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Allie Sasek – Cascade Climate Network

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Author: Allie Sasek

Register for Spring Fling 2016!

Register for Spring Fling 2016!

SPRING FLING 2016 will be the weekend of April 8th-10th in Portland, Oregon

Spring Fling Registration Form!

Reed College will be hosting the Spring Fling this year! This is the first event that has happened in a while so we encourage any and all groups interested to come!

The event will be centered around establishing what CCN is and renewing connections between activist, environmental, and sustainability groups on Pacific Northwest college campuses!

Spring Fling Agenda

Please email Bella at [email protected] if would like more information or are interested in helping connect with more schools near you!

Fall Flurry ’14 in Vancouver, WA!

Fall Flurry ’14 in Vancouver, WA!

We’re excited to announce that this year’s Fall Flurry will be held in Vancouver, WA!

What do we want to see in our regional community?  How do we want to achieve that vision?  Interested in what other campuses are doing, or how they run similar campaigns?

Along with answering these, we’ll be discussing our 2014-15 timeline, workshops, campaign breakouts, and getting to know fellow activists! Please join us this weekend and set 2015 up to be a kick ass year in the PNW!

The address is: 1220 NE 68th St., Vancouver, WA 98665

Registration: http://bit.ly/fallflurry14

Facebook event for the weekend gathering: http://on.fb.me/1xIRnde

Potluck with Portland Rising Tide: http://on.fb.me/1xS3JAX

Please share!

Any questions? Contact [email protected] 🙂

CCN Gathers to Create Change! Join Us for Winter Fermentation Feb 22-24!

CCN Gathers to Create Change! Join Us for Winter Fermentation Feb 22-24!

On a cold, breezy fall weekend in December, a group of passionate, dedicated, like-minded individuals gathered for a weekend to strategize, hang out, and connect with each other around the CCN. We started off the weekend with a fun game night filled with deep questions, tea, and blankets. It was a very fun night connecting with each other and finding out things we didn’t know before.

The next day was a fun full day of CCN discussion and planning with student activists from many various different schools in the area. We even had a chance to skype in to people who were unable to attend for part of the day.

One of my favorite activities came at the start of the day. Our visioning session was very inspirational and motivating for me. We read the Declafesto aloud and discussed what we spoke to us. The Declafesto is an all-encompassing document that was created at the start of CCN to state the mission of the CCN and to empower people to action with principles to “guide our rapid transition to a sustainable, just, and prosperous future for all”. With this document in mind, we pulled out the main focuses that resonated with us.

One small piece that I found very compelling was focusing on educating others and inspiring the younger generation to action. The children in school now are the ones who will carry on the actions and steps of today so we need to empower them as well and lay a strong, sustainably focused, and just foundation for them.
Other takeaways, or “gold nuggets”, we saw were valuing community based solutions, involving a wide range of people and casting a broad net, and creating new systems. As we went through our day and discussed the direction CCN would go, we kept these founding ideas in mind.

Another piece of the day that was enlightening was community updates where we heard what each campus was doing and how the communities were engaging in making their area a more sustainable place. This was a great time to get ideas of what projects to do as well as to see ways to build coalitions and expand campaigns. Some of the projects and campaigns that are being worked on are divestments, Washington carbon tax, stopping coal exports, compost and recycling campaigns, solar arrays, bike initiatives, Take Back the Tap, Earth Week, reducing paper waste, and food action collectives, among many other projects.

It was really exciting to hear what everyone else was doing and how we each could plug in to something. Sharing our ideas helped me feel more connected to the people and campuses in the area. I felt very inspired by everyone’s dedication and spirit. Everyone was making a positive change in their own way and in their own communities. I hope we have more time in our next gatherings to share how those projects are moving forward and evolving.

Overall, Fall Flurry was an inspirational, rejuvenating, and reviving experience and I am so happy I had the opportunity to talk with such amazing people. I hope you will say yes if you are able to attend any gathering of the CCN or to get involved.

I now want to do a quick call to Winter Fermentation which is our next CCN gathering and is taking place in February. It will be a time where we can keep our region’s youth climate organizing strong! We will be focusing on regional and community campaigns, as well as offering workshops, presentations, and spaces for dialogue.

Winter Fermentation will be the weekend of February 22nd-24th at Millersylvania State Park in Olympia, Washington. Cost is $20 but we do not want that to be a barrier to anyone attending so if it is, please let us know. If you need help with transportation, we can help as well. We really hope you will say yes to this opportunity and come for a great weekend. If you have questions, please email us at [email protected] Here is the link to the registration form: http://bit.ly/Fermentation2013

CCN Site Goes Black for SOPA Protest

CCN Site Goes Black for SOPA Protest

Tonight the CCN Core Team decided to join what’s being touted as the largest internet protest in history: the fight against online censorship.

If you haven’t heard yet, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) will be voted on in the House and Senate, respectively, next week. The Huffington Post says “SOPA would give both the government and major corporations the power to shut down entire websites accused of copyright infringement with neither a trial nor a traditional court hearing … The proposed legislation has startled tech experts and free speech advocates, who warn that the anti-piracy tactics envisioned by the bill would bring about widespread censorship of legitimate content and hamper important cybersecurity measures.”

The article says Oregon senator Jeff Merkley has officially opposed PIPA, while Ron Wyden plans to filibuster; I’m unsure about Washington’s senators think about it. Regardless, the next seven days are your chance to speak up on SOPA and PIPA.

Here are some easy actions to take (in order of importance and greatest impact):

  1. CALL YOUR CONGRESSPEOPLE! Here are contact lists for Washington and Oregon – tell your representatives to oppose internet censorship!
  2. Spread the word on your social media outlets: post on Twitter, Facebook and other sites to let your networks know about SOPA and how they can help.
  3. If you have a website, make it go black tomorrow for the online SOPA protest. WordPress has quite a few anti-SOPA plugins, which are really easy to install. (More ways to strike online can be found here.)

The CCN’s website will be black tomorrow in solidarity with Wikipedia, Google, WordPress and many other sites protesting SOPA and PIPA. Please do what you can to oppose internet censorship!


Parents Power Past Coal at Whitman College

Parents Power Past Coal at Whitman College

CCN affiliate school Whitman College participated in Power Shift’s 100 Actions for 100% Clean Energy last month. Here’s a write-up of the event, originally featured on WeArePowerShift.org.

On October 23, Whitman College students called into question two kinds of power: the dirty electricity derived from oil and coal that is shamefully prevalant across America today, and the power wielded by big business to keep that coal and oil at the forefront of the nation’s energy landscape. The Parents Power Past Coal rally brought three speakers–two members of the Whitman Campus Climate Challenge (CCC) and one representative of the Sierra Student Coalition–to whip a crowd of students and their parents into action against Washington State coal exports and the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The centerpiece of the event was a “human map” or “walk of shame” in which 50 participants, each holding signs representing one of the fifty states, stepped across a model pipeline in response to questions about dirty energy: “Cross if there is a coal plant in your state. If there has been a hydraulic fracking accident in your state. If Keystone XL will pass through your state,” etc. Participants from three generations were shocked and appalled by facts they did not know before–statistics that drove home America’s continued use of coal as a crutch, and the sheer number of lives that would be devastated if the pipeline spilled into the Ogallala aquifer. However, the students, the parents, and their parents were ultimately uplifted, as the human map began to show the rise of wind, solar, and nuclear energy, and the wide breadth of the anti-dirty energy movement.

The event’s organizers designed it not only for information and motivation but for real, palpable impact. Parents Power Past Coal resulted in 43 signatures on a petition to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, to be sent directly to President Barack Obama; and 40 signatures on a petition to end coal exports in Washington, to be sent directly to Washington State Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark. The CCC easily found 50 participants for the Walk of Shame, who then surged to write letters to both Obama and Goldmark, exhorting them to keep their promises and take the steps necessary to save America and the Earth from coal and oil.

Whitman’s event was the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, and the Climate Challenge is already taking steps to keep the momentum going. Along with the petitions and letters to Obama and Goldmark, members have mailed a press release to local newspapers and TV and radio stations, and are beginning an effort to have the college’s president and faculty make a statement against coal exports in Washington. With the Parents Power Past Coal rally, Whitman students and parents took the first step towards turning the tide against the money and influence of big coal and oil.

–Sam Chapman

Power Shift West 2011 Kicks Off!

Power Shift West 2011 Kicks Off!

After months of planning, Power Shift West 2011 is finally here! The event kicked off Friday afternoon with three keynote speakers who motivated the hundreds of students who traveled from Washington, Idaho, Montana, California and beyond to attend this grassroots environmental activism conference.

CCN co-organizers Emma Newman and Lauren Ressler introduced the first two speakers, Dave Cobb of Move To Amend and Rob Dietz of Center for the Advancement of the Steady-State Economy, and also talked about the CCN and Sierra Student Coalition during breaks between the speakers. The last keynote speaker, Cylvia Hayes (first lady of Oregon with decades of sustainable energy experience), was introduced by ASUO president (and proud NW SPROG 2011 alum) Ben Eckstein.

All three keynotes addressed the frustration caused by environmentally-degrading lifestyles and industries, as well as the opportunity – and the responsibility – to change them. If anything, Power Shift West will show our regional communities that we are ready and willing to accept that challenge. As Dave Cobb said, “what we know is the global climate crisis is the issue to solve,” and the systemic change we need is possible, but only if we work together to achieve it.

So get your hard hats on, Power Shifters – it’s going to be a long, action-filled weekend!

For all the latest updates, check out CCN’s Twitter account.

Take Action to Protect the NW from Dirty Energy

Take Action to Protect the NW from Dirty Energy


The CCN proudly supports the following action described below by our Coalitions facilitator Natalie Eberts:

3 Targets . . . 2 Issues . . . 1 All-Out Action!

Join the Energy Action Coalition, Rainforest Action Network, ForestEthics, and Coal Action Network for an amazing march after Powershift to put all the amazing energy from the weekend into action for the crucial issues of TarSands and Coal Exports!

Here’s a snapshot:

  • “Returning” Grocery Bags of Tar Sands Destruction at Safeway, a giant corporate buyer of Tarsands Oil
  • A “Die-In” and Street Theater at the Bank of America, the single largest funder of Coal Exports, on the weekend of “Move Your Money Day”
  • A mock Clean Energy Campaign office at the Lane County Democrats HQ in solidarity with the Tar Sands Action at the White House
This march will be unique because there will be many ways for you all to participate beyond just holding signs and chanting– from carrying “oily” Safeway bags, to being outlined in chalk in the die-in, to being a “volunteer” at the mock campaign office.
That’s not all though, if you want to be more involved in this exciting action, there are lots of roles we need you to fill! These include: Media (photo/video, social media, bloggers, spokespeople), March leaders, Chant leaders, Police Liasons, Volunteers Coordinators, Set-up Crew, and musicians! Let us know if you’re interested–if you’d like to help but aren’t sure how,  we’ll figure it out. We’re also looking for a set of drums, other instruments, a truck, folding tables, 1-2 dress suits to borrow, Obama T-shirts and pins, and bullhorns, so let us know if you can lend any of these.Even if you’re not able to get directly involved beforehand, here’s two simple things you all can do to help make this action the huge success it’s shaping out to be:

  1. Spread the Word BEFORE the Conference by inviting friends in the area to this Facebook Event, Tweeting and reTweeting wth the hastag #pswaction, and reposting this email to any listserves you’re on.
  2. Spread the Word AT the Conference by recruiting people to come and passing around fliers available from our tables.
This is going to be an creative hundreds-strong action propelled from all the momentum of Powershift, so we’re excited to have you be a part!
Thank you for helping make this happen!
In solidarity,
Chelsea Thaw, Natalie Eberts, Nick Engelfield, and Adam Gaya
Action Organizers
Natalie Eberts– [email protected]  |  #734-476-1310
Nick Engelfried [email protected]  |  #503-737-7666
#Occupy I-5: A Revolutionary Roadtrip

#Occupy I-5: A Revolutionary Roadtrip

Lauren Ressler, CCN interim Washington co-director and Sierra Student Coalition coordinator for the Pacific NW, wrote this blog about her trip to CCN-affiliated communities in Oregon and Washington. This post was originally featured on WeArePowerShift.org

After stops at twelve universities over the course of eighteen days in a journey totaling over one thousand miles I have reached an important conclusion: students in the Pacific Northwest are taking campus climate organizing to new heights. Here is what a small fraction of these schools are doing:

Did you know the students at Western Washington University are trying to protect their community from a massive coal export facility being proposed just a few miles off campus? Their first kick off meeting garnered the participation of more than 100 students inspired by some seriously herculean outreach efforts lead by a small number of young people who don’t want to breath the harmful dust from the coal trains; who don’t want their bay to suffer from black tides as a result of the same contamination entering the waterways of Bellingham; who don’t want their city to be the lifeline between the US and Asia for one of the dirtiest industries in the world. Western student, Chelsea Thaw, commented, “The energy at the meeting was palpable. This issue has been a galvanizing force for student activists and an opportunity to learn from elders in the community who have grown up the town are fighting to keep it the way they remember it.”

Have you heard about the creative way Whitman students are showing solidarity with the global movement to stop the development of the Keystone XL pipeline? At a school of only 1500 students, they are organizing more than 50 volunteers to visually represent how all students, no matter their origin, are affected by fossil fuel consumption by creating a human map of the US. This is the launch event for a bold beyond fossil fuels campaign that is already getting significant attention.

Moving south, my visit to Portland left me thinking about food in an entirely new way. I am an urban gardener and frequenter of many a farmers market, so you might be surprised that I had an incredible time planning a Fried Food Fest with students at the University of Portland. Members of the Biodiesel club at UP are turning grease to gas that will power many campus appliances. Co-founder, Dan Browne, says, “It has been fascinating hearing everyone’s different interests in biodiesel from business to engineering this year. There are so many different facets to biodiesel that anyone can get involved; you get out what you put in.”

Eugene, OR was the southernmost point of my epic journey and it did not disappoint. The students of the University of Oregon will be hosting Power Shift West the weekend of November 4-6 and they are working tirelessly to make this the most inspiring event of the season. During my stay I witnessed late evening phone bank sessions, logistical meetings, and some serious on-campus recruitment from the members of the Climate Justice League and OSPIRG. I can’t wait to return in just a few short weeks to witness this empowering event. If you want to see the energy and amazing work of students of the Northwest in person join us for Power Shift West November 4-6 at the University of Oregon.

Get Involved at Power Shift West!

Get Involved at Power Shift West!

The second Power Shift West is happening November 4-6 at the University of Oregon in Eugene. (For a full description of what Power Shift West is all about, see our previous blog post.) Volunteers and bottom-liners are still needed to organize the conference, and we at the CCN strongly encourage people to sign up for a team.

Below are contacts for each of the organizers; please get in touch with them or fill out the volunteer interest form. Thanks and see you soon at Power Shift West!

Youth Activists Prepare for Community-Building Journey

Youth Activists Prepare for Community-Building Journey

It’s called the Self Express: and the catchy name isn’t the only unusual thing about the 38-foot bus which a group of Northwest students and recent graduates are converting into a living space that will transport them across the country this summer.  By the time it’s finished, the former 1989 school bus will be ready to run entirely on used vegetable oil, and will be outfitted with a solar panel installation on the roof.  For the bulk of the summer it will serve as a temporary home for six youth activists determined to show that sustainable living in the twenty-first century is both possible and practical.

The Self Express project is a grassroots effort launched by youth organizers based at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon who have a vision for a better future.  Traveling across the US in an essentially carbon-neutral vehicle, they plan to create a real-life example of community-oriented living.  The group intends to connect with local nonprofits and charities in locations they visit across the United States, performing service and volunteer work that gives back to the community.  They will also travel to and participate in key events in the US climate movement happening over the next few months. 

“I’m really interested to see what’s going on in our country,” says Katie Kann, a recent graduate of Linfield College who will be setting out on the Self Express later this month.  “I’m tired of only hearing about the negative stuff in the news, stuff that makes me sad. I want to see the good things that fellow citizens are doing to help people and improve quality of life across our country.”

In this way the Self Express project connects the hands-on solutions work needed to jumpstart a transition to a clean economy with the political organizing and activism that’s essential to building the sustained movement that will get us off fossil fuels for good.  Considering the scale of the challenge we’re facing, it’s neither logical nor useful to argue about whether climate activists should be addressing problems or building solutions.  We urgently need to do both these, things, which is why youth organizers aboard the Self Express will be connecting with community solutions projects while also facilitating communication between grassroots groups fighting fossil fuel infrastructure.

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