Happy April! Welcome to our monthly newsletter, where we highlight some of the amazing work our volunteer teams have been up to. But first, a quick reminder to join our Action Night and Art Builds this weekend:
Read on to learn about their accomplishments, how you can join a team, and opportunities to take action!
Fossil Fuel Resistance Team
Our team has been busy this month! We’re looking forward to sharing some exciting materials we’ve been working on with the 350PDX Creative Team to change the public narrative on methane. That’s coming soon! We’ve also been working with 14 other organizations in the region to submit a letter to OPB about their decision to keep airing greenwashed and misinformation ads from NW Natural. Our letter has been answered by Steve Bass, the CEO of OPB, but our request for a meeting to discuss their sponsorship policy was denied. It’s time to escalate, and the timing is perfect: next week starts OPB’s Spring Membership Drive. Join us in raising the alarm to OPB about the need for our public radio to not promote dangerous fossil fuel lies. Here is a toolkit you can use to tweet at, call, and email OPB. The radio already refuses to air ads for tobacco and weapons companies — but why does the fossil fuel industry get a free pass?
GET CONNECTED: We meet every other Tuesday at 5:30pm, and our meetings are alternating between on Zoom and in-person in our office in the Rebuilding Center. Our next meeting is on Tues, May 3 on Zoom. To get the zoom link, information on joining the in-person meetings, and/or to sign up for an orientation to the team, reach out to one of our team leads, Melanie, at email@example.com.
Our team at a recent tour of the Critical Energy Infrastructure (CEI) Hub & brewery hangout! 🙂
Our team follows the money, working as part of the national coalition StopTheMoneyPipeline (STMP). We call on financial institutions, insurance companies, and the government to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Most of the 350PDX Defund/Divest Team is working to Divest Oregon: Reinvest in a Fossil-Free Future, a statewide coalition we founded – now 90 organizations and hundreds of individual members strong! And Divest Oregon just released Risky Business: Oregon Treasury’s Fossil Fuel Problem. If you want to be engaged in Divest Oregon, or receive Divest Oregon action and meeting announcements, join the coalition’s mailing list.
Stop the Money Pipeline (STMP) is launching a new campaign ― Wall Street’s Moment of Truth: People or Fossil Fuels. We have one simple demand for Wall Street: stop. The campaign is emailing the top executives of every major Wall Street bank and insurance company, demanding they stop fossil fuel expansion. The fossil fuel industry is trying to use Russia’s war on Ukraine as a reason to push for fossil fuel expansion. Here’s why that’s a truly terrible idea.
GET CONNECTED: There are no monthly meetings of the 350PDX Defund/Divest Team at this time. But the team is still active! The Defund/Divest Team is engaged in multiple efforts to divest local educational institutions. Reach out to Jenifer (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a conversation about our team and to receive our weekly Defund/Divest team email. Click here to join the Divest Oregon team! Meetings are the third Wednesday of the month at 2 pm; workgroups meet during both day and evening.
Forest Defense Team
The Forest Defense Team works to fight climate change by advocating for forest management practices that increase carbon sequestration and storage, decrease forestry sector carbon emissions, and improve community and ecosystem resilience in the face of the changing climate. We have two sub-teams, State Forest Policy and Urban Shade Equity, as well as engaging in many other actions to help promote healthy climate, communities and forests.
The State Forest Policy sub-team is working to ensure the long-term health of Oregon’s Western State Forests by participating in reviewing and commenting on a plan that will shape state forest management for the next 50-70 years. The proposed Habitat Conservation Plan would set aside about 50% of the state forest as carbon-rich habitat for endangered and threatened species. We’re writing comments on the draft Plan to make sure the forest protections are as good as they can be. Next month, we’ll be asking you to write comments too!
The Shade Equity sub-team continued our campaign encouraging the City of Portland to create a plan to assume full legal and financial responsibility for street trees, and tree-related sidewalk repairs (currently, adjacent landowners are responsible for street tree maintenance, which creates a huge barrier to more trees planted in low-income areas). We testified in the City Budget listening sessions and sent in many written testimonies, asking that the City devote funds to studying different revenue streams to pay for ongoing maintenance of street trees. It’s a necessary first step! Now, we’re starting to plan for Heat Week (June 26-30). Come to the next meeting to learn more!
GET CONNECTED: The Forest Defense team is alternating in-person meetings (1st Monday of the month) and virtual meetings (3rd Monday). Our next meeting is in person on May 2nd at the 350PDX office (3625 N. Mississippi) at 6:00pm – snacks provided! Contact Forest Climate Manager Brenna Bell (email@example.com) for meeting details.
On April 5th, many members of the Forest Defense team participated in a rally to divest from industrial forestry – big thanks to everyone who showed up (especially all the trees) and thanks to the 350PDX arts team for the amazing tree puppets and banners!
City/County Watchdog Team
The City-County Watchdog Team is continuing our campaign to get environmental justice and climate action into Portland’s Charter. The City is undergoing this once-in-a-decade review process to update the Charter, a “rulebook” that defines the structure, powers, and functions of our city government. The Watchdog Team has been working with members of the Charter Review Commission and community partners – including the Portland Metro People’s Coalition and Sunrise PDX – to advocate for changes that will advance justice and equitable climate response in our city.
There are several opportunities to get involved & make your voice heard:
- Join Portland People’s Metro Coalition event to discuss the Portland City budget, City Council and other elections, and the City Charter Review proposals! The event is Sat, April 30, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM PDT. Learn more and sign up here: Portland May Countdown: The People v The Plutocrats.
- You can also provide written or spoken testimony on behalf of environmental justice & climate change at the April 29th Charter Commission public meeting from 6-8 pm (via zoom). Please sign up as soon as the opportunity becomes available: Charter Commission Meeting w/ Public Comment | Portland.gov.
- At the PDX Action Night tonight, we’ll be writing testimonies using the EJ toolkit to advocate for an Environmental Justice/Climate sub-committee to address climate issues directly to the City Charter Commission.
GET CONNECTED: Want to join us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to come to our next meeting on May 5 from 5:30-7:00 PM on Zoom. Contact Indi Namkoong (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get involved with the work of the 350 PDX WatchDog group on Charter work.
The Creative Team has been supporting Divest Oregon in its campaign to achieve divestment of Oregon’s public funds from fossil fuels. We helped build a social media following by organizing and creating posts on Twitter and Instagram, and also designed and helped edit their ground-breaking report, “Risky Business: Oregon Treasury’s Fossil Fuel Problem.”
The Gasbuster’s video is live! We shared it at the March in-person action night and it was fun to see people’s reactions. Our target audience is climate folks who are less aware about the dangers of natural gas, and we used a comedic tone so people wouldn’t feel personally shamed or guilty, but instead fired up about taking collective action. Coming soon: A version other cities/regions can use by adding their own local call to action.
Next steps for the Creative Team include onboarding new core members, learning new Story Strategy tools and techniques, and creating training materials around 350PDX’s approach to Story-based Strategy for various constituents.
GET CONNECTED: Fill out this form to get on our roster.
The 350PDX Arts Team is getting a new influx of energy and ideas! We spent the last few months inviting new leadership in and asking other folks to take on some duties. Our new co-leads are now Donna Murphy, Lauren Sullivan, Dannika Sullivan, and Anna Norman. And we already have a list of accomplishments: an amazing new monthly Arts Team newsletter whose first issue came out last week. We are hosting monthly Art Builds at the 350PDX offices and contributing to the Portland Climate Strike on May 20.
GET CONNECTED: Would you like to help out? You do not need to be an artist, because there are so many things we need help with! Sunday, April 24, 1 – 4PM, is an action-packed Art Build at the 350PDX office. The next day, the 4th Monday of April, is our planning meeting via Zoom. Be there with or without ideas! But first tell us you can come! (email@example.com). And then we will have at least one more Art Build for the Climate Strike (first one May 7, 1-4 PM). Please RSVP for the Art Builds, join our Arts Team meeting, or get our new Monthly Newsletter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our small but enthusiastic southwest area neighborhood team has been meeting on the third Monday of each month, but may be moving back to the second Monday as we did during our first six years. Please check the 350PDX calendar in the coming weeks if you’d like to attend. We have an interesting presentation on Offshore Wind Energy for which the southern Oregon coast could be a great source, with facilities in Coos Bay already in place for distribution.
GET CONNECTED: Contact emilypolans
Washington County Team
- For Earth Day, the Washington County Team waved signs in downtown Hillsboro as part of #FridaysforFuture. Join us in taking action this Earth Day by posting on social media about Educational and Action items on climate and environment.
- Join us this Saturday, April 23 at the Hillsboro Farmer’s Market to volunteer at our outreach booth! Setup is between 7 and 8:30 am, Market Hours are 9am to 1pm, breakdown and cleanup 1 to 1:30pm. We’d love your help with setup, or hanging out to be a climate action ambassador during market hours, and tidying up as well. We’ll have baby sunflowers and lupines to give away to kiddos and fun art projects planned for families as well. We’ll be chatting and educating on climate action, pollinators, and more, and asking people to fill out postcards to the Hillsboro City Council and Washington County Board of Commissioners to ask them to preserve our beautiful mature trees in Washington County. C’mon down! It’s the opening day of the 40th anniversary season of the Hillsboro Farmer’s Market. It will be FUN!!!! Email 350WashCo@gmail.com to let us know you are coming.
- Join us Saturday, April 30 for a Trash Cleanup event! 350 WashCo has partnered with SOLVE for a big trash cleanup from 10am to noon. Here’s the link for more details and to sign up.
GET CONNECTED: We always welcome newcomers to our 6:30pm second Tuesday (online for now) meetings and at all our events. Find our meeting and events listings on the 350PDX calendar. Our May meeting will be on Tuesday, May 10 , 6:30-8:00. Email 350WashCo@gmail.com to attend. Everyone is invited to join in all of our events. Please “like” our Facebook page for updates.
350PDX Staff – Anissa, Brenna, Chris, Dineen, Indi, and Julia
350PDX Board & Team Leads