A Community Website by Lopez Island
Started by Kai Sanburn
Oct 27, 2021
Support for Charter Amendments
Oct 27, 2021
Community Rights San Juan Islands (CRSJI), a Washington State nonprofit working to protect the Salish Sea, supports the Charter Review Commission’s proposed amendments, particularly Propositions #1 and #3. These Propositions most reflect our mission, which is anchored in securing the health and wellbeing of the Salish Sea and all that depends on it.

During this time of COVID-19 and in a year of alarming climactic events, we are more aware than ever of our interdependence. The rapidly changing threats to the environment require us to work across differences and boundaries in new and cooperative ways. Here’s why we think Propositions #1 and #3 will help San Juan County respond to the challenges we face.

Proposition #1 sets the tone for the Home Rule Charter. It’s not legally binding, nor does it threaten property laws, or other existing regulations.

The Land Acknowledgement, much like that spoken at the opening of every San Juan County Council meeting, recognizes the historic and ongoing ties the Coast Salish Peoples have with these lands and waters. It articulates a truth, long unspoken, and reflects our county’s commitment to strengthen relationships with Indigenous peoples.

The Preamble states the democratic principles of the Home Rule Charter"the right to self-governance and equal protection under the law"and acknowledges the interlocking elements of our community, economy and natural world.

The Declaration of Community Values merely acknowledges and makes clear the shared values our government is tasked with representing.

Proposition #3
The proposed Climate and Environment Commission is an unpaid, volunteer commission. It will play an important role in supporting San Juan County’s newly-created Environmental Stewardship Department, assuring community interests and concerns are heard and acted upon. The diverse make-up of the Climate and Environment Commission will provide a range of voices and ideas as we seek to meet the urgent demands of an ever-changing world. The time frame is ever-shortening for all levels of government"as well as individuals and communities"to protect the living world we’re part of, that we depend upon, and that drew us and holds us here.

San Juan County is one of the few counties in the state to periodically elect a commission to review its county charter. We appreciate that the current Charter Review Commission, recognizing the power and structure of government is derived from its people, sought input from the people. And the people showed up"at well-attended Town Halls and public meetings, they spoke about their love for this place and their shared concerns about the environment, climate, equity, and justice. The Commission drew on these voices to develop the Propositions we can now vote on. We’re grateful for their conscientious work and their efforts to protect the Salish Sea. Please join us in supporting Propositions #1 and #3.

With gratitude,
Community Rights San Juan Islands
Comment by Kenneth Ferrugiaro
Oct 28, 2021
Thank you Volunteers for all the effort, and intention that put into this!