Happy March! 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 upcoming March General Meeting and Action Nights:
Read on to learn about their accomplishments, how you can join a team, and opportunities to take action!
Fossil Fuel Resistance Team
Did you know that NW Natural is raising people’s utility bills by 11.8%… all so they can increase the salaries for their executives, expand dangerous gas infrastructure, and continue their misleading misinformation campaigns? David Anderson, the CEO of NW Natural, made $4.3 million last year. Why are we being asked to pay for an increase in his multi-million dollar salary? Cost of living is rising and wages are stagnant. An increase to heating bills will put more pressure on families who are already struggling. NW Natural has asked the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) to approve this rate increase, and the Commission needs to hear from all of us before making any decisions. Join us in submitting a comment to the PUC by March 31!
GET CONNECTED: We meet every other Tuesday at 5:30pm, and our next meeting is on Tues, March 22. The following two meetings after that will be *in-person!!* including a team tour of the Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub followed by drinks at a nearby bar. 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 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 88 organizations and hundreds of individual members strong! 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 are developing three new sub-teams to diversify our work and connect to more impacted communities. Learn more about them here.
Many thanks to Leslie Grush! After two years of service as the Forest Defense Team co-lead, Leslie is stepping down from this position. As a founding leader of the group, her contributions were essential for getting the team going, helping win its first campaign, and sustaining the team through the transitions to on-line organizing. We deeply appreciate her time and leadership
– Thanks Leslie!!
We’re excited to announce 350PDX helped launch the Shade Equity Coalition, coordinating 17 organizations to submitted this letter to Portland City Council. We’re asking the Council to: 1) recognize trees as appreciable assets; 2) create a plan to assume full legal and financial responsibility for ROW, street trees, and tree-related sidewalk repairs; 3) ensure sufficient space for large-form street trees in all City plans; and 4) work in partnership with community-based organizations that are ready for this long-overdue investment in human and natural capital.
GET CONNECTED: Our next Forest Defense team meeting on March 21st at 6:00pm will focus on welcoming new members and providing an overview of the Forest Defense team campaigns. Contact Forest Climate Manager Brenna Bell (email@example.com) to get meeting details.
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.
Watch the replay from the event: Another Portland is Possible, on expanding participatory democracy in Portland, including Participatory budgeting, increasing citizen participation, environmental justice/climate change related to proposed changes to the Portland City Charter.
There are several opportunities to get involved & make your voice heard. You can provide written or spoken testimony on behalf of environmental justice & climate change at the March 31st 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. We will send out a toolkit to 350 PDX membership to make the testimonies easy to submit written testimony to the City Charter Commission (due March 29th). 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 the incredible work of DivestOregon in the recent legislative session. We helped build a following on Twitter and Instagram, designing daily posts that featured people sharing quotes about why this matters to them. Now we’re working on compelling graphics and reader-friendly copy for a forthcoming report on Oregon’s investments in fossil fuels. It’ll feature some hand-drawn graphs and lettering by one of the very talented graphic designers on our team.
We also continue to support the Gasbusters Team in their quest to educate the Portland climate community about the dangers of methane. We scripted and filmed a spoof commercial comparing natural gas today to lead paint decades ago. Another great volunteer from our roster of talent shared her fabulous acting skills and brought on a cameraperson, an art director and a makeup/hair expert to help us create a 1950s feel. It was a blast. Thanks to Carole Romm and Bruce for allowing us to take over their beautiful mid-century home for the all-day shoot!
Finally, we’re building up our ranks of story strategists so we can collaborate with more campaigns on their “deep narrative” and ways to flip the script among target audiences and build the world we deserve.
GET CONNECTED: Fill out this form to get on our roster.
We’re continuing to support the SW Neighborhood Team’s to create yard signs for climate action. We’re also making great progress with visuals for the Forest Team’s Urban Forest action for highlighting the inequality and health effects of tree shade cover in Portland neighborhoods. In April, we will start hosting monthly Art Builds. We are also recruiting more co-leads on the team.
GET CONNECTED: We’re not meeting meeting in March, but starting up again in April we will meet the 4th Monday of the month. Our April Art Build is Sunday, April 24, 1-4 PM, in the 350PDX office (3625 N Mississippi Ave). Please join us in our actions, you do not have to be an artist or have any artistic talent whatsoever! But we’d love it if you have skill at screen printing. If you want to join the team, please contact Donna at email@example.com.
The 350 Southwest Team’s next monthly meeting is Monday, 3/21, 6:30-8:00 p.m. During the past month, we’ve continued to develop messaging and designs for our yard sign project. Our goal is to inspire hope, invite concerned people into our community and take action by visiting the 350PDX website.
Once signs are produced, we’ll need volunteers in the Southwest to make contact with organizations and neighbors along pedestrian routes to get signs in the ground. If you have good locations in other parts of Portland Metro, let’s talk!
GET CONNECTED: Interested in checking us out or getting involved in some way? Please come to a monthly meeting, currently held on Zoom, but likely in-person soon. Contact emilypolans
Our Solidarity Team has been on pause as we sort out some questions on how to run the team the best we can, but in the meantime we’ve still been partnering with the Kalikasan Solidarity Organization to fight for justice and human rights for Indigenous land defenders in the Philippines, as they continue to battle the US-funded fascist military regime in the Philippines. Last month, we wrote a letter to Senator Merkley signed by 10 other organizations across Oregon, asking him to champion the Philippine Human Rights Act in the US Senate. You can learn more about this effort by reading our letter here!
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: We are looking for a volunteer who is interested in working with Dineen, our Campaign Manager, on an ongoing basis on this campaign. This role involves representing 350PDX in coalition meetings with the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, sharing ways that other 350PDX members and volunteers can get involved in the fight for justice in the Philippines. It’s a great ongoing volunteer leadership role for someone who’s interested in deepening their solidarity work and who wants to learn more about the fight for global solidarity in the Philippines. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
Washington County Team
- Everyone is invited to join us in our FFF #PeopleNotProfit Global Climate Strike sign-waving event from 9 to 10am at NE 25th at Cornell in Hillsboro Friday, March 25th in solidarity with worldwide climate action on that day. We’ll have plenty of signs, or bring your own. Our next FFF event will be on Earth Day, April 22.
- We are continuing to remind local leaders how important mature trees in both urban and rural landscapes are to sequester carbon, host biodiversity and protect against excess heat events. We plan public outreach tabling on Saturday, April 23 at the Hillsboro Farmers Market.
- We’ll be working on weed cleanup and planting a pollinator garden with the Hillsboro community at Hillsboro’s Bagley Park as spring comes along, and hope to unveil our efforts around Earth Day. Let us know if you’d like to lend a hand
- We’ll be partnering with SOLVE to lead at least one local trash pick up in honor of Earth Day. We are working to finalize an event on April 30 from 10:00 to noon. Everyone is invited to join in all of our events. Please “like” our Facebook page for updates.
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 April meeting will be on Tuesday, April 12 , 6:30-8:00. Our email address is 350WashCo@gmail.com.
350PDX Staff – Brenna, Chris, Dineen, Indi, and Julia
350PDX Board & Team Leads