Press Alert: Wake Up Whatcom County Rally

In Hirst Decision, Local Government, News, Wake Up Whatcom by Ashley Butenschoen



“Wake Up Whatcom County” Rally in Bellingham on May 16th

Local organizations team up to highlight the crippling regulatory environment

Bellingham, Washington – May 12, 2017 – The Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA) Cherry Point Coalition, Common Threads NW, the Associated General Contractors of Washington, Whatcom Family Farmers and hundreds of supporters concerned about Whatcom County’s economic future will be holding a rally on Tuesday, May 16th. The rally supports family wage jobs, economic opportunity and collaborative public policy in Whatcom County.


WHEN:         May 16, 2017 at  5:15 p.m.

WHERE:       Bellingham Public Library grounds – across the street from Bellingham City Hall (210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, WA 98225)

WHO:            Confirmed speakers include representatives from Cherry Point, Whatcom Family Farmers and Common Threads NW.


Those interested in supporting Cherry Point jobs are invited to join the WBA Cherry Point Coalition at the Whatcom County Council Chambers – 311 Grand, Bellingham, WA 98225 – immediately following the rally for the public hearing on the Cherry Point Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan.


Numerous recent decisions by the Whatcom County Council will negatively impact all county residents by threatening high-paying, family wage jobs, increasing taxes, reductions in property values and the rise of anti-farm policies.


“If future development is restricted at Cherry Point, these companies will cease investing. Our business depends on that activity for our livelihood. Our County must support business and industry, especially those companies that have a long history as good employers and good community members. Mills has been providing family wage jobs in Whatcom County for 106 years. I believe these policies will bring this all to an end,” said John Huntley, Owner of Mills Electric.


“The County assessor is telling us that 3,500 families will lose a staggering $200 million in personal property value,” said Jim McKinney, Executive Director of Common Threads NW, “We love where we live, and we must protect it, but we must balance our environment with common sense.”


“Whatcom Family Farmers believes the majority of Whatcom County residents – especially those who are concerned about our environment – want to see our family farms continue. But they may not be fully aware of the anti-farm activism arising in our community and how damaging that can be to our family farms,” said Brad Rader, President of Whatcom Family Farmers. “We hope that all citizens will learn more about our farms and what our farmers are doing to protect and enhance our water, land and habitat.”


The rally will include voices from various organizations that are frustrated with the current approach of the Whatcom County Council. Together, these groups hope to showcase support for a more responsive Council that understands the need to balance economic and environmental interests. These are not mutually exclusive.


Contact Information:

Laura McKinney, Whatcom Business Alliance 360-746-0412

Ashley Butenschoen, Common Threads NW 360-224-4123