As of July 2014, the Green Party of Seattle has moved its online presence to a different website.  Please find us here.

The meeting will run from 7 – 9 pm at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Association Building, room 3. The address is 6532 Phinney Ave North, Seattle, WA 98103.

All are welcome!

  1. Welcome/intros
  2. Report on GP-WA Gathering
  3. Announce new website status
  4. Endorsements
  5. David Bain, guest speaker
  6. Upcoming events
  7. Upcoming Openings on the Coordinating Council
  8. Announcements

The agenda for the 5/28/14 Green Party of Seattle General Members meeting is below.

The meeting will run from 7 – 9 pm at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Association Building, room 3. The address is 6532 Phinney Ave North, Seattle, WA 98103.

All are welcome!

General Members Meeting Agenda

  1. Welcome & Introductions
  2. Coordinating Committee Report
  3. Electoral Committee Report (and review of the Candidates Forum)
  4. Guest Speaker: Bob Lewis who is the Green Party candidate for Legislative District 21 Representative, Position 2
  5. 15Now
  6. I-1329 Support
  7. Announcements

If you are available to help collect signatures this weekend at the Folklife festival for Initiative I-1329. please contact Syd by email: gogreen (at) usa.com, who will coordinate and help provide pointers for anyone interested.  Proposed times are from noon to 6 on Saturday, and from 11 & 4 on Sunday. Rain or shine.

I-1329 is the “We the People” initiative directing U.S. Congress to amend the constitution to limit big money impact in politics, giving states the right to enact disclosure laws, to limit contributions, & thus not treats money as free speech.

If Washington state citizens pass this we will be the 17th state to send that message, a good way toward getting the 2/3 states needed to start the consitutional amendment ratification process across all states.

In the February general membership meeting, the Green Party of Seattle voted to endorse the King County Metro Transit ballot measure which will be up for vote on April 22nd 2014.  A Seattle Time article about this is here.

Also, a letter below from Brent White, long-time Green Party member in support of endorsement:

Sister/fellow Green Party members,

I respectfully request your consideration of King County Proposition 1, which was placed on the April 22nd ballot this past Monday, and hope you will vote to endorse it.

Proposition 1 would prevent a 17% cut to Metro bus service.  At a time when ridership is at its historic highest, packed buses are the norm rather than the exception, and automobile emissions account for half of the region’s carbon footprint, we can’t afford to go backward and push thousands of people back into driving single-occupant vehicles.

Proposition 1 would also create a low-income fare program, which would roll back fares for people under 200% of the federal poverty level to just $1.25.  This program will be a boon for affordability for low-income residents who ride the bus even just occasionally.  It isn’t the first program of its kind in the country, but it will be the largest so far.  Passage of Proposition 1 will reverberate across the county as other large-market transit agencies take notice and look at duplicating the program.

The downside of Proposition 1 is the funding mechanisms.  The main funding mechanism is a 0.1% sales tax increase.  I loathe and detest the idea of funding anything from sales tax, but it was one of only two funding sources the county had at its disposal to save Metro service.  In this case, the math works out very heavily in favor of the poor.  Imagine a hypothetical taxpayer who makes just below the $23,000 that is the cut-off for qualifying for the low-income fare program in a one-person household.  Even if every dime that person spent was on something with sales tax, the hit from the sales tax increase would be no more than $23 per year.  But rent and food from the grocery store aren’t sales-taxed.  So, a typical person earning that level will be paying a much lower amount than $23.  Every time that person rides the bus, she/he will be saving at least $1.25 over the non-low-income adult fare, or $2.50 for the round trip.  A typical low-income earner will wipe out any additional sales tax expense after just one or two round trips on the bus.

The other funding mechanism is raising the county car tab from $20 to $60.  However, the council added in a $20 rebate for people earning less than 45% of the county median income.  The $20 car tab would actually go away if Proposition 1 fails, as the 2-year congestion reduction charge program is due to expire.  It would take a low-income earner 16 round trips on the bus to wipe out this extra expense.  Approximately 40% of those in this category do not own a car, and are assumedly using the bus much more often than that.  For the other 60%, they would turn a profit on Proposition 1 after about 17 round trips on the bus (not including all the money saved on gas).

For a low-income (or no-income) earner who has a monthly bus pass, the annual savings would be at least $540, or $500 if they have a car tab to pay.

Proposition 1 isn’t just about preserving the current level of bus service.  40% of the revenue would go to local transportation projects (i.e. not for highways).  Potholes are regressive, and hurt all modes of transportation.  Every jurisdiction has a backlog of transportation infrastructure maintenance that needs funding.  The City of Seattle could spend its share on filling potholes, sidewalks, bike paths, or whatever is in the city’s various master plans.

I know some want to hold out for a more progressive funding option.  None will emerge before Metro has to start enacting the cuts.  But if some do later, and they pass, the county council has the option of rolling back the sales tax rate and the car tab.

Just like any other ballot proposition sent to voters, this proposition is far from perfect.  But the good this proposition will do far outweighs the bad of increasing taxes on the middle and upper class.  I hope you will all vote Yes to endorse a Yes vote on King County Proposition 1.

Thanks for your consideration,
Brent White

The agenda for the 2/26/14 Green Party of Seattle General Members meeting is below.

The meeting will run from 7 – 9 pm at the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Association Building, room 3. The address is 6532 Phinney Ave North, Seattle, WA 98103.

All are welcome!

General Members Meeting Agenda

  1. Welcome & Introductions
  2. Membership Report
  3. Electoral Report
  4. Sue Peters of Seattle School Board – campaign recap discussion on March 10th
  5. Treasurer Report
  6. $15Now – update and organizing groups
  7. Green Spaces Substation Sales Proposal – recap of Seattle City Light hearing at city hall on February 26th
  8. On-site organizing to assist Save Our Seas (http://saveourseas.com/)
  9. Nation Builder transition update – Coordinating Council training April 7th
  10. Announcements

I’d like to urge all my green friends and Green Party activists to get involved in the $15Now campaign.

Greens have always worked to promote environmental and social justice through radical and comprehensive electoral and social reform. Many of us were involved in the historic campaign to elect an open Socialist, and a member of Socialist Alternative and the Green Party, Kshama Sawant, to the Seattle City Council in 2013. Now the next important milestone in the fight for social justice has arrived: the $15Now campaign.

If you live in this town, you know how expensive it is. The average 1-bedroom apartment has risen to at least $1300-1500/month, depending on where you live. Meanwhile, thousands of waitresses, cooks, baristas, retail clerks and office workers struggle just to make ends meet on or near the minimum wage of $9.50.

Seattle is the epicenter of a national movement for a $15/hour minimum wage, and could be the first major U.S. city to win this battle. Seattle Councilperson Kshama Sawant made it the central plank in her campaign that beat a four-time incumbent in 2013. A victory in Seattle in 2014 would open the floodgates for working people to demand $15/hour in cities across the country.

But it will not happen automatically. Big business will do anything to stop this. Mayor Murray’s minimum wage committee is stacked with pro-business elites like Maud Daudon and Bob Donegan, of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Howard Wright, CEO of the Seattle Hospitality Group, a global corporation, and the Seattle Restaurant Association. Diehard opponents, they will not let this pass without trying to derail, delay, and dilute efforts to end the poverty wages that are the source of their profits.

The only way we can counter the power of this kind of corporate agenda is by building a massive grassroots campaign with local neighborhood and campus groups, meetings, rallies, and other forms of outreach. Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant, along with community groups, unions, and independent activists like myself, have come together to build this movement. A look at the website shows a growing list of local and national endorsers.

Our presidential candidates, Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, have endorsed this campaign, and Jill’s statement reads, in part, “Thank you, Seattle, for leading the way in this national fight for our economic lives! We write to express our gratitude and support for the $15Now campaign. Working people across the country are inspired and encouraged by your campaign for a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, which carried Kshama Sawant to her historic election to the Seattle City Council. Your continued campaign – and eventual success – will help all of us in the struggle for economic justice across the US and beyond.”

I strongly urge you get involved. If you go to this website you will find lots of activities you can do, but here are the three I’d suggest:

  • Sign up here to join this historic campaign and then go to the February 15 meeting (this coming Saturday), 2:00 PM downtown at the SEIU 775 headquarters at 215 Columbia St.
  • Join a neighborhood group. This was the backbone of the antiwar effort in Seattle in the 1990s and was key in building the movement here. That kind of decentralized, multi-cell organization is needed to do something that will influence the whole country again.
  • Help fund the Fight for 15. We need 1,000 people to donate $15/month. Please sign up to make a monthly donation or one-time donation.

So let’s really jump into this campaign, and take advantage of an historic opportunity to show what the Green Party is all about. $15/hour Now!

Tom Barnard

Green Party member
$15Now campaign volunteer

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