First Washington Climate Assembly to begin January 12

Inaugural people’s assembly invites 80 Washingtonians to discuss climate pollution (SEATTLE)

In exciting news for Cascadia, the WA Climate Assembly will host the first Climate Assembly in the United States starting Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. This virtual event will convene a diverse group of 80 Washington State residents (Assembly members) to learn about, discuss, and recommend climate change solutions for consideration by the State Legislature.

Participants were randomly selected through a survey of more than 6,333 households, and then paired down through a random lottery process. Each one of these panel compositions had a mix of 80 potential Assembly members that reflected the make-up of Washington State, including: 

  1. Approximately half men/women
  2. Age range from 16+
  3. Congressional district
  4. Income level
  5. Race/ethnicity
  6. Education level 
  7. A range of opinions backed by earlier studies about whether global warming is happening; is caused mostly by human activities; and whether the individual is worried about global warming. 

The virtual event will be livestreamed and recorded starting January 2021 via Zoom and available for subsequent viewing on the WA Climate Assembly’s website and YouTube channel.

This virtual event will bring 80 Assembly members together and equip them with the tools and information they need to identify climate mitigation strategies that equitably support Washingtonians of all backgrounds—and particularly those communities disproportionately impacted by climate change. Assembly members will be chosen through a lottery to accurately represent the state in terms of demographics such as age, race/ethnicity, geographic distribution, and political perspectives.

A People’s (or Citizens’) Assembly is a democratic process that seeks to answer a question or solve a problem facing a community in a way that fairly represents the interests of people from all walks of life. Assemblies have been used worldwide to help shape the work of governments. The WA Climate Assembly’s Coordinating Team is taking this proven global model and replicating it in Washington State to tackle the state’s biggest environmental threat: climate change. The Assembly will be the first of its kind in the Northwest, and is intended to serve as a template for future assemblies throughout the region.

The Assembly process will include four key phases:

  1. Learning Phase: Assembly members learn the facts around climate change.
  2. Deliberation Phase: Assembly members will hear from a variety of experts,
    stakeholders, and tribal perspectives.
  3. Decision Phase: Assembly members consider potential actions and discuss what they
    think should happen.
  4. Report Published: Assembly members offer a final set of recommendations to elected
    officials and the wider public, which can be turned into laws.

Learn More:

What is a Climate Assembly?

Assembly: a group of people gathered together in one place for a common purpose

People’s (or Citizens’) Assembly is a democratic process that seeks to answer a question or solve a problem facing a community in a way that fairly represents the interests of people from all walks of life.

An Assembly can center around any topic; a Climate Assembly is one that centers around the problem of climate pollution.

Assemblies have been used worldwide to help shape the work of governments.  At the WA Climate Assembly, members will learn about the issue of climate pollution, take time to discuss the issue and potential solutions with one another, and then make recommendations about what should happen legislatively.​

How does it work?

Democracy in action

The Assembly is an exciting event in which 80 Washington residents will come together remotely in Winter 2021 to learn about, discuss, deliberate, and recommend climate change solutions for consideration by the State Legislature. Participants will be chosen through a lottery so as to accurately represent the state in terms of demographics such as age, race/ethnicity, geographic distribution, and political perspectives. 

These everyday people will come together virtually to learn the facts around climate change; hear a variety of perspectives from experts, tribal representatives, and other stakeholders; consider potential actions; and discuss what they think should happen. Then, the Assembly will offer recommendations to elected officials and the wider public, which can be turned into laws. 

Learn more at waclimateassembly.org to learn more about the Climate Assembly process.

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