071216AJ_Fast
Remember the climate fast? Here at 350 Seattle, we don’t usually see legislative work as being our core role, but sometimes, well….nothing is more important. And right now, there’s action in Olympia, with federal representatives home for town halls, and important possibilities brewing.

STATE LEGISLATURE

HB 1646 – Promoting an Equitable Clean Energy Economy – is the carbon tax bill proposed by the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and introduced by Joe Fitzgibbon. We support it, with one caveat: The targets in this bill need to be consistent with returning our climate to 350 ppm of carbon in the atmosphere. The current language targets 450 ppm. (For more info, curl up with our position paper here.)

So, let’s fix that! Call your state representatives and all members of the House Environment Committee. Let them know that HB 1646 deserves support, but it should be amended to include the stronger emission targets that were in HB 1372. Tell them to be climate champions!

If you’re able to travel to Olympia, there’s a chance to lobby for stronger targets in person:

House Environment Committee hearing on HB 1646
Tuesday March 14, 1:30pm
House Hearing Room B, Washington Capitol
416 Sid Snyder Ave SW, Olympia, WA 98504

Please email Selden and Eliza if you’re planning to attend.

HB 1611 – Oil Transportation Safety Bill creates commonsense protections from oil spills. Which we’ll need more than ever if the Trans Mountain pipeline comes online (more on that below). Use this handy link to tell your state representatives to support this bill.

CONGRESSIONAL TOWN HALLS

You may have heard that lively Town Halls have been happening all over the country. This is a great opportunity to remind Congressional reps that their constituents are looking for action on climate. You can find information about upcoming Town Halls here. For example, Pramila Jayapal has scheduled a Town Hall for Monday, March 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave.

Even if you can’t attend a Town Hall, please call or email Congressional offices (calls are best) expressing your concern about Trump’s utter disdain for climate action.

Here’s a sample question about changes in methane regulation:

I just learned that the EPA plans to withdraw its request that operators of existing oil and gas wells provide the agency with extensive information about their equipment and its emissions of methane. Methane is an extremely powerful climate pollutant which is responsible for about a quarter of global warming to date. Withdrawing this request will radically undermine a climate change initiative of President Obama. What will you do to stop the EPA from reversing this important work?

Also: keep in mind that trade agreements affect our ability to fight climate change. The President has said he’ll renegotiate NAFTA. Will he have the climate in mind? We don’t think so! Trade agreements have provisions called Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) that give corporations the power to sue our government–challenging laws, including climate-related laws, that they believe will hurt their profits. These cases aren’t heard in US courts, but in foreign trade tribunals staffed by corporate lawyers. US law does not apply in these tribunals; instead, the lawyers apply vague standards from the trade agreements. Learn more here.

So also ask your federal representatives: if the President renegotiates NAFTA, will they:

•    Support a new NAFTA that includes ISDS?
•    Look for a provision that prevents corporations from attacking our laws, including climate laws?
•    Push for terms that encourage rather than hinder action on climate change?

KEEP IT IN THE GROUND

Keep it in the Ground is currently focusing on fighting two regional dirty fuel projects: the Kalama methanol factory and Sumas Express natural gas pipeline in Washington, and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline in BC.

In our efforts to fight the Trans Mountain pipeline, we stand in solidarity with the First Nations whose sovereignty and basic rights this project endangers. We’re teaming up with Sierra Club WA to raise $50,000 in the Seattle area for Pull Together, a community fundraising effort for the legal fees of the Tsleil-Waututh and Coldwater First Nations who are challenging the Canadian government over this unlawful and unjust project.

Please join us at The People vs Kinder Morgan, hosted by the Lummi Nation and Sierra Club WA, a community building and fundraising event for Pull Together. RSVP and event details are here. Contact us at pulltogetherseattle@gmail.com if you’re interested in hosting a fundraising event for Pull Together, and join and donate to our online fundraising team here: https://fundraise.raventrust.com/pulltogetherseattle.

If built, the Kalama methanol refinery would be the world’s largest–converting natural gas to feedstock for plastic made in China. Not a pretty picture, right?

The state Department of Ecology has 30 days to review locally approved permits and given the state-wide impacts, they should reject them. Want to drop them a line? Contact Cecile for the who and where.

Another thing you can do is let the Governor know how you feel about natural gas. His number is 360-902-4111, and friendly people are standing by to take your message. The Sierra Club will be holding two phone-banks to help ring him up: Tuesday March 9 and Tuesday March 21. Again, contact Cecile for details on that or the letter writing workshop Tuesday evening, March 14.

YOU HOLD THE PURSE STRINGS

Seattle Divest
In 2013, Seattle was the first major city to pledge to divest from fossil fuels. Four years later the city’s pension fund still invests at least $150 million in companies like Shell and ExxonMobil. But we’re going to change that, and here are three things you can do to help:

  • Sign-up for a petitioning shift! To convince the pension board to divest, we’re going to need over 1,000 city employees and retirees to stand up and demand it. 350 Seattle volunteers are talking to city employees outside their workplaces every day this week. Please join us for a shift or two!
  • Help enter the signatures we gather into our database. If you have time to help with databasing, please email Bob.
  • Call Mayor Murray and ask him to support fossil fuel divestment. Call script and talking points are here. You can also tweet this article at him, @MayorEdMurray.

#DeFundDAPL
Since Seattle voted to terminate its $3 billion contract with Wells Fargo, three other cities and an additional $1.4 billion has followed suit — campaigns have sprung up everywhere from New York to San Francisco to King County. If you know anyone who is interested in pushing a city, county or university to divest from the banks funding DAPL, please share this website with them: www.mazaskatalks.org.

Please also view and share Ale’s beautiful and moving #DefundDAPL video. Ale is a new Artful Activism Music co-lead – this is her own video editing, voice, and words, covering a currently popular song.

BUILDING SOLUTIONS

The Community Solutions workgroup builds community-based climate solutions in Seattle around energy efficiency, community solar, improved transit, and better bike access. We support the Trump-Proof Seattle income tax on high earners, and helped to pack Seattle City Hall Chambers March 1 to demand the tax to fund local solutions. We are also working with the Transit Riders Union and other groups to stage a Community Power Summit in early May…more on that next month! Our next meeting is Thursday March 16, 6:30 – 8:30pm at the 350 Seattle Office (UCC, 1919 E. Prospect).

Frontline Allies and Undoing Racism
Join us as we examine the ways that white privilege and subtle forms of racism are unintentionally embedded in our climate work, and how we can become allies who effectively work across traditional divides to build the unified and powerful movement we need to stop climate chaos. Please RSVP to Diane to be part of this work group.

At the general meeting Diane read excerpts from Naomi Klein’s Why #BlackLivesMatter should Transform the Climate Debate. It’s worth your time!

Black Lives Matter Book Club
Join us at our second study group meeting, where we’ll talk about Dr. King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nahesi Coates: Monday March 13, 6:30 for pot-luck dinner (snacks are fine) and 7 p.m. for discussion.
RSVP to Susan for location in Greenwood.

Frontline Allies is also supporting Got Green’s annual fundraiser, the Green-A-Thon! RSVP to Diane to join our team. More info from Got Green is here.

FEET IN THE STREET

Here are several local marches that coincide with national actions in the other Washington.

We Rise with Standing Rock
Friday March 10, 3:00 – 6:00pm
Federal Building, 915 Second Avenue, Seattle 98104 – Rally starts at 3:00, march to Westlake at 3:30pm
Westlake Park, 4th Ave and Pine St, Seattle 98101 – Rally from 4:00 to 6:00pm

In solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s global call to action against the Dakota Access Pipeline, indigenous grassroots leadership in Seattle calls on local tribal nations and their allies to peacefully march and rally. Coinciding with the Indigenous People’s March in Washington DC, speakers will include tribal chairpersons, Indigenous NoDAPL leaders, and key allies.

We will also have the Sacred Water Canoe Family and other Canoe Families present. Please bring your prayers, voices, chants, songs and drums. #MniWiconi #NoDAPL. Please join and share this Facebook event! For more information, contact Millie Kennedy in the comment section of the event announcement.

Black Lives Matter – Tax Day March on Seattle 2.0
It’s time to stand up for tax justice: Saturday April 15, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Westlake Park Seattle, 4th Ave and Pine St, Seattle 98101 RSVP and share here. Want to make and or knit a Black Beanie? Join the Yarn Army!

Earth Day to May Day – People’s Climate Movement
To coincide with the Washington DC People’s Climate March on April 29, there is a broad coalition working on local actions, possibly including workshops and trainings, between the March for Science on Saturday April 22, Earth Day, and the March for Workers and Immigrant Rights on Monday May 1. We will be updating the 350 Seattle calendar as more is decided by the coalition.

DIRECT ACTION UPDATES

Pledge of Resistance
Over 1800 people have now signed the PNW Pledge of Resistance! Over the coming weeks we will be continuing a series of non-violent direct action (NVDA) trainings to prepare people to stand up for what they love. You can sign the PNW Pledge of Resistance here.

Save March 16-17 and March 22-24 for upcoming Break Free Trials
Many who blocked the tracks and prevented oil from reaching the Anacortes refineries during Break Free are yet to be tried. Let’s pack the courtrooms during the two trials in March. For more information, and updates if court dates change, see the Break Free PNW Facebook page.

Valve Turners Puget Sound Higher Ed Tour
One stop so far: UW Intellectual House, April 12, 5:30 – 8:30pm, Facebook event here.
Are you a student or faculty at a local school and would like the Valve Turners to speak to your community? Please email Nicky.

Do you know good people in MT, MN, or ND?
We are reaching out to activist and faith leaders in these states to strengthen regional networks and raise awareness about the #ShutitDown action in preparation for trials. Please email Nicky with ideas and contacts.

Save the Date, May 22! Valve-Turner Ken Ward’s re-trial, Skagit County Superior Court. The necessity defense was denie; Ken admitted he shut down the tar sands pipeline into Anacortes; the prosecutor nailed everything….and STILL the first trial ended in a hung jury, because Ken had right on his side and his community supporting him in the courtroom. Ken will again ask for the necessity defense, and it may be granted this time. Please save May 22-24 for this historic trial. If you did not RSVP for the first trial, and wish to be kept informed (dates may change), please RSVP here.

CAPITALISM AND CLIMATE CHANGE

350 Seattle Book Club
“Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism” (Part 1)
Sunday March 19, 4:30 – 6:00pm
For location and RSVP go to the Facebook page or email Barbara

What is stopping us from mitigating climate change and creating a sustainable future that works for all of us? We’ll discuss the work of several authors on the paradigms that might be holding us back and how to overcome them.

Capitalism and Climate Change Forum
Thursday March 23, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
University Friends Meeting House, 4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle

We’ve known about climate change for fifty years, yet have been unable to enact the policies necessary to stop or mitigate it. Is our economic system responsible for this inaction? Can we stop climate change under capitalism? Is capitalism sustainable? Can we move beyond it? Join us to discuss these and related questions. Contact info: 350beyondcapitalism@gmail.com.

LET’S (GET and) STAY TOGETHER

Families Uniting Now – the FUN workgroup!
A new workgroup is forming! Our intention is to create a fun supportive space where parents and children come together to learn about climate recovery and how families can act together to build a powerful family climate action movement.

We’re working closely with other 350 Seattle workgroups to make campaigns and rallies family-friendly and fun for all ages! This multi-generational group invites preschoolers to grandparents. Free child care available for kids over 3 years old offering fun activities while adults build community and act together to protect our children’s planet.

We are also looking for parents interested in co-facilitating. For questions and more information, email Sue.

Climate Sharing Circle
350 Seattle office, 1919 E. Prospect Street
Wednesday March 15, 7:00 – 9:00pm

Feeling overwhelmed by climate news or actions by the new administration? The Climate Sharing Circle is a place for people to share their grief, fear, anger, or anything else that is coming up for them about climate change and/or the new Trump administration. All are invited, and everyone will be given time to speak. Please contact Jared Howe to find out more.

Brewing Resistance
Meeting regularly on the third Tuesday of the month, this is your chance to meet like-minded activists over a pint of your favorite beer.
Tuesday, March 21, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Optimism Brewing, 1158 Broadway, Seattle 98122

Volunteer drop-in hours
Want to get involved in 350 Seattle and don’t know where to begin? Schedule a visit with Nicky, our Volunteer Engagement Team Co-Coordinator, Wednesdays from 12:00 – 4:00pm
Just email Nicky to confirm an appointment.

AND IF EVERYONE…

…on our email list donated just $5 per month, it would triple our budget. All the things on the “that would be nice if we had money” list? We’d be able to do them! We could pull off bigger, bolder actions, and offer much more support, from trainings to community-building events. If that’s something you’d like to help make happen, click here to become a monthly donor.

And thank you for all that you do,