Patrick Mazza gave testimony to the City Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee on Thursday. Read it here!
Thanks to all who were able to show up today at Michels for our #NoDAPL solidarity action. We were able to deliver a demand letter to the office, and there was also a support letter from CM Kshama Sawant..we’ll to follow up soon with a petition to local public entities, asking them not to do business with Michels anymore. Michels may or may not have been behind the bulldozing of the sacred sites–we’re trying to find out. But they’re definitely a contractor for #DAPL, and the world can’t take any more catastrophic fossil fuel projects. DAPL would be the greenhouse gas equivalent of 30 coal plants if it were built….so it can’t be; it’s that simple.
Don’t forget tonight’s fundraiser for Standing Rock!
We’re looking for an Organizational Development Consultant!
After three years of rapid growth, we’ve realized some of the limits of our structure, and are looking for expert advice.
We’re seeking an Organizational Development consultant who will be supported by our Structure Task Force (a group of 7 people, made up of Hub and non-Hub leaders), to design a transparent and inclusive process to develop a structure and decision-making model for 350 Seattle that:
- Is scaleable for rapid movement growth and sustainable as people move through and on from the organization
- Meets our legal requirements as a 501(c)3
- Allows for transparent and fair decision-making
- Builds in a leadership ladder
- Welcomes all people, especially underrepresented groups
- Creatively addresses how to pay people for their work
- And is aligned with and accountable to our core values
We believe our strength comes from our commitment to being driven by grassroots energy and not by funders. It is important that our structure keeps this commitment front and center.
If you know someone who’d be interested in this, please share the RFP!
- A World at War (on mobilizing against climate change)
- The Axis of Destruction and Hope (on indigenous leadership)
- The coral die-off crisis is a climate crime and Exxon fired the gun
As many of you know, at the June general meeting we said that it was likely we were going to unendorse I-732. We then held three discussion groups, so that we could hear from more of you. After that, we in the Hub (made up primarily of our workgroup facilitators) met again, and decided to go through with the unendorsement; we announced it at the meeting last Wednesday, and on Friday, we asked CarbonWA to remove our name and logo from the list of endorsers.
We feel strongly that we had to do this. Our reason, above all, is that we want to support our allies in people-of-color-led climate justice groups that represent those on the frontlines of climate change. These groups, as represented by Front & Centered, are strongly opposed to this particular ballot measure.
We know that some of our supporters are strongly in favor of it, though, and have worked hard for it, which is why we held the discussion groups; we wanted to let you know about our history with it and why we’ve changed our minds, and also to hear from you about your hopes going forward. In the groups, we heard from some people that they wanted to learn more about the history that informed our decision; here are some links about that process. We also have a page with links about WA carbon pricing more broadly.
This was not an easy process for us, and was under discussion for a long time. Most of all, we hope that the divisiveness that has marked this fight subsides. We respect the work and passion of those who have fought to bring carbon pricing to Washington State this year–those who gathered signatures for I-732 did a great service to the climate movement by engaging people in discussions about climate change and the role of carbon pricing in solving it. Whether I-732 succeeds or fails, we hope that we can all work together to make sure that we unite behind ambitious and equitable carbon pricing as soon as possible.
In April, a King County judge ruled in favor of eight youths who sued the WA Department of Ecology over its failure to use current science in greenhouse gas reduction goals. Judge Hill ordered the Dept. of Ecology to come up with a Clean Air Rule that would protect the children’s constitutional right to clean air — and that means a rule based on the best current science, which indicates we need annual reductions of 8%.
Instead, however, Ecology has come up with a rule that will mean greenhouse gas reductions of around 1% per year.
It’s nowhere near good enough.
And it gets worse — Governor Inslee and the Dept. of Ecology are now appealing the court case.
This is a betrayal of our children on a grand scale.
We’re launching a campaign to exert so much pressure on Governor Inslee and the Dept. of Ecology that they will have no choice but to pull their appeal — and to implement a Clean Air Rule based on science and not on so-called “political reality.”
This campaign is going to have to be big and bold and we don’t have long. The first public hearings are a little over two weeks away.
It is our intention to make this a HUGE issue. To do this though, we need people, so please, everybody, join our Clean Air Team and get involved by joining the Clean Air mailing list by sending any email to: email@example.com.
The most important date to get in your calendars right away is:
When: Thursday, July 14th, 6pm
What: Public Hearing
Where: The Red Lion Hotel, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive SW, Olympia, WA. 99201
We will be arranging carpools and transport to Olympia.
Please join us!
Aji Piper–Photo by John Duffy
On Friday afternoon, former Mayor Mike McGinn joined about 150 local residents outside the fundraiser President Obama was hosting for Jay Inslee to demand an immediate halt to the shipment of dangerous Bakken crude over Washington railroads. Weeks after a train derailed and caught fire in the Columbia Gorge town of Mosier, OR, federal and state officials have failed to enact any changes to safeguard the people and ecosystems along the rail lines. Oil trains also pass daily under downtown Seattle and through populated areas of the Puget Sound.
“Governor Inslee and president Obama both hold themselves to be advocates for a sustainable future, but they allow explosive oil to be shipped through neighborhoods and cities,” said high school student Aji Piper, who spoke at the event. Even if the trains don’t explode, they add another layer of fuel to the ticking time-bomb that is climate change. Inslee and Obama are both facing lawsuits brought by children, because they’re not doing enough to protect our rights. We shouldn’t have to fight for our governments to acknowledge the fact that the safety of our citizens is supposed to come before the profit of corporations.”
McGinn also joined local residents concerned for the safety of Washington communities in inviting the nearly 3,000 donors attending Jay Inslee’s fundraiser to wear stickers into the event bearing the words, “I stand with Mosier: Ban Oil Trains”. Of President Obama, he said “National monuments are a fine environmental legacy. Banning oil trains would be better.”
All of this took place outside; inside the fundraiser there was a disruption during the President’s speech.
“This was a rare opportunity to speak directly to the leader of our nation about a dire issue facing our communities,” says Elizabeth Claydon, 24, one of the donors. “As we saw in Mosier, oil trains are a blatant, large-scale public safety hazard. These rolling bombs travel through heavily populated areas, including downtown Seattle. President Obama has the power to ban them with an executive order, and that’s what I’m asking him to do.”
Despite June 3rd’s spill of 42,000 gallons of crude along the Columbia River and a massive fire, activists say that Mosier was very lucky: had wind speeds been what they were the day before, the fire would have spread to homes and a nearby school. Having seen what an oil train fire is like, Mosier Fire Chief Jim Appleton, who was previously neutral about the oil train traffic, now calls oil-by-rail “insane” and says we have to “ban those trains”. The tribes of the Columbia basinpassionately agree, and local mayors are also deeply concerned.
Oregon officials have called for an indefinite moratorium on oil trains through the state; activists are appalled that until today, Governor Inslee merely asked for the trains to slow down in rural communities along with speeding up the switch-over to newer, supposedly safer rail cars. The Mosier incident involved exactly these “safer” cars.
Just this afternoon, the Governor’s office issued a press release about requesting a temporary halt to the UP oil trains for safety reasons…but BNSF trains–of which there are many more in WA–have also exploded repeatedly across the country.
“Oil trains, fracking, pipelines, and export terminals are nothing more than the latest chapter in the ongoing colonization of Native lands and resources,” adds Matt Remle, a Lakota and WA resident who also spoke outside. “We demand an end to this, and seek a transition to a worldview that understands the impact of human activity on the natural world and one that plans for the welfare of the seven generations to come.”
The fact that these trains are still running weeks after Mosier dodged the bullet–and about to run again through Mosier–shows how powerful and insidious fossil fuel business-as-usual is…The fire chief calls it ‘insane’, but none of our elected leaders are principled or bold enough to stop it. The truth is that even without a single fire locally, these trains are an inferno on wheels for the Global South–one more rush to profit while hundreds of thousands of people die, islands are swallowed by the sea, and ecosystems everywhere are at risk. It has to stop.
“In any rational universe, it’s the end of oil trains in the Northwest,” says Eric de Place, policy director for Sightline Institute, in response to the Mosier derailment. “But do we live in a rational universe? We’ll see.”
This morning, three intrepid 350 Seattle folks deployed a banner at Union Pacific in SoDo, supported by a few dozen more, including Paul Cheoketen Wagner, who said a few words as we gathered and then again at UP, and Zarna Joshi, who read out our Solidarity Statement. The action was held in solidarity with the people of Mosier and the tribes of the Columbia Basin, who have asked for an immediate halt to oil train traffic, and it was a beautiful start to our response to the Mosier derailment. Keep an eye out in coming days for other opportunities to join in actions–we know we’ll be carpooling to Portland next week to join 350PDX and Portland Rising Tide, and also attending the July 8 event in Grays Harbor to support the Quinault.
Please join us. Because fossil fuel business-as-usual is anything but rational…but here in the Northwest, when we fight, we win.
Anacortes, WA: Early this morning, police raided the Break Free blockade of the train tracks outside of Anacortes, WA, where activists had created an encampment of 150+ people.
52 people were arrested and brought to the Skagit County jail; most are being released on their own recognizance and brought to the Mt. Vernon train station.
No word yet on charges for those responsible for the climate crisis. Shell and Tesoro officials are still at large.
Minutes ago, dozens of people began setting up a camp on the tracks near Tesoro and Shell’s March Point refineries near Anacortes. The group is setting up tents and building temporary structures; they say they intend to stay, blocking the flow of oil at the refineries for as long as possible. Organizer Ahmed Gaya says, “Break Free is about pressuring the system so we get the change we need, but it’s also about imagining an alternative. By setting up a village here, we’re embodying what we need to do as a community: to turn the systems that have devastated people and nature into places that can support us.”
Tomorrow is the Indigenous Day of Action, with inspiring speakers and musicians: arrive by 10:00am and park at the March Point Park & Ride–the march begins promptly at 11am. It’s a 3-mile walk, and the terrific program is almost 4 hours–bring comfortable shoes!
All weekend is also the People’s Climate Conference–with more amazing speakers and entertainment.
Please join us!