SAVE OUR DEMOCRACY
Dangerous and Brazen New Russian Threat Goes Unanswered By Trump
This week stunning news was leaked to the New York Times that the Trump Administration has done nothing since March to respond to intelligence that Russia has secretly been offering to pay the Taliban bounties for killing American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Instead of responding to this aggression, President Trump has been working to reward Russia by pulling US troops out of Germany and lobbying to include Russia in the next G8 meeting.
Deniability is a hallmark of Putin’s aggression. When he invaded Crimea, he did it with soldiers in unmarked uniforms masquerading as volunteers. This jaw-dropping new aggression cannot be ignored. Neither can the President’s deliberate inaction.
ACTION: Demand that Congress Investigate the White House response as well as pass new Russian sanctions that make clear the seriousness of this threat to our soldiers.
Script: My name is ________ and I am calling on behalf of Olympia Indivisible to find out how (Senator/ Congressman) ____________ is going to respond to the news that Russia has been offering to pay bounties for killing US soldiers in Afghanistan. (wait for response)
Is the (Senator/Congressman) going to sponsor legislation for new Russian sanctions?
Is the (Senator/Congressman) going to hold hearings to investigate who in the Whitehouse is responsible for sitting on this information instead of sending a clear message to Putin that our country will not tolerate this kind of behavior from Russia?
Will the (Senator/Congressman) speak out about President Trump’s treasonous inaction against Russian aggression?
Senator Maria Cantwell: (253) 572-2281
Senator Patty Murray: 202-224-2621
Congressman Denny Heck: 360-459-8514
Pushing Election Officials to Increase Safe Voting Access!
We are winning the fight! 8 of 27 states will now take steps to ensure all who wish to participate in our democracy can do so safely!
Come to one of the two sessions this week and find out how!
“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 29, 2020 at 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86284689689
Meeting ID: 862 8468 9689 One tap mobile +12532158782,,86284689689# US (Tacoma)
Check In & Get started - Advocacy Initiative
Friday, July 3, 2020 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84544177741
Meeting ID: 845 4417 7741 One tap mobile +12532158782,,84544177741# US (Tacoma)
STATE & COUNTY ACTIONS
Let our Sheriffs know that their job is to enforce laws, not judge them
Shortly after Governor Inslee announced the statewide order to wear masks in public, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our Thurston County Sheriff, John Snaza, announced that deputies would not enforce this order. His brother, Lewis County Sheriff Robert Snaza, went a bit further when he said “Don’t be a sheep” to a crowd in Lewis Co. Other county sheriffs in Washington have made similar, or worse, statements. Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer told a reporter from Oregon Public Broadcasting that Governor Inslee is an “idiot” and his website rejects enforcement of mask orders.
These statements are very problematic. They are wrong from a public health perspective. Scientific evidence is accumulating on the effectiveness of mandatory mask orders resulting in decreased rate of spread of COVID-19, and both the CDC and the Washington Department of Health are now promoting their use. Without resorting to a return to the lengthy state-at-home. Refusing to enforce or actually opposing mandatory face covering requirements jeopardizes public health and safety. This is contrary to the mission of the Sheriff’s Office, their motto is “People First – Public Safety Always” and their mission statement begins with “… in partnership with our community, we are committed to protecting life …”. Mandatory mask requirements will help save lives, and we hope they will avert more drastic requirements like a repeat of the shelter-in-place policies. Our sheriffs are endangering lives and threatening the progress we have made in combatting COVID-19.
An even more troubling problem, if that is possible, is that they jeopardize the foundations of our democracy. These sheriffs are establishing themselves as judges of the law, not just enforcers. Both our state and federal constitutions are clear. It is the role of the courts to determine the validity of laws and executive orders, law enforcement officials are not granted that power. It should concern all of us greatly when our law enforcement agencies usurp the power of the courts, when they become judges as well as police. They should never have the discretion to decide which laws they will enforce. Making suggestions or recommendations about enforcement is their appropriate role, not judging their constitutionality.
ACTION: Call or email your County Sheriff and tell them that it is not their role to judge the validity of the mask requirement, and that their refusal to enforce is putting the lives of their citizens in jeopardy.
Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza
Webpage for sending an email: https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/email/Pages/default.aspx?List-ID=27
Phone number: 360-786-5500
Lewis County Sheriff Robert Snaza
Script: I am _________________ and I am a member of Olympia Indivisible. I request that the Sheriff’s Office adopt reasonable enforcement measures for enforcement of mandatory mask requirements. Officers should communicate clearly to our citizenry why it’s important to wear a mask; lives depend on it, and so does our recovery from COVID-19. We didn’t elect Sheriff Snaza to decide which laws to enforce based on his opinion of their constitutionality. We elect judges to do that. Having a sheriff decide which laws to enforce is more of a threat to my constitutional rights than any public health order ever could be. Stop usurping the power of the courts, and start doing your duty to protect your citizens.
Oppose the Destruction of 200 Acres of Forest in Tumwater
The Port of Olympia may sign a contract with a developer to lease 200 acres of undeveloped land in Tumwater. The land includes a substantial forest and current or potential Mazama pocket gopher habitat. The contract would be with Panattoni Development, a developer that specializes in warehouse and distribution centers. In spite of the hundreds of letters and comments opposed to this lease, two of the Port Commissioners want to go ahead with this contract. The contract offers a 10-year lease at a below market price for the developer, and the Port will be obligated to pay up to $20 million in pocket gopher mitigation costs. We want the Commissioners to slow down and authorize: 1) a pro forma statement to be done by an independent expert, 2) an ecosystem service analysis by independent experts, and 3) a public forum. There will be a Port meeting at 4:00pm on Monday, June 29, 2020. There will be a Tumwater City Council Work session on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 5:30pm to discuss the Port of Olympia lease option update.
We recommend you read OI member Helen Wheatley’s detailed letter on this problem that is included at the bottom of this Call to Action.
ACTION: Join the Port of Olympia Commission meeting and submit written comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9:00am on June 29th. If you wish to make verbal public comment during the meeting, you must sign up in advance by 2:00pm on Monday by emailing email@example.com
Monday Port Meeting - must sign up to speak by 2:00 tomorrow.
ACTION: Join the Tumwater City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 30th at 5:30pm
Olympia Indivisible Elections Alerts and Events
You can help out our OI endorsed candidates – go to https://www.olympiaindivisible.org/endorsed-candidates.html to see their upcoming needs. Here’s what’s posted this week:
Jessica Bateman's campaign is currently requesting volunteers who will do phone banking and/or literature dropping. Any of our members who would be willing to volunteer should contact Sara Develle via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Team Carolina Mejia needs your help! We need volunteers and we will train!
What: Here is what our campaign needs:
When: We meet virtually every Thursday and Friday from 4 - 7pm and Saturday from 11 to 2pm. You can make phone calls, plant yard signs or host a virtual fundraiser on your own schedule.
Please contact Antonia Moore Volunteer Coordinator (email@example.com) for more information.
Or visit: www.carolinaforthurston.com
June 30th, Tuesday, 7- 8PM - Carolina Mejia Kickoff
Join us for our campaign kickoff and Special guest: Laurie Dolan.
For details visit the Facebook post.
Carolina says: We're having our virtual campaign kickoff on Tuesday, June 30th at 7 P.M. with special guest State Representative Laurie Dolan! If you'd like to come, please register on Zoom at www.bit.ly/mejia30! We'd love to see you there.
July 9th, Thursday, 5 - 7:30 PM Phone Banking for Beth Doglio
Join us for a remote phone bank to your neighbors in the 10th Congressional District!
We'll meet on Zoom for training, practice, and Q&A before getting on the phones from home. This is THE most powerful thing supporters can do before the primary - we need YOUR help to elect a Progressive Champion to represent us in Congress!!!
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.
Take Action to restore voting rights for ALL Iowans!
Special Urgent Advocacy work in Partnership with Common Purpose and in support of Des Moines Black Lives Matter needed by July 4th.
Iowa is the only state now with lifetime voter disenfranchisement after being convicted of a felony. Currently you can never vote again if you have a felony in Iowa. Contact Governor Kim Reynolds today and help turn protest into policy. Read on to find out how…
What are we doing and why is it important?
Please join us to support Des Moines Black Lives Matter, in their demands for Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to reinstate the right to vote for folks who have been convicted of felonies. This is an urgent action step to contact the Governor with letter writing, emailing, and phone calls through July 4. In Iowa, anyone who has been convicted of a felony loses their right to vote permanently, without intervention from the Governor. Des Moines BLM has been pushing for weeks, and this is a great opportunity to help turn protest into policy. No experience needed!
My name is and I am concerned about the lack of support for Des Moines BLM’s campaign to restore voting rights for ALL Iowans. I am urging you and every member of the Iowa State Legislature to condemn voter disenfranchisement and issue an executive order restoring voting rights by July 4th, 2020. We know that this is only a temporary solution and urge you to support a constitutional amendment that would make this change permanent. Every Iowan deserves the right to vote regardless of past convictions or outstanding restitution payments. Thank you.
For Phone Calling
Hello. My name is and I’d like to express my concern about the lack of support for Des Moines BLM’s campaign to restore voting rights for ALL Iowans. I am urging you and every member of the Iowa State Legislature to condemn voter disenfranchisement and issue an executive order restoring voting rights by July 4th, 2020. We know that this is only a temporary solution and urge you to support a constitutional amendment that would make this change permanent. Every Iowan deserves the right to vote regardless of past convictions or outstanding restitution payments. Thank you.
For Letter Writing
Office of the Governor
Iowa State Capitol
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
Using the CP Advocacy contact log form (Step 4) be sure to report your work using the link below and send a copy to the firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of the Governor Iowa State Capitol 1007 East Grand Avenue Des Moines, IA 50319
Dear Governor Reynolds,
I am concerned about the lack of support for Des Moines BLM’s campaign to restore voting rights for ALL Iowans. I am urging you and every member of the Iowa State Legislature to condemn voter disenfranchisement and issue an executive order restoring voting rights by July 4th, 2020.
We know that this is only a temporary solution and urge you to support a constitutional amendment that would make this change permanent. Every Iowan deserves the right to vote regardless of past convictions or outstanding restitution payments.
From Helen Wheatley: Port of OLY to destroy 100 acres of Forest in Tumwater, next to Bush Elementary School
In the span of less than one month, the Port of Olympia has received hundreds of letters and comments demanding that it either delay or cancel a ten year option to lease almost all of its remaining undeveloped land in Tumwater, 200 acres of mature trees and current or potential Mazama pocket gopher habitat right next to a Tumwater middle school. Why? Because the public has already suggested many better and more compatible uses for that land, including recreational use and environmental services, than building a huge warehouse and distribution center.
Two of the Commissioners appear eager to sign the Port up with a global-scale, California-based commercial developer at the next regular meeting on July 13. The contract is full of one-sided “gimmes,” but no provisions of any kind to assure best use of the land, optimum development for creating good jobs and supporting Tumwater’s strategic planning, or protection of the school and adjoining neighborhood. Instead, the deal is full of pressure points to get the Port to move quick and approve the projects Panattoni finds profitable.
Commissioners McGregor and Downing appear to place higher value on the words of people and organizations that have direct connections to the Port, than hundreds of other members of the public, including local Tumwater residents. The only favorable comments on this deal at the last Port meeting came from Michael Cade of the Thurston Economic Development Council, and Amy Evans. That happens to be the name of one of the Kidder Mathews agents brokering the deal, although the Amy Evans making public comment did not identify herself that way. Nor did Mr. Cade note that the President-Elect of the EDC happens to be the Port attorney, Heather Burgess.
The proposed contract promises that only one real estate company, Kidder Mathews, will be paid to act as broker with the developer as it builds its projects over the coming decade. If this already seems like a strange way for the Port protect the public interest, consider that Kidder Mathews does business with Panattoni all over Washington, and brought this deal to the Port.
The Port provided information to the EDC, prior to Michael Cade making his comment, that has not been provided to the public or to Commissioners.
Despite overwhelming opposition, despite pointed criticisms of the contract and especially the promise of millions of dollars in subsidies, and despite urgent requests to at least objectively analyze the value of the property’s value in ecosystems, Commissioners McGregor and Downing are eager to forge ahead. They are convinced that Kidder Mathews has brought them an “exciting” deal that they should jump on without a second thought or a single revision to the contract put before them.
They will commit 200 acres of port property and taxpayer subsidies to Panattoni Development Company. It builds warehouse facilities in Hawks Prairie, all over Puget Sound and throughout the world. They are signing this deal in the middle of a pandemic when commercial property owners are running for cover and holding their property off the market.
Does Panattoni need help from Thurston taxpayers? Its chairman, Carl Panattoni, appears to be doing pretty nicely. He bought himself a $38 million beach house in California last year, and this year he dropped $29 million for an ocean front home in Palm Beach, Florida. Besides, it is a Delaware based limited liability company, SSECC PDC, that will be signing the contract, so the developer’s deep pockets are safe.
Folks at the Port seem a little surprised that Panattoni is still interested in this deal despite the pandemic. Commissioners, here’s a hint: that’s because, as usual, the Port is practically giving away exclusive access to acres of public land, at a time when private landowners have to be a lot more careful. With its business operations bleeding red every year, the Port is so desperate for revenue, it doesn’t think twice about undercutting private property owners so that it can scrape in less than $354,000 a year from Panattoni’s shell company to help pay the bills.
Commissioners are seriously lowballing the 200 acres of undeveloped, largely forested property. They claim that they want to see a “high quality business park,” but the contract is a bargain even for land devoted to warehouse and distribution centers. The Port will charge about 4 cents a square foot for the option. If Panattoni builds something, the base rent is 48 cents a square foot. The rent will go up 10% every five years. Crazy deal, right?
Commissioners plan to accept a deal where the price is not based on what the land is worth now and in the coming decade, but only on what Panattoni is willing to offer at this moment. The Port has decided that it is “fair” to the developer to have taxpayers cough up $100,000 an acre in pocket gopher mitigation costs. If a 10-acre project gets built, as required under the contract, that’s a million dollars in mitigation subsidies. If it is a 42-acre project like the one Panattoni is doing in Lacey right now, that’s $4 million the public pays up front for Panattoni to build. The Port is on the hook for up to $20 million.
Parents and local residents have already let the Port know that they don’t want the diesel truck traffic. The City of Tumwater is trying to increase mature tree canopy. It needs public land to reach its goals and counts on the Port to leave its existing trees intact. At considerable expense and with public input, the Port recently developed a real estate plan for the area where it called for buffer zones between incompatible uses, and promised more analysis and public involvement before it finalizes a plan. Tumwater has carefully developed a strategic plan for economic development, and the Port is an essential partner to realize the vision. But now, two commissioners want to leave the planning to Panattoni, based on what the market wants. The market wants warehouses and minimum wage jobs.
The contract shows no signs of guiding Panattoni’s projects toward the public good. Instead, there are tight deadlines for the Port to meet. Even the insurance requirements are minimal. The Port is locked in for ten years – it can’t pull out for community or environmental or even economic reasons, but it is easy for Panattoni to walk away whenever it finds the deal unprofitable.
Commissioners already know that the environmental services of this undeveloped land -- with mature forest, prime pocket gopher habitat that could be used to mitigate for development in other parts of the county, and with optimal stormwater infiltration in the historically undeveloped soils – are worth far more than the rent the Port will get. But instead of continuing to benefit from what the land already does; we’ll be taxed to destroy it. What an exciting deal.
If you don’t agree with Commissioners signing off on this contract on July 13, write to them at email@example.com. There are more sensible ways of optimizing the commercial value of the land. Most Ports decide on particular projects they want and then find a developer to build them. The Port of Seattle has followed this Request For Proposal (RFP) approach with Panattoni. Before giving away the whole store, the Port should at the very least get a pro forma done by an independent expert, an ecosystem service analysis by independent experts, and a public forum.