Resolution on the Seattle Parks Levy

May 18, 2022

WHEREAS, As climate change intensifies dangerous extreme heat and wildfire smoke events are becoming a new normal event in King County.

WHEREAS, These heat and wildfire smoke events pose a direct threat to the health and safety to union members, their families, and their communities. These events are especially dangerous to union members who work outdoors, and people who work or live without air conditioning.

WHEREAS, the city of Seattle has made a commitment to move all public buildings off of fossil fuels by 2035.

WHEREAS, The work of moving public buildings to be fully electric can provide training and job opportunities to community members if the projects are performed under the City of Seattle Community Workforce Agreement.

WHEREAS, The city of Seattle has opened community centers as emergency shelters during heat, smoke, and cold events despite most community centers not being adequately equipped with sufficient cooling or clean air capacity.

WHEREAS, heat and cold events produce extreme demand on our power system that can cause failures. A major earthquake is also likely to cause major power outages and the need for safe locations. Adding rooftop solar microgrids can ensure consistent power supply; the City of Seattle has already started to make these resilience investments with the recently completed Miller Community Center Microgrid.

WHEREAS, Upgrading HVAC systems at public buildings to provide clean air during smoke events also greatly improve in building Covid safety.

WHEREAS, the 2023-2028 Parks District levy is an opportunity to win funding for upgrades to Seattle’s community centers.

WHEREAS, community partners like 350 Seattle are already organizing to push the city to use the upcoming parks levy to fund upgrades to our community centers so they can function as community resiliency centers powered by renewable energy and provide clean, and cool air in heat and smoke events.

WHEREAS, The impact of heat and smoke events is often most severely felt in environmental justice communities already disproportionately impacted by pollution and disinvestment.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the MLK Labor council supports urging the City of Seattle to use the upcoming parks levy to fund the following upgrades to the City’s community centers:

  1. Installing microgrid solar systems that can provide power independent of the grid during power outages.
  2. Installing heat pumps so buildings can run 100 percent on renewable energy, provide air conditioning, and meet the city’s goal of moving buildings off of fossil fuels by 2035.
  3. Installing HVAC upgrades that can provide clean air for smoke events and Covid safety.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the MLK Labor council supports performing this work under the City of Seattle Community Workforce Agreement to ensure training opportunities through state-registered apprenticeship and priority local hire for neighborhood residents.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The MLK Labor council supports focusing on upgrading community centers with all of these upgrades at once so they can function as resiliency centers in heat and smoke events, and prioritizing the order of construction so communities most impacted by pollution as identified by the UW environmental justice map get upgrades first.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, The MLK Labor council supports urging the city to raise the levy to fund these upgrades and seeking state and federal grants to upgrade as many community centers as possible.

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