Campaign News

It’s a trifecta! First go read the Seattle Weekly, including not just their endorsement (“Few who care about climate change deny how urgent the crisis is… [and] reducing the sales tax and funding an unfunded state tax credit is nothing to sneeze at”) but also their cover and their amazing full-page cartoon explaining I-732.

Then go read Seattleish, which is written by millennials who after starting off with: “Ok. So. This one is…tough. Though taxing carbon emissions is an effective and immediate way to take action on climate change, and waiting any longer is simply not an option.” But the conclusion is what counts: “[W]e’re going to go ahead and say vote yes.”

Then, provided you’ve got the stomach for foul language, finish with the fabulous endorsement from The Stranger. Here’s a PG-rated excerpt: “If you could do something right now to fight climate change, and that something was endorsed by more than 50 climate scientists at the University of Washington, you’d do it, right? Of course you would. You’d also do it because we told you to. But mainly, you’d do it because filling in the “yes” oval for Initiative 732 is one thing—not everything, but one important thing—that we all can do right now to keep this planet livable.”

And there’s even more you can do besides voting Yes 

You can help by writing LTEs, like Rob Briggs in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Alan Hardcastle in the Olympian, and Jane Fox and Jim Collett in the Tri-City Herald. (Please read these guidelines and/or contact communications@carbonwa.org if you need help or when you’ve submitted one!)

You can help by posting online comments on newspaper articles or blog posts. Correct mistakes if you see any. Send people to Yeson732.org. Emphasize the importance of climate action now and how 732 is a budget-friendly approach to climate action now that is also the biggest step forward in progressivity for the Washington State tax system in 40 years.

You can help by sending pictures, links, and/or screen grabs of any mailers or Facebook ads you see from the No campaign to info@carbonwa.org (or to any of us on the campaign).

You can help by talking to your friends and speaking out on social media to share the facts about 732, especially about the Working Families Rebate, a fabulous policy that boosts health outcomes and should get progressives “marching in the streets”.

And you can march in the streets for I-732 by helping us knock some doors or make some phone calls because the ‘politics as usual’ approach to climate change hasn’t worked and it’s not about to – only we can mobilize, organize, and make the change we need – we are the ones we’ve been waiting for – so let’s get out there!

Upcoming Events

On Th Oct 20 in Pullman and Spokane (today!) Yoram will be part of debates sponsored by WSU. Also today, in Long Beach, Executive Committee member Mike Massa will be at the Elks Lodge at 6:30pm for a forum sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Details here. One more event today, in Seattle from 6:00pm – 8:30pm at the Jewish Federation, more info here. And on T Oct 25 Yoram will be part of a debate at UPS. And finally remember that every Wednesday along with many other days we are hosting phonebanks with pizza in our office in Seattle so please join us remotely or in person!

More media coverage: Washington Post, Vox, … 

Great article by Chelsea Harvey in the Washington Post: “It could be the nation’s first carbon tax. And environmentalists are fighting it.” Check out Gail’s new blog post on Rachel’s Network: Heeding the Canary in the Coal Mine on Climate Change. And if you’re looking for something closer to book-length, try David Roberts (formerly of Grist) in Vox: “The left vs. a carbon tax”. (See also the comment that Roberts left on his Facebook page on Tuesday: “Funny — as I was putting this on FB, an I-732 campaigner knocked on my door. ‘Believe me,’ I said, ‘I already know all about it.’” And PS the other great American novel about this is Natasha Geiling’s post on ThinkProgress: “Opposition to Washington’s historic carbon tax is coming from the unlikeliest of sources.”)

But back to the Washington Post article: In addition to referencing the open letter signed by 50+ UW climate scientists, the article also references an open letter from millennials to some of the environmental “leaders” who are fighting 732. We’re going to reprint it below and urge you to share it with everyone you know:

Open letter from millennials   

From:

The Millennial Leaders of Carbon Washington and the Yes On 732 campaign

To:

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club
Jason Barbose, Western Policy Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists
Kenneth Kimmel, President, Union of Concerned Scientists
Denis Hayes, Executive Director Bullitt Foundation; founder Earth Day
KC Golden, Board Chair, 350.org
Bill McKibben, Founder and Senior Advisor, 350.org
Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters
Joan Crooks, CEO, Washington Conservation Voters

If climate change is a war, in Washington State the millennials are fighting while the establishment is hiding.

You have all spent much of your life’s work talking about a perilous future that is threatened by a rapidly warming climate. We are writing to you as the generation who will inherit that future. We are the young people you’ve inspired.

Climate change felt like the invincible monster in our nightmares, an inescapable threat. So for us, as young millennials, it was refreshing to hear you speak frankly about our generational plight, that “winning too slowly is the same as losing.” Our situation is so dire, that to fully confront it is itself an act of courage. We’ve looked up to leaders like you because you have no tolerance for helplessness. We watched some of you speak at Power shift conferences, and we attended the Do the Math Tour. In response, we took action. We started our own campus fossil fuel divestment campaigns, and over the past few years we built CarbonWA, a Washington state grassroots organization with over 20 chapters that put forward America’s first carbon tax initiative. You were leaders because you wanted us to become leaders.

Now WE are leaders, and you are letting us down. We’ve all known from the start that divestment, or stopping Keystone XL, or electing the right politician, was never going to be enough. We heard each of you say that we needed to put a price on carbon, and we agreed. Banding together in coffee shops, university classrooms, and our cramped apartments, we launched the nation’s first citizens’ initiative to put a price on carbon – Initiative 732. The campaign is led by millennials along with noteworthy contributions from people of all ages, income levels, ethnicities, and backgrounds, gathering the 10th most signatures for a ballot initiative in Washington State history. We’ve heeded the calls to take control of a situation that threatens our lives. We put one of strongest climate policies in the world on the ballot.

But where are you all? The silence is deafening. If, as some of you say, climate change is a war, then we need to be fighting hard in every battle, not hiding in a foxhole or running from the battlefield. Ignoring the nation’s very first carbon tax ballot initiative or in some cases allowing your organizations to campaign against it and spread misinformation is not leadership.

You need to take a serious look at I-732. You will find a group of young and diverse people powering Yes on 732. You will see legislators from both parties supporting I-732. You will see people of color standing up for I-732. You will see that the oil companies we so eagerly demonize are mostly on the sidelines, but that the organizations you lead, work with and advise are actually cutting off our supply lines and stealing our bullets. We know that there are political dynamics at play that no one likes – but you all know that in politics sometimes it comes with the territory.

This crisis belongs to more than just a handful of non-profit gatekeepers to decide what should be politically realistic and what isn’t. Doing nothing for four more years or more condemns our future to runaway climate change. This is our fight, and we need your help now. In a war, inaction is action in favor of the winning side, there is no neutrality. Sitting this fight out gives ammunition to powerful interests aligned against climate action.

Leaders of your stature belong on the field, not the sidelines.

We know there are legitimate concerns that I-732 doesn’t solve all of our many problems. We’ve always viewed I-732 as a catalyst for further change, not an endpoint. You could acknowledge that, as we do, and stand with the hundreds of young people who put their time, energy, and reputations on the line to MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN. A generation, the future of the climate movement, is watching you perplexed and disenchanted at the absenteeism, and at times, obstructionism from the environmental establishment you in many ways oversee. But there is time to change course. You could use your platform to call attention to this effort, you could insist to those you advise that infighting within the climate movement is NOT making us better, and you could personally stand with us. You could support us as we have supported you.

We call on you to join us.

From the millennial leaders of Carbon Washington and the Yes On 732 campaign:

Ben Silesky              Kyle Murphy              Megan Conaway              Aaron Tam

Alex Lenferna              Rheanna Johnston              Duncan Clauson               Mariana Garcia

Ben Larson              Dani Ladyka              Carter Case              Max Price             Judy Wu

Alissa Neuman              Allie Bull              Ian Crozier              Morgane Arriola              Sarah Geyer

Lexie Carr              Tyee Williams              Marcello Molinaro              Trevor Partington

Alisha Husain              Remington Purnell              Ali Mollhoff              Abbie Abramovich

Savannah Kinzer              Summer Hanson              Kyle Conyers

***

We’ve got two and a half weeks to go. Ballots will begin arriving in mailboxes today. We are taking a swing at the ball and making history with the most important climate vote in the nation. And PS. it’s not too late to donate. Let’s win!

From the whole Yes on 732 team