Our purpose as an organization is to provide Cascadia’s community problem solvers with practical vision and innovative thinking, inspiring and empowering them to bring about a healthy, lasting prosperity. We like to think of ourselves as sowers of seeds—planting ideas and stewarding their growth so sustainable solutions can flourish.
The significance of our work doesn’t lie in the specific advances we’ve encouraged, but in the hundreds—perhaps thousands—of daily acts we help empower.
Tilling the Soil
Our research and communications tools brings together a community of thousands of northwesterners ready for change:
- On any given day, around 5,000 Cascadians rely on Sightline—via our websites, email, social media, and RSS feeds—to be inspired, stay informed, and be empowered.
- Since 1993, we’ve published 18 books, scores of reports, and thousands of blog posts.
- Our daily news service keeps northwesterners informed about the latest, most important sustainability news from around the region and beyond.
- We inform news articles in reputable media outlets every week, reaching hundreds of thousands of northwesterners.
- Every year, Sightline staff meet with over 100 regional leaders and changemakers, participating in panels, briefings, and consultations.
Sometimes change happens in days, other times in years. But a good idea, once planted, is tenacious:
- Our latest blog series detailing legal barriers to sustainable solutions has inspired policy changes across Cascadia, from right-to-dry legislation that would allow clotheslines everywhere, to changing the laws mandating white pages be provided to all households.
- In early 2011, Washington decided to phase out its sole coal-fired power plant in Centralia—the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the state. Sightline’s research, graphics, and ideas were used extensively by opponents of coal.
- Sightline has championed sustainable transportation legislation, from launching Pay-As-You-Drive auto insurance to personal car-sharing—all the while documenting the region’s shifting attitudes toward driving.
- Low Impact-Development offers a common-sense solution to our region’s toxic stormwater woes. Our primer has been circulated among stormwater advocates and decision makers, and influenced the decisions of several LID projects in the Seattle area and beyond.
- In November 2009, Washingtonians resoundingly voted down a “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” that would have wreaked havoc on the state’s economy—fueled by Sightline’s writing and storytelling.
- Sightline researchers have consulted with state and national delegates to lay out the most practical, effective solutions to our most pressing problem: climate change. In 2008, British Columbia announced the most comprehensive carbon tax shift in the world, following the recommendations of our 1998 book, Tax Shift.
- During the 2008 election, Sightline worked hard to develop messaging components and research for the campaign against Washington’s Initiative 985—a hazardous transportation proposal–which lost by a staggering 20-point margin. Sightline fellow Doug MacDonald was a tireless and effective spokesman for the No campaign.
- Our September 2007 report “Bulk Discounts for Polluters” documented how some of the biggest polluters in Washington State pay were getting bulk discounts. The report inspired the state legislature to fund a task force to fix this flaw.
- In November 2007, Oregon passed Measure 49, which rolled back the most ruinous provisions of 2006′s Bad Neighbor Law. Sightline’s maps, research, and debate framing contributed to this victory.
- In 2007, Sightline’s work on the climate impacts of building new urban highway lanes helped define Seattle’s Proposition 1 as more than just a congestion issue.
- Inspired by Sightline, in 2007, three talented developers created a hugely popular WalkScore online tool where users can rate the walkability of their neighborhood.
- Our 2004 study of toxic flame retardants in the breast milk of Northwest women helped lead to several Northwest bans of PBDEs, including Washington’s 2007 ban, the strongest in the country.
Each year, Sightline works with dozens—even hundreds—of other organizations to make change happen. Here are just a few of the groups who have used Sightline’s work in the past year:
|Oregon Environmental Council||Futurewise|
|City of Portland||City of Seattle|
|Sierra Club||Washington Environmental Council|
|Climate Solutions||Northwest Energy Coalition|
|Washington Department of Ecology||Natural Resources Defense Council|
|Nature Conservancy||Earth Ministry|
|Cascadia Green Building Council||Columbia River Keepers|
|Tyee Solutions Society||City of Eugene|
|Simon Fraser University||EcoTrust|
|CommunityWise Bellingham||Transportation Choices Coalition|