by Tushar Khurana
In September 2019, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed a law that would tax home heating oil sold within the city and could eventually require residents to upgrade or decommission their heating oil tanks by 2028. The legislation was introduced to meet the City’s climate goals by hastening the transition to cleaner electric home heating across the city. It was also lauded in a mayoral press release as a “bold and thoughtful approach” to environmental policy that “help[s] our most vulnerable residents move off heating oil.” Revenue from the tax is intended to fund rebates for homeowners and help provide 1,000 fully paid electric heat pump installations for low-income residents.
Continue reading Seattle’s Heating Oil Tax: A Missed Opportunity for Environmental Justice
by Kevin Schofield
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, this weekend’s “long read” is a look to the future of transportation in Seattle and specifically how City officials intend to turn it green.
This past week the City of Seattle released its “blueprint” for how it intends to move to a transportation system that is nearly entirely electric by 2030. City leaders feel a sense of urgency about this, as Seattle has not been meeting its climate-change goals. In fact, according to the City it has “flatlined” on reducing transportation emissions, with only a 2% reduction since 2008.
As is frequently the case, the blueprint leads with climate justice principles. In this case, it emphasizes that the transformation to all-electric should address the higher levels of pollution in low-income and communities of color in the city, the inequities in availability of transportation to some communities, and making sure that new economic opportunities — both green jobs and investments in communities — are made available to all Seattle residents.
Continue reading Weekend Long Reads: Seattle’s Vision for an All-Electric Transportation System
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