By Royce Meyerott
In order to reply to the letter written by Lee Brooks (“Fear them? Trust us? New playbook for local elections?”, Oct. 2, www.sanjuanjournal.com), I find that I must use Lewis Carroll reasoning and start at the end in order to arrive at the beginning.
We are warned in the letter to "look past innocuous feel-good names of special interest groups".
It is unclear to me if the author was referring to The Friends of the San Juans, Puget Sound Partnership, The Stewardship Network, Madrona Institute or was he singling out TrustIslanders! They all have rather "innocuous and feel good names".
The letter also instructs us to "consider fellow islanders on their personal merits instead of on characterizations".
The letter ends with an admonishment that our problems will not be solved by some hick chewing on the end of a straw (referring to the Facebook ad with the boy and the cow?) Is he characterizing those that support TrustIslanders! as a bunch of hicks? The entire letter is spent in such blatantly transparent attempts to discredit TrustIslanders! through mis-characterizations and misleading questions.
The letter insinuates that TrustIslanders! circumvented campaign finance laws and brought in money from "outside of normal funding".
TrustIslanders! is a registered political action committee meeting all legal requirements of the state of Washington. All of the money that we raised came from islanders who found a voice in our grass-roots efforts. The letter failed to mention that the money spent by the campaigns of Jarman, Hughes, McClerren, as well as TrustIslanders!, was still about $10,000 less than what was spent by Pratt, Byers, and Stephens.
The letter suggests that we promoted the Anti-Democratic candidates in what was supposed to be a non-partisan campaign. The real fact is that we were issue-driven in selecting our candidates.
Our first half-page ad in the Journal only addressed issues and outcomes, with no mention of specific candidates. We endorsed candidates after a careful vetting process and only endorsed all three candidates toward the end of the campaign.
Moving backwards, the letter characterizes Common Sense Alliance (and by association TrustIslanders!) as "ranters" who spread "fear" with no regard for science. This is a gross mischaracterization.
CSA has continually been an advocate of using peer-reviewed science to determine if there is a problem and only peer-reviewed science to address any potential problems. However, Friends of the San Juans, and like groups, continually raise money based on the fear-based approach that "we must be more careful with an island" (when they can't identify a problem) and their advocacy of the "precautionary principle" when they don't have good science to support one of their fear-based assumptions.
It is TrustIslanders! belief that we must be even more careful with an island community.
The author refers to a letter that I wrote, which he characterizes as a list of "conservative paranoia." I have included the letter below. I ask the reader to consider which parental approach works better within your family —fear or trust? A community is no different.
Finally, a yoga master once told me, "Better to step over a sleeping Dragon."
Thank you for the kick.
March 19th, 2013, Letter to the Editor:Trust Islanders! Website Formed
Friends have asked, “who is Trust Islanders!” A more relevant question is “Why Trust Islanders!” as the answer is more revealing.
Trust Islanders! believes that:
Trust creates a much more interesting and expansive place to live than the one created by Fear. Trust allows the human spirit to unfold in playful and creative ways, while Fear smothers the creative spark and leads the individual (and community) into a very small box in which to reside.
Fear never runs out of preventative solutions as it always sees the next crisis just around the corner. Fear always looks outside(off island) for guidance, while Trust looks within for solutions.
Fear always sees a problem before one exists, whereas Trust creates an opening for creativity that is ready if a problem appears. Fear seeks controls, whereas Trust allows for personal liberties.
Fear leads a community into darkness and depression, while Trust creates an opening for light to enter. Fear causes people to gather into mental herds, whereas Trust values the individual qualities of each human being and encourages their thoughts to expand freely.
Fear sees lack, while Trust creates bounty.
Throughout history, many societies have allowed themselves to be controlled by Fear. If we allow Fear to prevail, we put at risk the spirit which creates the “charm” within our island community.
The County Council election on April 23 is very important. What’s at stake is no less than a classic battle between Trust and Fear. TrustIslanders! envisions a community supported by Trust. What will you support with your vote? Trust or Fear?
We’re Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents plus none of the above. Above all, we are islanders.
Trust Islanders! envisions a San Juan County Council that is non-partisan and will represent the interests of Islanders before all other interests. We are organized to advocate for a County Council that:
—Trusts its fellow Islanders
—Listens to the local constituency
—Treats Islanders as people
—Respects individual privacyIs transparent to its citizens
—Supports local business
—Supports the Islands before all other interests
—Is fiscally responsible
—Uses peer reviewed science to craft good environmental law
—Believes Islanders can and do protect the environment
—Considers Islanders to be part of a balanced ecosystem
—Encourages Islanders to trust and support each other
Royce Meyerott /San Juan Island