Welcome to our monthly newsletter, where we highlight some of the amazing work our volunteer teams has been up to. But first, we wanted to share some action opportunities with you:
Take Action for Climate Justice this Legislative Session!
Right now, we have an opportunity to win important changes across all of Oregon in the 2023 Legislative Session. 350PDX has a list of bills we’re urging our Senators and Representatives to champion during the session. If passed, these bills would have sweeping, tangible benefits for our communities and our climate. These bills cover many facets of state policy — from housing and land use policies to financial transparency and climate resilience — but all share a core value of furthering climate justice. Join us in calling on our legislators to champion these bills!
One of the key climate bills we’re supporting is HB 2601, the Treasury Investment & Climate Protection Act. The Oregon Treasury invests $137 billion for the people of Oregon — and at least $5.3 billion of those investments are in fossil fuels. This is not only morally wrong, but also financially irresponsible. The Oregon Treasury has a fiduciary responsibility to protect all of Oregon’s investments for the long term, including those in public employee retirement funds such as PERS. The Treasury’s current investment strategy leaves investments critically vulnerable to the risks of the fossil fuel industry and climate change.
The time to act is now. This legislative session, join Divest Oregon — a statewide, grassroots coalition — for an exciting opportunity to pass HB 2601, the Treasury Investment & Climate Protection Act. Join us in sending an additional message to your legislators calling on them to support HB 2601!
Building Resilience Campaign Kick-Off — Wed, Feb 15
We are excited to share that 350PDX has joined the Building Resilience Coalition! Join us next Wednesday (Feb 15) at 6pm for the Building Resilience Campaign Kick-Off. This coalition is made up of a broad group of climate and environmental justice organizations dedicated to making sure Oregon builds healthier, more affordable, and resilient communities that are not reliant on dirty fossil fuels.
Join us to hear from climate policy experts and key lawmakers about the package of bills that this coalition is working to pass in the 2023 Legislative Session. RSVP for the Zoom link here.
Read on to learn about our teams’ accomplishments, how you can join a team, and more opportunities to take action.
Want to get involved but not sure where to start? Fill out the Volunteer Form
Fossil Fuel Resistance Team
The Fossil Fuel Resistance Team has big plans for 2023, and we’re excited to welcome new members. Our 3 main campaigns are:
- Stopping Zenith Energy’s oil-by-rail operations and transforming the Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub
- Fighting for a Fossil Free Multnomah County, campaigning for buildings in our community that are clean and safe and free of dangerous methane gas, and educating our community about the dangers of methane
- Stopping the GTN XPress pipeline expansion proposal in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California.
TAKE ACTION: GTN XPress People’s Hearing
Join us this Monday, Feb 13 at 5pm for the GTN XPress People’s Hearing – register for this virtual event here. Groups across the Northwest have been working hard to oppose the GTN XPress fracked gas pipeline expansion, yet FERC isn’t holding a public hearing to listen to the communities most impacted by this project. That’s why we’re holding our own People’s Hearing, where folks will have the opportunity to both hear from key leaders across the region (including US Senator Jeff Merkley) and to testify, and we’ll share your testimony directly with FERC.
Join us on February 13th at 5pm for the People’s Hearing, and check out our campaign’s new video to get inspired.
GET CONNECTED: We meet 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 5:30pm, rotating between virtual and in-person in the 350PDX office in the Rebuilding Center on Mississippi Ave. (2nd Tuesday meetings are virtual, 4th Tuesdays are in-person). Our next meeting is virtual and is on Tuesday, February 14 at 5:30 pm. Please reach out to Dineen (email@example.com) for more information or for the zoom link.
Forest Defense Team
The Forest Defense team is turning our attention to the Oregon State Legislature and a handful of forest-related bills. Along with SB 530, Natural Climate Solutions, and HB 3016, Community Green Infrastructure Grant Program, which 350PDX has endorsed, we are closely tracking HB 3019, which would create more balance and public accountability for the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, and SB 90, which would create a task force to explore decoupling county funding from state forest logging. We are planning a lobby day in Salem next month.
The team is also preparing for the public comment period for the Portland Clean Energy Fund‘s new $40 million investment in growing the urban forest canopy. PCEF staff and community members have been hard at work creating this new plan, and we’re eager to see their proposal. PCEF will hold a virtual listening session for their Equitable Tree Canopy and Regulated Affordable Housing Climate Investment Plans on February 15th from 5-6 pm.
In state forest news, the Oregon Dep’t of Forestry is writing a new Implementation Plans for the western Oregon state forests covered by the proposed Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). We are very encouraged to see that the draft Implementation Plans will reduce logging on state forests by 15-20% in order to start moving land management into compliance with the HCP. That being said, there are rumors that the timber industry is now pushing for a delay in approving the HCP to avoid this decrease in timber volume! The Forest Defense team will be watchdogging the action, and continuing to push for a strong HCP that protects threatened and endangered species, and increases carbon sequestration and storage, in western state forests.
GET CONNECTED: Join us at the Shade Equity Social on Feb 13 from 6-8 pm at the 350PDX office (3639 N. Mississippi Ave) or the next general Forest Defense team meeting on Monday, 2/20 from 6-7:30pm, via zoom. Contact Brenna (brenna@350PDX.org) or co-leads Felice (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tyler (email@example.com) for meeting details.
City/County Watchdog Team
This month, the City/County Watchdog team is continuing our work on Phase II of the City Charter reform process. While nine proposed charter amendments will proceed directly to the November 2024 ballot, there are six more, including several climate-related amendments we’ve championed, that now have to pass through City Council before they can proceed to Portland voters.
In January, we again joined forces with Sunrise PDX and PEACE (Public Employees Act on Climate Emergency) and submitted a letter to City Council. This letter outlines our proposals for amendments to the City Charter around climate & environmental justice as well as for Participatory Budgeting. We backed up this letter with a strong showing of 350PDX volunteers testifying in front of City Council on Jan 19 to strengthen the climate commitment and refer them directly to the voters. Thank you to everyone who testified!
OPPORTUNITY: You can apply to join the Government Transition Advisory Committee (application deadline this Sunday, Feb 12, 11:59pm), a committee of members of the public who are advising Portland’s transition to a new form of city government as outlined in Measure 26-228. Learn more and apply here.
GET CONNECTED: Watchdog has a lot to look forward to in 2023: pushing these amendments through City Council, keeping an eye on the progress of the Portland’s Climate Emergency Workplan and the first-ever districting process. We will also be following and supporting the work of the Government Transition Advisory Committee. Want to get involved? Email Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join us for our next meeting on Thursday, March 2, from 5:30-7 PM.
The Arts Team has been continuing to meet for art builds, and is exciting for our projects this upcoming month. On February 12, Sunday from 1-4 PM — our next art build — we’re giving some old posters new frames and a new life for upcoming March rallies. The giant Mother Earth puppet will also get some beautiful tapestry clothing leading up to March. This month, our drums corps will start practicing more complicated rhythms.
GET CONNECTED: If you’re interested in joining the Arts Team, please email Donna email@example.com. Art builds happen the 2nd Sunday afternoon of each month. No artistic skills required!
The Creative Team uses storytelling to make the climate justice movement irresistible. This month, we’ve continued working on a messaging workbook to help guide 350PDX’s campaign teams as they design their communications strategies, as well as a style guide for 350PDX to use throughout our work. Creative Team members have also continued designing a new 350PDX zine. Finally, we’re continuing to supporting the Forest Defense Team, Divest Oregon, and the Gas-busters campaign in creating messaging strategies.
Next steps for the Creative Team include onboarding new members, organizing trainings on Story-Based Strategy, creating more training materials around 350PDX’s approach to messaging strategy, and supporting the Brooklyn Neighborhood Team in developing public narratives.
GET CONNECTED: Fill out this form to get on our roster and receive the Creative Team newsletter!
Welcome to our southwest neighborhood team, which currently spans various neighborhoods on the south and west sides of Portland, from PSU to Hillsdale, Multnomah Village, Beaverton and Lake Oswego.
The public education program we held at Hillsdale Library on Sunday, Jan. 29 was a success! 34 people attended in addition to our team members. Among them was a middle school student, her sister and father, other young adults, and older ones too. Discussion was robust and deep concern apparent. Participants seemed grateful for the program. Interest in attending a second program was high enough among those who came that planning is starting soon. It may take place in March or April. Get in touch with the contact below if you’d like to help make it happen!
GET CONNECTED: Contact Pat Kaczmarek (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get on our email list, talk by phone or ask to join our monthly meeting! Our next monthly meeting is Monday, Feb. 13, 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Zoom.
Washington County Team
The Washington County Team is continuing two local campaigns. One is to encourage the Washington County Board of Commissioners to complete drafting and take action on an overdue County Climate Resolution. We will continue to do all possible grassroots work to encourage the Commissioners to take their best bold action asap. We are working in coalition with several community partners now as we hope to see success in the next few months. Next consideration of the County sustainability team staff’s recommendations will be on March 7 – please let us know if you’d like to help out! We will be finalizing our campaign push at our next online meeting at 6:30pm on February 14.
Other things we’re doing:
- Doing our best to track the hundreds of environment and climate bills introduced for the 2023 State Legislative session, and we will be working to support the good policies being brought forward and taking action to comment against some bad bills.
- This Saturday February 11 Sign Waving. Join us in Hillsboro from 11am to noon, at the corner of Cornell Road at NE 25th (park in the Burgerville lot). Next planned dates for sign-waving are February 18th and March 11th.
- Tracking multiple platforms of push-back against recently adopted DLCD Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities rules at City, County, and State level.
- 350 WashCo has been invited to present for Washington County’s Office of Sustainability’s annual celebration of United Nations World Day of Social Justice on February 22
- Planning a local event for a global climate strike action on March 3
- Planning for an Earth Day/Earth Week local event in April
GET CONNECTED: We always welcome newcomers to our regular monthly 6:30pm second Tuesday (online) meetings and at all our events. Find our meeting and events listings on the 350PDX calendar. Email 350WashCo@gmail.com to attend. Everyone is invited to join in all of our events. Please “like” our Facebook page for updates