Vote YES Pamphlet Statement

Vote “Yes” to reject lies that we don’t responsibly reuse our bags! Over 91% of us either reuse or recycle our plastic bags (Seattle 2007). More people litter coffee cups than plastic bags. Shall we ban coffee?

Vote “Yes” because Council insulted our frugality and environmental stewardship. We trusted them so why did they distrust our responsible reuse of any bag of our choosing… and deny us a vote?

Vote “Yes” because ban sponsor and now-Senator Mullet has slipped language into his statewide ban legislation that schemes to keep denying us a vote! If Mullet’s SB-5386 had passed in 2013, you would not be reading this or voting your ballot today! When will Senator Mullet justify his attempt to undercut our citizens initiative rights?

Vote “Yes” because Council’s ban is poisoning Issaquah’s retail economy for shoppers and our wonderful cashiers. Thousands of Issaquah residents and others now shop in “Free” Klahanie, Bellevue and Renton, depressing sales tax revenues vital to city services. Sales tax revenues cratered from $1,084,000 in February to $753,000 in March, the first month of ban enforcement. Is this why Council just raised our property taxes by the maximum allowed 1 percent?

Demand respect, vote “Yes.”

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First-ever Issaquah citizens’ initiative legislation voted to February 11, 2014 ballot!

Press Release

Date:  October 22, 2013

Contact:  Save Our Choice, Craig Keller, craig@SaveOurChoice.us

www.SaveOurChoice.us

  • First-ever Issaquah citizens’ initiative legislation voted to February 11, 2014 ballot!
  • 2626 Issaquah petitioners forced Council’s hand

At Issaquah City Council’s Monday October 21st meeting all members present voted the “REPEAL of Plastic Bag Ban and Forced Bag Charge” citizen legislation to a special election ballot of February 11, 2014.

More than 15% of all Issaquah voters signed the petition that forced the Issaquah Council to either directly adopt repeal or refer such decision to voters.

Council incumbent and candidate Eileen Barber, the only member who opposed all bag regulation at the June 2012 Council vote, joined her colleagues in voting to allow voters resolve the ban’s fate.

“Despite mounting dissatisfaction with their ban, how easy it has been for us to forget that Council majority has held the power to correct its mistake ever since adoption last June.” reminded Save Our Choice volunteer Craig Keller.  “They felt no more generous on Monday evening, but preferred to ding taxpayers $50,000 to keep their ban hanging on until February.”

“By Council’s refusal to directly adopt repeal they may have also sealed the outcome of next February’s Klahanie annexation vote,” speculated Keller.  “Stores in unincorporated “ban-free” Klahanie have actually attracted many shoppers away from Issaquah. Klahanie residents won’t be in any mood to cast a vote that would similtaneously deprive themselves of such an frugally reused consumer product.”

“Furthermore, at such time as Issaquah bag ban prime sponsor Mark Mullet is crafting Olympia legislation that jerks initiative rights away from voters, that $50,000 might just be worth the price of admission to next February’s public spanking,” concluded Keller.

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Plastic bag videos

Signature update (Issaquah)

Press Release

Date:  October 1, 2013

Contact:  Save Our Choice, Craig Keller, craig@SaveOurChoice.us

http://www.SaveOurChoice.us

***

Broadest-ever Issaquah petition drive submits excess of 4100 signatures demanding a public vote on shopping bag regulation

On Saturday September 28th Save Our Choice submitted a petition amendment to the City of Issaquah containing 662 signatures, amending 3687 signatures submitted on August 30th.

Of the 3687 signatures submitted on August 30th only 2197 were deemed valid, or 370 valid signatures short of  a “sufficient” 2549 signatures (or 15% of Issaquah registered voters at time of the November 2011 municipal general election).

“At no time have so many signatures of Issaquah voters been collected.  If declared sufficient the Save Our Choice petition will grant every Issaquah voter a citizens’ initiative ballot choice for the first time in city history,” stated Save Our Choice volunteer and co-founder Craig Keller.

On September 30th the City of Issaquah relayed SOC’s petition amendment to the King County Elections office in Renton for validation.  King County Elections expects to complete validation by weekend.

“Since March 1st hundreds of wonderful citizens mailed in petitions, while a small band of freedom fighters collected signatures at storefronts and on doorsteps of every Issaquah neighborhood. “

“Save Our Choice has aggregated the voices of thousands of Issaquah shoppers who increasingly realize how they have been gyped and insulted.

  • Gyped by the grocery stores like Fred Meyer and Safeway who colluded with “nanny” banners on Council to enact law that effectively skims more coins from shoppers’ pockets.
  • Insulted by six feel-good “nanny” banners (Mullet, Butler, Marts, Goodman, Winterstein and gun-banning Mayor Frisinger) for our frugal reuse of ‘thin film’ plastic shopping bags.

“But most of all, Issaquah voters refuse to be muzzled by now-state senator Mark Mullet whose Senate Bill 5386 would jerk away their petitioning rights.  Mullet thought he could slip his trickery past the voters just as he slipped it past his 5th District Housemates Magendanz and Rodne.  Now his game is up,” revealed Keller.

Since the petition’s March 1st launch SOC volunteers may have easily spoken with as many as 20,000 Issaquah shoppers and merchants.  We have learned:

  • Shoppers are incensed that Council disrespected their frugal resuse of “thin film” plastic shopping bags.
  • Shoppers are spending more dollars outside of Issaquah.
  • Some shoppers (particularly those who have lived the life in Europe) feel smugly OK to impose their personal preference for dirty vinyl and cloth bags upon others via Council dictate.
  • Store clerks report a shoplifting increase [when purchase of items is not confirmed via store bag]
  • Shoppers constantly backtrack to their cars to retrieve their [unclean] vinyl/cloth bags, or forget them entirely to then be forced to pay for paper bags or to pack their car with loose items.
  • Stores have not dispensed so many paper bags since decades ago when forest conservation and superior performance brought about the advent of thin film bags.
  • Major grocery stores have attempted to “stop the bleeding” of customer loss by providing medium sized paper bags at no charge.
  • Shoppers are sales taxed on 10¢ or more of bag charges. (Fred Meyer and Safeway charge sales tax.  Front Street Market does not charge sales tax on “non-food” bags as required by law.)
  • Safeway has halted its nickel rebate for customer-supplied bag.  Fred Meyer and Target have retained this “reward” policy.
  • Sales tax accrues to city and state, while the 5¢ bag charge is fully retained by stores.  Many store clerks deflect customer wrath by misrepresenting their store’s retention of the forced charge.
  • The bring-your-own-bag routine is slowing down checkout speed.
  • Since some grocery stores assign cashier hours based upon efficiency, recent checkout congestion has introduced a workplace disadvantage for some clerks.
  • The so-called “reuseable” bag is generally larger in volumn than a “thin flim” plastic bag. Clerks tend to pack too much into these larger volume sacks damaging fragile items.
  • Public health and store clerk health has been jeopardized by the increased use of unclean “resusable” bags.
  • Roadside and waterway litter effects of the Issaquah ban have been immaterial.
  • Even supporters of bag regulation continue to use plastic garbage bags – now purchased rather than gratis.  (In fact, some neighborhood associations continue to require confinement by plastic bags for prevention of blow-away garbage on collection day.)
  • A reduction in plastic film to “landfill” is nonexistent or not measured.

“Lest we forget, Mullet’s law slams into Issaquah’s unique and treasured small shopkeepers (<7500 sq.ft.) come March 1st 2014.  If our petition is deemed sufficient, and if the Council does not first reverse its own folly, then. in early 2014, Issaquah voters will directly abolish this train wreck to soundly rebuke junk science and Mullet’s sly deception in Olympia.” concluded Keller.

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Press Release: 3400+ signatures

Press Release

Date:  August 30, 2013 (corrected 9/6/13)

Contact:  Save Our Choice, Craig Keller

http://www.SaveOurChoice.us

Citizens submit in excess of 3400 signatures to City of Issaquah demanding a public vote on shopping bag regulation

Today Save Our Choice volunteers will submit a petition to the City of Issaquah seeking ballot placement of legislation offering every Issaquah voter the opportunity to either overturn or endorse shopping bag regulations enacted by six councilmembers on June 6, 2012.

“Thoroughout this time of signature collections I have found the voters of Issaquah to be courteous and discriminating.  They simply have been deprived the opportunity to vote their collective wisdom in judgement of experimental regulation that continues to drive sales away from Issaquah.  Our role is to empower that voice all the way to the ballot box,” said SOC volunteer and co-founder Craig Keller.

Under Issaquah Municipal Code and adopted Revised Code of Washington, the City of Issaquah will now evaluate the sufficiency of the petition submitted today.  Until notified by the City, SOC will continue to collect signatures to replace any invalid signatures.

“Every Issaquah voter residing inside the city boundary who has yet to sign is strongly encouraged to download, print, sign and mail the petition from http://www.SaveOurChoice.us,” said Keller.  “Practically speaking, we have only two weeks from today to receive additional signatures.  It is ‘now or never’ for those who wish a public vote. ”

Since the petition’s March 1st launch SOC volunteers have spoken with over 20,000 Issaquah shoppers and merchants.  We have learned:

  • Shoppers are incensed that Council disrespected their frugal resuse of “thin film” plastic shopping bags.
  • Shoppers are spending more of their dollars outside of Issaquah.
  • Some shoppers (particularly those who have lived the life in Europe) feel it fine that their personal preference be forced upon others via Council dictate.
  • Store clerks report a shoplifting increase [when purchase of items is not confirmed via store bag]
  • Shoppers constantly backtrack to their cars to retrieve their [unclean] vinyl bags, or have forgotten them entirely and are forced to either submit to paying for paper bags or pack their car with loose items.
  • Stores are dispensing more paper bags than they have in decades.  It is rumored that stores will inch up their charge for paper bags to recoup even more expense.
  • Major grocery stores are attempting to “stop the bleeding” of customer loss by providing medium sized paper bags at no charge.
  • Shoppers are sales taxed on 10¢ or more of bag charges. (Fred Meyer and Safeway charge sales tax.  Front Street Market does not charge sales tax on “non-food” bags as required by law.)
  • Safeway has halted its nickel rebate for customer-supplied bag.  Fred Meyer and Target have retained this “reward” policy.
  • Sales tax goes to city and state, while the 5¢ bag charge is fully retained by the store.  Many store clerks are either ill-informed or deflect customer wrath by misrepresenting that their store does not retain the forced charge.  Indeed, the stores retain every cent of the charge!
  • The bring-your-own-bag routine is slowing down checkout counter speed.
  • Since some grocery stores assign clerking hours based upon efficiency, recent checkout congestion has introduced a disadvantage for some clerks that is outside their control.
  • “Reuseable” bags are generally larger in volume capacity than “thin flim” plastic bags. Clerks tend to pack too much in these larger volume sacks, causing damage to fragile items.
  • Store clerk and general public health has been jeopardized by the increased use of unclean “resusable” bags.
  • Roadside and waterway litter effects of the Issaquah ban have been immeasurable.
  • Even supporters of bag regulation continue to use plastic garbage bags – now purchased rather than gratis.  (In fact, some neighborhood associations continue to require confinement by plastic bags for prevention of blow-away garbage on collection day.)
  • A reduction in plastic film to “landfill” is nonexistent or immeasureable.

Aside from those many nuisances and complications, this spring Save Our Choice became aware of former Issaquah Council bag regulation sponsor and now-Senator Mark Mullet’s attempt to freeze out voters statewide from launching initiatives and referenda against shopping bag regulations passed by local “legislative authority.”   Mullet has patterned SB5386 after that which has abrogated the authority of voters to challenge red light camera revenue generation.

“Since our public exposure (attached) in July of Mullet’s sneak attack upon the petitioning rights of citizens, the Senator has failed to come forth to publically justify his actions,” said Keller.  “Aside from the opportunity our petition represents for voters to restore freedom in Issaquah, it may also be Issaquah’s only opportunity to express outrage at Mullet’s sly attempt in Olympia.”

“Lest we forget, Mullet’s law slams into Issaquah’s unique and treasured small shopkeepers (those housed in less than 7500 sq.ft.) next March 1st 2014.  It’s ‘now or never’ for those who wish to add their signature to our petition,” concluded Keller.  “We’ll even deliver a petition to those who leave a message at 206-932-2243.”

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Issaquah petition news items (Sept 2013)

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Mark Mullett and bag ban

July 24, 2013, Letter to Editor, The Issaquah Press

Click image to enlarge for reading

MulletSB5386Scam

Shoreline Initiative Campaign

May 16, 2013

Contact: Tom Jamieson, 206-300-7606

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Shoreline Residents to Kick Off Initiative Petition to Repeal Shoreline Plastic Bag Ban Shoreline, WA (May 16, 2013).

Local residents opposed to the City of Shoreline’s recent action banning the distribution of plastic carryout bags are circulating an initiative petition to repeal the ban. Their effort, in partnership with Save Our Choice, an organizer of similar efforts in Seattle and Issaquah, will officially kick off on Saturday, May 18. Signature gatherers will be stationed outside Haggen Northwest Fresh, located at 1201 N 175th Street in Shoreline, between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.

“The City has overstepped its bounds,” said petition co-organizer Tom Jamieson, a Shoreline resident. “This ordinance unjustifiably restrains trade, punishes customers, provides no provable benefit to the environment, and includes no method for measuring reductions in waste or litter. Moreover, reusable bags have not been shown to be in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the people of the City of Shoreline.”

Ordinance No. 653, which regulates the distribution of plastic and paper carryout bags by Shoreline retail establishments was adopted by the Shoreline City Council on April 29, 2013. The new regulations become effective on February 1, 2014.

The initiative petition calls for adoption of a new ordinance prohibiting regulation of the distribution of retail carryout bags; and repealing Shoreline Ordinance No. 653.
Approximately 6,000 signatures must be collected by July 13. The City Council would then have to either adopt the new ordinance in its entirety (thereby repealing Ordinance No. 653) or put the question to the voters in the City’s next general election.

The Shoreline Initiative Petition is available for download at http://www.saveourchoice.us

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Tom Jamieson at 206-300-7606 or
info {a*t} saveourchoice {d0t} us.

Contributions (check, no cash) may be mailed to Save Our Choice,
PO Box 16716, Seattle, WA 98116.

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Issaquah City Council video, adopting ban

This video of the City Council has the issue and vote on the bag ban. Unfortunately, the hours long video will need to load so you can jump to the bag ban segments.

Load the June 4, 2012 video at this page. Or try this direct link to video – it will want to start Windows Media Player, or compatible video player on your system.

  • Public testimony on the ban occurs at minute 11:30. Then the Council moves to other business.
  • The Council returns to the bag ban issue, and votes to adopt ban, beginning at minute 2:59:20 (yes, at 2 hours, 59 minutes)

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Referendum valid in Issaquah

Someone at the Issaquah Press article commented that ” issaquah is not a referendum/petition driven city”.

Just to clarify …

The City of Issaquah does support / allow referendum of ordinance, according to City Code 1.12.010. See this link to code …

http://www.codepublishing.com/WA/Issaquah/html/Issaquah01/Issaquah0112.html#1.12.010

So valid signatures on our petition will count toward getting the bag ban ordinance on the next municipal ballot, for a vote of the people.

A valid signature is a resident of Issaquah registered to vote.

Save Our Choice Campaign

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