Seattle Needs A Green New Deal

We have a climate emergency. On the heels of the hottest June ever recorded worldwide, temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska just hit a record all-time high of 90 degrees this week. As one climate scientist described this summer’s heat waves, “Temperature records haven’t just been broken — they have been obliterated.”

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.

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 at point-of use, and 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.

Winning a Green New Deal — in Seattle and nationwide — will take building powerful movements which unite workers and environmental activists. We’re excited to announce that we’ve now been endorsed by the Sierra Club Washington State Chapter, Transit Riders Union and ATU 587! 

Kshama Sawant has a powerful record of environmental leadership. We’re proud to be endorsed the Washington State Chapter of the Sierra Club, the nation's largest environmental organization. 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.”

Amalgamated Transit Union 587 represents 4,500 bus drivers, technicians, and support staff, and we’re proud that they are one of the 14 unions already endorsing our campaign. Their national union took a bold stand at the height of the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline by calling for a trillion-dollar green energy program instead of further investment in fossil fuels. 

The Transit Riders Union has worked in coalition with Councilmember Sawant's office on a number of key issues, including taxing the rich and the Amazon Tax for affordable housing. A massive expansion of public transit is one of the most important components of a Green New Deal in Seattle. As Katie Wilson, the General Secretary of the Transit Riders Union said, “Since she was first elected in 2013, Kshama has been a strong voice for expanding mass transit and making transit free. She also understands that we can’t keep building our transit system on the backs of working and poor people— we have to fight to flip our regressive tax system so that wealthy people and corporations start paying their fair share for public goods like public transit.”

Avoiding climate catastrophe will take a rapid shift away from fossil fuels. We will need to bring the big U.S. energy corporations into democratic public ownership and retool them for clean energy. 

To try to quash the growing momentum for climate action, Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy (PSE) corporation has already invested $30,000 into the nearly $1 million-strong coffers of the Chamber of Commerce’s corporate PAC. The PAC has made defeating Kshama Sawant its top priority this election cycle. The latest campaign finance disclosures reveal that the PAC has already unleashed over $100,000 against our campaign, spending more on District 3’s race than on any other in the city.

More than 60% of PSE’s power in 2017 came from coal and natural gas, while less than 10% of Puget Sound Energy’s power comes from wind and solar. PSE has fought against modest initiatives to curb fossil fuel emissions at the state level, and they are currently constructing a dangerous liquid natural gas (fracking) export terminal in Tacoma on ancestral lands of the Puyallup tribe.

PSE is deeply threatened by our call for a Green New Deal for working people. They are determined to stop the re-election of Kshama Sawant, the socialist who makes things happen. We can’t afford to let them — donate today.

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  • Eva Metz