Artful Activism: Banners to Make & Unfurl

Who would like to learn how to make giant banners that can be seen from hundreds of feet away? If you've never been part of making banners with catchy phrases, or displaying them to make a BIG statement, you should take note. Even if you have done any part of bannering before -- wasn't it memorable? did you feel the impact?

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September 2014 News

Climate Knows No Borders

Organized by 350Seattle.org

Rally at the Peace Arch Park in solidarity with the People's Climate March in New York and in support of the Nawt-sa-maat Alliance to protect the Salish Sea.

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When: 1 pm Saturday, Sept 20
Where: Peace Arch Park, Blaine, WA at the US-Canadian border

To learn more and find out about carpools and bus transportation go to the event's Facebook page.

People's Climate March Seattle

Rally in solidarity with the People's Climate March in New York to promote Climate and Social Justice and raise awareness of the fossil fuel projects threatening the health of the people, integrity of the environment and the economy of Washington. This event is organized by the Green Party, Socialist Alternative, and Divest University of Washington.

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When: 1 pm, Sunday, Sep 21
Where: Westlake Park - gather to interact, hear speakers, and rally, then march to Myrtle Edwards Park

Check our website for updates and go here to learn more and volunteer.

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Green Party of Seattle July Newsletter

New Website

You are on the Green Party of Seattle's new website. Check in to find the latest news, updates, opportunities for renewing your membership, donating, volunteering, and a community blog. Feel free to publish your own and/or comment on existing blog posts. Be aware that blog posts do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Green Party.

http://gpos-gpwa.nationbuilder.com/

Recent Activities

Last weekend the Green Party was represented by several of us who were tabling in the Green Life section at the West Seattle Fair. The Green Life stage was right in front of our table thus providing us with ample opportunity to learn about topics ranging from non-native, invasive plants to safe bicycling in the city and solar energy systems.

General Membership Meeting

Join us at our next General Membership Meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, July 23 in room 3 at the Phinney Neighborhood Center located at the corner of Phinney Ave N & N 67th St (bus route 5). For directions follow the following link. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Phinney+Neighborhood+Center/@47.677076,-122.354029,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x54901439e6698893:0xf1c816bd5e6a1243

  • On the Agenda:
    • Hemp Fest
    • Neighborhood Groups
    • Bob Lewis Campaign
    • Local issue discussion

 


Guest Speaker David Bain: Killer Whale Protection and Recovery

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At the June 26 General Meeting David Bain, Killer Whale expert and conservationist, talked to us about Killer Whales, the threats they face, and protection and recovery issues. Killer Whales are threatened by loss of habitat, declining prey, pollution, and disturbances from whale watchers and military activity. Why should we care? As mammals we too are impacted by disruptions of marine ecosystems and nutrient cycles. In addition, Killer Whales are fascinating and share many traits with us. They are highly intelligent animals with a sophisticated social structure. They live and travel together in groups called pods and communicate with clicks, whistles, and pulses that vary from pod to pod just like human accents.

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Get Big Money Out of Politics Celebration and WAmend Thank You Procession

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Join 350.org and WAmend to celebrate the volunteers of the WAmend campaign and draw attention to the importance of getting corporate money out of politics. "Meet outside Greenlake Community Center at 3:00 and process a little over a mile along the lake path clockwise to Woodland Park picnic shelter number 4, arriving about 4:00 for the celebration with food, music, and good company!" For more information contact Lisa Marcus at lisamarcus@350Seattle.org - check the 350.org calendar (http://350seattle.org/calendar/) for updates.


$15/hr Minimum Wage Passes in Seattle!

On June 2nd Seattle city council members unanimously passed a historic proposal that will raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next seven years. The plan also mandates that the minimum wage continue to rise according to inflation rates. Congratulations to the council - especially council member Kshama Sawant, whose campaign last fall brought this issue into the spotlight. Unfortunately, there are some flaws in this legislation, including an extended phase in time of up to eleven years for employees of non-profits to receive a minimum wage on par with other sectors, exceptions for tipped professionals, and exceptions for the disabled. Because of these issues, we still support a voter initiative to raise the minimum wage in a quicker timeframe and with fewer exceptions. Nonetheless, this is a major victory for all Seattle workers.

Read more information here:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/02/seattle-plan-minimum-wage-hike-workers

And please support $15 Now in their continuing effort to raise the minimum wage across the country!

 


Green Party of Seattle participates at a Global Climate Convergence Event

Members of the GPOS (and some other GP members from other locals) attended the day long event called, "Connecting the Dots: Climate Justice, Economic Justice & Social Justice" at Seattle University on Sunday, April 27, 2014. This was jointly coordinated by three organizations:  350.org Seattle, Backbone Campaign, and Compassionate Seattle. The Green Party of Seattle was listed as an allied organization.

 


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In the room for tabling, the Green Party had a highly visible spot, identified by one of our new banners and also a sign board next to our table. Literature was shared with many people and there was beneficial networking done throughout the day.

350 Seattle presentations talked about the realities of climate change, and the need for collective action. Compassionate Seattle (which has hosted the Compassion Games and will again this fall) challenged everyone to come from a place of compassion and healing intent in all our actions.  I learned there that Seattle's City Council and Mayor in 2012 signed on to a proclamation, committing us to be a compassionate city. (See details below.) This gives us leverage to work on making ordinances and policies in the city to be more humane.

The Compassionate Action Network launched the 10 Year Campaign for Compassionate Cities in 2010. The Seattle members of this group meet with citizens, non-profits, educators, youth, businesses, and others to decide how to support the Charter for Compassion. They also share news, events, ideas, and resources with cities around the world in the Compassionate Cities group.

Backbone Campaign brought in a focus on helping people build skills in coalition work, addressing injustices on all fronts, from the personal to institutional oppressions built in on many levels to business as usual in our society. They hosted trainers from The Canopy Collective, an eco-feminist cooperative, to provide anti-oppression trainings that help build capacity for collaboration and collective liberation. Additional workshops were offered by other allied groups.

Compassion Games Opening Ceremony in Seattle There was a focus on anti-oppression work, in every activity, whether interactive, small groups in a Conversation Cafe, the community artwork being done on site, hearing a presentation or workshop. Specific topics and strategies were addressed on topics such as homelessness and housing, at-risk youth, compassionate education, health, minimum wage (and the current efforts of many in Seattle working to bring that up to $15 per hour), alternative economies, and other facets of economic justice, as well as the many levels of what we can do locally about the climate emergency, and what climate justice is all about.

A highlight for me was hearing the Keynote Speaker in the morning, Kathleen Dean Moore presenting "Ferocious Love" and seeing the auditorium full of so many different people representing different communities and causes, a wide spectrum of ages.  We also had moving performances of dance and music performed by youth in the opening plenary and some of it truly heart-rending -- hearing two young boys perform a song that posed a question to the audience, "What Will You Leave Behind?"

 

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Green Party of Seattle Endorses King County Metro Transit Ballot Measure

In the February general membership meeting, the Green Party of Seattle voted to endorse the King County Metro Transit ballot measure which will be up for vote on April 22, 2014.  A Seattle Time article about this is here.

Below is a letter from Brent White, long-time Green Party member in support of endorsement:

Sister/fellow Green Party members,

I respectfully request your consideration of King County Proposition 1, which was placed on the April 22nd ballot this past Monday, and hope you will vote to endorse it.

Proposition 1 would prevent a 17% cut to Metro bus service.  At a time when ridership is at its historic highest, packed buses are the norm rather than the exception, and automobile emissions account for half of the region’s carbon footprint, we can’t afford to go backward and push thousands of people back into driving single-occupant vehicles.

Proposition 1 would also create a low-income fare program, which would roll back fares for people under 200% of the federal poverty level to just $1.25.  This program will be a boon for affordability for low-income residents who ride the bus even just occasionally.  It isn’t the first program of its kind in the country, but it will be the largest so far.  Passage of Proposition 1 will reverberate across the county as other large-market transit agencies take notice and look at duplicating the program.

The downside of Proposition 1 is the funding mechanisms.  The main funding mechanism is a 0.1% sales tax increase.  I loathe and detest the idea of funding anything from sales tax, but it was one of only two funding sources the county had at its disposal to save Metro service.  In this case, the math works out very heavily in favor of the poor.  Imagine a hypothetical taxpayer who makes just below the $23,000 that is the cut-off for qualifying for the low-income fare program in a one-person household.  Even if every dime that person spent was on something with sales tax, the hit from the sales tax increase would be no more than $23 per year.  But rent and food from the grocery store aren’t sales-taxed.  So, a typical person earning that level will be paying a much lower amount than $23.  Every time that person rides the bus, she/he will be saving at least $1.25 over the non-low-income adult fare, or $2.50 for the round trip.  A typical low-income earner will wipe out any additional sales tax expense after just one or two round trips on the bus.

The other funding mechanism is raising the county car tab from $20 to $60.  However, the council added in a $20 rebate for people earning less than 45% of the county median income.  The $20 car tab would actually go away if Proposition 1 fails, as the 2-year congestion reduction charge program is due to expire.  It would take a low-income earner 16 round trips on the bus to wipe out this extra expense.  Approximately 40% of those in this category do not own a car, and are assumedly using the bus much more often than that.  For the other 60%, they would turn a profit on Proposition 1 after about 17 round trips on the bus (not including all the money saved on gas).

For a low-income (or no-income) earner who has a monthly bus pass, the annual savings would be at least $540, or $500 if they have a car tab to pay.

Proposition 1 isn’t just about preserving the current level of bus service.  40% of the revenue would go to local transportation projects (i.e. not for highways).  Potholes are regressive, and hurt all modes of transportation.  Every jurisdiction has a backlog of transportation infrastructure maintenance that needs funding.  The City of Seattle could spend its share on filling potholes, sidewalks, bike paths, or whatever is in the city’s various master plans.

I know some want to hold out for a more progressive funding option.  None will emerge before Metro has to start enacting the cuts.  But if some do later, and they pass, the county council has the option of rolling back the sales tax rate and the car tab.

Just like any other ballot proposition sent to voters, this proposition is far from perfect.  But the good this proposition will do far outweighs the bad of increasing taxes on the middle and upper class.  I hope you will all vote Yes to endorse a Yes vote on King County Proposition 1.

Thanks for your consideration,
Brent White

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