Remember that toxic smoke engulfing our region last summer? We first heard about huge wildfires raging in
California, then in Oregon, then suddenly that health-threatening smoke spread all over our state, forcing us all
to stay inside for days.

Climate catastrophes don’t stop at state borders. So last year, SSCAN joined with other  local environmental, labor, and faith leaders from Sunrise, PSARA (Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action), etc. to create a state coalition to win national policies to protect all of us and our planet.

At our November Pass the Federal Green New Deal Coalition (PTFGND) meeting, we celebrated our presidential election victory: that more than 81 million of us voted, not only for a better president, but also for more progressive public policies to protect our climate
and people. In his speeches, Biden has committed to immediate, bold climate leadership. “With every bout of nature’s fury, caused by our own inaction, we see and feel devastation happening everywhere. The impacts of climate change don’t pick and choose,” Biden said in a September speech. We can make “concrete, actionable policies that create jobs, mitigate climate change, and put our nation on the road to net-zero emissions by no later than 2050,” he said. “We can invest in our infrastructure to make it stronger and more resilient, while at the same time tackling the root causes of climate change.”

Such good news. Now we don’t need to wait for Congress to win Green New Deal policies. The election of President
Biden means new possibilities for the Executive Branch to take climate action. 350.org Seattle leader, Selden Prentice,
gathered and shared a list of examples of immediate actions to undo executive orders and regulations the Trump Administration used to ease pollution rules and ignore climate change.

Of course, good intentions are not enough. As FDR said to justice advocates: You’ve persuaded me, now go out and organize to make me do it. So, our coalition decided to send a letter to President-elect Biden, along with a copy to our Democratic Congressional delegation, asking him to:  declare a Climate Emergency under the National Emergency Act to stop fossil fuel exports and infrastructure approvals. Use the Clean Air Act to set a science-based national pollution cap for greenhouse pollutants, and to drive emissions towards zero, economy-wide; and create an Office of Climate Mobilization. Although these Executive Branch options could be reversed by future
administrations, the public support for climate resilience is growing due to longer hurricane seasons in the gulf,
prolonged droughts and floods in the Midwest, and devastating wildfires in the West. We cannot be complacent
and must sustain and build to win and keep taking bold action.

We cannot rely only on the President.  Congress will remain an essential focus for climate justice funding and policies. Starting with the economic stimulus and pandemic relief funding, our tax dollars can be invested to “Build Back Better” to protect our planet, create millions of good jobs, and overcome racial disparities. To do that, last September, the PTFGND Coalition endorsed the THRIVE resolution (Transform, Heal, Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy). The THRIVE framework evaluates any revival plan to ensure it includes racial, economic, and environmental justice.

Now we invite you to amplify our call for rapid, bold, national climate action, starting with the THRIVE agenda. Let’s all hold our new President, all elected representatives, and federal agencies accountable to fund, create, and maintain Green New Deal policies and programs. As an individual or representing your group, you can write letters, make phone calls to your US Senators and/ or Congress member to support or oppose bills and budget items. Meet with your Congressional staff. Attend Town Halls to ask questions. Write letters to the editors of your local paper.”Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Fredrick Douglass
Yes, we can win and maintain sustainable environmental, economic, and social practices. Thanks to the PTFGND Coalition, now you, too, can be part of this campaign. If you would like to join us, please contact Beth, at admin@southseattleclimate.org

C