It’s been quite a year. We saw the federal government withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and begin to roll back years of progress curtailing climate change.
We also saw immense possibility and creative resistance here in Washington. Washington voters overwhelmingly supported candidates calling for climate action, and Governor Inslee has promised to make an “all-out effort” on climate next year.
We know 2018 can be the year for Washington to lead with bold, equitable, and effective climate action!
Before we take some much needed rest over the holidays we wanted to give you an update on what to expect next year, and what we’ve accomplished. We are really excited about where we are and how far where we have come together.
We will file an initiative with the state by the end of January.
The text of our initiative will be publicly available when we file. A large group of stakeholders are giving input into the initiative to make it the best it can possibly be.
We may file more than one version of the same initiative concept to see what ballot titles we are assigned by the Attorney General’s office. This is a common practice in initiative campaigns. We’ll hold a call for volunteers and activists in January to go over the initiative in detail.
We should have a ballot title and printed petitions by the beginning of March, at which point we could start gathering the 360,000 signatures we need to get on the ballot.
We also know that climate action will be a big issue in the legislature this year. Governor Inslee recently announced a proposal to put a price on carbon pollution and invest in solutions, and there may be others. We’ll be advocating in Olympia and if there’s a chance to pass equitable, effective climate policy, we’ll be all-in to make it happen. We’ll need your help to call for action, and we’ll be in touch in January about opportunities to reach out to your legislators.
At the same time we’ll be preparing to gather signatures for an initiative, so we’re ready if the legislature fails to act.
Growing the coalition
This year the Alliance grew to include 192 organizations, and we’re actively talking to other partners who are interested in equitable climate action.
Conversations are ongoing with a number of Tribal Nations including the Quinault Indian Nation, Tulalip Tribes, and Makah Tribe. Tribal Nations play a unique and important role as co-managers of natural resources with the state, and we look forward to partnering in this work to reduce pollution, protect communities, and sustain clean air, water, and ecosystems. We are also talking with members of the business community, and are hopeful that some businesses will step up as leaders on climate action in legislative conversations and at the ballot if the legislature fails to act.
Everyone has a role
We’ve never been closer to making bold, equitable, and effective climate action a reality. But there’s still a lot of work to do.
Coal, oil and fracked gas companies may spend upwards of $20 million to stop climate action. Against their deep pockets, this people-powered movement will make all the difference.
Thousands of you came forward this year to attend events, give presentations, make phone calls, and much more. You packed events in 18 cities and over 900 of you signed up as Climate Justice Stewards. Thank you so much!
Starting in January we’ll be calling on you to testify in Olympia, speak to your legislators, and help collect hundreds of thousands of signatures to get on the ballot if that’s what it takes. Sign up to volunteer today!
This work is innovative, essential and challenging. Like many of you we’ll be connecting with our families next week, and being reminded why we do it.
Together let’s make 2018 the year for climate action!
Washington Environmental Council
Washington State Labor Council
Community to Community
Washington Conservation Voters
Puget Sound Sage