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February 2023 Newsletter

This Valentine’s Day, let’s show some love for climate-friendly affordable housing! Make sure to get your ballot in by 8PM on February 14. We’ve got a great newsletter for you this month. Let’s dive in!

HOUSE OUR NEIGHBORS

Ballots for Seattle’s Initiative 135 for social housing are out and are due this Tuesday 2/14 (Valentine’s Day) in a drop box or postmarked by 8PM! 350 Seattle endorsed Initiative 135 when the campaign began and have been helping out along the way. Now as we are approaching the finish line we need to make sure that the ballot initiative passes. You can help us accomplish this. Check out this video about I-135 to learn more, narrated by Nikkita Oliver.

If we are to cut our emissions, people need to be able to afford to live where they work and play. We must put a stop to the ongoing displacement of low income and communities of color from Seattle who get priced out of the city and then have to commute here in traffic for higher paying jobs. As a region that is sheltered from the worst impacts of the climate crisis we also need to prepare to welcome climate refugees with dignified green affordable housing. 

This is a crucial step we need to take to turn the tide on the housing crisis in our city, and set an example for the country. 

We are hosting a ballot print station and ballot collection to assist people in the voting process. If you have lost or did not receive your ballot, then you can print another one on your own or with us and submit it in time for your vote to count.

Ballot Print Shop and Drop Off
Monday-Tuesday, February 13-14, 1-8pm
5031 University Way NE, Seattle, 98105
In-person, courtyard area

Then on the night of the election there will be an election party at Washington Hall with free food and beverages, and performances by Black Stax, Rell Be Free, Talaya, and more.

I-135 Election Party
Tuesday, February 14, 7-9:30pm
Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave, Seattle, 98122

We hope you will join us in turning in your ballot with a Yes vote for I 135 by this Tuesday at 8 PM! You can learn more at HouseOurNeighbors.org.

ELECTRIFY SEATTLE!

Imagine all of our schools, libraries, university campuses, grocery stores, hotels, office buildings, and large apartment buildings in Seattle upgraded for 100% clean energy and cooling in the next decade. The work to upgrade these buildings would create thousands of good green union jobs and eliminate our city’s fastest-growing source of climate pollution. And with massive amounts of new federal money available to do these upgrades, there is no excuse not to do this now. Which is why we’re excited to see City leaders working on a policy that would set timelines to transition Seattle’s big buildings off fossil fuels!

But big landlords and fossil fuel companies like Puget Sound Energy are working hard behind-the-scenes to undermine this policy — before it’s even been released! So far, they’ve been successful in pushing for too-little, too-late timelines like net-zero by 2050, loopholes for false climate solutions like “renewable natural gas,” and cutting the fines for inaction in half.

As this policy heads to City Council, let’smake it clear that it’s unacceptable to keep letting big business prioritize their profit over our healthy climate future.

Send a message to Seattle City Council: We need climate justice, not corporate greenwashing!

And then join us as we build community power for real climate action to rapidly transition off fossil fuels, create hundreds of green union jobs in the next decade, and reject false climate solutions. Two great opportunities to plug in and learn more this month:

Electrify Seattle! Public Comment Workshop
Thursday, February 23, 6:00–7:30pm
350 Seattle Office, University Heights Center, 5031 University Way NE, Seattle
Find more info and RSVP here.

Art Build & Campaign Welcome Party
Saturday, February 25, 12:00–4:00pm
350 Seattle Office, University Heights Center, 5031 University Way NE, Seattle
Sign up here for more information and location updates.

Can’t make either of these events? No worries — fill out this campaign onboarding form and an organizer will reach out 1-1 to get you plugged in.

FEDERAL TEAM

The Federal Policy Team works to influence climate policy at the federal level. Recently, along with across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, we’ve worked to stop the expansion of the GTN XPress Pipeline, which is seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This project, called GTN XPress, would significantly increase the volume of methane gas pumped through the aging GTN pipeline in the Northwest. It would have disastrous effects on public health and safety, encourage more fracking, and lock our communities into fossil fuels usage for years to come. FERC is expected to issue a decision on this project as soon as February 16. Join opposition to the project by calling your senators and the Governor using this call script (includes phone numbers). And you can also speak out in opposition to the pipeline expansion at an upcoming hearing:

People’s Hearing to Stop GTN XPress (hosted by Rogue Climate)
Monday, February 13, 5:00pm–8:00pm
Online, register here.

We also need letters to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) asking it to stop the Willow Drilling Project — a proposed massive expansion of oil and gas drilling and extraction that would threaten wildlife and ecosystems in Alaska’s pristine Western Arctic and lock us into another 30 years of fossil fuel emissions, accelerating a climate emergency that already threatens lives. The Biden administration will make a final decision on whether to approve the Willow project in the next 30 days. That means there is still time to pressure the administration to reverse course and deny this planet-killing project!

Please join People v. Fossil Fuels in sending a letter to the BLM and asking it to stop the Willow Project.

To join the Federal Policy Team listserv and receive updates and notices of future meetings, sign up here.

STOP THE MONEY PIPELINE

The State Legislature
Since January 1, nearly one hundred bills attacking financial institutions for taking action on climate have been introduced in Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country. In the past 12 months, a dozen Republican state treasurers have divested money from BlackRock in retaliation for its climate stance. This is all a part of the right’s latest strategy to slow down the transition off fossil fuels. And it’s working. Large financial institutions are already retreating from climate commitments as a result ― undermining global climate goals.

Fortunately, some Washington legislators are fighting back. In Washington state, HB 1283 would push the $192 billion state pension fund toward treating the climate crisis like the emergency it is. But Appropriations Committee Chair Timm Ormsby is refusing to bring the bill to a vote before the February 17 cut-off!

Send Rep. Ormsby an email demanding that he bring HB 1283 to a vote.

The Washington State Investment Board
As we gear up for the year ahead, we’re looking closely at the climate record of the Washington State Investment Board ― and it’s not looking good. Last year, the $192 billion state pension fund voted against climate action at banks, utilities, and fossil fuel companies.

If you are a member of the Washington state pension fund, please fill out this form. We’d love to get in touch and talk about how you can help.

March 21 — National Day of Action
We’re cooking up some plans as part of the March 21 National “Dis-Credit Your Bank” Day of Action. If you’d like to join us for some action planning, email Margo and Scott.

AVIATION TEAM

While there won’t be an Aviation Team meeting in February, there’s still lots going on. We have been supporting the call to stop the use of leaded aviation fuel, a major health risk, as part of the King County International Airport Community Coalition.

If you clicked in support of the letter to the EPA in the January newsletter, thank you! This month, we are supporting HB 1554, state legislation that would shorten the timeline to ban leaded fuel. Thanks to the 350 WA Civic Action Team, we are able to mobilize statewide opposition to other aviation bills that provide false climate solutions, including SB 5447, which would provide state subsidies for so-called “sustainable” aviation fuels. We are in the beginning stages of some new climate justice work targeting the Port of Seattle. If that interests you, or you want to find out other ways to get involved, please contact Laura.

350 WA CAT — ADVOCACY ON STATE POLICY AND BUDGET

Are you already signed up to take legislative action with our 350 WA Civic Action Team campaign? We make it simple for you to take effective action on legislative policy and budget advocacy with our twice-a-week alerts and accessible action tools.

Here’s a great action you can take this week — the budget advocacy deadline is February 17!

Capital Budget Forest conservation and ecological management are one of the world’s most effective natural climate solutions, and the forests of western Washington are among the best in the world in terms of carbon storage and sequestration. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages over 2 million acres of forestland, including an estimated 77,000 acres of uniquely carbon-dense, structurally complex, remnant older forests that are not protected by law or policy from harvest. DNR is harvesting the best of these carbon “workhorses” at an alarming rate. Our state’s goals are best achieved by retaining these unique, older forests to meet our climate and resilience goals and acquiring replacement land for DNR to continue to generate revenue for counties and schools, and timber for local materials and jobs.

We are following the lead of the WA State Lands Working Group and the Center for Responsible Forestry on this budget item.

Please email your senator and both of your representatives here and ask them to tell their respective Capital Budget writers, Sen. Mark Mullet and Rep. Steve Tharinger, that the Governor’s “Natural Sequestration on State Lands” budget item should be increased from $10 million to $80 million. Use this district finder if you’re unsure of your district.

Script: I’m writing to ask that you urge Capital Budget writers Sen. Mark Mullet and Rep. Steve Tharinger to increase the Governor’s “Natural Sequestration on State Lands” budget item from $10 million to $80 million.

Then, choose 1 to 2 talking points from the options below, or feel free to write your own:

  • Meeting Washington’s greenhouse gas reduction targets requires biological sequestration to address 5% of the state’s emissions.
  • DNR is harvesting the best of these carbon “workhorses” at an alarming rate.
  • If all 77,000 acres of these carbon-dense older forests are clear-cut as planned, an estimated 31 million metric tons of CO2 will be emitted and will stay in the atmosphere for several human lifetimes.
  • Structurally complex, carbon-dense forests are necessary life rafts for biodiversity and provide additional ecosystem services that support community resilience, including clean water, erosion prevention, and cultural value.

350 PNW REGIONAL CALL

It’s time for our semi-regular gathering with 350 organizers across the region! This month, we have special guest Alec Connon, co-director of Stop the Money Pipeline.

Alec will be talking about the planned launch of an exciting new Stop the Money Pipeline campaign ― to get the Washington State Investment Board to vote for climate action this shareholder season. This is part of a national effort, and each state has a role to play. The Washington Investment Board is falling far behind its peers and voted against critical climate resolutions at banks, insurance companies, and fossil fuel companies in 2022.

During our meeting, Alec will be sharing a presentation on a campaign plan to change that and to make sure the Washington state pension fund supports climate action in 2023! After the presentation, we will be inviting 350 WA members to officially endorse the campaign. For those of you who joined our call with Beverly Ortiz of Climate Finance Action last year, this campaign will be building off of what we learned from Bev on that call.

350 PNW Regional Gathering
Special Guest: Alec Connon, co-director, Stop the Money Pipeline

Thursday, February 16, 6:30–7:30pm
Online, register here.

CLIMATE GRIEF AND EMPOWERMENT

How are you feeling about climate change these days? Are you even letting yourself feel? Or is it too big to process? Being overwhelmed by climate-related emotions is a shared reality. We can continue to act from a grounded state when we process these experiences together. You are invited to feel, digest, and move through grief together at the next Climate Grief and Empowerment gatherings.

Climate Grief and Empowerment Monthly Gathering
Saturday, March 11, and Saturday, April 8, 10:00–11:45am
Online, register here separately for each one you’ll attend.

COMMUNITY RESILIENCE

Do you have a skill or service you’d like to offer at reduced or no charge to the 350 Seattle activist community? Or do you know of BIPOC businesses in our community who might want to be added to this list? The climate movement requires many skills and talents. You don’t have to be an organizer, protest-goer, phone-banker, or someone who’s ready for civil disobedience to get involved in climate justice. We need you: teachers, gardeners, lawyers, accountants, storytellers, caregivers, artists (whom we link with our Artful Team), and MORE!

Please fill out this form with your own offerings or with local BIPOC businesses we could be supporting, and we’ll get back with you! Thanks!

ANTI-WAR EFFORTS

350 Seattle is part of two local antiwar coalitions: the Seattle Antiwar Coalition (SAWC) and Washington Against Nuclear Weapons (WANW). We are especially interested in the intersection of militarism, colonialism, the fossil fuel economy, and climate/environmental destruction. We are always learning and, in collaboration with other antiwar groups, trying to be effective in changing the paradigm from endless wars to active peace. We are a small but growing group, and we welcome you to join us!

350 Seattle Anti-War Meeting
Thursday, March 2, 6:00–7:00pm
Online, register here.

Want to learn more before jumping in? Join us for a community event and book talk by Medea Benjamin on her new book War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict (co-written with Nicolas J.S. Davies).

AntiWar Book Talk 
Tuesday, March 14, 6:00–7:30pm
University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, Seattle

And then add your name in support of a transition away from nuclear weapons. Join us, our partners, and people around the world in building support for the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)!

Please contact Mary with questions, comments, or insights.

ARTFUL ACTIVISM TEAM

Join the Artful Team
Skills welcome, not required — we’ll teach you as you go! Collaborative team tasks, like tracing, cutting, twisting ties, and painting in between the lines, are always a welcoming and fun way to drop in and be a part of the powerful art at our actions. Sign up here or contact Lisa to learn more!

Art Build for Electrify Seattle!
Join us for a fun time making powerful art to support our Electrify Seattle campaign! Show up at 12:00pm to make banners, props, costumes, and more, and then learn about the campaign and chat with organizers at 3:00pm! NO skills needed. Other roles besides art-making are also available. Bring smiling eyes, masks, clothes to get messy in, snacks, and water. We’ll meet at the University Heights Center (indoors with high ceilings, HEPA filters, and masks required), or masked outside the building below canopies near the University District Farmers Market.

Campaign Intro & Art Build
Saturday, February 25, 12:00–4:00pm
350 Seattle Office, University Heights Center, 5031 University Way NE, Seattle
Sign up here for more information and location updates.

Join the Art Deployment Team
The Art Deployment Team brings collaborative, powerful, and beautiful art to events for our campaigns and partner orgs who ask for our support. Volunteers play an important role in all the logistics that make the magic happen. Learn how to do critical day-of action roles, like transport, setup, positioning, and animating art at events, and how to recruit and guide other volunteers to do the same. Sign up here for information on actions and the team’s launch this spring!

THE PEOPLE’S ECHO

Come gather around the fire to sing songs for the melting of winter.

Winter Song Circle
Wednesday, February 15, 6–8:00pm
Seward Park, Shelter #3, 5898 Lake Washington Blvd. S., Seattle

Stay connected to The People’s Echo for updates on community singing opportunities!

For questions, email the team.

STORY CIRCLE

350 Seattle’s Story Circle team is making our second zine, to be published in Spring 2023. We warmly welcome you to join us in this effort! The theme of our 2023 zine is home, inspired by themes and questions raised by Robin Wall Kimmerer in Braiding Sweetgrass. We invite you to submit your creations — fictional, visual, poetic, or otherwise! — inspired by this theme.

Final Friday Story Circle — All About Zines!
Friday, February 24, 6:00–7:30pm
Online, register here.

PHOTOS WANTED FOR OUR PHOTO LIBRARY

We want your photos! Did you take photos at a recent 350 Seattle event, art build, or action? Are you willing to share any great shots that you captured with our community? Submit your best images to our Photo Library to share them with our community for use in our organization’s storytelling, including our outreach, communications, and fundraising efforts. Here are our guidelines and the email address for submitting photos to our library editors.

VIDEOS!

Check out the 350 Seattle YouTube page for event recaps, DIY art videos, webinars, and trainings.

SOLIDARITY AND EDUCATION

350 EASTSIDE MEETING: ALL THINGS CIVIC ACTION TEAM!

Our colleagues at 350 Eastside are excited to welcome you to their monthly meeting.

This month, we will be focusing our entire presentation on how to empower you to participate in the 2023 legislative session in a way that is effective, powerful, and filled with options to meet your availability and passions. We will begin the information session with a short video from 350 Washington’s Civic Action Team (CAT) launch followed by a presentation from a 350 WA CAT representative. There will be time for you to bring your questions and have them addressed so you will be ready to participate in the remaining days of the 2023 legislative session!

350 Eastside General Meeting: The 350 WA Civic Action Team
Wednesday, February 15, 7:00–8:30pm
Online, Zoom here.

SHOUTS AND APPRECIATIONS!

To the Electrify Seattle research team, for digging deep into the data about climate pollution from buildings! Their excellent analysis and breakdown of key info in accessible 1-pagers is a huge asset for our campaign’s storytelling and organizing. —Jess

To Amanda and Emily H., who, in addition to leading 350 Seattle’s Story Circle (an awesome creative and community-building space), have been helping pull this newsletter together every month! —Jess

GET INVOLVED

Do you care about climate justice? Want more general information about 350 Seattle? Then check out this handy Welcome Guide for new volunteers.

Here are some really great ways to start on that path of engagement! Check out our updated Volunteer Opportunities List and our event calendar. Opportunities range from low commitment to high, introductory to skilled. All you have to do is find something you’re excited about and reach out! Unless otherwise noted, all opportunities can be done from home.

Unsure what you want to do? Still have questions about who we are and what we do? Come hang out with us at our monthly virtual orientation and get connected with real people!

Monthly Intro to 350 Seattle Call
Monday, February 20, 6:00pm
Online, register here.

No time for all that? Well, never fear — you can support the work we do at 350 Seattle by becoming a monthly donor! Sign up here!

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