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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.




May Newsletter

Climate activists hold banners on steps of Olympia capitol building

We’re starting with a pitch this month—for us. We get over 3/4 of our funding from individuals like you—and this week’s Give Big event is our single biggest fundraising opportunity. Can you schedule a donation to support our work this year?

If you need some inspiration, check out our team members’ stories under “Fundraisers for this nonprofit.” Or our annual report for last year.

Okay, down to business…


Together, we won a 100% clean energy future for Washington and now it’s part of our presidentially-inclined Governor’s climate plan for America. That’s great! But… we also need Governor Inslee to champion a healthy climate by opposing new mega-fracked gas projects right here at home. That starts with saying no to the Kalama methanol refinery—which is on track to be Washington’s largest climate polluter by 2025—and the Tacoma LNG facility, which is being built despite the opposition of Northwest Tribal nations and without all of its permits. With major permitting decisions coming up this summer,Governor Inslee has a critical role to play in whether these dirty fracked gas projects move forward.

Please call Governor Inslee and thank him for his leadership on 100% and let him know that it’s time to take the next step and stand up to fracked gas in Washington: 360-902-4111. A climate champ doesn’t quit!


The proposed Kalama fracked-gas-to-methanol refinery is on track to be Washington’s single largest climate polluter by 2025 and threatens clean air and clean water for our region. With a major permit decision coming up this summer, now is the time to stand with Kalama locals fighting this mega-fracked gas project.

No Methanol—Land & Water Action and Community Camp-out
Saturday, May 18, 1:30–6:30pm
Camp Kalama RV Park, 5055 Meeker Dr, Kalama 98625

Join us and the Power Past Fracked Gas coalition for a celebration of water and community in Kalama—we’ll have kayaks on the Kalama River, and a family friendly rally and picnic on the beach at Camp Kalama. Camping optional! More info and RSVP here.


Opposition and calls for more oversight continue to grow surrounding Puget Sound Energy’s proposed fracked gas refinery and storage project. 17 Washington tribes have released this letter to Governor Inslee, and the office of AG Bob Ferguson weighed in as well. Then last week, the Tacoma Human Rights Commission released a letter urging the city to protect the life and health of residents, including the more than 1500 immigrants detained in the for-profit Northwest Detention Center.

Please call Tacoma City Manager Elizabeth Pauli at (253) 591-5130 and demand they conduct a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Tacoma LNG project.

Then speak from the heart to Tacoma City Council and Mayor about why we need to limit the expansion of fossil fuel projects in our region!

Tacoma Tideflats Interim Regulations
Tuesday May 14, 5:00pm
747 Market St., Tacoma 98402
More details here


Puget Sound Energy has been promising to hold an Executive Listening Session since the middle of last year. Now after multiple delays, we’ve got a date! We’re not sure who the lucky executive will be, but please, join us for a fun-filled evening as we tell Puget Sound Energy executives (with members of the Utilities and Transportation Commission in the audience) that we won’t pay $133 million for fracked gas infrastructure that violates treaty rights, contributes to climate chaos and will primarily be used to sell gas for corporate profits. Oh, and we don’t want that damn pipeline expansion in Snohomish County, either.

PSE: No More Gas Projects!
Wednesday, May 22, 4:00–8:00pm
Bellevue Hilton, 300 112th Ave SE, Bellevue 98004

In classic PSE fashion the exact time remains unconfirmed—follow the event page for updates. Can’t make it? Sign our petition to add your voice!


Come to the frontlines! For the last ten years the Unist’ot’en Camp has been controlling access to their unceded territories in British Columbia exactly where the gas industry wants to build multiple fracked gas pipelines. This a critical moment for their struggle as TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline has won an interlocutory injunction against the camp and is seeking a permanent injunction.

Unist’ot’en Construction Camp May 12 – 31. The call is out for supporters to come and help build multiple cabins for the continued reoccupation of traditional Wet’suwet’en territory. People with carpentry, cooking, camping, and frontline skills or a good attitude and a willingness to work hard and follow indigenous leadership are desired. The camp is a full day’s drive north of Seattle, near Houston, BC. Learn more on the camp page and sign up to come to the camp here!


Strange but true: the federally permitted John Henry Coal Mine in King County is seeking final permits to resume mining, which would make it the only active coal mine in Washington State. There’s still one major hurdle to go, a Natural Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from the Department of Ecology to regulate wastewater. We expect the draft permit to be released in May or June, so get your opposition boots ready – we’ll be mobilizing folks around the state to comment on the permit, attend public hearings and pressure their public officials. To get involved and added to the action listserv, email Emily.


Amazon tech workers have been pressuring the company to release a comprehensive climate justice plan (over 7,000 of them now) and at this year’s shareholder meeting they’ll present their resolution to the board. Join us for action outside the meeting to bring community pressure and call on Amazon to take responsibility for its climate impacts.

Amazon: Come Clean on Climate
Wednesday, May 22, 8:00–11:00am
Fremont Studios, 155 N 35th Street, Seattle 98103
RSVP and sharable event page here

Questions? Contact Rebecca.


April was quite the month! Across the country, people took action against Chase in 22 cities. Here in the Seattle region, we visited all 44 branches of the world’s largest funder of fossil fuels. You can check out the wrap-up video here. Moving forward, May 21st is Chase’s Annual General Meeting, and, well, let’s just say we’ll be keeping an eye on what happens there. For more details on the Chase campaign check out our blog, and to get involved with a distributed research program we’re running, please fill out this form!


The likelihood of Trump’s climate-killing, worker-harming, Big Pharma protecting NAFTA 2.0 being brought to a vote in Congress has increased as pressure builds on both Republicans and Democrats to approve it. That’s why we’re ramping up our efforts to counteract that pressure. Two ways to help:

  1. Join us at food coops around the region to hand out flyers and collect signatures against the deal—email Selden to join this effort.
  2. Call your Congressional representative at 1-855-856-7545, or find your representative’s direct dial number here. Tell them to oppose any vote on the NAFTA deal until its fixedA real NAFTA replacement needs stronger labor and environmental standards with swift and certain enforcement mechanisms—and it can’t sneak in language that locks in high medicine prices. The corporate provisions allowing fossil fuel companies’ lawsuits against Mexico over environmental standards must be removed, along with the whole corporate-rigged regulatory chapter.

Thank you for helping to stop this rigged deal!


It was a good year for the climate and the environment in Olympia—the best year in over a decade, thanks to new legislators in both chambers who supported a few overworked champions by demanding that leadership let them deliver on their campaign promises to support climate action. It’s proof that elections matter.

And thanks to the hundreds of members of the Civic Action Team who made nearly 4,500 legislator contacts this session to champion important climate bills. Your calls and emails helped pass bills that will give Washington carbon neutral electricity by 2035, cleaner, less polluting buildings, and make sure the Salish Sea is a safer place for our orcas and salmon. Here is our list of the bills that passed and the ones that didn’t—and look for our session wrap-up blog early this week.

But keep in mind that we’re not done—nothing passed this year puts us on track to hit what the IPCC has told us is necessary to prevent climate chaos. There’s still lots of education and action needed in Olympia.

No Cap and Trade
Alerted to a cap and trade bill by our friends at Got Green, we took a position against this false solution that has failed to protect frontline communities from being burdened with even more pollution. To learn more about why we oppose cap and trade, check out our No Cap and Trade blog.


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. Our monthly meeting is a great place to learn about our work and current projects. Please join us Monday, May 20 at 7:00pm 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 6:30 for an orientation. RSVP to Kara for the address of a home in the Wallingford neighborhood.

Our People Gonna Rise: Undoing Racism Workshop Series
The final workshop in the series is this next weekend, and you don’t need to have attended the first two to attend this one! Highly recommended, and amazingly there is still room this time!

Allies to Immigrants
Sunday, May 12, 2:00–8:00pm
Centilia Cultural Center, 1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St., Seattle 98144
(Right next to the Beacon Hill light rail station)

Facilitated by the Mangrove Collective, this workshop creates a safe space for difficult conversations as we come together and commit to ending racism in our climate justice work. The format will be a mix of short presentations of how oppressions (specifically racism) work and how individual experiences can intersect along axes of different oppressions; small group storytelling (longer times with opportunities for deeper sharing and deep listening); large group sharing (shorter and mostly of highlights from small group discussions); and time for individual creative reflection. Please click here to reserve your spot so we know how much food to prepare! Cost: sliding scale, scholarships available. Contact Kara for more info.

What is now called the Licton Springs neighborhood in Seattle was once a spiritual and medicinal gathering place for the Duwamish people. There were once hundreds of springs, but most have been paved over and destroyed by development. One remaining spring is in Licton Springs Park, and the Urban Native Education Alliance is leading a campaign to designate it a historical landmark. Read more here, and sign this petition calling on the Landmark Preservation Board to give this spring landmark status—then share with friends, neighbors, and co-workers!

National Bail Out is a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. They are once again running the #FreeBlackMamas campaign to raise bail for black mothers to get out of jail and be reunited with their families for Mother’s Day. Consider skipping the flowers and cards this year and using that money to make a donation to #FreeBlackMamas today!


Portland reduced their greenhouse gas emissions while their population grew. How can we do that?!

Cities Climate Summit II: A model for success!
Saturday, May 11
Sorry, the event is full, but you can sign up for the video here

Climate planner Susan Anderson will describe how the City of Portland and Multnomah County brought greenhouse gas reductions from goal to reality. Cities account for 70% of national greenhouse gas emissions, and while local K4C cities have set goals, they aren’t meeting themSign up for the video to learn from Portland’s example, and check out the local group holding K4C cities accountable.


If you get around on foot, bike, or wheelchair, please take 5 minutes to complete this WSDOT active transportation survey—strong survey results could help shift funding priorities toward zero-carbon transportation.

Bike update
The bike community really came through at the Bike Master Plan open houses, refusing to fight over the scraps, standing up for prioritizing bike lanes in communities that need affordable transit the most, and insisting it’s the city’s job to prioritize bikes over cars. Because you all turned out, climate was front and center in every discussion. SDOT has asked for an extension, so it’s likely the BMP won’t be before the City Council until June.

Stand up for faster buses!
Join us and the MASS Coalition at Tuesday’s meeting of the Seattle City Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee, as we speak up for faster buses! The committee will be hearing reports on Move Seattle and RapidRide implementation. These plans are moving very slowly, and many projects have been pared down or delayed. Buses carrying scores of riders shouldn’t get stuck behind a sea of single-occupancy vehicles! The City needs to be more ambitious about climate, starting with prioritizing public transit on our roads.

Sustainability and Transportation Committee—Prioritize Public Transit
Tuesday, May 7, 1:30–3:00pm
Meet up at 1:30 in City Grind cafe in the lobby for talking points, meeting at 2
Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave, Seattle 98104
Shareable event page here

The other kind of movement politics
350 Seattle’s Transportation Team is co-sponsoring this event with Red May Seattle, featuring Mimi Sheller, author of Mobility Justice: The Politics of Movement in the Age of Extremes. Come rethink the way that the climate crisis, immigration, and our everyday transportation issues fit together.

Mobility Justice
Sunday, May 19, 12:00pm
NW Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, Seattle 98122

UW Transit passes for all—we keep fighting, and winning
Last summer, we won transit passes for many of UW’s union workers, and last month, MASS Coalition (Move All Seattle Sustainably) got UW Administration to back down on a proposal to increase U-PASS costs for professional staff and faculty. Now we will be testifying during the public comment at 5:30 to show that UW employees and community allies support a fully-subsidized U-PASS for ALL UW employees without distinction! Come stand with us as we testify as a group. Full transit benefits will help the UW reach its Campus Master Plan goal of lowering the drive-alone rate to 12%.

UW Regents Meeting—Transit Passes for Employees
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 5:15 – 5:45pm
Gerberding, Room 142, UW Seattle Campus
Shareable event page here

Interested in joining in our work?

Next Transpo meeting
Monday May 13, 4:15–5:45pm,
Room 330, Vance building, 1402 3rd Ave


Affordable Housing Week, May 13–17 has tons of events where we can learn about what folks are doing toward affordable housing in Seattle right now. Lots of interesting topics such as Renters Rights 101, Anti-displacement Forum, and Parking and Housing Affordability. Check out the whole list here.

Two opportunities to speak up for public affordable housing
We rocked the first open house for a new ecovillage on the National Guard Armory site, and now there’s another open house coming up. Join us at the next Interbay Project open house to again speak for social housing and the services and spaces that make for true community, on the scale we need to help stem the tide of displacement. Our showing up in numbers sparked others to get excited for housing opportunities, so let’s keep up the momentum.

Interbay Open House
Wednesday, May 15, 6:00pm
Ballard VFW Hall, 2812 NW Market St., Seattle 98107
Shareable event page here

The city is revving up to build some affordable housing in a really nice neighborhood, right next to Discovery Park. So, you can bet there will be pushback. Come help us support more affordable housing in all our neighborhoods. Details about the city’s plans here.

Fort Lawton Public Hearing
Meet in City Grind Espresso in the lobby at 4:00pm to prep for hearing
Tuesday, May 21, 4:30pm
Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Ave, Seattle 98104
Shareable event page here

Backyard cottages not McMansions
The backyard cottage legislation died in the final week of the legislative session, but got quite a bit of good traction, and sparked great educational conversations with many legislators. Thanks to everyone who commented in person or in email—your work should help move this bill forward again next session.

Meanwhile, the frivolous appeal of Seattle backyard cottage legislation’s EIS by proponents of exclusionary zoning is slowly grinding along: we expect a final Hearing Examiner ruling in May, and for the Council to consider final backyard cottage legislation in June. To get ready for that, find out more about this gentle and relatively affordable density at this Capitol Hill Renters event:

All About Accessory Dwelling Units
Thursday, May 16, 6:00–7:30pm
1620 12th Ave, Seattle 98122
Tickets required, RSVP here


For May we’ll be doing a special joint session of our drop-in hours with the chill folks at The Urbanist. Come join us to help out with a couple of tasks that benefit both our city and our climate.

Volunteer Drop-In Hours with The Urbanist
Wednesday, May 15, 5:30–7:30pm
Cafe Solstice, 925 E Thomas St., Seattle 98102


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
3940 Fremont Ave N, Seattle 98103
Monday, May 13, 5:00–8:00pm, for No Methanol and Sunrise
Wednesday, May 15, times TBD for the Amazon rally

Save the date: Saturday, June 22, 11:00am–5:00pm, and participate in our Green New Deal ensemble in the Solstice Parade which draws 100,000 viewers to Fremont! All are welcome. Lots to create and easy, fun roles to fill! No sills needed! Sign up on our list to get notified of art builds for giant scales and giant green hand props, costumes, singing an original song from Ale, as well as batik and paper folding workshops, starting mid-May. To get involved contact Shemona.

Mural wall needed
We need a high visibility wall for a beautiful mural that gets to 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.


You don’t have to be an organizer, protest-goer, phone-banker, or someone who’s ready for civil disobedience to get involved. Community Resilience is here to assist individuals in finding ways to contribute to our efforts in working towards climate justice. The climate movement requires many skills and talents, which rarely reside in one person alone. The broader our skill sets and resources are, the stronger our chances are of success.

We need you too! Add your skill to our list.

And we also need: houses or venues for benefit concerts, fabric, seeds, art supplies, blank t-shirts, beer, wine, vans, buses, trucks, building materials, organic soil, rooms, hospitality, spaces for workshops, bikes, skill shares, unicorn costumes. And more!

Please email Alexandra Blakely to plug in.


Whew. Busy month ahead! Big business and most foundations don’t fund climate action and systemic change work. They just don’t. So, we turn to you for support.

Please, schedule a Give Big donation to support our work this year.

Thank you—with your participation, donations, good will and sharing we might just give future generations a fighting chance.

350 Seattle


Cap & Trade Fails Communities

Cap & trade has failed communities in California ― why would it be any different here?

In 2013, California adopted the country’s largest cap and trade scheme. Since then, the state’s overall greenhouse gas pollution have dropped from the 2001 peak…but there’s a catch. Many of the most polluting corporations have actually increased their pollution since the program came into effect. Oil refineries, gas corporations, fossil fuel-hooked utilities: all have increased their greenhouse gas emissions and related pollution since 2013.

That’s because cap and trade is a policy that “caps” the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the state (which is, undoubtedly, a good thing) but allows individual companies to actually increase their emissions by “trading” purchasing pollution “allowances” from companies that pollute less.

So, while overall emissions may have dropped, the first serious study examining the social impacts of California’s cap-and-trade program, found that 52% of companies regulated by the program saw an increase in annual average greenhouse gas emissions. Cement plants, for example, saw an increase in emissions by almost 75%….cement plants like, say, the Ash Grove plant in south Seattle that accounts for 10% of our city’s overall emissions and massively contributes to the fact that south Seattle residents are three times more likely to have asthma than those who live in the north of our city.

That’s the biggest problem with cap and trade. The corporations that are permitted to increase their pollution rates are overwhelmingly situated in disadvantaged communities; black, brown, and low-income communities that have historically been hit hardest by environmental pollution.

That’s why a number of Washington-based people-of-color-led environmental justice groups, including our friends at Got Green and Community2Community, are deeply concerned that state Senator Carlyle has introduced Senate Bill 5981, proposing a cap and trade system for Washington state.

In a policy paper released by Got Green last week, they argue that cap-and-trade is a “scheme introduced for and by major climate-polluting corporations.”

And they have a point. In Washington state, Senate Bill 5981 originated with British Petroleum ― a corporation which continues to spend ungodly sums of money on opposing climate action. So why is BP, a company that spent $13 million opposing I-1631 last year, supporting cap and trade? Is it because they’ve seen the light and suddenly support meaningful climate action? Yeah, right. In the last five years, BP has spent more money than any other company on earth fighting climate policy.

BP supports cap and trade because it’s figured out how to coexist with California’s cap and trade system. But here’s the thing: BP’s basic business model is incompatible with curtailing catastrophic climate change. So, anything that’s good for BP isn’t good for the rest of us who live on this planet — especially not frontline communities.

In its policy paper, Got Green also argues that cap-and-trade “increases harm to those communities living next to oil refineries, fossil fuel power plants and other carbon-intensive industries.” The evidence from California backs them up.

We cannot have climate justice without environmental justice ― and it’s clear that cap and trade only deepens environmental injustice. For anyone who professes to care about climate justice, cap and trade is a “solution” that we must push back against. Hard.

We hope you’ll join our friends at Got Green and Community2Community as they do exactly that with a No Cap and Trade Rally in Olympia next week. RSVP & more details here.




Two Years of Giving Chase…Hell

Climate Justice activist with megaphone in front of Chase Bank

Taking on the Nation’s Largest Bank: JPMorgan Chase

by Alec Connon

For two years now, we’ve been campaigning to force JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank, to stop funding climate disaster. Here’s the story behind the campaign ― an overview of the problem we’re trying to solve, a history of what’s happened so far, and a preview of what’s coming next. We hope you’ll join us.

First: The Problem

Despite the fact that 80% of known fossil fuel reserves must be left in the ground to avoid climate catastrophe, fossil fuel companies continue to spend hundreds of billions every year building new coal terminals, new oil pipelines, and new LNG facilities. Every one of these projects locks in decades of climate pollution ― and commits us to a future of ever more wildfires, hurricanes, sea-level rise, and species extinction.

But there’s a key fact missing from this story: Fossil fuel companies are wholly dependent on major bank loans to build new fossil fuel projects. Without major bank loans, fossil fuel companies just don’t have enough money to build massive, multi-billion-dollar pipelines such as Trans-Mountain or Keystone XL.

This means that if we can stop the flow of dollars from banks to fossil fuel companies, we can stop the buildout of devastating new fossil fuel projects.

That’s the basic premise of our Chase campaign. Now, here’s what happened so far.

The Campaign Begins

In January 2017, Trump signed an executive order to force through the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. Within months, oil was flowing through the Dakota Access pipeline ― and soon, it was being reported that TransCanada was moving pipeline to South Dakota to start construction on the Keystone XL. With the White House in the hands of a dangerous climate denier, there seemed to be little that we here in Seattle could do to stop this monstrosity.

But, there was one option left open to us: follow the money.

The Keystone XL would cost TransCanada $8 billion. Even super-wealthy fossil fuel companies like TransCanada don’t have enough money stashed away to pay for a pipeline that expensive without relying on major bank loans. And so, after talking with our friends at Mazaska Talks, we decided to launch a campaign targeting the TransCanada’s largest funder: JPMorgan Chase.

Our First Actions

We started by going to City Council. Thinking that a potential $3 billion customer would have some sway with Chase, we pitched the idea of Seattle City Council passing a resolution committing the City to avoid banking with any bank that funds the Keystone XL pipeline. Councilmember Sawant agreed to sponsor the resolution. Two weeks later, it passed the Council unanimously. It was a good start, but we knew that it was only a start.

A few weeks later, we hosted a press conference at a downtown JPMorgan Chase branch. At the press conference, we issued a simple demand: release a public statement that you will not fund the Keystone XL or we will shut down at least ten of your branches all across the City.

Two weeks passed and ― surprise, surprise ― Chase did not release a public statement. So we did what we had promised to do: In a major act of civil disobedience, we shut down 13 branches of JPMorgan Chase.

Not long after, Mazaska Talks called for a global day of action to hold the banks accountable for their role in the climate crisis and for their role in funding projects that violate Indigenous Nations and Tribes right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent. Three months later, the largest ever protest against banks’ investments in fossil fuels occurred in 60 cities, 12 countries, and 4 continents. In Seattle, we disrupted business at all 106 branches of the tar-sands-funding banks in the city and seven people were arrested as we shut down central branches of JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.

Entering the Bank

We knew that protesting outside (and, um, inside) Chase wasn’t going to be enough, either. And so in November 2017, we sent a letter to Chase PNW Chairwoman Phyllis Campbell requesting a meeting to discuss Chase’s role in the climate crisis. To our surprise, a few weeks later, we joined with Matt Remle and Rachel Heaton, the founders of Mazaska Talks, to meet with Phyllis Campbell, Maris Buchanan (Chase’s Vice-President of Sustainability), and Thomas Perrick (Chase’s PNW Head of Government Relations).

At that meeting, we explained why we are engaging in this campaign: Chase is funding new fossil fuel projects at a time when new fossil fuel projects mean locking in climate pollution that will cause the extinction of species and vast levels of human suffering. Matt and Rachel explained how the fossil fuel industry routinely violates Indigenous communities’ rights to Free, Prior and Informed Consent. In each instance, we provided numerous examples of Chase clients ― namely, TransCanada and Enbridge Energy ― building projects that both violate the rights of Indigenous communities and lock in climate chaos.

After the meeting, Ms. Campbell referred us to Matt Arnold, Chase’s Global Head of Sustainability. Since then, we have been in regular dialogue with Mr. Arnold and others at Chase ― and we have continued to push them hard in every one of these conversations.

Recognizing that people aren’t corporations, but that people are responsible for the decisions of corporations, we will continue to engage with, and hold accountable, Chase’s leadership at every stage of this campaign.

And the Coalition Grows

In September 2017, Rainforest Action Network (RAN), a national organization with 30+ years’ experience with corporate campaigns, joined the campaign against Chase. Their opening salvo was an impressive banner drop, rally, and disruption at an event that Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, was speaking at in Denver, CO.

Since then, we have worked closely with RAN, and the coalition of groups participating in the campaign has only grown: Honor the Earth, Indigenous Environmental Network, Greenpeace USA, 350.org, 350 Colorado, 350 Madison, and Chicago Rising Tide are a few of the organizations that have thrown down for the campaign in the last year. On a local level, we have planned all of our Seattle actions with our friends at Mazaska Talks, Protectors of the Salish Sea, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, as well as with organizers from 350 Eastside and 350 Tacoma.

As we look ahead, we know that this campaign will have to grow even more. That’s why we’re excited that organizers from 350 Mass, 350 Bay Area, and 350 Denver are all participating in the upcoming April 10th action.

And the Actions Continue

Despite the fact that Chase decision makers are now engaging with us, the campaign coalition has continued to use public protest as a key strategy. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • In November 2017, RAN dropped a huge banner outside Chase’s US HQ on Wall Street
  • In May 2018, we had our first national day of action targeting Chase and there were actions in 19 cities, including a major action in Seattle that shut down 2nd Ave outside of Chase’s PNW HQ.



  • A week before that action, we dropped this rather beautiful banner advertising the fact that in one week’s time we were going to do what we had done before: #ShutDownChase
  • Also, in May of 2018 a delegation of activists gatecrashed Chase’s AGM in Texas and caused a disruption calling for Chase to divest from fossil fuels.
  • In Sept 2018, RAN dropped a banner at the US Open final. Why? Because Jamie Dimon loves tennis and was in the crowd!
  • In October 2018, we dropped this 24x24 foot banner from Highway 99 that articulated Chase’s role in the proposed, massive tar sands pipeline, Line 3. We followed up the banner drop with sending Chase’s executive leadership 1,000 emails with an image of the banner.
  • In December 2018, there were simultaneous actions in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. In Seattle, we put a 50-foot pipeline through Chase PNW HQ in Seattle and simulated an oil spill, and dropped a massive banner calling on Phyllis Campbell to use her power in the company to move it away from fossil fuels.

These are just a few of the actions that have happened as part of this campaign: RAN has also been following Jamie Dimon all over the country and regularly bird dogging him; 350 Madison and 350 CO have had actions we haven’t mentioned here, as have numerous other organizations. Literally dozens of these actions have been reported in media outlets like Bloomberg, The Seattle Times, Democracy Now! and many more. In addition, we’ve supplemented these on-the-ground actions with other strategies: In December 2018, Chase executives received well over 20,000 emails and 1,000 phone calls demanding that they stop funding fossil fuels; at Chase’s 2018 AGM, RAN attempted to introduce a shareholder resolution that would have forced the bank to complete a study into their tar sands holdings, a resolution that Chase executives blocked from being introduced.

So, What’s Next?

Well, the short answer of that is more of the same. Last week, we just found out that Chase is now the largest funder of fossil fuels in the world. The numbers don’t lie: since the Paris Agreement was signed in late 2015, Chase has loaned over $196 billion to fossil fuel companies.

And so we will continue doing everything in our power to hold Chase accountable. We’ll engage their leadership in dialogue, we’ll send their executives tens of thousands of emails and call Jamie Dimon thousands of times, and we’ll protest at their branches all over the country.

The next opportunity to join the campaign is on April 10th. We hope that you’ll join us. Here’s how:

  1. Attend the Mass Action Meeting on Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30. You can RSVP and get more details here.
  2. Can’t make the meeting, but still want to get involved? Email Alec: alec@350Seattle.org
  3. Are you a Chase customer? Fill out this form and we’ll be in touch with ways that you can use your power as customer to help us win this campaign.

It’s going to take all of us to move the nation’s largest bank. We hope that includes you.


March Newsletter

Climate activists hold banners on steps of Olympia capitol building

Spring is headed our way, with fire season right behind it… So let’s get to work:


Last month, we passed the #FossilFreeKC ordinance and won a 6-month moratorium on all new fossil fuel development in King County. But that’s just the start!

Per procedure, there’s a public hearing on the moratorium and King County is asking for public input on its decision; in other words, this is a BIG opportunity to continue building energy behind the moratorium and shape the long-term planning process to make it permanent.

Which means that we need YOU to show up and let King County Council know that the community is 100% behind them as they take on the fossil fuel industry.

Public Hearing on the #FossilFreeKC Moratorium
Wednesday, March 13, 10:30–11:30am
King County Council, 516 Third Avenue, 10th Floor, Seattle 98104
Shareable event page

Want to know more? Join us for an action meeting where you can learn about the moratorium and public hearing, ask questions and prep your testimony.

FFKC Action Meeting – Prep for Moratorium Hearing
Tuesday, March 12, 6:30–8:00pm
350 Seattle’s NEW office! 1127 10th Ave E., Seattle 98102


At the end of March, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency will release their response to over 10,000 comments submitted last fall—let’s see if we can get at least 100 calls made on the 15th!

Friday, March 15
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency: (206) 343-8800

Suggested call script:
“Hi! My name is _______ from ______. I’m calling to thank the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency for the additional environmental review on PSE’s Tacoma LNG facility. Please produce the strongest review possible that accounts for the 2014 IPCC data and the true climate impacts of fracked gas! The Air Agency has my full support in delaying the review again so long as you accurately examine upstream methane emissions. I’m confident that faced with the facts, the agency will ultimately deny the air permit for this facility. Thanks so much for your work!”

Pro tip: Put the phone number and script in a reminder on your phone for March 15th!


The city of Tacoma is still dragging its feet on its promise to hire a third-party consultant to determine if the LNG project needs supplemental review. Please call City Manager Elizabeth Pauli at (253) 591-5130 and city attorney Steve Victor at (253) 591-5638 to share your support for the Puyallup Tribes’ request to have a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that addresses safety concerns and substantial project changes.

Letters to the editor needed
Can you help educate our neighbors and elected officials about threats Puget Sound Energy’s proposed LNG fracked gas project brings to our Salish Sea communities? Check out our handy Letter to the Editor Guide for tips, talking points and even email addresses of where you can submit them!


Check out this inspiring video of last month’s visit to Olympia where we delivered nearly 150,000 fracked gas comments to Governor Inslee! Want to add your voice? Click here to send our form letter urging the Governor to protect our climate, health and safety by opposing all new and expanded gas infrastructure. You can also call his office at (360) 902-4111.


Nine U.S cities and counties, from New York to San Francisco, have already filed claims against the fossil fuel industry for knowingly causing climate change, lying about it, and spending billions fighting any meaningful climate policy. It’s time for Seattle to step up and join this vital front of the climate movement.

Click here to sign our petition calling on the Seattle City Attorney to file claims against the fossil fuel industry. And while we’re pleased that City Attorney Holmes has already responded to our petition by announcing that they’ve hired a legal firm to explore suing the industry, hiring a law firm isn’t enough. We need to see Seattle move forwards and take the fossil fuel criminals to court!


350 Seattle is partnering with Rainforest Action Network to organize a National Day of Action on April 10th that will call out Chase’s role in the climate crisis. Already, there are actions confirmed in 11 cities and 10 states! Just last week, Chase announced that it is divesting from private prisons. This great news gives us hope that they can be convinced to divest from other heinous industries, like the fossil fuel industry.

#ShutDownChase – Seattle
Wednesday, April 10
To participate, sign up here.

More details coming soon!


The Promise to Protect Training Tour is coming to nine cities across the U.S. this spring, preparing thousands of people to stand with Indigenous leaders to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. At this one-day training, you’ll learn about nonviolent direct action and support roles, protocols for mobilizing in Lakota territory, and how to apply these lessons to local campaigns.

Seattle Promise to Protect Training
Register for Saturday, April 27 or register for Sunday, April 28
Space is limited, so sign up today!

Join us as we create a nationwide wave of resistance against fossil fuel development in our communities, and prepare to show up when called by Indigenous leaders to stand against the Keystone XL pipeline.


In a win for tech worker organizing and community pressure, Amazon made its first-ever announcement that it plans to reduce shipping emissions! Amazon committed to making 50% of shipments ‘net zero carbon’ by 2030 and to release its carbon footprint later this year.

Yet, in the same week, we learned that Amazon (along with other big tech companies) is actively courting fossil fuel companies to sell artificial intelligence that accelerates exploration, extraction, and production. So, clearly, we have a lot more work to do to pressure Amazon on climate justice. Stay tuned for next steps, and if you haven’t already, show support for the tech workers’ shareholder resolution by signing this petition.


At 350 Seattle, we love to work together—and with you! But we haven’t really been able to, because our old office only comfortably fit two or three people.

So we’ve taken the plunge and signed a lease for a brand spanking new office—a beautiful space with two big rooms and lots of light that gives us room to grow, and a place where we can work together and welcome volunteers. But this is a leap of faith for us: our rent is going up $1100/month.

We need your help!
Head to our GoFundMe site and help us reach our goal. All money will go to paying for the new space. The Gofundme will be live until March 15!

And if you’d like to help us plan more fundraising events, please contact Shemona, we would love to have more people on the team!


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. Our monthly meeting is a great place to learn about our work and current projects. Please join us Monday, March 18 at 7:00 pm to hear more about ways we can deepen our understanding of systemic oppression, ways to help out or attend the upcoming Our People Gonna Rise Workshop Series, and more. If this is your first meeting, please plan to arrive at 6:30 for an orientation. RSVP to Kara for the address of a home in the Wallingford neighborhood.

Our People Gonna Rise: Undoing Racism Workshop Series
Two more workshops are left in the series, and you don’t need to have attended the first one to attend these! These 6-hour workshops, facilitated by the Mangrove Collective, create a safe space for difficult conversations as we come together and commit to ending racism in our climate justice work. The format is a mix of short presentations on how oppressions (specifically racism) work and how individual experiences can intersect along axes of different oppressions; small group storytelling (longer times with opportunities for deeper sharing and deep listening); large group sharing (shorter and mostly of highlights from small group discussions); and time for individual creative reflection. Please click here for more information and to reserve your spot!

yəhaw̓ at King Street Station!
yəhaw̓ is an Indigenous-led exhibition that will run March 23 – August 3, 2019. It’s the inaugural exhibition for ARTS at King Street Station, Office of Arts & Culture Seattle’s new cultural space.

yəhaw̓ – Opening Celebration
Saturday, March 23, 12:00–7:00pm
Performances, song, and storytelling all day. The exhibit runs through August 3.
Event page here.

This show features the work of 200+ Indigenous creatives at over 20 sites across Seattle and beyond. Curated by Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole), Asia Tail (Cherokee), and Satpreet Kahlon, this project series celebrates the depth and diversity of Indigenous art made in the Pacific Northwest.

Solidarity with Unist’ot’en update
For weeks, the RCMP and Coastal GasLink (CGL) workers have denied residents of the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre access to their traditional traplines, and in some cases, destroyed traplines in the process of work. The BC Environmental Assessment Office issued an order to “not resume activities that may affect” the use of this trapline until June 12, 2019. CGL is not honoring this request, and continues to block access, operating bulldozers and excavators within meters of active traps last week.

The trapping program is an integral part of Unist’ot’en Healing Center activities, providing a cultural, land-based activity that lets residents connect with ancestral knowledge and practice, acquiring skills that establish a sense of personal esteem and mastery, building up their confidence as knowledge keepers and eventually as teachers.

Please share this information! It is important that everyone is made aware of the ways in which corporations and governments continue to place profits over Indigenous sovereignty. Follow the camp Facebook pages for timely updates: Unist’ot’en Camp and Wet’suwet’en Access point on Gidimt’en territory.


“Those of us involved in the environmental justice movement have a different take on what it means to be an environmentalist. We view our struggle for environmental justice as being organically linked to all struggles for justice. Against poverty. Against homelessness. Against police brutality, racial violence and racial profiling. Against the prison industry. If we don’t have political justice, if we don’t have racial justice, if we don’t have economic justice, we cannot achieve environmental justice. —Got Green’s Young Leaders Team.

Got Green is a Seattle area environmental justice organization rooted in community, led by people of color and youth. Front-line Allies is launching our team for the Green-A-Thon, Got Green’s annual community building and fundraising campaign. Members of our team, 350 ways to love Got Green, can contribute in many ways: fundraise for Got Green within your own networks (ask a friend, share on social media, hold a bake sale); join group fundraising activities; join the (non-fundraising) Community Canvass Event with all the other Green-a-Thon teams; volunteer to help Got Green; or help organize our team’s work.

Work Party, Thursday, April 18, 6:00–8:00pm
Earth Day Community Canvass, Saturday, April 20
Community Appreciation Party, Thursday, May 9
Work Party, Wednesday, May 8, 6:00–8:00pm

Will you be on our Green-A-thon team this year? Please contact Paul to let us know!


While it’s still a mystery when the new climate-killing NAFTA will be up for a vote, we know it’s time to amp up the pressure on our Congressional Representatives and Senators to vote no. There are plenty of reasons to oppose it, like the regulatory chapter full of provisions that threaten our ability to implement the Green New Deal. Learn more here and here.

The Trade team brought these concerns to Senators Murray and Cantwell, as well as the Congressional offices of Derek Kilmer, Adam Smith and Kim Schrier. Thanks to all who attended and spoke eloquently, including Linda Brewster, Hillary Haden (from Washington Fair Trade Coalition), Jack Smith, Brent McFarlane, Mimi Stewart, Kevin Kilbridge, Margie Bone, Camryn, Nancy Corr, and Neal Anderson.

Please call or email your Representative and our Senators and ask them to vote no on the new NAFTA.

NAFTA Webinar
Learn about NAFTA’s impact and how the new NAFTA could continue to harm working people and the environment in three countries.

Trump’s NAFTA – Improve It or Lose It!
Thursday, March 14, 5:00 – 6:00pm
Register here.

This webinar provides context and talking points for contacting members of Congress and offers ways to get involved in the fight against the pro-corporate NAFTA.


Wowza! In just the first 8 weeks of the state legislative session, we have collectively made almost 1,500 phone calls and sent 500 individual emails to legislators! Nice work, civic-minded activists!

Want to join us in making sure that climate becomes a priority for Washington politicians? There’s still plenty of time to make your voice heard in Olympia this session: Sign up here to receive our weekly Civic Action Team Alerts!


Help us hasten an equitable transition to fossil-fuel-free transportation here in the Seattle area, as well as the region.

Next Transpo Meeting is Monday!
Monday, February 11, 4:15–5:45pm
Vance building, Room 330, 1402 3rd Ave., Seattle 98101
Text 206-427-7884 if you have trouble finding or getting into the building

35th Ave Bike Lane needs a(nother) moment of your time
The mayor still has not announced a decision whether to act, so we’ve updated our form letter to let her know we haven’t forgotten. Whether or not you’ve written the Mayor already, please take a moment right now to send the Mayor our updated 35th Bike Lane email. And for even more impact, write the mayor directly: jenny.durkan@seattle.gov.

Roads are Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
And that’s why we are plenty steamed about a state transportation package that would widen and build roads at the expense of transit, bike, and pedestrian/rolling infrastructureRead our blog post about it here, and to be kept in the loop, and maybe even help, sign up for the Transpo mailing list: email Andrew.


Housing bills are moving in Olympia—help give these a push!

SSB 5812 / SHB 1797
These bills require cities to increase housing capacity by removing some restrictions on accessory dwelling units (ADUs). These bills are in line for floor votes, so please contact your senator and also your representative, and tell them that: 1) ADUs give both renters and homeowners more options. 2) they can provide affordable housing and needed income for low-income homeowners. 3) Too many cities in WA excessively and needlessly restrict the construction of ADUs, limiting homeowner choices that could help the whole city.

SHB 1923
This bill would fight both climate change and Washington’s long history of racially and economically segregated housing by increasing urban residential building capacity in areas close to transit, services, and opportunity. The House Rules Committee is still considering whether to send it for a vote by the full House—it needs a boost!

Contact your representatives and tell them: We have a climate crisis AND a critical housing shortage: our cities need to increase housing capacity in the neighborhoods that need it most. We can’t allow wealthy neighborhoods with more political power to pull up the drawbridge while lower-income neighborhoods shoulder all our much-needed new urban housing.


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.

Looking for a mural wall
As the weather improves, we’re still looking for a high visibility wall for a beautiful mural. Know of one? If you do or would like to paint bus shelters with young people, 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.

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!

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. Also looking for folks who want to do photo sorting and be an imagery co-librarian! Contact Lisa.


It’s a concert for 350 Seattle! Were you at our March General Meeting? Two of our artivists, Alexandra Blakely and her ten year old daughter Femi, opened for us in song. And well, they have lot more songs to share, in a concert to support fundraising for 350 Seattle! Come join us for an evening of medicinal music for social change. Bring a friend or two and let’s continue building community together.

Medicinal music for social change
Saturday, April 6, doors open at 7 for the 7:30 show (event end: 9:45pm)
Kenyon Hall, 7904 35th Ave SW, Seattle 98126
Suggested donation $20 general, $18 seniors and students (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Ticket info and reservations
To make a reservation, please e-mail kenyonhall@earthlink.net with your request. You’ll receive an e-mail confirming your reservation. We accept cash and checks at the door.

Thanks for everything you do!

350 Seattle


Social Media



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!



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


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


- Naomi Klein

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