Orca Whale

WASHINGTON GREEN AMENDMENT

Act Now

Advance a Green Amendment in Washington

Be Heard

In the upcoming future, there may be opportunities to provide comment and testimony at public hearings to Washington legislators.

You can make your voice heard through the website comment section in just a few minutes

1.     The quickest way to be heard:  go to this link to register your support for HJR 4209. Cast your vote.

If you have more time, use this link instead:

2.     Click “pro” and add a brief comment.

If you are available on future hearing dates, you are welcome to testify.

3.     Testify to the committee on the importance of this resolution. We can help with reviewing a draft testimony, rehearsal, etc. We normally provide drop-in zoom dates where our advocacy team will help you sift through your narrative and ideas!

If you have the passion and time, sign up to testify and we will notify you of the next opportunity to have your voice heard:

Sign up to testify to the committee on the importance of this resolution.

Please contact us at dakipnis@gmail.com for further information or to join the Green Amendment Organizing Team. Phone support for this action: David 206-407-7128. We’d love to have you!

We are aware that providing testimony can be challenging. We have suggestions for preparing your testimony:

  • Practice and time your testimony. Make sure it is 1-2 minutes.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Include: “I support HJR 4209.”
  • Add a personal story about what the legal right to clean air and water means to you. (Do you have experience with asthma? Do sewage spills impact you directly? Are you a business owner? Some committee members are particularly interested to hear how this might affect businesses, if at all.)
  • Add one or two ideas from the Talking Points below or create your own! (Using different wording is great)
  • Talking Points
    1. Some people say this amendment is not necessary. It is true that we already have laws to protect the environment. But the laws we have now are not fully stopping damage to the environment. This amendment gives the people a higher level of legal protection.
    2.  For truly important rights, it is worth having them protected at the highest level in our state. The EPA provides some protection for clean air & water, but federal-level laws can shift and corporations find ways to circumvent laws and regulations. Violating Constitutionally protected rights is much more difficult.
    3. Here in the U.S. and in Washington State, people have rights to free speech and religion, to bear arms, and to freely assemble. This resolution would let the people of Washington State vote at the ballot box to make clean air and water legally protected, as well, and at the highest state level.
    4. This amendment is necessary because it will foster healthy economic growth that prevents public health illness and costs due to pollution, cleanup and disaster recovery, flooding, losses to agriculture and tourism due to drought and extreme weather, declining property values, and many other consequences by strengthening government laws and actions that prevent pollution and environmental degradation before it occurs.
    5. Both economic prosperity, and the well-being of society are founded upon the health of our shared natural resources, and protecting those natural resources long-term.
    6. Moving this resolution forward would protect human health, and also salmon recovery, forests, and future generations.
    7. I am supporting this Resolution because it establishes a legal framework for avoiding pollution now and for future generations.

More Talking Points to Consider for Testimony:

1. Bi-partisan legacy based on common values

  • During this time of division, we could use legislation that everyone can support. This amendment could be a bi-partisan legacy based on common values that we all share.
  • Three states — Pennsylvania, Montana, and New York — clearly identify the rights to clean water and air as fundamental individual rights that must be protected by the government to the same degree we protect other fundamental rights. New Mexico and Hawaii are holding hearings this month on this amendment for their states. Let’s add Washington State to that list.

2. Green Amendments are necessary for equitable protection for all people

  • This resolution is necessary because it establishes that all communities, regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, have the same rights to clean air, water and healthy environments.
  • Currently, low income and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities are disproportionate locations of industrial pollution and toxic waste, as well as the impacts of the climate crisis.
  • Provides constitutional grounding for environmental rights advocacy.
  • Explicitly requires equal protection of all people.

3. Green Amendments do NOT lead to “frivolous lawsuits”

  • In response to the concern some may have regarding frivolous lawsuits, Pennsylvania and Montana have had Constitutionally protected environmental rights for its citizens for many years and this fear has not been realized.
  • We have other tools that prevent frivolous lawsuits.

4. Green Amendments curb “government overreach”

  • The amendment placed within the Declaration of Rights will be a limitation on government authority, not an expansion of authority.
  • The amendment limits the government’s ability to enact harmful policies to the environment and to the rights of all  persons to clean air and pure water.
  • The trust obligation in the bill makes it so that state government officials have fiduciary duties, including of prudence, loyalty to the beneficiaries (the people), and impartiality.

Thank you for taking the time to testify!

 

Encourage Others

Encourage others to sign the petition!
Share the link on social media, or print a copy of the petition and take it with you to work, coffee shops, social gatherings or events, and ask others to sign the petition too. Once you have a completed sheet, be sure to mail or scan and email copies to GAFTG@forthegenerations.org. You can print a copy here.

Mail paper petitions to
Green Amendments For The Generations
925 Canal Street 7th Floor, Suite 3701
Bristol, PA 19007

Sign Our Petition

We need your support! Help us demonstrate support for a Washington Green Amendment by signing the Individual Petition, and be sure to share it with your family and friends. Sign Our Petition Now.

Write an Opinion Piece

Write an opinion piece to your local paper expressing the benefits of  the Washington Green Amendment.
Help us spread the word about the Washington Green Amendment! Let your community members know what a Green Amendment is and how it can help your community and environment.