'Green New Deal' in Seattle? Council, city attorney pledge action on 'climate emergency'

SEATTLE (AP) — All nine Seattle City Council members have vowed to pursue a "Green New Deal" that a community and environmental groups are pushing for.

The Seattle Times reports the council members signed a support letter Monday but haven't worked out particular policies.

The local Green New Deal campaign is calling on City Hall to eliminate Seattle's climate pollution by 2030, "address historical and current injustices" and create thousands of green, unionized jobs.

Activists gathered outside Mayor Jenny Durkan's office last week to launch the campaign and again Monday, describing the pledge championed by Councilmember Mike O'Brien and affirmed by his colleagues as a first step.

To pay for sweeping changes, the campaign says City Hall should consider adopting a climate-emergency tax on large businesses, tolling downtown streets, putting a climate-emergency levy on the ballot and redirecting money now spent on other initiatives.

At the same event Monday, City Attorney Pete Holmes said he intends to take legal action against the fossil fuel industry.

Holmes said things like decreased snow-pack, increased wildfires and rising sea levels all impact city operations, which can help his team lay the groundwork for legal action.