Opportunities like this don’t come along every day. But right now, Washington residents have a very unusual—and very real—opportunity to press for serious climate policy. Two public hearings in October, plus one in December, represent the best opportunity in ages to speak up and demand strong action on climate change.

Here’s the back story. In the last legislative session, Governor Jay Inslee’s first piece of successful legislation directed the state’s legislative leaders to come back to the table in 2014 with serious proposals to reduce Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent. If it’s not obvious, that’s a very big deal.

The group actually charged with the task, the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup (CLEW), is composed of four voting members drawn from legislative leadership—two Democrats and two Republicans—plus the governor as a non-voting member. There’s not likely to be a huge amount of consensus across party lines, but the more they hear that the Washington public is demanding fast-paced and aggressive climate action, the stronger their recommendations are likely to be.

So here’s where you need to get yourself:

  • Public Hearings

    • October 16, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. | Music Building Auditorium (Bldg. #15, Room 110), Spokane Falls Community College campus at 3410 W. Fort George Wright Drive, Spokane.
    • October 23, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. | Bell Harbor International Conference Center – 2211 Alaskan Way, Seattle.
    • December 6, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. | House Hearing Room A – State Capitol Campus, Olympia

    If you can’t make the hearings, you can submit a comment online through Washington Environmental Council’s website.

    Want to know more?

    Our friends in the advocacy community are leading the charge to make these hearings as effective and powerful as possible. So if you want to do more, I recommend you hook up with the efforts led by Climate Solutions and Washington Environmental Council. For example, WEC is holding phone banks in Seattle and Spokane in the run-up to the hearings. You can contact sasha@wecprotects.org to find out more.

    You can also find more information and see the technical research documents commissioned by the task force by visiting the official website.

    The CLEW members are:

    • Governor Jay Inslee
    • Senator Doug Ericksen (R, 42nd District) – Alternate Senator Sharon Brown (R, 8th District)
    • Senator Kevin Ranker (D, 40th District) – Alternate Senator Annette Cleveland (D, 49th District)
    • Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D, 34th District) – Alternates Representative Jake Fey (D, 27th District) and Representative Jessyn Farrell (D, 46th District)
    • Representative Shelly Short (R, 7th district) – Alternate Representative Liz Pike (R, 18th District)