Membership Meeting Recap

MARCH 23, 2017 - Retired City Councilman Nick Licata/Becoming a Citizen Activist

From Nick Licata…..

SEVEN STEPS TO BECOMING A CITIZEN ACTIVIST

First:  Complaining is therapeutic – not an action plan.

Second:  Know how government works

Third:  Build momentum by finding allies

Fourth:  Use facts and question the reliability of the opposition’s.

Fifth:  Get the word out.

Sixth:  Celebrate every win no matter how small.

Seventh:  Believe in Democracy.

WSDW was most pleased to have retired Seattle City Councilman Nick Licata speak on “How to become a Citizen Activist”.  He not only spoke sharing some of his personal history but tips and ideas on how to be successful in the action/s you take.

Nick served the City for five terms ending in the early part of 2016.  During his 18 years of service he not only served as Council President but also chaired numerous committees including Budget, Parks, Public Safety, Human Services, Housing, and Arts and Culture.  He was included in the magazine, The Nation,  “Progressive Honor Roll of 2012” and was awarded that year the title of its “Most Valuable Local Official” in the United States.

He wrote two books:  Becoming a Citizen Activist, Stories, Strategies & advice For Changing Our World, illustrating in more detail the above seven steps as well as a youth book entitled Princess Bianca and the Vandals: A Post Modern Tale of Two Kingdoms an “adventure/fantasy environmental tale of a young princess who discovers magic and saves her peaceful kingdom from an invasion of Vandals and the powers of a destructive outside world”  He also stayed to personally sign copies of his Citizen Activist book.

Learn more at www.BecomingaCitizenActivist.org.

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JANUARY 16, 2017

Our speaker was Michael Foster of “Plant for the Planet.  He spoke on his organization that was started by a child in Germany.  He shared the “Plant for the Planet” ‘s three-point plan to help reverse global warming namely: (1) Plant 1000 billion trees, (2) Leave fossil fuels in the ground and (3) Combat poverty with climate justice.  He shared that since getting people to deal with fossil fuels is hard and companies (such as oil and gas companies) fight efforts that disturb their business models, it seems prudent to begin the work with planting trees.

Michael went on to caution that with all the water on Earth only a fraction is drinkable.  The “hottest years on record” keep coming and we’re now in the worse case scenario where if we don’t get fossil fuel emissions down, there will be serious consequences.  Some suggestions we can do now is use electric cars, eat food raised both organically and locally, and encourage “low till” farming which doesn’t release carbon from the soil.

He continued that because of delay in implementing actions, targets needed to be more than what was previously decided to make an impact. Currently, he said we’re in the 6th era of extinction of all species and due to human activity, we’re facing a 29 to 60 percent loss of all species.  We must immediately reduce CO2 to 350 ppm from the current 385 ppm.  He shared that the global climate movement organization 350.org is working on this aspect of this issue.

Legislatively, Michael supports HB#1372, “ Updating the framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Washington based upon best available climate science”, http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1372&Year=2017  and not HB#1144 “Amending state greenhouse gas emission limits for consistency with the most recent assessment of climate change science” http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1144&Year=2017 that Rep Joe Fitzgibbon supports as it reflects higher levels of gas emission limits than he finds acceptable.

Michael closed with the warning “You can’t compromise the laws of physics. The longer we wait to do something the harder it will be to get it done.”

WSDW thanks Plants for the Planet and Michael Foster for taking his time to join us with a most interesting program.

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A short business meeting followed with the membership voting to begin serving only meatless meals at future meetings.  (Editor’s comment “A small step but a step nevertheless!”)

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FOLLOWING THE MEETING REP JOE FITZGIBBON WAS ASKED TO RESPOND TO MICHAEL FOSTER COMMENTS ABOUT HIS PROPOSED HB #1144 AND HE RESPONDED WITH THE FOLLOWING COMMENT:

   “I do not support 1372. While I think it would be great to aim high on our      GHG reduction goals, I would prefer we focus our efforts on more                  substantive GHG reduction efforts, like my bill HB 1646, which would enact    a carbon tax that invests the proceeds in environmental needs like carbon      reduction, forest health, and clean water projects, and escalate the carbon    tax rapidly if we are not meeting out GHG reduction goals.

   HB 1372 takes a much less effective approach, setting goals and requiring      Ecology rulemaking to attain them. Ecology rulemaking is not the most          effective way to achieve GHG reduction. Also even if I were supportive of      1372, there is no chance that it would have anywhere close to enough          support to pass the House of Representatives, even if it did not take the        action which is particularly alarming to rural communities of eliminating the    legal consideration of biomass energy as carbon neutral.

I believe we need to be wise in where we direct our political energies and      try to direct them to efforts that are more likely to reduce pollution. HB          1372 does not meet that test, and I wish that groups like 350.org would        direct their efforts more responsibly. As such, I do not support HB 1372 and    have communicated that to its sponsor. I urge your support for more              effective legislation such as HB 1646.

Best,

Joe”