Councilmember O'Brien left office on December 31, 2019. This website is for archival purposes only and is no longer updated.

Join us at the Community Forum, September 14

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In January of this year, the Seattle City Council announced that that achieving carbon neutrality was one of its priorities. In May, Van Jones came to Seattle and spoke about the incredible opportunity Seattle has to make history and to continue to make opportunities for other cities to do the right thing.

Van Jones spoke about the “green economy” and the need to respect our planet by moving in a green direction. This green direction included protecting the health of the planet, returning to production and reducing thrift. This green economy was to be the next American economy and Seattle was the place that could lead this new model.

He also highlighted the fact that Seattle out-competed many cities in the nation to receive a $20 million block grant for energy retrofits. It was one of six cities to receive this incredible opportunity.

Finally, Van Jones was clear in making the point that the success of things like the green economy and the block grant, and even the general success of climate advocacy can only happen if everyone in the community participates. It cannot just be the guys on bikes, or the wonky economists, or the government. This is an entirely new movement – a true shift in the way we all think and operate. We need everyone at the table.

Following Van Jones’ speech, the Council began asking the question in earnest– “How will Seattle become a carbon neutral city?” The community has already given a considerable amount of thought to this question and so we began to ask for their ideas. We helped them self organize into groups: transportation, youth, neighborhoods, green jobs, land use, food systems, energy, and zero waste. From there, the groups have really taken off – each is developing a white paper and presentation for Council, explaining their thoughts and recommendations. Those recommendations will be presented to Council on September 14 at 6:00 pm in the Bertha Knight Landes room at City Hall. We hope you can attend.

This website is part of the process. We hope you will get connected to the various groups on the site. Each sector has its own page and contacts. They also each have their own blog which you can follow to see what is happening in the community. It’s a work in progress, and we hope you will visit frequently.

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