350PDX Weekly Update – Portland declares climate emergency – July 1 2020

Hi everyone,

Last night Portland declared a climate emergency.

After months of community feedback City Council unanimously voted to pass the Portland Climate Emergency Declaration after final testimony from 350PDX, Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians, Coalition of Communities of Color, Verde, Kapwa Consulting, and the Portland Youth Climate Council. Watch that testimony, and the City Council’s responses and vote, here.

This is a big step forward for climate justice here in our city, with racial justice and frontline communities centered more than ever before!

You can read the full resolution here – (the language can be confusing. Like all official city declarations, the document is made up of two types of statements: “Whereas” statements describe existing conditions and “Be it resolved” statements describe actions the City will take to address them)

The resolution includes more than 30 commitments. Here are six notable ones:

  1. The city’s adopting a new target for carbon emissions. By 2030, the city is aiming to be 50% below what the region’s emissions level were in the 1990s.
  2. The city’s pledging to enhance the tree canopy, particularly in east Portland, where the tree canopy covers only about a fifth of the area. On the more greener west side, the tree canopy covers more than half of the area, according to a 2018 report by the Portland Parks Bureau.
  3. The city’s committing to work with TriMet and Metro to fund free year-round transit passes for Portlanders 18 years old and younger.
  4. The resolution asks Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp, two electric utilities, to deliver renewable energy to all Portland residents and businesses by 2030.
  5. The city says it will pursue “partnerships” with schools and youth organizations, including Portland Public Schools, to create a “youth-led summit” to support climate action. This is supposed to take place virtually in the fall.
  6. The City will establish and co-convene a new and ongoing climate justice initiative that will provide a framework for government and community to work together as equal partners to identify and implement strategies that will advance a shared vision for climate justice and action

This is a great start, but there is still a long way to go, with the Portland Youth Climate Council especially pushing for a new target of achieving Net Zero carbon emissions before 2035, and reducing Citywide emissions – including those from utilities – by at least 8% per year, starting today. We’ll be pressuring for bolder targets to be adopted that meet the demands of the climate crisis.

Like all plans and resolutions, this victory does not yet mean transformative change. 350PDX and our City/County Watchdog team will be there every step of the way to make sure this plan is implemented and the pressure is kept on the treat the climate crisis like the emergency it is. 

Here’s your 350PDX weekly update.


  • Albina Vision, Commissioner Eudaly, and Mayor Wheeler no longer support I-5 Freeway Expansion

    For the past several years we’ve been fighting a proposed $500 million expansion on the I-5 freeway in the Rose Quarter, on the basis that it is bad for air pollution, climate pollution, traffic safety, and it won’t even fix congestion. This on top of the historic racist legacy of the freeway, which was bulldozed through the Albina neighborhood displacing Black families and splitting the community in two. The campaign to stop this fossil fuel expansion project just got a major boost!

    The racial justice nonprofit Albina Vision Trust has decided it will no longer support the project and they will no longer participate in an advisory role. The nonprofit’s mission is to help restore and revitalize the Albina neighborhood that in the last century was home to 80% of Portland’s Black population before most of those residents were displaced through eminent domain, gentrification and racism. Black families’ homes and businesses were bulldozed and the land sold to make way for I-5, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Veterans Memorial Coliseum and other urban renewal projects. The group’s vision includes capping parts of I-5 to create connecting pedestrian corridors, greenspace and housing.

    Following Albina Vision’s withdrawal of support, a number of elected officials including Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson also withdrew their support. Commissioner Eudaly said ” ODOT [Oregon Department of Transportation] did not seem to grasp the concept of restorative justice” and “This is the wrong project for our city.”

  • Colorado Springs votes to close its coal plants and invest in renewables

    Our friends at 350 Colorado helped win this huge victory, which includes provisions for a just transition for power plant workers to be retrained for jobs in renewables.

  • Sign the Universal Preschool petition to get it on the ballot

    We believe that universal preschool benefits everyone. Because it’s free for every child, universal preschool addresses a fundamental social inequity by ensuring all children are guaranteed a strong foundation on which to build their lives. We also believe that raising the next generation is low-carbon sustainable work and so is part of our vision for a thriving future with a livable climate. Multnomah County can join other communities – from Washington, D.C. to New York City to Chicago – that are already benefiting from universal preschool. Help them get on the ballot today!

  • Call for BIPOC Speakers for Portland Paddles Out for BLM

    Portland Paddles Out is looking for BIPOC leaders in the outdoors to speak at a paddle out protest this Wednesday, July 8, 6PM at the Hawthorne Docks, happening in solidarity with Black Lives Matter Portland. They are looking for folx interested in speaking on various topics related to decolonizing the outdoors. If you or someone you know is interested, please reach out to portlandpaddlesout@gmail.com. Follow them on Instagram at @PaddleOutPDX for more info on the protest.


  • 350PDX COVID-19 Resources Page

    Check it out for the full list of resources for self care, community care, tackling bias/xenophobia, volunteer opportunities, and organizing during this time. Take a look here.

  • White Supremacy Cultural Traits

    One of the ways we at 350PDX are examining how the dominant white supremacy culture in this country affects our work and lives is using this list of cultural traits, such as defensiveness, a sense of urgency, fear of open conflict, power hoarding, individualism, etc. We encourage you all, especially white folks and non-Black people of color, to read through these traits, examine where they show up in your own life, workplaces, and behaviour, and to consider the antidotes in the text that describe ways of moving beyond these traits.

  • Anti-Racist and Environmental Justice Resources

    We keep a list of anti-racism and anti-white supremacy resources on a page on our website that all our volunteers should get familiar with.


  • Portland Black Lives Matter Protests
    Every day @ across the city – details here

    There are protests, vigils, and marches every day and every night, with the exact location and details sometimes only becoming available a few hours before. So please check the PDX BLM events webpage for the day’s events, and show up!

  • Youth4Climate Summer Camp (virtual)
    Session 1: June 29 – July 24
    Session 2: July 27 – August 21

    Summer 2020. The world is on fire, and youth are on the frontlines of demanding change. In this pivotal moment in history, join peers in discovering your voice and your power – and take climate justice actions that make a difference. Connect with a community of passionate, like-minded students for a summer experience of active engagement and fun! Organized by San Diego 350, available to all! More info here.

    Who: High-school students and college-aged youth (two separate tracks, by age group)
    Cost: suggested price $50-$75 – no one refused due to inability to pay

  • Reclaiming Connection, Backing Frontline Leadership: Listening Tools for White Climate Activists
    Wednesdays July 8, 15, 22, 29. 5:00PM – 7:00PM – online

    Racism, genocide, and other oppressions are getting in the way of a united climate justice movement. We are making progress but still struggle with these divisions.  This interactive series introduces listening tools we can use to move against racism and to support each other as we take steps to broaden our movement, and to help each other improve our ability to form good working relationships across divisions of “race” and other oppressions.

    To register or inquire, please email Margaret at margaretjwj@gmail.com, or text 503-351-4192.

  • Film Screening “The Condor and the Eagle”
    Sun July 5, 4:00PM, online – register here

    Join us for a powerful event hosted by the 90+ groups of the Stop The Money Pipeline Coalition. Let’s get together virtually to watch and discuss this award-winning documentary with the filmmakers, protagonists and key-leaders of the Divestment Movement. With panel discussion with Tara Houska, Bill MCKIbben, Bryan Parras, Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Janet MacGillivray. Facebook event here.

  • How White Supremacy Built Wall St
    Thurs July 9, 4:00PM, online – register here

    The United States became the wealthiest country in the world as a direct result of the land-theft and genocide of Indigenous people and the free labor of enslaved people. The sale of Black bodies (and of the cotton and cash crops they were forced to produce) was not only critical to the creation of Wall Street as a financial model, but it was also foundational to the development of modern capitalism itself.

    This webinar will explore the modern-day manifestations of that history and how the finance industry continues to use its disproportionate power to counter our struggles for racial, climate, gender, and economic justice.

    Join Stop the Money Pipeline and Take On Wall St. for this in-depth webinar on finance and systemic oppression. Facebook event here.

Thank you all for the work that you do, stay safe, and we’re all in this together,
Ashley, Chris, Chuck, Dineen, Lucy – the 350PDX staff