by Rae Rose
In a landmark decision last month, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) became the first district in Washington state to commit to transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The unanimous vote came after years of work and testimony provided by youth, SPS employees, community members, and community organizations. This will definitely spotlight SPS as a leader and role model for other districts across our state to learn from in the fight for climate solutions.
This monumental decision will (I hope) serve as a catalyst for other districts to model and follow. United in their decision, all board members voted that the time to transition from fossil fuel dependency to clean renewable energy sources is now. The resolution, dated January 2021 and voted into action on Feb. 10, 2021, is a light of hope after an extremely hard and disheartening 2020.
Continue reading OPINION: Seattle Public Schools Commit to Going Fossil Fuel Free by 2040
by John Stafford
The Washington State legislature is in the middle of its 2021 session, a 105-day session that convened on Jan. 11 and will end on April 25. This year’s session is being conducted via Zoom and will generate three budgets — an operating budget, a transportation budget, and a capital budget. These budgets are two-year documents. They will be created this year (2021) and then again in 2023. In addition to the budgets, more than 1,000 bills are being introduced and debated for potential passage. There are a series of cutoff dates for bills, and we have just passed the Mar. 9 deadline for bills (other than revenue bills) to pass their chamber of origin in order to remain alive.
Continue reading The 2021 Washington State Legislative Session: A Midway Review
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Andrew Grant Houston, AIA, Founder and Design Head of House Cosmopolitan and Board Member of Futurewise, officially announced his run for Mayor on Jan. 12, and he is clear about the cornerstone of his campaign: housing. The queer, Black, and Latino architect and small business owner has a vision for meeting the demand for affordable housing in Seattle, and is eager to share just how housing is directly linked to climate justice and defunding the police by 50%. Houston serves as Interim Policy Manager for Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, and is a member of AIA Seattle, Share The Cities, The Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council, The Sunrise Movement, and the 43rd Democrats. He plans on contributing a portion of the campaign funds he receives to mutual aid groups he has worked with over the last year.
Houston, also known as “Ace,” recently spoke with the Emerald, telling us about his background, and the immediate actions Seattle needs to take in the next eight years to curb climate change. Check out his website at agh4sea.com.
Continue reading Q&A: Mayoral Candidate Andrew Grant Houston Shares His Vision for Seattle, Starting With Housing and Climate Justice
by Jack Russillo
On December 15, Governor Jay Inslee released a package of new climate change policies that will continue to push for cleaner fuel standards and limit greenhouse-gas emissions.
The announcement came during a press conference held by Inslee to announce his climate policy suggestions as part of his 2021-2023 budget proposal. The legislation will be voted on during the state legislature’s next regular session, which runs from January 11 to April 25.
Continue reading Inslee Announces Comprehensive Climate Policy for Washington’s 2021-2023 Budget
by Frances Lee
Melissa Watkinson recalls a time in the past when she could go crabbing at the end of the dock in the Puget Sound and catch a great deal of crab. She can’t do that anymore. These days, she has to go on a boat into deeper waters to catch any.
“My nieces won’t know what it’s like to be able to throw a pot at the end of a dock and catch some crab,” Watkinson said.
Continue reading Declining Marine Health Threatens Traditional Subsistence Fishing for Tribes
by Beverly Aarons
Dance is physical, primal, and ephemeral — bodies brush against each other, and sometimes audience members are so close that they could reach out and touch dancers as they glide by only a few feet away. So what happens to dance in a socially distant world where bodies must remain six feet apart and preferably masked? And how do dancers, choreographers, and the community adapt, change, and provide a sustainable model for the future? Donald Byrd, the artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater, introspected about how he and Spectrum are transforming and how he hopes to leave a legacy that will provide a model for creating dance performance in the future.
Continue reading What Happens to Professional Dance in a Socially Distant World?
by Katherine Long
(This story originally appeared in Bitterroot, an online magazine about the politics, economy, culture, and environment of the West.)
After wildfires ripped through California this fall, the plumes of smoke that enveloped the state underscored how millions of people living in the West are being exposed to air pollution. Climate change is likely to make fire and smoke problems worse. What that means for our health, though, is just starting to be understood by researchers. Continue reading Air Quality Is Better Everywhere But The West. Blame Wildfires
by Gus Marshall
South Seattle-based interdisciplinary visual artist Carol Rashawwna Williams explores the often-overlooked intersection of racial injustice and climate change. Her somber, monolithic prints slowly sway from the ceiling of Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery, evoking a grave feeling of interconnected grief and pain. Williams’ current exhibit, “For the Record”, showing through Oct. 11, examines the stark similarities and disparities of two seemingly different issues: global warming and the lasting impacts of slavery.
Williams also serves as the Co-Executive Director of Community Arts Create (CAC), a nonprofit. CAC works to combat gentrification and the displacement of communities of color in the Hillman City area by building and strengthening relationships through community art programs and neighborhood engagement. The South Seattle Emerald spoke with Williams about her upcoming annual fundraiser for Community Arts Create, which will take place on Oct. 25 at the Hillman City Collaboratory.
Continue reading Local artist draws connection between race and climate change
Extinction Rebellion Hosts Climate Change Rally April 15
by Julia Buck
When I wake up, I think about climate change. The thought crushes me; I cannot get up out of bed. I wonder whether our earth has 12 years, or only 10, or if maybe the tipping point has already passed and it’s all over but for the screaming. I might lay there 15 minutes. I might lay there two hours. But either way, I can’t get up with my alarm.
Continue reading OPINION: Grief and Hope at the End of the World
OpEds by Got Green appear in the South Seattle Emerald every month.
by Marion Romero and James Williams
As the month of April begins to unfold, the infamous Earth Day rolls around. Like years before, many people will plant trees, participate in park clean ups, or attend fairs that focus on sustainability and a cleaner planet. While these are positive things, we must understand that celebrating the Earth one day a year will not stop climate change.
Continue reading Got Green: Our Organizing Can Prevent Forest Fires