Category Archives: Uncategorized

Become a Member of ECC or Renew for 2021!

Membership Reminder!

Thank you for being a member or friend of the Environment & Climate Caucus (ECC) of the Washington State Democrats! Our membership year coincides with the calendar year.  If you have not already done so we hope you will renew your membership soon.

Per our Bylaws, any Democrat who is committed to protecting the environment and addressing climate change is eligible for Membership in the Environment and Climate Caucus.

ECC membership dues are $20 — or whatever you can afford, including $0 and more than $20.

Two Ways to Renew or Join ECC:

Current members can renew, and new members can join by clicking the button:

If you would like to become a voting member of the Caucus, please join us at least 30 days before the next meeting. Membership dues for one year are $20.00, or whatever you can afford. Use the handy “JOIN ECC NOW” button to complete your transaction or contact us via email anytime, and we will send you information on how to join.

Questions? Please email us.


Missed the Clean Energy/EV Activist Training? No Problem!

On November 11, 2018 citizens across Washington State gathered in Seattle and online for an Activist Training on Electric Vehicles and Clean Energy.  The event was sponsored by 350.Seattle, 350.Eastside and ECC.

Presenters from Climate Solutions, Coltura, 350.Seattle, ECC and Audubon discussed policy for the 2019 Washington State legislative session including clean energy, transportation, clean fuel and zero emissions vehicle advancement, as well as strategies for successful lobbying.

We’ve got you covered if you missed this event!

A recording of the meeting can be viewed here:

And here’s the slide presentations in their entirety:

Spokane Meeting Summary – September 2018

The following summary is from From Steve Verhey; Chair, Environment and Climate Caucus of the Washington State Democrats:

The Washington State Democratic Central Committee meets quarterly, most recently this past weekend in Spokane. The Environment and Climate Caucus is active at these meetings, working to advance our policy goals. The Spokane meeting was a good one for us.

1. Our electric vehicle resolution, which originated with Arvia Morris and Jeremy Erdman (43rd LD) and Dean Fournier (32nd LD), passed without challenge, and we learned that labor loves EVs, or at least IBEW loves EVs. The situation the resolution is looking to correct is that state agencies are not following a state law which directs them to purchase EVs whenever possible. The availability of mass-market EVs is booming. Now we need to push to have the legislature actually act.

2. Our resolutions must pass through the WSDCC’s Resolutions Committee on their way to the floor for a vote of the entire Central Committee. Our resolution calling for the Democratic National Committee to eschew fossil fuel PAC donations drew pretty strong opposition from labor interests at the Resolutions Committee meeting and from the Labor Caucus on the floor. Labor’s opposition stemmed from a misunderstanding of the language and intent of our resolution, which passed easily once it reached the floor. We will be watching the DNC’s next move on this issue, at their Executive Committee meeting on December 1.

Washington State is represented at the DNC by 4 elected members and two appointed ones, with the appointments are made by the head of the DNC. Often these appointments go to special interests, as in the case of one of our DNC members, who opposed our resolution.

3. One of two ways to get a resolution directly to the floor is to collect 50 signatures of State Committee members, and we took this route with a resolution calling for the removal of Enloe Dam in north-central Washington. Enloe Dam is one that very few people want to keep. Karen Hardy, candidate for State Senate from the 7th LD, brought this idea to us, and she’s talked to the Governor’s office about it. The Governor would like to find a dam that can be removed uncontroversially and successfully. We will check in with Karen and then, hopefully, leave followup up to her.

4. We had an epiphany about the dams. Everyone seems to be calling for dam removal, but no one seems to be preparing the communities for dam removal. If the communities were prepared, the dams could be removed by a phone call from Cantwell or Murray.

Don Schwerin, Chair of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Caucus, talks about how the dams should and will be removed, about how the communities don’t understand that they’re actually losing money, and about how the blow needs to be at least softened (actually, those are my words, I think Don wants more that).

As a result of this epiphany, and because labor interests made a couple of unfortunate changes to our remove-the-dams resolution in the Resolutions Committee, we decided to withdraw that resolution, which Aaron Tam had worked hard on. When we did so, we told WSDCC that we’re going to stop talking about removing the dams, and proceed as if they will be removed. This means working with Ag and Rural Affairs and others to develop policy and legislation to be ready for when the time comes. This will be a lot more work than just passing resolutions, but it seems to us that it’s what needs to be done.

This effort needs to get started right away, so we will have things to talk to electeds about after the election. We also need to get as many other orca, salmon, tribal, and anti-dam groups as possible involved to help draft and push legislation. This is a hot topic, and hopefully legislators will want to be seen doing something about it.

So progress is being made on low-carbon transportation, removal of salmon-blocking dams, and preparing to remove salmon-blocking dams. Progress can’t be made quickly enough for J-Pod, but we think we’re on the right track.


September Call to Meetings and General Election Endorsement Vote

ECC General Election Endorsement Voting Period Week Begins September 4

September 4-11, 2018: Please keep an eye on your email inboxes.  On September 4, ECC members eligible to vote will receive a ballot that includes endorsement requests from 33 Washington State Congressional and Legislative Candidates as well an opportunity to cast an endorsement vote in support of Initiative 1631. Read about our new endorsement process here. Find our primary election endorsed candidates here.

Call to Meetings 

ONLINE – Meeting to Consider Resolutions: Tuesday, September 11; 7:00 – 8:30 pm. This is a current-members-only meeting to consider resolutions to be submitted to the WSDCC meeting in Spokane on September 15/16. We will email links to resolutions on September 10. Register in advance and after registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Register here.

IN PERSON – September 15, in Spokane: We meet in parallel with the Washington State Democratic Central Committee. We’ll consider resolutions and discuss ongoing efforts toward promoting electric vehicles in Washington State; protecting wild fish and the Southern Resident Orcas and removal of the lower Snake River dams; and strategies for success during the 2019 legislative session. Location: The Centennial Hotel, formerly the Hotel RL Spokane at the Park, located at 303 W North River Dr. Spokane WA 99201. Time: 3:50 p.m., member sign-in beginning 3:30.  (Note: WSDCC asks that we also register (it’s free) at this link.)

Join Us!

Please encourage your friends to join the Washington State Democrats – Environment and Climate Caucus to help elect officials who will craft and pass legislation that protects our planet and our future. Start an Environment/Climate Caucus (ECC) in Your Own Local Party Organization!

In this newsletter please find ways to join with other Democrats who care about climate change and the environment to drive the actions we need to build a sustainable future. High priority areas include the transition to job growth and financing in the building of infrastructure associated with electric vehicles and renewable energy sources; fossil fuel divestment; and requiring accurate climate science courses be taught to all students in all schools statewide. Energy conservation in building codes can save energy and consumer costs for heating and cooling.  Cleaning up our use of fossil fuels is essential to survival of our ecosystems which support key industries such as fisheries, tourism to see Orcas and other outdoor recreation and forestry; essential to our way of life in the Northwest.

Continue reading

Open Letter and Petition: ECC Calls on DNC to Reinstate Ban on Fossil Fuel Donations

Join the ECC: Sign the Petition!

 Tell the DNC: Reject Fossil Fuel PAC Money!

The following Washington State Democratic Central Committee Members have joined the ECC in calling on the DNC to reinstate the fossil fuel corporate PAC money ban. (If you are a WSDCC Member and would like to add your name, please fill out this form.)

Learner Limbach, San Juan County
Amy Madden, 43rd Legislative District
Joshua Trupin, 5th Legislative District
Steve Verhey, 13th  Legislative District
Shaun Olsen, 21st Legislative District
Angie Homola, Island County
Jason Call, Snohomish County
Mathew Tomaskin, 14th Legislative District
Darlene Miller, 44th Legislative District
Georgia Davenport, 33rd Legislative District
Kate Moran, Benton County
Joanne Fleming, 3rd Legislative District
Edward Duhaime, Spokane County
Keoki Kauanoe, 22nd Legislative District
Brian Gunn, King County
Eric Herde, Pierce County
Diane Sandrowski, Pierce County
Gary Barton, 28th Legislative District
Paul Spencer, Skamania County
Everett Maroon, 16th Legislative District
Susan Soto Palmer, Yakima County
Michael Quick, Pend Oreille
Gina Bua, 25th Legislative District
Melissa Dunbar, 29th Legislative District
Linda Tosti-Lane, 1st Legislative District


ECC Letter Delivered to DNC:

August 23, 2018

Washington State DNC Delegation
615 2nd Ave #580
Seattle, WA 98104

Tina Podlodowski
David McDonald
Ed Cote
Sharon Mast
Nancy Monacelli
Rion Ramirez
Juanita Luiz

CC: DNC Chair Tom Perez

Dear Washington State DNC Members,

The Executive Board of the Environmental and Climate Caucus of the Washington State Democrats would like to express our concern about the resolution passed by the DNC Executive Committee on August 10th, which effectively reversed the DNC’s previous position of “rejecting corporate PAC contributions from the fossil fuel industry that conflict with our DNC Platform,” adopted by the Executive Committee in June via a resolution submitted by Christine Pelosi.

As you know, Citizens United opened the floodgates for anonymously sourced corporate and special interest monies. This has resulted in tremendous pressure on our national committee, elected officials and, we believe, has influenced votes and positions taken that are antithetical to the values and needs of private citizen constituents.

Our goals in sending you this letter are to reiterate the ECC’s support of the original ban on these corporate donations to the DNC, and to advise you that:

  • The rights of unions and workers to support the Democratic Party will be preserved by effectively striking the words “employers’ political action committees” from Tom Perez’ August 10th resolution.
  • The Perez resolution is already being used as an example of a failure of trust in the DNC.
  • Due to the controversy surrounding the Perez resolution, the DNC could see a drop in grassroots donations.
  • The act of accepting corporate PAC contributions from the fossil fuel industry is antithetical to the Democratic Party Platform, which states, “Democrats believe that climate change poses a real and urgent threat to our economy, our national security, and our children’s health and futures, and that Americans deserve the jobs and security that come from becoming the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.”

We seek your leadership and support for action that reinstates the DNC’s position of “rejecting corporate PAC contributions from the fossil fuel industry that conflict with our DNC Platform” and hope that you will join us in advocating for representative and transparent funding of the DNC and, by extension, our Democratic Party candidates.

Thank you for your consideration of our request on this critical issue. The Environmental and Climate Caucus looks forward to your response and collaboration.


Steve Verhey, Chair; WSDCC Member, 13th LD
Mathew Tomaskin, Eastern WA Vice Chair; WSDCC Member, 14th LD
Arvia Morris, Western WA Vice Chair
Becky Chaney, Secretary
John Stafford, Treasurer
Teresa Catford, Technology Officer
Anne Udaloy, Membership Chair
Scott Alspach, Outreach Committee Chair
Shaun Olsen, Parliamentarian; WSDCC Member, 21st LD
Amy Madden, At-Large Pos. 1; WSDCC Member, 43rd LD
Cigdem Capan, At-Large Pos. 2
Angie Homola, At-Large Pos. 3; WSDCC Member, Island County
Learner Limbach, At-Large Pos. 4; WSDCC Member, San Juan County

Washington State Democratic Central Committee Members in bold



Text of Christine Pelosi’s original resolution passed in June 2018:

Text of Perez resolution passed on August 10, 2018:


View the pdf –  Open Letter Regarding DNC Fossil Fuel PAC Contributions



Off to the General! Candidates Invited to Seek ECC Endorsement

Candidates are invited to seek the endorsement of the Environment and Climate Caucus (ECC). Founded in 2017, the ECC is the largest, fastest growing, and most active caucus associated with the Washington State Democratic Central Committee. Through research, education, outreach and collaboration, ECC advocates for legislation and policy that protects the environment and supports effective responses to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  We work with a diverse community of stakeholders including other WSDCC caucuses.

For Candidates:

In order for the ECC members to consider your endorsement, we request information about your campaign and position on efforts to protect and preserve the environment, and to halt and reverse the damaging effects of climate change.  Please download and complete our questionnaire. Your responses will be shared with the ECC Executive Board (E-Board) and the ECC Voting Members.  If you have already been endorsed by the ECC during the Primary Election, that endorsement will stand for the General Election.  Completed questionnaires must be emailed by the deadline to the ECC Chair and copied to the Secretary and Technology Chair. August 21, 2018 is the deadline to submit completed questionnaires for the 2018 General Voting Period.

Download the 2018 Candidate Endorsement Questionnaire

Voting occurs electronically among eligible ECC members.  The voting period for the 2018 election lasts one week beginning on September 4 and ending on September 10.  Applicants receiving endorsements will be notified at the completion of the voting period.

Learn more about ECC’s 2018 endorsement process here.

View ECC’s full endorsement rules: Environment and Climate Caucus of the Washington State Democratic Party (ECC) 2018 Standing Rules

Candidates! Request ECC Endorsement for Primary Season

Thank you for your interest in receiving the endorsement of the Environment and Climate Caucus of the Washington State Democratic Party (ECC)!  ECC may make endorsements of candidates or take positions on ballot proposals within the applicable rules of the WSDCC and DNC. Only candidates running for statewide, congressional, or state legislative office will be considered. Additionally, state wide ballot measures will be considered.

June 19, 2018 is the deadline for endorsement requests for the Primary Voting Period. (August 21, 2018 is the deadline for the General Voting Period.)

Voting occurs electronically and the Voting Period takes place over one week. Two Voting Periods will be held: one starting the first Tuesday of July and one starting the first Tuesday of September (July 3 – 9, 2018 and September 4 – 10, 2018). Endorsement results will be announced at the completion of the Voting Period, which will finish a week after the start of the Voting Period.

For a complete summary, please visit our Endorsement Rules of the ECC webpage for application requirements. Briefly:

  • Include your name and the office you’re running for as they will appear on the ballot.
  • Include a statement confirming that you are a Democrat.
  • Include a one page statement outlining the candidate’s environment and climate positions and proposals. Candidates will read the ECC Compendium of Resolutions and agree to them or indicate why they disagree with all or portions of resolutions as appropriate. This statement will be shared with ECC members.
  • Requests must be emailed to the ECC Chair and copied to the Secretary and Technology Chair. The subject line should begin “ECC Endorsement Request”.

Download the full Endorsement Rules of the ECC (pdf).




Driving into the Future: Pre-Convention Webinar on Electric Vehicles

On June 11, 2018, ECC sponsored a pre-convention webinar presented by Jeremy Erdman (LD43): Driving into the Future: Why Electric, and Why Now

This webinar covered why electric vehicles have roared back into the public discourse as a way to combat climate change. Switching to electric vehicles offers multiple environmental, social, and economic benefits to Washington state, and this webinar explained why we are well-suited to capitalize on these advantages.

After his presentation, Jeremy was joined in the question and answer discussion by Cigdem Capan (LD8) and Dean Fournier (LD32).

For more background on the topic, we invite you to view the RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF A STATEWIDE TRANSITION TO ELECTRIC-POWERED MOTOR VEHICLES BEGINNING IN 2030 submitted by the 32nd LD Democrats for consideration at the 2018 Convention. 

Missed the Event? We’ve got you covered!

Download the presentation slides here. View the presentation here.  

Listen to the interactive question and answer session here:

Members’ Survey Says: We’re Ready to Build Partnerships Across the State!

From November 2017 through January 2018, ECC members were asked to complete a survey. The goal of the survey was to see where we have our most active members, which issues are most important to them and to use this information to develop a strategy for passing stronger Climate and Environmental legislation in our state.

We got a total of 44 responses out of 81 members, representing 21 Legislative Districts out of 49. Among those, 15 (out of 33) were from urban/suburban districts, with only 6 (out of 16) from rural districts. Since we only got a single response from most of these  districts, we regrouped the districts according to their geography (East or West of the Cascades) as well as their rural vs suburban/urban character.

To the question: “What do you consider the most important environmental  and climate issues facing the state?” we got a plethora of answers that our members ranked as their top 3 priority issues. We regrouped those under six themes which we show in the bar chart. Broadly speaking, water issues seem to be in everyone’s mind, be it salmon protection, dam removal, water rights, water run-off pollution, drought, flooding or sea level rise. A second common thread is climate change, with the trio: putting a price on carbon, stopping fossil fuel projects and transitioning into renewable energy.  Protecting public lands, irrigated farmland and our food supply also seem to transcend the east-west divide. Not surprisingly, the issues related to housing and urban development are mostly a concern on the west side of the state.

View Slide Presentation on the Survey Results.

What issues should the Environment and Climate Caucus focus on then? Pretty much all of the above, according to the same survey, with the addition of building strategic partnerships with other caucuses and minority groups. The pie chart illustrates the relative importance of each issue across our membership.

Overall, this survey shows that our caucus is uniquely positioned for cross state conversation about solutions to some of the most pressing and challenging issues we are facing.  We hope to increase our outreach in the purple/red districts while maintaining pressure in the deep blue ones.

Thank you, ECC Members, for filling out the survey!



Washington Water Rights After the Hirst Fix

On February 10, 2018 Anne Udaloy delivered an online presentation for the ECC community entitled Washington Water Rights After the Hirst Fix: What Just Happened? Where Do We Go From Here?

The talk covers the Hirst decision and it’s recent legislative ‘fix’, the history of Washington State water management policy, and next steps.  View Anne’s slide presentation here.

“Our water resources belong collectively to the public. Our water resources have not been quantified and are not being effectively managed-instead, we veer from crisis to crisis.”

“Both the Democrats and Republicans want to assure their constituents it’s fine to build more homes and use more water and achieve their dreams. No one enjoys delivering bad news. No one wants to tell constituents that they own undevelopable property, or that the limits we face are real and implacable, or that their dream was always an illusion.”

“We need a means for managing our increasingly scarce water resources. This must be science-based, transparent, and effective. The role of government is to provide a fair and transparent science-based process for water resource allocation and management. ESSB 6091 is not fair, or transparent, or science-based. We should and must demand more from our representatives.”

Watch the recording of the presentation: