weed board. Jill of the weed board states that by law the county commissioners make the decision, not the people.  There will be no public vote – http://vimeo.com/92795493
  • #7 Norm Norton – citizen and farm owner.  In 2010 the County Noxious Weed board resumed using chemicals after a 30-year moratorium on not using chemicals.  Citizens were told at that time that a one-time use of chemicals would be used to control and not eradicate unwanted plants. Now there is a constant and increased use of dangerous chemicals being spread by foot and other traffic throughout our homes, yard, and bodies. This issue should go to the voters in November.  Let the people decide.  http://vimeo.com/92839246
  • #8 Ellen O’Shea speaks against the assessment because the Jefferson County Noxious Weed board, WSU Extension, and the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners have gone against the will of the people in breaking a 30-year moratorium on using chemicals to control plants on county roadsides and right-of-ways. The lives of many species and humans are at risk. The weed list includes essential food for butterflies and valuable medicinal plants. Asks to consider why these pioneer plants here – could be to repair the Earth that humans are destroying. http://vimeo.com/92848864
  • #9 Doug Milholland – Citizen – concerned about the process in which decisions are made to cause an assessments.  He asks that the Jefferson County Board of Commissions put forth an advisory ballot in November on the issue to determine the will of the people – http://vimeo.com/92862729
    • #9 – Bob  Anderson, landowner from Quilcene concerned about assessments  and has read the Washington state rules about assessing people.  The state believes a super majority should be in agreement before an assessment happens.  Bob is able to get Jill of the weed board to retract a statement that says that the weed board is mandated by the state to find funding via the general fund or a tax assessment.  The state does not get involved in funding weed boards. http://vimeo.com/92862729 (last part of video)
    • #10 closing statements and arguments – Jill Silver board president of the Jefferson Count Noxious Weed board responds that education and organizing volunteers will also be used but pulling is time consuming.  Jill says that the county road crew needs a better mowing schedule. But, the weed board will not stop spraying. Jill speaks about the benefits of using glyphosate-based chemicals to control plants. Discussion about the number of plants being added to the target plants list yearly.  Many are valuable to nature and humans.  http://vimeo.com/92888963
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This week in Jefferson County: Ballots are mailed, Two more chances to learn about Propostion 1 – then vote Yes on Home Rule Charter

new website bannerThis week Ballots will be mailed and you will have a chance to actively change the county and state for the better.  Also there is one of two last chances to learn about Home Rule Charter.

VOTE YES!  I-522 to  Label All GMO’s – Statewide vote

VOTE YES!  Proposition 1 – Home Rule Charter and choose 5 Freeholder Candidates ( The CRC will post a platform and list of Candidates it supports in the next few days – Stay Tuned!)

EVENTS – Learn More – Be Informed

October 15,Tuesday,   League of Women Voters- Forum  On Proposition 1 – 7:00 PM, Quilcene Community  Center, 294952 U.S. 101, Quilcene, WA

October 16 – Ballots mailed

October 21 – Monday – Noon – Elks Chamber, Proposition 1 informational meeting, Port Townsend Elks Lodge, 555 Otto St, Port Townsend, WA

For more information on Proposition 1 – Home Rule Charter and vote for Freeholders – go to http://yesonhomerule.com/


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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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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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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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51 citizens sign up to run for Freeholder

August 14th, 15th and 16th fifty-one Jefferson County citizens signed up to run for Freeholder in the November election.  Elected Freeholders will use regularly scheduled Open Meetings and citizen input as a basis for decisions, and will design the Home Rule Charter and form of government to go on the ballot at a future date (hopefully in 2014)  That form, which the CRC taskforce hopes will include Initiative and Referendum as well as a simple Bill of Rights, can then be adopted by voters.

Here is a complete list of candidate for Jefferson County Freeholders.

Candidates for Freeholder – Jefferson County Washington

District #



District 1 Raven Port Townsend
District 1 David L Goldman Port Townsend
District 1 Richard Wojt Port Townsend
District 1 Kevin Coker Port Townsend
District 1 Douglas Milholland (CRC Member) Port Townsend
District 1 Jim Rough Port Townsend
District 1 Peg Furey Port Townsend
District 1 Dennis A Schultz Port Townsend
District 1 Gary Engbrecht Port Townsend
District 1 John Wood Port Townsend
District 1 Julia B Cochrane (CRC Member) Port Townsend
District 1 Joan Best Port Townsend
District 1 O’Neill D Louchard (CRC Member) Port Townsend
District 1 Michael Legarsky Port Townsend
District 1 George D Randels Port Townsend
District 1 David Wayne Johnson Port Townsend
District 1  Tim Thomas Port Townsend
District 1 Bernie Arthur Port Townsend
District 1 Bob Sokol Port Townsend
District 1 Jack Westerman Port Townsend
District 2 Dick Shipman Port Townsend
District 2 David Cunningham Port Townsend
District 2 Ravey Kierann Chimacum
District 2 Robert W Jackson Port Hadlock
District 2 David C Harrah Port Townsend
District 2 Jim Fritz Port Townsend
District 2 Michael Regan (CRC Member) Port Hadlock
District 2 Paul Richmond Port Townsend
District 2 John Jamison Port Hadlock
District 2 John D. Gieser Port Townsend
District 2 Gene Farr Port Townsend
District 2 Jim Pearson Port Hadlock
District 2 Henry Werch Port Townsend
District 2 Mark Clark Port Townsend
District 2 Chris Hanson Port Townsend
District 3 Davis Steelquist Quilcene
District 3 Diane Johnson Quilcene
District 3 Norm Norton (CRC Member) Port Townsend
District 3 Jim Boyer Port Ludlow
District 3 Craig Durgan Port Ludlow
District 3 Larry J Hovde Quilcene
District 3 Ed Jaramillo Port Ludlow
District 3 Nicole Black Brinnon
District 3 Dan Toepper Port Ludlow
District 3 Bob Pontius Port Ludlow
District 3 Wayne G King Sequim
District 3 David L Dickson Forks
District 3 Jim Davis Port Townsend
District 3 Ron Gregory Port Ludlow
District 3 Bill Eldridge Port Ludlow
District 3 Sunday Pace Chimacum



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Important County-wide meeting for all potential Freeholders


don't forgetCharter information meeting to be presented by Jefferson County personnel for potential Freeholders: MONDAY AUGUST 12th at 6:00PM in the Superior Court at the Jefferson County court house. Jefferson county personnel will present the rules for applying for Home Rule Charter Freeholder.  Packets of information will be passed out.  Forms that need to be filled out will be distributed.

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Becoming We the People: Jefferson county chartering to be on November ballot. The search for Freeholders begins.

freeholders 3Today, Monday, August 5th at the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners meeting, the Resolution for Home Rule to be placed on the November 5 ballot was passed unanimously by the three commissioners. However, the commissioners have given us a very short time frame in which to get organized, so we must move quickly.  Filing as a Freeholder starts 8:30 a.m. on August 14 and ends at 4:30 p.m. on August 16.

Now that the petition for Home Rule Charter has been validated by the Auditor, anyone who has been a resident of the County for at least 5 years and is a registered voter can pay the $25 fee to be placed on the ballot as a Freeholder.

The Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County is looking for people to run for freeholder positions from all three commissioner districts.  We are looking for people who will support the position of creating a basic charter that includes the right for citizens to use initiative and referendum and  a basic Community Bill of Rights to help direct the county.  If you are that person, please come to an informational meeting for prospective Freeholders.

The Community Rights Coalition Home Rule Charter Task Force will hold an Informational Meeting for prospective Freeholders.

Date:  Wednesday, August 7

Time:  6:00 p.m.

Place:  Tri-Area Community Center, Chimacum, Washington

 At this meeting, members of the Task Force will cover the following information:

  • Who can qualify to be a prospective Freeholder under State requirements
  • How to register as a Freeholder Candidate
  • How a Freeholder is elected
  • What tasks Freeholders are given once they are elected
  • What is a Freeholder Platform?


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