Monday, June 27, 2022
June 27, 2022

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Mini-initiative on ‘discriminatory’ mask, vaccine mandates heads to Clark County Council

Supporters gathered more than 11,500 signatures

By , Columbian staff writer

Now that signatures have been verified, a mini-initiative asking the Clark County Council to pass an ordinance banning discriminatory mandates, such as mask and vaccine mandates, will next head to the council for review.

The ordinance proposed by Clark County Group would bar “all mandates within Clark County that discriminate against citizens regarding their health status and/or that violates existing rights to health information privacy.”

For weeks, volunteers manned more than two dozen petition stations in Vancouver, Camas, Battle Ground, Woodland, Amboy and Washougal. By Thanksgiving, the group had reached 8,500 signatures, then made a final push over the Black Friday weekend to hit its goal.

According to a press release Thursday, just over 11,500 signatures were gathered with the minimum number of 8,311 signatures needed for the initiative to move forward verified.

The petition was started by Rob Anderson, better known as The Recovering Pastor, in October after a previous petition failed to get support from the county council. Council Chair Eileen Quiring O’Brien has been a vocal proponent of the initiative and appeared at an October rally that also featured 3rd Congressional District candidates District 17 state Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, and Heidi St. John as speakers.

The effort has also drawn support from Joel Mattila, chair of the Clark County Republican Party, and Joe Kent, another 3rd District candidate.

“This is the first successful effort in Washington state where a county is pushing back against Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandates,” Anderson said in the release.

The ordinance claims that Gov. Jay Inslee has illegally required government, health care and school workers, as well as volunteers and private employers, to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Inslee’s authority has been challenged, unsuccessfully, in court several times.

A date for the mini-initiative to come before the council has yet to be determined.

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