HELP DECIDE THE QUESTION THE WASHINGTON STATE CLIMATE ASSEMBLY
The difference between what the world’s top climate scientists are calling for and what governments are actually doing is vast. Can an Assembly of randomly yet representatively-chosen people help point the way to bridging that gap? Climate Assembly participants will be asked to grapple with a specific question related to climate mitigation. The question might ask for specific approaches to reducing net greenhouse gases by a certain amount by a certain date, how to mitigate climate change in an equitable way, how to reconcile opposing interests, or how to address climate change in the middle of a pandemic and major economic and budgetary crisis, for example. There may be subsidiary questions as well.
The primary audience for the work of the Assembly is Washington’s state government. The results will be presented to the five Washington State House committee chairs who encouraged us to hold this Assembly and have committed themselves to seriously considering the Assembly’s advice. The Initiating Team is communicating with State Senators as well.
The Coordinating Team of the Washington State Climate Assembly will accept submissions from stakeholder organizations and the public, before leading a decision-making process to determine the question which will set the scope of the Citizens' Assembly.
Do you plan to submit a question to the Coordinating Team?
As you ponder possible questions, consider:
Will the question have perceived broad legitimacy?
Is the question relevant to state legislation?
Is the question of sufficient significance that it could make a difference?
Does the question present a problem that the ordinary political process hasn’t solved?
Does the question allow for recommendations that might realistically be passed into law in the near term, in addition to possibly more far-reaching recommendations?
Is the question timely? Consider that the State is facing multiple crises, including public health, budget, jobs, housing, education, health care, and racial/ethnic justice.
Can the question be adequately dealt with within the time frame allotted for this Assembly: roughly 16-24 hours over approximately 6-8 weeks of online contact time for group process development, a learning phase, proposals, deliberation, and decision-making?