Take Action Now for Universal Healthcare!

ACTION ALERT

Whole Washington has a Universal Healthcare bill in the State Senate and we need to get it out of committee!

This year the Whole Washington Health Trust (SB 5204) was sponsored by SEVEN State Senators, led by Senator Bob Hasegawa. Senate Bill 5204 is fully realized, universal healthcare legislation, complete with specific funding mechanisms and a transition plan. If passed, Washington State residents could have comprehensive universal healthcare by 2023.

–> We need you to call Senator Annette Cleveland ASAP

or the Universal Healthcare bill (SB 5204) will die again in committee!

This is critically important. Without Senator Cleveland allowing a hearing, the bill cannot advance from committee. Bills that get a hearing this year will be decided by Feb. 15th.

In a time when millions of Americans are losing their employer-based health insurance, we have a better option. Please call Senator Cleveland to let her know you expect a hearing for SB 5204 and to let it out of her committee.

Her direct number is (360) 786 – 7696. Ask them to get back to you with a response from her. If you have a position with a local organization or another title, and you’re comfortable doing so, include that in your message.

After you call, be sure to also

–> Comment on the bill.

This online action is really easy and effective!

Go to the SB 5204 Page on the Washington Legislative site.

  1. Click on Comment on the bill
  2. Fill in your address info.
  3. Send to all three of your elected officials
  4. Include your personal story, best argument or a brief statement in the Comment section.
  5. Click Support and that you’d like a response (if you do).

Follow Whole Washington for more information and updates on Universal Healthcare for Washington State.

The Ranked-Choice Voting Local Options Bill

ACTION ALERT

Support the Ranked-Choice Voting Local Options Bill — Leave a comment in support of House Bill 1156 today!

HB 1156 has a public hearing scheduled Feb. 8, 2021 @ 1:30 in the House Committee on State Government and Tribal Relations

Here are links to the bill’s current schedule, and the video stream that will go live:

https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1156&Year=2021&Initiative=False

https://app.leg.wa.gov/committeeschedules/Home/Documents/28522

https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2021021219

The House State Government and Tribal Relations has simultaneously scheduled a “possible” Executive Session on this bill for Thursday, Feb 11 at 10:00 am. Executive Sessions are where the committee votes on whether to move the bill forward. The public may listen in, but may not speak.

The members of the committee are Javier Valdez (D-46), Chair; Debra Lekanoff (D-40), Vice-Chair; Mike Volz (R-6), Ranking Minority Member; Jim Walsh (R-18), Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Laurie Dolan (D-22); Jenny Graham (R-6); and Mia Gregerson (D-33).

Gregerson, Lekanoff, Dolan, and Walsh are all co-sponsors of the bill, so it looks as if it has a pretty good chance of passing to the next stage. Walsh is the first Republican to co-sponsor any form of ranked-choice voting bill in recent years.

The Actions?

1) Particularly if you are in the same district as any of the committee members, go to the bill’s comment page and indicate your support. Here’s the link:

https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill/1156

If you are in the same district as any of the co-sponsors on the committee, please also thank them for being co-sponsors.

2) Go to the page for the Feb 8 hearing and register your support. Here’s the House committee sign-in page:

https://app.leg.wa.gov/CSIRemote/House

You’ll have to select the State Government and Tribal Relations committee and then the Feb 8 hearing. At that point you can choose among offering written testimony, testifying live, or simply registering your support for the bill. You choose! If you want to testify live, best to register for doing that ASAP. With the affairs of the legislature all being conducted remotely, many more members of the public than usual are participating, and all the available slots for live testimony may be taken up right away.

Also, please note that HB 1156 combines moving all elections to even-numbered years with the Local Option to adopt ranked-choice voting. There is hope that the portion of the bill moving elections will be removed, but absent that, it’s not clear that the bill should be supported without reservation. For one thing, it would mean that County Auditors would have nothing for their elections staffs to do in the odd-numbered years with regrettable affects on continuity of employment and the quality of the staffs.

Click on ‘Support’ and leave a comment on House Bill 1156 today!

Sign up with FairVote Washington for more information and updates on Ranked-Choice Voting.

Public Bank Bill in the State Legislature (SB 5188)

Support a Washington state public bank — Leave a comment in support of Senate Bill 5188 today!

Presently all of the revenue of our state, local and tribal governments is deposited with private-sector banks. All of the financing that our various governments obtain is issued by those same banks. The profits from these two aspects of handling our money float off to the shareholders of those banks.

With a public bank, the profits would be returned to us. What’s more, unlike a private-sector bank, a public bank could invest in projects that are in the public interest, just because they are in the public interest, and whether or not they earned the maximum possible return for the bank.

Senator Hasegawa (D-11) has been introducing public banking bills in the state legislature ever since the 2008 Wall Street scandal. This year the prime sponsor of SB 5188 is Patty Kuderer (D-48), and for the first time ever a public banking bill has received a hearing, which took place on Jan 28, 2021.

SB 5188 would set up the Washington State Public Bank, a cooperative bank which would be owned by the state and any local or tribal governments that chose to join. It would be authorized to invest in infrastructure projects of the state or of any local or tribal government, whether or not a member. It would be governed by a nine-member board, with five members elected by members of the cooperative, three public members with relevant expertise appointed by the Governor, and the State Treasurer serving as the remaining member. Several layers of security precautions are aimed at obtaining for the bank one of the three highest levels of credit ratings – and, not so incidentally, protection against default.

For various reasons the public bank’s costs of operation would be lower than a private-sector bank. It would not have to have branch offices. It would not pay federal income taxes. It would not pay the enormous salaries and bonuses that private-sector bank executives frequently get. For these reasons, it would likely be able to offer lower interest rates to its governmental borrowers, increasing their financial capacity.

In the world as a whole, 23 countries have public banks of various kinds and they hold collectively about 40% of the world’s banking assets. In the United States the foremost example of a public bank is the Bank of North Dakota, which has brought its aid and assistance to the people, local businesses and local banks of that state for a hundred years. Most recently it brought North Dakota through the 2008 collapse in better shape than any other state, with proportionately fewer bankruptcies and foreclosures and less unemployment.

The League of Women Voters of Washington has decided to support passage of SB 5188 because, at least in part, it would deprivatize a fundamental part of our economic and financial infrastructure.

ACTION ALERT

SB 5188 had a public hearing in the Senate Business, Financial Services and Trade Committee on Jan 28.

The bill has been scheduled by that committee for an Executive Session on Feb 9. An executive session is where a committee votes on whether to pass a bill along in the legislative process. Members of the public may listen in to an executive session, but may not speak.

The members of the Committee are Mark Mullet (D-5), Chair; Bob Hasegawa (D-11), Vice-Chair; Perry Dozier (R-16), Ranking Member; Sharon Brown (R-8); David Frockt (D-46); Steve Hobbs (D-44); and Lynda Wilson (R-17).

The Action

Go to the bill’s comment page and register your support for the bill with your district’s three legislators. Urge them to support the bill and to work with their colleagues in getting the bill out of committee. This is especially important if you live in the same district as one of the committee members. Here is the link to the bill’s comment page:

https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill/5188

As you will see, the comment page has space for a short comment. If your Senator is one of the sponsors of the bill, add a comment thanking them for sponsoring it. You can see the list of sponsors here:

https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5188&Year=2021&Initiative=false

Click on ‘Support’ and leave a comment on Senate Bill 5188 today!

Green Party Statewide Membership meeting – Feb. 3, 2021 at 7 PM

Wednesday Feb. 3rd at 7 PM PST – 9 PM PST

https://meet.jit.si/GreenPartyWashington

We will discuss news and happenings with the national Green Party, and give input for upcoming decisions at the national level regarding state affiliation of Green Party chapters in RI and GA.

We will hear updates from our Green Party US committee representatives (see below) and our local Green Party chapters (Alice Green – Seattle; Molly Feather – South Sound; Nina Manuel – Mid-Columbia; Scott Thompson – Whatcom).

We will also explore options for Green candidates to run for local office in 2021 and set the date for our Spring Membership meeting.

Here’s the link to join the meeting on February 3rd at 7 PM:

https://meet.jit.si/GreenPartyWashington


The Green Party Needs YOU!

Dear Green Party Members and Supporters,

The Greens are a political party, unlike all the myriad other progressive organizations in Washington State. This means we are positioned to run candidates – candidates who refuse to take money from special interests and who promise to govern using the Ten Key Values as a guide. If you believe in a better, more progressive America, the Greens are your party!

You already know this.  But we cannot deliver real gains until we elect Greens to office.

We need good candidates to run for elected offices. Who is a good candidate?

It could be YOU!

If you find yourself frustrated with local politics and think you could do a better job, why not consider running for office? GPWA has experience in what it takes to run a successful campaign, and we can help. You do not necessarily need experience in government – only a willingness to learn. There are a number of races around the state where incumbents are re-elected with no opponent. You could offer a more progressive choice to the electorate.

Another way you can help advance the Green agenda is to volunteer to work on Green campaigns. The Green Party endorses Green candidates or gives preferred status to candidates who agree with much of the Green agenda. By volunteering, you will gain inside knowledge of how a campaign works and what running for office is really like. Volunteering is a great way to learn what it takes to be a candidate, and if your candidate wins, you may have more influence over what happens in your district or city.

Here’s information on candidate filing and offices open for election in 2021: https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/candidates/online-candidate-filing.aspx

We hope that you will join us and promote electoral activism for the greater good!

If you would like to run for office or volunteer to support a Green Party campaign, please let us know!


To be considered for GPWA endorsement or preferred candidate status, please download and complete our Candidate Questionnaire so that we may consider supporting your campaign:

Word version | PDF version


Film Screening — 2040: The Regeneration

Join us for a special community screening!

2040: The Regeneration

Actions and Climate Solutions available today that will shape a Sustainable tomorrow!

About this Event

Online film screening —

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

7:00 PM – 10:00 PM PST

This is THE YEAR for climate action, and this film provides the positive solutions that we can implement today. It is a great cure for eco-anxiety and the perfect way to inspire you to action!

#JoinTheRegeneration and book your tickets today!

​​Award-winning director Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film) embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream. Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, Damon blends traditional documentary with dramatized sequences and high-end visual effects to create a vision board of how these solutions could regenerate the world for future generations.

Click here to watch a trailer and to reserve your spot.

Note: this screening has an attendance limit. Register now to confirm your spot!

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Become a GPWA member or update your membership: https://www.gp-wa.org/membership_gpwa

Keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook
Donations always appreciated and put to good use!

🌻 #WeAreGreen

Only We Can Save Ourselves

On Wednesday January 6th, Donald J. Trump incited insurrections and physical attacks on our Nation’s Capitol and state legislatures across the country. Here in WA, far-right activists attempted to breach and occupy the Governor’s mansion. The Green Party of Washington condemns these actions by President Trump and his far-right supporters, including the complicity from the Washington State Patrol (WSP).

The Green Party has in the past supported organizers occupying the WA state legislature for their rights. In contrast to the friendly solidarity between police and brownshirts we saw on Wednesday, organizers from Black Lives Matter, Protectors of the Salish Sea, and anti-fascist counter-demonstrators have been consistently met with brutal, violent responses from the WSP. Just a few weeks ago on December 12, WSP coordinated with fascist demonstrators to intimidate and violently repress anti-fascist counter-demonstrators, ending with three counter-demonstrators arrested and one shot. In July, while WSP was hauling Black Lives Matter demonstrators out of their cars for “blocking traffic,” they mysteriously allowed a far-right activist to breach their blockade in his car and run over BLM protestors, killing one and injuring dozens.

The reason WSP did not respond to the actions on Wednesday the way they did to these movements is clear: WSP’s primary mission is not to protect the public but to protect the ruling class from popular movements. Fascists do not threaten the ruling class: they are the ruling class’s most zealous pawns. As a consequence of this, we also know that calls to tighten the security state in the name of “anti-terrorism” will only end in further repression of countervailing, pro-democratic movements rather than real and present dangers to public safety.

We must instead recognize that as long as we ignore the root causes of these reactions then we cannot defeat them. As long as our communities face growing poverty and inequality, as long as our public safety institutions are rooted in racism and overrun with fascist sympathizers, as long as we ignore the waste of human lives, conscience, and resources in war, as long the water levels continue to rise and our cities are threatened by cinder and smoke, the dangers posed by revanchist movements will only escalate.

Trump has conclusively (and repeatedly) demonstrated his unfitness for office and must not be permitted to remain in office even for two more weeks. WSP, and the capitalist system they protect, have done the same. Therefore, The Washington State Green Party demand:

  • Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
  • The House of Representatives to act immediately to impeach him, and the Senate convict. This is the only legal method to prevent Trump from running again.
  • Once removed, Trump must be criminally prosecuted.
  • We must resist calls to increase state censorship and violence, which regardless of intent will be overwhelmingly inflicted on popular, anti-racist and anti-colonial movements.
  • The Washington Legislature must pass a bill this session replacing the Washington State Patrol with a new, community-controlled Department of Public Safety built upon anti-racist principles of criminal justice.
  • In the meantime, Governor Inslee must use all the powers available to him to root out and prosecute far-right infiltrators in the Washington State Patrol.
  • The Washington State Government must enact deep changes to our economy to eradicate poverty and inequality. This must start with fixing our tax code so that the poorest people in WA do not pay the highest tax rates. Instead of sales and property taxes which hit the working poor and middle class the hardest, the Green Party supports taxes on capital gains, land value, and other sources of rent-seeking behavior that drive inequality.
  • Governor Inslee must declare a Climate Emergency and begin immediate efforts to alleviate the Climate Crisis. While many Trump supporters are climate deniers, we in the Green Party have no illusions about the “opportunities” fascist activists will see in the climate crisis. We must say “no” to ecofascism before it arrives.
  • We must take immediate steps to reduce polarization and build confidence in democratic institutions, including serious reforms to our elections such as the implementation of proportional representation, ranked-choice voting, and more opportunities for direct democracy.
  • We must eliminate the large influence of corporations on individuals’ lives, and accompanying alienation, by seizing the assets of large monopolies like Amazon and empowering workers to directly manage their workplaces.


    “More of the same” will not defeat fascism, because more of the same is what gave us fascism. Anything short of radical action and direct struggle will fall short. We call on all people against the devolution of our Republic into autocracy to demand these immediate actions. Only we can save ourselves.

Become a GPWA member or update your membership: https://www.gp-wa.org/membership_gpwa

GPWA Vision Board: Regenerative Politics

MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2021 AT 6:30 – 7:30 PM PST

General Membership of GPWA meet up on Jitsi

Agenda: Vision Board for Regenerative Politics in Washington State

Bring your ideas Greens! Here are some brainstorming prompts:

– Permaculture goes beyond agriculture that does not harm the environment into agriculture that actually heals the land; in a relative vein how do we amplify Eco-socialist principles to create a restorative political process?

– how do Greens empower the Grassroots?

– how do Greens promote sustainable communities here in Washington?

– how do Greens ‘on both sides of the mountains’ show up for each other?

Agenda Items
[Subject to Change]:

-Activist Burnout (Alice)

-Engagement of Millennials (Mara)

-VisionBoard/Brainstorming (Round table/Everyone)

Become a GPWA member or update your membership: https://www.gp-wa.org/membership_gpwa

Click to join the meeting on January 4th at 6:30 PM: https://meet.jit.si/GreenPartyWashington

To join by phone instead, tap this: +1.512.647.1431,,1598669430#

🌻 #WeAreGreen

Opinion on the State of the Green Party in Washington and Beyond

By Derrick Miles, Spokane, Washington

As a four year member of the Green Party, I whole-heartedly believe in continuing the nearly four decade-long movement. I also believe that it is up to each and every one of us as individuals to devise strong organizing strategies and to get deeply involved within our communities in a way that will reach out to, and uplift, all those that have been disenfranchised. It is a necessity for GPWA as a whole to begin working more interconnectedly to ensure we are on the path to victory; whatever that may look like for each respective delegation of Greens in Washington.

Currently, I have reached an intellectual plateau for how to effectively change our oppressive system, and in regard to our value of non-violence, I hope only for a peaceful transition away from the current duopolistic form of governing. Meanwhile, those that will continue to “Vote Blue No Matter Who” will fall back into an undisturbed state with a blue congressional majority and a party-officiated candidate in office. Still, no matter which side of the aisle they fall on, there is a discernible trait growing within Americans; little faith in elected officials when they continue to toe their respective lines. Yet in response, both parties have continued to push further and further to the right in their pursuit of conservatism. For over a hundred years now, the people of our country have been led to believe these are the only “ideologically different” parties that can effectively represent or embrace them.

Our membership often reaches peaks as Presidential elections ramp up, and as word-of-mouth, social media and what little mainstream media coverage we can scavenge spread the message of our candidates. Following each election those upward trends tend to fall back into a lull. More likely it is the newly joined, with misguided frustration over the loss of their chosen candidate, possibly aimed at a poorly organized local or state party and/or coordination between GPUS. No doubt, there are many more members that have been and will remain Green and continue to advocate for our cause; a figure which surely grows as each year passes.

To our membership it is blatantly obvious, but has become increasingly more apparent to the general public; billionaires, corporations and special interests do not bear in mind what’s best for the people. As their capitalistic profits continuously soar, our livelihoods stagnate and decline. What assures that our representatives are held accountable to the people and not just their wealthy pocket holders? To start, as Green Party candidates have historically done, honest campaigns should not accept contributions from corporations or bottomless PACs. To push this further, regardless of party denomination, GPWA should watchdog campaigns and seek to discourage and call out any candidate that forms PACs, or that accepts corporate and/or wealthy high-profile individual donations.

The Green Party’s lackluster experience in the political landscape has often been construed as a failure to ignite the people behind our core beliefs. Being reliant upon volunteers and small dollar donations, rather than mega-donors and super PACs in the face of decades-long corporate influence, the Green Party has not yet obtained a position of major influence. This late into the rising cataclysmic events unfolding, we must organize and grow, fast. To partially quote Jill Stein, “like our lives depend on it, because they do.”

In my home state of Nevada, I personally spent hours caucusing for Bernie Sanders in February of 2016. I saw firsthand how unorganized and undemocratic our system had become. It was specifically designed to discourage participation. I left the Democratic party shortly after and immediately learned that voter suppression has evolved beyond the exclusivity of limiting BIPOC and women and is now commonplace for all Americans when both the Democratic and Republican parties alike assert their control to protect and influence their copy-paste candidates. I applaud the efforts of Greens advocating for Ranked Choice Voting and Proportional Representation, another effort which GPWA must push to the forefront of change, and discredit those that would hope to maintain underrepresentation in Washington.

Many like myself originally roused in 2016 felt responsible for Bernie Sanders&’ initial “failure.” Thoughts parading around our minds like, “had I volunteered and gotten more involved, maybe it would have turned out differently.” Thinking back, those thoughts were partially true. We should have gotten more involved. We should have taken to the streets. Many simply just “walked out,” quite literally during the Democratic National Convention of 2016, and it ended there, (despite calls to write-in Bernie; which amounted to nothing unless he had filed as a write-in, but I digress.) After failure to eradicate the systemic issues within the Democratic party many more were maligned into thinking, “at least they aren’t Republicans.”

Lastly, the status quo parties are not alone in the share of the blame when it comes to devaluing our democracy. The mainstream media give out hundreds of thousands of hours in free advertising, in most cases to the two most disliked candidates, while completely shutting out minor party candidates who have actually had to complete the ground work to gather ballot status. GPWA must shine a spotlight with which the media in Washington will be forced to acknowledge us. This is a struggle faced by all state Green parties, as in my home state of Nevada. We must ensure that our actions maintain meaningful and direct purpose and that our discourse informs and embraces all, including volunteering in other like-minded groups’ efforts rather than treading on the others’ work. Through our actions around the state we should easily be able to garner recognition, not for the esteem, but to gather the voices of which would never have heard the call to join us without it.

Creating a Cabinet Level Department of National Equity

By Frank Ellsworth Lockwood

This article is about Racial tension and moving toward a Green Party Policy. It is meant to be a conversation starter, and obviously not the final word on GP national policy.

By way of disclosure: Frank Ellsworth Lockwood is an old White man from a Protestant upbringing. Now that we have that out of the way, his family is multi-racial and he worked for fifteen years as a resource room teacher (and at times as a teacher’s consultant) in Migrant and Bilingual Education in Hermiston, Oregon. He is a co-founder of the Green Party of the Mid-Columbia and now resides in Kennewick, Washington. Lockwood holds a master’s degree in Education from Eastern Oregon State University.

In my opinion, the Green Party needs to come up with a better response to racial tensions in the USA. These tensions and the militarization of police, indeed the state of policing, are closely related and there may be some overlap for purposes of this paper.

  1. Create a Department of National Equity (DNE): Racial equity is such an important issue right now that it needs to be elevated to the status of a Department of State alongside other departments such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Education, and U.S. Department of Energy.
    1. This should be a Department overseen and run by members of specifically targeted groups such as blacks, browns, LGBT people, women
      1. Black, Native, women and LGBT inclusion
      2. Black, Native, women and LGBT oversight
      3. Roughly equal numbers of men and women and proportional inclusion of non-binary genders
  2. Create a national standard of policing:  The DNE should be charged with creating a national standard of policing. There are two ways we could go with this, depending on how much support we have. States could be compelled to comply by withholding of federal funds. Although states could refuse to comply, the DNE will exert pressure by pointing out flaws and failures to comply in each of the states, shaming them in nationally televised “exposure reports.”
  3. Power to approve/disapprove education funds: The DNE will exert influence over the distribution of Federal education dollars to the various states or school districts. Schools that do not provide an equal education to minorities will receive federal education funds tied to specific evidence of progress.[1]
  4. Prevent and revoke the militarization of police forces.
  5. Make the law Explicitly prevent the President from using the regular army, mercenaries, or militias against the people of the United States.
  6. Pass laws forbidding the deployment of regular military forces against the wishes of the state and city governments for less than treasonous reasons (by which I mean to imply, civil war or attempts to militarily overthrow the government).

  

[1] As an aside: Schools should not be allowed to redirect 1.5 and 2.0 full time equivalency (FTE) funds to their general funds when those have been designated based upon at-risk or needy populations such as migrant, educable mentally retarded or other similar factors. Funds over 1 FTE that are distributed for the purpose of serving high-need or at-risk students should be applied directly to those programs that directly meet those needs. Likewise, funds distributed to address inequities must be spent for that purpose, not to support the school’s general fund for education, regular school sports, etc.