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Dori debates Bainbridge Island Councilmember over ‘I Didn’t Reproduce Day’

(City of Bainbridge Island)

Dori Monson went toe-to-toe with Bainbridge Island City Councilmember Ron Peltier over Peltier’s proposal to establish “I Didn’t Reproduce Day” on Father’s Day.

And while Peltier said that the date was a mistake due to a mix-up with his calendar — he had originally intended to establish the holiday on the following Sunday — he was entirely serious about the proposal.

“I’d like to start a conversation about population and adverse environmental impacts of the rising numbers of people on the planet, how that really makes it more difficult for us to address a whole range of environmental issues,” he said. “The main one, which I think is a huge threat, is climate change.”

Dori appreciated taking a stand for one’s beliefs, but found it somewhat hypocritical considering that Peltier and his wife have a son. He compared it to what he sees as the insincerity of Jay Inslee, running a presidential campaign based on climate change but burning fossil fuels by flying all around the country to promote himself.

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“I don’t know if you believe your sincerity if you think that not having kids is such a thing to celebrate, and yet you’ve had a kid,” he said.

Peltier pointed out that he and his wife “intentionally put off having [their] son” until they were in their mid-30s, and chose to only have one.

He agreed that politicians who decry climate change but can’t walk the walk in their own lives are hypocritical, but maintained that he is consistent in all areas of his life.

“I don’t travel on airplanes. The last time I traveled on an airplane was probably 16 years ago,” he said. “We don’t take a lot of vacations.”

Dori called the holiday “dopey” and pressed him, asking, “But why did you have a kid if you think that it’s such a grave threat to the planet if people populate it?”

“We obviously have to have some children,” the Bainbridge politician answered. “We can’t just all get older and everybody die off, I’m not proposing that.”

He simply wanted to have the equivalent of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to honor the people who have made the sacrifice not to reproduce out of concern for the planet.

“While we make contributions by having children and trying to teach them to grow up to be responsible, contributing members of society, good human beings, we also acknowledge the people who haven’t had kids, choose not to, and who are good aunties and uncles and mentors of young people,” he said.

Peltier said he has gotten quite a bit of encouragement from people both on and off Bainbridge Island.

“‘I Didn’t Reproduce Day’ is a little dopey, I agree with you,” he said. “Like I said, I just wanted to start a conversation about population. Our council has expressed a lot of concern about climate change … and I think we need to at least acknowledge that rising human population is a huge factor.”

At the end of the conversation, Dori had an announcement for Peltier.

“I wanted you to know that I support your dopey idea for an ‘I Didn’t Reproduce Day,’ councilman,” he said.

Peltier had trouble containing his excitement.

“That’s awesome, Dori, that is so cool,” he said, laughing. “Dori thank you, it was a pleasant surprise, [this conversation] went a lot better than expected.”

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