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150,000 signatures are in to “ban the ban”… keep up the good work!

150,000 signature are in to “ban the ban”… keep up the good work! – More than 150,000 signatures have already been turned in to get Initiative 2066 qualified for the November ballot – that’s the initiative to “ban the ban” on natural gas. Many of those signatures were gathered within the AGCW family. While it’s a big number, keep in mind that about 400,000 signatures will need to be turned in to get it on the ballot, and there’s only a couple weeks left to do so. The initiative campaign says that we are “on track” to make it… but only if we keep up the pace.

AGCW Lobbyist Michele Willms reports that she has distributed more than 500 petition forms to AGC member companies who have requested them. Grace Pizzey, vice president of Holaday-Parks and AGCW secretary/treasurer, is one such member. “Ban-the-ban is particularly important for Holaday-Parks and our employees,” Pizzey says. “We employ over 100 union plumbers and pipefitters; installing natural-gas piping is an important part of our work. In addition to threatening the work we perform, this initiative impacts our employees who are passionate about lowering the cost of housing and using clean energy. We have a highly diverse employee group. I was surprised at how many people appreciated our involvement in this issue. We typically avoid political discussions at work. However, this issue transcends politics by threatening our livelihood and housing.”

If any AGCW member would like petition sheets, contact Michele Willms. Take note of the “when and where to send” information on the bottom of the petitions. The Let’s Go Washington campaign is also hosting “Super Signing” events if you want to stop by and sign a petition (June 14 in Olympia, June 15 in Ruston, June 21 in Kennewick… click here for details).

Above, L-R: I-2066 petitions being signed at the recent Central District golf tournament; AGCW marketing director Sean Lewis gathering petition signatures at Johnson’s Home & Garden in Maple Valley.

AGCW is working on other ways to add to the signature totals, for example, gathering signatures at AGCW golf tournaments and other events. Willms, who has gathered signatures at both the Seattle District and Central District golf tournaments, says that one of the arguments in favor of signing is personal: “People don’t want to give up their gas stoves,” Willms says. “There are a lot of big picture arguments around this issue, but people come back to, how will this affect my life? People want energy choice, and they don’t want to undertake the tens of thousands of dollars in costs to convert their homes to all-electric.”

AGCW’s Marketing Director Sean Lewis has been gathering signatures outside his local Johnson’s Home & Garden (with permission, of course!). “I’ve gathered initiative signatures for a few years now and the response I’m seeing to I-2066 is easily two, probably three, times the response I’ve ever seen before,” Lewis says. “People are really PO’d at the state’s effort to ban natural gas, as they well should be. It’s just insane. Government should work for us, not the other way around. Voting on what the state allows us to vote on absolutely isn’t enough. This natural-gas ban is such a blatant control and power grab, and it’ll have deep, immediate and long-lasting negative impacts to virtually all Washingtonians. And we have just one shot at stopping it – I hope people are realizing that.”

Want to join the effort to get I-2066 on the ballot? Contact Michele Willms for petition sheets!

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