OPEN LETTER TO MEMBERS OF INDIVISIBLE BELLINGHAM:
Indivisible Bellingham is a co-signer of the “Stop The Sweeps” letter that was sent to our city and county officials this past Thursday evening, in anticipation of a possible sweep of the Frank Geri Softball Fields encampment that grew after the City Hall sweep of Thursday, January 28th. The Core Crew of our organization had mixed feelings about support of this letter, and we feel obligated to inform our members of our observations about the letter and the sweeps.
We agree that a sweep of the new tenants at the Geri Fields would have been very bad for everyone – the houseless, the campers there supporting them, the community (in general), political entities, and law enforcement. We advocate for peaceful solutions from our city and county governments that treat everyone, regardless of their housing status, as human beings who deserve compassion, fairness, and an even break.
The members of the Core Crew are not experts on the homeless crisis and we don’t supply services to the houseless, other than the contributions from us, as individuals, and our group members. It would have been our preference to sign onto a more balanced and nuanced letter that better reflected the complexity of this issue, but we thought it was warranted for us to show timely support for the two urgent humanitarian asks of our government that were put forth in the letter.
Unfortunately, there have been some very unsafe things happening in some of the encampments over the years (e.g., violent assaults, thefts, etc.) that ultimately need to be dealt with. And while we agree, in general, with the two requests of the mayor and City of Bellingham, listed in the letter, we feel the option must remain for the city to protect the health and safety of all residents – housed and houseless.
We know there is much work being done on this by many interested parties, both civic and private. We support and encourage all parties to work together to solve this crisis with the utmost urgency.
Indivisible Bellingham Core Crew
NO MORE FOSSIL-FUELED BUILDINGS IN BELLINGHAM
FACT: burning gas in buildings (think: heating and gas stoves) is one of the biggest sources of climate pollution in Bellingham. Plus, gas-powered buildings have significantly worse indoor air quality than buildings that run on electricity.
But the sweet thing is that Bellingham can be the first city in Washington to build only all-electric, carbon-free new buildings.
Last year, the city’s Climate Action Task Force put out a list of policies that City Council should pass to reduce Bellingham’s climate impact and safeguard our future. One of these recommended actions is to make all new buildings electric, so that Bellingham builds clean, carbon-free buildings that won’t rely on fossil fuels.
It’s been nearly a year since the Task Force put forward its recommendations, but City Council hasn’t made them into policy yet. Last month’s deadly wildfires showcase just how urgently we need to get off fossil fuels to slow further climate disruption.
We can’t afford to let any more time go by.
Burning gas pollutes our air, leaks harmful methane, and puts our buildings at risk of explosion. It’s a bad idea to hook buildings up to fossil gas, especially when there’s a better option.
It’s time to build for the clean energy future…not the fossil-fueled past.
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What is Indivisible?
Indivisible is a network of independent grassroots groups under a national umbrella founded by former Congressional staffers, who in the Obama administration had watched how the Tea Party had blocked president’s agenda and how it had effectively taken over the government of many states. Each Indivisible group has developed its own organization and policies. Go to the national website for general information and a national directory: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/
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