Dick’s Pick - Amy Glasser for County Council

Byy On

One week to go before election day (August 1st) and there is ample time for voters to put a true progressive, Amy Glasser, on the Whatcom County Council. Nobody who looks at Glasser’s positions on issues can deny that she will bring a breath of fresh air into the County Council chambers. Glasser comes out directly on her Facebook page with solid and progressive positions on budget, crime, energy and poverty. She is very clear on her web page (Amy Glasser for County Council) regarding her pledges to the community:

“Advocate for programs that promote clean water, clean air and a healthy environment for future generations.

Approve no project that is shown to be harmful to our citizens and environment.

Block mega jails or any project that is not cost-effective and in the best interest of the people it is meant to serve.

Always support projects that will enhance the lives of the less fortunate and those without a voice, over projects that only profit large corporations.

Encourage and support buying local and increasing business opportunities in our county that promote sustainable well paying jobs.

Actively solicit and listen to your concerns and will consider all consequences when formulating my opinions and decisions.

Always respect and honor Native American treaties.”

We can put Glasser on the council to fulfill these pledges while keeping her opponent, Todd Donovan, in his present council position to work with her and serve out the full term for which he ran and was chosen by the voters. Richard May described the situation perfectly in a recent article in Whatcom Watch entitled New County Council Districts Explained.

“Todd Donovan, halfway through the term he committed to when he was elected 18 months ago, a term that goes until the end of 2019, decided to run for the District 2 seat that Amy is running for — another seat at the same table he already sits at. So, at this point, if the people elect Amy, Todd would still have two years left on the term we worked so hard to elect him to a year and a half ago. But, if the people elect Todd now to a duplicative seat on council (he must then vacate the old one and restart in the new one), then a part of the community that Amy Glasser has inspired and drawn into the progressive coalition could become disappointed, with the County Council remaining a boys’ club.”

By electing Glasser we get the “best of both worlds.” Vote Amy Glasser!

About Dick Conoboy

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Dick Conoboy is a recovering civilian federal worker and military officer who was offered and accepted an all-expense paid, one year trip to Vietnam in 1968. He is a former Army [...]

Comments by Readers

Joy Gilfilen

Jul 25, 2017
I agree with Dick Conoboy in his recommendation to vote for Amy Glasser for County Council at this time. I have been thinking alot about this. I tend to try to not share my recommendations so to not influence elections personally.  At this time however, I feel compelled to take a stand and to personally endorse Amy to be elected to fill the new Council seat.  I have four very different reasons:
1) I do not endorse the Republican funded candidate running in 3rd place for this Council seat.  I have realized that the current Republican stronghold in this County is endorsing building a prison-like facility and a prison based economy in Whatcom County when it is simply bad business.  It is my analysis that this decision will bankrupt our taxpayers, cause more poverty, cause more abuse and sickness, create an addiction to a continual demand for more taxes.  Jails are a sinkhole, and the habit of mass incarceration flies in the face of freedom.  This is in direct moral opposition to facts, and in opposition to free enterprise. I can’t support this.
2) A vote for Amy is a vote for a smart, conscientious woman leader who has been willing to take on tough subjects and learn.  She stepped forward into a vacant seat early on to challenge the status quo. She was not afraid to publicly ask clarifying questions of the Sheriff.  Amy was not afraid to ask about the illogical and irresponsible purchase of the land in Ferndale for the jail. That takes courage, and Glasser has it in bundles.
Amy stepped in to get her feet wet politically as an advocate for social, ecological and economic justice as she learned the political issues in a brand new position created by re-districting. That is a square and straightforward move. I like that. To me that was smart action…so that she could bring her wisdom, and another fresh voice and new perspectives to the Council.  Amy has a track record of solidarity and a strong background in the deep problems we have with social services - and is able to intelligently learn about this highly challenging subject of the jail.   That is way beyond many.  

Amy works hard, and her fresh eyes and new perspective is sorely needed on this Council.  Amy stood up to make a difference in the jail issue, in homelessness, in economic justice. She has proven to be intelligent, she listens and takes in new information and does course corrections as she gains knowledge. All good traits in a new political leader. I like that.
3) I agree with Dick that a vote for Amy also retains Todd Donovan on the Council. I have appreciated that Todd has been asking some good questions, and I truly appreciated Todd’s position on challenging the jail as well! That too takes courage to stand up against the Sheriff, the Executive, the Prosecutor, and others. These are big guns, so it takes strong character to stand tall when others on the Council caved in. I would like to endorse him as well as a solid candidate working for the taxpayers. He cares, he is intelligent and he is striving to swim through tough political waters.  Working together, these two could make a big difference for the people. 
4) The choicepoint? The reason that I am taking a personal stand on this, is the impact of a hidden agenda. What tips the scales for me is that if Todd wins, he vacates a seat. And that vacant seat is a big, big deal for me. A vacancy on the Council is an intended or unintended consequence of running for another seat when you already occupy one seat.
A vacant seat means that the vacancy gets filled by the Whatcom County Council. I do not trust four members of this Council to do right by the voters, based on their recent move to acquiesce to the Executive to run the jail sales tax to market BEFORE they got the facts from Vera Institute. These four members did not stand strong for the voters who voted the last tax down in 2015.  They did not stand up for those who are asking for honorable justice, who asked them to wait for the facts, and implement wise recommendations that come from solid work. Instead, they yielded under the pressure of the jail tax lobby and the failing law and justice system.
The facts (delivered by the Vera Institute in July) clearly show that this law and justice system needs to be trimmed in this county, substantially. This validates all my own personal and deep research into the problems of mass incarceration and jail mismanagement. By not waiting to listen to the facts, four members of this current Council - Satpal, Barbara, Rud, and Carl - all showed me that they are out of integrity with the voters. They were willing to bend to the machinations of the Executive Branch, and not come get the facts when the facts are here, and more were coming.
So no, I do not trust the current four members of this Council to elect a new Council member that represents the taxpayers best interests long term. They did not question or ask, or wait for facts, and their excuses were inadequate in my opinion.  And if it doesn’t end in their lap, and it goes to a new Council in January…then what? 
I  do not trust that 7 people should elect a citizen’s representative.  I do not trust that a new council will make good decisions for the voters regarding the prison industry move to dominate our county.  Who knows who would represent the voters in 2018 on the Council?   Why leave it to a question mark, when we know that both Amy and Todd are of leadership quality?   They may both be a bit young in political maneuvering, but strong in solidarity with the voters.  They ask hard questions.  
I am sorry Todd…you were on the right side of the decision to say NO to the sales tax; but in this situation, given the context…I must endorse Amy for this position.  It is a historical event and it matters.  I hope you both stand up together to take on the mass incarceration reversal to build social, economic and real justice in this County. I believe that if you c an learn to work together, it would be good for the taxpayers…all of us.  In two years, the political landscape will be different.

Dick Conoboy

Jul 25, 2017


Vere dignum et justum est.



David Camp

Jul 26, 2017

@Dick - I agree with you on this matter, as, mirabile dictu, you are right! This is dirty pool. 

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