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Hacks & Wonks


Apr 18, 2023

On this midweek show, Executive Director of 350 Seattle Shemona Moreno shares with Crystal how the organization approaches climate justice work through deep systems change. Shemona outlines a vision for a just transition that moves us from an extractive to a regenerative economy that includes accountability for our impacts on both the local and global scale. 350 Seattle’s current focus on Green New Deal policy yes campaigns and their Electrify Seattle campaign leads to discussion of false solutions such as “renewable natural gas” and carbon offsets. Crystal and Shemona wrap up with tactics used in 350 Seattle’s advocacy and how to get involved with them to make a difference.

As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com.

Follow us on Twitter at @HacksWonks. Find the host, Crystal Fincher, on Twitter at @finchfrii and find 350 Seattle at @350_Seattle.

 

Shemona Moreno

Shemona is an activist, leader, changemaker, and the Executive Director of 350 Seattle. A proud Latinx & Black woman, her mother is an immigrant from Mexico and her father a descendant of enslaved African people. These origins ground Shemona’s work in the fierce commitment to amplifying demands of frontline communities hurt first and worst by climate catastrophe. She trusts that cultivating deep relationships among organizations fighting for racial, economic, gender, disability, and climate justices is how we build collective power to interrupt systems of oppression. She also really loves donuts with sprinkles and bright red shoes.

 

Resources

350 Seattle

 

Electrify Seattle Campaign | 350 Seattle

 

Electrify Seattle 1-Pager | 350 Seattle

 

Climate activists warn “renewable natural gas” may be the newest form of greenwashing” by Guy Oron from Real Change News

 

Guy Oron Twitter thread: Latest news on "renewable natural gas" greenwashing

 

Cap & Trade Fails Communities” from 350 Seattle

 

How Washington plans to spend money from the new carbon-cap law” by Joseph O’Sullivan from Crosscut

 

Two Years of Giving Chase…Hell” by Alec Connon from 350 Seattle

 

Transcript

[00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington state through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, the most helpful thing you can do is leave a review wherever you listen to Hacks & Wonks. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes.

Today I am very excited to be welcoming Shemona Moreno, who is the Executive Director of 350 Seattle. Welcome to the show.

[00:01:02] Shemona Moreno: Hi, thanks for having me.

[00:01:03] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. I just wanted to start off - wondering what brought you to this work?

[00:01:09] Shemona Moreno: What brought me to 350 Seattle and climate work was some really good friends that were involved first. I had noticed they had started getting more involved in climate work over the summer back in 2016, and they invited me along to one of the events that they were participating in - sharing a little bit more about the work. And I was inspired. I was - Wow, this is really cool - the stuff you're doing here is awesome. How do I get involved? And so I started to show up a little bit more and I attended a new volunteer event that 350 Seattle was holding in the winter of 2016. And I got involved - I basically just thought I was showing up for an information session, but they're - No, you're here to plan an action with us. And I was - Okay, cool. And so that's how I got involved with 350 Seattle.

But my activism and desire for change was instilled in me very young - my mother was very much involved in social justice issues, specifically around police accountability and police, anti-police brutality. And so she was very involved in all that and she brought her kids along with her, so we were very active in the community - worked in various different organizations, like Books to Prisoners, Food Not Bombs, working with socialists organizations. Back in the day, Refuse and Resist was a big organization. And yeah, it's cool to go back and look at pictures of just little Shemona standing on the side of the street saying "Free Mumia," so I have - it's in my blood. And now it's - as the climate movement, specifically around climate justice, is something that actually calls to me a little bit more 'cause the climate crisis is urgent, but I also believe the approach to the climate crisis needs to be thought of in intersection with other justice issues - like racial justice, gender justice, economic justice.

And at 350 Seattle, the approach we take very much considers that - we approach our climate justice work through the idea of deep systems change. 'Cause if we don't change these systems of harm and oppression, then there's no solving the climate crisis - and there's no solving it on its own without addressing all of the issues.

[00:03:26] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely, and that's part of why I find 350 Seattle so inspiring. Can you tell me just more about 350 Seattle, what it stands for, and what type of work you're involved in?

[00:03:39] Shemona Moreno: Yeah, so 350 Seattle - our mission is we work towards climate justice by organizing people to make deep system change, like resisting fossil fuels, building momentum for healthy alternatives, and fostering resilient, just, and welcoming communities. The main message in there is that we really strive for what we call a just transition - moving our extractive economy and these extractive governments into one that's regenerative - we're lots of community owned, community resilient world. So trying to build that better future that we have. And at 350 Seattle, we have undergone some changes - we started back in 2013 before I even was around. And over the past few years, when the Green New Deal came onto the scene before the pandemic, that we started to invest more in what we call our yes campaigns - community solutions, things we want to say yes to. And so that's - we've moved into saying, doing more work around saying yes to solutions - what solutions can we put in place to move us away from fossil fuel and invest more in housing, transportation, community care, and things like that. And so 350 Seattle's really focused right now for the next three years on Green New Deal policies yes campaigns, but all the while still saying - being in solidarity with issues that are saying no to fossil fuel infrastructure and holding polluters accountable and those that invest in them. So a lot of divestment campaign. So yeah, that's a very small, little overview of what 350 Seattle's doing.

And for me - my part in that - I was recently promoted to Executive Director, I'd say about five months ago. And before that I was Deputy Director. And then before that I was our Equity Director and did some volunteer engagement as well. So I've been slowly but surely - not that slow, it's happened pretty fast - saying yes and taking on more and more responsibility. And I'm excited to be in this new leadership role to really fully realize a lot of the visions that we've created for ourselves and to put ourselves on a path for change and success.

[00:05:50] Crystal Fincher: Another thing is just looking at different organizations - looking at the approaches that they take and how they operate internally, impacting how they're able to impact the community externally. And one of just kind of the pillars in your strategic vision is investing in staff and organizational sustainability. What does that mean, and what does that look like, and why is that important to the work?

[00:06:13] Shemona Moreno: I think it came out of - like most organizations, the pandemic really wiped us out. It challenged us in a way that we were not prepared for. How do we take care of our people? How do we transition actions onto online? It took us a year just to even figure out how do these online tools work? We didn't - 'cause we had never invested in doing any digital organizing. We were always - we're in the streets, we're talking to our community - out and - but at that point when the pandemic came, you couldn't do that because it wasn't safe. And so a lot of our work came to a full stop - there was a lot of things that just stopped. And so we slowly but surely found ways to engage people online. And even though it's not the same, you can't stop. You have to find a way to make it work with the community in the circumstances that they're in.

And so investing, and also to be very real - people got sick. We've had people who passed leave. So you have to - what are we doing to make sure that there is care there? That we all have good insurance, that people - we're doing mutual aid and making sure we're checking in on each other. And so I think it was a big reckoning for us and for a lot of people that we need to really invest in the people here. We need to make sure that the work is sustainable so that people can feel like they can come back to this work at any time and plug in, both on a volunteer level all the way up to staff and board level. And we wanna make sure that the work we're doing is on a path to achieve the greatness that we wanna achieve - there's so much change that you have to make, but in order to do that, you have to make sure the people who are there are taken care of as well. So the investing in staff - what that looks like tangibly was making sure that we're paying people a livable wage - inflation, the rents are sky high in Seattle. And so we wanted to make sure that what we were paying our staff - that they could live in Seattle, they could survive here.

And also just what that looks like is investing in a lot of different tools to make sure that the work we can do is accessible for people, that we're taking in account people's safety and comfort. 'Cause no one wants to do it if they're not gonna be considered - accessibility was also a huge thing that we had to start investing in and paying attention to, 'Cause I think a lot of organizations really don't think about accessibility when they're thinking about equity as well. Usually people tackle one issue at a time, but you have to - there's layers because not one person is - I'm only concerned about this one identity thing. I'll be transparent - our staff and volunteers - we have a lot of people who have long COVID. And how do we take care of those people? How do we make our work accessible so people can still show up in whatever capacity they have? So it was a big goal for us. And I'm pretty proud that we're really chipping away at all of the things that we set ahead of us.

[00:09:01] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, and I think that's important in a number of organizations who historically have not focused on accessibility are now being woken up to finally on how important it really is, and how we can't really fight for justice if we leave people out of the movement. It becomes counterproductive at that point. Now, some of the values that 350 Seattle talks about, holds are - one, climate change being a profound and urgent threat to all life on the planet, but most especially and most immediately to those in the Global South. What does your work around that principle entail, and how does that shape the work?

[00:09:41] Shemona Moreno: I think over the years, we've done a lot of learning of what that means and what does accountability look like too. As an organization based in the United States, there's a lot of learning that goes into that - understanding the privilege of being in the United States. And also just really thinking about how we fit into a global context of just a lot of - even something not simple, but just like those things of just - a lot of our trash was getting shipped overseas. A lot of the trash that we - people just throw on the ground that gets into the oceans - a lot of the currents - that sweeps up on seas, like in the South. And I've traveled around the world of just in different places, even just witnessing - wow, these beautiful places covered in trash and there's no resources to help clean it up. And a lot of that stuff is because of the United States and even just American investors investing in fossil fuel infrastructure in places all over the world. I know in South Africa, they're - in across Africa, not just South Africa - 'cause I recently came back from there, just learning about the different things and the fossil fuel projects that are happening there - it's American investors helping pay for all of that. And it's - so there is an accountability to the rest of the world, specifically the Global South.

And also to understand that it's not about saving the Global South, it's about listening and being in solidarity. And when there is trust and built allyship, then we can be co-conspirators on change. Like it's not 350 Seattle - we're gonna decide what is good for the Global South. I'm - one, the Global South is such a huge broad term. Who are you even talking about when you say that sometimes? But people have it in their head of what that means. And I think what we really wanna make sure that we're doing education on is - we are accountable and we're accountable by making sure that we are aware of the things that we do and how it impacts not just our community, but the larger global community. That we are doing the education that we need to - what are the ripple effects of all the changes that we make here? Because people look here to see what's happening, what are they doing, and how is that going to affect change in other places? And so making sure we're aware that what we're choosing to do - we're thinking through what potential ripples there might be from that.

And I'll say we're - sometimes this principle gets lost and a lot of the work we do tend to focus hyper locally. And I think recently we have an opportunity to plug in more into the global context - partnering with more organizations that have sister cities or have more connections to - in the Pacific, in Africa, in South America, especially when we're talking about immigration justice. We need to be - we can't really solve that issue on our own here - what does that look like to be in partnership with organizers in other places? And also sometimes it's just about shutting up and - Show me the money, here's some resources, here's the things that we can offer you - we have so much access to money here, especially in Washington. Sometimes all it is is - Yes, we will pay for that. We will support you in this way. Just tell us when and where.

[00:12:45] Crystal Fincher: So now you have this global vision. What is the local action that you have been focused on? What are the biggest opportunities locally, and what have you been working on locally?

[00:12:56] Shemona Moreno: Right now we're in the middle of a campaign called Electrify Seattle. And so this campaign is focused on - we have three major demands - is making sure that the timeline for transitioning off of fossil fuels is moved up. Specifically around our large buildings over 20,000 square feet in Seattle - that those buildings are moved to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 or 2035. And so that's a campaign that we're working on now. And then in that, we wanna make sure we're rejecting false climate solutions around renewable natural gas. We know where it comes from, but it's not natural to be doing that - and because of a lot of the health issues and the air pollution that still comes with using gas. Hence the name Electrify Seattle. We wanna make sure that there's no pay-to-pollute incentives of - where people can be - Oh, you can buy your way out of trouble or shift it to something else. So those are the three demands in our Electrify Seattle campaign.

But it's complex and there's a lot of research that's having to go into that. And it's a campaign that - we're up against some really big targets. Most people don't realize who owns most of the property in Seattle - it's Amazon, Vulcan, it's UW. People are always shocked to find - who actually owns this land and who are we fighting against? These so-called companies that are - Oh yeah, we support climate solutions. We built the Climate Pledge Arena, remember? And I'm - Okay, but what about all the other buildings in Seattle? And we can't wait until 2050 to do that work. We have to invest in that work now and we have to pay for it.

[00:14:38] Crystal Fincher: And that's an interesting point - you talk about some of those false solutions. You talked about natural gas, which is fracked gas. There was a recent controversy for a garbage contractor for the City claiming some very environmentally clean messaging as a reflection of the work that they're doing - it turns out they're using fracked gas as part of this project. And we aren't breathing cleaner air as a result of it - we're breathing dirtier air, unlike their ad copy statements. But it is - it does go to this false solutions. Other things that you classify as false solutions are geoengineering, bioenergy, carbon trading, offsetting carbon taxes.

Now, especially with those carbon offsets and trading, we recently passed a huge piece of legislation here in Washington - the Climate Commitment Act. They've called it a cap and invest system, which is a spruced up cap and trade system - but it has already raised money, will raise money that they say they're going to invest in green energy uses. But the money that it's raising is essentially from people buying pollution credits, or buying the ability to pollute over a certain limit. Why do you consider this a false solution, and how do we move forward in this state with this in place?

[00:16:06] Shemona Moreno: We consider it a false solution because nothing is actually being solved. It's a loophole - they are allowed to keep doing what they're doing and they can pay to keep doing it. And we all think it's better 'cause they're - We're making money. I'm - We're still making money off of the things that are killing us, that are ravaging the planet. The solution is to stop, not to buy our way out of it. You can't - the damage that we do by continuing to use fossil fuels - we will get to a point where it'll be irreparable and we can't, no money is going to fix it. So that is not a solution. And yeah, there is - I guess - the silver lining to - Oh, there's money. And especially with the Climate Commitment Act, I've been hearing people say a lot more money than we thought. And I'm - Isn't that alarming that there is a lot more money? That means more and more people are buying their way to pollute more - that is not something I'm happy about.

And especially, it's sometimes hard to believe that people are going to actually reinvest in the community. 'Cause I don't know - the housing crisis is getting worse and worse. Transportation - I haven't seen improvement. The job market is not the same. I'm just - rent is going higher and higher. More and more people are having to leave the City. And the money that is being raised to reinvest, it's not going to the places that - who need it the most. People who have no responsibility for the damage that's being done to the planet and to the communities. And we're still not investing in them. And I know for sure that there was some - a lot of BIPOC frontline communities were against the Climate Commitment Act, and 350 Seattle was in solidarity with that. But now - all we can do now is just - what is the fight that we need to keep fighting, and keep pushing, and also holding - okay, if we have this money to reinvest, making sure that they are reinvesting it. What is the action? You can't just tell me you're going to do it without any action to do it. So that's where we're at now - is making sure that it is reinvested while also still being - finding a way to be - I don't want to see polluters buying their way out, buying their way out. That is not a solution.

[00:18:24] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. It's a challenge and it allows them to get credit for reducing harm in a way that doesn't reduce the harm at the point of pollution. I think that waste management example is pretty appropriate because they're claiming that - Hey, some mitigating activity that we're doing in the Midwest is how we can claim that we're producing cleaner air in the Northwest. And no - the air here is just as dirty to people breathing it to the degree that they are, along with other pollutants that we allow, are part of the reason for such a disparity in the life expectancy in different zip codes in the same City of Seattle. We have to focus on the harm that we're doing. And to your point, it's the people who least afford it - it's BIPOC communities, it's lower income communities who are doing the least amount of polluting, but absorbing the harms from pollution the most. Understanding this - accountability is absolutely something that the organization regularly talks about, takes action on - how important is it to hold polluters and our leaders who are writing policy accountable to reducing actual harm done? And what tactics do you take to hold people accountable in this kind of situation, whether it's the Climate Commitment Act or other local investments?

[00:19:47] Shemona Moreno: Yeah, the divestment campaign is - that we work on is, yeah - we call it our accountability work - Hey, you are using money. A lot of that money - it belongs to the people who you're harming. We should have a say in that - is one thing. And a lot of the tactics we use is just trying to get at the hearts of some of these shareholders, customers, managers - I think there are - you try that first and then you try demands. And then you try just - All right, here are - we're gonna be out in the street. Then we try action. And then you do it - it's cyclical of just what you're trying, of the different tactics that you're employing.

[00:20:28] Crystal Fincher: And when you say action, what do you mean?

[00:20:31] Shemona Moreno: I mean nonviolent direct action. In the past, what I've seen - I've participated in showing up and delivering a letter to the bank manager, and we're not leaving until we see you read this letter, and make promise that you're gonna send this letter up the chain, and that you are in - on the side of - Yeah, this is wrong that we're investing this money that could be fixing the roads, housing these people, affordable healthcare. How is it that the drug crisis - people overdosing in the street - how are we not spending as much money as possible to take care of people? And yet using all of this money to just tear down our communities, and not just any community - BIPOC and frontline communities. How is that allowed? And so that's part of the narrative too, of just - why are we letting this happen? We have a moral obligation to these people. We are accountable to our communities to make sure that they're taken care of. And so we're not leaving here until you hear what we're trying to say. And so that's - I support doing that.

And then also it is - on the flip side, it is going in and lobbying and talking to our legislators. And while it is a very complex and disheartening thing sometimes - dealing with the legislative - and the game of politics is just another thing I wish we could change like that. But it's sometimes - you have to find a way in and make yourselves heard in that space too. And sometimes you have to yell - I think we're seeing that across the country, especially with youth showing up in - at their legislators - and demanding change. 'Cause sometimes we've tried letters, we've tried phone calls and emails. We do that - people think we don't. We start there first and we're ignored, and so we have to show up and demand to be heard and we demand change.

And then also it ultimately leads to - for the people who can't show up in person and do that, staying informed and voting. So it's just - that's a hard thing for me - is how many people don't vote. And especially in Seattle and Washington - we make it so easy for you to vote. You don't have to go stand in line for hours. It's mailed right to your door. If you lose it, you could print it out again. And so making sure people are staying informed, and who they're voting for, and why they're voting. And just vote.

[00:22:56] Crystal Fincher: It's important. It's how - I usually say local politics is organizing - it absolutely impacts your day-to-day living conditions, what happens in your daily life. And oftentimes that has more of a tangible effect on our daily lives than voting in the federal elections. We should all vote for it all, but my goodness, not skip the local elections as so many more people even do. When it comes to that, one of the challenges that we have is - it's a bigger challenge with younger people than with older people - but feeling like politics and voting is relevant at all. And in elections where there is a higher amount of younger people engaged, where politicians and leaders are speaking to issues that are important to younger people, we do see higher turnout in there. And 350 overall - definitely 350 Seattle - is an organization that seems to have much higher youth participation than a lot of other environmental organizations or other organizations in that space. How do you think that impacts the work that you do and the type of tactics that you use?

[00:24:09] Shemona Moreno: I think it's a positive impact. It's inspiring. I will say that I think when 350 Seattle and the overall 350 in the US - all the different local groups across the US - are started off pretty - older retiree, white, middle-class. And I think over the years it's been changing and especially since more - honestly, when Trump was elected, I think that was a huge sea change of a moment where people were - Whoa, how did this happen? How do we go from Obama to Trump? It was like an overcorrection of just - Whoa, okay, I can't sit back and do nothing anymore. I think that's one of the reasons why I got involved. I was in my late 20s getting involved at that time. And I think we're seeing that again - with the climate crisis getting worse, housing, transportation, inflation - we're seeing more young people, or as they come into the world a little bit more - What, what is going on? And the threat of they're like - Do I have a future on this planet? What is going to be left for me? Hearing people be - I don't think I'm gonna have kids 'cause I don't think I'm ever gonna be able to afford a house - having to deal with some really hard stuff at such a young age now. And so I'm seeing more and more youth get involved.

And especially in 350 Seattle, we're seeing way more kids from high school, college getting involved where normally it was older retirees who - and so I'm just so inspired and so excited to see the change of people showing up. Also one of our goals is to be a multi-generational, multicultural organization and be truly reflective of all the different communities in Seattle and Washington. And we're seeing that, we're seeing so many more young folks coming in, staying excited, and then scaling up and becoming leaders in their own right and taking on more responsibility. And it's just - I don't know - it's exciting.

[00:26:10] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. Now locally - whether it's Seattle, whether it's King County - what are the biggest opportunities or biggest areas where we can make an immediate impact when it comes to the environment, greenhouse gas emissions? What are the kind of biggest deals on the table right now?

[00:26:29] Shemona Moreno: Ooh, that's a good question. I think we're - we've been thinking a lot about that. I think that's the hardest part sometimes with this is just - Ah, what do you do? There's so much you can do. And then even in just the campaign that we have now that we started off very excited, but then - we are still excited - it's things are complex, things are challenging. There are so many pieces that fit into it. And so there is the opportunity to make big change here, especially in Seattle, but it's gonna be hard to do that.

[00:26:59] Crystal Fincher: So what's this current campaign?

[00:27:01] Shemona Moreno: Yeah, so the Electrify Seattle campaign - moving off of fossil fuels, particularly gas, which is a big thing in Seattle and electrifying. So yeah, transitioning off of gas - that's such a huge complicated thing, but it is possible if we invest our time and resources in it. And I think the next big thing, I think in Seattle, where you tend to focus just on Seattle - what can we achieve here? And then also thinking about how do we go about that change so it can be basically creating a toolkit for it to be replicated anywhere else in the country. I know they've done this - a lot of this work in New York City, which is where we've been doing some learning from. And what would it be like if other cities around the US did this too? And even outside of that, what other cities in different countries? Obviously there'd be different contexts that you would do this campaign, but that's how we go about doing the work - What can we achieve? What is winnable? What are the resources you need in order to win? And can we scale? What is the scale to that? And so I think opportunities here in Seattle would be electrifying our Port - taking a look at aviation, around they're thinking of expanding the airport. What are the impacts of that? Both environmental and the community - who's gonna be displaced when we do that?

And then also just looking at, in the short term, what or how are we building resilient communities across Seattle and even further outside of that? Our campaign from last year was talking about turning our community centers into climate resilient hubs. So making sure our community centers are - have cooling and air filtration, because when this - we now at the past five years, we've had these huge heat domes and smoke events and - Hey, this is Seattle. This is Washington. Most people don't have air conditioning or air filtration. We're just suffocating in our homes - where do people go? Where do our elders go? Where do our children go to breathe clean, cool air? And so how are we preparing ourselves for the effects of climate change? So turning our community centers into resilience hubs, making sure our libraries - places where people congregate naturally or go in emergencies - how are we making sure that they are prepared?

[00:29:11] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely - that completely makes sense. Now you talk about electrifying the Port. Is that all of the Port facilities? Is that cruise ships themselves? What does that look like?

[00:29:24] Shemona Moreno: And even that's - electrifying the Port - that's, like you said, there's so many possibilities there. In the past, we have done some work on cruise ships and being - We don't want this to be a place where we have these cruise ships the size of gigantic buildings coming in and dirtying up the Sound. It also looks like making sure that the trucks going in and out of the Port, trains - they're not transporting or using fossil fuels. So those are things that you can look at. It's making sure that when boats do come in, that they're plugging into shore power and not just running their engines and all of the toxic waste that just spills out of these boats.

[00:30:03] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, many recent studies have - or some recent studies - have indicated that cruise ships are very, very polluting vehicles. They emit a ton of toxins and pollutants, and they just sit there spewing for a while. And lots of people are starting to take exception to that, being that they're breathing the air.

[00:30:23] Shemona Moreno: They don't need to be doing that. There are - we have resources and I believe even our Port, to some degree, is electrified that they can plug in. But for some reason, I think there are times that they don't. Why is that allowed to happen? What does it look like to expand that to all of our ports? And what does that look like to scale that to other ports - in Tacoma, poor Tacoma - what does it look like to repair a lot of the harm that's happened in these cities and make sure we don't, in the future, that's not happening again?

Yeah, but I'm by no means an expert on what electrifying the Port looks like. So there's still a lot of research and partnership building and reaching out that we need to do. I'm sure there's already a ton of organizations that are focused on that right now. And what does it look like for 350 Seattle to be in partnership with those organizations, and how do we fit in, and what niche do we fill?

[00:31:13] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. You mentioned earlier that it's important to recognize how crucial so many other social and economic struggles in our community are, and how fighting climate change is tied to fighting those things. Why is that the case? Why is it so important?

[00:31:36] Shemona Moreno: It's so important because when you think about it, you're - how do you possibly separate anything? Everything is so intertwined - the intersections of so many different issues - it's really hard to solve one without even talking about another. And so the way we need to - and I wouldn't want to - What kind of planet? Yeah, the planet's cool, but if we're all still suffering and causing each other harm, what good is it having this clean air if we're still shooting each other in the streets, or people are dying from drug overdoses, or people don't have a home? We have to be solving all of that together so that when we do achieve this just transition - this regenerative economy - that all of our basic needs are being met, people are doing work that they want to be doing, that they care about doing, and that everyone - it feels like they are part of something that is strong and beautiful. That's what holds me. I want something that's strong and beautiful and that everyone is - there's purpose and power for everyone. And in order to do that, you can't just pick - I'm only gonna worry about planting trees and not care about whether or not someone has a home. Or the fact that just - Oh, I only care about this thing, but totally disregard all these other issues. And also - just as for me and a lot of our organizers is, we're not just - there's not just one thing that I care about, there's many things that I care about. And everyone is that way. And so there's gotta be - we have to approach our campaigns really thinking about the different intersections and the impacts that we have when we fight for them.

[00:33:10] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, that absolutely makes sense. And if people wanna get involved in 350 Seattle, or in some of the issues that you've talked about, what can they do?

[00:33:20] Shemona Moreno: Getting involved with 350 is pretty easy. You can find our - on our website, you can sign up to get involved. And we have - right now we do a monthly intro to 350 where we talk a little bit about who we are, where we came from, what our vision and plan is. And ways you can get involved - that looks like joining a campaign, looks like joining a different project that we have. There's also community building spaces that we have that you can join. We have our artful activism crew that create the art and joy for our movement - and not just for 350 Seattle - we create a lot of art for a lot of our partner organizations as well. And it's such a low, easy way to get involved. You show up in a community space - there's music, there's food, and you make art - and there's no skills needed. So that's - I always like - that's the best way to start getting involved 'cause then you start to learn about all the different campaigns in a very low stakes way.

And then we have things for people who wanna do more of the backend stuff. We have a ton of - I call them my spreadsheet nerds - and they are gonna save the world with one spreadsheet at a time. There's ways you can plug in and - I-only-have-a-couple-hours-a-week to I-actually-have-a-ton-of-time and I wanna get involved. And getting involved in 350 Seattle - really we try to make it more of a community space. So it's not necessarily - I'm gonna show up for one day and do my thing and then I leave. No, you kinda get - we wanna encourage you to get to know someone, to learn about the different aspects of all of the work that we do, even if you are just focused in one campaign role. We really wanna encourage people to level up on themselves to become leaders and organizers. Whether you stay with 350 Seattle or not, we wanna skill people up to go out and make change in their communities. But yeah, check us out on our website.

[00:35:14] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. Thank you so much for spending this time with us today and informing us, and we look forward to following the work that you do from here on out. Thank you very much, Shemona.

[00:35:25] Shemona Moreno: Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

[00:35:26] Crystal Fincher: Thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks, which is co-produced by Shannon Cheng and Bryce Cannatelli. You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, leave a review wherever you listen. You can also get a full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the episode notes.

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