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May 2023 Newsletter

The future we hope for is beautiful — full of clean air, healthy neighborhoods powered by renewable energy, and solidarity for all beings sharing Earth as home. We saw a glimmer of this pleasure-full future during our Earth Day march and Electric boogie. And we have more advocacy and flash mobs planned (Solstice Parade is right around the corner).

Join us in building a beautiful and livable future for all!

birght photo of dancers in green in yellow at summer solstice parade

Photo by Joe Tymczyszyn

ELECTRIFY SEATTLE

Imagine a Seattle where all our libraries, schools, community centers, big apartment buildings, downtown office buildings, and grocery stores are powered by clean energy. Where the work to move these buildings off fossil fuels has created thousands of good green union jobs. And where homes and workplaces across the city are now equipped for life-saving clean air and cooling.

This Green New Deal future could happen in the next decade — but only if we organize to stop the big corporations like Amazon who are actively opposing local climate action!

This summer, Seattle City Council will be considering a policy that sets timelines for our city’s big buildings to transition off fossil fuels. Thanks to behind-the-scenes lobbying from big building billionaires, the current proposal includes too-little, too-late timelines (like 2050!), loopholes for false solutions like “renewable natural gas,” and pay-to-pollute schemes.

We know Seattle can do better. So we’re building grassroots power to pass the policy with strong amendments, for timelines aligned with climate justice and climate science, to say no to false solutions and to ensure big corporations pay their fair share!

Join our campaign team as we produce top-notch research, canvas in our neighborhoods, meet with our Councilmembers, host social events, and plan creative actions. Fill out this short onboarding form and an organizer will be in touch.

LET’S HANG OUT! GREEN NEW DEAL SUMMER SOCIAL

This summer, we’re teaming up with UNITE HERE Local 8 to fight for green buildings, good jobs, and climate and worker justice. And because organizing is all about relationships, we’re getting started with a potluck ahead of our June 3 kickoff!
Come out to learn about our Green New Deal Summer campaigns and connect with union members, climate justice supporters, and community allies!

Green New Deal Social
Saturday, May 20, 3:00–5:00 PM
University Heights Center, 5031 University Way NE, Seattle
RSVP here

We’ll be outside if the weather is nice, otherwise inside with windows open and filters on. More info about 350 Seattle’s office space, accessibility, COVID safety, and other logistics here.

ELECTRIFY SEATTLE AT THE SOLSTICE PARADE

We had such a blast with the Electric Boogie flash mob at Earth Day, and we can’t wait to bring even more creative campaign energy to the Fremont Solstice Parade! We’re looking for 50 to 100 people to participate in our artful ensemble — which includes everything from a light-up Space Needle, to street theater, to amazing, colorful costumes. This is a fun, informal, and low-commitment way to meet folks on the campaign team and get plugged in! More details here and in the Artful Activism section below.

OLYMPIA WRAP & RECAP

This year’s long legislative session in Olympia featured three budgets, and the first installment of the Climate Commitment Act pollution money; a new revenue source for climate change mitigation and resilience.

The intrepid 350 WA Civic Action Team tracked over a hundred bills related to growth management, housing, recycling and waste reduction, building electrification, police accountability, forestry, salmon, and, of course, the Climate Commitment Act spending. Plus a few budget items.

So what happened? Did PSE pull a fast one? Was the legal trigger for cop car chases reduced to mere suspicion? Did the Transit Oriented Development bill pass? Will the Washington Recycling and Packaging Act be back next year? When the hell are those Lower Snake River dams coming down?

You may already be saying to yourself, “Not quite, yes, no, yes, not soon enough,” but for all the gory details, here’s the 350 WA Civic Action Team’s 2023 legislative recap, and for the exceptionally wonky, here’s how all the CAT-tracked bills ended up.

FEDERAL TEAM

The Federal Policy Team has been meeting regularly with local Congressional offices, including the offices of Representatives Derek Kilmer, Adam Smith, Pramila Jayapal, and Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray. Although we believe our meetings have influenced our representatives on certain issues, we’ve are frustrated that neither Senator has been willing to publicly oppose the proposed GTN XPress Pipeline expansion — a project that would increase the volume of methane gas through the existing GTN pipeline by 150 million cubic feet per day. The existing pipeline was built in 1961 and runs from British Columbia, Canada, through Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, terminating in California.

Take action today: call both WA Senators’ offices to ask them to publicly oppose the project. Phone numbers and call script here. Already called? That’s great, do it again and ask a friend to make calls with you!

We are also planning to pressure the president on climate ahead of the September UN Climate Ambition Summit. Join our team to support the effort!

PEOPLE VS FOSSIL FUELS

This June 8–11, communities are taking action across the country to demand that Biden stop the Willow Project, stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and reject all new fossil fuel projects!
To prepare for this season of creative actions, the 350 Network Council is hosting the #EndTheEra of Fossil Fuels Nonviolent Direct Action Training Series:

Session 1: Introduction to Nonviolent Direct Action
Saturday, May 13, 11 AM PT
Online, register here.

Session 2: Building Safety, Security, and Affinity
Thursday, May 25, 4:30 AM PT
Online, register here.

These training sessions are open to all. Attend with your team to skill up, receive resources, and share stories and wisdom with other attendees to inspire our most exciting actions yet.
But we are not stopping there. Together, we are building power all summer long. Stay tuned for more information about upcoming organizer roundtables, art toolkits, communications training, and exciting actions from the Gulf Coast to the Climate Ambition Summit in New York this September!

FIX PUGET SOUND ENERGY’S BAD GAS PLAN

Want to pay more for utility bills, while doubling down on fossil fuels for the next quarter-century?

That’s what Puget Sound Energy (PSE)’s latest plan looks like — and it’s hard to overstate how bad this plan is for customer energy costs, the environment, and future generations. Consider this: PSE will charge customers over $10 billion so they can buy carbon allowances and burn natural gas, permitting vast quantities of pollution during the next quarter-century. Ten billion dollars exceeds the cost of maintaining and modernizing the energy grid over that period. And to get here, PSE rejected viable, alternative plans that would achieve real emissions reductions, stabilize energy costs, and avoid unproven technologies.

What can you do to secure a better energy future? Sign our Change.org petition. If you have more to say, email the Commission. Include your name and the docket number (UG-220242). It would also be helpful if you state that you agree with the Washington Clean Energy Coalition’s letter, dated May 8, 2023.

AVIATION TEAM 

Communities are rising up to challenge the increasing harms from aviation, including this recent lawsuit against Alaska Airlines, Delta, and the Port of Seattle filed by residents near SeaTac. Join the Aviation Team as part of two local community coalitions focusing on the climate and health impacts of aviation.

Contact Laura if you would also like to get involved, or to join the team for our June 3 picnic!

ARTFUL ACTIVISM TEAM

We’re doing lots of community art builds, this month and next, for the Summer Solstice Parade and more. 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.

It’s Solstice Parade time again, and we’ll have a super fun, powerful, and participatory Electrify Seattle float and ensemble. Sign up here to get details and let us know how you’d like to participate! We need 50 to 100 people, including those who like to act, dance, and be animated, to join us in Fremont. The Space Needle will “green” up as people in the crowd step up to launch lightning bolts at gas-powered appliances, electrifying them and starting the dance to  Electric Boogie, with beautiful costumes and props. We’ll also have lots of art builds to get the props and float ready and we hope you’ll join us for those too! No skills needed, just bring smiling eyes, masks, clothes to get messy in, snacks, water, and friends. Come for part or all, to one or many.

Art Builds for the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade
Saturday, May 20, 12:00–4:00 PM
Sunday, June 3, 12:00–4:00 PM
Location TBD, RSVP here for details.

Theater, Dance, and Imagery Deployment (at Parade and Elsewhere)
Tuesday, May 23: Coalition action to get Amazon to electrify its fleet.
Wednesday, May 31: Managing a giant human mural.
Sunday, June 3: Electric Boogie flash mob rehearsal (at the art build).
Saturday, June 10 or 11, 12:00–4:00 PM: Solstice Parade Rehearsal.
Saturday, June 17, 12:00–5:00 PM: Solstice Parade Electrify Seattle Ensemble!
Other times and locations TBD; sign up here for details and 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. 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. You can play a crucial role in all the logistics that make the magic happen! Sign up to learn more.

THE PEOPLE’S ECHO

Join us for our seasonal song circle — this month, we’re celebrating the beauty of spring! Bring songs to share that are touching your heart in this season, or just bring yourself and your voice.

TPE Spring Song Circle
Wednesday, May 24, 6:00–9:00 PM
Seward Park, 5900 Lake Washington Blvd. S., Seattle

Catch Songs with The People’s Echo!
Songcatching has been one of the foundational practices in The People’s Echo for cultivating new songs and empowering people to find their voice. We are excited to offer a variety of ways to practice songcatching with one another!

Songcatching Workshop
Friday, June 16, 6:00–8:30 PM
Gas Works Park, 2101 N. Northlake Way, Seattle

This workshop will introduce the underlying philosophy of songcatching and explore exercises and practices that participants can use to catch and share their own songs as personal and collective medicine for these times.

Monthly Songcatching Groups
Over the past year, we have been more actively attending to the diversity and inclusivity of our song community. In light of this, we are offering both a mixed-race space and affinity spaces for certain identity groups in order to cultivate safer spaces for healing through song together.

All Inclusive Group
Every third Monday starting June 19 This group is for everyone. (White folks who want to attend the All Inclusive Group must participate in this group at least seasonally.) We welcome folks of all identities in this space.

BIPOC/BIPGM Affinity Group 
Every fourth Monday starting June 26 This group is for folks who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color/People of the Global Majority, and who would prefer to catch songs with other BIPOC/BIPGM folks.

Native/Indigenous Affinity Group
Meets on an event basis. This group is for people with Native and Indigenous heritage who want a space to share, recover, and practice traditional songs from their lineages, and also call in new ones.

Anti-Racist White Affinity Group 
Every fourth Monday starting June 26 Alternating online and in-person This group is for white-identifying folks to do anti-racism work with song woven in.

To learn more and stay updated about our upcoming monthly songcatching groups, please fill out our songcatching interest form.

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

For questions, email the team.

STORY CIRCLE: LAST CALL FOR ZINE SUBMISSIONS!

We are making steady progress on our second zine project. The theme of this year’s zine is home, inspired by Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass. We invite you to join us this month for readings from our contributors.

May Story Circle ~ Zine Readings
Friday, May 26, 6:00-7:30 PM
Online, register here.

We will be printing our zines in June and hope to host a zine assembly party in late June! You can sign up for our email list to get the latest updates (hit “Subscribe” on the left).

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.

CLIMATE GRIEF AND EMPOWERMENT

Join us in a space where we can touch our fear, grief and anger for what is happening to our world, acknowledge our overwhelm, expand our perspectives, and emerge with a new sense of how we want to show up in this unique time in history. Let’s feel, digest, and move through grief together at the next Climate Grief and Empowerment gathering, cosponsored by 350 Seattle and Climate Action Families.

Climate Grief and Empowerment Gathering
June 10, 10:00–11:45 AM Online,
Register here.

COMMUNITY RESILIENCE OFFERINGS 

Do you have a skill or service you would like to offer at very reduced or no charge to the 350 Seattle activist community as a way to take part in and support the work we do? 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, and more!

Or, do you know of any businesses in our community who might want to be added to this list of BIPOC businesses?

Fill out this form with your own offerings, or with other local BIPOC businesses we could be patronizing, and we’ll get back with you! Thanks!

ANTI-WAR

Anti-War Team Organizing Meeting
May 15, 5:30–6:30 PM
Online, register here.

Can’t make the organizing meeting, but want to add your voice in support of a bill to end U.S. presidents’ sole authority to launch a first nuclear strike? Contact your members of Congress in Washington, D.C.

You can also sign the Washington Against Nuclear Weapons (WANW) petition for an Immediate Transition Away From Nuclear Weapons.

And check it out! 350 Seattle is a member of WANW and the Seattle AntiWar Coalition (SAWC), which opposes U.S. militarism and works for an end to all war. The Stranger published SAWC’s opinion piece about a peace talk event we planned for Medea Benjamin and War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict, a book she co-authored with Nicolas J.S. Davies. The book is available at local independent bookstores as well as the Codepink website.

SHOUTOUTS AND APPRECIATIONS

Beth Brunton has been a steadfast activist working to promote strong federal climate policy by regularly scheduling and promoting meetings with Congressional offices. Thanks for all you do, Beth! —Selden

It has been great working with Shemona during these last several months. Thank you, Shemona, for being so available for phone calls, and for all your hard work! —Selden

Danica Bito is literally rocking it with leading dance flash mobs at our actions, adding to the positive energy and fun that makes our community and our work inviting and accessible! After a long break during the first years of Covid, she is back, starting with Electric Boogie on Earth Day! Danica’s motivating, gentle, positive energy and clear teaching comes through in person and in her clear how-to videos for all levels. And she writes new words and sings them while dancing, encouraging others to do the same. I’ve never seen so many people jump into learning and participating in dance actions as I did on Earth Day. SO fun! Looking forward to more! Thank you, Danica! —Lisa

Meg O’Hara! My favorite spreadsheet gremlin, my favorite fundraising buddy, the best gluten-free crust to my pepperoni pizza! We would be lost without your prowess and tenacity when it comes to Operations and Finance. Huzzah to Meg! —Shemona 

SOLIDARITY & EDUCATION

FOSSIL FREE UW 

Did you know that the University of Washington (UW) has its own fracked gas power plant, and that it emits 87,000 tons of greenhouse gasses a year – more than the emissions of a Ford-F150 circumnavigating the planet 9,700 times!

This Friday, at 4PM, student organizers will be marching to move the University of Washington off of fossil fuels by 2035! The march will begin in Red Square on UW campus, and last roughly an hour: it will end with students beginning a multi-day lock-in on campus.

Show out! And if you’re part of a community group that would like to endorse the UW’s transition, check out the sign-on letter here!

Rally for a Fossil Free UW
Friday, May 19, 4:00 PM
University of Washington Campus, Red Square
RSVP here

DEEP ROOTS: TRAININGS FOR FOREST & CLIMATE ACTION

Join us to learn and practice nonviolent direct action skills, connect with others in the forest and with climate defense communities, and sleep under the stars!

Deep Roots Action Camp
June 1–4
More information and registration here.

Trainings and workshops include organizing and participating in direct action, creating vibrant protest art, decolonization and forest defense, Know Your Rights, organizing with affinity groups, and more! The camp will be followed by 2 to 4 regional actions strategically targeted to preserve mature forests and build grassroots power.

In the PNW, mature and old-growth forests are vital for the struggle to preserve a livable climate and livable communities, and are one of the greatest resources we have to limit the impacts of climate change. Ultimately, the health of our forests, climate, and communities are inextricably intertwined.

The camp is organized by individuals and supported by 350.org, 350 Eugene, 350 Portland, 350 Seattle, the Civil Liberties Defense Center, and Rising Tide North America.

LIFTING UP 350 JAPAN

350 Seattle has been invited to support 350 Japan’s G7 Global Week of Action (May 12–19) to stop Japan’s dirty energy strategy! Planning is underway to organize 10 actions across Asia, Australia, Europe, the U.S., and more. While 350 Seattle doesn’t have capacity to do an action, we are excited to uplift and share. During the week of action, we’ll be amplifying across our socials. So keep an eye out and help us get the word out!
 

Did you know that, like the U.S., Japan is one of the nations most responsible for the climate crisis? Japan is one of the world’s top providers of public finance for fossil fuels. It’s also the world’s top funder of liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminals, spending nearly $40 billion from 2012–2022. Japan is using its G7 Presidency to promote the continued use of fossil fuels and undermine the global transition to clean energy. We all know how we feel about LNG. Let’s lift up our comrades who are organizing in Japan and be in active global solidarity.

Here’s more information to learn more about Japan’s dirty energy strategy, including this short videoexplainer, and webpage.

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, from 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, April 17, 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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