July 2021 Newsletter
June’s heat wave would not have happened in a pre-industrial climate. But in the warmer world we’re rushing toward we can expect extreme temperature events every five to ten years. As climate activists, we’ve known this was coming, but not so severely, so suddenly.
But we’re not helpless. We can and must help one another and do what we can to mitigate what’s coming.
THREE WAYS TO RESPOND TO THE HEAT WAVE
Because the Biden administration has a narrow window to pass bold federal climate legislation, our Senators and Representatives need to hear from us that the time for climate action is now.
Tell our Congressional delegation to champion the strongest possible climate policy on Capitol Hill. Here are four one-minute actions you can take to support strong climate action at the federal level.
Our state legislature has passed significant laws that will decarbonize our electricity and enforce our emission reduction limits. But there is more to do—reduce emissions from vehicles and our built environment—and very little time to do it. Here is a letter to personalize and send to your state legislators.
As the pandemic, and now the heat wave has shown, local resilience involves all of us. In our network of dozens of mutual aid pods around the Seattle area, pod captains connect across the city so that pods with more resources can support those with fewer.
To become a pod captain and lead your neighborhood organizing efforts sign up here. We’ve got lots of tools and support to help you get it going and figure things out along the way. You can also join a neighborhood pod here.
Have mutual aid questions or are interested in volunteering in another way? Please contact Sulakshana.
FIVE VICTORIES IN JUNE
It’s ironic that June’s horrific heat wave came on the heels of no less than five significant victories. Of course we finally got the news that Keystone XL was officially canceled, but there were major wins closer to home too.
For seven years we’ve been holding the line against what would’ve been the biggest fracked gas to methanol refinery in the world. The project proponents first tried to build it in Tacoma, but after running into a wall of public opposition set their sights on the small town of Kalama, hoping that the smaller community wouldn’t be able to fight them off as easily. But there were dedicated activists there too, backed up by people from across the state. This month the company finally accepted the inevitable and officially threw in the towel.
Another important victory this month was the news that the Millennium Bulk Terminal project was officially canceled. This obscenely large project would’ve been the largest coal export terminal in all of North America. We defeated it way back in 2017, but several coal producing states sued the state of Washington and it finally reached the U.S. Supreme Court, who decided not to even hear the case. Can you hear the lawyers for the coal industry crying? “Without relief from this court…Wyoming and Montana likely will never see their abundant coal reserves to foreign markets.” Seems like they understand the Thin Green Line pretty well!
And speaking of coal, for the past few years a developer has been trying to re-open a small mine in nearby Black Diamond. It would’ve been the only fossil fuel extraction site in Washington and the runoff would’ve made its way into the Duwamish River and Puget Sound, so we’ve been watching that to make sure it didn’t go through, and this month they finally agreed to leave it closed.
One final victory was not against a fossil fuel project, but against a pumped hydro storage proposal. That might seem surprising since pumped hydro can be used to help integrate renewable energy into the grid. But a commitment to climate justice means rejecting “solutions” that harm local communities, threaten water supplies, and disregard treaty rights, and we’re glad to see this one fall.
And then to kick off July, Greenpeace UK broke a story with a damning video that everyone on Earth should see… and hold ExxonMobil accountable for. In the video, an Exxon lobbyist, not knowing he’s being videotaped, admits that Exxon “aggressively” fought climate science, funded shadow groups, and only supported a carbon tax because they know it’s not going to happen. Watch the whole thing, be energized by a righteous fury, and then sign up for…
AGENTS OF CHANGE: DIRECT ACTION TRAINING SERIES
Are you ready to engage in direct action? Do you feel like you need more direct action skills and experience before showing up and taking a risk? This August and September, join us for Agents of Change, a training series that will teach you the core skills you need to plan and participate in safe, strategic, and impactful direct actions.
Agents of Change includes a kickoff event, three webinars, an Action Lab where we’ll teach concrete skills like de-escalation, and an action that we all do together. We’re inviting teams to attend together to strengthen relationships and form affinity groups—plus, we’re inviting folks from many other social movement groups to build cross-movement solidarity.
Agents of Change Kickoff Event
Monday, August 2, 6:00–7:30pm
Jefferson Park, on the Great Lawn next to Shelter #3, 3801 Beacon Ave. S, Seattle 98108
RSVP here if you are planning to attend!
Join us for a fun in-person kickoff event! We’ll eat delicious food, hear stories from activists who engaged in some incredible direct actions, and share more about the training series.
TACOMA LNG RESISTANCE
We continue to wait for a decision in the legal appeal of the facility’s Puget Sound Clean Air Agency permit by the Puyallup Tribe and Earthjustice, which is expected anytime between now and the next month or so. Please continue to put good energy and prayers towards an outcome in favor of the people, the planet and justice—hopefully invalidating this key permit.
No LNG overpass bannering
Help support the Puyallup’s fight to keep the facility from starting! If you can help for an hour in the late afternoon/early evening sometime, please sign up here, and with questions, contact Alison.
LINE 3 RESISTANCE
Resistance against Line 3 is continuing to grow. In early June, more than 200 people (including Val, our Interim Executive Director) were arrested in a mass direct action, shutting down Enbridge’s construction for the day. Since then, there have been almost daily direct actions against the pipeline.
Indigenous leaders on the frontlines have made it clear: They want people to travel to Minnesota and stand with them in their fight to defend their treaty rights and the land, water and climate.
We’re hosting an organizing meeting to support Pacific Northwest climate activists who are interested in traveling to Minnesota to help stop Line 3. At the meeting, we will share the latest updates from the frontlines, connect you to others from the Seattle area who are interested in going to Minnesota, and support you in showing up in a respectful and strategic way.
Seattle → Line 3 Organizing Meeting
Tuesday, July 20, 7:00pm
Volunteer Park, 1400 East Prospect St., Seattle 98112
RSVP and full details here.
Can’t wait that long to contribute to the fight? Donate here to the Line 3 legal defense fund.
STOP THE MONEY PIPELINE
Trans Mountain and insurance
At the end of last month, we showed up to the PNW headquarters of insurance giant Liberty Mutual–with our friends from Protectors of the Salish Sea, Mazaska Talks, Sunrise Seattle, and Future Coalition–to paint a powerful message on their doorstep: Liberty Mutual: insure our future, not tar sands. Liberty Mutual is currently deciding whether to renew its insurance coverage for the Trans Mountain pipeline, a toxic oil project that spells disaster for the climate and Indigenous rights. To make sure Liberty Mutual heard the message loud and clear, pick up the phone and tell them yourself! The Seattle action was part of a global week of action, with 25+ events from the US and Canada to Uganda to Fiji. Stay tuned for more opportunities for action, as insurers have until August 31 to decide if they will continue supporting Trans Mountain.
Defund Line 3
On July 22nd and 23rd, major banks, including Chase, Wells Fargo and Citibank, have loans to Enbridge worth nearly $5 billion that are due for renewal. These banks have a decision to make: renew those loans or walk away from the Line 3 pipeline. In the past few weeks, thousands of people have emailed and called CEOs and executives at the banks, demanding that they walk away from the toxic pipeline. In the weeks ahead, we’ll be giving you more opportunities to put the pressure on and we’ll be watching closely to see if they’re listening.
FEDERAL POLICY TEAM
Our federal policy team continues to evaluate a variety of climate bills, reaching out to Congressional offices to lobby for the strongest ones. More help is needed with this urgent and difficult work, so please join us!
And here’s a quick way to tell your Congressional representatives to hold ExxonMobil accountable for their lobbying against climate action at the federal level.
SHIPPING POLLUTION FUELS THE CLIMATE CRISIS AND POISONS OUR AIR
A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that just one individual container ship operating off the coast polluted as many toxic emissions as 500,000 diesel trucks. That’s equivalent to 1/4 of all the 2 million trucks on the road in the U.S.
The health impacts from maritime shipping are staggering, contributing to an estimated 260,000 premature deaths annually, primarily in lower-income communities of color.
Right now, Seattle is actively expanding the Port to welcome an influx of these polluting ships.
What can you do about it?
On Tuesday, July 20th, help launch a new and strategic climate action campaign to protect our water and air from toxic shipping pollution. Email Eric or text him at 206-457-3340 if you are interested in joining this land-based day of action!
CRUISING TOWARD CLIMATE COLLAPSE
Massive cruise ships are toxic—toxic for the planet, toxic for our health, toxic to the water and marine life, and operated under a toxic business model that exploits underpaid workers and avoids paying taxes, while burdening and bullying destination communities. We covered this in our July General Meeting; watch the video here.
The first voyage to Alaska since the beginning of the pandemic, and major outbreaks of Covid on board cruise ships, is set for July 19th at Pier 91. We hope you can help urge the Port of Seattle to transition away from this harmful industry and envision a cruise free Salish Sea!
To sign up for a role at events, online port commission testimony, art builds, or get more involved with Seattle Cruise Control, please get in touch here.
Port Survey – here’s a chance to help the Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance develop their Climate and Clean Air Action Plans! Here are links to the survey and some talking points for responses.
Responses are due by July 15th, the same day they will hold a community briefing on their implementation of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy:
Want to join the Maritime Solutions Team? Come to our next meeting!
Maritime Solutions Team Planning Session
Tuesday, July 20, 7:00pm
Online, register here!
Can’t make the meeting but want to get plugged in? Email Stacy.
HEARING IT? YOU’RE BREATHING IT!
Did you know that 38% of carbon emissions comes from planes? Did you know that planes are responsible for ultra-fine particulates? Did you know that three of the Port Commissioners who govern Sea-Tac Airport are up for re-election?
Port of Seattle Commissioner Candidate Forum
Thursday, July 22, 7:00pm
Attend this virtual candidate forum to learn about the candidates and their plans for dealing with the adverse health, environmental and climate impacts from Sea-Tac Airport.
BREAK FREE FROM PSE!
The Yes to East King County Public Utility District campaign (EKC PUD) is working to empower over 250,000 Puget Sound Energy electricity customers to transition faster to renewable energy and they need your help!
Getting free from PSE’s dirty electricity will cut northeastern King County’s greenhouse gas emissions 25-30% and give us a fighting chance to meet the goal of a 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. It could also blaze a trail for other local regions to follow in establishing their own public utility districts.
Volunteers are needed! The campaign is looking for:
- Contacts at local businesses, particularly sustainability or property managers, small business owners and leaders in larger businesses.
- Skilled WordPress help build out the campaign web site.
- Strategic communicators to help build out the campaign toolkit.
- Researchers for contact information for businesses and organizations.
Learn more about the campaign at Yes to East King County PUD. And thanks in advance for helping build an energy provider we can be proud of!
CLEAN CARS 2030
Did you sign the petition last month? Thank you! Didn’t sign? There’s still time, add your name and share with friends!
To be a leader in clean transportation, the Governor should set a target that all new cars sold in Washington by electric by 2030 and direct all state agencies to incorporate this goal in their decision-making and planning.
REDUCE AND REDRESS POLICE VIOLENCE
Privilege ensures that direct action by climate activists in Seattle is handled with kid gloves, but the Seattle Police Department greets Black Lives Matter protests with tear gas and rubber bullets. We say: racial justice is climate justice. Seattle City Council is considering a bill that limits SPD’s weaponry and, importantly, includes an accountability mechanism (“right of action”), which allows people harmed by SPD’s use of “less lethal” weapons to receive compensation from the city.
But as currently written, the right of action effectively excludes everyone. Ask council to remove all restrictions from the right of action and ensure that settlement payments come out of SPD’s budget.
Using a node model organized into topics of interest, deepening our anti-oppression work through education, action and reflection, our two current nodes are centered around immigration justice and Indigenous sovereignty and solidarity. Nodes meet bi-weekly, in addition to a larger monthly meeting for all the nodes.
Solidari-Tea Time drop-in!
Monday, July 19, 6:00–7:00pm
Join us for Story Circle, a space for storytelling in community. During each Circle, we share a storytelling tool, read a story, and write together. We focus on discussion, building creative agency, and examining dominant narratives. Our theme for July: Air/Breath.
Story Circle – Final Fridays
Friday, July 30, 6:00–7:30pm
Online, register here.
Stories live through us and can limit or liberate us; we are all storytellers. We come together to honor those stories and the value of creativity outside of its commodification. All are welcome!
Join us in brainstorming creative ways to use art to its fullest potential or join an inspiring project or powerful song circle already under way. All skill levels welcome! We want you!
We use chalk and washable paint to create beautiful murals in outdoor public areas! Contact Lisa C to join in.
Art builds outside in-person are starting up again and skilled art builds relayed from home are also still happening!
Outside In-person Art Build
Monday, July 12, 4:00pm–sundown
Just west of 5900 West Green Lake Way N, Seattle, 98103
We’ll be at the closed parking lot across from the bathrooms at the south end of the lake. Note that West Green Lake Way is a stay safe street closed to cars coming from Highway 99, so don’t try to come from the west. No skills needed, just smiles and clothes for mess, your own mask, water, and snack if you want one.
We may have another on Saturday, July 17. Same contact as above if you’re available and need more information.
We’re following CDC and Washington state Covid guidelines and we are working around individual needs. Everyone is at a different place with comfort levels, vaccine schedules, etc., so we ask that everyone please come into the space with respect for people’s boundaries, social distancing, and wearing masks.
We’re also still doing skilled art relays from home if that works better for you, and you already have some art skills you want to put to use.
If you are interested in either one, please contact Lisa M.
Deployment of our powerful and beautiful art!
And art deployment at piers for departing cruises on July 19 and 23—see Cruising for Climate Collapse, above, or contact Eric to plug in.
If you are interested in other deployment opportunities and trainings to be able to guide last minute volunteers at events, we need YOU! Please contact Eric.
Join the Artful Workgroup
We’re looking for people with skills in any area of art including performance arts, visual arts like graphics, painting, screen printing, building props, etc. and people at any skill level with creative strategic humor and energy who like to brainstorm. Contact Lisa M.
Not skilled? No worries, join us! We’ll teach you how! We all love to see the work we had our hand in making, make a difference in the world! No skills tasks like tracing, cutting, twisting ties, painting in between the lines, etc. are always needing people. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you want to try a little something more in a supportive, learning, fun, and connecting atmosphere with other people who care enough to show up like you are. Sign up here.
THE PEOPLE’S ECHO
The People’s Echo is a collective of social justice/climate activists and singer-songwriters. We create and share songs that are medicine for us in these mysterious times. We sing for the healing of ourselves, each other, and the earth. Singing together is a human birthright that has less to do with “sounding good” and more to do with settling into our bodies, calming our nervous systems, and being together in community. Anyone who joins us for song teach-ins, actions, events and beyond is a part of The People’s Echo and we invite the broader community to join us in song.
Come sing with us!
We want to ensure that everyone who chooses to join us for our in-person song teach-in feels comfortable and safe. Please come wearing a mask and be prepared to wear it during the entire event. We will check in with folks as they arrive and at the beginning of the event about their comfort level with being masked/unmasked and distanced/grouping vaccinated folks together/etc. and will prioritize the needs of immunocompromised, unvaccinated, or more vulnerable folks.
Bring chairs and/or blankets to sit on and anything else you need to be comfortable outside for several hours. Email Hillary for accessibility or other inquiries.
CLIMATE GRIEF AND EMPOWERMENT
The droughts and heatwaves in the western U.S. show increasing evidence of climate change. What’s even more frustrating is continued lack of action and adequate reporting that this is CAUSED by climate change. You may have emotions coming up, and we have a space for community processing. Please join us for our next gathering in August.
Climate Grief and Empowerment
Saturday, August 14, 10:00–11:45am
Online, register here.
We will move through four interactive stages during our time together: Gratitude, Honoring Our Pain for the World, Seeing with New and Ancient Eyes, and Going Forth. Learn more about the group here.
CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS
Did you take photos at a recent 350 Seattle event, art build, or action? Are you willing to share what you captured with our community? Submit your images to our Photo Library, where they’ll be saved for future use in our organization’s storytelling, including our outreach, communications, and fundraising efforts. Here are our guidelines for submitting photos to our library editors.
There’s always a lot happening in the climate justice movement, which is why we need folks like you who are there to capture it! Thank you for helping us tell (and show) our story.
350 Seattle July General Meeting – We covered toxic cruise ship practices, from the smokestacks harming our health, to the onboard labor conditions and the bully tactics used on destination communities that push back against these harms. #CruiseFreeSalishSea.
Skilling up for Climate Action: Policy Advocacy – Learn how to advocate, how legislative bodies work, and how to influence electeds—with examples from local affiliates to demonstrate common tactics and best practices.
Check out the 350 Seattle YouTube page for awesome and growing content including DIY art how-to videos, recordings of past general meetings, webinars, and trainings.
Alas, our amazing Interim Executive Director, Valerie Costa, is leaving at the end of October, after eighteen months of visionary leadership, network weaving, structure goosing, cat herding, and steering our ship ably through pandemic waters.
We’re looking for a new Executive Director to start October 1. What are we looking for? Someone with expertise in nurturing strong leadership (staff and volunteers), and supporting powerful grassroots organizing in many ways. Someone who will join our Staff Collective and hold this position in the spirit of sharing leadership and distributing power. Someone with a strong anti-racist and anti-oppression orientation, who can join in the work to make 350 Seattle a more accessible and inclusive organization.
Does this sound like a position for you or someone you know? Please check out the job announcement today.
INTRODUCING GRACE HOPE
Hello, 350 Seattle community!
I’m Grace Hope (they/them), and some of you may remember I began a new role with 350 Seattle in May as our Leadership Development Director. Woohoo! I could not be more excited and honored to support our community in this way as we continue to grow together.
It’s been an incredible couple of months onboarding into our fantastic staff and leadership and campaign and team spaces! I’ve especially enjoyed listening to and learning about our activists and organizers’ journeys at 350 Seattle. Together we’re dreaming up big visions and ideas for how we can continue to build this work together in joyful and generative ways so more and more people can find their climate organizing home within our community!
You can learn a little more about me on our website and a bit more through this interview with me on our blog, The Understory. I also did an Instagram Live interview which you can find on the 350 Seattle Instagram account under the IGTV tab.
If I haven’t had the chance to meet you yet (on Zoom, or via email, or even more rarely, in person) I hope that moment comes soon.
Want more general information about how to participate with 350 Seattle? Check out this handy new volunteer welcome guide.
Here are some really great ways to start on that path of engagement! Check out our updated Volunteer Opportunities List. 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? Schedule a time to chat with Shemona either by phone or video chat.
No time? Well, never fear—you can support the work we do at 350 Seattle by becoming a monthly donor! Sign up here!
Stay strong, friends!