From left to right: Washington State Representatives Jake Fey (D-27), Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34), Cindy Ryu Nam (D-32), Zack Hudgins (D-11), and Steve Kirby (D-29).
STATE LEGISLATORS ENDORSE AN INDEPENDENT CITIZENS' CLIMATE ASSEMBLY IN WASHINGTON
Seattle, Washington. State Representatives Jake Fey (D-27), Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34), Zack Hudgins (D-11), Steve Kirby (D-29), and Cindy Ryu Nam (D-32) call for the first Climate Assembly in the USA to be held online in early 2021 in Washington State.
"The voices of more Washingtonians from more walks of life need to be heard from as we work to develop climate policies that work for everyone in our state," states Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon. "I am optimistic that a climate assembly will help bring these voices forward."
A Climate Assembly is an independently run, non-partisan direct democracy process that would bring together roughly 100 residents of Washington, selected by lottery, who demographically mirror the state in age, race, education, and other demographic indicators. Over the course of several weekends, the Assembly members come together online to develop connections, learn from science and policy experts, deliberate on paths forward, and most importantly recommend policies to lawmakers. Legislators will use these recommendations to shape climate law and policy.
Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, says "As a rural New Englander, used to governance by Town Meeting, I'm excited by the prospect of these Citizen's Assemblies: I know how much creativity and unity they will produce!"
Similar Climate Assemblies are concluding online now in France and the UK. The Assembly will be seeking a qualified facilitation organization to lead the proceedings. Independent funding has not yet been secured.
The Legislators are eager for any method that supplements their work and raises the voices of underheard constituents. Representative Steve Kirby says, "The Washington Climate Assembly is a great idea for bringing a diverse group of people safely together, to learn, collaborate, and make a difference for all of us in the midst of a crisis. I look forward to seeing their recommendations."
Climate Assembly Washington is a group of advocates passionate about the opportunity to expand democratic methods to address the climate crisis. We advocate in our role as constituents who want real solutions. We will not be facilitators of the Assembly.