Videos & Information from Past Programs


Find links to videos and additional information from selected past LWVBWC educational programs on the following topics:

The Environment

“Climate Risk from a Pacific Northwest Point of View”
March 2019

Over one hundred people attended the LWVBWC educational program on climate change on March 23rd. Our featured Speaker was David Roberts, Principal at Kulshan Services, an environmental consulting firm based in Bellingham. Mr. Roberts has worked on sustainability issues for the last 35 years and currently chairs Bellingham’s Climate Action Task Force. Clare Fogelsong and Chris Elder represented the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County, respectively, speaking about local governmental efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Mr. Roberts’ slide show showing those effects was startling—especially the effects of sea level rise on low shoreline points like Birch Bay and Boulevard Park. Glacial melt is proceeding much faster than scientists have previously predicted and Bellingham and Whatcom County are making plans to try and mitigate some of the worst effects.

The good news is we have time as a city, county, and nation to do something - and we are already taking action. To watch Mr. Roberts’ slideshow click here.

“Sustainability – What’s All the Hype?”
April 2011

When the concept of sustainability arrived on the scene in the late 80's and early 90's, it quickly became a buzzword that has been difficult to define ever since. Brad Tuininga, M.Ed – Environmental Education looks at the various iterations of sustainability and what it means to different stakeholders. The program focus through the lens of the three pillars of sustainability (economy, environment, and society). Program video provided through the generous support of the Center for New Media.

Watch the slideshow

Water Programs

“Water Blues, Green Solutions - Group Discussion”
May 19, 2014

This is Part III of the Leagues 2014 series on water resources. It features a panel discussion with the audience following a documentary on solutions to water resource issues in four urban areas. A panel of local community leaders discussed the complex array of water management issues facing Whatcom County residents. The panelists are Kate Blystone, program director of RESources for Sustainable Communities; Randy Honcoop, raspberry farmer and board member at Ag District Coalition; Colleen Mitchell, project manager and a civil engineer with 2020 Engineering; Dr. Robin Matthews, director of the Institute for Watershed Studies and a professor in Western's Huxley College of Environmental Studies, and Jon Hutchings, assistant director of Natural Resources with the Bellingham Public Works Department. Recorded at the Pickford Film Center, Bellingham, WA. Video by VIKING TV.

“Water Resources: Navigating Toward Solutions in Whatcom County”
March 2014

This is the 2nd of a two-part program on local water resource issues. Speakers include Whatcom Farm Friends Executive Director Henry Bierlink; Whatcom Conservation District Executive Director George Boggs; Lummi Business Council Water Resources Manager Jeremy Freimund; and Dept. of Ecology Water Resources Project Manager Ann Wessel. They discuss different ways to address the complex issues of water quantity and quality in Whatcom County. Program video courtesy of the Center for New Media.

References Materials:

Water Resources: Navigating Toward Solutions in Whatcom County 
Water Resources: Management Rule for the Dungeness Watershed
Water Resources: Navigating Toward Solutions

“Whatcom Water Resources - What to Do?”
February 2014

A diverse panel of local experts share their perspectives on local challenges related to water. Panelists include RH2 Northern Regional Manager Jim Bucknell; Certified Water Distribution Manager Dave Olson; Lummi Indian Business Council Water Resources Manager Jeremy Freimund; City of Bellingham Natural Resources Policy Manager Clare Fogelsong; and Marty Maberry, raspberry grower and board member of Whatcom Agricultural District Coalition. Program video courtesy of the Center for New Media.

References Materials:

Tribal Water Rights, Drainage/Storm Water
Seattle Drainage Study
Water References
WA State Water Rights Study
Water Rights & Law - Bucknell Presentation
Watershed Map

Justice System/Incarceration

“Whatcom County Judge Montoya-Lewis on Protecting Voting and Access to the Ballot”
May 24, 2017   

Judge Montoya-Lewis shared her personal story—her great uncle played an important role in securing voting rights for Native Americans— and her professional perspective on the issue of voting rights and access.

 The program video is available thanks to Robert Clark and the Center for New Media. 

“Jail Diversions: The World of the Possible"  
April 15, 2017   

This program explored criminal justice solutions that can help reduce incarceration. The featured speaker was Judge Cedric Kerns from Las Vegas, NV.  Judge Kerns's innovative achievements to improve the judicial system with therapeutic courts has been recognized by numerous organizations. Judge Kerns was joined by other members of his team for the presentation.  Whatcom Superior Court Judge Chuck Snyder moderated this event and shared information about our county's drug and mental health courts.

 The program video is available thanks to Robert Clark and the Center for New Media. 

“Smart Justice, Fair Justice: Campaign to End Mass Incarceration”
June 10, 2015

The ACLU of Washington is working on criminal justice reform, drug policy, and mental health policy. ACLU attorney Mark Cooke presented on “smart justice”. The program video is available thanks to the Center for New Media. 

Links referenced in the presentation:

Vera Report “Incarceration’s Front Door”, February 2015
Brennan Center Report on Crime Rates February 12, 2015
LEAD – Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, Seattle

“Access and Justice for All”
April 2012

This presentation covers the importance of fair and impartial courts and the role of diversity in enhancing the legitimacy of our legal system The League of Women Voters continues to work to promote the importance of fair and impartial courts nation-wide. Since October 2009, the League has been focusing on promoting diversity at all levels of the state judiciary to enhance the legitimacy of our system of justice in the eyes of an increasingly diverse public. A continuation of the status quo will affect the way citizens look at the role courts play in their communities, erode the trust in the courts, question the right of equality under the law, and mean that courts may not be perceived to be fair and impartial. The program features a panel of judges. Video provided by Suzanne Blais of Black Dog Productions. 

Health & Mental Health Programs

“Issues & Impacts of Mental Illness in our Community”
November 2014

A panel addresses the following questions: What is the picture of mental illness in Whatcom County? How does law enforcement interface with mental health? What local resources and exemplary prevention and treatment programs are available for individuals with a mental illness? Speakers included: Anne Deacon LICSW, Human Services Manager at the Whatcom County Health & Human Services; James Harle, M.D., a specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Sendan Center; Lieutenant Bill Slodysko, Bellingham Police Department; and Larry Thompson, the Executive Director of the Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Advancement. Program video thanks to the Center for New Media. 


“Improving Health Care: Will the Affordable Care Act Deliver?
November 2013

The Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Advancement (WAHA) co-sponsored this program wit the League. Speakers covered the need and impacts the ACA has already had, and likely future impacts on patients, healthcare practitioners and businesses. Speakers included: WAHA Deputy Director Elya Moore; Interfaith Community Health Center Executive Director Desmond Skubi; Family Care Network Family Physician Bertha Safford; and Bellingham Chamber of Commerce Interim Director Bill Gorman. The League shot a video of interviews with local people about their healthcare needs – it and the program video are available thanks to the Center for New Media. 

Political Process

“Is There a Better Way to Elect a President? The Electoral College vs. the National Popular Vote”
April 2019

The League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County, in partnership with the ASWCC Impact Club, asked this fundamental question: Is there a better way to elect a president?

In this public education program, participants explored the benefits and drawbacks of the Electoral College and the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Attendees learned more about the complexities of choosing the electors who actually select the president.

Did you know?

  • Legislative proposals have been introduced in the United States Congress to reform or eliminate the Electoral College system more than 700 times.

  • The League of Women Voters adopted a Statement of Position on Selection of the President in January 1970.

  • Five times in United States history the winner of the national popular vote did not win the presidency in the Electoral College.

  • We can elect the popular vote winner without a constitutional amendment.

The program video is available thanks to the Center for New Media.

“Sifting Fact from Fiction: Journalism in the Social Media Era”
February 2017

"Fake news" is in the news these days. What is it, and how do you tell? A professor of journalism, a reporter, and an editor discussed journalistic ethics, the process journalists and editors undertake with each story, and why it is critical for the public and those in the journalism profession to read critically and carefully. Attendees participated in a practical exercise using three articles to explore how differently each interpret and present information.

The program video is available thanks to the Center for New Media.

“Sustaining Democracy in the New Age of Journalism”
September 2014

The digital information world is here. How has journalism evolved and where is it taking us? How are these changes influencing our democracy? To be sophisticated news consumers we need to easily access and navigate diverse information sources. Explore the "information health" of our own community. Experience hands-on digital news sources. The program video is available thanks to the Center for New Media.

“Why Deliberation Matters: Politics Past and Present in Our Democracy”
January 2011

Johann Neem, WWU Department of History speaks on "Deliberation from James Madison to Today," and Brad Howard, WWU Department of Journalism discusses, "An Idea without a Home: Democratic Deliberation and American Journalism.” The program video is available thanks to the Center for New Media.

Social Issues

"The Racial Generation Gap: Implications for Our County and Our Democracy"
November 17, 2018

The Racial Generation Gap: What does it mean for Whatcom County? What does it mean for democracy?

An exploration of the changing demographics our country is experiencing, specifically the opportunities and challenges that face Whatcom County and our League as we address issues of equity, diversity and inclusion, as all of us strive to make democracy work. The program video is available thanks to the Center for New Media.

"White Nationalism and the Threat to Democracy"
March 17, 2018

The growth of white nationalist groups poses dramatic new threats to democracy, human rights, and the American way of life. Find out what's driving the rise in white nationalism, its different manifestations, and how all of us can resist. Devin Burghart, President of the Seattle-based Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights was our presenter.  The program video is available thanks to the Center for New Media.

"The Future of Housing in Whatcom County: Affordable & Innovative - Can We Have Both?"
September 19, 2015

The League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County hosted a program as a follow up to the findings in the Women's Economic Security Study. This program features speakers Rick Sepler, City of Bellingham Director of Planning & Community Development; Greg Winter, Director of the Whatcom Homeless Services Center; and Paul Schissler, a community development planner. The program video is available thanks to the Center for New Media.

“How Can Responsible Gun Ownership Contribute to Reducing Gun Related Incidents? A Civil Discussion on the Freedoms and Responsibilities of Gun Ownership”
September 2013

Topics include public health consequences of gun related incidents in Whatcom County, interpretations of the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, gun safety in the home, current state laws relevant to gun ownership and use, and proposed legislation and initiatives pertaining to gun ownership. Panelists: Doug Shepherd, attorney; Greg Stern, M.D., Whatcom County Health Officer; John Westerfield, Manager of Yeager's Sporting Goods in Bellingham. League moderators are Heather Brown and Jayne Freudenberger. The program video is available thanks to the Center for New Media.


“Where's the Money? Understanding & Communicating about K-12 education Funding in Washington”
November 2012

This program tackles the ever confusing issue of how our schools are funded. This topic is of particular importance following the Washington State Supreme Court ruling in January 2012 that the State is not meeting its constitutional duty to amply fund K-12 education for all students. Presenters include Greg Alarid, Unified Service Representative, Washington Education Association (WEA), Fourth Corner; Michael Jay, League member, and Dan Newell, Asst. Superintendent, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The program video is available thanks to the Center for New Media.

Women's Economic Security (WES) Study Reports

The issues of poverty and inequality in America, and especially the impact of women on the economy, are part of our current national dialogue. There are a number of studies and reports on the topic as a national issue, and in this series of reports the LWV gives perspective to the situation here in Whatcom County.

WES Executive Summary of Final Report
WES Final Report
WES Food Report
WES Legal Report
WES Adult Education Report
WES Childcare Report
WES Education Report
WES Focus Group Report
WES Healthcare Report
WES Housing Report
WES Transportation Report