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Let’s Keep Seattle’s Buildings Clean, Safe and Fossil Fuel-Free

 

Seattle City Council unanimously adopts Green New Deal resolution

by Nick Etheredge

Seattle should follow the City of Berkeley’s lead and ensure that all new buildings are heated by clean energy, rather than climate-wrecking, health-damaging fossil fuels

As Seattleites brace for yet another smoke season, it is more important than ever to take meaningful steps to eliminate our city’s climate pollution. Worryingly, our greenhouse gas emissions are currently going in the wrong direction – the latest data shows a 2.5% increase between 2014 and 2016

More hopefully, on Monday, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution, committing to create a transformational Green New Deal for our city, which will eliminate climate pollution by 2030, address current and historical injustices and create thousands of jobs in the process. The City Council should immediately follow up that resolution by passing binding policies that will ensure we are not making the problem any worse.

Luckily, other cities around the country have shown us the way, and have created policy blueprints that we can follow. One city, Berkeley, recently passed a policy that will ensure all new buildings are heated by clean electricity, rather than health-damaging, fossil fuels such as fracked gas. Seattle should follow Berkeley’s lead and pass policies that ensure that all new buildings in our city are clean, safe and fossil fuel-free. 

Climate pollution from our residential and commercial buildings is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in our city, largely because of the use of fracked gas to heat our homes and cook our meals. And while the gas industry (which includes the multinational fossil fuel utility Puget Sound Energy currently trying to buy influence in our local politics) would have you believe that so-called “natural” gas is a bridge fuel to a brighter future, that’s a lie. As of 2015, energy-related emissions in the U.S. from gas have surpassed emissions from coal. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that any modest benefit gas was thought to have over coal is wiped out by leaking methane, which is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over the short term. In addition to leaking from extraction sites, a recent article in Scientific American indicated that U.S. cities are emitting far more methane into the atmosphere from leaky pipes than was previously realized. It is simply untenable for Seattle to continue allowing more fracked gas in our buildings and homes.

And the evils of fracked gas don’t stop with climate destruction; there are also major health and safety concerns with its use. Recent studies have shown that the use of fracked gas in homes, particularly for stoves, creates indoor pollution levels that are hazardous to respiratory health. When we use gas for cooking, we are breathing in levels of pollution that the EPA would consider illegal outdoors. Gas in homes has been linked to increasing asthma, which is already a major health issue in our city, particularly in Seattle’s low-income communities and communities of color, where people currently bear the brunt of polluted air due to a history of racist land use policies.

In addition to threatening our health, gas in our homes threatens us with death by explosion. Gas pipelines connected to our homes explode and endanger communities. Seattleites will not soon forget the 2016 natural gas explosion in Greenwood that leveled two buildings and damaged many others. While this explosion thankfully did not kill anyone, who’s to say the next one won’t? Gas pipelines explode with alarming frequency. The last deadly gas pipeline in the explosion in the U.S at the time of writing? Ten days ago. In Seattle earthquakes are an ever-present risk, and should “the Big One” hit, we can be fairly certain that gas pipelines will explode.

The good news is we can choose a different future. Replacing dangerous, health-damaging fracked gas in our buildings with clean, renewable electricity is not only a win for the climate and our health, it can also lead to increased comfort and more energy efficiency. For example, heat pumps present a superior alternative to fracked gas furnaces, either as ducted or ductless units. Heat pumps are devices that run on electricity and produce heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, doing both jobs very efficiently.  As extreme heat becomes more common, air conditioning will become increasingly important. As the Seattle Times recently reported, climate change-driven heat waves could soon be killing hundreds of Seattleites. In light of this, investing in heat pumps, which provide air conditioning where gas furnaces do not, becomes a matter of climate resiliency, as well as climate mitigation.

More good news is that the other two main uses of fracked gas in our buildings – water heating and cooking – have ready replacements that again perform better, run on electricity, and use far less energy. Heat pumps can also be used for water heating, and they look just like standard electric or gas water heaters. But compared to a standard electric water heater, a heat pump water heater uses approximately ⅓ the energy. And unlike a gas water heater, it produces no pollution. Not only that, it is a device ready for a future smart grid powered by renewables. In effect, future in-home electric devices like water heaters and electric vehicles will act as grid batteries, pushing and pulling electricity to and from the grid, smoothing out the variability issue with intermittent solar and wind energy.

Replacing gas stoves can be done with high performance induction stoves, which use magnetic waves to heat pots and pans with great precision – even greater than natural gas stoves. Better cooking, lower utility bills, healthier, safer homes and a livable planet for future generations. What’s not to like?

With these solutions in place, there is no excuse for our city to continue to hook new buildings up to climate-wrecking fracked gas. Doing so is only digging the climate hole even deeper, and everyone knows the first rule to getting out of a hole is to stop digging. 

Read

August Newsletter!

Just because we didn’t have a general meeting this month doesn’t mean we’re on vacation!

13-year-old climate justice activist for 350 seattle and fridays for future arrested by Seattle police

JOIN FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE

For those of you who haven’t seen the tweet thread, our amazing young friend Zoe (of Fridays for Future, Climate Action Families, and 350 Seattle) was arrested on Friday, because she’d been told the can she was given was spray chalk (it was paint), and she used it at City Hall. The police reaction is certainly…open to question (5 cars, about ten officers, and handcuffs, for a thirteen year old who was remorseful and totally cooperative).

What’s not open to question is her dedication. If you’re moved or appalled by what happened, what she’d really like you to do is please come support her and the other Fridays for Future kids this Friday at 1pm at City Hall (and every other Friday you can manage too). Zoe will also be there tomorrow for our…

SEATTLE FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL 

This Monday, the Seattle City Council will vote on a Seattle for a Green New Deal resolution. Join us at the Council to show your support!

Vote YES for Seattle’s Green New Deal
Monday, August 12th, 2:00pm
Seattle City Hall, 601 5th Ave., Seattle 98104
RSVP and more details here.

The Green New Deal for Seattle resolution will lay out the vision, values, goals and timeline for the implementation of a transformational Green New Deal for our city. The Council can take this historic first major step toward implementing a Green New Deal for our city―and with corporate money pouring into the election, it’s more important than ever that everyday Seattlites show up to demonstrate that we, the people of Seattle, support a just, equitable Green New Deal for our city. 


Whether you are able to make it on Monday or not, here are three things you can do right now to support the campaign: Sign our Petition.

Invite any organizations, community groups, faith leaders or small businesses that you know to endorse the campaign by adding their voice to this community letter.

 

Sign up to volunteer for the campaign! If enough of us come together, we can win meaningful change in our city. 

 

PUBLIC HEARING ON TACOMA LNG

Listen up! We’re down to the wire on keeping Puget Sound Energy’s proposed fracked gas mega-project from becoming operational and we need your help!

 

Show up to a public hearing on the project and tell Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to deny the final permit for this toxic refinery! The agency has already announced that they intend to approve the permit–so show up, wear red, and help change their minds!

 

Public Hearing for PSE’s Tacoma LNG Plant

Tuesday, August 27

Testimony taken from 2:00–5:00pm and 6:30–10:00pm 

Rialto Theater, 310 S 9th St, Tacoma, 98402

Find or offer a carpool here!

 

Stand with the Puyallup!

Before the hearing, join members of the Puyallup Tribe for a march to Rialto Theater followed by a rally!

Tuesday, August 27, 11:30am

Puyallup Tribal Administration Building, 3009 Portland Ave E, Tacoma 98404

 

Join us during the break for a free screening of Native Daily Network’s documentary “Ancestral Waters” which chronicles the Puyallup Tribe and Water Warriors’ movement to resist the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility currently being built without proper permits on the Tribe’s ancestral tide flats in violation of the Medicine Creek Treaty. 

 

Screening of Ancestral Waters

Tuesday, August 27, 5:00pm

Urban Grace Church, 902 Market St, Tacoma 98402

 

You can also submit written comments on the permit through September 9th – here’s a handy comment link!

 

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

New safety Information recently unearthed by Advocates for a Cleaner Tacoma shows that the City of Tacoma has been withholding critical safety analyses from the public: An evacuation zone stretching 12.6 miles in every direction! 

 

Back in 2016, Grant Ringel, Director, Customer Market Strategies and LNG spokesman for PSE stated in the Tacoma News Tribune, “It is required that we are able to demonstrate through that process that whatever happens on the site, whether it be a pipe break or whether it be a roof of the tank collapsing, whatever might happen there, we have to study that and demonstrate that it is contained within the fence line,” He said. “If we can’t prove that, we will not be able to operate the plant, and I think this is really important for that to be out there and to be considered.” 

 

So, by PSE’s own admission–this project is too dangerous to operate. You might want to include that when you personalize your comment on the project here.

 

Advocates for a Cleaner Tacoma has engaged an experienced environmental attorney to pursue regulatory and legal action to prevent the start-up and operation of the LNG tank. Your tax-deductible donations can help fund that work! Find the Donate button here.

 

SEATTLE CLIMATE WALKOUT

Young people around the world have organized massive global climate school strikes inspired by 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg’s leadership. This past March a record-breaking 1.4 million young people took to the streets to stand up for a safe, just, and healthy future. Now the youth climate movement is asking adults around the world to stand in solidarity with their upcoming Global Climate Walkout on September 20th. This event is shaping up to be the largest climate mobilization in history—at least three million people around the world are expected to take to the streets to call for climate justice. 

 

Here in Seattle a broad array of multicultural and intergenerational organizations has come together to plan a major, peaceful, youth-lead Climate Walkout event on September 20th. Here’s how you can get involved:

 

350 Seattle General Meeting–Climate Walkout Informational

Wednesday, September 4, 6:30pm, doors open at 5:30

University Friends Meeting, 4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle 98105

Come hear how you can take part in the international walkout on 9/20 and the accompanying global week of action!

 

Climate Walkout Art Build at the Powerhouse
3940 Fremont Ave N, Seattle 98103 

Monday, August 12, 4:00–8:00pm 

Bring smiles, friends, food to share, and dress for mess!

 

Seattle Climate Walkout

Friday, September 20, 12:00pm

Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave., Seattle 98104

RSVP here and share!

 

SEPTEMBER WEEK OF CLIMATE ACTION

As you and we both know, a one-day walkout, however well attended, won’t be enough. That’s why we’re joining with hair-on-fire climate activists around the world to call attention to the changes that need to be made to, well, save the effing planet, basically. Here’s one place to see, join and post actions across the state.  

 

Washington Climate Week

Friday September 20–Friday September 27

Various locations around the state

More details here

 

Already in the works: opportunities to pressure decision-makers to do the right thing on the proposed LNG fracked gas project, including a 4 day walk led by Protectors of the Salish Sea beginning on Friday, September 20th at the LNG site, culminating in a climate emergency rally at the Capital Building in Olympia on Tuesday, September 24th. And the Power Past Fracked Gas coalition will be leading a visit to the Department of Ecology in Lacey on Monday the 23rd! 

 

SKILL UP FOR ACTION

With the recent (re)approval of the TransMountain pipeline expansion, the continued construction of Puget Sound Energy’s fracked gas facility on Puyallup land without consent, and other unsustainable new and expanded fossil fuel projects proposed in our region, we’re gearing up the resistance. As the Global Climate Strike on September 20 and the subsequent week of action approaches, there may be calls to risk arrest or support those willing to do so. Our Pledge of Resistance team is launching a training series focused on nonviolent direct action to help skill up our movement to be ready for the call to action! More info and RSVP links here. 

 

Upcoming Pledge of Resistance Trainings

Thursday, August 29: Security Culture 101, 7:00–9:00pm

Tuesday, September 10: Staying Healthy & Safe at Protests, 7:00–9:00pm

Thursday, September 12: Jail & Legal Support, 7:00–9:00pm

Saturday, September 14: Nonviolent Direct Action, 1:00–6:00pm

Locations vary, check details for each training.

 

TACOMA TRAIN WATCH

What the heck goes into the Port of Tacoma by rail, anyway? To find out, 350 Tacoma is organizing a 24-hour survey of fossil fuel rail traffic into, out of and through Tacoma. The hard data collected by intrepid volunteers like you will help educate the public, inform interim regulations, and establish a baseline for future surveys. 

 

Train Watch Training

Monday, August 19, 6:30pm

350 Tacoma, 311 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma 98421

 

Tacoma Train Watch

Thursday, August 22, 8:00am–Friday 23, 8:00am

Collect data in the comfort of your car! Sign up for a two-hour shift here.

 

BUILD THE MOVEMENT

How will others join the climate movement if you won’t ask them? Chances are, they might not! Put yourself in the position to ask the curious and newly concerned to take their first steps on climate action by tabling and helping with outreach at any number of fun events this month: Outdoor music festivals, talks with athletic superstars, events with science geeks—we’ve got it all. Email Meg to sign up. 

 

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, including upcoming support and education opportunities.

 

We will be taking a break from our monthly meeting in August to work on some restructuring. If you’d like to step up to co-lead a team focusing on a specific issue connected to the systems of oppression that cause climate chaos, please contact Kara to discuss your interest and capacity!

 

Book club

The fall study group of “What It Means to Be White,” will have its first of six meetings on the evening of September 9th. Meetings will take place on the same day every other week. Email Barbara for details!

 

Mark your calendars!

Walk to Protect and Restore the Salish Sea, September 20-24:

Join Protectors of the Salish Sea and grassroots partners in an Indigenous-led walk from Puyallup lands to Nisqually village site of St,chas (Washington State Capitol) to demand the State of Washington to officially declare a Climate Emergency, and for our Legislators to draft Emergency Legislation to terminate all current fossil fuel expansion projects such as Tacoma LNG, Kalama Methanol, Puget Sound Pipeline (tar sands oil), Snohomish County Bilateral Pipeline, etc. The walk will culminate in a Climate Emergency Gathering at the Washington State Capitol on September 24. There are ways to plug in and support, or just come for the walk! More info coming soon, email Kara if you want to find out about specific roles.

 

A Gathering to Celebrate Xw’ullemy (the Salish Sea), September 27:

Please join Lummi Nation to celebrate and protect Xw’ullemy! If you’re coming by land, gather at Marine Park at high tide for speakers, music, and a demonstration of unity. If you have a boatTribal or non-tribal, fishing or leisure, big or small, Canadian or Americangather on the water at the border.

High Tide, 5:00 to 7:00pm at Marine Park in Blaine, WA

 

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE

Last Friday the Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) coalition presented its transportation package to the City Council’s Transportation and Sustainability Committee. The package includes proposed legislation on creating new bike lanes, improving bus priority on our streets, building sidewalks and making crosswalks safer. 350 Seattle is a member of the coalition, and we are proud to be part of this comprehensive effort to transform Seattle’s transportation system into one that is safer, more affordable, and less polluting of our air and climate! 

 

MASS is working to get sponsorship for all the ordinances in the package in the coming weeks. If you can help work with council members to sponsor and pass these key bills, sign up here!

 

PORT TEAM

Despite its reputation as an environmental leader, the Port of Seattle is planning to greatly expand aviation and cruising in coming years, notwithstanding the fact that this is incompatible with…life on Earth. So we’ve started a Port team! We have sub-teams focused on maritime, on aviation, on our vision for a real Port of the Future, and more. Email Emily to get plugged in.

 

THIS PLAN NEEDS YOUR INPUT

Ever heard of the Puget Sound Regional Council? They make the big, region-wide plans around here, and they’ve got a new one: Vision 2050, which will guide where growth occurs in our region over the next 30 years

 

Ensuring transit-oriented growth, compact and clustered around transit connections, is key to reducing climate pollution from cars — and, right now, the plan doesn’t do nearly enough to promote transit-oriented development. We’ll submit an organizational comment, but more voices are needed—we encourage you to get involved and comment too. 

 

Vision 2050 Open House

Tuesday, August 13, 

Workshop 3:00–5:00pm, Open House 5:30–7:00pm 

Union Station, 401 S Jackson Street, Seattle 98104

 

This is a good one to attend–more climate voices need to be heard by these folks!

 

OH NO NOT AGAIN 

Noted chair-stealer Tim Eyman’s I-976 will be on the ballot this November, and, if passed, would slash revenues for Sound Transit, Seattle’s Transportation Benefit District funds, and a host of multi-modal transportation projects. In classic Eyman fashion it threatens a huge setback to climate-sensible transportation. And alas, the measure is polling well because it would save car owners a few bucks on their tabs and registration. Go here right now to learn more about the No on I-976 campaign and talk to all your car-owning family, friends and co-workers.

 

NAFTA UPDATE

Trade agreements are dangerous territory for Democrats because the corporate Dems tend to be pro trade, and yet, who wants to be on the side of Trump these days? Nevertheless, our Washington delegation (except for Pramila Jayapal and Adam Smith) still has not come out against Trump’s climate-killing NAFTA, even while all the leading Democratic contenders for President have signed a statement opposing the deal unless major changes are made. 

 

So, this week and last, the Trade team has been meeting with Congressional reps in the Seattle area to continue to educate them about the horrendous aspects of NAFTA related to climate and workers. To get involved, contact Selden.

 

And keep an eye out on social media for an upcoming video about Trump’s NAFTA, starring some 350 Seattleites whose acting talent had previously been kept secret! 

 

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.

 

Mural wall needed
We need a high visibility wall for a beautiful mural that will stay up and raise awareness. Know of one? If you do or want to help us find one, contact Doug.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Join our Photo/Imagery Library Team!
We’re organizing our photos and imagery data and are looking for folks who want to join a team to do photo sorting and labeling for our events and our imagery library. Launching the team this month! Also looking for an imagery co-librarian! Contact Lisa.

 

ART IN THE PARK

Here’s a free outdoor all-ages event in Discovery Park featuring a screening of the symphonic multimedia Terra Nostra (“Our Earth”), “EarthQuake” by the Khambatta Dance Company, “Inhale/Exhale” animation by Artist Rachel Lodge, and a resource fair and family activities centered on the timely and important subject of climate change with local artists, scientists and environmental groups.

 

Symphony for Climate Change

Saturday, August 17, 4:00–7:00pm
Upper field, Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, 5011 Bernie Whitebear Way, Seattle 98199

More details here

 

Bring something comfy to sit on, a picnic, and hope for great weather (wear sunscreen)!

 

GOT A CLIMATE QUESTION?

This year’s Ask a Scientist event will be an extravaganza of scientists, engineers, and other climate and energy experts with plenty of answers to those perplexing climate questions, like, Should the global warming potential of methane be counted over 20 or 100 years? And, how long do we have, anyway?

 

Besides the engrossing discussions over beer and tasty food, there will be hands-on scientific demonstrations of ocean acidification, global warming, and extreme weather events, as well as a climate bingo game with prizes, and a raffle! Fun for all ages!

 

Ask a Scientist

Monday August 26, 5:30–8:30pm

Lagunitas Seattle Tap Room & Beer Sanctuary

1550 NW 49th St., Seattle, Washington 98107

More details here

 

SEEKING EVENT SPONSORS!
We’re holding our luscious, fun fall fundraiser, Intertwined, again this year on Friday, November 15th at the Centilia Cultural Center. The Events Team is looking for sponsors—are you a business owner or part of an organization that wants to support 350 Seattle by sponsoring our event? Here’s our sponsorship packet. Your support helps power our fight! Contact Shemona to sign up.

 

VOLUNTEER DROP-IN HOURS 

Join us for our monthly drop-in hours to help make all the little behind-the-scenes tasks get done, or just chat with our volunteer engagement team to learn more about what’s going on with 350 Seattle. 

 

Monthly Drop-In Hours

Wednesday, August 21, 3:00–7:00pm 

350 Seattle, 1127 10th Ave. E., Seattle 98102

Contact Sheryl for more info. 

 

That’s what we’ve got for August, climate warriors. Get ready for a rockin’ September!

Read

July Newsletter!

Activists stage sit-in for Green New Deal

Welcome to summer! No smoke in our skies yet, but 90 degrees on the 4th of July isn’t normal for Anchorage. Yet another reason to…

BUILD THE MOVEMENT FOR SEATTLE’S GREEN NEW DEAL

What will it take to win a Green New Deal for Seattle? We know that our city overwhelmingly supports climate action (76% of Seattle voted YES on 1631)—and yet business as usual politics have kept Seattle’s climate pollution on the rise.

That’s why in the coming months, we’ll be gathering tens of thousands of signatures on our petition to Mayor Durkan—to show that Seattle is ready to rise to the climate challenge, and that it’s time our City leaders join us. But we can’t do this without your help. The only way we can win is if hundreds of people like you get involved!

Join us at one of July’s GND Mass Meetings to learn more, gain skills and plug in to one of our volunteer-led signature gathering teams.

District 4 Mass Meeting
Thursday, July 18, 6:30–8:00pm
University Heights, 5031 University Way, Seattle 98105
More info and RSVP here

District 6 Mass Meeting
Thursday, July 25, 6:30–8:00pm
Fremont Abbey, 4272 Fremont Ave N, Seattle 98103
More info and RSVP here

FOSSIL FREE KC

We’re coming up on the 6-month renewal for King County’s fossil fuel moratorium, the one passed alongside legislation calling for a broader regulatory rewrite to permanently ban new fossil fuel infrastructure. It puts a ‘freeze’ on fossil fuel development in King County until the new regulations are in place (likely early 2020). Please join us at King County Council on July 10 to ensure that the moratorium is renewed, and that King County continues to step up its climate leadership! Until the permanent ban is written, we can’t relax our vigilance. (Well, we can’t after that, either, truthfully…)

King County Council Meeting
Wednesday, July 10, 10:30–11:30am
King County Council, Room 1001, 516 3rd Ave, Seattle, 98104
RSVP here

SEPTEMBER 20 CLIMATE WALKOUT

There is a global call for action on climate for September 20-27th, originated by youth worried about their future and the lack of meaningful response by adults, politicians and governments. Addressing the climate crisis urgently and at the scale necessary will take a massive uprising of people to demand action and interrupt business as usual.

Want to join? Want to help organize? Get involved here.

Next, join us in Tacoma and help brainstorm powerful ways we can use art to express dissent and activate the hearts and minds of others while getting plugged in for 9/20 and the week of action around the Salish Sea!

Art Storm for Climate Action
Saturday, August 3, 11:00am–4:00pm
311 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma 98421
More details here.

Questions? Contact Stacy!

LNG BY RAIL?!

The Trump Administration has recently proposed to allow unit trains up to 100 cars carrying liquified natural gas (LNG). Ruptures of refrigerated LNG railcars don’t just explode, they come with the horrific twist of flash-freezing, suffocating yet highly flammable gas. “Beyond absurd,” as one critic so eloquently put it.

Sorry for the short notice but the deadline for comments is Monday, July 8. So don’t delay, use this form to submit your comment urging the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to consider the full risks to human health and safety posed by trains carrying LNG.

ANCESTRAL WATERS

Join us for the Seattle debut screening of Native Daily Network’s documentary Ancestral Waters. This moving, informative film chronicles the Puyallup Tribe’s resistance to Puget Sound Energy’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) project and the growing community movement to resist fracked gas infrastructure. The film features Puyallup Tribal Council Members, tribal leaders, and Water Warriors fighting to protect their land, water and treaty. The event is free, but seating is limited! Please RSVP.

 

Ancestral Waters

Thursday, July 11, doors and refreshments at 6:30pm, film at 7:00pm
Southside Commons, 3518 S Edmunds St, Seattle 98118
Suggested $10 donation goes to Native Daily Network
Please RSVP. Stay for a Q&A after the screening!

STAND UP AGAINST IMMIGRANT DETENTION!

Join Lights for Liberty in shining a light on the human rights violations happening at our southern borders at candlelight vigils in Seattle and Tacoma.

Lights for Liberty
Friday, July 12
7:00–10:00pm, Counterbalance Park, 700 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle 98109, Seattle event page here.
7:00–8:00pm, Union Station, 1713 Pacific Ave., Tacoma 98402, Tacoma event page here.

Join La Resistencia for a family-friendly picnic in front of the Northwest Detention Center. Learn more about how to support people detained and their families, singing to detainees, greeting their families, writing pen-pen pal letters and more.

Lights on Detention Family-Friendly Picnic
Saturday, July 13, 12:30–4:00pm
1623 E J Street, Tacoma 98421
Learn more here.

WHOSE WATER? NOT CRYSTAL GEYSER’S

On July 6, 2019, the Cowlitz Tribal Nation voted to oppose Crystal Geyser’s massive bottled water plant proposed for rural land in East Lewis County along the Cowlitz River, downstream from sacred Mount Tahoma (Mt Rainier). The newly formed Lewis County Water Alliance and the Washington Water Alliance are a broad coalition of tribal members, local residents, business owners, recreational/commercial fishers, and environmentalists who have come together to defeat Crystal Geyser’s plan.

Exploiting the sacred waters of our beloved mountain and river will irreversibly harm the forests, wildlife, salmon, steelhead, orca, farmers and area wells, not to mention create mountains of plastic trash!

Keep up to date on this emerging water battle and watch for solidarity actions at the following:
Facebook: Lewis County Water Alliance
Twitter: @WaterWashington
Website: www.saveyourvalley.org/
Hashtags: #savecowlitzwater #boycottbottled

Water is Life!

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 Diane. More information and links are available here, including upcoming support and education opportunities. Our monthly meeting is a great place to learn and discuss our work and current projects. Please join us Monday, July 15th, at 7 pm for a potluck dinner (bringing something is optional) to hear more about ways we can deepen our understanding of systemic oppression and be in solidarity with climate justice organizations. If this is your first meeting, please plan to arrive at 6:40 for an orientation. RSVP to Diane for the address, the agenda and discussion reading, and to let us know you’re coming! Please also let us know about any sensitivities, mobility, or dietary needs so we can make this meeting accessible to all.

Follow another local group’s Justice work and share it with us: Here’s a great, low time commitment opportunity to get involved from your own home! Are you connected with a group working on climate, economic or social justice issues? Would you like to follow the events and campaigns of one or two allied groups and share them with the Frontline Allies list? Our goal is to support each other’s work, build the relationships to break down the barriers that divide us and build the massive, cohesive movement we need. Contact Diane to participate!

SOLIDARITY

The Unist’ot’en Solidarity Brigade is calling for long term supporters to come to camp this summer and fall to work on the many projects that are underway. Indigenous people are especially encouraged, and “nonindigenous supporters with a strong understanding of sovereignty and willingness to work under indigenous leadership are also encouraged to apply to come to camp as well.” There is a great deal of work to do to complete projects underway, to prepare for the next winter season, to support the ongoing running of the Camp, and the never-ending opposition to unauthorized intrusions onto the territory.

If you can’t come, they ask that we help “get the word out to folks in your community who would be a good fit and share this information.” More information here.

Two ways to support the Duwamish, the first people of Seattle

In October, help maintain operations at the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center and support tribal services by attending this kick-off to Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations:

Duwamish Tribe Gala & Native Art Auction
Friday, October 11, 12:00–3:00pm
Miners Landing, Pier 57, 1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle 98101
Purchase tickets or donate here. For more about the event visit this event page.

Please join the Real Rent Duwamish Campaign to make monthly rent payments in any amount to the Duwamish Tribe, which is still not Federally recognized, and which has never been justly compensated, though Seattle is thriving on this stolen land.

All funds go directly to Duwamish Tribal Services (DTS) to support the revival of Duwamish culture and the vitality of the Duwamish Tribe. Get started here.

FALL BOOK CLUB

Understanding the systemic nature of racism, how it shapes our society, and how we can disempower it, is an important tool in the fight for a sustainable and just future. So—join us for the fall study session of What It Means to Be White.

We’ll be meeting at the 350 Seattle office on Capitol Hill for a couple of hours every two weeks for a total of six meetings. Day and time to be determined—either a weekday evening or during the day on a weekend day. Email Barbara to get connected.

BEYOND FALSE SOLUTIONS

Deepen your climate justice lens and connect with neighbors ready for action at the scale of the crisis! Hosted by the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites, these place-based workshops will unpack false climate solutions, explore climate justice opportunities and prepare you to take action. Three opportunities to dig in:

Beyond False Solutions: Climate Resiliency
Saturday, July 20, 12:00pm at the Fremont Library
Wednesday, July 31, 7:00pm and Ballard Verity Credit Union
Saturday, August 3, 12:00pm at the Greenlake Library

This workshop was developed at the request of and in partnership with For the People. Tickets are free to all—please consider making a donation if you’re able. More info and tickets here.

SPECIAL SESSION ON CLIMATE

Fridays For Future Seattle is calling for a special legislative session focusing on climate. With only 11 years to prevent irreversible damage from climate change, we don’t have any time to wait. The UN has warned us that we need to cut global emissions in half during that time—Washington State has to act! Please help elevate the voices of our youth. Amplify this tweet calling for a special session on climate. We face an existential crisis…this is no time to take a break!

TRANSPORTATION TEAM

Thanks to everyone who turned out for the Ride for Safe Streets and for bikes@City Council—we were heard loud and clear, but the wheels of policy change grind exceedingly slow. To find out how it all turned out, email Alice to sign up for the Transpo newsletter.

Want to join our work for equitable carbon-free transportation in Seattle? We always discuss transportation and, this month, the Seattle Green New Deal, including steps to organize bike shops across Seattle to endorse it.

Transportation Team Monthly Meeting
Monday, June 10, 4:15–5:45pm
Room 330, Vance building, 1402 3rd Ave., Seattle 98101

HOUSING POLICY IS CLIMATE POLICY

This week, after three years of work and seemingly superhuman patience, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed the nation’s best accessory dwelling unit (ADU) legislation. Your calls, emails, and testimony were invaluable to this process: THANK YOU. And for new folks not yet steeped in the connection between dense city housing and climate, check out this article co-authored by 350 Seattle’s Emily Johnston.

 

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.

Mural wall needed
We need a high visibility wall for a beautiful mural that will stay up and raise awareness. Know of one? If you do or want to help us find one, contact Doug.

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.

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.

Join our Photo/Imagery Library Team!
We’re organizing our photos and imagery data and are looking for folks who want to join a team to do photo sorting and labeling for our events and our imagery library. Launching the team this month! Also looking for an imagery co-librarian! Contact Lisa.

MOVEMENT BUILDING

Looking for an easy way to help out at 350 Seattle? Curious about other ways to get involved? Join us on the third Wednesday of every month to meet others and help with all the small things that keep 350 going!

Volunteer Drop-in Hours
Wednesday, July 17, anytime between 3:00 and 7:00pm
350 Seattle, 1127 10th Ave E., Seattle, 98102
Tasks range from phone calls to data entry to arts and crafts.
More details here. Questions? Contact Shemona.

JOIN OUR OUTREACH TEAM!

People want to hear about meaningful climate action. We get invited to come meet people where they’re at—art festivals, film screenings, concerts, and other gatherings—and share about 350 Seattle’s work. You can be a part of making those connections happen and bringing new people into action at this critical moment in time, by joining our Outreach Team. Interested? Email Meg.

KNOW AN EVENT SPONSOR?

We’re holding our luscious, fun fall fundraiser Intertwined again this year on Friday, November 15th at the Centilia Cultural Center. The Events Team is looking for sponsors—are you a business owner or with an organization that wants to support 350 Seattle by sponsoring our event? Here’s our sponsorship packet. Your support helps power our fight! Reach out to Shemona to sign up.

WE’RE HIRING!

We’re looking for two people to join our team on a short-term contract assignment. We’re seeking one person to fill the role of Climate Walkout Coordinator, helping to bring together youth and adults to organize the September 20th walkout. And we are seeking someone to fill the role of NW Regional Organizer—to help bring together the 350 Washington network and support local 350 groups in Alaska, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. More details and info on the opportunities here.

Read

June Newsletter!

We have the chance to put environmental justice and the Green New Deal in front of 100,000 people in one afternoon! Can you help? It will be hella fun!

SUMMER SOLSTICE PARADE ENSEMBLE

Join us for our Green New Deal ensemble in the Solstice Parade on Saturday June 22nd from 11 am to 5 pm! All are welcome. Can’t be there for the parade itself? No worries, there is tons to create and there are easy, fun roles to fill! Join us at art builds to make giant scales and giant green hand props, costumes and detailed murals. Come learn a new song and dance, and participate in our crowd-pleasing batik workshops. To get involved, contact Shemona.

Art build dates
Wednesday, June 12th, 6 pm to 10 pm, Prop Build at Lucca Statuary
Thursday June 13th, 5 to 8 pm, Batik workshop at the Powerhouse
Friday June 14th, 11 am to 5 pm, Mural painting & Batik at the Powerhouse
Friday June 14th, 6 to 9 pm, Batik workshop at the Powerhouse
Saturday June 15th, 11 am to 9 pm, Painting and Prop build at Lucca Statuary and/or Powerhouse
Sunday June 16th, 11 am to 9 pm, Painting and Prop build at Lucca Statuary and/or Powerhouse

As indicated above, this year’s solstice float building is split between two places:
Powerhouse, 3940 Fremont Ave N., Seattle 98103
Lucca Statuary, 3623 Leary Way, Seattle 98107

Be in the parade, or, if that’s not your thing, be a signature gatherer for the Seattle’s Green New Deal sign-on letter in the crowd! Or do both by collecting signatures before and after the parade!

Wait a minute, signature gathering for what?

SEATTLE’S GREEN NEW DEAL

It’s no secret that climate change threatens everything we know and love. And yet, Seattle’s climate pollution has been quietly rising in recent years, despite our City’s commitments to climate action and environmental justice. It’s time for Seattle to come together and rise to the climate challenge.

That’s why we’re launching a new campaign in partnership with Got Green—calling for a transformative Green New Deal for Seattle that will eliminate our city’s climate pollution by 2030, address historical and current injustices, and create thousands of good, green, well-paying union jobs.

Help us build overwhelming public support for Seattle’s Green New Deal by canvassing at the Solstice and Pride parades! Sign up here to learn more about canvassing and plug in, and/or sign up here to be on the general email list for the campaign.

Then join us in July for a day-long set of trainings to sharpen your campaign and organizing skills!

Skill-Up for Seattle’s Green New Deal
Saturday, July 6, 10:30am–5:30pm
2100 Building, 2100 24th Ave S, Seattle 98144
Register here, and for more info contact Meg.

HONOR INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY

Last month, Puyallup Water Warriors held an Exit Ceremony for Puget Sound Energy; following tradition, if guests disrespect the land, water or people—those guests are sent out of the territory and not invited to return. Please share this video of the ceremony and help urge Governor Inslee to make sure Washington state honors the Medicine Creek Treaty by stopping the illegal, unpermitted construction of the proposed LNG fracked gas project.

Call the Governor at (360) 902-4111. Tell him to stand with the Puyallup and honor indigenous sovereignty.

You can also send the Governor a copy of our No Consent, No Construction Letter.

Ancestral Waters
This documentary by Native Daily Network, recently released on YouTube, tells the story of the Puyallup fight over the last several years to protect their lands, waters, peoples, treaty and culture from the destructive Tacoma LNG project. People are encouraged to plan watch parties! Contact Stacy for additional watch party tools.

Thank you Native Daily Network for your dedication to frontline journalism and for making Ancestral Waters available for all to see!

POWER PAST FRACKED GAS

Following Governor Inslee’s announcement that he “cannot in good conscience support continued construction of a liquefied natural gas plant in Tacoma or a methanol production facility in Kalama,” the Power Past Fracked Gas Coalition released a letter, signed by over 80 environmental and social justice organizations urging the governor to put actions behind his words and make sure the proposed Kalama Methanol Refinery and Tacoma LNG fracked gas projects receive legitimate environmental impact studies through the Department of Ecology. Thank you to everyone who has called, emailed and shared social media—let’s keep the pressure going until health, safety, treaty rights, and a livable planet are prioritized before profit!

MORE OIL TRAINS IN TACOMA? NO WAY!

SeaPort Sound Terminal (formerly Targa) in Tacoma has been receiving oil trains since 2014. Now they want to nearly double their transfer capacity to 75,000 barrels a day in the name of “overall operational efficiency.”

That’s an additional 15,288 metric tons of CO2 a day, for a total of 8.4 million metric tons in a working year passing through Tacoma! How can our state’s carbon budget allow that? Read up on the project here, and get your butt down to this public comment opportunity:

SeaPort Sound Terminal Public Meeting
Thursday June 13, 5:30pm
City Council Chambers, 747 Market Street, Tacoma 98402

Written comments go to Shirley Schultz: shirley.schultz@cityoftacoma.org.

IT LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE LISTENING…

Last month Puget Sound Energy held a listening session on their 20-year electric plan and how they’re reacting to the 100% Clean law passed by the legislature. Thanks to all the truth-tellers who showed up in red and your strong words about fracked gas, the climate crisis, and inappropriate infrastructure projects like Tacoma LNG and Energize Eastside. All sixty-seven comments are summarized here. Your support helps members of the Technical Advisory Group hold PSE accountable!

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 Lisa. More information and links are available here, including upcoming support and education opportunities. Our monthly meeting is a great place to learn about our work and current projects. Please join us Monday, June 17, at 7 pm to hear more about ways we can deepen our understanding of systemic oppression and be in solidarity with climate justice organizations. If this is your first meeting, please plan to arrive at 6:40 for an orientation. RSVP to Lisa for the address of a home in the Wallingford neighborhood.

350 Seattle Book Club
This fall we’re starting a new study session of What It Means To Be White. Understanding the systemic nature of racism, how it shapes our society, and how we can disempower it is an important tool in the fight for a sustainable and just future. Meetings will be held at the 350 Seattle office for a couple of hours every two weeks for a total of six meetings. Day and time will be determined later. To learn more and be part of the fall study group, email Barbara.

Join La Resistencia for a Father’s Day rally outside the Northwest Detention Center to tell ICE and GEO that Father’s Day should be spent at home with family and community—NOT in prison! More details to be announced, please check this event page for updates.
Sunday, June 16, 2:00–4:00pm
Northwest Detention Center, 1623 E J St, Tacoma 98421

TOTEM POLE JOURNEY

The Lummi Nation invites your participation in a gathering dedicated to the vision of Qwe lhol mechen, the Lummi word for killer whale which translates to “our people that live under the sea”. It is part of our Xa Xalh Xechnging (“sacred obligation”) to bring home from Miami Seaquarium the captive killer whale Tokitae and return her to her family.

We Will Rise Again: Tacoma (hosted by Puyallup tribe)
Wednesday, June 12, 5:30–7:30pm
4224 Marine View Dr., Tacoma 98422
More details here

We Will Rise Again: Seattle
Saturday, June 15, 1:00–3:00pm
Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave, Seattle 98121
More details here

JUNE IS ORCA ACTION MONTH

There are lots of ways to help, and here’s a great place to start:

Contact your congressional delegation urging them to support federal appropriation dollars for critical salmon habitat restoration in the Pacific Northwest. Southern Resident orcas’ primary source of food is the threatened Chinook salmon. Without adequate food, orcas will starve. Click here to sign a petition asking for fully funded programs to support the recovery of Southern Resident orcas.

CHASING CORAL

Come to watch the unseen story of coral dying as ocean temperatures rise, reported first-hand from divers and researchers. Stay for a community discussion, led by members of 350 Seattle’s outreach team, on climate change, the extinction crises, and ways to take action in this extraordinary moment in time. This is a great opportunity to bring someone who is just tuning in to the seriousness of the moment and connect them to opportunities for action.

Chasing Coral
Saturday, June 15, 7:00–9:30pm
University Heights Center, 5031 University Way NE, Seattle 98105
Shareable event page

This event is pay-what-you-can; let us know you’re coming here.

SUNRISE

In a matter of months, the climate movement has put the Green New Deal on the national agenda, but if we don’t keep up the pressure, there’s a risk that the media will do what they’ve always done, and ignore the climate crisis in the presidential debates. That’s why the youth-led Sunrise Movement is organizing the largest mobilization for the Green New Deal so far at the second Democratic primary debate in late July, to make sure the Green New Deal is at the top of the public discussion and the next administration’s agenda.

Sunrise is already hard at work organizing transportation and housing. Sign up here for updates on how you and your friends can plug in. Or help Sunrise rent a bus from Seattle by donating to @Sunrise-Seattle on Venmo. And if you’re a young person, please email sunrisemovementseattle@gmail.com to join the bus.

FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE

Only two more Friday For Future strikes before school’s out! Show the youth some support, people!

Fridays For Future
June 14, 1:00pm
June 21, 1:00pm
Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave, Seattle 98104

Over the summer F4F will collaborate with Extinction Rebellion and Zero Hour. To stay in the loop, follow @Fri4FutureSea on Twitter, or get involved by emailing fridaysforfuturesea@gmail.com. Youth who want to take action on climate should also check out Climate Action Families.

CLIMATE WALKOUT

On September 20, people all over the globe will take part in what we hope will be the biggest walkout of any kind, ever—workers, students, neighbors, church groups—to send an unmistakable signal to world leaders that we will not stand for business as usual, because “disrupting our normal lives is the only way to secure our future.

Please stand with youth worldwide. And if you can, organize your coworkers, a team, a faith group, or neighbors!

HEY AMAZON

The climate crisis isn’t going away, and neither are we!

At the May 22nd shareholder meeting, tech workers with Amazon Employees for Climate Justice filled a section of the room and presented their resolution asking for a climate plan. Here’s the NowThis video of the speech and inside action. The resolution got 31% of the vote! (41% when excluding Bezos’ own shares!) We knew it was near impossible to pass with the Board’s published opposition, so it’s significant that the vote was so high—the highest of any environmental resolution at Amazon so far.

And even more importantly, this movement of tech workers speaking out for climate justice is already shifting the entire narrative with workers putting Bezos on the spot and centering the climate stories of tech workers. They’re pledging to file the resolution again next year.

SKITTISH ABOUT NAFTA

While Trump continues to alienate Mexico, using tariffs to extort concessions, there is still the chance of a vote on his new NAFTA in Congress. To keep up the anti-NAFTA 2.0 opposition, we’re working up a NAFTA skit to be videoed and circulated on social media. The trade group is also continuing to collect anti-NAFTA cards to be delivered to Congressional offices. To help with either effort, contact Selden.

LETS DO ADUs!

Starting Tuesday evening, the final Accessory Dwelling Unit battle begins. By the end of next month, with luck and a little more work, we’ll have much more flexible rules on ADUs, and a path to more climate-friendly and affordable housing. Send a letter of support now and then join us for these two…

Public hearings on ADU legislation
Council Chambers, City Hall, 610 5th Ave, Seattle 98104
Tuesday, June 11, 5:30pm – First public hearing
Tuesday, June 18, 2:00pm – Second hearing and likely committee vote

Curious to know what Seattle might look like with more ADU’s? Here’s a chance to explore built projects and talk to the architects:

ADU Tour by the AIA
Saturday, June 15, 11:00am–4:00pm
Multiple locations, more details here.

COME OUT FOR TRANSPORTATION

If you want bikes, feet, and wheelchairs to be able to get where they are going safely in Seattle, June is the month to come out and say so! We need the city council to stop funding cars at the expense of climate-friendly transport.

First, the Ride for Safe Streets will be a family-friendly demonstration for streets that let people of all ages, languages, ethnicities, genders, races, and abilities get around safely.

Ride for Safe Streets
Sunday, June 16, 1:00–3:00pm
Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave. to Westlake Park
Event page here

Then SDOT will report back on what we’ve told them, that cutting the Bike Master Plan by half is unacceptable. SDOT will continue to prioritize big auto projects over bikes unless enough of us show up for the Ride on Sunday and then public testimony, sign-holding, and the full Bike Master Plan on Tuesday. The Council can still do the right thing because when we fight, we win.

Bike Master Plan in the Sustainability and Transportation Committee
Tuesday, June 18, 2:00pm
Council Chambers, City Hall, 610 5th Ave, Seattle 98104
Meet for strategizing at City Grind Espresso in the 5th Ave Lobby of City Hall at 1:30pm.

Interested in joining our work for equitable carbon-free transportation in Seattle?

Transportation Team Meeting
Monday, June 10, 4:15–5:45pm
Room 330, Vance building, 1402 3rd Ave., Seattle 98101

SMOKE ON THE HORIZON

Remember when we called it summer, and looked forward to it all year? Remember the deep blue skies and fresh breezes? Those days are gone, stolen by Big Oil. But at least the City of Seattle is doing everything it can to bring them back, by radically reducing emissions, building green affordable housing, transforming transit in the city, installing bike lanes everywhere… um… oh, right. Well, it will do these things and more, if we make it impossible not to, by underlining smoke events with a big red pen pointing at our climate plan failures. More info coming soon and be ready: we’ll need you to come out on short notice.

Art Build for Smoke events
Wednesday, June 26, 11:00am–5:00pm
Powerhouse, 3940 Fremont Ave N., Seattle 98103

When our house is on fire… we gotta act like it. Email Ariadne to get involved.

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 builds at the Powerhouse: See the Solstice Ensemble and Smoke entries above!

Mural wall needed
We need a high visibility wall for a beautiful mural that will stay up and raise awareness. Know of one? If you do or want to help us find one, contact Doug.

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.

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.

Join our Photo/Imagery Library Team!
We’re organizing our photos and imagery data and are looking for folks who want to join a team to do photo sorting and labeling for our events and our imagery library. Launching the team this month! Also looking for an imagery co-librarian! Contact Lisa.

OTHER WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

Looking for an easy way to help out at 350 Seattle? Curious about other ways to get involved? Join us on the third Wednesday of every month to meet others and help with all the small things that keep 350 going!

Volunteer Drop-in Hours
Wednesday, June 19, anytime between 3:00 and 7:00pm
350 Seattle, 1127 10th Ave E., Seattle, 98102
Tasks range from phone calls to data entry to arts and crafts.
More details here. Questions? Contact Shemona.

How do we build our power to win the transformative change we need? By organizing! Join us for a day-long set of trainings to sharpen your campaign and organizing skills and plug in with some of our newest campaigns.

Skill-Up for Seattle’s Green New Deal
Saturday, July 6, 10:30am–5:30pm
2100 Building, 2100 24th Ave S, Seattle 98144
Register here, and for more info contact Meg.

KNOW AN EVENT SPONSOR?

We’re holding our luscious, fun fall fundraiser Intertwined again this year on Friday, November 15th at the Centilia Cultural Center. The Events team is looking for sponsors—are you a business owner or with an organization that wants to support 350 Seattle by sponsoring our event? Here’s our sponsorship packet. Your support helps power our fight! Reach out to Shemona to sign up.

Stay safe, sane and strong, friends!

350 Seattle

Read

2019 WA State Legislative Session Recap

by David Perk, Selden Prentice, and Alec Connon

Climate justice activists on the steps of the Washington State Capitol Building

350 Seattle’s Civic Action Team ― 2019 Session Review!

In terms of 350 Seattle’s impact on the state legislature, it was our finest year ever. Our Civic Action Team grew to nearly 1,000 members strong, and together we did this:

2,082: Climate calls made to legislators!

1,020: Climate comments left on bills!

1,122: Climate emails sent to legislators!

4,213: total legislator contacts made by the Civic Action Team in 2019!

What’s more, despite our Seattle-centric name, our 4,213 legislator contacts were made by people from virtually every district in the state, including the eastern side of the Cascades.

In terms of climate bills that actually passed in Olympia, this year was also the most successful ever. KUOW called the session “the year of the environment.” Environmental organizations across the state have celebrated the creation of laws that will clean up our electricity and our buildings, and eradicate super pollutants. Even the hard-to-impress David Roberts spent a couple of thousand words praising our 100% electricity bill as the best in the nation.

The celebrations are easy to understand. 2019 was the first time that Washington legislators started to take the climate crisis even remotely seriously ― the last climate bill related to our electricity sector came back in 2006, and, really, not a whole lot worthy of mention has passed since then.

And so it’s understandable that we feel we’ve taken some real steps forward. Here are a few of the highlights:

 

    • Washington will have 100% carbon-free electricity no later than 2045. This bill does a lot of good things. It eliminates coal from our electricity grid by no later than 2025. (Currently coal is about 14% of our electricity.) It dictates that by 2030, our grid must be carbon-neutral ― with utilities offsetting their fossil fuel use. And ultimately, it dictates that all Washington utilities must be self-generating 100% clean energy by no later than 2045.

 

    • We got the super-pollutant, HFCs, out of our state. After the Trump Administration negated an international treaty banning HFCs ― a climate super pollutant found in refrigerators ― our state legislators banned HFCs in our state. Fortunately, Washington is one of several states that are stepping into the void of moral responsibility left behind by the federal government.

 

    • Our buildings got cleaner and healthier. 27% of our state’s climate pollution comes from buildings. Whether it’s the vast amount of concrete used in their construction, or the energy used to heat and power them, buildings are a massive contributor to the climate crisis. Fortunately, we passed a bill that will set energy efficiency standards for large buildings and incentivize early adoption. Electric vehicle readiness is required for on-site parking in new buildings. The bill also establishes a fracked gas conservation standard that incorporates the social cost of carbon.

 

    • It got easier to go electric! It’s now easier to get rid of your fossil fuel-powered car and get an electric one. Public and private utilities are encouraged to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure. There’s grant money for transit authorities to decarbonize their fleets. And new non-luxury electric vehicles that cost less than $45,000 will now be about $2,500 cheaper.

 

    • Washington’s refrigerators, toilets and more just got more climate friendly! Our fridges, freezers and other appliances will now have to be more energy efficient, and going forward, electric hot water heaters will have to play well with utilities’ demand response programs, to be part of a smarter grid.

Cue well-deserved pats-on-the-back all round. What a lot of success we had! Yes, several bills that we cared deeply about never made it: The Clean Fuels Standard was scuttled by the oil industry, the electrification of the public fleet never made it out of the House, and, most sadly of all, big business sandbagged the HEAL Act and stopped it passing at the last minute, setting back justice and equity in our state. But still: we passed more climate bills this year than the last ten years put together! That’s worth celebrating, right?

Well, while we hate to spoil the party, this really needs to be pointed out: in comparison to the severity and urgency of the climate crisis, the climate bills that passed this year are like bandaids on broken limbs.

 

____________

the climate bills that passed this year are like bandaids on broken limbs. 

____________

Last year, the world’s foremost body of climate scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, concluded that failing to curtail global warming to below 1.5°C (rather than 2°C) means an additional 1.5 billion people will be regularly impacted by extreme heat waves; hundreds of millions of people (mostly in low-income nations that have done the least to cause the climate crisis) will be pushed into extreme poverty; and 10 million people will be impacted by sea-level rise.

The IPCC is clear: to have any chance of avoiding these impacts, we must slash our global climate pollution in half by 2030. The bills passed in Olympia this year don’t even get our state  halfway to the reductions that we need.

 

____________

The bills passed in Olympia this year don’t even get our state halfway to the reductions that we need.

____________

Even if every bill on Governor Inslee’s climate package had passed ― which didn’t happen, owing to the oil industry’s attacks on the clean fuels bill ― our state would still only have been on track for 25% reductions by 2035. That’s a million miles from what the IPCC has told us is needed to prevent disaster.

And so, yeah, maybe 2019 was the “year of the environment.” But we need next year to be the year of the environment, too. And the year after that. And the year after that. Otherwise, we know what kind of future lies in wait.

 

 

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From giving testimony at hearings to blockading oil trains, we work on all levels to fight for climate justice. We’re building a movement here in the region, and we need you!

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Watch videos of our actions, events, members and community as we work together at all levels to safeguard our planet. 

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The Science

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