Transition Whatcom


Living Democracy

Working group formed at the Great Unleashing. Mission Statement under revision.  Stay tuned!

Location: Whatcom County
Members: 43
Latest Activity: Dec 2, 2017

Discussion Forum

Stopping Toxic Ag Chemicals from Being Sold or Applied in Whatcom County

Started by Heather K. Last reply by Heather K Feb 14, 2011. 1 Reply

 Hi! Anyone know who in the state is making the decisions for what agricultural chemicals can be applied to our living soils?Whatcom county's growers have been hit hard by a broadleaf herbicide that…Continue

Tags: agriculture, herbicides, pesticides, government, local

Community Water Habitat Protection & Management (with links from Paul C)

Started by Heather K Dec 28, 2010. 0 Replies

How we care for our local waters in their living habitats, will effect the health & survival of all species, including our grandchildren's children. I've posted the municipal water right reading…Continue

Tags: corporation, issues, management, municiple, rights

Minutes of Aug. 24

Started by Stoney Bird. Last reply by Heather K Aug 31, 2010. 1 Reply

MInutes of Aug. 24 meeting attached. Next meeting Tuesday, Sept. 7, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, corner of Maple and Cornwall.Stoney BirdContinue

Relevant Documents

Started by Mara Mitchell. Last reply by Stoney Bird Aug 22, 2010. 1 Reply

Relevant Documents for discussion of natural rights & citizen democracy . . . 

Comment Wall


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Comment by Kate Clark on April 15, 2010 at 11:37pm
This is such an important part of Transition- it is even one of the 12 steps of Transition (Reach out to local government) so I know someone will step forward. You know many of the TW members share your values, so I hope I have not alienated or put you off- not my intention at all. Keep up the great advocacy work for quality candidates, and I hope to see you at Transition events and involved in whatever way feels right.
Comment by james bauckman on April 15, 2010 at 11:25pm
It seems like a real missed opportunity for Transition, but since I am a newbie here, I will do it on my own time in my own way.
I am looking for some other people to lead this group. It seems as though the other members within this group have ideas more in line with Transition and I will give this to you and I will help where I can in this group and others. Please volunteer.
Comment by james bauckman on April 15, 2010 at 11:23pm
Bellingham Community Forum
Fairhaven Library
Tuesday, 4 May 2010, 7:00 PM
Looking back on the Healthcare fight, we know how difficult it is to make progressive change; it's an uphill battle because corporations and their lobbyists have far too much power in DC. In this Community Forum we will look at ways to: - Educate our community on the serious risks of this increased corporate power. - Influence Congress to pass bills that restrict corporate influence. - Construct a progressive economic agenda that will help to level the playing field.
Message from host:
Status: Public, open for RSVP, 2 attendees (max. 200)
1117 12th Street (Map)
Bellingham, WA 98225
Best way to contact host: e-mail
Comment by Kate Clark on April 15, 2010 at 11:19pm
"Then support people for local government positions who support our positions and create ordinances that make things work for us." This is the part that I don't think fits in the Transition model. Other than that, it sounds good, especially sharing our vision with the community and government. I like how you rephrased the group mission!
Comment by james bauckman on April 15, 2010 at 3:58pm
None of us have discussed supporting one party over another. We are only looking to make rules that work for our community. Remove the ones that don't work. Share our vision with the community and local government, fine tune it to serve the greatest number of people. Then support people for local government positions who support our positions and create ordinances that make things work for us. I love the keynote listener approach. Honestly, progressives and conservatives do not have it right. It is somewhere in between that listens to everyone and makes smart and sustainable decisions that we will all WIN!
Comment by Kate Clark on April 14, 2010 at 7:22pm
Thanks both of you for responding. Its not a black and white issue that's for sure!

If you want to be involved politically as a Workgroup, one way you
could "reach out to local government" is to provide information to
local officials on both sides of the aisle about transition work, and
maintain those lines of communication. You could invite politicians to
events as "keynote listeners", and play up the goals we all hold in
common- security, for example. There are other strategies as well, but
they require the willingness to approach both progressive and
conservative politicians and officials respectfully and without bias.

As for publicly supporting specific candidates or a party platform, that's something I feel we should refrain from- as Transition Whatcom (although on an individual level my guess is many of us would very much support those candidates). We would likely end up supporting the "progressive" candidates, and that sets TW up to alienate community members who may support the "other" side for whatever reason and who might otherwise join in a TW project like a community garden, a tool library, or a neighborhood Transition Initiative potluck.

I know Rick is a member of this group, so he may share with you his take on this issue too.
Comment by Heather K on April 14, 2010 at 12:32pm
Kate - I really appreciate your words & perspective! The process of learning to live democracy will be a process of inclusiveness. Is there a way we can relanguage the groups name or description that will reflect inclusiveness? At this early stage can we create a mission & vision to keep our focus? I also want TW to reflect neutrality in terms of political parties & candidates.

All - In learning to walk the transition, we are also learning how to reframe & think differently.
For me, the words politics & religion are charged with a lot of negative history. I'd be for taking out the word politics in the title, and replacing it with a different concept...or just 'Living Democracy',
as we are the people governing & creating living democracy together.

I've been reading Liberation Ecology, Frances Moore Lappe's new book. It is excellent and articulates how we can reframe our disempowering ideas and realign with nature.

James, Thank you for encouraging us to become active citizens in living our democracy.
As the online group administrator, you will be able to ask other members to be co-adminstrators with you. (I have done this with all the sub-groups I've created on this site to share the responsiblities).
You & co-administrators can also create text just below the initial description of the group, that would provide a welcome statement & clear Purpose & Vision Statement to focus the group. An example that I've done is on the Small Scale Grain & Bean group at
The initial members of our group worked together to come up with wording we all could support, and that purpose holds the space for our focus.
(Sometime in the future, if you'd be willing, I'd like one of us to find another group picture...somehow my native blood doesn't resinate with the uncle sam pic). T
hanks for listening to my comments....
May your inspiration continue to provide you & other with clarity & energy!
Comment by james bauckman on April 14, 2010 at 10:47am
Kate, I think you are missing the big point here. It is not to support a political party, but first to remove existing laws and regulations that are impeding our progress (no ADUs, No composting toilets, etc.) and creating regulations that are essential to protecting our people and helping this community be successful. We want to develop a platform of things we support and want to get changed and when politicians from any political group support our goals and platform, we support them.
If you still feel that this is not part of transition, then we will remove our group. I feel that the reason we are in this situation is political (corporate rights ahead of ours) and that if we do not address these issues the stuff will go down and we will need to survive and put our skills to the test. I would rather avoid the total collapse of our civilization and instead resolve a great deal of our issues within this community and have a resilient and well prepared Whatcom county. The more we can fix and prepare, the easier transition will be. If everything falls apart around us, do you think that we will truly be safe from those who covet what we have?
Your thoughts?
Comment by Kate Clark on April 14, 2010 at 9:00am
While I appreciate the need to elect politicians that support the work of resiliency, the mission of Transition is to engage community members in building local self-reliance by working together, even with people with whom we may disagree on other levels. Since we feel its critical that all kinds of people come together around activities like neighborhood gardens and other projects regardless of political, social, and economic differences, we make it a point to be nonpartisan and neutral in terms of political parties and candidates. That's not to say on a personal level we don't disagree regarding the need to reduce corporate domination of politics, and so on...the goals and mission of Transition Whatcom are really focused on supporting and bringing together people who might otherwise disagree on politics, for example.

On a personal level, I have neighbors who are quite different from me - they are conservative and more religious. They may only feel we need to reduce our use of fossil fuels because they don't want to be dependent upon foreign sources. Or, they may want to save money when the price of fuel goes up. However, I know well that for my neighborhood to be resilient, I need to work with them to make our area safe, to eventually grow food together, share tools and equipment, help one another insulate our homes, and so on. In order for the Transition movement to successfully support this kind of coming together, it must not be perceived as a political group, or as a partisan movement.

I hope that you will continue your advocacy and political involvement, but request that you do so not as a Transition-identified workgroup. I hope not to offend anyone with this--- we have struggled with how to personally support progressive politics, but let Transition Whatcom represent all kinds of people who want to reduce our dependence upon fossil fuels.

Here is the relevant section from the Transition guidelines:

3. Inclusion and Openness
Successful Transition Initiatives need an unprecedented coming together of the broad diversity of society. They dedicate themselves to ensuring that their decision making processes and their working groups embody principles of openness and inclusion. This principle also refers to the principle of each initiative reaching the community in its entirety, and endeavoring, from an early stage, to engage their local business community, the diversity of community groups and local government authorities. It makes explicit the principle that there is no room for ‘them and us’ thinking in the challenge of energy descent planning.

And here is a link to the the Guidelines paper if you want to read more.
Comment by james bauckman on April 13, 2010 at 4:33pm
Transition Whatcom
Political Activism
Group Forming/Outlining Meeting
April 11, 2010 3-5:00 PM


This group consists of a culmination of four different idea proposals: Rooting out corporate domination in politics, Forming a political advocacy group, Designing a more efficient form of community conflict resolution, and Taking steps towards effective legislation that benefits the Transition movement (i.e. hemp legalization).

Goals for our group include:
Identifying ineffective legislation and the legislation that is already in place (and under-utilized) that can benefit our movement- ask Rhett and Myron for more info

Mapping out and initiating steps that effectively remove corporate dominance from our political structure through:
• Active citizenship
o Members will attend city council, etc.
o Identify situations and historical rulings where citizen rights supersede corporate rights
o We will tell the government what We want, not the other way around. We will portray ourselves as the dominant discourse

Identifying local groups that have already made progress in local politics like:
• Futurewise Whatcom
• Sustainable Connections
• Whatcom Watch
• Wash Clean

Exploring methods to overcome an ineffective 2-party system including:
• A range (ranking) voting system as found in San Francisco
o How did their community enact this system?
o This gets rid of the “spoiler” candidate
• Design methods of finding a consensus of the people/community members

We will evaluate the role politics plays in the Transition movement by reading and critiquing the analysis given in the Transition Handbook and applying it to our local movement

Next meeting:
We will discuss our thoughts on how politics affects Transition Whatcom and begin identifying what steps of action we will take in forming a political structure that facilitates Transition Whatcom’s goals. Meeting date and time TBD on

Members (42)


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