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 message to your legislators calling on them to support HB 2601!
Building Resilience Campaign Virtual Testimony Writing Party
MONDAY, MARCH 6, from 6-7pm — RSVP for the Zoom link here.
Join us at the Building Resilience Campaign Virtual Testimony Writing Party! At this event, you’ll join climate and environmental justice advocates like you from across the state. It’ll include training on how to write an effective testimony, give you time to write and workshop, and ask questions of our expert coalition partners. All written testimony will be submitted for the public hearing in the following days. Once you create this short, personal story it becomes a key tool for you as an advocate. You can share it with your lawmakers in testimony or email, you can send it to the newspaper, you can use it to record a social media video for your friends or community, and so much more. This is an excellent opportunity to take action to ensure our homes and buildings are more resilient to protect us from climate harms and lower energy bills!
Atomic Bamboozle: The False Promise of a Nuclear Renaissance” Premiere Screening
SUNDAY, MARCH 12, 3-5PM (tabling starts at 2:30pm, film starts at 3pm) — @ Cinema 21 – 616 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door ($10 general admission, $8 seniors and students)
Let’s go to the movies! Have you heard about small modular reactors (SMRs)? Been wondering where you can learn more about this issue? We have your answer! “Atomic Bamboozle: The False Promise of a Nuclear Renaissance” is a 46-minute documentary that follows anti-nuclear activists, Tribal leaders, scientists and attorneys as they draw lessons from the decades-long campaign to shut down the Trojan Nuclear Power plant in Oregon and extend those lessons into a new struggle to stop small modular reactors from being built in the Pacific Northwest. The documentary exposes the true costs of these reactor designs that have been aggressively promoted by the US Department of Energy and the nuclear industry. Limited number of sponsored tickets available for folks with financial need, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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 devastation that occurred in East Palestine, Ohio could happen here in Oregon. Our local government should be doing whatever they can to mitigate the dangers of oil trains in our communities, but instead, Portland City Council is continuing to allow Zenith Energy to bring in oil by rail for 5 more years. This is unacceptable. Our Fossil Fuel Resistance Team continues to work to stop Zenith Energy and transform the Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub. Right now, we are working to build a grassroots movement of people to live in the “blast zone” of Zenith’s oil trains. Do you live in the blast zone? (The US DOT’s identified .5 mile evacuation zone and 1 mile impact zone in the event of an explosion or derailment). Use the map on this page to find out. If you do, call and write to the City of Portland and share that you live in the blast zone and are concerned for your safety. If you’re interested in getting more involved and becoming a “local leader” in your neighborhood (we’ll support you through this!) reach out to email@example.com to learn more
Our team’s other main campaigns are:
- 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.
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, March 14 at 5:30 pm. Please reach out to Dineen (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or for the zoom link.
Forest Defense Team
The Forest Defense team has been engaging in the Oregon State Legislative session with members testifying on several forest-related bills. We testified in support of SB 530, Natural Climate Solutions, which would create a fund to incentivize land management practices that build carbon storage on natural and working lands, and HB 3016, Community Green Infrastructure Grant Program, which supports green infrastructure investments and workforce development across Oregon.
We were also tracking SB 90, which would have created a task force to explore decoupling county funding from state forest logging. Before its first scheduled hearing, SB90 received enormous pushback from the timber industry and was pulled from the legislative agenda. We are hopeful that the idea of stabilizing county revenue re-emerges in another form, as it’s important to us to find ways that both forests and rural counties can thrive.
Last month, the Forest Defense team hosted the wildly successful Shade Equity Social. Check out this reportback for more details about the social (and some excellent pictures). After the Social, we got to work on public comments 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, for the most part, it’s headed in the right direction. As this is the first time PCEF money has been used to fund city bureaus, we still have some concerns that there is not enough in the plan to ensure the PCEF priority communities benefit, but we trust that these assurances will emerge in the final plan.
In state forest news, the Oregon Dep’t of Forestry’s (ODF) new Implementation Plans for the western Oregon state forests covered by the draft Habitat Conservation Plan proposes to reduce logging on state forests by 15-20%, and the timber industry freaked out! The Board of Forestry called an emergency meeting where three board members voted to scrap the HCP that the ODF has been working on for over two years, so they could write a new one that promised more logging. Given that the the HCP as proposed probably has the highest amount of logging that would comply with the federal Endangered Species Act, the remaining four Board members voted to stay on course with the existing HCP (thanks!).
This was not the last time the HCP will need to be defended from timber interests. The Forest Defense team will keep watching the drama unfold, and continue to push for a strong HCP that protects threatened and endangered species, and increases carbon sequestration and storage, in western state forests.
GET CONNECTED: Come hiking with the Forest Defense team on March 18th or join us at the next general Forest Defense team meeting on Monday, 3/6 from 6-7:30pm, via zoom. Contact Brenna (brenna@350PDX.org) or co-leads Felice (email@example.com) or Tyler (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
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 (email@example.com) to join us for our next meeting on Thursday, March 2, from 5:30-7 PM.
The Arts Team has regular art builds the 2nd Sunday of each month at the 350PDX office. During those art builds, we also find time to address meeting agenda items, practice drum cadences on the drums we build, and further our work on puppets or posters or work we’ve been asked to do by another 350PDX team. This month, we’ll be preparing for the March 21 Dirty Banks action downtown, as well as starting to prep for Earth Day!
GET CONNECTED: Can you join us in adding visual interest to our important messages? If you’re interested in joining the Arts Team, please email Donna firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Our second education program at Hillsdale Library on Sunday, February 26th was on Rewilding our Planet. The library was a great support, pulling books related to the topics of rewilding, forest preservation, agricultural practices and grasslands. A favorite book was “The Fate of Food: What we will eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World.” Another book that was recommended was “Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth.” Help us plan our next presentation for March. Our topic is Saving our Oceans. Get in touch with the contact below if you’d like to help make it happen! Also, upcoming in March is our Day of Action on March 21. We will be joining in a National Day of Action to End Fossil Fuel Investments.
GET CONNECTED: Contact Pat Kaczmarek (email@example.com) to get on our email list, talk by phone or ask to join our monthly meeting! Our next monthly meeting is Monday, March 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!
Join us for an action in Hillsboro on Friday, March 3 from 4:30 to 5:30 in solidarity with the #FFF Global Climate Strike. Meet at Bagley Park at 201 NE Jackson St in Hillsboro with signs, for a march to downtown Hillsboro. We are marching in solidarity with climate activists around the world, seeking to keep fossil fuels in the ground and promote renewable energy.
Other things we are up to:
- 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.
- Join us for our Saturday March 11 monthly 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 presented at the Washington County’s Office of Sustainability’s annual celebration of United Nations World Day of Social Justice on February 22
- We’ll be tabling at PlanetCon, a fantastic recycling and ecducation event put on by the Westside Planet Alliance on April 8th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the PCC Rock Creek campus, 17705 NW Springville Rd, Portland, OR 97229, parking lot E and building 9
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. If you are in Washington County and would like to receive updates from us, please sign up HERE. Everyone is invited to join in all of our events. You can also “like” our Facebook page for update
350PDX Board & Team Leads