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How Seattle City Council made the Green New Deal its own

Seattle City Council passed its own version of the Green New Deal. (AP)

The Green New Deal may be a national movement, but when Seattle City Council passed its own resolution in support of it on Monday, it added its own unique additions to the measure.

Climate activists rally for climate change action at Seattle City Hall

“This is not climate change anymore — it’s a climate crisis; it’s climate catastrophe that we’re facing,” Councilmember Kshama Sawant said during Monday’s council session.

The council added a variety of measures specific to Seattle’s own climate-related needs, laid out by SCC Insight’s Kevin Schofield.

That list includes one to rid Seattle of pollutants entirely.

“This resolution specifically, explicitly says that Seattle will be climate pollution-free by the year 2030,” Councilmember Mike O’Brien said.

Other measures came from Sawant, who pushed to make public transit free, advocated for rent control on a state level, and supported congestion tolling on the condition that transit is adequately expanded for low-income communities.

Advocates described Seattle’s support of the climate change measure as necessary to help its spread across the country.

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“Every time a city like Seattle makes a commitment to the Green New Deal, it has a catalyzing effect on other cities,” one public commenter noted.

Mayor Jenny Durkan was effusive in her own support as well.

“While they debate the Green New Deal in the other Washington, we must continue to do more in Seattle,” she said in a news release. “I am grateful for the continued advocacy and vision of our community members for a Green New Deal for Seattle.”

Durkan also promised to issue an executive order in the near future, directing the Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment to “work with and learn from community members and evaluate how we can best accelerate our Climate Action Plan and meet the goals of the Green New Deal for Seattle.”

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