Environmental & Economic Sustainability
FIGHT FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL THAT’S MORE THAN AN IDEA, BUT A PLAN
It’s not enough to signal your commitment, you actually have to have a plan. Mine is centered around aggressive environmental goals paired with economic opportunity for working-class people. This is centered on the following goals:
- Pass a city-wide resolution declaring climate change an emergency.
- Create green jobs through vehicle electrification and green building and remodeling. By divesting ourselves of the need for fossil fuels and investing in sustainable solutions, we bring great, living-wage union jobs to our local energy and housing infrastructure.
- Plan to retrofit existing city building to be energy-efficient and carbon-neutral, and ensure future construction meets the highest green standards.
- As more energy is needed, commit to getting that energy from wind and solar.
- Use the Racial Equity Tool Kit in all city planning towards achieving the goals of the Green New Deal to ensure indigenous people and communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by climate change have priority access to jobs created by these new policies.
- Support sustainable, regenerative farming, by using City dollars on meal programs to purchase as much food as possible from sustainable food sources, while still meeting the needs of the communities who need assistance the most.
Additionally, I support the Green New Deal’s goal to “promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, de-industrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.”
GREEN BUILDING AND GREEN REMODELING
Reduce or eliminate permit fees for green building and green remodeling in exchange for requirements around the use of building trades union labor. Build up apprenticeship programs today to create the builders and contracting small businesses of tomorrow.
PUBLIC & RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS
Put union electrical workers to work by installing EV charging stations across Seattle.
ELECTRIFY ALL PUBLIC & CITY TRANSPORTATION
Electrify our entire city fleet and by 2025 and our entire public transportation by 2030. This will lower street-level pollution for all of us and bring us in line with WA State policy on public vehicle fleets. Solutions for larger vehicles (trucks and buses) are emerging today, but we need strong target dates to lead on climate policy.
ELECTRIFY ENTIRE RIDESHARE FLEET
Require electrification of the entire RideShare fleet operating within the City of Seattle by 2025.
TRANSITION FROM NATURAL GAS FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION
Natural gas use in buildings makes up for about a quarter of Seattle’s greenhouse gas emissions. 55% of Seattle’s existing single-family houses were heated by natural gas in 2018, while 28% percent used oil (83% total for fossil fuels). Only 16% used electricity.
Seattle City Light is the greenest utility in the country, so we should prioritize electric energy to heat our homes, carving out exemptions for those replacing a fireplace with a gas insert and allowing gas stoves in restaurants (since no good replacements are available for commercial use); gas stoves in new construction allowed with a carbon tax.
INVEST BIG IN NON-POINT SOURCE STORMWATER FILTRATION
We are killing the Puget Sound with our polluted stormwater, but the good news is there a lot more we can be doing: green roofs, rain gardens, bioretention filtration, and pervious pavement are all great solutions to this problem. These systems will be on full display in the new Seattle Waterfront which, along with a seawall, will create a safer, cleaner environment for juvenile fish—especially salmon—to thrive. A healthy salmon population will help save our southern resident orcas. Seattle has the highest non-point source of stormwater pollution in the region. But we have all the tools to mitigate its worst impacts, and the work to build all these filtration systems can all be done by union laborers.
BIGGER URBAN TREE CANOPY
Trees absorb CO2, provide shade for buildings (resulting in less need for AC in the summer) and concrete/asphalt, and overall contribute to a more livable city. We should protect the mature trees we already have and plant more for the next generation to enjoy. This is not just a climate change issue, it’s also one of equity. Low-income communities have on average far fewer trees than wealthy neighborhoods, and during heat waves, the few degree increases in these low-tree-density urban heat deserts, especially in neighborhoods with the lowest percentage of air conditioners, can result in greater incidence of heat-related illnesses and even death.
MAINTAIN AND EXPAND OUR PARKLANDS
We have very few parks and parklands as it is; let’s preserve what we have and where possible, create more. The Seattle Waterfront will have expanded park space. The proposal to “Lid I-5” with a park would be a great way to connect downtown to Capitol Hill and provide more green space and less concrete/asphalt heating. I will preserve the parklands used today by our municipal golf courses. Whether they’re used as golf courses or as parks, they should remain as green space and have equitable access for all communities.
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