Keeping your distance out there in the sun? Glad to hear it! Here are some things to do in the shade:
RISE TO THE CHALLENGE
We’re currently facing multiple crises—including a pandemic, an economic downturn, and climate change. We need progressive funding to provide relief for those in need, and to build a more resilient city. But last week Seattle City Council Members pressed “pause” on legislation for a big business tax that would fund emergency COVID-19 relief, affordable housing, and a Green New Deal—citing a Governor’s Proclamation that prohibits local governments from deliberating “unless those matters are necessary and routine matters or are matters necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and the current public health emergency.”
Our response to COVID-19 must address both immediate needs and the root causes of what makes people vulnerable. We can’t push “pause” on issues like economic injustice, racial injustice, and climate change until the pandemic is over. If local government is required to ignore these crises because they’re deemed “non-routine,” we’re unable to respond appropriately.
That’s why we’re calling on Governor Inslee to immediately strike the word “routine” from Proclamation 20-28, to empower local leaders to act on these urgent matters and create a just response to COVID-19. Will you join us, and send a letter to Governor Inslee?
If our city leaders remain unable or unwilling to pass progressive taxation, we’ll take it to the November ballot. You can help by signing this online ballot initiative to tax Seattle’s top corporations for a major expansion of affordable housing and the creation of thousands of jobs. Want to learn more and connect with our team?
Town Hall: Big Business Tax!
Monday, May 11, 6:00–6:30pm
Online, details on the event page.
Join us at the Town Hall to hear an update and to plug in to the movement for progressive taxation.
Our advocacy has had an impact! Over 900 people have signed our letter to SDOT and the Mayor, the city has rolled out 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets and declared they will be permanently slowed after the Covid-crisis.
But our neighbors in the densest areas of the city still don’t have slow streets, and the city has yet to create safe modes of alternative transportation for essential workers, now and as we phase out of the stay at home orders. The World Health Organization is calling on cities to prioritize transportation by walking and biking to minimize the spread of the virus. Paris has reacted by creating 400 miles of “Corona Cycleways.”
We are calling for Seattle to create an emergency pop-up bicycle network based on the Bike Master Plan so that scarce transit resources can be available for those who need them the most. SDOT says they will respond to community demands, so sign our petition and share it with 5 friends, distribute our flyer in your neighborhood, fill out our survey, and participate in our social media blitz!
To join this campaign, email Ingrid with “streets4people volunteer” in the subject line.
SEATTLE MUTUAL AID: NEIGHBORHOOD PODS!
Will you sign up to be a pod captain or join a pod in your neighborhood? We’ve got lots of tools and people to help you get it going and figure things out along the way!
These pods should last well beyond the current crisis and create the kinds of resilient communities we will need to face disasters related to the climate crisis in the future, as well as to help organize for solutions.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we now have 40 Neighborhood Pods and growing in a city-wide network of Mutual Aid to cultivate community resilience. We invite you to take leadership to help community grow within your own neighborhood so that people can help each other where there is need. Neighborhood captains are in contact with each other, so resources, information, and support of all kinds can be distributed between different pods as well.
We are connected with COVID-19 Mutual Aid so that our pods can respond to some of the grocery and medical needs that people request through that site. We’ve sent out requests for mask making for a hospital in need, as well as for personal protection, and we share information and opportunities to address the huge impacts the virus is having on vulnerable communities.
SHARE THE STIMULUS
People are coming together to collectively donate some or all of their stimulus checks at sharemycheck.org. For those of us who are lucky enough to be financially stable and securely housed, this is a step towards ensuring that we all have enough to make it through this collective crisis. Millions of people won’t get checks at all, including those who are undocumented, incarcerated, and don’t have social security numbers or bank accounts, and for others it’s just not enough for basic needs.
Here are other options in and around Seattle:
- COVID Relief Aid for Undocumented Folks: A coalition to provide emergency and preventative financial relief to undocumented individuals that are at financial risk.
- Coronavirus Mutual Aid Solidarity Network: A collective of volunteers, not a non-profit. That means no overhead, every dollar is going towards groceries, supplies, and direct support.
- The Washington Food Fund: Raising money to provide food and supplies for those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Many, many more! Check out this page for a longer list.
We agree with the Peoples Action’s proposal for a Homes Guarantee to keep people safely housed during COVID-19, and provide safe housing for those experiencing homelessness, as well as a number of other common-sense protections. To add your voice, sign the petition here.
JOIN OUR SOLIDARITY TEAM
The Solidarity team works to build coalition across justice-oriented movements. We do this because we know that fighting against climate destruction means fighting against all the systems that fuel the destruction of our planet, including white supremacy, colonialism, heteropatriarchy, classism, ableism and more. That means building deep community and long-term reciprocal relationships across movements. 350 Seattle already has relationships with a variety of local groups, and this team aims to be part of the continued growth of those relationships while creating additional partnerships.
How do we do this? Our team uses a node model, where smaller groups of folx organize into areas of interest (e.g. supporting immigration justice), and then work together to form relationships and partnerships with organizations and communities pushing forward those issues. Nodes meet at least once per month, plus a larger monthly meeting for the whole Solidarity Team.
Currently, we are looking for:
- Mentorship for our current nodes (Economic Justice, Indigenous Sovereignty & Solidarity, Immigration Justice) around relationship-building in authentic ways for future long-term partnership.
- Education on the current landscape of organizations within the space; who to start contacting; help making those connections.
- People to join nodes and/or start their own! A toolkit is in the works.
Interested? Please join us!
Above all else, we do this work in solidarity and seek real power shifts and transformational change. We believe deeply in both action and reflection as we work to avoid re-creating the same systems we want to break down. Hope to see you there!
DEFEATING KXL, AGAIN
Now, while the Dems’ presumptive nominee is trying to earn voters’ support, we have critical leverage to influence his platform and get him on the record to stop the Keystone XL pipeline if elected.
Organize to Win in 2020
Thursday, May 14, 5:00pm
Register here to join the call.
You’ll hear from Bill McKibben, key partners, and members of the national 350.org team about what’s next for this transformational year. Come prepared with paper and a marker or pen to participate in a quick activity during the call.
STOP THE MONEY PIPELINE
Earth Day Live was a huge success. Over three days, the livestream was viewed nearly five million times. On Day 2 alone ― Stop the Money Pipeline day ― nearly 1.5 million people tuned in, and many thousands took action: committing to never bank with fossil fuel funders, making phone calls and leaving thousands of reviews of Chase’s funding of fossil fuels on review sites all across the internet.
Now we’re going all-in to get climate denier and former ExxonMobil CEO, Lee Raymond, kicked off JPMorgan Chase’s Board of Directors this week, before Chase’s annual meeting on May 19.
The campaign, led by Stop the Money Pipeline coalition partner Majority Action, has already met with a huge win―after 19 years at the helm of Chase, Lee Raymond was demoted from his position as Lead Independent Director last week. But demoting a man who bears criminal responsibility for the climate crisis isn’t good enough. Lee Raymond needs to be removed from the Chase Board entirely.
You can help make sure that Raymond is booted off Chase’s Board by calling the asset managers BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard, companies that collectively own nearly 20% of JPMorgan Chase.
In the weeks ahead, we’re organizing a Stop the Money Pipeline webinar series―last week nearly 1,000 people signed up to join us for a Climate Finance Campaigning 101 webinar. To make sure you’re staying in the loop with all that’s happening, sign the Stop the Money Pipeline petition here.
This just in: Legal appeals filed by both the Puyallup Tribe and by Earthjustice, representing environmental and health organizations challenging the permit approved in 2019 by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, will be heard this coming October. The Agency’s decision has received widespread criticism for its lack of consultation with the Puyallup Tribe, use of outdated science and scenarios that the Washington Attorney General called “fictional”.
While we wait for the appeal to be heard, we’re looking for more visible and online displays of support for the Puyallup Tribe and the groups fighting to protect our communities from this dangerous project. Watch for more emails coming soon with ways you can help!
In the meantime, please watch and share this episode of Holding The Thin Green Line: View From the Blastzone by Barbara Bernstein which covers Tacoma residents fighting off first a methanol plant then pivoting to the fight against Puget Sound Energy’s LNG refinery and fracked gas storage facility currently under construction.
Our Aviation Team has joined Stay Grounded, an international network to counter aviation and support a just transport system.
Support the campaign to #SavePeopleNotPlanes: For decades, the aviation industry has avoided real climate action, exploited its workers and lobbied against fair taxation. Now airlines around the world are demanding huge unconditional taxpayer-backed bailouts. Together with more than 300 international organizations we are calling on governments not to bail out airlines unconditionally: any public money has to ensure that workers and the climate are put first! Sign the petition here!
Other Aviation Team activities include making sure our voices are heard at every Port of Seattle meeting and opposing SEATAC capacity expansion (the mis-named Sustainable Airport Master Plan). To learn more, get involved, or talk about collaborating, contact Laura.
CRUISING TOWARDS CLIMATE COLLAPSE
Here’s some good news! Plans for a new cruise ship terminal near Pioneer Square were officially put on hold at the last Port of Seattle Commission meeting! But don’t cross this one off completely, the expansion will be revisited in the fall. So, let’s use this time to spread awareness about the project and the potential impacts on public health, climate, water quality and local taxes. Port Commissioners are elected and have the power to halt this for good and take a big step towards living up to their goal of being “the greenest port in North America”.
More about the decision in this article: Port of Seattle delays controversial new cruise terminal as it pares spending due to coronavirus.
As we come out of this pandemic, we can emerge on a better path forward, a path that recognizes the unsustainability of mandated growth, prioritizes de-growth of harmful industries, and invests in solutions that create both healthier communities and good jobs.
Cruise Expansion in Seattle – Webinar
Wednesday May 27, 1:00–2:00pm
RSVP on the event page.
Learn more about the impacts of cruise ships and how to help make sure expansion plans stay halted!
Email Stacy to register or to start receiving campaign updates.
AMAZON: STOP FIRING & START LISTENING TO WORKERS!
Amazon has been firing workers who speak up about workplace safety during the pandemic, including two prominent leaders in Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ)—Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa. The company is also silencing and censoring conversations between workers, deleting emails and invites to AECJ’s events for tech workers to hear directly from warehouse workers.
In protest, hundreds of tech workers called in sick on April 24th and joined AECJ’s Sick Out Livestream. Leading up to the Sick Out, AECJ laid out three demands for the company:
- Make it right with fired workers; ensure it doesn’t happen again.
- Strengthen pandemic safety; make the temporary workplace improvements permanent.
- Commit to climate justice; add racial equity to the Climate Pledge.
As inquiries and acts of solidarity mount, you can still watch the Sick Out Livestream here! It features talks from warehouse workers around the world, as well as over 30 powerful guest speakers, including these climate justice highlights:
- Andrea and Anthony from CCAEJ, Center for Community Action on Environmental Justice, who worked with AECJ to create this year’s shareholder resolution on environmental racism.
- Bill McKibben, author, climate activist, and 350.org founder.
- Emily Johnston of 350 Seattle.
Do you work at Amazon, or know someone who does? Share the livestream with them, and also this survey for Amazon workers—AECJ wants to hear feedback about these events from more Amazon workers!
TRADE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
Federal response to COVID-19
We’ve pushed for the People’s Bailout. We’ve supported Pramila Jayapal’s Paycheck Guarantee Act. Next up: The ReWind Act, which would stop the fossil fuel industry from profiting off this crisis. To support it, add your name here.
Yes, COVID-19 policy issues are getting most of our attention at the federal level these days, but trade proposals are still on our radar. The administration notified Congress of its intent to create a trade deal with Kenya. We’re keeping tabs on it. Will it mirror the pro-corporate, climate-killing template of past trade deals? More when we know it.
Meanwhile, the administration is pressing forward on trade negotiations with the United Kingdom. Civil society groups in both countries warn that these negotiations could privilege corporate profits ahead of public health, consumer safety, the environment and worker rights. So, please use this link to tell Congress to prioritize working people and the planet before agreeing to any UK–US trade deal.
Webinar: COVID-19, Trade and Resilience
Ever wondered exactly how free trade agreements prioritize private profits over healthy communities? Or how they’ve made the Northwest less resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic’s dual public health and economic crises? This webinar will fill in the details!
Northwest Town Hall on COVID-19, Trade and Resilience
Tuesday, May 26, 5:00pm
Register in advance here.
Presenters include Sameer Ranade of Front and Centered, as well as labor and healthcare representatives.
FOSSIL FREE KC MOVES FORWARD
Remember last year’s moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure? Now King County is poised to enact some of the strongest anti-fossil fuel regulations in the country!
In just a few weeks, Council will review updates to the County Comprehensive Plan, including an amendment that makes the Fossil Free KC moratorium on new major fossil fuel development into a permanent ban (prohibiting things like oil-by-rail facilities and fracked gas storage tanks). We’re glad to see Councilmember Dave Upthegrove championing community health and climate concerns, forwarding bold new ideas like fossil-fuel risk bonding, and advocating for meaningful and robust consultation with tribal governments.
Can you take 2 minutes to thank Councilmember Upthegrove and tell County Comp Plan staff that you support comprehensive measures to protect our communities from fossil fuel threats?
CLIMATE ACTION TOOLKIT
Wouldn’t it be great if the 39 cities in our county had a toolkit to help them reduce their carbon emissions in an effective, equitable way? Well, King County is making a Climate Action Toolkit, and those hard-working county staffers would like your help making sure it’s as good as it needs to be.
Your input will help inform the priorities and actions in the Toolkit and reflect the values of King County residents in all the ways that count: transportation and land use, green buildings and energy efficiency, consumption and waste management (including food waste), forests and agriculture, and water and energy utility operations.
Climate Action Toolkit Workshop
Tuesday May 12th, 1:30–3:00pm
Register in advance here.
Can’t make it? Public input is being collected here.
DECARBONIZE YOUR CITY
Speaking of reducing city emissions, People for Climate Action recently hosted a webinar featuring two speakers from Architecture 2030, one of whom talked about Bellingham’s recent experience planning how to reduce the carbon footprint of their buildings. It was jam-packed with info.
High level take-aways: Legacy buildings are the main issue, with the larger share of emissions in big downtown buildings. Smaller commercial and residential buildings are important too and require different strategies. And, no surprise, we all need to get off fracked gas!
Sound like something you want to dig into? The recording and slides are available here, and PCA will help connect you to others in your area who are similarly motivated.
We welcome all skill levels in any art form, but during these stay home, stay healthy times some skills are needed more than ever!
We’re looking for people with tech, graphic design, and video skills! Yep, we’re thinking How-to Webinars, coordinated individual art actions, and more, so we can still be impactful and connected with art across distance! Comfortable with Zoom, webinar, web presentations? Let’s talk!
Keep a look out for these upcoming webinars:
- A virtual art build, creating a virtual banner together!
- How to shoot and edit videos on your phone. Sweet!
We’re also looking for collaborators! How do we use art to talk about the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-present climate crises? How do we stay sensitive but continue to talk about systems of oppression that are still affecting us? How do we do that through art? Contact Lisa if you’re interested.
Do you sew? Need a project? We have a request for cotton masks for non-clinical staff/patients/visitors at Evergreen Hospital. Contact Lisa for details.
ONLINE SONG TEACH IN
We had an extremely joyful experimental call on our first online song teach-in last month with 70+ folx! We even recorded it for you, here.
Join us this month for number two as we sing songs by The People’s Echo, and also songs for grief, for the ancestors, for our elders, for this Great Turning, and for and with each other.
The People’s Echo Online Song Teach In
Thursday, May 27, 6:00–7:30pm
Online, details here.
Here are some notes so you can arrive prepared:
- Please wear headphones if you are able and feel comfortable (it really adds to the experience by a few miles).
- Please stay muted unless otherwise indicated.
- Please arrive 5 minutes early to the call if you are able, so 5:55pm.
- Please use your video if you are able. We want to see your sweet face singing!
DROP-IN HOURS CANCELLED
Hello, my beautiful friends, I hope you all are staying home and staying healthy. With the Stay Home order extended again until May 31st, Drop-In Hours are cancelled until further notice. Have questions? Interested in some simple at-home tasks? Please contact Shemona with your interest!
THANK YOU, GIVERS
Thank you to everyone who donated to us via Give Big! If you missed the drive but still want to support our work, you can donate on the Give Big site until May 15th.
Stay safe and be well in these challenging times, friends!