STATE & COUNTY ACTIONS
OI Endorsement Vote Done – Time to Act!
Olympia Indivisible voted this week and endorsed the following candidates:
CD10 Beth Doglio
LD22 State Senator Sam Hunt
LD22 Representative Position 1 Laurie Dolan
LD22 Representative Position 2 Jessica Bateman
Thurston Commissioner District 1 Carolina Mejia
Thurston Commissioner District 2 Michael Steadman
Public Utilities Commissioner Christopher Stearns
Superior Court Judge Sharonda Amamilo
Now it is time to get to work. The Washington Elections team is quite small – there are currently 6-8 active members and plain and simple – we need more people to get involved so we can win.
The primary is right around the corner, August 4, and we need citizens for Sign waving, Sign delivery, Phone banking, Text banking, Postcards, Zoom fundraising parties, Literature drops and Letters to the Editor The Olympian and The Nisqually Valley News.
Do a little, do a lot. Get in touch and we will find some good work for you with the candidate of your choice.
The State of Washington Already Passed a Police Reforms Law; It’s Not Working
Washington voters passed I-940 in 2018 with nearly 60% approval. It required an independent investigation of killings by police officers, and specified that the investigation needed to be free of conflict of interest. Recent investigative reporting by the Seattle Times found that, even though the voter passed law has been in effect, the investigation into Manuel Ellis’s death at the hands of Tacoma police has not followed the law. Seattle Times reporters found that the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the agency investigating the killing by Tacoma Police Department officers had at least two conflicts of interest, which were not disclosed until three months after the investigation started. The reporters also found that the Sheriff’s Department also failed to provide public updates and, worse, did not appoint two independent citizens for oversight of the investigation. Since the conflict of interest issues came to light, the state Attorney General’s office has taken over the investigation. They found that two citizens were invited to a briefing less than a week before it was to be held, and were not told they had any formal responsibilities. Nor were family members provided with information on the investigations. They resorted to filing public disclosure requests, which were apparently ignored!
According to the Seattle Times reporters, Bob Ferguson, the state Attorney General, has compiled a list of 25 other incidents that should be investigated under I-940 compliant rules. Times reporters note that there does not appear to be any accountability mechanism under I-940 to ensure that investigations follow the citizen-approved rules. When citizens suggested in 2018, as rules were being developed to implement initiative language, that Ferguson’s office should be responsible for the investigations, he declined saying that he had neither the resources nor the authority. And the result is that the intent of the voters, which was to address the role that police brutality has in perpetuating systemic racism, is being frustrated.
How can we ensure accountability? Two actions.
ACTION: 1. Call or email our Governor and Attorney General to tell them that you support the intent of I-940 and demand that they develop state-level accountability, and put an end to police killings as a step towards ending systemic racism.
2. Subscribe to the Seattle Times, and let them know that you appreciate their efforts to provide accountability where government has failed.
Governor Jay Inslee
Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Script: I am _________________ and I am a member of Olympia Indivisible. In 2018, the citizens of Washington State passed I-940, because we were concerned about the number of police-killings of citizens of color, our mentally ill, and our disadvantaged. We passed it because we wanted to prevent further killings and police brutality. I am outraged that, two years after passage, police and sheriff’s departments still are not following the law that we passed and that we have to rely on the reporters from the Seattle Times to uncover this. I demand that the Attorney General’s office take over investigations of police killings and brutality, and that Governor Inslee and Attorney General Ferguson work together to sponsor legislation in the upcoming session that will give the AG the funding and authority necessary to do the job, and to do it right. I demand independent investigations with civilian oversight, free of conflicts-of-interest, and are open and transparent to the public. In particular, family members who have lost loved ones to police killings should never have to file public disclosure requests to learn the status of the investigations.
Seattle Times (https://www.seattletimes.com/)
Script: I am _________________ and I am a member of Olympia Indivisible. Thank you for your ongoing coverage of the Manuel Ellis killing, and the recent investigation into whether the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department followed the law that we passed in 2018 mandating independent investigations, without conflict of interest, and with communication with families of the victims and the public. The Times reporters provided accountability that state and local government failed to give us, and for that and many other reasons, I am/will become a subscriber to the Times.
PROTECT OUR QUALITY OF LIFE
Speak Up for Police Reform
The bill called Preventing Tragedies Between Police and Communities Act of 2019 (H.R. 2927) would create a new national standard for the use of force by police. The bill requires state and local governments that receive funding from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program to train officers in de-escalation techniques and requires law enforcement to use such techniques. Failure to comply with these requirements would result in a reduction in JAG funding.
ACTION: Call Representative Denny Heck and ask him to co-sponsor H.R. 2927.
Representative Denny Heck (360) 459-8514
Script: My name is ___________________, and I am a member of Olympia Indivisible. I am calling because I believe our nation must address and end police violence. I am asking Representative Heck to co-sponsor H.R. 2927 which would create national standards for the use of deadly force and require police academies to teach de-escalation techniques.
SAVE OUR DEMOCRACY
Condemn Bill Barr’s Actions
Friday night Bill Barr tried to fire Geoffrey Berman, the top prosecutor for the Manhattan US attorney's Office. Question is? Did Bill Barr have the authority to fire and what is the justification to fire Berman and appoint a Trump supporter? Berman told Barr he was NOT stepping down and that put Barr in the position of having Trump say "you're fired". In the end Berman's deputy prosecutor will be heading the SDNY Office. And not another unqualified Trump lackey. So, what was the justification of this firing--was the SDNY office getting close to more prosecutions? Of course, Trump denies the responsibility of the firing as is his character.
ACTION: Call Senator's Murray and Cantwell and express your extreme displeasure with the events over the weekend of the firing of a well-qualified prosecuting attorney from the Manhattan Office of the New York and hold hearings of investigation to see if it was even legal.
Email (AskDOJ@usdoj.gov.) or call (1-202-514-2000) Department of Justice, Bill Barr and express your displeasure and tell him to BE the USA attorney and not Trump's hatchet man.
Keep Pushing States to Provide Safe Voting!
“Check-in and Get started” working sessions for the Advocacy Initiative project this week.
Safe voting nation-wide couldn’t be more important than it is today. Let’s help other states to provide mail-in ballots and expanded early in-person voting. We are making this a reality through the Advocacy Initiative project. Join us on Zoom to find out about this project, get your questions answered, and find out how to begin. “Check in and Get Started” sessions are offered both during the day and in the evening this week. Help is here:
Check In & Get Started - Advocacy Initiative
Monday, June 22, 2020 at 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89083987282 Meeting ID: 890 8398 7282
One tap mobile +12532158782,,89083987282# US (Tacoma)
Check In & Get started - Advocacy Initiative
Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 6:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85053887209 Meeting ID: 850 5388 7209
One tap mobile +12532158782,,85053887209# US (Tacoma)
Check In & Get started - Advocacy Initiative
Friday, June 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89344442847 Meeting ID: 893 4444 2847
One tap mobile +12532158782,,89344442847# US (Tacoma)
OI Has New Online Education Toolbox – A Resource for You
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
The Olympia Indivisible Education Team has created a totally awesome Education Toolbox to arm us with the skills and know-how we need to transform the dark night of today into a better tomorrow.
Go to https://sites.google.com/view/oitraining and start learning. You’ll be amazed at how powerful you will become.
June 24, 2020, Wednesday 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
WEBINAR: The Lorax Project: Why We Need to Protect Our Trees in Thurston County
The Tree Action Group of the Thurston Climate Action Team (TCAT) is presenting a talk on the importance of preserving our urban forests in Thurston County. Learn about how trees clean the air, cool temperatures, prevent stormwater pollution of our bays, provide habitat, and keep us feeling happy (proven scientific fact!) Become a tree protector – learn how you can influence our local ordinances and the upcoming Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan so we can help trees protect us from climate change effects. Also learn resources for planting trees in your own garden and in public spaces.
Presented by Olympia Indivisible Environmental Liaison, Lisa Ceazan
Email Lynn Fitz-Hugh for Zoom link firstname.lastname@example.org