On November 18th, members of the SSCAN Leadership Team met with Representative Joe Fitzgibbon to discuss our victories in the last session and to push for continued legislative action to protect the climate in the upcoming 2020 session. SSCAN meets regularly with legislators from the 37th, 34th, and 11th legislative districts. Contact admin@southseattleclimate.org to learn how to get involved.

 

November 18, 2019

Dear Joe Fitzgibbon,

Thank you for meeting with us, and more importantly, for being a legislator who stands up for the crucial cause of climate, even in the face of strong opposition.   

Our civilization is at the beginning of a perilous climate emergency. As climate justice advocates, we see the need for systematic changes that can both transition our economy away from fossil fuels while also preparing for the coming changes with a vision of equity and community building. We support the Green New Deal. And on the State legislative level we support a wide array of bills that bring some of these needed changes. Specifically, we will continue to support the following legislation:

  • ZEV Mandate
  • Internal Combustion Engine phase out for public agencies
  • Internal Combustion Engine phase out for general public
  • Camera safety enforcement for Crosswalks and bus lanes
  • Low carbon fuel standard
  • Carbon Tax
  • Waste reduction 
  • And others…!

We also ask for your support in three new areas: progressive tax reform, low carbon land use reform, and reduction in military spending as well as opposition to nuclear weapons.  There are many reasons to support these efforts — for each we would like to add a note about their importance in the context of the climate emergency. 

Progressive tax reform:  To pay for the Green New Deal, local and state Governments need adequate revenue that is based on a fair tax system.  We don’t have this now. A recent report found that in our current tax structure “the poorest fifth of residents pay 17.8 percent, (while) the top 1 percent only pay about 3 percent of their income in taxes.” Our state and local  tax system, considered the most regressive in the country, has long been unfair and dysfunctional. As the crises of climate change hit us, that will become dramatically worse — our poorest communities will both pay the highest state and local taxes, and face the brunt of damages from heat waves, floods, and poor air quality. 

Low Carbon Land Use reform; The land use patterns of most of our communities around the state have been built for cars to be the sole significant transportation mode. These low density communities, a.k.a. suburban sprawl, have much bigger carbon footprints that denser, transit oriented development. Please explore Legislation that both limits the future construction of sprawling development, and retrofits existing communities. 

Military Spending and Opposition to Nuclear Weapons. A recent report from NuclearBan.US (www.nuclearban.us/w2w/) shows three ways eliminating nuclear weapons will help solve the climate crisis: 1) Money: The Federal government spends a staggering amount of our tax dollars on the production, maintenance, and modernization of nuclear weapons, estimated in 2019 to be $54.8 billion which could fund the Green New Deal. 2) Scientific and Engineering Talent: In 2016, in the U.S., 5 out of 10 STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates went to work for companies that design, build and maintain nuclear weapons. We need that talent to solve our climate crisis. 3) Deadly competition vs. international  cooperation: Solving the problems of climate catastrophe will require unprecedented cooperation between all nations. The nine nuclear armed nations should come together to eliminate nuclear weapons. The non-nuclear nations have already negotiated a nuclear ban treaty. (Sources: NuclearBan.US, Seattle Anti-War Coalition)

Again thank you for meeting with us and for all you work. We look forward to a productive short session.  Onward!

Sincerely,

 

Leadership Team

South Seattle Climate Action Network