After Washington, Oregon, and California governors announced the launch of a Western States Pact in the face of a federal government unwilling to act on COVID-19 relief, #Cascadia , #Calexit and #Secession quickly began trending on twitter and other social media platforms.
The West Coast is ahead of the curve on COVID-19. We’re going to make sure that stays true.
WA, OR and CA will work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies. #WeGotThisWA
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) April 13, 2020
California Governor Gavin Newsom, Washington State governor Jay Inslee and Oregon governor made the announcement Monday by announcing the three states would coordinate ending the coronavirus shutdown – and not follow the lead of President Donald Trump and the federal government in Washington, DC. The timing came just before a televised address by Trump to announce his new opening the economy federal taskforce.
The joint document announced that:
COVID-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness. In the coming weeks, the West Coast will flip the script on COVID-19 – with our states acting in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities.
We are announcing that California, Oregon and Washington have agreed to work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies – one that identifies clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business.
While each state is building a state-specific plan, our states have agreed to the following principles as we build out a West Coast framework:
Our residents’ health comes first. As home to one in six Americans and gateway to the rest of the world, the West Coast has an outsized stake in controlling and ultimately defeating COVID-19.
Health outcomes and science – not politics – will guide these decisions. Modifications to our states’ stay at home orders must be made based off our understanding of the total health impacts of COVID-19, including: the direct impact of the disease on our communities; the health impact of measures introduced to control the spread in communities —particularly felt by those already experiencing social disadvantage prior to COVID-19; and our health care systems’ ability to ensure care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This effort will be guided by data. We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this.
Our states will only be effective by working together. Each state will work with it’s local leaders and communities within its borders to understand what’s happening on the ground and adhere to our agreed upon approach.
The announcement, made sure to point out the bioregional nature of the emergency, noting that:
COVID-19 doesn’t follow state or national boundaries. It will take every level of government, working together, and a full picture of what’s happening on the ground. In the coming days the governors, their staff and health officials will continue conversations about this regional pact to recovery.
Upon it’s announcement, #Westernstatepact began trending, quickly followed by #Cascadia, #Calexit and secession, with tens of thousands of tweets rolling in support for the governor actions, and exploring the idea of greater autonomy for the west coast states and bioregion.
Meanwhile, on the East Coast, New York governor Andrew Cuomo is working with the governors of five other states, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware to re-open their economies as well.
For those unfamiliar, Cascadia is a bioregion that defines the Pacific Northwest through the watersheds of the Fraser, Snake and Columbia rivers. It is rooted in the concept that bioregionalism, using natural borders such as mountain ranges and watersheds, better represents the cultural realities of those living there, rather than arbitrary man made lines on a map, or governments with centers thousands of miles away with little vested interest in different areas.