Selected month-by-month newsletter highlights
Each newsletter also contained invites to Action Meetups and other SSCAN events as well as to MBMM events
- Reported on SSCAN members joining in testimony given to Washington’s US Senators against nuclear weapons at People’s Town Hall.
- Encouraged readers to take action to support Urban Forestry Commission’s Tree Protection Ordinance (dontclearcutseattle.org)
- Announced formation of a Tree Keeper team among SSCAN members. I didn’t see further information on this team.
- Reported on legislative priorities of the 37th LD Environment & Climate Caucus and encouraged action to support these priorities.
- Presented score card from 350 Seattle Action, UAW 4121 and Sunrise Seattle on pro-climate city council candidates and initiatives
- Reported on SSCAN member Greg Stinson’s presentation at Oct 2 meeting on new options for clean home heating, cooling and cooking. Slide show at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_LBzwewHyzdaUpYdTBUZ3BMQ3pOZ203RTBLdndUTGx1QWNB/view
Supported donations to / fundraising for MBMM
- Supported on. Jan. 20th MLK Day “20/20 Vision” Workshops, Rally and March, Sunrise National Green New Deal house parties and Environmental Priorities Annual Lobby Day in Olympia.
- Supported Protectors of the Salish Sea in declaring a climate emergency in Washington State as well as Encouraged support for Rep. Kirby’s HB 2829 that would have done the same.
- The Salish petition still needs signers at: https://protectorsofthesalishsea.org/
- Supported 350 Tacoma in opposing Puget Sound Energy rate hikes for fossil fuels
- Encouraged voting in King Conservation District election and shared information about the candidates.
- Encouraged people to participate in census
- Promoted Senator Saldana’s Town Hall
- Promoted Washington Labor Council movie, The Eternally Undocumented
- First online film discussion for movie, Cooked: Survival by Zipcode.
- Supported Got Green’s petition, Emergency Justice In Response to COVID-19.
- Announced postponement of all public meeting and events until further notice for public health reasons and urged readers to keep connected, learning and active in new ways to protect our climate and each other.
- Presented Climate Alliance’s COVID-19 Solidarity Resource Toolkit in support of disproportionately impacted workers and communities on the frontlines during the Covid-19 crisis and highlighted several items from that resource, including:
- On behalf of UFCW 21, donating unused personal protective gear for healthcare workers and signing the petition to demand protections for grocery store workers.
- Giving to Front & Centered’s Frontline Response Fund – COVID-19
- Giving to the Washington State Labor Council’s Foundation for Working Families
- Encouraged readers to reach out to Senator Saldana in thanks for her climate leadership and summarized key pieces of climate legislation that she led on including:
- Co-sponsorship of SB 5323 (plastic bags) which passed both chambers;
- Co-sponsorship of SB 5811, (clean car standards) which passed both chambers;
- Co-sponsorship of the companion bill to HB 1110 (clean fuels), which is still in the Senate;
- Co-sponsorship of 6278 (bottled water) which we have hopes will pass during the next session;
- Support of SB 5947 (Sustainable Farms and Fields)
- Promoted the Women Make Movies virtual film festival commemorating International Women’s Day (March 8) and Women’s History Month.
- Recommended the book Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold.
- Linked to SSCAN letter to Mayor Durkan urging to open more safe streets – and encouraged readers to follow up with their own letters.
- Supported the People’s Bailout – a coalition of over 800 organizations demanding a response to the Covid 19 crisis that protects workers and communities, counteracts inequity, and charts a path to a healthy, clean energy economy.
- Encouraged actions protecting the Post Office and right to vote in every state.
- Promoted Earth Day actions.
- In conjunction with promoting MMBM’s showing of Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, promoted past partner groups that support voters’ rights – including ACLU, League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, Common Purpose, and Fix Democracy First.
- Promoted actions supporting Henoko Bay near Okinawa in conjunction with MBMM’s showing of Our Island’s Treasure.
- Co-sponsored discussion of responses to film, Planet of the Humans.
- Promoted Give Big day.
- Discussed ways to promote racial justice, including reducing the police budget to sustain and increase public funding for health, homes and human welfare and progressive revenue proposals from the 37th LD Enviro & Climate Caucus and by SSCAN Legislative Chair John Stafford .
- Promoted Social Justice Film Festival documentary, Change in the Family.
- Promoted Seattle Cruise Control’s campaign opposing a new cruise ship terminal at the Port of Seattle.
- Promoted Fix Democracy First’s free screening and discussion of The Democracy Rebellion.
- Discussed upcoming resolutions in support of Initiative 131 (taxing big companies like Amazon) and against police use of chemical and other weapons against protesters.
- Promoted network-wide online screening of Suppressed: The Fight to Vote. This event drew over 300 attendees (400?) and featured a panel presentation with the filmmaker and founder of Brave New Films, Robert Greenwald, Washington Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, and the Director of Common Cause Georgia, Aunna Dennis.
- Presented SSCAN monthly meeting topics in advance: combining and connecting a Green, Black and Red New Deal; defunding police to invest in health, homes and green jobs for people most hurt by Covid19 and climate chaos; progressive local and state revenue options; and electing climate champions in Nov. 2020
- Promoted Got Green’s Emergency Justice petition which, to date, has raised over $700 from SSCAN members. https://gotgreen.ourpowerbase.net/civicrm/pcp/info?reset=1&id=390
- Promoted outreach to WA Senators and Representative Adam Smith to defund war and weapons to support amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act that would reduce next year’s $740 billion budget for militarism by 10 percent for the purpose of redirecting those funds to wiser purposes.
- Supported Nevada Desert Experience and allies who oppose the return to full-scale nuclear weapons testing. Nevada National Security Site.
- Reminded readers to vote in primary
- Promoted Indigenous Movie Festival
- Encouraged outreach to Senators Murray and Cantwell, and Rep. Adam Smith asking them to defund war and weapon and to fund human needs and, specifically, to support the End Polluter Welfare Act wh which would ensure that COVID-19 recovery funds go directly to the people and essential workers rather than to polluters
Encouraged outreach to Seattle City Council for their proposals to defund police and reach out to Mayor Durkan to support the Council proposals
Tammy Morales Seattle City Council, D2 Candidate 5/20/2019
#1. Are you familiar with the City of Seattle’s Climate Action Plan of April 2018? Do you believe the targets can be met?
Yes, I am. But I believe that the targets won’t be met if we continue to invest in infrastructure that prioritizes cars, and without a plan to move to a green electric grid.
Two-thirds of Seattle’s GHG emissions result from road transportation. The City’s Climate Action Plan of April 2018 states that transportation policies must aim to rapidly replace fossil fuel-powered vehicles with fully electric options and move single-occupancy trips to shared transportation. The target for reducing passenger vehicle emissions from 2008-2030 was set at 7.5%/year, yet the actual emissions reductions from 2008-2016 was only 0.2%/year. And worse, the last two years 2014-2016, emissions increased 0.4%/year.
#2. What are your plans to get us back on track?
We need to stop prioritizing cars in our infrastructure investments. In 2014, Seattle voters approved the Seattle Transportation Benefits District (STBD) to fund additional bus service. The STBD has been critical in not only growing transit ridership and increasing public transit access throughout the City, but also in providing free transportation to students and low-income Seattle residents. When the STBD expires in 2020, and we need to ensure that a voters feel confident voting for a replacement that goes even further. We also need to make better use of existing service and drivers by ensuring that buses aren’t stuck in traffic behind cars. Bus-only lanes, bus priority signals (where buses get a head-start at red lights), and transit-oriented pilot projects (like in-lane bus stops through temporary boarding platforms) need to be a standard part of our Complete Streets toolkit.
#3. What form of congestion pricing would you propose to reduce single-occupancy trips and improve mobility?
I’m conflicted about congestion pricing. It could be a sensible solution to reducing traffic downtown, but a) middle-class families who’ve been pushed out to the suburbs will mostly be paying it, b) it’s also not nearly enough to make the drastic reductions in carbon emissions that we need in the next 12 years, and c) in order to be equitable, funds raised from congestion pricing need to go back into public transit improvements that help not just folks in the city, but also people who have been displaced to the suburbs/exurbs. Discounted tolling schemes for lower-income folks are complicated, but at the same time we’ve seen research showing us that the lowest-income families aren’t driving.
Either way, I believe we are still years out from congestion pricing. It would be complicated solution and perhaps we should spend our energy and resources on things that have more immediate impact. We need more bus-only lanes, pedestrian-only streets, a complete bicycle network, etc. Any congestion pricing schemes will be inequitable if we’ve not yet built out alternative modes.
#4. How fast should the city-owned fleet convert to all electric vehicles and where will the money to pay for this conversion come from?
The city owned fleet should have been all-electric from the start. It would have required some capital investment and research, but all big transitions do, and capex upfront saves opex later on. We can not afford to keep kicking the can down the road. I would have to go with the timeline for conversion that the climate scientists have given us – 10 years. To be able to keep with this timeline, we must start now. I don’t have a specific answer for where the money should come from, but I know that it must be from the city’s largest polluters, and not off the backs of everyday working families and communities of color.
#5. As a council member, how can you help Seattle expand transit in general and rapid ride bus service specifically?
If we want people to use public transit instead of driving, we have to make sure that we have frequent reliable modes of public transit. Rapid Ride is a great example of that. I would work with allies on the King County council to expand the rapid ride program to underserved communities.
#6. How will the council work with stakeholders to develop recommendations for making all new for-hire vehicles (such as t Uber) in Seattle electric?
Uber drivers struggle with this business model already. Many are barely able to make a living because of the company’s practices around rate-setting and percent commission they take. I would need to understand better how drivers would be supported in purchasing these more expensive vehicles and what requirements would be made of the companies to achieve this goal.
#7. What is a reasonable time-line and should the city subsidize some of the cost of buying a for-hire electric car? This becomes a social justice issue as many operators are people of color, low income or immigrants.
I don’t believe the city should be subsidizing a private company. If we require the company to operate electric vehicles they should equip their workers with the necessary vehicles.
#8. Bike lanes are another way to reduce single-occupancy trips. What is the best configuration for bike lanes in terms of cyclist safety, access to small businesses, traffic flow, and expense of installation?
We absolutely need to stop delaying the basic bike network and build protected bike lanes. In addition, we need to fund proper maintenance of our bicycle facilities. During snow and ice events, protected bike lanes and neighborhood greenways need to be cleared. Bike lanes need to be regularly swept of leaves and debris, especially after heavy rainfall. We also need a regular schedule for replacing the flex posts that are used to protect bike lanes, or change to more robust protection like planter boxes everywhere.
#9. How would you incentivize transit-oriented development?
Transit oriented development is part of the city’s current plan for growth. Incentives include upzoning which allows developers to build an additional floor in their buildings. The pattern of development needs to take into account the different neighborhoods in the city and should prioritize racial equity in how projects are permitted.
#10. Would you require a percentage of the housing units in these developments to be affordable housing? (If yes, what is the percentage?)
Yes. We tried that with inclusionary zoning several years ago but it was bargained away and we ended up with a less effective tool – Mandatory Housing Affordability. I would require housing for people at less than 60% AMI in every project in every neighborhood. Ideally we would have at least 15% of units, but I would aim for having closer to 25%.
#11. Would you advocate for more up-zoning in Seattle (i.e., beyond the recent MHA decision)?
I would advocate for more urban infill to be allowed in single family zones. This would give more options for folks by increasing the number of garage and basement apartments, as well as more small-scale apartment buildings (20 units or less.)
Building energy-use represents one-third of Seattle’s GHG emissions.
#12. How can the City address energy consumption of existing buildings that are still powered by fossil fuels and/or in need of efficient upgrades, and also ensure future buildings have a positive impact on the City’s emissions?
Historically, any progress has made has been a result of ordinary working people standing up and fighting for labor rights, women’s suffrage, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmental protection. Markets did not spontaneously abolish child labor, We had to fight for laws to make that happen. We need to do the same for meaningful climate action now. I will fight and organize for laws requiring commercial buildings to cut GHG emissions by 50% in 10 years with a goal of moving to 100% green buildings by 2040. We also need to pass emission standards for new construction. I would ask for public hearings and include frontline climate workers in drafting our strategy for combating climate change.
#13. Would you accomplish that through incentives and how much will the incentives cost the City? Or would you enforce strict new building codes with deadlines and penalties for existing buildings to meet the new efficiency codes?
For small businesses, senior citizens whose income comes from their homes/ buildings, and working families we will need to have an investment and incentive approach. To make the transition easier, I would work with my colleagues on the council to revisit a public bank for Seattle. For large, extremely profitable corporations, who are incidentally also the city’s largest polluters, I would prefer a deadlines and fines approach.
In any decision we have to make on our plans for combating climate change, I will center small and immigrant owned businesses, communities of color, native tribes, and low income folks.
#14. Are you in favor of developing a program and funding strategy to incentivize conversion of oil-heated homes to electricity?
Yes, but this will help reduce green house emissions only if we have a green electric grid as well. Combating climate change in an equitable way is one of my top priorities, and I will fight for a committee with representatives of most impacted communities, frontline climate activists, native leaders, city council members, and small business owners to put together a comprehensive vision for a Seattle Green New Deal.
#15. Which of these or other climate change proposals would you intend to pursue during the next 4 years?
I would start with housing and transit as it would have the most positive material impact on the most vulnerable amongst us – low income folks, communities of color, and our houseless neighbors.
#16. What obstacles to implementation do you foresee?
The same obstacles that have been faced by progressive movements throughout history. Multi- national, large, extremely profitable corporations that will use their considerable influence and money to pit us against each other. There will be claims that moving to green energy will cost jobs and kill industries. To combat this, we have to make sure that the transition is just on the workers, and that we take working families with us.
#17. Would you like more information on these proposals?
Yes, please. I would love your input, and any resources you can give. As a mother of three children, this issue hits very close to home like millions of parents across the country. If elected, I would like to be armed with all the information I need and get input from the most impacted communities. If we want to get far, we have to go together.