by Bob Schober
The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.
— Albert Einstein
For 25 years, Whatcom Watch has been the spearhead of environmental coverage in Whatcom County. We like to think that our comprehensive, fact-based articles helped slay the dragon at Cherry Point. And especially now, it is my goal to aggressively carry on that tradition. And to do that, we need YOUR help more than ever.
It’s now crystal clear that elections have consequences. As never before in our lifetimes, the election of Donald Trump as president and a Republican Congress call on us to rethink and renew our commitments to social and environmental justice. And hold them accountable, because Trump, through his cabinet and adviser choices, is showing that his governance will mirror his campaign promises and rhetoric. And these issues will play out here, too:
• A registry of Muslims already has been proposed under a cloud of profiling and even deportation. The status of our Latino neighbors could also be threatened.
• Our health care will be uncertain, including Medicare, which the GOP would love to privatize.
• Ditto for Social Security.
• Environmental regulations regarding coal-fired power plants and many others could be nullified as an assault on the science of climate change.
• A woman’s right to choose will be even more under fire.
• The Republican platform calls for selling or giving to the states publicly owned federal lands, excluding national parks and monuments. That means more mining, logging and grazing, which will lead to more pollution.
• Our own 42nd District Senator Doug Ericksen, deputy state chairman of the Trump campaign, is writing a bill that would make some forms of civil disobedience a felony.
And then there’s the future of the Supreme Court.
I’ve heard and read through radio and social media that so many people, especially women, are stunned and dismayed by the election of Trump to the presidency and are seeing this as a clarion call to get politically and civically involved. We all need to remember that a woman’s right to choose, comprehensive background checks for gun purchases, clean energy, the environment and other social-justice issues command wide approval in the national polls. We need to make our voices heard.
We know from our reader studies that 6,000 to 7,000 people read this paper each month, most of whom are highly educated, politically active and involved and working in or retired from professional careers. Almost 100 percent are registered and voted in previous elections.
However, Whatcom Watch is volunteer-driven and depends on the hard work of folks passionate about these issues, including lawyers, scientists and social workers, as well as advertisers and donors. Given the looming landscape, we need more of every one of them. If you don’t care to write for us, please share your information and knowledge, and we’ll take it from there. If you don’t want to write, subscribe or donate to underwrite the strong journalism we’re doing.
I invite you to volunteer with us at Whatcom Watch, a medium where you can share your special knowledge and passion with thousands of readers.
Please contact me at 360-595-7519 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be pleased to meet with you. The coffee is on me.