February 2021 Newsletter
It’s February. We invite you to enjoy, absorb and reflect on Black Futures Month.
And then, because the safety of Black lives matters, we urge you to support the proposals brought forward by the Washington House of Representatives Policing Policy Leadership Team, led by members of communities disproportionately impacted by police violence:
LET’S MAKE SOME LONG OVERDUE CHANGES
Here are seven bills in the Washington state legislature. Help them advance by telling your legislators that you want each of these bills to become law.
HB 1310 – Sets the clear expectation that de-escalation should be an officer’s first instinct and that deadly force should only be a truly necessary last resort. Support HB 1310.
HB 1054 – Bans choke holds, neck restraints, no-knock warrants, tear gas, military equipment, the covering of identifying information. Also limits police dogs, vehicular pursuits and shooting at moving vehicles. Support HB 1054.
HB 1203 – Requires local law enforcement agencies to implement a community oversight board by 2025. Support HB 1203.
HB 1092 – Collects data on police uses of force so that we can study this issue and propel change. Support HB 1092.
HB 1267 – Creates the Office of Independent Investigations within the Office of the Governor for the purpose of investigating incidents relating to peace officer use of deadly force. Support HB 1267.
HB 1202 – Provides a cause of action for a person injured by a peace officer. Authorizes the Attorney General to investigate employers and peace officers engaging in a pattern or practice of conduct identified in the act and to bring a civil action against a peace officer to restrain and prevent the pattern or practice of conduct. Support HB 1202.
HB 1082 – Expands the grounds on which an officer can be decertified and reforms the process to make it more effective and quicker. Support HB 1082.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
As U.S. representative Yvette Clark once said, “We must never forget that Black history is American history.” We know that Black history deserves to be honored 12 months a year, and we want to hold that truth while also acknowledging the importance and power of February as Black History Month.
As part of Black History Month, check out these resources:
South Seattle Emerald’s Black History Today, an annual series created by Marcus Harden honoring Black History Month that pays tribute to the living legacy of Black history in South Seattle and beyond.
This article featuring 22 Black climate justice activists and their work on the intersecting systems that uphold environmental racism and climate destruction was published a little way back, but we encourage you to use this resource to do a deeper dive into many of the important projects presented, and which are still ongoing.
And here in Seattle, Black Lives Matter continues to build power. We need each other, and we need to protect each other. Thank you for all the ways you are participating on and off the streets.
There are still marches in support of Black lives every day, and bigger events that continue to be put on; all these need support on and off the streets, with donations and online actions very much still needed. King County Equity Now, Every Day March, and the Black Action Coalition organizers are putting this work forward, helping to unite our long divided movement, and bringing solid demands for Black lives and positive change for all into being.
Calendar of all BLM events in Seattle in all neighborhoods, by many groups.
Important protest guides and safety info
Keeping Yourself Healthy & Safe at a Protest – 350 Seattle webinar recording.
Seattle street medic guide, with graphics.
Need more learning? Racial Justice is Climate Justice Recordings and Resources from our four-part series on Abolition, Defund the Police, Affordable Housing, and Environmental Justice.
We also recommend Decolonizing Science, formerly Engage, a podcast on the history of racism in the medical and research fields, environmental racism, health disparities/inequity and more. Guests will range from doctors and scientists to black activists in the local area.
NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT PUGET SOUND ENERGY
Puget Sound Energy (PSE), the state’s largest energy utility, provides fossil gas and electric services to almost two million homes in Washington, spends more on lobbying and campaign contributions annually than Amazon, plays a large role in pro-fossil fuel ad campaigns, and over the next couple of years could determine whether the state succeeds in transitioning to clean energy.
With PSE holding so much influence and power, we invite you to join us for this Community Empowerment Series, Taking Our Power Back: Puget Sound Energy, fossil fuels, and creating a clean and healthy energy future.
February 4th – Financial Flaws
Thursday evenings at 6:00pm:
February 11th – Undermining WA Climate Progress
February 18th – Indigenous Sovereignty and Pipeline Politics
February 25th – Solutions for a Healthy, Clean Future
Want to learn more? This PSE Series Resources Guide has recordings of the events, ways to take action and links to relevant articles and websites.
Save the date! PSE has released their draft 20-year plan and it’s getting a hearing later this month. It’s time for this fossil fuel company to put their actions where their advertisements are and invest in renewables instead of more gas.
Public Hearing–PSE Draft 2021 Integrated Resource Plan
Friday, February 26, 9:30am
Save the date! To get on the notification list, contact Ruth.
In the meantime, here’s a form letter for you to personalize.
Tell Puget Sound Energy to stop spreading glossy lies! Click here to send emails to PSE executives urging them to leave Partnership for Energy Progress, an industry front group spreading propaganda about “natural” gas, that has gone so far as to target children with coloring pages and online games.
Are you in a toxic relationship with your energy utility? Take this quiz to find out—maybe you should break up with Puget Sound Energy! All participants will be entered into a drawing for some treats from Power Past Fracked Gas—available till February 28th.
NEW RULES FOR FOSSIL FUELS
Ten years ago, the fossil fuel industry planned to turn the northwest into one of the largest export hubs in the nation. Fracking had unearthed enormous quantities of cheap oil and gas and they wanted to flood the market with it to slow down the transition to renewables. But they picked the wrong place to try it! We were able to block them at every turn and after dozens of attempts to build new export terminals they haven’t been able to get a single one through!
But blocking a major fossil fuel project is a slow process. Our most recent victory over Kalama Methanol took seven years. Luckily, we have a new opportunity to stop playing defense and stop the onslaught of new fossil fuel projects altogether. This year the Department of Ecology is rewriting the rules for calculating the climate impacts of new projects, and they’ll be holding public hearings starting in April. If they use the best available science, the fossil fuel industry will have to disclose how harmful to the climate these projects really are.
To learn more about how we can change the rules and keep new fossil fuel projects out of the northwest, join us for a series of webinars starting this month.
New Rules for Fossil Fuels: Protecting Washinton Communities
February 23rd – Kick Off! Let’s Get Ahead of Industry
March 9th – Climate Justice is Protecting Community Health
March 23rd – Centering Frontline Communities
These projects don’t just harm the climate, they also poison the air and water of nearby communities, and lead to dangerous man camps near the fracking sites which inflict violence on the local communities, most often targeting Indigenous women. Now that the Department of Ecology is reconsidering how to evaluate fossil fuel projects, this is our chance to re-frame the conversation. Accurate climate impact assessment is important, but we must also take into account the human cost to frontline communities. The new rules should force industry to disclose those costs as well.
THE OTHER WASHINGTON
Our new Federal Policy team is rocking! Since the fall, we’ve met with the offices of Representatives Jayapal, Schrier, and Smith, and are scheduled to meet with Senator Patty Murray’s staff this week. We’re pushing for a package of bold climate bills along with a commitment to the Green New Deal and the THRIVE agenda. The goal is to get significant policies into the next stimulus bill, which, due to what’s called “reconciliation,” does not need 60 votes in the Senate; a simple majority is enough. (To get on our mailing list, sign up here.)
While Biden has sparked relief and even hope with recent climate-oriented executive actions like canceling the Keystone Pipeline, we need to keep up the pressure. The Build Back Fossil Free campaign demands investment in Black, Indigenous, Brown, and working-class communities that have borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution and climate disaster, the end of fossil fuel production, and a national climate mobilization to deliver fossil-free jobs, justice and opportunity for all.
Here’s two ways to participate:
• Join this week’s BBFF Week of Action by taking photos with “Build Back Fossil Free” signs and posting to social media with the #BuildBackFossilFree hashtag. Follow #BuildBackFossilFree on Twitter and Instagram and amplify the conversation.
Another way to influence the new administration on climate: sign the Plastic-free President petition here. Plastic production is a major contributor to climate change, expected to account for 20 percent of global oil consumption by 2050.
STOP THE MONEY PIPELINE
Stop the Money Pipeline to Line 3
Despite ongoing legal challenges by the Red Lake Nation, the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, construction on the toxic tar sands pipeline Line 3 continues to plow ahead in northern Minnesota. If built Line 3 would emit as much greenhouse gas as fifty new coal-fired power plants.
Enbridge Energy, the corporation behind Line 3, has a $2.1 billion loan that is due for renewal on March 31st. Banks like Chase, Citi, and Bank of America could easily walk away from Line 3 then ― and we’re planning a major push to make sure that they do. Stay tuned for more very soon. (Not on our list? Join here!)
Two weeks ago, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, released a statement making it clear that they expect every company that they are invested in (which is to say every company) to produce clear plans to reach net-zero climate emissions by 2050. Needless to say, this announcement goes nowhere near far enough; however, it is a step in the right direction and it only comes as a direct result of years of relentless campaigning by the BlackRock’s Big Problem campaign. You can learn more about this big news and join the campaign here.
TACOMA LNG RESISTANCE
Legal appeals are set to begin April 12th, with arguments by The Puyallup Tribe and Earthjustice to be heard over a two-week period by the Pollution Control Hearings Board. In a recent Native Daily Network article, Water Warrior Dakota Case describes his reaction to the Attorney General’s amicus brief, calling for the facility’s permit to be repealed:
“This is why I am grateful today for Bob Ferguson adding the weight of his office and his platform to our fight. My tribe and the state share sovereignty and our treaties protect our way of life. To finally see the State stand side by side with my people in fighting to protect who we are, and the future of all people is heartwarming and fills me with hope.”
Hear stories about how throughout the years, the encroachment of industry has affected culture, traditional ways and Tribal Treaty rights. Speakers include Ramona Bennett (Puyallup Tribal Elder), Sylvia Miller (Puyallup Tribal Council Co-Chair), James Rideout (Puyallup Tribal Council), Dakota Case (Puyallup Tribe), Benita Moore (Standing Rock) with her husband Darren and granddaughter Mariah of Native Daily Network.
Protecting Culture and Tribal Treaty Rights
Sunday, February 21, 12:30–3:00pm
Online, register here.
Brought to you by the University of Washington American Indian Studies Department and The Conversation, a group of Tacoma and South Sound residents committed to building a diverse, critically engaged, social justice community.
Get involved with the 350 Seattle Tacoma LNG Resistance Team. Our Resistance Team has all kinds of ways to plug in—help us plan upcoming artful actions like street murals, art car caravan, and bannering, or be part of education and outreach efforts planning online events, letter writing, and social media amplification.
Tacoma LNG Resistance Team Meeting
Thursday, February 18, 12:00pm
Online, register here.
Our new Maritime Solutions Team had a great informational meeting last month where we dug into the impacts of the maritime industry’s current practices and energy sources on our water, air, marine life and community health at both a local and global level. Check out the recording here!
Interested to help move forward the work of finding solutions? Join us for our next planning session!
Maritime Solutions Team Planning Session
Tuesday, February 16, 7:00pm
Online, register here.
Can’t make the meeting but want to get plugged in? Email Stacy.
Canada has banned cruise ships until February 2022, likely shutting down the Seattle-to-Alaska 2021 cruise season. From Juneau-based KTOO: “Some members of the cruise industry are hoping for an exemption from that law that requires cruise ships to stop in Canada before heading to Alaska.” Seattle Cruise Control will be watching closely to see if cruise lines try to get exemptions from the Passenger Vessel Services Act.
With travel restrictions highlighting how dependent some Southeast Alaskan port communities are on cruise tourism and how important federal COVID relief funds could be for them in the coming year, it is important to recognize that the cruise industry largely avoids paying federal taxes. This year is also an opportunity for the Port of Seattle and the community to consider what local investments can be made to offset cruise income loss with healthier alternative revenue sources.
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 & solidarity. Nodes meet bi-weekly, in addition to a larger monthly meeting for all the nodes.
Monthly All Nodes Meeting
Sunday, February 21, 5:00pm
January was Human Trafficking Awareness Month and there will be a big action led by our close ally Roxanne White of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and People on February 14th. Please contact Anna if you can help out.
One of our amazing friends, who is a BIPOC spoken word artist and healer, is looking for help with business set up. Is this something you are good at? Can you share some of your skills? If so, please contact Lisa for more information!
NEIGHBORHOOD MUTUAL AID PODS
Connecting with neighbors builds resilience and safety, and it is also satisfying (and fun!) to care for one another in community. We’ve got a network of dozens of pods around Seattle, and pod captains are connected so that pods with more resources can support those with fewer.
We’ve completed two collection drives. This summer we collected 270 bikes for repair and redistribution to communities in need, and the just-finished Warm Necessities supply drive collected 10 car loads of requested camping and clothing items that were donated to grassroots mutual aid groups and distributed all over Seattle to keep our unhoused neighbors warm and dry.
Does this sound like something you want to be a part of? Sign up to be a pod captain and lead your neighborhood organizing efforts 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.
Contact Sulakshana if you have questions or are interested in volunteering in another way.
CLEAN AND JUST TRANSPORTATION
The coalition principles for Clean and Just Transportation are now part of the debate in the virtual Olympia around the next transportation budget, which could be tens of billions of dollars of spending. Those principles call for investments in structural equity, the reduction of vehicle miles traveled, transitions to clean transportation, investments in stormwater infrastructure, and road maintenance, not expansion.
Add your voice for climate-friendly and equitable transportation policy—sign on here!
Transit justice in the United States
With local transit systems still reeling from the revenue impacts of COVID-19, state legislators won’t be able to fund the transformative investment in transit and active transportation that climate justice demands. We need action at a national level. As a first step toward ensuring we get that right, we’ve signed onto these transit justice principles along with many national and local organizations. And you can too—sign on here.
And how about a quick action to advance racial equity in transportation? Sign in PRO on HB 1301, 2:30pm on Monday, February 8th, to help decriminalize fare non-payment. If passed, Sound Transit can no longer tell us that state law forces them to rely on court-issued civil infractions when riders can’t pay.
Bike helmets are great, but helmet laws, not so much
Help Seattle Neighborhood Greenways end the over-policing of Black and homeless bicyclists in Seattle. Recent findings have uncovered stark disparities in police stops of cyclists. Take this short survey to learn about the punitive and profiled enforcement of the King County helmet law, share your perspective, and find out how to get involved.
Join 350 Seattle and community partners as we urge the Seattle School Board to eliminate all fossil fuels used in Seattle’s public schools by 2040. This Wednesday, February 10th, the Board votes on a resolution mandating that Seattle schools use 100% clean, renewable energy for heating, cooling, cooking, electricity, and transportation.
Our kids deserve a livable future and tackling climate pollution from our buildings is a critical step to a stable climate. Send a message to Seattle Public Schools: now is the time to start building for our students’ healthy climate future.
The 2021 legislative session is underway online! Want to learn more? Here’s a talkative hour recapping three impactful legislative agendas: Washington Can’t Wait, Resilient Future and Environmental Priorities Coalition.
And if you would like to add your support to climate, justice and recovery bills, join 350 Washington’s Civic Action Team to get a twice-weekly digest of actions. Here are two examples:
Buildings are the fastest growing source of fracked gas emissions in our state, causing both indoor and outdoor harmful pollution. This pollution in our homes and across neighborhoods is dangerous for our health and can lead to serious conditions such as asthma, heart attacks, and strokes. The Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings Act takes key steps towards getting off fracked gas and other fossil fuels in buildings and moving towards healthier homes. Take action to pass HB 1084 out of committee!
Imagine if all new cars in the state had to be electric beginning in 2030! Clean Cars 2030 will do that, while allowing gasoline vehicles from 2029 and earlier to be kept, sold or purchased used. How’s that for a clear signal that the gasoline era is ending? Tell your legislators to support HB 1204 (and if you’re in the 43rd District, thank them for sponsoring)!
Projects from home to put together! Interested in helping? Please contact Lisa.
Online art build coming! Once a few details are finalized, we will hold an online art build for a digital and/or fabric quilt with a team of volunteers creating a shared vision about the future and solutions we envision and are fighting to manifest. What do you love that you want to protect? No skills needed, just smiles. We will either cut and sew fabric and/or use fabric markers (that we will supply) or upcycle things you already have around your home. We’ll have specs for you to follow, and we’ll have fun together doing art on zoom! If you’re a quilter, let us know!
Relays from home: Would you like to participate in a skilled team doing relay from your homes to do one or more each of the following and pass it along?
Banner making: skilled with design, projection, painting, or sewing? Ongoing for various events of ours and for other groups we work with, including most recently MLK march, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), Protectors of the Salish Sea.
Prop making: skilled with a boxcutter and/or a paint brush? We’ll be making flames and smoke props in the next 2 weeks, and other things later.
Join the Artful Workgroup and get on our email list: We welcome all skill levels in any art form, or none. During these stay home, stay healthy times, we can still be impactful and connected with art across distance! Sign up here.
CLIMATE GRIEF AND EMPOWERMENT
So many of us long to take effective action on social injustice and the climate crisis but become paralyzed with fear and grief in the face of the vast scope of these challenges. You’re invited to join facilitators Vivien Sharples and Anna-Brown Griswold in a monthly group that gathers to feel, digest, and move through grief to empowerment.
Climate Grief and Empowerment Group–February Meeting
Saturday, February 13, 10:00–11:45am
Online, register here.
Learn more about the Climate Grief and Empowerment group here. We meet on the second Saturday of the month.
THE PEOPLE’S ECHO
The People’s Echo is a song collective based in Seattle creating and sharing music for social and climate justice. Join us for our monthly song teach-in! We’ll connect with our voices, each other, and the planet through sound and song. Everyone welcome!
TPE Song Teach-In with Special Guest
Wednesday, February 24, 6:00–7:30pm
Online, more details and RSVP here.
Have questions about TPE and our events? Email Hillary.
We also invite you to sign up for our listserv to get the latest updates from The People’s Echo!
OUR TEAM IS GROWING!
It’s an exciting period of growth for 350 Seattle! We’ve just added a new Staff Collective member and Campaigns Co-Director: Renaissance. He’ll be supporting our Fossil Fuel Resistance work, Port teams, and helping to build out strong leadership development programming.
Bob Kutter has joined the Board of Directors as the Leadership Team representative. And Akiksha Chatterji (Seattle for a Green New Deal), Doug Cole (Mutual Aid, Solidarity), Ingrid Elliott (Transportation), Miranda Marti (Maritime Solutions), Eric Ross (Artful Activism), and Cha Cha Sawyer (350 WA Civic Action Team) have all joined our Leadership Team.
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!
This was a long one, friends! Get out there and smell the witch-hazel 😉