East Shore’s Earth & Climate Action Ministry team thanks all six Bellevue City Council candidates—John Stokes, Paul Clark, David Hamilton, Mo Malakoutian, Janice Zahn and Betsi Hummer–for participating in a panel discussion at the Climate & Environmental forum hosted by East Shore on September 19th. Mayor Lynne Robinson and Bellevue City Councilor Jeremy Barksdale were among the approximately 130 audience members listening attentively to candidate responses to questions regarding climate policy.
ECAM is one group among a coalition of grass-roots environmental and community groups (including People for Climate Action/Bellevue, Indivisible Eastside, 350 Eastside, Save Coal Creek, 300 Trees, Eastside Audubon, Sierra Club, Trees4Livability, Sustainability Ambassadors and Futurewise) who came together to organize this event.
An important aim of the forum organizers is to educate both candidates and the public about the urgent need for action to address the climate crisis. A related aim is to demonstrate to city leaders the support among Bellevue residents for measures to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment while preparing for greater urban density and equitable development. Panelists were allowed two minutes to introduce themselves after which they were asked a series of pointed questions which they had received in advance. In response, all the candidates shared their priorities and spoke to the need for collaboration at all levels of government and civil society.
The evening began with desserts (thanks to all volunteers who donated) and casual conversations among guests and candidates. A fun raffle concluded the evening—two audience members won $500 coupons towards the purchase of heat pumps or water heaters; five audience members won coupons for meals at local vegetarian restaurants and one audience member won a month subscription to RIdwell. The raffle prizes encourage all of us to consider vegetarian options and to learn about small businesses whose practices are environmentally sound.
Thanks again to the organizers, all who volunteered and everyone who attended this very informative and fun event! And thanks above all to the candidates for running for office and sharing their thoughts and priorities with us. As the principal city on the Eastside, what happens in Bellevue affects not only this city but the entire region. So please be sure to VOTE in the upcoming November election!!
For those of you who were unable to attend the forum, a recording of the event is available at this link:
For any additional information, feel free to contact Kristi Weir or Marilyn Mayers