Below are some actions that need your support.
Immediate Action Needed
UUs are working in a myriad of ways to create a Just Transition through community organizing and advocacy for implementing bold, just climate policies at all levels. Here are some highlights for this Create Climate Justice priority area:
The UU Young Adults for Climate Justice Network is curating a zine exploring the threads between theologies of place and climate justice, and we want YOUR art! Art is a powerful tool for change, and we will use this zine to mobilize our communities and connect our movements. Intergenerational submissions are welcome as long as young adults are involved, and submissions can be anything that can be rendered in a 2D format - words, visuals, photos, etc. Check out the FAQ here, and find resources to get inspired here. Please fill out this interest form to stay in the loop! Questions? Contact Amelia Diehl at email@example.com. Createclimatejustice.net - make an account for you and your organization/congregation, learn and start sharing information. Become part of a prophetic, faith-based UU movement for climate justice.
The Strengthen Local Climate Commitments (SLCC) campaign provides resources and peer support for UUs to find out how their local elected leaders are doing on their climate commitments — and then to help them aspire higher so that humanity can realize a Just Transition to an ecological civilization and not exceed the 1.5°C global warming threshold. Learn more.
Goals of the Tour:
- Build relationships between UU Ministry for Earth & UU communities in Oregon and Washington
- Inspire and uplift Unitarian Universalist action for climate justice; catalyze the UU movement to Create Climate Justice
- Build UU awareness & support for Levi Draheim and his climate lawsuits
- Raise funds to support UUMFE’s Summer and Fall 2019 program goals
- Collaboratively create climate/eco-artwork that culminates in beautiful worship and “ Procession of Species ” at the 2019 UUA General Assembly (and then continues to grow for an even bigger ceremony in 2020)
- June 4-6 – First Unitarian, Portland, OR
- June 9th – UU Church on Eugene, OR (10 a.m. service and 12-noon presentation)
- If you are able, please join us at one of these events:
- June 9th, UU Church in Eugene, OR, 10 am worship service, 11:30 am after-church potluck, 12-12:45 presentation, 12:45-3 pm art build with eco-muralist Esteban Camacho-Steffensen, multi-media artist Patti Warner, and UUMFE Program Director Aly Tharp.
- June 10th, UU Fellowship of Corvallis, OR – 6:30 potluck and 7:30 presentation
- June 14th, Bellingham UU Fellowship, Bellingham, WA, 6:30 potluck and 7:30 presentation
- June 15th, East Shore Unitarian Church, Bellvue, WA, 11 am – 12:30 pm potluck and presentation, followed by a carpool/caravan to the Lummi Totem Pole Journey event in Seattle at 1 pm
- June 16th, University Unitarian Church, Seattle WA, 10 am worship service, 11:15-12:30 pm presentation
- June 16th, Woodinville UU Church, 3-4:30 eco-art build, 4:30 – 6 pm presentation, 6-7 pm potluck
WUUC will sponsor the UU Ministry for Earth Speaking Tour on June 16 from 3-7 PM.
This is a unique opportunity to hear from national climate justice leaders - Aly Tharp, Program Director for the Ministry for Earth; Levi Draheim, the youngest plaintiff of the Juliana vs US federal youth climate lawsuit, and; Leonard Higgins, best known for shutting down the Spectra Express pipeline in Montana, as one of five “valve turners”.
Sponsoring this event is a special privilege for WUUC . WUUC is inviting other UU churches/fellowships in the area to attend, including Shoreline, Edmonds, Northlake, East Shore, and Evergreen.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has proposed new rules to threaten housing for families of mixed immigration status. Under this new rule, families where some members are undocumented will be forced to choose between breaking up in order to receive housing assistance and not receiving assistance at all. The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance notes that 55,000 children could face eviction if this rule goes into effect, and they have a portal where you can submit a comment on this horrendous rule. Just as #FamiliesBelongTogether and should not be separated at our borders, they should remain together within our borders. Submit a comment today, and tell HUD that we need to increase housing resources, not limit them!
Faith Action Network has posters available from our partners at Washington Nonprofits for you to post in your faith communities. We want to make sure everyone is counted so that critical funding and elected representation is accurately reflected across our state. We’ll have posters available at our Summits, or contact us about getting some sent to you.
Every 10 years, the Constitution requires that there be a full count of the population residing in this country. We are only one year away from the 2020 census, which will begin in Spring of next year. An accurate census count will bring important economic and political benefits to our communities and state. More than $800 Billion in federal funding, as well as fair, proportional voting representation and political power are at stake. Federal programs like SNAP, WIC, and Medicaid are vital to community health. States receive federal dollars to administer these programs based on census results.
People of color, children, renters, folks experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, and rural communities have long been undercounted in the census. Communities more likely to be undercounted are often already facing barriers to health like poverty and unstable housing. We want to be sure these “hard to count” communities are counted in the 2020 census.
Though we are a year out from the census count, we are engaged with the statewide coalition to start preparation and educational outreach. Check out the Census 2020 Toolkit on our website for factsheets and faith-based resources to learn more about the importance of an accurate count. Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) in Seattle is hosting a census outreach and voter engagement training on June 8 - see their website for more details on how you can get involved, particularly if you are from or work with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities or other communities of color. Keep an eye on FAN's Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the hashtag #CountMeIn on both platforms to follow along with and share social media actions.
Backbone Campaign is honored to co-host two screenings of the highly anticipated Dammed to Extinction - in Seattle this Friday (June 7) and on Vashon Island next Tuesday (June 11).
We are also co-sponsoring two more Human Orca Murals next weekend, bringing our total of Human Murals up to 13 since Tahlequah carried her deceased baby across the Salish Sea, so we would witness what is happening to the Southern Resident pod and the dire conditions of their habitat. If you'll be in Gig Harbor or Bainbridge Island this Saturday, show up in black and stand up for the orca! Info is at the links below.
Dammed to Extinction Film Screening, June 7th, Seattle
Dammed to Extinction Film Screening, June 11th, Vashon Island
About the Film: Directed by eastern Washington native Michael Peterson, "Dammed to Extinction" chronicles the plight of the endangered Southern Resident orcas who depend on Chinook salmon for food, including Columbia Basin salmon runs especially in winter/spring.
The film features interviews with scientists and experts across the Northwest, from the Salish Sea to the mountain rivers of Idaho, who make the case for removing four aging dams on the lower Snake River to bring back many thousands of chinook salmon to thousands of miles of pristine rivers in the Snake River basin, providing much-needed food for orcas. Currently, all runs of Snake River salmon and steelhead are listed as threatened and endangered. This year's adult returns are predicted to be the lowest in decades.
Backbone now has lights and gear in 33 cities! Join our next Solidarity Brigade Network Call to hear about actions in your area, Thursday, June 20th, 5pm.
We recently trained up the Kitsap Solidarity Brigade and they quickly organized a three point action - light projection on one end of the county, an LED banner on another end, and a freeway banner at another entrance, all during the evening commute.
Our Builder's Guild meets each Wednesday in our Vashon Island Warehouse to build props, assemble LED light panels and banners, and prep imagery to be shared across the US. Currently, the Team is working on a kaleidoscope of monarch butterflies to show solidarity with immigrants, and a life size inflatable of Orca Mother Tahlequah and her calf. If you're in the area, stop by any Wednesday, 11-6. Shoot us an email for directions - firstname.lastname@example.org. No skills necessary! We have snacks available. The third Wednesday of the month we hold a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner so we'd be honored if you join us Wed, June 19th at 5:30.
Backbone props are used just about every day in some part of the country. Whether it's to bring attention to the urgent need to shut down the child prison in Homestead Florida or light projection on the Venezuelan Embassy in DC to protect it from a State Dept coup, or activists in Houston working to keep their communities safe from toxic explosions, Backbone is happy to deploy our light projectionists or lend gear to protect what you love. Click HERE to see some of our Spring actions. Borrow an image or LED banner by reserving one HERE.
Solutionary Rail is about using existing US railroads to get our society “on track” for clean transportation and renewable energy. We feel it may be the best chance we have for significantly curbing carbon emissions and ushering in a just and sustainable future.
Last month, we brought the Solutionary Rail concept to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting in Omaha. (Berkshire Hathaway owns BNSF, the largest US railroad company as well as Berkshire Hathaway Energy.) Just after deploying Backbone's signature creative activism tools outside the meeting, Bill (Solutionary Rail Project Lead) was selected via lottery to ask the 1st question from the floor of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.
Bill asked if the Solutionary Rail team could meet with them to discuss our proposal for a public-private partnership to electrify their railroads and open corridors for a clean energy future. Mr. Buffett’s reply was evasive and rambling, but he did say that we were “free to speak with Carl Ice,” the new head of BNSF. Then, Buffett’s partner Charlie Munger chimed in. Gloriously, Mr. Munger stated that, “The questioner is on the side of the angels. Electrification is bound to happen sooner or later… I think Greg will decide when.”
WOW! We couldn’t have imagined better words of blessing. The “Greg” Mr. Munger referred to is Greg Abel, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy and a likely successor to lead Berkshire Hathaway. We are working with our volunteer team of organizers and technicians to strategically follow up on Buffett's invitation.
Learn more about Solutionary Rail by watching this 3 minute video.
Make a tax-deductible contribution to Solutionary Rail HERE.
From the UU Ministry for the Earth.
The constitutional youth climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, will be heard before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon on June 4th, 2019. Our Children’s Trust is calling people to organize events locally and encourages you to mobilize on the day of the hearing to watch the Livestream (details to come) of the arguments and to hold marches in support. For more information, check out their FaceBook event HERE. For those who can be in Portland for the hearing, more than a thousand supporters will gather at Director Park downtown at 10:30 a.m., just a few blocks from the courthouse (which only seats about 40 people) to watch the live-streamed oral argument and afterwards hear from youth plaintiffs, their attorneys, and other community and climate movement members.
More here. Additional info on the case itself is tracked by Our Children's Trust.
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth (UUMFE) is on a speaking and fundraising tour to UU communities throughout Oregon and Washington, featuring three special guests: Levi Draheim, Aly Tharp, and Leonard Higgins. Levi, Aly, and Leonard will facilitate a series of lively evening and afternoon events from June 11-18th --- sharing stories, reflections, details about their work, and calls to action. Aly is also offering a collaborative community art project that will culminate in a “Procession of Species” event at the UUA General Assembly in Spokane, Washington, on June 20th.
The dates available for booking a speaking engagement in Oregon are June 5-11, and in Washington are June 12-18th. This document will be updated as dates become booked.
For a potential event In Oregon, contact Aly Tharp, and Leonard Higgins, --- and for Washington, contact Aly Tharp
and Bill McPherson.
We’ve all seen the stepped up hateful rhetoric and threats against our migrant family. Threats to further militarize the border, to move people to Sanctuary cities, and to use the military to round up and deport people. All while ICE continues to terrorize our communities and our country cages migrant children! But what you may not know is that this administration is very vulnerable right now, particularly for its cruel policies that separate families. And that’s why we need to act now. Read more here.
- Sign the Petition to Close Down the Homestead Child Detention Center. Our coalition’s goal is to get to 100,000 signatures and deliver them to the Health and Human Services Department which has the power to shut Homestead down. We will also deliver the petition to Members of Congress.
- Help children write letters to Congress Download our letter-writing toolkit for children. This can be a family and congregational activity.
- Join UUs for Social Justice on June 12th in Washington DC to deliver the petition and letters.
- Join Side with Love and UU Justice Florida in Homestead, Florida (30 miles from Miami) for the June 16th Action on Father’s Day at Homestead!
The UUA is going to put up a Facebook post about the rallies today and ask people who are at them or went to them to post a photo in the comments section from their rallies saying where they are. So please watch for that post and then post your photo and ask others in your network to do so.
Organize a Local Event to Support the June 4 Juliana v. US HearingThe constitutional youth climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, will be heard before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon on June 4th, 2019. Our Children’s Trust is calling people to organize events locally and encourages you to mobilize on the day of the hearing to host watch parties of the live stream of the arguments and to hold marches in support.
Deep Dive for Indigenous Solidarity May 9, 7:30 PM EST (6:30 Central, 5:30 Mountain, 4:30 Pacific)
Preparing ourselves to collaborate with Indigenous partners in a good way. Conversation and small group work to deepen our grounding. Shared learnings. Shared facilitation by UUs connected to the work.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/906222305
We continue to prepare in many ways: through the Environmental Justice Practitioners Network presentations by Indigenous leaders; reading An Indigenous History of the US; moving through the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation process; long term relationship through Inter National Initiative for Transformative Collaboration; Water Protectors Support Network; congregational alternatives to the settler -derived Thanksgiving Day celebrations; workshops at GA 2019, and preparation for GA 2020 which falls on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing; a call by our DRUUMM Indian Network to focus on repudiation of Doctrine of Discovery.
We have learned much, must continue to learn, and are called by our faith to show up in a good way. Come learn and share.
Rev. Karen Brammer
Green Sanctuary Manager and Senior Associate for Climate Justice
Organizing Strategy Team
Community Listening Forums on Implementing I-940 to Improve Police Procedures, May 2 and 8, Kent and Seattle WA
Initiative 940 is officially law in Washington State. However, the road towards implementation has just begun.
We have an opportunity to speak up on how this law is shaped and practiced. Two very crucial components are being developed: law enforcement training and independent investigations (when deadly force is used). We will provide an update on what steps have taken place since its passage and discuss what our communities envision for how this law is carried out. Comments shared at the event will be submitted to the Criminal Justice Training Commission who is responsible for finalizing the new training rules.