Coming in March: South Sound Climate Action Convention

Save the date: March 25th

Last year the South Sound Climate Action Convention brought together over a hundred local activists to learn new skills, network, and make plans for taking action on climate change. In 2017 they’re back in a big way with a sense of urgency stoked by the outrageous attacks on climate protection policies from the Trump administration and GOP-led state governments.

The convention will offer seminars on tactics such as digital advertising and messaging, updates on state-level legislation, and in-dept discussions about local politics and direct action campaigns. Other seminars include:
• Social Media Marketing
• State and Local Elections
• Washington’s Renewable Portfolio Standard
• Direct Action on Climate and Clean Energy
• Carbon Pricing 2017
• The New Science of Political Judgement
• The Thin Green Line Blocking Fossil Fuel Projects

heckroberts

Keynote speaker David Roberts of Vox will get the day started in the morning, then in the afternoon U.S. Representative Denny Heck (D-WA10) will share his perspective at the post-convention reception.

The event is not only about listening and learning, it is first and foremost about action. In advance of the convention, there has been a set of project proposals that will be presented:
• Thurston Food Rescue
• Energy Retrofits for Multifamily Rental Housing
• Decarbonizing Puget Sound Energy
• Speaking Out for Olympia Climate Justice
• Plugging South Sound Neighborhoods into Rooftop Solar
• Overcoming Barriers to Electric Vehicle Adoption
• Advocating for a National Climate Policy

The Second Annual South Sound Climate Action Convention is scheduled for March 25th, 2017 from 9:30AM to 5:00PM. At the Olympia Center, the convention’s attendance is estimated in the hundreds.

Attendance is $20.00 per person, which will go to help severely needed efforts to save our climate and enact policies central to climate justice. Full and partial scholarships are available for students and volunteers.
To register, visit the event webpage and click “Register Now!”. We highly recommend also joining the event on Facebook.

Those interested in contributing to pre-convention planning, we encourage you to get in touch with Paul Elwood.

 

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Washington Republicans Mount All-Out Assault On Growth Management

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(Originally posted to The Urbanist, written by Doug Trumm)

Washington state Republicans have mounted an all-out assault on the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA). More than a half-dozen bills have been proposed seeking to either repeal the GMA or severely hamper its effectiveness at protecting natural and rural lands while focusing healthy urban growth patterns in cities and unincorporated urban areas across the state. This should be concerning to urbanists because the frequency and depth of the proposals are much greater than in previous years.

 

Since its passage in 1990, the GMA has been a longstanding bedrock for planning in Washington state. Twenty-nine out of Washington’s 39 counties fully plan under the GMA and collectively have more than 6,377,000 residents (approximately 95% of the state population in 2010). The Washington State Legislature, in defining the purpose of the GMA, states that it:

[F]inds that uncoordinated and unplanned growth, together with a lack of common goals expressing the public’s interest in the conservation and the wise use of our lands, pose a threat to the environment, sustainable economic development, and the health, safety, and high quality of life enjoyed by residents of this state. It is in the public interest that citizens, communities, local governments, and the private sector cooperate and coordinate with one another in comprehensive land use planning. Further, the legislature finds that it is in the public interest that economic development programs be shared with communities experiencing insufficient economic growth.

Put another way, the GMA serves to ensure that cities, counties, regions, and the state have a coordinated way to allocate public resources and services, to preserve critical and environmentally important areas, to retain natural and agricultural resources, to realize economic vitality across industry sectors and regions, and to provide people with quality housing options.

So why would we upend the GMA? In the sections below, I’ll highlight seven bills that would do great harm to the state and its residents by encouraging sprawl and by encroaching on wilderness and agricultural lands.

Numbers Wizardry

One proposal disguises itself as merely an exercise in “simplifying the population growth criteria for planning required by the Growth Management Act.” But House Bill 1101 is designed to prohibit any counties that might eventually hit the threshold for required participation in the GMA and eliminate the option of counties to voluntarily plan under it.

Using some numbers wizardry, the proposal would bump up the threshold to counties with a minimum population of 100,000 (up from 50,000) and that have had a growth rate of 20% (up from 17%) over the past 10 years. Such a county would also have to have at least one city with a population of at least 30,000 residents that has seen 20% growth over the past 10 years; that minimum population size for cities would also be a new condition.

This, however, would discourage counties from actually conducting growth management planning by instead sprawling outside of incorporated cities in order to skirt around participation in the GMA. At most, 12 of the state’s 39 counties might be required to participate in the GMA and shutout the rest for the foreseeable future.

“Voluntary” Participation

Another bill would go a step further by relegating the GMA an entirely voluntary approach to planning in counties. House Bill 1350 would strike requirements compelling counties to participate in growth management and actually force those currently operating under the system to positively reauthorize their participation by ordinance no later than December 31st of this year. If a county fails to do so, it would automatically be removed from participation in the GMA. The bill would also dismantle the Growth Management Hearings Board to adjudicate decisions related to compliance by counties and jurisdictions remaining within the GMA regime, and repeal substantial portions of the Act related to procedural and governing frameworks.

Downsize Rural And Agricultural Lands

Using small, sustainable farming as a rallying cry, a House bill would have disastrous impacts to controlling development on lands designated for rural and agricultural use. By inserting two sentences in the definitions section of the GMA, local governments would have no control on minimum lot sizes, the means by which most local governments use to retain rural and agricultural character and activities. With no minimum lot size standard to hang their hat on, it would be difficult for local governments to prohibit subdivision of land for non-agricultural or non-rural use.

Horsetrading Low-Income Housing For Urban Growth Area Expansions

Under a bizarrely written co-sponsored Senate bill by Republicans and Democrats, new urban land capacity analysis requirements would tilt the scales for local governments to pursue urban growth area expansions over urban infill development while also making some measurable gives to local governments to preserve low-income housing and implement homelessness assistance programs. The two-, or three-, or four-topic bill (depends upon how you want to count it) seems like a bait and switch.

The details of the proposed changes are complicated. But in short, the bill would modify how counties conduct urban land capacity analysis reports by requiring them to increase their fudge factors on available land supply for development and redevelopment while making lower assumptions for development on urban infill parcels typically associated with higher density residential and mixed-use. The language also turns the levers in other ways to downplay a preference toward planning for urban infill first before considering expansion of urban growth areas. The effect of the bill would be to force counties to bail on growth management planning and seek consumption of rural lands for new low-density urban residential development.

But the bill doesn’t stop there. It would also insert language specifically for school districts and port districts to subject land capacity analyses to further scrutiny. Those entities have a long history of trying to buy up cheap rural lands and then getting them added to urban growth areas to benefit from urban services. That provision is just another power grab against planned urban growth.

In exchange for these land grabs, the bill is chalked with a low-income housing preservation option and homelessness housing tool. Local governments would be able to establish a tax exemption program to preserved low-income multi-family and single-family units over a fifteen consecutive year period per property. Properties eligible for the program would have to meet certain health, safety, and environmental standards and have units set aside at or below 50% to 60% of the area median income for lower-income households. Additionally, provisions for a state-wide homelessness strategic plan would be significantly overhauled and a surcharge on certain publicly recorded documents could be authorized allowing proceeds to be used toward funding a county homeless housing plan.

All Children Left Behind

Another House bill seeks to make construction of elementary, middle, and high schools much easier in cities and counties planning under the GMA. That by itself seems like a worthy goal. One section would require that such uses generally be treated a permitted use in all zones, but that’s where the rub is.

While there’s nothing in the GMA that expressly prohibits schools in rural areas, siting them outside of urban growth areas is not a simple task. Water, sewer, and other public facilities are often a first step to making them feasible. With hundreds of students and staff on a single site, schools generally can’t rely upon on-site septic systems to manage those needs, which means a sewer connection is almost a must. However, the GMA classifies that type of public facility as an urban service; sewer extensions to uses in rural areas is generally prohibited.

The proposed bill would change that for schools allowing them to have unique access to an urban service outside of urban growth areas. School districts could also request special school siting procedures to amend a county’s comprehensive plan by ordinance at any time (a process limited to no more than once annually) to formally designate the use outside of an urban growth area.

There are a few fundamental problems with this approach to increase the ease of siting schools in rural areas:

  • It allows school districts to put school facilities in places where few people live making it difficult to build a community around a school;
  • It greatly reduces the ability for students to walk and bike to school and increases traffic, which ultimately decreases the safety of students getting to and from school and increases unhealthy habits;
  • It increases the need to bus students to and from school putting additional operating costs on taxpayers; and
  • It invites future urban growth area expansions to follow the development of schools.

The GMA already has tools in place to plan and identify spaces for schools to be located. The Legislature might be better served by focusing efforts in helping schools locate within urban growth areas and encouraging them to create urban-oriented schools instead of sprawling campuses in fields.

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

In a subtle but significant departure, some legislators are proposing to muck with defining characteristics of “rural development” by remove its distinction from urban growth and adding a qualifier that jobs must be a consideration in developing development regulations for rural areas. That probably sounds harmless. So why does it matter? And who doesn’t want jobs? The crux of the problem is the wholesale policy change in retreating from managing growth.

Counties with less than 100 residents per square mile or smaller than 225 square miles in size one and any cities within them would be allowed to broadly deviate from approved comprehensive plans and substantially loosen development regulations any time they assert that they have experienced “economic deterioration” or “economic stagnation.” They could even approve individual developments in direct conflict with the policies of the GMA if such economic circumstances warranted it. The risk here is that smaller counties could be given a pass on growth management compliance allowing things like oil refineries, large-scale server farms, and big box retailers to be developed in rural areas divorced from urban population centers. Putting some jobs in rural areas and fostering economic development in depressed areas aren’t bad ideas on their own, but skirting around and suspending the GMA is a penny wise, pound foolish way to do that.

Great Repeal Bill

The most extreme attempt to ravage the GMA is a great repeal bill. Under the guise of taxpayer interests, one House bill claims that the GMA “create[s] compliance costs that are a significant burden to taxpayers and inappropriate redirection of limited financial resources away from essential local government functions.” The authors of the bill further assert that “[t]he legislature finds also that the growth management act creates unfunded mandates for counties and cities facing numerous fiscal challenges.” These types of statements are facially false.

The GMA is actually designed to efficiently allocate public resources appropriately across urban and rural areas to reduce the burdens to local government. Planning ahead and in coordination between jurisdictions saves the taxpayer and developers a lot of money in the long-run. It’s also not by accident that counties participating in the GMA actively try to offload exurban and low-density residential land in urban fringe areas to cities. Servicing those types of areas with garbage and recycle, schools, fire and police, water and sewer, and electricity is considerably more costly for local governments than higher density residential, urban commercial and industrial, and mixed-use areas. It’s for this reason that the state has offered tax rebates to cities to annex low-density residential urban unincorporated areas that no one wants to gobble up–it’s simply not cheap to do.

Recognizing the financial strains that new development can place on local governments, the GMA wisely encourages minimum residential densities to make urban development at least partially pan out cost-wise. And while there are undoubtedly administrative challenges to implementing certain aspects of the GMA, the state has traditionally offered technical assistance through partner agencies and grants where there is need.

Don’t Fall For The Con Job

In the brave new world of alternative facts, Republicans think that they can blow smoke in the Legislature to con their way to uncontrolled growth and hamstring local governments. But urbanists should not fall for this type of obfuscation. The GMA, for all its flaws, is a worthy planning project to protect our environment and resource lands while putting urban growth in places that are best suited to handle and benefit from it. There are pragmatic ways to improve the GMA, but none of these bills seek to do that. Tell your legislators to oppose all of them.

Bills to oppose include: HB 1017, HB 1101, HB 1305, HB 1525HB 1609HB 1749, and SB 5254.

The featured image is from Chapter 3 of the King County 2016 Draft Comprehensive Plan.

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[URGENT] Climate justice needs your help!

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HB 1114 is a bill in the Washington House of Representatives that seeks to update state greenhouse emission limits, however there is a much stronger bill in HB 1372 known as the Our Children’s Trust (OCT) bill. Unfortunately, the weaker piece of legislation, HB 1144, has been scheduled for a hearing by the House Environment Committee for tomorrow, Monday, January 23rd at 1:30pm.

If HB 1144 is introduced for a vote in the House before Our Children’s Trust, it may lower the chances of the stronger piece of legislation passing.

ACTION –

We need everyone to call Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34), Chairman of the House Environment Committee, before 1:30pm tomorrow, Monday, January 23rd. We need to urge him to schedule a hearing for HB 1372 very soon so that legislators have the chance to hear about both proposals and their differences before taking them to a vote.

This only takes a couple of minutes and could mean the difference between having strong limits on greenhouse gas emissions or missing an opportunity to set a commanding precedence.

Here is a suggested script:

(360) 786-7952 (*Sarah Tucker is Rep. Fitzgibbon’s legislative aide and may pick up the phone)

Hi, with whom am I speaking?

Hi Sarah*/whoever picks up the phone. My name is ______ and I live in (neighborhood). (If you live in West Seattle, Vashon Island, or Burien [legislative district 34] make sure to also say “I am Rep. Fitzgibbon’s constituent”.)

I saw that the House Environment Committee is holding a hearing for HB 1144 scheduled today at 1:30pm. I am disappointed. I am calling to urge Representative Fitzgibbon to also schedule a hearing for HB 1372, a bill that also updates our state’s greenhouse emission targets. He must schedule a hearing for HB 1372 to be held well before HB 1144 goes to a vote in the House. We need further discussion about the differences between the two bills, and we cannot let differences among climate bills to divide us on the critical issue of our clean air and water.

Please tell Representative Fitzgibbon that I am urging him to schedule a hearing for HB 1372 soon. He has been a climate advocate, and I hope that he continues his good work. Thank you Sarah*/whoever picks up the phone.

Feel free to also add any of the following points:

  • Add a personal story about yourself, your family, or someone you know who would be effected by this legislation.
  • Make a point to mention that Washington remains one of the few states in the country that can still claim that progressive values exist in our state government. Washington needs to take a lead in the fight against climate change when no other state may.

ADDITIONAL ACTION –

If you are looking for some more easy steps to fight for climate justice, please take a few moments and also call the other Democratic members of the House Environment Committee if you are their constituent.

For a full list of representatives you can click here, however we are primarily targeting the 4th, 7th, 9th, 15th, 21st, 27th, 32nd, 34th, 37th, and 48th legislative districts.

HB 1144 AND 1372 DIFFERENCES –

Ultimately, the most important takeaway is that HB 1372‘s stronger targets will get us to 350ppm of greenhouse gasses whereas HB 1144 will not. Therefore, HB 1144 is not sufficient enough to achieve climate stability and clean air and water.

Other than emission targets, some other differences include:

  • HB 1372 has an enforcement and accountability mechanism while HB 1144 does not. HB 1372 indicates that the Department of Ecology must use its authority to put in place rules and regulations to meet the emission targets, and HB 1144 does not contain such language. In essence, HB 1144 does not require that the state act to achieve these emission targets, while HB 1372 does.
  • HB 1372 indicates that Washington must develop and implement a carbon sequestration plan. HB 1144 does not.
  • HB 1372 removes the exception for emissions of carbon dioxide from combustion of biomass. HB 1144 does not.

OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST BACKGROUND –

The Our Children’s Trust greenhouse gas emission reduction bill will update legislation passed in 2008 (RCW 70.235.020) to reflect the facts of climate science and put in place enforcement mechanisms to ensure that Washington State will act to achieve greenhouse gas reductions.

If you haven’t thanked your legislators for sponsoring HB 1372, or asking them to cosponsor if they haven’t done so yet, please take a few minutes to make a call. Thanking legislators for doing something positive is almost as important as urging them to do something.

The following representatives have cosponsored HB 1372, please call and thank them for taking the first steps to fighting climate change.

Gerry Pollet (D-46), Jessyn Farrell (D-46), Strom Peterson (D-21), Beth Doglio (D-22), Sherry Appleton (D-23), Noel Frame (D-36), Derek Stanford (D-1), Eileen Cody (D-34), Mia Gregerson (D-33), Nicole Macri (D-43), Eric Pettigrew (D-37), Roger Goodman (D-45), Gael Tarleton (D-36), Lilian Ortiz-Self (D-21), and Timm Ormsby (D-3)

If they have co-sponsored already

Hi, with whom am I speaking? (The answer is likely the legislative aide)

Hi Rep ________, my name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in (Neighborhood). I am calling to thank Representative (Last Name) for co-sponsoring HB 1372 updating Washington State’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. I am proud/thankful/happy/ that I am being represented by a strong climate advocate like Representative (Last Name).

I care deeply about the devastating effects of climate change because (your personal story/reasons here). (Personal stories are very important! Oftentimes, they are the most memorable thing an aide can bring to their legislator. If you work in a climate or environment-related field, this is a good time to bring it up so they understand that you have expertise in addition to passion, as a bonus.) 

I feel shocked/angry/saddened that Washington State has not taken more of a lead in the fight against climate change as other progressive states have, but I am hopeful/happy that Representative (Last Name) has taken the first steps to lead our state. Please let them know I truly appreciate their support for HB 1372.

If they have not yet cosponsored


Hi Representative (Last Name), my name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in (Neighborhood). I am calling to urge Representative (Last Name) to co-sponsor the bill numbered HB 1372 being introduced by Representative Jessyn Farrell to update Washington State’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

I care deeply about the devastating effects of climate change because (your personal story/reasons here). (Personal stories are very important! Oftentimes, they are the most memorable thing an aide can bring to their legislator. If you work in a climate or environment-related field, this is a good time to bring it up so they understand that you have expertise in addition to passion, as a bonus.)

I feel shocked/angry/saddened that Washington State has not taken more of a lead in the fight against climate change as other progressive states have.

Representative (Last Name), please lead this fight by first co-sponsoring the Our Children’s Trust greenhouse gas emission reduction bill, HB 1372.

Written by Arvia Morris

Federal coal program open to public comment – email template

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has placed a pause on new leases granted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for land development for coal.
During this period, the Department of the Interior will review their programs for coal-related land developments. This process has been opened to public comment by sending an email to BLM_WO_Coal_Program_PEIS_Comments@blm.gov
We encourage Washingtonians to submit their opinion of federally-approved coal developments in our state. WaDEC wishes to see the Bureau of Land Management take a stand for renewable energy sources and green jobs.
The caucus has provided a template for activists to send:
To: Coal Porgrammic EIS Scoping, Bureau of Land Management

The coal leasing program administered by the Bureau of Land Management is inconsistent with the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Coal companies already own or lease enough private land and to permit for the transfer of ownership of federal lands to coal companies would potentially position the United States to fail on its commitments in the Paris Agreement. Leasing public lands to coal companies would not only diminish the leadership that the United States has taken in international efforts to combat climate change, but would also pose a significant public health risk.

The Bureau of Land Management leasing program should be transformed into a program that encourages the development of clean, renewable energy sources. Solar farms and wind farms, for example, are developments that could benefit from BLM’s support. The creation of 21st century green energy jobs, commitment to the Paris Agreement, and the protection of public health should be top priorities for BLM developments. 

 Thank you for considering my views.

Sincerely,

<your name>

Press Release from the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy: Broad Coalition Unites for New Climate Initiative

Sameer Ranade, Climate and Clean Energy Campaign Associate at the Washington Environmental Council, spoke to the Washington Democratic Environmental Caucus during our meeting on October 11th about the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy‘s objectives in advancing progressive climate policy in 2016.

Sameer spoke about the Alliance’s commitment towards advancing a carbon pricing system in Washington, drawing inspiration from California’s carbon pricing system that took effect in 2012. While specific details aren’t entirely finalized, Sameer stressed the Alliance’s priority towards building a broad coalition of environmental policy advocates, disadvantages and minority communities, and business leaders in creating a proposal with wide support.

Originally posted to the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy’s website.

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Joe Fitzgibbon at the October 2015 Caucus Meeting

The Washington Democratic Environmental Caucus had the privilege of having Representative Joe Fitzgibbon of the 34th Legislative District (Vashon Island/West Seattle) speak in regards to past, current, and future legislative efforts towards shaping climate policy. Rep. Fitzgibbon reflected on Governor Chris Gregoire’s attempt at implementing a cap-and-trade system in 2009 to reduce carbon emissions. He talked about how Democrats were unable to pass Gregoire’s ambitious plan, even with a majority in both chambers. Rep. Fitzgibbon stressed the importance of WaDEC as an advocacy organization to lead the effort in pressuring Democrats to pass progressive climate policy measures, a missed opportunity six years ago. He estimated that today about 90 to 95 percent of Democrats would support stronger climate policy standards compared to just a few years ago.

Rep. Fitzgibbon talked about the support that the most recent carbon emissions bill had in the Legislature, noting that “literally just two Democrats” opposed the carbon tax plan because of concerns about businesses in their districts. He noted that the single best thing that can be done to promote progressive environmental policies are to elect more Democrats to the Legislature, going without saying that the slimmer majority in the House and minority in the Senate make it much more difficult – if not impossible – to advance comprehensive climate legislation. Rep. Fitzgibbon mentioned the importance around Carol Gregory’s campaign to retain her seat in the House as important at maintaining a strong Democratic majority in the House.

Short term, however, Rep. Fitzgibbon said the good steps include lobbying existing Democrats in the legislature to build support for progressive climate agendas, noting the number of threats that Initiative 937 has sustained almost every legislative session. As for the competing climate plans from the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and CarbonWA, Rep. Fitzgibbon said “both ideas are good, and both could work”.

Agenda for the October 2015 Caucus Meeting

Below is a brief agenda for the second meeting of the Washington Democratic Environmental Caucus, on October 11th, 2015 in Westlake, Seattle.

  1. Call meeting to order – Arvia Morris and John Stafford
  2. Welcome and caucus introduction – Arvia Morris
  3. Speaker and discussion introduction – John Stafford
  4. Speaker: Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D) of the 34th Legislative District; Chair of the House Environment Committee
  5. Speaker: Mr. Sameer Ranade, Campaign Associate for the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy
  6. Speaker: Mr. Kyle Murphy, Co-Director of CarbonWA
  7. Question and answer session, moderated by John Stafford
  8. Breakout groups – topics
    1. Set up an environmental caucus in your legislative district.
    2. Identify a specific action that you are willing to commit to taking.
    3. Follow one climate policy bill or issue during the 2016 legislative session.

WaDEC Announces Base Strategic Plan

The Washington Democratic Environmental Caucus now has a foundational strategic plan on how the organization seeks to move into 2016, begin its activist efforts in Olympia, and how its internal structure will operate.

Guiding us is the preliminary mission statement adopted at our first meeting in June:

Our mission is to assure that environmental issues, and in particular climate disruption, is addressed in policies, platform positions, resolutions and endorsements of the Democratic Party of Washington State.

This caucus seeks to take every opportunity to join with community groups and media outlets to increase awareness of environmental issues, including their link to social justice issues that face our world today.

TWO TIER STRUCTURE
The Caucus will operate at two levels:
First, each member Democratic Legislative District Organization will be encourage to establish its own formal caucus focusing on environmental affairs. WaDEC will assist in the organization of these LD-level caucuses by steering volunteers towards the model successfully engineered by the 43rd Legislative District Democrats.
These groups will work to generate grassroots support for environmental initiatives and policy agendas.

Second, the Washington Democratic Environmental Caucus, acting as an umbrella organization, will integrate the efforts of the LD-level caucuses and play a lead role in the planning of major policy movements and initiatives.

MEETING SCHEDULES
Although encouraged to meet on a monthly basis, WaDEC meetings will occur on an as-needed basis, with at least one meeting per quarter.

MEMBERSHIP
Leadership of the caucus will consist of members of the Democratic Party of Washington State.
Membership will be open to all individuals committed to progressive environmental reform. We will encourage the networking of the caucus with other environmental and advocacy groups that share our common goals.
Initial recruitment will focus on the Puget Sound area, but later expand throughout Washington State.

ORGANIZATION
Outside of our current organization, we will consider the addition of a treasurer and secretary if the growth of the caucus makes such positions necessary.
The election of these positions will be determined by voice vote of WaDEC members.

PROPOSING INITIATIVES
The impetus for developing environmental initiatives will come from individual members of the caucus. As such, the organization will be driven by momentum from the bottom-up. Thus, a member could develop an initiative to propose for assistance, guidance, and/or endorsement from the caucus.

MEANS OF EFFECTING CHANGE
WaDEC will use an array of approaches to advocate for policy change, depending on the needs of the specific initiative. These will include, but not be limited to: contacting legislators and policy makers; educational programming; passing resolutions; writing editorials; interviewing and endorsing candidates; influencing policy platforms; passing out fliers at community events; conducting awareness campaigns; marching in rallies; etc.

Second Caucus Meeting: October 11th

Join us in October as we look ahead to 2016 and begin to place the foundations for our cause. We have planned a panel on carbon pricing in Washington State, what it means, and how to move it forward.
Joining us will be Representative Joe Fitzgibbon from the 34th Legislative District who will bring to the Caucus some insight into Olympia and advice on how the Caucus can be successful in lobbying efforts.

Details can be found at our event page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1436441030014250/.

Welcome! An introduction to the Washington Democratic Environmental Caucus

WaDEC was originally conceived by the 43rd Legislative District Democrats’s environmental caucus, as the Puget Sound Democratic Party Environmental Caucus. Arvia Morris, a Precinct Committee Officer and member of the 43rd’s environmental caucus, led organizing efforts for what became the Washington Democratic Environmental Caucus.

Activists from the 21st, 24th, 32nd, 36th, 41st, 43rd, and 46th Legislative District Democratic organizations assembled in Wallingford to organize and rename the organization the Washington Democratic Environmental Caucus, or WaDEC, to reflect our commitment to environmental activism across the state.

At our founding meeting on June 7th, 2015, we adopted the interim mission statement:

The Washington Democratic Environmental Caucus (WaDEC) strives to assure that environmental issues, in particular climate disruption, is addressed in policies, platforms positions, resolutions and endorsements of the Democratic Party Organization.

The caucus seeks to take every opportunity to join with community groups and media outlets to increase awareness of the environmental issues including their link to social justice that face our world today.

We’ve committed to further strengthening our mission statement as well as the organization of our caucus at our next organizing meeting on September 20th, 2015.