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December 2023 Newsletter: Holiday Pets Edition

Happy holidays, and best wishes from all of us at 350 Seattle!

A week ago, I sent a pleading email to our Leadership team asking for pet photos and accolades – why? Because our animal companions and our organizing comrades are without qualification worth celebrating. And while the theme of holiday celebration can fill a bit … contrived? corporate…? I still love it. Please admire the shoutouts and activist animal photos littered throughout this final newsletter of 2023.

So here’s a toast and celebration to 10 years of 350 Seattle, a campaign victory for Electrify, to the highs and lows of 2023, and to all the amazing people in this community.

Also, thank you so much to everyone who came out to Intertwined! We dined, laughed, and celebrated 10 years of 350 Seattle. Shemona gave a dynamite speech, check it out if you want a feel for the night.

As the year draws to a close, we are wildly in the midst of our year end fundraising –  we are expanding our staff collective with new campaigners (!), broadening the scope of our work and continuing to build Seattle’’s climate justice movement.

Please donate to support our work in 2024.

Shemona! For putting up with me. Shemona, you came in as ED and you are rocking it. Our organization is beautiful. You are amazingly; self taught and self driven and you are the kinda person I and most people want to be around.” – Renaissance

“Tara! – Thank you for stepping into our collaboration on Pre-Session Legislative Lobbying this year with so many of our partner organizations including Washington Conservation Action and Audubon WA. Your skills at scheduling constituent meetings with lawmakers and your leadership with our volunteers and partners are out of this world! Thank you for being part of our team and our community!” – Grace

BEPS passes unanimously

After a year of campaigning, canvassing, lobbying and marching, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed the Building Emissions Performance Standard. This means that Seattle’ buildings will pollute 325,000 metric tons less of pollution, create thousands of union jobs, and retrofit buildings to provide life save cooling and air filtration. This is a big deal. Dozens of activists put their hearts into this campaign and if it wasn’t for us being a squeaky wheel, this policy wouldn’t have passed. Wemarched, canvassed and stumped across town, went deep on the data and coding to produce a report about who really owns downtown, built alliances with labor and housing justice advocates, and eventually finessed a win. We will have more to say and campaign reflections soon, but for now, thank your local electrifier.

dog carrying a stick with the a speech bubble containing the text: You think this stick is heavy? Try carrying the burden of city councils ego, competing coalition goals and articulating the urgency of the climate crisis through the lens of a policy about municipal building codes on a constantly fluctuating timeline.

“​​Huge shoutout to the Electrify Seattle team for passing Building Emissions Performance Standards and successfully advancing a Green New Deal! Elements of success included: not giving up even though the campaign timeline dragged on, high quality research, great communications work, and most especially fighting for the best agreement possible while also making some compromises. What future wins will this team lead us to next?” – Peter Hasegawa

Antiwar X Climate Workgroup

350 Seattle continues to broaden its active participation in the intersection between the climate crisis and militarism with a group on Signal, the 350 Seattle AntiWar Collective. The AntiWar X Climate workgroup and the AntiWar Collective may seek to find a collaborative space for discussion and organizing early in the new year. All 350 Seattle people will be invited to participate in regular meetings, as soon as we have a day and time set.

In the meantime, please let Mary know if you would like to receive Action Network emails from the Seattle AntiWar Coalition. Currently, we are sending out emails once (sometimes twice, lets be honest) a week to let people know of local actions having to do with the U.S., Israel, and Palestine – we often include media links that SAWC members are recommending. And please let Ben know if you would like to join the 350 Seattle Antiwar Collective on signal – in this moment, in this moment, this is our hub Palestine Solidarity organizing.

Dog laying with cell phone next to face with speech bubble reading "Oh hey, sorry, can’t talk, on the phone with Senator Murray’s office demanding a #ceasefirenow"

Also, consider sending a message to Sen. Murray for a #ceasefirenow or attending the weekly Free Palestine marches every Saturday at Westlake.

“I’d like to celebrate Hannah Lindell-Smith. She helped organize and lead a meeting with Senator Murray’s staff asking that the senator support a ceasefire in Palestine. Hannah created a document with important background information to share with anyone attending the meeting and lead some very thoughtful and persistent questioning of Senator Murray’s staff.” -Linnea Scott

Aviation Team

The Aviation Team works with two local community coalitions opposing the health and climate impacts of airport expansions; the Climate Rail Alliance, and the King County Airport Emissions Task Force. The KCIA Community Coalition had a recent win, adding 2 community seats to the airport Roundtable advisory board.

The Team also collaborates with the Civic Action Team and the Federal Team in opposition to greenwashed aviation bills.. And sometimes, we take action all on our own! 2024 will be an important year, SEATAC airport will be releasing their so-called “Sustainable” Airport Master Plan, and we need to be ready to mobilize community opposition. Contact Laura to see how you can get involved or come to a team meeting.

And unfortunately, I failed to get this newsletter out in time to let you all now about Aviation Teams meeting on the 12th. Sorry Laura!

FEDERAL TEAM

On October 19th, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the GTN Xpress Pipeline. For over a year, 350 Seattle has fought the proposed pipeline expansion alongside wide-spread opposition.

Two of the leading members of the Stop GTN Xpress Coalition, — Columbia Riverkeeper and Rogue Climate — are gearing up for a legal battle. They filed a petition for rehearing with FERC on November 21, and if that petition is denied, the groups will appeal the decision to the DC Court of Appeals. If you would like to read about the petition and take action by sending a letter to FERC, follow this link to Columbia Riverkeeper’s website.

This month members of the Federal Policy Team met with Senator Murray’s office to discuss our support of a ceasefire in Palestine and an end to military aid to Israel.

The group is also working on scheduling a meeting with Senator Cantwell’s staff to push her to support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, as well as discuss her position on loosening the energy standards for the recently funded Hydrogen Hubs coming to Washington State. Hydrogen is only “green” if it is produced using green energy — otherwise, so-called “blue” hydrogen has a worse carbon footprint than gas or coal.

dog at a die in with the speech bubble containing the text: "Pups not pipelines! Also blue hydrogen is a scam and a false solution to climate change ??"

Our next meeting is: Wed. Jan. 3rd, 2024 5:00 pm

If you want to get involved with the Federal Team, sign up for our listserv here. Or email Beth B.

“Have you heard that we have a Policy and Endorsements Committee? I’m so grateful to the folks who take the time and effort to make the important, sometimes difficult decisions about what priorities to endorse and work for. Helps us stay focused, united and courageous! Keep it up!” – Beth Brunton

COP 28

It happened! But what happened? After 28 COPS, the governments of the world have agreed to … “a deep, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in line with 1.5 °C pathways” but without an enforcement mechanism and some epic loopholes. Basically, it amounts to thoughts, prayers and vibes. I am cynical and despondent about i,t but consider reading other, more informed people’s similarly despondent takes, like from Indigenous Climate ActionClimate Justice Alliance, or from the Indigenous Environmental Network.

two dogs face camera with speech bubble reading "COP28? more like FLOP28 amirright"

350 WA CAT: Campaign Launch, January 3rdThe 350 WA Civic Action Team works to make grassroots legislative advocacy easy and accessible for everyone. Are you ready to take action on sound and just climate state policy?

Come join us at 350 WA Civic Action Team’s 2024 legislative campaign kickoff on January 3rd! Get connected to all the tools and resources you’ll need for taking action on sound and just climate policy with us for the 2024 Washington State legislative session.

350 WA Civic Action Team: Campaign Launch
Wednesday, January 3rd @ 6-7pm
RSVP

a cat looks at the camera with the caption reading "As a cat myself, I applaud CAT’s ‘all the tools in the toolbox’ approach to legislative advocacy. Think of legislative session like a mountain, and all of us are climbing up  different faces, and even though at times I may feel lonely or daunted by the task ahead of me, I draw strength knowing that I will meet my comrades at the peak."

Recycling and Waste Reduction. Clean air and water. Energy issues like Building Electrification and Solar. Forestry. Housing. Police Accountability. Transportation. Economic and Human Justice. All of these policy issues and more are on the table in the 2024 Washington State legislature.

Grace Hope has taken the 350 WA CAT campaign to new heights of volunteer involvement and effectiveness this year, and that’s despite health challenges from both shingles and Covid. (Get your shots, people!) 🦋💖💐 Grace, you’re fantastic! 🦄😻 Enjoy a restorative end of year, us CATS can’t wait to rock Olympia with you in ’24!” – Anonymous

Elle, Ryan and Natalie, who are doing a fantastic job making the CAT comms team a welcoming space for folks of all skill levels.” – Coalition of Advocates, Trackers, Friends, Actionalert-ers, Negotiators in Support of elle, ryan and natalie (CATFANS)

Special shout-out to Natalie who is headed off on big life adventures – thanks for all your work with CAT over the years!” – multiple anonymous sources

Announcing: The Current
We’re relaunching the blog! Many of you may remember “The Understory” and miss hearing stories from other members of the community. Storytelling is a vital part of being human and building community. That’s why we’re excited to revive a forum to encourage and share experiences from around the 350 Seattle constellation.

We (Emily Hazelton and Ben Jones) are currently commissioning our first pieces and working to recruit anyone who is interested in being part of the editorial team! If you’d like to write a piece or help with editorial and logistic processes, please reach out to us at editors@350seattle.org.

We’re also changing the blog name to “The Current” for a few reasons: it ties into our Electrify Seattle work, like an electrical current; it’s a nod to the prior blog title (“The Understory”) — we’re doing an element shift from earth to water, evoking the current of a river; and the blog will cover what’s currently happening around 350 Seattle!

Climate Grief & 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 Monthly Gathering
Saturday January 13th, from 10:00–11:45am
Online, register here separately for each one you’ll attend.

350 Seattle Book Club

The 350 Seattle Book Club started over the summer as part of the Electrify Seattle campaign in response to an ask for good organizing books. We’ve had a lot of fun with this club and learned so much in the process! We have read four books together so far: Let This Radicalize You by Kelly Hayes and Mariame Kaba, The Intersectional Environmentalist by Leah Thomas, The Red Deal by The Red Nation, and we are just finishing Secrets of a Successful Organizer by Labor Notes. We also recently hosted a disability justice presentation and are open to learning content ideas other than books! We typically meet on alternate Sundays, 2:30-4, in a hybrid format with both a Zoom and in-person options. We are in the process of planning ahead for the rest of the winter, so stay tuned for more specific details. We would love for you to join us. Sign up at this link and we’ll be in touch!

The People’s Echo

This past year, the People’s Echo worked on cultivating a more diverse song community through intimate monthly Songcatching Circles and monthly Uprooting Whiteness gatherings. We also hosted all-inclusive Community Song Circles four times a year with each changing season. We are excited to re-emerge in January with some new song offerings and invitations for support as we continue to listen to what wants to take shape.

Uprooting Whiteness
Monday Dec 18 | 6-8pm ONLINE: Sign up here
An embodied & song-infused anti-racist space for white and white-passing folks.

**This is the last month we are holding Uprooting Whiteness under this model of monthly drop-in sessions.** If you have attended at all throughout the past 6 months, we would really appreciate your presence at this last session! We will spend some time at the end reflecting on where this work is going in our community and how we can go deeper with it.

“Linnea May! The passion you bring in a variety of ways, in research, in giving testimony, in showing for folks and doing the hardwork!” – Shemona

Story Circle 

Story Circle is reading At Home on an Unruly Planet by Madeline Ostrander together this winter. During our first session, we discussed how we are experiencing the impacts of a changing climate where we all live and practical adaptations we are already making ourselves (like pumping out flooding basements, buying air filters, clearing leaves off storm drains in heavy rain, or learning about fire preparedness in Eastern Washington). We ended our discussion with a question from Ostrander’s prologue: “How do you write a story about this era of disaster that doesn’t end in tragedy?” After a bit of a pause, we agreed that really the only way is to build community, that people get through disasters by helping each other.

We’re excited to continue reading and see how the communities that Ostrander covers will face the challenges of climate impacting their homes and neighbors. We welcome all to join, even if you weren’t able to make the first session!
Session 2 (Dec 19, 6:00-7:00pm)
Session 3 (Jan 9 , 6:00-7:00pm)
Session 4 (Jan 23 , 6:00-7:00pm)

Climate Action Families

Open to youth, parents, and friends –  Interested in taking action on climate in a family-friendly environment? Climate Action Families takes an intergenerational approach to climate justice. Our monthly meeting is a time for families and youth to come together, report back on projects and campaigns, learn about new ones, sing, make art, and create an Island of Sanity in a time of great change.December Exploration: How a Bill becomes a law! Can Mx. Billy, the EV Bus Bill, make it through our state legislature to the governor’s desk? Come and find out!

Climate Action Families Monthly Meeting
Friday 12/15, 5:30-7:30PM
Jackson Place Cohousing, South Seattle.
More info

Please pass along, and contact us if you are interested in volunteering or partnering with us!

Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date!

Artful Activism

Our Artful community did a lot this year with hundreds of you participating in our art builds, events, and actions through art that added accessibility, energy, power, beauty, and even sometimes humor to our and our ally’s campaigns.

We also had a big growth in leadership in 2023 with our awesome art build team (gratitude especially to Melissa Ivy, Tiffany Ha, Chhandita Das, Lauren Tozzi, Roxanne Glick, Jessica Jones, Aedan McCaul, and Fara Wolfson) supporting all our art builds and some beautiful collaborative imagery design work; our wonderful print team (gratitude especially to Anna McKee, Liliana Terry, Christa Erwin, and Doug Reed) designing, cutting, and supporting community block printing at many actions and helping to screen print our t-shirts; and a resurgence of participatory dance (gratitude to Danica Bito rewriting lyrics, singing, dancing, creating teaching videos, and leading) the Electric Slide flash mobs that so many of our 350 Seattle peeps learned and participated in! We will be continuing that leadership growth in the new year with a part time Art Coordinator job opening – stay tuned!, building more capacity on our rockin’ art leads team, and more!

Got Rhythm? Want to learn how to drum to enliven our actions? We’ve got bucket drums ready to go for participatory community beats, and Dakota is ready to teach some rhythms. Sign up here to learn more!

Join Art Builds and put art into Action!
*Sign up here for the Art in Action team to help deploy art at actions or public events.
*Sign up here to join an art build, and help build the art for beautiful community actions and events.

two dogs lay on couch with a speech bubble containing the text: "As someone with a background in literature, endurance walking and chilling on the couch, I wasn’t sure Artful was a good fit for me. But then I went to an art build, made a bunch of friends, learned some new skills and now I am hooked!"

Join the Artful Team and Alerts list.  Skills welcome, but not required. We look forward to welcoming you into a supportive and collaborative community.

Whatever your skill set, the Artful Team has a place for you! Contact Lisa to get involved.

Community Resilience

Are you buying gifts for the holidays? Please consider patronizing local Black, Indigenous, and People of Color owned businesses! Here is a list of some local community BIPOC businesses to support, with lists of others embedded!

Our community resource list encompasses some of the vast number of resources available in the Seattle area for 350 Seattle and the general community. Check out the resource list and share with others who may be interested.

Please fill out this form with your own offerings, or with other local Black, Indigenous, or People of the Global Majority (BIPGM) businesses we could be patronizing, or other entries we should add to the general resource list and we’ll get back with you! Thanks!

Even more SHOUTOUTS

We are so blessed with volunteer leadership in our 350 WA Civic Action Team this year! I wanna shoutout everyone who has taken on a Co-Lead role in CAT this year. Y’all have been brave and hardworking and honest and creative in your leadership, and we could not have such an incredible campaign without your service as leaders. THANK YOU CAT campaign Co-Leads! 

Elle – you are a thoughtful team builder who does such a good job supporting all of the different needs that show up in our Communications team. Thank you for your kindness and patience. 

Ryan – you do such an incredible job bringing critical questions to the group, creating welcoming space for new folks, and helping make complicated policy topics approachable and fun. 

Sarah – you absolutely rocked the process of developing our new action tools and shepherding our whole volunteer community through the development process this fall. Our work is going to be so much more powerful thanks to you! 

Peter – thank you Peter for caring so much about equity and accessibility in our work, and for all of your patience working to redesign our processes in such close collaboration with our volunteers. 

Suellen – I so appreciate your wisdom and thoughtfulness, and how much care you have for all of our bill tracking volunteers. Thank you for growing into such critical work with us, and bringing so much heart. 

David – thank you for being a fountain of wisdom and guidance for so many new folks who are getting engaged in policy advocacy with us. And for helping us stay connected to all the legislative gossip! 

Ross – you are patient and thoughtful, and your care for detail and handling relationships with accountability and kindness is really helping us grow our reputation in the state. Thank you for supporting so many new bill trackers to find their passion in policy advocacy with us this year! 

Cyn – you are such a patient guide with Action Network and thank you for supporting our volunteers learning the system this year! It means a lot having someone who can understand all of the technical tools and support us all in using them. 

Robin – thank you for your incredible service alongside Sarah and Daniel developing our action tools this year! We are so glad to have you also supporting our newer volunteers to understand Transportation policy, and sharing your wisdom in so many great ways. 

Margie – you do such a wonderful job anchoring the team and helping us keep an eye on the big picture. Thank you for your willingness to try new things and work together to make this work more Equitable and inclusive every year. 

Rosemary – thank you for caring so much about accuracy, about accessibility in the way we write and word things, and about making sure we’ve done our homework on our positions before taking them. You help our team make sure we are accountable to the work we are putting out in the world, and your high standards are part of what makes CAT great

AND FINALLY,

A shout out to you, dear reader. May you have a wonderful holidays and a happy new year.

See you next year,
<3 Ben

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