Dear SSCAN volunteers and friends,
I’m writing to urge you to join SSCAN in urging the City Council to establish a Select Committee for Climate.
The impacts of climate change are obvious and getting worse, more than they were a year ago, more than a month ago, more than a week ago. They are killing people. We as individuals and governments at every level must do all we can to reduce Green House Gas emissions. Seattle’s goal should be to provide national leadership on climate. Other cities’ leaders should be saying, “If Seattle can do it, so can we.” Unfortunately, we don’t have and we urgently need committed and effective elected leaders in Seattle who are climate champions.
You can write a letter now to the Councilmember in your council district urging his/her support for a Seattle City Council Select Climate on Climate. [See suggested draft below.]
You can testify before the full council at the Council Meeting on Monday afternoon, December 13. On that date advocates hope to have people from all districts testify in support of a select committee. [See suggested talking points below. Feel free to insert your own.]
In December the Council is deciding what Council committees will exist in 2022-23 and who will lead them. And the council president plays a central role in making committee assignments. It is often part of the bargaining that determines who will be council president. A Select Committee on Climate is the most immediate path to cultivating climate leadership. Those discussions are going on now. If it does not happen now, it won’t happen.
At SSCAN, we believe that our local, state and federal policies must have protection of the environment at the center. Establishing a Seattle City Council Select Committee on Climate will help to make this happen locally. We ask for your help in promoting this new committee.
Please engage on this, and if you have questions you can contact streetjim2 @ gmail.com
Draft Letter to Your Councilmember
Dear Councilmember ………
[On behalf of ***] [As a resident of Council District ***] I urge you to support the establishment of a Select Council Committee for Climate as part of the council reorganization in 2022-23.
As citizens we need to believe that our combined efforts are on track to reduce Seattle’s GHG emissions by 50% in 2030, and if not, why not. Right now, neither the Council nor citizens have the means to achieve either transparency or accountability or public engagement as we strive to meet our climate goals.
A Select Committee will underscore the central priority the Council and the City give to addressing climate change and climate justice. It will afford you and other councilmembers the opportunity to step forward as true climate champions.
Addressing climate change in every way possible cannot wait.
Talking Points for Council meeting testimony on December 13
Good morning. My name is ****. I live in the ***th Council District.
Climate Change is an existential crisis.
*It is a major problem today, but I worry about its effects on my children…and children everywhere.
Seattle has made some progress on climate related actions. But not enough or fast enough.
As a citizen I have no idea whether we are on track to achieve the 2030 goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. Do you know?
I have no idea what actions have the highest priority for achieving that goal. If they exist, are we on track to meet established schedules? Do you know?
We need climate champions on the Council. I don’t think we have one.
A Select Committee will underscore the central priority the Council and the City give to addressing climate change and climate justice.
It will provide the accountability and transparency we urgently need.
It will afford you the opportunity to step forward as true climate champions.
Please establish a Select Committee that would lead on these issues as part of your committee reorganization for 2022-23.
Why do we need a select committee?
- Standing committees would continue to have an essential and very important role in the review of issues and recommendations for specific legislative actions: however,
- Six different council committees addressing different parts of the whole and bringing them separately to the full council do not produce a coherent set of agreed city goals, strategies and priorities for action.
- Citizen understanding and support for those city commitments are essential, given the roles we as individual citizens must also play in achieving those goals.
- We need to believe that our combined efforts are on track to reduce Seattle’s GHG emissions by 50% in 2030, and if not, why not.
What would be on the Select Committee’s agenda?
- Work with the Mayor, the public and the Green New Deal Oversight Board to establish agreed City strategies that are based on the most cost effective and time effective path to GHG emission reduction and climate justice.
- Assure regular access of the Green New Deal Oversight Board to the full Council and the public to offer insight and perspective from those communities most impacted by economic, racial, and environmental injustice as laid out in the Council-adopted Green New Deal for Seattle.
- Monitor schedules, work plans, budgets and implementation status for priority strategies to ensure that the climate actions are on track and to share results with the public in real time.
- Monitor key indicators to provide meaningful data on emission reductions for buildings and transportation – to be updated and shared with the public in real time.
- Support development of and actively engage in the implementation of a city-wide education, outreach and communications plan for climate.
- Support development of and actively participate in city-wide leadership development and capacity-building initiatives focused on climate.