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August Newsletter

Local Puget Sound Orca Tahlequah forces us to reckon with her grief

VIGIL AT THE WATER’S EDGE

For the last ten days we’ve seen a heart-rending example of how personal ecological stress can be. Carrying her dead calf day after day, local orca Tahlequah forces us to reckon with her grief—not just the broad tragedy of climate change and its looming extinctions. It’s a grief we’ll see far too often—in humans and all others—unless the status quo changes quickly and significantly.

Orcas are on the brink of extinction because of decimated Chinook salmon runs, toxic pollution in the water, and vessel noise that keeps them from finding food. It’s been 4 years since any calves have survived.

Please sign this petition urging Governor Inslee to breach the Snake River Dams in order to restore critical chinook salmon habitat. Then sign this one, too.

Next, call Governor Jay Inslee and ask him to take action immediately: 360-902-4111

Thank him for working to protect orcas, and tell him you support stronger action, now, without delay:

  • Issue an emergency moratorium on new fossil fuel traffic in the Salish Sea.
  • Define a rigorous and mandatory ‘Oil Spill Clean Up Rate’ to stop Trans Mountain tar sands crude oil from coming through Washington State.
  • Stop fuel exports at March Point and Cherry Point, and the construction of the LNG facility in Tacoma.
  • Stand in support of Whatcom County’s existing moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure.
  • Call on BC Premier John Horgan take swift action against fish farms.
  • Restore Chinook spawning grounds by breaching of the lower four Snake River dams.

Then send your message to the Governor’s Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force, which meets in Wenatchee on August 7th. Details here, more about the Task Force here.

The annual Free the Snake Flotilla & Recreation Day is September 7th. Details here.

SALISH SEA DAY OF ACTION

Want to see a future with a vibrant Salish Sea? As the lifeblood of our precious bioregion, the Salish Sea needs our protection from pollution, ocean acidification, fish farms, fossil fuels, and climate change.

From Vancouver, BC to Hood Canal, WA, come join us for the Salish Sea Day of Action to tell the world and our local decision makers that we demand protection for our sacred sea. While the sea itself may separate us physically, let’s unite in solidarity  to face these growing threats.

Salish Sea Day of Action
Saturday, September 15, times vary
Distributed actions are being planned in communities throughout the region. Find location and event details here.

Communities are planning activities and actions focusing on local issues. These actions range from movie nights, work parties, demonstrations and rallies, and more!

Share the Salish Sea Day of Action Event Page with your friends all over the region. Volunteer to hold a banner over a freeway or be a part of our rad t-shirt team—contact Ruchi Stair.

Let’s all work together to save the Salish Sea! #WeAreTheWater

JOHN HENRY COAL MINE

Pacific Coast Coal Company is still seeking to reopen the John Henry No. 1 coal mine in Black Diamond, just 30 miles outside Seattle. If re-opened, it would be the ONLY active coal mine in Washington state.

On Monday, August 6th, the Maple Valley Area Council will host presentations and discussion on the proposed coal mine. The mine owners will be there, as well as government agencies and environmental advocates. Join us there to learn more about the project, and wear red to show opposition to the coal in our county!

Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council monthly meeting
Monday, August 6, 7:00–9:30pm
Maple Valley Fire Station (SE corner of SE 231st St & SR-169)

And if you haven’t already, please comment on the mine’s permit application and tell the Department of Ecology to reject coal mines and other dirty fossil fuel infrastructure in our state! Ecology has received 7,000 comments on the mine so far—let’s keep up the pressure!

TRANS MOUNTAIN IN WASHINGTON

When Canada purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline for the express purpose of expanding it, the Puget Sound Pipeline spur, which feeds heavy tar sands bitumen to Washington refineries came as part of the package.

Since the spur pipeline crosses several waterways, you might be wondering: Tar sands emits toxic gas, sinks like sludge and sticks to the bottom—Is the spill plan sufficient? We’re hearing it’s not. Check out the plan and then use this comment page by August 25th to let the Department of Ecology know that since tar sands stinks, sinks, and sticks, they need a stronger plan than one designed for traditional crude.

And keep an eye on social media for a kayak event Saturday, August 18 on the Nooksack River in Whatcom county to raise awareness about a critical river crossing.

TACOMA LNG

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency 
We’re counting down until the public hearing regarding an in-depth look at lifecycle air emissions for the enormous fracked gas tank in the Port of Tacoma. This agency oversees the last major permit needed for the project, so big public engagement is critical. Please add your comment here… and plan for the hearing on October 30th!

Inadequate safety studies
The Puyallup Tribal Council recently submitted a formal request to the city of Tacoma, as lead SEPA agency of Puget Sound Energy’s LNG project, to conduct a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) due to inadequate safety studies. Findings from two separate studies were submitted as evidence. To add your voice to those calling for an SEIS, please sign this petition.

Health care professionals and advocates
Learn about the effects continued fossil fuel use and climate change will have on our community and how you can help stand up for a healthier tomorrow.

Protecting Health: Climate, Environment, and Action
Saturday, August 25, 9:30am–12:30pm
Tioga Library, UW Tacoma, 1900 Commerce St, Tacoma 98402
Event page here.

Help spread the message
Courageous dock worker Tracy Wiegman was willing to stand up and tell the truth about the Puget Sound Energy Liquefied “Natural” Gas project. Working with 350 Tacoma, her video was seen over 6,000 times on social media. Now, help us spread her important message further! With your help, Tracy’s video will appear as Google and YouTube ads in the Tacoma area. Take that, PSE greenwashers!

Want to learn more about the risks the Tacoma LNG poses to the local community and our climate goals? Contact Mary to schedule a presentation for your school, faith group, organization or business.

And check out this inspiring music video for “Stand Today” by Alexandra Blakely. Featuring Dakota Case of the Puyallup Water Warriors with the Tacoma LNG tank as the backdrop, and a message of how you can get involved. Please share!

TELL PSE TO DO THE RIGHT THING

Every two years our state’s largest for-profit utility drafts a 20-year plan. True to form, Puget Sound Energy started the 2019 planning process with foiled attempts to hide from ratepayers and sideline community stakeholders. Now, thanks to your raised voices, PSE has been compelled to hold four public comment events, the first of which is this month.

Join us as we demand a 2019 plan that puts us on a path to a carbon-free electric grid by 2038.

Public Comment on PSE’s 20-year Plan
Evening of Tuesday, August 28
Location TBD
We’ll update the event page as soon as we have the details.

For more about the planning process and how you can participate, visit our PSE Plan page, and for reporting on the technical plan meetings, follow @PSEreporter on Twitter.

Oh, and by the way, PSE has scheduled an “executive listening session” for Tuesday, September 11, but they haven’t decided where to hold it. Let’s help them out: Visit this event page to nominate the City of Destiny!

RISE FOR CLIMATE

Join a global day of action demanding that our local leaders end fossil fuel dependence, transition to 100% renewable energy, and start putting people over profit. These events happen just ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit where mayors, governors, and business leaders will meet in San Francisco to inspire each other to more ambitious and equitable climate goals. Learn more here.

We are stronger when we rise together
What better place for people from all around Western Washington to meet and tell our leaders and elected officials that we expect an end to fossil fuel use, and for communities to come before corporations, than in the shadow of Puget Sound Energy’s proposed 8 million-gallon Liquified “Natural” Gas facility (LNG). Join us for a family friendly march and rally!

Rise for Climate Global Day of Action
Saturday, September 8, 9:00am–2:00pm
Tollefson Plaza, 1548 Pacific Ave, Tacoma 98402
RVSP and share the event page!

This is a collaborative effort and we welcome more groups to get involved—email Stacy for details.

ARTFUL ACTIVISM

We welcome all skill levels in any art form, and have lots going on to jump into, from occasional participation to leadership opportunities. Join online here or come to art builds whenever you can! They are fun, no skills needed, community gatherings with food and good connections.

ART BUILD for Rise for Climate and Salish Sea days of action
Sunday, August 12, Noon till 5:00pm or done!
Fremont Powerhouse, 3940 Fremont Ave N, Seattle 98103

We’ll be painting cloth banners, creating a large deer fence banner, sewing, and possibly batik. All are welcome, no skills needed. RSVP to Lisa.

Youth, teens, and families, along with skilled Artists Allies, come help design, find a high traffic area wall, and work on an outdoor permanent wall mural in the Summer and then bus shelter mural painting this Fall. Contact Doug to get involved in the art and find the location.

Join the Deployment Team! Ever wish you had a role during actions and events? Come learn crucial skills with us! We need you! Contact Shemona.

And if you’re a skilled artist (visual, theater, dance, music…) and want to apply your skill or show others how, please let us know! Contact Lisa.

VOLUNTEER WITH THE YES ON 1631 CAMPAIGN

With only 93 days until the midterm election, efforts are ramping up to ensure that Initiative 1631 goes from measure to movement. In July, the campaign turned in the second highest number of signatures for a ballot initiative in Washington’s history. The oil industry may have money, but we have people. And that might just be enough to win.

Right now, the campaign needs your help. In the next 93 days they will be knocking on tens of thousands of doors, making phone calls, and sending hundreds of thousands of texts and personal emails to ensure that 1631 passes in November. The goal is to reach hundreds of thousands of votersbetween now and November 7th. Will you help fight for our future?

VALVE-TURNERS UPDATE

Michael Foster comes home
Michael Foster was greeted at the Greyhound station by his community at midnight on August first—joyful people, flowers, and hugs abounding. As Michael spends the rest of August adjusting to life in the city, and among us, we’ve started a (vegan) meal train as a gentle way to welcome him home and spend a little time with him. Email shutitdown.today@gmail.com if you’d like to bring Michael and Sue a vegan dinner. Meanwhile, the Welcome Home Michael screening of The Reluctant Radical at Central Cinema on August 15th is almost sold out. There may be a few tickets left here.

Necessity defense in Minnesota
With record-breaking temperatures across the globe this July, it’s ever clearer that quick and bold action is necessary, and we expect to know the trial date for Annette, Emily, Ben, and Steve soon; it’ll likely be in November. The Climate Direct Action website is being updated and will shortly feature more about the necessity defense.

STRONGER TOGETHER

Frontline Allies welcomes your participation in everything from organizing trainings on undoing racism and other oppressive systems, to supporting our allies in climate-related justice work. To join contact Kara; more information and links are available here.

Upcoming educational events:

Stillaguamish Festival of the River and Pow-Wow
Weekend of August 11–12
River Meadows Park, 20416 Jordan Rd, Arlington 98223
www.festivaloftheriver.com and Facebook event
The mission of the Festival is to help people who live and work in the surrounding regions understand how their actions can help make their environment healthier for people, fish, and wildlife and to introduce people to Native American traditional dances and culture. It features a traditional pow wow, national music, fun zone for kids, traditional salmon bake, zip line, craft and food vendors and much, much more. This year’s headliners are Maddie and Tae on Saturday and Rick Springfield on Sunday.
Cost is $20 per car load and $10 between 10:00am and 1:00pm.

Anthony Alvarado: DIY Resistance
36 Ways to Fight Back (Seven Stories Press)
Tuesday August 14, 7:00pm
Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, Seattle 98122
Portland-based writer and activist Anthony Alvarado, host of the monthly podcast The Magic Hour, speaks about successful actions people’s movements use to defeat tyrants: defend free speech, look after your community, fight racism and misogyny, organize, protest, network, publish.

Decolonizing Immigration: Roots & Routes
Thursday August 30, 6:00pm
Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave, Seattle 98104
How do child and family detention camps and the Supreme Court’s upholding of the travel ban follow a broader historical arc? Join a conversation, punctuated with arts and creativity, where community leaders respond to recent changes in immigration policy with personal insights and reflections on larger social movements for inclusivity and equality. Highlights will include Indigenous sovereignty, Black Diasporas, and Asian Pacific Islander organizing. Website.

AUGUST BOOK CLUB

Join us and learn about the Sweetness of Life
Back in May, 350 Seattle co-sponsored the a reading at Elliott Bay Books for Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life: A Tar Sands Tale. Now, we’re hoping you’ll join us to discuss it. For more info check out this description and review.

Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life: A Tar Sands Tale
Sunday, August 19, 1:00–2:30pm
Please RSVP for the address

The book is in part a travelogue, as its authors venture out to the Alberta tar sands to learn about the changing lives of those working for and living near the biggest industrial project on the planet. But it’s also a critical inquiry into our conceptions of ecology and climate justice, asking how those ideas might change if we place indigenous sovereignty at their center.

Also check out the book club page for updates, author interviews and other little gems.

OH, SEATTLE

A carbon-neutral Key
Here’s something to do right now: Write the members of the City Council’s Select Committee on Civic Arenas, and ask why the plans for redeveloping Key Arena include increasing our city’s emissions from transportation? Tell them you want to see our iconic city landmarks truly embody Seattle’s commitment to carbon neutrality, and that genuine support for carbon-free transportation options is a good start.

Weekend traffic got you down?
Maybe it’s time to put a little energy into helping us transition to a swift, carbon-free and equitable transit system! Join our Transportation Team Monday, August 13th at 4:30 at the Vance Building downtown to talk about campaigns for bus-only lanes and congestion pricing, and brainstorm for our sure-to-be-stellar PARKing Day pop-up park. Email Meg or Andrew for room details.

Bikes, bikes, beautiful bikes!
20,000 dockless bikes and a Basic Bike Network around downtown Seattle, what’s not to like? Well, there’s some devilish details to work through. Want to know more?

Big day of bargaining for UW union members
Bargaining teams from SEIU 925, WFSE 1488, SEIU 1199, and UAW 4121 will be meeting with University of Washington administrators to negotiate transportation benefits for UW workers, and they need our support at a midday rally!

UW Pass or Fail? Solidarity Rally
Thursday, August 16 at 11:00am–1:00pm
UW campus, Rainier Vista and West Stevens Way NE
More info and RSVP on the event page.

What’s loud, smelly and bad for us and the climate?
They’re most often powered by two-stroke engines, and research suggests that using one for thirty minutes is equivalent to driving a pick-up truck for 3800 miles. Yes, we’re talking about leaf blowers.Which is why we’re looking at ways to get rid of this pollution-spewing nuisance in our cities. Want to help?

Ban the Leaf blower!
Saturday, August 18, 3:00pm
Location TBD—email Meg for info

Fall housing forum!
Do you care passionately about climate and equity? Are you interested in building a livable, welcoming Seattle even as the world gets hotter and less stable? Help us bring together environmental justice advocates, wonky housing types, labor, renters, and homeowners for At Home in the World: Building a Livable Seattle, a fall forum that will help us all see how we can work together to make our city livelier, greener, and more progressive. Contact Emily if you can help!

A BIT ABOUT US

Apply for 350 Seattle’s Board of Directors – deadline extended to 8/24!
350 Seattle is in the final stages of an exciting restructuring process, designed to distribute power and governance responsibilities to a wider group of people working toward climate justice.

We are looking for Board members to serve the organization in a strong administrative role. This not a traditional Board—we have distributed the power to set organizational strategy to our Leadership Team, and our Policy & Endorsements Committee checks requests to support legislation and campaigns for mission-alignment.

The ideal candidates would be excited to serve 350 Seattle by providing fiscal oversight and serving in a human resources capacityMore information and application link here.

Calling Behind-the-Scenesters!
Do you want to support 350 Seattle’s organizing but prefer to work from home, immerse yourself in data, post on social media, or generally do things where you’ll stay out of the limelight?

350 Seattle’s Operations, Fundraising, and Social Media teams are all recruiting new members. Email Valerie if you want to learn more about how to offer your skills in these areas.

Help us receive a $20,000 matching gift!
$13,083 to go! Nancy Nordhoff is matching all donations from new donors and donors who increase their gifts, up to $20,000. We don’t receive the money unless we meet this challenge. This couldn’t come at a better time—we didn’t get a couple grants we thought we had a good chance of receiving.

Help us fill this gap, receive the matching gift, and invest in grassroots climate action.

To donate online, click here. Or mail in a check: 350 Seattle, 1919 E Prospect St, Seattle WA 98112 (please write: “for match” in the memo). Or donate stock: all the details here.

We’re going to party in the fall
We’re getting Intertwined again, Friday, November 16—Save the date!

ZOMBIE LNG IN OREGON

The Feds killed it in 2016 because no one wanted it. But now… it’s back, the zombie fracked gas pipeline that wants to ruin 400 waterways and stomp across 200 private properties. Whip out your email finger and send off a quick one here.

If approved, the Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove LNG terminal would be Oregon’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. More on this travesty here.

Okay… exhale. Inhale, repeat…

350 Seattle

Orca photo by Mike Charest

 

Read

July Newsletter!

Washington State Initiative I-1631 will be on the ballot in November

Welcome to July! First up, big props to all of you who helped make sure that…

I-1631 WILL BE ON THE BALLOT

We reached a huge milestone in the Yes on 1631 campaign this week. With over 375,000 signatures, I-1631 achieved one of the highest number of signatures ever gathered on a Washington State ballot initiative. Come celebrate with us Thursday, July 19 at the Yes on 1631 Volunteer Appreciation Party!

As much as this is a moment to take a breath after months of hard work, it’s also now that the real fight begins. We expect the fossil fuel industry to spend up to $25 million opposing I-1631. But we have something more powerful than money—people power. With the help of literally thousands of volunteers, the Yes on 1631 campaign intends to contact over one million Washingtonians between now and November 7th. But we can only do that with a lot of help. To stay up-to-date and to get involved with Yes on 1631, please fill out this short form here.

YOUTH STAND UP FOR CLIMATE RECOVERY

As one of 35 “sister marches” around the world with the march in Washington DC, Seattle youth are coming together saying, “We believe that this is zero hour to act on climate change. This is the last hour, the last generation that can do something about climate change. We believe that having clean air, water, and a livable future is a right, not a privilege. We believe that we cannot wait for adults to do something about climate change.”

Seattle Youth Climate March
Saturday July 21, Rally at 9:00am, march to Judkins Park 10:30am
Garfield Community Center Playfield, 2323 E. Cherry St., Seattle, 98122
RSVP and invite friends, then share the event page!

Related events:
Thursday, July 19, Zero Hour Youth Climate Lobby Day
Friday, July 20, 10:00am–8:00pm, Zero Hour Art Build!

The march ends at Judkins Park with Climate Action & Solutions tabling. Reserve table space for your climate action/solutions group, church group or business. It’s BYOT—bring your own table—at no cost, but please, register with Sue.

If you are a young person interested in organizing the march, art build and lobby day please contact us!
We need your help to make Zero Hour Seattle as powerful as possible!

STRONGER TOGETHER

Frontline Allies welcomes your participation in everything from organizing trainings on undoing racism and other oppressive systems, to supporting our allies in climate-related justice work. To join contact Kara; more information and links are available here.

Gwich’in women speak
Learn more about the women of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and their fight to protect their sacred lands and culture from oil drilling and development. The Pacific Northwest has a unique political and cultural connection to the Arctic, and you can be part of the efforts to protect it.

Join renowned filmmaker/athlete/activist Miho Aida to learn how you can join the Gwich’in Nation in defending the Arctic Refuge’s sacred lands from dirty fuels! RSVP here to learn more.

Gwich’in Women Speak screenings
Tuesday, July 10, 7:00–9:00pm, Patagonia Ballard Store, 5443 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle 98107
Wednesday, July 11, 6:00–7:30pm, Centilia Cultural Center, 1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle 98144
Other regional events listed here.

Support indigenous educational resources
Help is desperately needed to support indigenous educational resources. An important program for Native Learners currently boasts a 100% graduation rate and provides needed resources like tutoring, meals, and cultural events at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School.

Seattle Public School Board Meeting
Wednesday, July 11, 5:00–6:00pm
John Stanford Center for Excellence, 2445 3rd Ave South, Seattle 98134

Your support could mean the difference between this program being cut from the budget or continuing its amazing work. For more info, talking points, or how to sign up to testify, visit this event page.

Protect the Inlet
Stand with the First Nations fighting to stop Kinder Morgan! Be part of the ceremony and celebration of water on the beach or float with the flotilla on the water.

Protect the Inlet, by Land and Sea
Saturday, July 14, 10:00am–4:00pm
Whey-Ah-Whichen | Cates Park, North Vancouver
More information here, and if you can help make the day a success, please volunteer. Here is a link for group carpools.

Elder Ta’ah Amy George asks that Indigenous folks bring traditional medicines, and their kayaks or their canoes. There will be heart-stopping dance performances, inspiring Indigenous speakers, musicians, and a tent for kids. Note that July 14th is a spiritual day of ceremony focused on the water; there will be no bold actions.

On-going support of immigrants’ rights
The 10,000 people who showed up at the Northwest Detention Center in SeaTac to demonstrate against “zero tolerance” immigration policy shows why this is so important right now. Here are upcoming events with NWDC resistance:

Solidarity Presence with Fidel for ICE: Stand with Fidel Ventura Antonio who is facing deportation. Tuesday, July 10, 9:00am till Noon, 12500 Tukwila International Blvd., Tukwila 98168.

Tacoma City Council Meeting: Public Comment about Tacoma fencing off the NWDC to stop protests. Tuesday, July 10, 5:00–8:00pm, Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., Tacoma 98402.

Mariachi Demo at NWDC: This time we dance and shout with a live mariachi band! Saturday, July 14, 1:30–4:00pm, Northwest Detention Center, 1623 East J St., Tacoma 98421

BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION

People deprived of shelter sleeping in the streets in the world’s richest country, climate chaos, man-made environmental disasters, children separated from their parents and locked up in cages… If you’re wondering how we got here, join us for the completion of our discussion of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s very illuminating book and participate in the decision on what to read next.

An Indigenous People’s History of the United States
Sunday, July 22, 2:00–3:30pm
Broadview Library, 12755 Greenwood Ave N., Seattle 98133

YOUTH V. GOV, WASHINGTON EDITION

Last February, thirteen young Washingtonians filed a lawsuit alleging that the State of Washington is violating their constitutional rights by causing climate change. On June 1, 2018, the State of Washington moved to dismiss the youth’s case.

This Friday, the young climate warriors in Piper v. State of Washington have a hearing which will determine whether their case can proceed to trial. A press conference will follow the hearing, where you’ll have the opportunity to hear from the youth plaintiffs and their attorneys.

Piper v. State of Washington
Friday, July 13, 10:30am
Outside the King County Courthouse, 516 3rd Ave, Seattle 98104
Please share the event page

Join us in solidarity as the youth enter the courthouse and to hear a few words from them and their attorneys. This hearing is open to the public!

VALVE-TURNERS UPDATE

Michael Foster has been granted early release from prison, arriving at the Seattle Bus Station at 11:50pmon Wednesday, August 1! If you would like to welcome Michael at the station and have a celebratory drink, contact Sue.

Michael wants to thank you for helping him replenish the MRCC prison library. He has received over 100 books. Because he will be home soon, letter writing and the book drive has ended. All the cards, letters and books you sent have made Michael’s time in Bismarck much easier. Thank you, friends!

Most importantly, Michael’s request of us is that we help with the Zero Hour Seattle Youth March that the Plant for the Planet kids and others are working on—details above.

RESILIENCE

Have you gone to a meeting and left still feeling like you are not quite sure how you want to plug in? Community Resilience understands that sentiment! We have supported people to find their own ways to contribute to the movement via massage offerings, video and editing skills, carpentry and even gardening. We need everyone! Contact Alexandra Blakely to discover different ways to get involved.

BIOLUMINESCENCE KAYAK TOUR

On Sunday, July 15th, join this evening kayak tour in Olympia benefiting 350 Seattle as the day transitions to an impressionist painting and Mt. Rainier illuminates in orange and purple. We expect to see the glow of bioluminescent dinoflagelletes in the water after dark. Click here to purchase a ticket.

The $100 ticket includes the tour and tandem kayak, paddles, life jacket (PFD), spray skirt, safety gear, expert naturalist and sea kayak guide, and boat lanterns. You cannot bring your own kayak.

Thanks to Kayak Nisqually for donating this tour so all funds raised will benefit 350 Seattle. In addition to bioluminescent night paddles, Kayak Nisqually offers wildlife watching tours lead by biologist guides with backgrounds in conservation biology.

SALISH SEA DAY OF ACTION

The Salish Sea urgently needs our protection! Throughout the bioregion our sacred water faces a cumulative toxic load from multiple fossil fuel projects and pollution. As acid oceans impact declining shellfish and salmon populations, orcas are starving. Water is life for all living beings. What we do to the water, we do to you and me.

Locations all around the bioregion of the Salish Sea will host distributed actions at locations on both sides of the border from the north end of the Strait of Georgia to Puget Sound and Hood Canal. Please help us spread the word to groups who may be interested in hosting events on Saturday, September 15 for the Salish Sea Day of Action. We are uniting our voices to tell the world and our local decision makers that we demand protection for the Salish Sea.

Salish Sea Day of Action
September 15, multiple locations
For more information, please visit this event page.

While the sea itself may separate us physically, we are uniting to face these growing threats together. #WeAretheWater

PSE NEEDS TO FULLY DECARBONIZE

Still stuck on coal and clueless about gas, Puget Sound Energy needs to deliver a blueprint for a carbon-free electrical grid. Instead, they’ve started another two-year planning cycle by trying to limit the voices of concerned, committed and well-behaved community members. Several groups with better manners than us have been excluded from this month’s technical meeting. Want to join us there and see how it goes?

Electric Resource Costs and 2019 IRP Work Plan
Thursday, July 26, Noon–4:00pm
Paccar Atrium (Room N201); Bellevue College, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE; Bellevue, 98007

If we let PSE decide who the experts are, frankly, we’re screwed. Their for-profit business model is based on getting state approval for big capital projects, not providing renewable energy, as their pervasive greenwashing would have you think. Read more here about their 2019 Integrated Resource Plan process and then mark your calendar to give them a piece of your mind on August 28, the first of four public comment opportunities.

TACOMA LNG

Our collaboration with NoLNG coalition partners in Tacoma and Seattle continues to raise awareness about this project as we prepare for the PSCAA (Puget Sound Clean Air Agency) comment period on the Draft Supplemental EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) coming up this fall. Their analysis will cover all air emissions and greenhouse gases emitted by the LNG project, from the extraction of gas from fracking to the combustion of methane based fossil fuel in ships and residential homes.

This lifecycle perspective is a first for the PSCAA—it looks like they’re starting to understand the scope of the problem. Please sign this form thanking the agency for their important analysis and urging them to assess the hazards of fracked gas on our air and climate. And plan on a public hearing October 30th.

NWDC in the blast zone
Save the date for September 8th when we join 350 Tacoma and other local groups on a march from the LNG facility at the Port of Tacoma to the Northwest Detention Center (located within the LNG blast zone). We’ll draw the connection between how the issues of immigration and refugees are made worse by climate change, and how important it is that we deal with this in a much more humane way. (A great article on the connections between climate and immigration is available here). This action will be one of many Rise for Climate actions across the world that day, demanding our local leaders commit to building a fossil free world that puts people and justice before profits.

Canoe Journey
And talking of LNG, the Puyallup Tribe is hosting this year’s Canoe Journey landing and gathering at the end of July. If you would like to witness this and can also help with the Green Team, sign up here.

Tacoma LNG presentations
Do you live or work in the Puget Sound Energy (PSE) service area? Would you like to organize a presentation in your school, church, organization, or neighborhood about the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant that PSE is building in Tacoma? Stacy, Renee, Carlo, Jim, and Mary have created a comprehensive slide-based presentation on the “Risks and Impacts” of this methane project being built next to Puyallup land and many communities.

Scheduled presentations include:
Saturday, July 14, 2:00pm at the West Seattle Green Life Festival,
Wednesday, July 18 at the South King County Sierra Club meeting,
and in August on Vashon.

Please contact Mary Paterson for more information.

NORTH SEATTLE LATERAL UPGRADE

A big shout-out to everyone who sent in comments to the Department of Ecology last month asking them to deny the water permit for this unneeded pipeline expansion, disguised as a replacement, which would double the amount of fracked gas supplied by PSE to North Seattle homes. Thanks to the last-minute surge of public comments, the DOE extended the comment period deadline by 3 weeks.

Together with 350 Eastside, 350 Everett and other local groups, we’re working on next steps to stop this proposed project and make the case for a transition from fracked gas for heating and cooking to more efficient electric and solar options.

Live in south Snohomish county or north Seattle and want to help? Drop us a line!

TRANSPORTATION

The Transportation Team pushes for an equitable and clean transportation system. We’re working on transit, ped-bike infrastructure, funding, etc. To get involved please email Andrew and he can give you the lowdown. Two things we’re working on:

Let’s get that EV infrastructure moving
Washington State’s Electric Vehicle Action Plan needs help moving forward, particularly in the state legislature, so the Transpo team and the Policy work group are teaming up with Coltura and others on the Internal Combustion Engine phase-out bill. Sound like fun? Contact Andrew.

UW Pass or Fail
We need free transit for all to help us get out of our carbon-spewing cars. Transit passes for UW employees, more and more of whom are being pushed to the suburbs by the rising cost of housing in Seattle, is a great start, and also only fair.

UW Pass or Fail – Hearing on Campus Master Plan
Tuesday, July 31, 9:00am–Noon
Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave Ste 3300, Seattle 98104
Save the date

The more folks turn out to this hearing (and press conference), to support transit passes for UW employees, the better. RSVP on the event page.

HOUSING

We’re working on a dynamic fall forum with lots of perspectives on the intersections of housing, equity, and climate. We’re also plotting fall campaigns to make a speedy, real, and lasting difference to the housing crisis. Email Emily if you’d like to be involved!

TRADE

Trump’s chaotic and random approach to trade with Mexico and Canada means that negotiating a new NAFTA appears to be on hold. Nevertheless, we’re continuing to push with our Congressional reps a new trade policy that addresses climate, worker rights and human rights. This includes pushing the Washington Fair Trade Coalition’s new white paper on trade, which we can modestly say we helped write. Contact Selden Prentice for your free copy!

FINANCE

Chase and Extreme Fossil Fuels
Alongside our friends at Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace, we’re continuing our campaign against JPMorgan Chase’s funding of extreme fossil fuels. Thank you to everyone this month who made calls asking them to not renew their $625 million loan funding Enbridge, the corporation behind the disastrous Line 3 pipeline. We will let you know as soon as we do whether or not Chase did the right thing and dropped this heinous company.

As we move forward, we’re exploring the idea of hosting a “Chase Customers Day of Action.” If you’re a Chase customer and are interested in participating, please email Alec for more details.

City of Seattle Public Bank
With the awful news that the City of Seattle has been forced into spending three more years with the climate-wrecking bank Wells Fargo, all eyes are on the City’s public bank feasibility study, which we expect to be finished in August. To learn more about why a City of Seattle public bank would be good for our climate and for our city check out our We Need a Public Bank blog.

ARTFUL ACTIVISM

HELLO SUMMER! Huge thanks to everyone who came to the Solstice art builds to help us create such an amazing summer solstice ensemble. Over 800 paper flowers made, two floats, butterfly wings, trees and so much more was created and lovingly, wonderfully used to dance and share the story of what we need to do to have a “COOL EARTH”. THANK YOU to all the wonderful people who showed up at the parade happy and ready to dance and laugh and play!! We have so much love for you all!

We welcome all skill levels in any art form, and have lots going on to jump into, from occasional participation to leadership opportunities. Join online here or come to art builds whenever you can! They are fun, no skills needed, community gatherings with food and good connections.

ART BUILD for Zero Hour Seattle
Friday, July 20, Noon–4:00pm
Fremont Powerhouse, 3940 Fremont Ave N, Seattle 98103
Family friendly build creating your own signs for the Zero Hour Seattle march on July 21st. More info on Zero Hour March here.

Youth, teens, and families, along with skilled Artists Allies, come help design, find a high traffic area wall, and work on an outdoor permanent wall mural in the Summer and then bus shelter mural painting this Fall. Contact Doug to get involved in the art and find the location.

Join the Deployment Team! Ever wish you had a role during actions and events? Come learn crucial skills with us! We need you! Contact Shemona.

And if you’re a skilled artist (visual, theater, dance, music…) and want to apply your skill or show others how, please let us know! Contact Lisa.

DOES THIS MEAN WE NEED A BOARD ROOM?

350 Seattle is in the final stages of an exciting restructuring process, designed to distribute power and governance responsibilities to a wider group of people working toward climate justice. We are recruiting four people for our Board of Directors. Could you be one of them?

350 Seattle is not a traditional non-profit organization. We are a volunteer-driven grassroots organization that employs a range of strategies to affect change locally and regionally on climate. We’re increasingly becoming a political force at City Hall, and a nationally-recognized leader—with our power coming from bold action and an artful vision of the kind of change we need. We continue to do all this work through a justice and equity lens.

Apply for 350 Seattle’s Board of Directors—Applications due August 15
Is your interest piqued? Read more here.

ONE LAST THING…

Just last week we found out that Nancy Nordhoff is offering a $20,000 matching gift to us. So, we only need to raise $20,000 to receive this generous donation!

This couldn’t come at a better time—a couple of grants that we thought we had a good chance of receiving didn’t come our way. Help us fill this gap, receive the matching gift, and invest in grassroots climate action!

Help us receive a $20,000 matching gift!
To donate online: Click here.
NEW! Donate stock: All the details on how to donate here.
To mail in a check: 350 Seattle, 1919 E Prospect St, Seattle, WA 98112 (please write: “for match” in the memo)

Stay hydrated and cool as new beans, friends—water your moxie!

350 Seattle

 

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Join 350 Seattle’s Board of Directors

Applications due August 24th!

350 Seattle is in the final stages of an exciting restructuring process, designed to distribute power and governance responsibilities to a wider group of people working toward climate justice. We are recruiting two people for our Board of Directors. Could you be one of them? Read on!

350 Seattle is not a traditional non-profit organization. We are a volunteer-driven grassroots organization that employs a range of strategies to affect change locally and regionally on climate. We’re increasingly becoming a political force at City Hall, and a nationally-recognized leader–with our power coming from bold action and an artful vision of the kind of change we need. We continue to do all this work through a justice and equity lens. Check out our annual report here to see what we did last year.

To apply for the Board:

1. Read the job description and FAQs and decide if you want to apply.

2. If you’re unsure or have questions, send us an email.

3. Submit your application online no later than August 24th.

The Board Nominating Committee will review all the applications, set up interviews, and move a final slate to 350’s leadership for an election this fall. We expect the Board to begin to meet starting in November 2018.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Thanks!

Kanit, Margo, Paul, Sheryl, Val

350 Seattle Board Nominating Committee

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June Newsletter!

Big thanks to everyone who got pied up at Octopie on Saturday night! This month we’re upending our usual order of business and shouting out:

JOIN ZERO HOUR SEATTLE!

This summer, youth climate activism is heating up with Zero Hour, a global youth-led movement centering the voices of diverse youth to ensure a livable future where young people don’t just survive, but flourish.

Join us in supporting Zero Hour Seattle, our local youth climate resistance! RSVP and invite friends to the Seattle Youth Climate March on July 21 and join us on July 19 for Zero Hour Youth Climate Lobby Day and July 20 for the Zero Hour Art Build!

Know any young activists? Zero Hour Seattle is looking for youth to join our Zero Hour Seattle leadership collective—if you are a young person interested in organizing the march, art build and lobby day please contact us!

Want to support youth organizers? We need your help to make Zero Hour Seattle as powerful as possible! Get involved! And here’s an example of what we’re talking about:

Youth Lead the Way
Westside Unitarian, 7141 California Ave SW, Seattle 98136
June 17, 10:30am–12:00pm
RSVP and more details here.

Join Aji Piper, local youth climate activist with Zero Hour and Plant for the Planet, for an extraordinary, powerful service! Aji will speak about his love for people, for oceans, for trees, for creatures big and small and for the earth—as well as his commitment to peace and justice. All are welcome!

VALVE-TURNERS UPDATE

Michael Foster to be released in August! It’s true, Michael will be released on or about the first week in August. Meanwhile he continues to work on expanding the prison library. if you would like to donate books, see this info on what and how to send. Most importantly, Michael’s request of us is that we help with the Zero Hour March that the Plant for the Planet kids and others are working on—details above.

Meanwhile, Emily Johnston’s necessity defense op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune issues a strong call to get that trial started. Let the experts be heard!

PARADE ON SATURDAY!

The “Cool World” Summer Solstice Parade Ensemble (Sunday’s art build pictured above) needs your help to prep and participate in the parade that reaches 50-100K spectators, this Saturday, June 16, 1:00pm start. This year it’s all about solutions, trees catching tossed CO2, garden elements, solar, windmills, and so much more, with dancing butterflies and sunflowers, and music all the way.

Parade Art Builds—We Need YOU!
No skills needed, dress for mess! Make beautiful paper flowers, batik butterfly wings, paint cardboard tree costumes and giant ice cubes, make balloon CO2 molecules, and/or learn a simple dance routine!
Tuesday, June 12, 6:00–10:00pm
Thursday, June 14, 6:00–10:00pm
Friday, June 15, 10:00am–10:00pm
The Powerhouse, 3940 Fremont Ave N., Seattle 98103

Keep an eye on our calendar for any changes or contact Shemona.

STRONGER TOGETHER

Frontline Allies welcomes your participation in everything from organizing trainings on undoing racism and other oppressive systems, to supporting our allies in climate-related justice work. To join contact Lisamore information and links are available here.

Benefit concert for Puerto Rico
As you know, Puerto Rico experienced one of the worst climate disasters in history with new estimates that almost 5,000 people were killed in the storm and its aftermath. Here’s one way to help:

Kimya Dawson, Guayaba, and Ruby Blades Latin Reggae Jazz Quintet
Sunday, June 17, 5:00–9:00pm
Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave S, Seattle 98118

Proceeds support CETA and CAUCE, two organizations helping communities across the island rebuild, calling for food sovereignty, and pushing back against the violent economic cuts being imposed on residents.

Solidarity with truth-tellers
As the extractive industry of fossil fuels tries to suppress the expansion of sustainable energy development, so too does the state try to suppress those who speak out against oppression. We invite you to join us in supporting the Kshama Solidarity Campaign and stand together with the broader movement for justice against attempts to silence those who speak truth to power.

Kshama Solidarity Campaign Launch Party: Speaking Truth to Power
Saturday, June 23, 7-10 pm
Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave, Seattle 98122
Details here

And just to be clear: This is not an endorsement of a political candidate, it’s a movement-building campaign of solidarity.

YES ON 1631

This is it! We need to step it up! With three weeks left we have 65,000 signatures still to gather! Can you sign up for a shift right now to help get this important climate measure on the ballot?

The deadline for mailing signatures is June 27th and for dropping them off at the Seattle office is June 30th. Signatures turned in after this deadline won’t count, so please, make sure to get all your signatures turned in on time!

If passed, 1631 will raise billions for vital renewable projects, please sign up for a shift to help get this on the ballot!

ARTFUL ACTIVISM

We welcome all skill levels in any art form, and have lots going on to jump into, from occasional participation to leadership opportunities. Join online here or come to art builds whenever you can! They are fun, no skills needed, community gatherings with food and good connections.

Youth, teens, and families, along with skilled Artists Allies, come help design and work on bus shelter mural painting this spring and then a wall mural in the summer. Contact Doug to get involved in the art and find the locations.

Join the Deployment Team! Ever wish you had a role during actions and events? Come learn crucial skills with us! We need you! Contact Shemona.

And if you’re a skilled artist (visual, theater, dance, music…) and want to apply your skill or show others how, please let us know! Contact Lisa.

ALEXA, WHAT IS AMAZON’S CARBON FOOTPRINT?

At the end of May, we launched the Amazon #FossilFreePrime campaign with the release of a first-ever estimate of Amazon’s shipping emissions. It wasn’t pretty… we found that Amazon’s 2017 deliveries equaled the carbon spewed from almost 5 coal power plants! Why the heck is a customer-centric company harming our health and climate?

Things you can do right now:

From fighting the Head Tax here in its hometown to soliciting tax breaks from American cities for its second headquarters, Amazon is using its power in deeply questionable ways. That’s why we joined with SEIU, SumOfUs, and Social Alternative for a street theater demonstration outside the shareholder meeting. Email Rebecca if you’d like to join our Amazon campaign for future actions.

TRANSPORTATION TEAM UPDATE

We’re making sure the City of Seattle knows the importance of a fossil-free transportation system for our climate and our future. In early June, we called for a carbon-free Key Arena, supporting a community-led response to the Seattle Center Arena DEIS.

Check out our recent op-ed in the Seattle Times, calling for the City to live up to its climate commitments when it comes to its transportation investments. Enough with the back-pedaling!

Help us get the message across—let the City know the next director at the Department of Transportation must prioritize transportation modes that reduce greenhouse gases. Take their quick survey!

Next up, we’re setting our sights on the expansion and completion of the city’s rapid bus system. Interested in helping out? Contact Andrew.

HOUSING TEAM UPDATE

Keep an eye out this week for an email linking to talking points for comments on ADU’s, and to our comprehensive statement to the City Council on how the rules should be crafted to maximize affordability, minimize displacement, and make Seattle at least a little more livable again.

The hearings are over for now, and little is happening to move us towards a more affordable, sustainable, green Seattle. So it’s up to us to change that! This summer, we’ll be focused on making a battle plan, starting with a big housing forum in September. Affordability, walkability, density, green infrastructure: let’s get stakeholders and experts to talk about all of it. And then let’s get people there to hear it!

Want to help plan? Contact Emily.

INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE FINANCE

When Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement, he also reneged on America’s $2 billion promise to help developing countries respond to climate change. A year ago, Seattle became the first City in the country to recognize its obligation to help fill this void left by Trump.

That’s great, but more cities, states and counties need to do their part and contribute to international climate finance. Our own Alex Lenferna looks at American actions from a global perspective in his recent article.

SAY NO TO KING COAL

Pacific Coast Coal Company is still seeking to reopen the John Henry No. 1 coal mine just outside of Black Diamond, WA. The John Henry mine would cause 250,000 tons of carbon pollution each year, the equivalent of 51,000 cars. It would also endanger public health, salmon, and water quality. PCCC is a known polluter, responsible for polluting local creeks and lakes; illegally disposing of waste; and failing to clean up the mine.

While the federal permit for the mine was granted in April, without an Environmental Impact Statement, PCCC still needs a wastewater discharge permit from the Department of Ecology before they can reopen the mine. So now it’s up to us to stop this monstrosity! Comment today and tell the Department of Ecology: No more coal mines or dirty fossil fuel infrastructure in our state!

If you’re interested in continuing grassroots organizing against the mine, contact Morgan.

THE PIPELINE YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF

Thanks to everyone who responded to our action alert on the Puget Sound Energy-backed North Seattle Lateral Upgrade. The comment period has officially closed but more than 850 people asked for an extension. We’ll keep you posted, and in the meantime, here’s a great explainer.

Short version: 3% increase in state carbon emissions, 63% increase in fracked gas capacity. And by disrupting 15 streams in south Snohomish County the NSLU is clearly another threat to Chinook salmon, crucial to our local orcas. You’ll be hearing more about this one.

TACOMA LNG

TOTE Maritime, the Tacoma LNG’s only “signed on” fracked gas customer—and according to the Environmental Impact Statement, the reason this project is needed—has announced a one-year delay in the conversion of their ships. More on that here…

Despite that news, the unpermitted construction continues. Save the date, Tuesday October 30th to attend the public hearing with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. They hold the power to approve or deny the last major permit and we will need a massive turnout!

Meanwhile, the City of Tacoma pretends not to hear us
The City of Tacoma, lead SEPA agency overseeing this project, has been ignoring requests for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). They are failing to follow procedure by refusing to give an official response to these requests, thus preventing concerned citizens from filing for an appeal.

Sign this petition urging the city to do their job and protect the health and safety of its residents.

Repurpose the tank!
The creative effort to reimagine the estuary and what could be done to repurpose the 8-million-gallon tank (that we are determined will never hold fracked gas) has been extended! To submit an entry or check out the gallery, visit this page.

Host a No LNG presentation in your church, school, organization, or neighborhood
If you know a student, faith or community group that would like a power point presentation about Puget Sound Energy’s Tacoma LNG—please contact Mary Paterson!

TRANS MOUNTAIN—COMING OUR WAY?

This week 350 Seattle, environmental and indigenous leaders met at the Canadian Consulate in Seattle to warn oil delegates that any pipeline expansion will meet fierce opposition! At the June 7th press conference King County Executive Dow Constantine spoke passionately against the expansion of tar sands oil coming into Washington. Joining him were the strong voices of 350 Seattle and eight other environmental and First Nations leaders. This one’s moving fast, so get the latest updates here.

The potential local flood of this dirtiest form of oil in the expansion of the soon-to-be-Canada-owned Puget Sound pipeline in Whatcom and Skagit Counties means this fight is poised to cross the border.

Trans Mountain Workgroup meeting
Monday, June 13, 6:30pm
1919 E. Prospect, Seattle 98112

Join us in stopping the Trans Mountain and Puget Sound pipelines that threaten Washington waters, trample the rights of First Nations and throw fuel on the fire of global warming. Bonus points: Know how to build a web page? Please contact Ruchi.

READY FOR SUMMER

That’s how we’re ending spring this year, kids at the top and tar sands at the bottom. Help us keep up the fight!

And Seattleites take note: No general meeting in July. If you’re feeling patriotic, tell the Canadians to keep their tar sands in the ground.

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We Need a Public Bank

by Alec Connon

Fifteen months after the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to cease banking with Wells Fargo, it has renewed a three-year contract with the climate-wrecking bank. This is why we need a public bank.

It’s awful that Seattle will be banking with Wells Fargo for another three years — it’s deeply immoral to give public money to an institution that funds pipelines and private prisons, fraudulently opens millions of accounts, and targets people of color and immigrants for discriminatory lending practices. And yet here we are: the Seattle Council just approved the renewal of a three-year contract and an additional $9 billion cycling through Wells Fargo over the next few years. The Council did this because no other bank bid for the City’s business. Wall Street banks likely feared being held accountable by the people of Seattle, and smaller banks don’t meet the minimum legal requirements to host such a large account. And so the City’s existing contract automatically rolled over and we are stuck with three more years of Wells Fargo. But there is a real silver lining here: this debacle makes the case for a public bank clearer than ever before.

Before we dive into why we need a Seattle Public Bank, let’s remember what’s happened so far:

  • February, 2017: 1,000 people show up to a finance committee meeting as the City of Seattle passes an ordinance stating that it will cease banking with Wells Fargo once the City’s current contract expires at the end of 2018. This is celebrated as a huge win for the #DeFundDAPL movement.
  • April, 2017: the Seattle City Council unanimously passes a resolution stating that it will strive to not do business with any bank that funds the Keystone XL pipeline. (Wells Fargo is a funder of the Keystone XL pipeline.)
  • May, 2017: 13 branches of JPMorgan Chase are shut down and 26 people arrested in a major action protesting the bank’s funding of tar sands pipelines.
  • October, 2017: Divest the Globe is called for by the Seattle-based Mazaska Talks. The action becomes the world’s largest-ever protest of bank investments in fossil fuels, with actions on four continents, a dozen countries, and almost fifty cities across North America. In Seattle, over 100 banks are disrupted and 6 people are arrested.
  • November, 2017: Seattle City Council approves funding for a public bank feasibility study.
  • May, 2018: #ShutDownChase actions occur in 18 cities across the U.S. In Seattle, 2nd Ave is shut down outside of Chase’s PNW HQ and 15 people are arrested.
#ShutDownChase, Seattle, 2018

Tar sands devastates our climate, our forests, and our water. What is less well-known is the devastating impact it has on indigenous communities — and especially on indigenous women. Over the last four decades, over 4,000 indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered in Canada. The murder rate of indigenous women is over 4x that of the general population. This violence vastly increases near the “man camps” that service tar sands extraction sightsLast year JPMorgan Chase increased its financing of the Canadian tar sands by 400% and is currently attempting to block the introduction of a shareholder resolution that would force the bank to undertake a study into its tar sands investments.This is one reason why we #ShutDownChase. Share if you agree that Chase needs to stop funding the violence of women and devastation of our planet.

Posted by 350 Seattle on Thursday, May 10, 2018

Against this backdrop, the news emerges that the City has been forced to continue business with Wells Fargo. It comes as a kick in the stomach: at a time when we are fighting to show Wall Street that fossil fuel investments will cost them as well as the planet, this is a reminder of how beholden we are to our Wall Street overlords — a reminder that no matter how many pipelines and prisons they finance, we can’t do without them. They are the businesses that will always be bailed out; they are the bullies that are too big to fall.

Public banks are essential if we want our cities to have a real alternative to Wall Street greed; here in Seattle, credit unions are prohibited from bidding on the City’s business, and no existing community banks are big enough to take it on.

There are other practical reasons why we need a public bank: this year the state of WA will pay almost $1 billion in interest to Wall Street banks; Seattle likely pays millions each year to Wells Fargo. Re-capturing some of that would create major savings that could help us fund things like education, housing and transit. As a recent public bank study, commissioned by the City of Santa Fe, concluded, a public bank would “provide enhanced fiscal management, improved net interest rate margins, and a more robust local lending climate.” In other words, done right, a public bank would save City money, create jobs and provide affordable loans to small businesses. This is exactly what has happened in North Dakota, which has had a public bank since 1919 — last year, the Bank of North Dakota made $130 million for the state — and during the Great Recession of ‘08, North Dakota was one of the least impacted states, as the state-owned bank shielded many of its residents from the devastating fallout from Wall Street greed that caused almost ten million Americans lose their homes. (However, it’s important to note that the Bank of North Dakota also highlights some of the dangers of a public bank.)

All of this points to the heart of why we really need a public bank: A public bank fundamentally rejects the neoliberal order.

As Naomi Klein has documented so clearly in This Changes Everything, the doctrine of neoliberalism — followed by the majority of the world’s governments with a religious zeal for the last four decades — is perhaps the single greatest obstacle to achieving the sort of bold, immediate climate action that physics demands; free market fundamentalism and serious climate action are simply antithetical.

And this is the single most important reason to support a City of Seattle public bank: Few things could be more heretical to the doctrine of neoliberalism than a local government forming its own bank in order to serve the public good.

Restoring the commons is exactly what our planet and the future of our species requires, and a public bank is both a powerful tool in both that restoration, and the narrative that will help further it.

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Why 350 is the most important number in history: To protect our world from devastating climate disruption, science tells us we must stop global warming in its tracks, and justice demands it. This means holding total warming to the peak seen since the last ice age, just a little over 1°C

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- Naomi Klein

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