Many elected officials and candidates pay lip service to climate justice, but aren’t willing to stand up to the big fossil fuel corporations hellbent on polluting our planet for profit. I’ve consistently fought alongside young activists, indigenous leaders, union members and environmental organizations for climate justice. We urgently need to win a Green New Deal for working people and Seattle can lead the way. Our city can set an example for the type of bold policies that will be needed in this global struggle to avoid climate catastrophe.
There's zero time to waste in the fight for a Green New Deal.
Last year’s UN climate change report warned that we only have 12 years to drastically cut fossil fuels and prevent devastating repercussions of climate change. With a climate change denier in the White House who has filled his cabinet with fossil fuel interests, the need for grassroots struggle and bold leadership is only that much more urgent.
To say we are facing a “climate emergency” is an understatement. That’s why it’s not enough for politicians to just give lip service to the problem. We need bold solutions up to the scale of the crisis we face. This summer, June was the hottest month ever recorded globally. Then July was even hotter. Hurricanes and other extreme weather events driven by climate change are increasingly coming at the cost of human lives.
Since day one of this campaign, we’ve been calling for Seattle to lead the way on the climate crisis through a Green New Deal for working people. We need to make Seattle 100% renewable by 2030, tax the rich to massively expand public transit and make it fully electric and free. We can create thousands of well paying union jobs with a major program of wind and solar by Seattle public utilities and retrofitting homes and businesses to the highest efficiency standards.
But winning these measures will require building a fighting movement which is unafraid to stand up to powerful fossil fuel corporations.
We don’t have time for more status quo corporate-backed politicians who claim to support action on the climate, but are backed to the hilt by wealthy corporations who fiercely oppose a Green New Deal. Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has given an initial $30,000 to the Chamber of Commerce’s corporate PAC, the biggest of the corporate PACs pouring money against our campaign. More than 60% of PSE’s power in 2017 came from coal and natural gas, and less than 10% of their power comes from wind and solar. PSE and big business will do anything to stop us from winning a Green New Deal for Seattle.
Kshama Sawant has a powerful record of environmental leadership. Our campaign is proud to be endorsed the Washington State Chapter of the Sierra Club, bus drivers union ATU 587, the Transit Riders Union, Washington Bikes, indigenous leaders like Matt Remle, and environmental activists like Alec Connon.
As Alec Connon, an organizer with 350 Seattle speaking in a personal capacity, said: “Councilmember Sawant has been a continual advocate for Seattle to do more in the struggle against global warming; whether it was sponsoring the ordinance to sever ties with Wells Fargo because of its funding of the Dakota Access pipeline, the resolution to oppose the Tacoma LNG facility or standing with us against Shell's Polar Pioneer. Councilmember Sawant has done more than almost any other Councilmember to further the cause of climate justice in our city.”
The global threat of climate catastrophe requires a global fightback. That’s why it’s so important that millions of young people around the world walked out of classes on September 20 for the Climate Strike. Here in Seattle they were joined by a thousand Amazon workers who walked out of their workplaces, unions, ordinary people and activists from around the city. That's also why Kshama Sawant has teamed up with other socialist and progressive candidates to fight for a Seattle Green New Deal, including speaking at the Climate Strike alongside Shaun Scott and Tammy Morales.
Winning a Green New Deal will take a real mass movement. The City of Seattle should do everything possible to support our residents, especially youth and workers, getting organized and taking action – we need more, not fewer councilmembers, prepared to stand up to Big Oil and the political establishment.
The climate crisis is a product of the bankrupt system of capitalism. To avoid climate catastrophe, it will be necessary to take the big energy corporations into democratic public ownership and re-tool them for clean energy and mass transit, with a just transition and retraining for all fossil fuel workers. We need a socialist green economy, democratically planned and basing itself on the needs of people and the planet.
- Seattle should be a real climate leader by becoming 100% renewable-energy based by 2030.
- Tax the rich to massively expand public transit, making it fully electric and free.
- Create thousands of living-wage union jobs with a major expansion of wind and solar by Seattle public utilities, paid for by taxing big business.
- Retrofit homes and businesses to the highest efficiency standards.
- Electrify the port, with no loss of jobs, and with labor playing a central role. Protect our working waterfront!
- Massively cut emissions through rent control and a major expansion of social housing. Tens of thousands of area commuters travel long distances because they can’t afford to live near where they work.
- We need a rapid shift away from fossil fuels – bring the big U.S. energy corporations into democratic public ownership and retool them for clean energy.