Several initiatives will be on the ballot in November for Bellingham residents. The initiatives are very progressive in nature and full of legal pitfalls. Still, they will be put before the voters and a well informed voter can consult the voter pamphlet to learn more about them. The City Council needs writers to write the “con” statements for the pamphlet as described in the press release below.
Volunteers are needed to serve on committees to draft statements against four proposed initiatives. Please consider stepping up for this important civic function.
The Bellingham City Council is seeking Bellingham residents to serve on committees to draft voters’ pamphlet statements “against” four local initiatives going before voters in the November 2021 general election. Interested community members should contact the Bellingham City Council office by Noon Monday, August 2, 2021, to be considered. The City Council will take actions to appoint the committees at the August 2 regular City Council meeting, in order to meet the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office August 3 deadline. Please note the City Council is soliciting people to serve on committees to write statements “against” the measures. Committee members to write statements “for” the initiatives have already been identified. The initiatives are as follows:
City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2021-01: City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2021-01 expands tenant rights to include rental relocation assistance. This measure would require landlords to provide written notice 90 days before terminating a rental agreement without cause or increasing rent by more than 5% in a rolling 12-month period; require landlords to pay rental relocation assistance equal to three months of the current fair market rent in the Bellingham area when terminating a rental agreement without cause or increasing rent more than 8%, if requested by tenant, with limited exceptions; and authorize private party civil enforcement actions. Should this measure be enacted into law?
City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2021-02: City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2021-02 concerns the use of facial recognition technology and predictive policing technology. This measure would prohibit the City from acquiring or using facial recognition technology, prohibit the City from contracting with a third party to use facial recognition technology on its behalf, prohibit the use of predictive policing technology, prohibit the retention of unlawfully acquired data, prohibit the use of data, information, or evidence derived from the use of facial recognition technology or predictive policing technology in any legal proceeding, and authorize private civil enforcement actions. Should this measure be enacted into law?
City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2021-03: City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2021-03 concerns recipients using City funds to discourage unionization efforts. This measure would prohibit any person who receives City funds from using those funds to discourage unionization efforts by that person’s employees or any other employees, require recipients of City funds to segregate those funds, provide a safe harbor for non-managerial staff to engage in union protected activities, provide for administrative investigations of complaints, establish private enforcement actions, change the City’s contracting process, and allow the City to terminate contracts for violations of the prohibition. Should this measure be enacted into law?
City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2021-04: City of Bellingham Initiative No. 2021-04 concerns employee rights for hourly-wage employees and gig workers. This measure would require certain employees a hazard pay supplement of $4 per hour during a declared State of Emergency, require employers to provide good faith estimates of weekly hours to new employees upon hire, require employers to provide work schedules to hourly-wage employees two-weeks in advance, require advance notice of any schedule changes, require employers to compensate employees for changing their work schedules without sufficient notice, and prohibit adverse actions for employers. Should this measure be enacted into law?