Letter to Councilmembers

Below is the letter the Climate Action Team recently sent to a four King County councilmembers who represent parts of Seattle and nine Seattle city councilmembers. So far, we have met with three county councilmembers and one city councilmember. We have one more scheduled and are working on getting meetings scheduled with the other councilmembers we haven’t heard from yet.

Dear Councilmember [INSERT NAME HERE],

We are writing to you about King County’s attempts to mitigate climate change and to request a meeting with you.

In September, Seattle became one of the first two cities in the United States to win a Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge award valued at up to $2.5 million to accelerate efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents.

We would like to meet with you to discuss how King County and the K4C cities can work with the City of Seattle to make this award benefit the county as a whole.

We have two concerns relating to the Bloomberg award.

  1. Seattle is one of 15 cities (plus the Port of Seattle) that belong to the King County Cities-Climate Collaboration (K4C), a group working to coordinate and enhance the effectiveness of local government climate and sustainability action. So far, neither King County nor any of the K4C cities is meeting its greenhouse gas mitigation goals. We would like to see Seattle use the Bloomberg award not only to meet its own climate goals but also to create a climate action toolkit that other cities in King County can use to meet theirs. According to a conversation that People for Climate Action has had with Bloomberg Philanthropies, part of the criteria used in evaluating the award applications related to the potential regional impact and regional connections that cities have. We assume, therefore, that the K4C connection played a part in the worthiness of Seattle’s award application. We consequently conclude that a part of the Bloomberg award should be applied toward advancing the greater K4C regional greenhouse gas reduction efforts.
  2. It is imperative that the assistance be used on projects and strategies that are the most effective at reducing greenhouse gases. To this end, we feel strongly that this should include hiring a team of consultants whose specialty is helping organizations discern the most effective ways to combat climate change. For example, the Rocky Mountain Institute, the New Buildings Institute, and Architecture 2030 all offer this type of expert consulting. It is not clear to us from reading the award announcement whether or not the projects that will be funded have already been chosen; we hope this is not the case, as choosing the right projects is crucial to the award’s success.

Please tell us how we can work together to make this happen. Given the recent IPCC report and NCA report released last Friday, November 23, we have to act now to choose measurable and efficient actions to reduce our GHG emissions.

We look forward to hearing from you about scheduling a meeting. Several of us are available the afternoon of December 7th if that works for you. Let us know what times would work for you. Ben Pfeiffer can be reached at 206-422-4546 or via e-mail at nancy-ben@comcast.net.

Sincerely yours,

[NAMES/SIGNATURES HERE]

Relevant links:

People for Climate Action

http://peopleforclimateaction.org/

Announcement of Seattle winning a Bloomberg award:

https://www.bloomberg.org/press/releases/seattle-and-atlanta-first-winners-american-cities-climate-challenge/

K4C webpage:

https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/climate/strategies/k4c.aspx