What is a Green Amendment?
Green Amendments are self executing provisions added to the bill of rights section of a constitution that recognize and protect the rights of all people, including future generations, regardless of race, ethnicity, tribal membership status, socioeconomics or geography, to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and healthy environments.
What’s happening in Washington?
Green Amendments For The Generations has been working with our leader partner 35o Washington to spread the word about the values of having a Washington Green Amendment, as well as what is happening and how you can be involved.
The Green Amendment has been re-proposed in 2022 with the modified in meaningful ways based on input during the 2021 hearings. Representative Debra Lekanoff in the House and Senator Mona Das in the Senate are the lead sponsors of the amendment proposal.
February 9, 2022, Representative Debra Lekanoff and Senator Mona Das re-proposed the Washington Green Amendment. The Amendment received a public hearing on February 15 before the House Committee on Environment & Energy during which the amendment received robust support. You can view the hearing here. The amendment did not advance for a vote of the Committee. We have always known that in Washington State consideration of the amendment would be preceded by a robust period of education and outreach -- the 2021 and 2022 hearings were part of that education process and provided high profile opportunities for people to learn more.
Education and outreach to a growing array of communities and perspectives continues. Representative Lekanoff has already announced her intentions to re-propose the amendment in 2023.
Not sure what the Green Amendment will do or what to think about it, view Fact Sheets, FAQs, Webinars, Education Guides and more on our resources page.
The proposed Washington Green Amendment reads as follows:
BE IT RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION ASSEMBLED:
THAT, At the next general election to be held in this state the secretary of state shall submit to the qualified voters of the state for their approval and ratification, or rejection, an amendment to Article I of the Constitution of the state of Washington by adding a new section to read as follows:
Article I, section . . .. (1) The people of the state, including future generations, have the right to a clean and healthy environment, including pure water, clean air, healthy ecosystems, and a stable climate, and to the preservation of the natural, cultural, scenic, and healthful qualities of the environment.
(2) The state, including each political subdivision of the state, shall serve as trustee of the natural resources of the state, among them its waters, air, flora, fauna, soils, and climate. The state, including each political subdivision of the state, shall conserve, protect, and maintain these resources for the benefit of all the people, including generations yet to come.
(3) The rights stated in this section are inherent, inalienable, and indefeasible, are among those rights reserved to all the people, and are on par with other protected inalienable rights. The state, including each political subdivision of the state, shall equitably protect these rights for all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, geography, or wealth, and shall act with prudence, loyalty, impartiality, and equitable treatment of all beneficiaries in fulfilling its trustee obligations. The provisions of this section are self-executing.
To learn a little history about how we got here in Washington State:
Green Amendments For The Generations has been working closely with the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL). GAFTG Founder Maya van Rossum presented at NCEL’s 2019 annual conference to over 150 legislators, educating them on the value and power of a Green Amendment. This presentation inspired Representative Debra Lekanoff
to consider such a provision for the people of Washington and begin working with GAFTG in close partnership to launch a WA Green Amendment Movement.
On February 9, 2021 Representative Lekanoff first introduced an amendment to the state constitution, enshrining the rights of all Washingtonians to clean water and air, a stable climate and healthy environment. The proposed amendment received a well attended hearing in the House Environment & Energy Committee. One year later, the amendment was re-proposed in 2022 and once again secured a meaningful and robust hearing. Efforts to support 2023 engagement and awareness are already underway.