Last month we did our annual volunteer survey, and one of the things that came up was a sense that folks wanted to know more about what’s happening across the organization. Since lots of our volunteers and activists are really focused on one area of our work it can be hard to keep up with all of the moving parts of the organization and the many campaigns we’re working on!
So, we’re starting this new monthly team & campaign update newsletter!
Below you’ll find a brief blurb about what each of our teams and campaigns are up to, and info on any other projects going on. You’ll also find info about what volunteer opportunities and needs each team might have, and how to get involved.
Like what you see? Too much info? Not enough? Other ideas of what to include? Let us know by replying to this email, we’re always looking for feedback, especially when we launch something new.
Fossil Fuel Resistance
We’re hard at work in our Gasbusters sub-team right now! We’re fighting the greenwashing of utilities like Northwest Natural who’ve been pushing false and dangerous “solutions” like “renewable natural gas” while getting in the way of passing and implementing meaningful policy that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. We’ve recently won a resolution at Multnomah County that bans gas from being hooked up to new construction in County-owned public buildings, which is an awesome step in the right direction, but just a first step towards what we really need to implement: a ban on fossil fuels in any and all new buildings in the County. New buildings that are hooked up to gas must be seen for what they are: new fossil fuel infrastructure that locks us into dirty and polluting energy for decades to come. Electrification is a solution that can create a just transition to homes and buildings that are safer, healthier, and more resilient, and powered by clean energy.
To join our team, reach out to Melanie (email@example.com) and Ana (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our full Fossil Fuel Resistance team meets virtually every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 5:30pm, and our Gasbusters team meets every other Thursday at 4pm. Read more about this team.
Our team follows the money and works as part of a national coalition StopTheMoneyPipeline (STMP). We have been working with STMP and frontline Indigenous resistance to defund Line 3, a tar sands pipeline in Minnesota owned by Enbridge Energy. We are lobbying the State Treasurer to support corporate responsibility for climate consequences at corporate shareholder annual meetings. Our team had a informative and successful Q&A with State Treasurer Tobias Read May 5 with a financial planner who explained the fiscal responsibility of ending fossil fuel industry investments, statewide stakeholders such as public employee unions and youth climate activists who called on the state to divest, and – with 281 participants – lots of questions for the Treasurer! Now we are assessing a divestment campaign, working on research, communications, building coalition, talking with other states similarly engaged, and strategy. Choose what interests you! Reach out to Jenifer (jenifer@350PDX.org) for conversation about our team, and ask to be sent our weekly team email. We meet on the 4th Thursday, 7-8:30 pm. For more go to our team web pages.
Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity
The Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity campaign, led by frontline climate and environmental justice groups from across the state and supported by allies like 350PDX, is working to pass three bills in 2021 that will create good local jobs, reduce pollution, and improve our state’s resiliency by transitioning to 100% clean energy. On Thursday, our campaign saw a historic win when the Energy Affordability Act, which will help low-income families afford their energy bills, passed the Oregon Senate with bipartisan support! The bill will now move to Governor Brown’s office for her signature.
Our campaign is still working hard to pass Healthy Homes and 100% Clean Energy For All through the legislature this year. Our staff and volunteers will be phonebanking, writing to legislators, and submitting testimony on these bills through the end of the session in July! If you’d like to know more about how you can get involved with this campaign, please contact Dineen O’Rourke at email@example.com.
With our big win with the Board of Forestry in March we’re currently taking some time to figure out our overarching principles and vision for the team and for the future of forests in the Pacific Northwest, and planning our next campaign. Read more here.
We virtually meet first and third Mondays 6pm – contact Leslie for info (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our Solidarity Team organizes in the intersections of climate justice and social justice movements through genuine partnership and coalition building. We’re currently focused on campaigns for racial justice and defunding the police, as well as global solidarity and anti-militarism. We are looking for volunteers who are committed to anti-racist values and centering the leadership of frontline communities, and excited to be a part of local coalitions to further racial justice and global solidarity. In addition to supporting local campaigns and partners, we also seek to educate the rest of our 350PDX community on the issues we work on through webinars and a potential movie-in-the-park series. Want to join the team? Email email@example.com and dine
This spring and summer, the Watchdog team is continuing to self-study and incorporate a focused anti-racist lens as we advocate for frontline community priorities and demand action and resources on scale with the Climate Emergency that Portland declared in June 2020. Here’s what we’re up to right now:
- Watching the current City budget cycle, the upcoming Climate Emergency Progress Report, the City and County charter reviews, and the implementation of a new climate justice governance structure that will guide justice-based climate actions for Portland and Multnomah County.
- Integrating justice, equity, diversity and inclusion principles across 350PDX campaign teams, including the Watchdog team.
Green New Deal
The Green New Deal team is organizing outreach and political education to neighborhood associations, faith communities, and other communities to raise awareness and foster involvement in promoting and advocating for Green New Deal policies. Right now, we’re supporting Green New Deal legislation in Oregon’s legislative session advanced by the Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity campaign and the Oregon Public Bank Alliance. We’ve also recently hosted Ira Cuello-Martinez of Pineros Y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) and Megan Snoeyink of Portland State University (and 350PDX’s JEDI Committee) for a discussion of heat and smoke impacts on farmworkers and their health, and are now engaging with an OSHA rulemaking process to put stronger protections in place. If you’d like to join our team as a Green New Deal educator and advocate, or if you’d like to request a presentation for your community, please contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Our newest team, formed by a merger of the Arts and Comms team, we are busy setting ourselves up to be the creative powerhouse of 350PDX. We make the climate justice movement so beautiful and compelling, it’s irresistible to join! We are writers, videographers, graphic designers, photographers, project managers, story strategists, puppeteers, actors, screen-printers… you get the idea.
We have two sub-teams: The Art team and the Story team.
- The Story folks help figure out a campaign’s narrative strategy. We use a “story-based strategy” method to help campaign teams take apart dominant narratives and craft new stories. We investigate the myths we believe, build and participate in, and pause to bring deeper intentionality to campaign words, imagery and assumptions.
- The Art folks work hand-in-hand with the Story folks and campaign teams to produce gorgeous creative products that surprise and delight, while bringing the campaign’s story to life.
We also have a roster of folks who want to share their skills in one-off kinds of ways. Join us! email@example.com
The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee serves as the major driver of 350PDX’s JEDI work, implementing our 3 year 2020-2022 JEDI plan. Over the past few months we’ve been focused on completing the JEDI cohort and rolling out more training resources around anti-racism, justice, and equity (read more on both of those in the Other Updates section below).
We’re always looking for new members with JEDI experience or knowledge – learn more about the committee and apply here.
We also said goodbye to two staff members in the past few months, our Development Manager Ashley Weatherspoon, and our Grants & Planning Manager Lucy Kennedy-Wong. 350PDX is a stronger, safer, and better place because of you. Thank you both for your years at 350PDX, you will be missed!
The hiring deadline has closed for our new part-time Communications Manager position, so expect to see that position filled in the next month! We’re still looking for more applicants for the Finance & Operations Manager fulltime position, so please share that with anyone you think would be a good fit!
Last month the board welcomed a new member, Evie Vermeer! Read about him here, or get to know him on the Forest Defense Team, where you’ll also find him. The board is still looking to elect a couple more members, especially folks who can bring lived experience as community members on the frontlines of the climate justice struggle. If you or someone you know might be a good fit, learn more here and get in touch.
350PDX’s first JEDI cohort wrapped up at the end of April! For the past four months, 15 volunteers (at least one person from every team) have been taking part in an intensive biweekly training on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). Topics included climate justice, anti-racism, white supremacy cultural traits, microaggressions, centering frontline leadership, and conflict (more info here). While our long term aim is to train all our volunteers on these topics, this first cohort is an important step to make sure our teams are practicing anti-oppression, centering on climate justice, and are providing a safer and more welcoming space for everyone, especially marginalized communities.
Thank you so much to volunteers Alex, Ana, Annie, Ari, Audrey, Carole, Emily, Mark, Mo, Nancy, Shauna, Shawn, Taryn, and Torie for taking part, a special thank you to Anais, Chris, and Elva for helping run the cohort, and a super special thank you to our anonymous donor who supported us to hire an external expert trainer, David, to help us with the trainings!
Training & Learning – New webpage!
There is a world of learning out there. We are standing on the shoulders of the movements and activists who came before us. With that in mind, we’ve just revamped our Learning & Training page on the 350PDX website. It shows our upcoming live trainings, and also dozens of prerecorded trainings and resources for you to get skilled up.
And because the sight of dozens of links and videos can be pretty overwhelming, we’ve split them into three more manageable levels: Foundational, Core, and Advanced. We want to encourage all 350PDX volunteers to spend time moving through these levels as they grow their skills as activists.
Support our organization in our Spring Appeal!
The month of May is our spring fundraising drive, and we really rely on donations from our community to keep us going and growing. We are small staff of only 5 people involved in a huge amount of campaigns and programs, so your donations go a long way in their impact. Like what we do? Want us to keep going? Then please consider donating today!
350PDX Staff – Chris, Chuck, Dineen, Gaby and Indi
350PDX Team Leads