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March 23 Newsletter: Direct Action Edition

sign reading climate pledge = empty promises in front of the amazon spheres

Have you noticed that the cherry trees are already blossoming and flower bulbs sprouting? Spring isn’t waiting and neither are we! There’s a rich metaphor here that I insist on dragging through this newsletter: Think of the plants spring-ing, not waiting to shake off winter as a form of … direct action.

MLK defined direct action as”[direct action] seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.” Since 350 Seattle began, direct action has been an essential part of our campaigns; we build alliances, organize our communities, advocate for strong climate policies, and grow the support structures to keep our community strong and resilient. But sometimes, you need to escalate; sometimes you need a little drama; sometimes you need to take direct action.

Throughout this newsletter, I’ve tossed in some action photos from the archives. I hope these photos – or maybe memories! – inspire you.

Like this one, from, I believe, 350 Seattle’s very first action (email me if I am wrong):

49 monthly sustainers to go!

We are in the final week of our monthly sustainer drive! Thank you to our wonderful 301 monthly sustainers, can you help us get to 350? More than half of our funding comes from small donors and monthly sustainers. With that community support, we can spend less of our time writing grants and more time organizing. By not being beholden to large funders, we can focus more on campaigns that are driven by our strategic values. Here is a great Instagram reel from Andrew about it.

Are you already a monthly sustainer or can’t donate right now? Consider joining us this Wednesday for an evening of reaching out to friends and 350 Seattle supporters. We will have snacks and trainings on best practices. It will be fun.

Stop Surveillance City

Mayor Harrell is once again pushing for invasive surveillance technologies, shoveling millions of dollars to corporations to set up in Seattle a network of close circuit television cameras, acoustic gunshot locations systems (the infamously faulty “Shotspotter”), and expensive software to manage all that panopticon. All of this while the City Council advocates austerity for services that actually work to prevent gun violence in our communities.

But we are fighting back. On Tuesday, the deadline for public comment was extended following an outcry about the rushed and undemocratic process. A little victory on the road to canceling this entire project.

For more info, check out this teach-in with Seattle Solidarity Budget.
Consider adding your name to a sign on letter in opposition to Surveillance City.
All the links and more at Stop Surveillance City.

Meet the Troublemakers

There’s a new kid in town! A group founded by several folks who are longtime members and old friends of the 350 Seattle community, Troublemakers is focused on connecting, supporting, and training folks for direct action for climate justice and aligned movements. Troublemakers had its first awesome action last week! And their launch party–aka debutante ball, okay maybe not!–is on Thursday, April 11, at Sole Repair on Capitol Hill. Please join Troublemakers, RSVP, and learn more…because business as usual is trouble for us all.

Troublemaker Launch Party
Thursday, 4/11, 7:00-10:00PM
Sole Repair, 1001 E Pike St, Seattle, WA
RSVP HERE

End of Session for the CATs

Whew, it was a FAST 60-day session in the 2024 Washington State Legislature and it all comes to an end on March 7th.

Join us on April 11th on Zoom for a celebration of everything we’ve done with this powerful community campaign, and also a recap of what sound and just climate policies we won, and which ones we’ll have to advocate for even harder together next year.

Our astonishingly nimble and clever 350 WA Civic Action Team (CAT) Volunteers (60+ folks!) worked beautifully together across our four fabulous teams (Bill Tracking, Communications, Action Email, and Data / Operations) to produce our twice-weekly legislative action alerts to passionate climate justice advocates across Washington. 

And wowwwwwie, just look at how much advocacy we’ve mobilized! We’ve shattered all of our past years’ records.

Here’s our stats so far:
* 531: CAT members have taken action
* 5,204: Climate comments left on bills
* 6,718: Signed in with a position
* 45,664: Emails sent
* 57,586: Total legislator contacts made in 2024!
* 8: Days left in this short legislative session

350 WA Civic Action Team Party: Post-Session Recap & Celebration!
Thursday, April 11th, 6-7pm
Zoom; Register HERE

Antiwar X Climate: No to Boeing Aerospace & Defense Supplier Summit

The 350 Seattle Anti War X Climate work group and the 350 Seattle AntiWar Collective continue to support events and actions organized locally by Samidoun Seattle, Resist US-Led War Seattle, Jewish Voice for Peace Seattle, and many other organizations working for peace and justice in Palestine, Israel, Gaza, throughout the Middle East and globally. We focus on how systems of dominance and oppression are connected to the climate crisis and ecocide.

There are many ways to get involved:
Help organize for the March 12 “No2DSS” event initiated by Resist US-Led War Seattle (see the Seattle branch of Resist on Instagram). This is a mass mobilization to interrupt Boeing’s Aerospace and Defense Supplier Summit at the Seattle Convention Center. Approximately 30 organizations including 350 Seattle have endorsed so far. There are art builds planned, political education webinars, and a wheat-pasting skill-share coming up soon.

Please note: the address in the flyer below for Ghost Space should be 1022 1st Ave S (rather than 1022 1st Ave).

This photo comes from last year’s picket of the Blue Angels at Seafair:

Aviation Team

Join 350 Seattle and the King County Int’l Airport Community Coalition (KCIACC) to hear from BIPOC communities impacted by our county airport and learn about action we can take including new community representatives to help advise the airport on addressing its health and environmental impacts.

KCIACC Annual Community Reportback
Thursday, March 21 at 6:30pm.
Duwamish River Hub
RSVP here

Contact Laura at to see how you can get involved with the Aviation Team– we’d love your participation!

Biomass is a false solution

A new climate villain is entering the Pacific Northwest: Drax, a multinational energy company, is proposing building a woody biomass pellet production plant and export facility in Longview, Washington. Drax is notorious for its Clean Air Act violations and greenwashing campaigns. They’ve been so egregious in the American Southeast, Louisiana fined them $3.2 million for air pollution.
 
Now Drax is making a play for Asian energy markets, proposing to manufacture and export half a billion tons of wood pellets per year through a new facility in Longview, WA. Wood pellet plants emit high levels of hazardous particulates and volatile organic compounds, and are extremely noisy. Producing that volume of pellets means that regional forests will be at risk.

SWCAA, the agency overseeing Drax’s air permit, is taking public comments — here’s a page to get you started.
 
Want to show up in person? Bring your voice to a public hearing later this month:

DRAX Wood Pellet Facility Public Hearing
General presentation, 5:30PM, Public comment, 6:00PM,
Thursday, March 28, 2024
Cowlitz PUD auditorium, 961 12th Ave, Longview, WA

Every part of the industrial biomass energy process has adverse climate and community impacts, and biomass power plants emit more greenhouse gas than coal. Let’s keep this environmental justice villain out of our backyard!

And speaking of environmental justice villains, this photo is from one of many actions 350 Seattle took targetting Chase Bank and their role in funding climate change.

Speak for the Seas

Seattle Cruise Control, joined by Climate Action Families, XR Seattle, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, & other organizations invites you to be part of a demonstration against the opening of the Seattle-Alaska cruise season on Saturday, April 6th! Help protect the people and planet we love from the harms of cruise ships with a rally at Pier 66. We’ll have lots of art, chants, fliers, and music. The event will feature a press conference led by young people dressed as sea creature characters – introducing The Walrax! – along with Doctor Dolphin and a Worker Whale – who will speak in Dr Seuss-style rhymes about how cruise ships pollute our waters, poison our air, endanger our health, jeopardize our climate, exploit onboard workers, and overwhelm destination communities.

For a vivid introduction to the harms from Seattle’s cruise ships, see last year’s Cruise Ship Invasion, an interactive article nominated for an Environmental Journalism award.

Speak for the Seas! Kids Call Out Cruise: Rally & Press Conference
Saturday, April 6th. 10 – 12AM.
Start at Pier 62 at 10AM. March to Pier 66, press conference starting at 11AM.
RSVP for Speak for the Seas
Volunteer Form

Federal Policy Team

The Federal Policy Team takes action on a regular basis—by meeting with our legislators and their staff, as well as Town Halls and other public events!

Being active citizens and routinely participating in democracy is one important way to help move the needle towards climate justice. Recently, the Federal Policy Team met with Senator Maria Cantwell’s office to discuss the need for FERC reform, clean energy standards for hydrogen hubs, sustainable aviation fuels, the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, the Fossil Free Finance Act, and the Farm Bill. Forming relationships with our congress members’ offices and helping to educate them on and push for important legislation can feel daunting but our team is working on building systems to make it feel less so.

Many of our team members live in Rep. Jayapal’s (CD-7) or Rep Smith’s (CD-9) districts so those are the House members we meet with most often, but we would also love to meet more often with other offices as well. If you live, work, or have connections to the districts of Del Bene, Schrier, Larsen, Gluesenkamp Perez, Kilmer, or Strickland, we would love you to be a part of our team!

At our next meeting, Wed. March 6th at 5 pm, please join us in discussing participation in “TaxDay2Earth Day”, April 15-April 22nd.

Click here more info:
Click here to submit a Tax Day to Earth Day event:
Full Event listing:

If you have questions, suggestions or would like to join us, contact Beth B. or Linnea, or join the Federal Policy Team meeting every first Wednesday of the month at 5pm on Zoom. Or sign up for Federal Policy listserv here.

This photo is from last summer’s Rally to End Fossil Fuels, lead by members of our Federal Policy Team.

Calling all Washington State Public Employees!

Are you an educator, state employee, firefighter, or at any job where you have a Washington state pension? You can play a critical role in our current campaign to get the WA State Investment Board to change how it incorporates climate financial risk into how it invests, and how it votes on resolutions for climate action within banks and other corporations!

Are you a WA public employee? Let us know here!

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.

March Exploration: What are all the ways to take action and when can we do them? Come and find out!

Our next Seattle-wide meeting is on Friday 3/8 from 5:30-7:30 at Bethany UCC in South Seattle. More info and RSVP link here.

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

Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date!

Join the 350 Seattle Book Club

We’d love to have you join us for the 350 Seattle Book Club! We typically meet every other Sunday, 2:30-4:30, with both an in-person and virtual option.

Our next meeting is on Sunday, March 10th, when we’ll be discussing Movement Generation’s zine, From Banks and Tanks to Cooperation and Caring!

After that, we have sessions planned around the books The Future Is Degrowth by Matthias Schmelzer, Aaron Vansintjan, and Andrea Vetter; Seattle From The Margins by Megan Asaka; and A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers. We also have a discussion planned related to the organizing work of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power)!

We always look forward to new members! Please sign up here.

This photo was from last year’s Earth Day March, and has nothing to do with Book Club per se, other than whoever wrote “Climate Pledge = Empty Promise” needs to pen their memoir because they are clearly genius.

The People’s Echo

Upcoming Song Circle:
Earth Practice Song Circle
Friday, March 22, 6:30-9pm Seward Park Shelter #3
Join us for an evening of soul-nourishing community singing with songcatchers and medicine-bringers yin, yam, & jessi of earth practice, a singing collective from Bellingham, WA.

Here is an iconic photo of members of the People’s Echo holding the line at an action shutting down Chase’s downtown branch.

Climate Grief & Empowerment

You’re invited! 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 & Empowerment gathering, cosponsored by 350 Seattle and Climate Action Families.

Climate Grief and Empowerment Monthly Gathering:
Saturday, March 9th and Saturday April 13th, from 10:00–11:45am
Online, register here separately for each one you’ll attend.

Story Circle

Story Circle is a space to support creativity in the community; sharing art can form a network of reciprocity and healing. We come together to honor stories and the value of creativity outside of its commodification.

You’re invited to join us on Saturday, March 16th from 10AM-2PM for a garden work party scheduled at Beacon Food Forest. This is how our book club decided to close out reading Madeline Ostrander’s book At Home on an Unruly Planet. We will participate in part of the work party; we’ll also share time to reflect and chat. All are welcome!

Email storycircle@350seattle.org to RSVP and receive more details.

Artful Activism

Join the Artful Team and Alerts list
*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.

Skills welcome and appreciated! AND… no skills? no problem! Join us! We’ll teach you as you go! You’ll love to be part of making the art for our actions in a supportive, learning, fun, and connecting atmosphere with other people who care enough to show up, and who accept you as you are. Come have fun with us, building powerful beauty for the movement!

RSVP for upcoming Art Builds
THIS Saturday, March 9th, 1-4PM
Batik, Paint, and more to create art for a Troublemakers’ Amazon action, batik (wax resist – we’ll show you how) banners for our teams, and batik or paint banners for Climate Action Families. Come have fun with us! No skills needed. Friends and Families welcome (adults must accompany youth).

And probably: Saturday, March 16, 1-4pm
To finish whatever isn’t done on the 9th, and maybe more!

For those who want to be more involved, we are growing both our art build team and our art in action team, where teams of volunteer leads help others participate (with art leads support) to spread the love. Maybe you’re experienced in performance arts (theater, spoken word, music, dance, and beyond), visual arts (graphic design, painting, drawing, screen printing, building props, sewing, and so much more). Or maybe you are an organized person, or you like data and want to help with the imagery or photo library behind the scenes, or people with creative strategic humor and energy who like to brainstorm.  We also need people with other skill sets like DJs, snacks, setup and cleanup, de-escalation, and vibes watchers – is that you?

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

Put Art into Action – Want an important job at actions and events? We’re creating a team of interested people who can show up as able to set up/take down the art, invite people to participate and see that it’s displayed well. Please sign up to learn more!

Got Rhythm and want to drum in the streets?Want to learn how to drum to enliven our actions? We’ve got bucket drums ready to go for participatory community beats at actions.

Want to learn to do Sound Tech? Learn how and then operate our sound equipment including PAs, a soundboard, power stations, mics, and Bluetooth, at events and actions (with support until you’re ready) for each event. We are looking to train a bigger group of people so that someone is likely interested and available when we need sound at smaller events? (comfort with tech, no experience needed, var/hrs) contact Lisa.

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.

There are too many good photos to pick from when it comes to Artful – but, just saying – if you’ve seen a banner with orange letters on deer fencing, like below, Artful may have had something to do with it.

Community Resilience

Our Community Activist Resources Lists help support our most active and broader movement with some of the vast number of resources available in the Seattle area for 350 Seattle and the general community! Check out the reduced to no cost resource list here and share with others in our broader movement community who may be interested.

Lists Upkeep Volunteer needed! Do you have data and people outreach skills and 1-2 hrs/wk? Contact contact Lisa for more info.

Do you have a skill or service you would like to offer at very reduced or no charge to the 350 Seattle activist community, or a reduced cost offering for our broader community as a way to take part in and support the work we do? Do you know of BIPOC businesses in our community who might want to be added to the list linked above? All skills are welcome! Please fill out this form with your own offerings, or with other local Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) businesses we could be patronizing, or other entries we should add to the general resource list and we’ll get back with you! Thanks!

Please consider supporting local Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) owned businesses! Here is a list of some local community BIPOC businesses to support, with lists of others embedded!

And finally, shoutouts to:

“Rosemary Moore does an amazing job making sure that Aviation-related state legislation that protects the health of airport communities and counters aviation-industry greenwashing is supported by all of 350. Thanks also to the rest of the CAT team for making this happen, and to everyone who is motivated to write letters and sign in on these bills.” – Laura Gibbons

“Renaissance just keeps being amazing! The way he shows up with compassion and vulnerability, wisdom and curiosity, humility and so much love for all the communities he is part of and advocating for, with organizing and direct action skills through the roof, we are so lucky to get to work with him.” – Anonymous

Lisa Marcus, Diane Shisk, and facilitators of the listening sessions. I have much appreciation and respect for everyone involved in creating the recent listening sessions and inviting people from the 350 Seattle to participate. The listening sessions give people a chance to listen to each other and ourselves to be heard, sharing and owning wherever we are, in our minds and hearts, about what is happening in Gaza, Israel, Palestine. In these circles, we are practicing non-coercive truth-telling, self-expression, and empathic listening. Perhaps we are creating a space for collective understanding, which in my view is a path for the best kind of collaboration as we move down the path together.” – Mary Patterson

And finally, finally – I couldn’t resist dropping in a photo from ShellNo, 350 Seattle and friends campaign to stop Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet from leaving Seattle. This campaign was my first with 350 Seattle, and it changed my life in many bizarre and unexpected ways. So here’s my shoutout to the people I still run into a decade later in the streets: Can’t wait to spend these next ten years with you as well.

See you next month,
<3 Ben

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