Morning Concurrent Sessions: 10:15 am - 11:15 am

Social Media Marketing

How do businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations use social media marketing to engage their target audiences? Together, we will critically evaluate a several of the most commonly used social media and digital marketing tools in order to assess their effectiveness in helping climate activists reach various audiences, as well as the potential risks and shortcomings. Participants will be introduced to the foundational vocabulary and terminology of social media marketing and social media analytics

Sarah Francis' super power is using technology to get millions of people incredibly excited to help organizations succeed. At ActionSprout she trains and coaches teams do exactly that. Before joining ActionSprout, Sarah was the Chief Technology Officer at MomsRising, a million-member advocacy organization focused on making America a truly family-friendly place. 

The Thin Green Line

Who decides the carbon future of the Pacific Northwest? You. Where are some of the biggest carbon pollution threats located? Southwest Washington. The Columbia River is teetering on the edge of hosting the world’s largest methanol refinery (Kalama), the nation’s largest coal export terminal (Longview), and the nation’s largest oil terminal (Vancouver). Local opposition, combined with strategic support from communities throughout the Pacific Northwest are keeping the fossil fuel companies out. Learn how you can effectively plug in to grow the Thin Green Line!

Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky is the Senior Organizer with Columbia Riverkeeper and also the Power Past Coal Coalition co-director. Her role is to inform and engage residents in Oregon and Washington on fossil fuel projects that would transform the scenic Columbia River Gorge and the critical Columbia River estuary into a dirty energy corridor. 

Presentation Slides: Click Here

This is Your Brain on Politics: The New Social Science of Political Judgment

Evolutionary psychology and dual cognition theory represent two distinct and important paradigm shifts in our understanding of human cognition and behavior.  With these concurrent shifts of paradigm comes a fresh and powerful set of principles to apply when we are thinking about what motivates people to act, how people make decisions, and how we as activists can effect the changes in behavior that are necessary to advance our cause

Paul Elwood is an amateur philosopher with extensive professional experience as an investment analyst, most recently for the Washington State Investment Board, and as a program evaluation specialist for housing and income security programs.

Presentation Slides: Click Here

Climate-friendly Trade in the Time of Trump: A Strategy Session

The template for today's trade rules prioritizes maximized trade and investment over the public well-being. In the aftermath of the TPP fight, as divergent voices seek to fill the trade policy void, what will it take for trade and investment agreements to support --not undermine-- action on climate change? We will critically assess various proposals for climate-friendly trade and local strategies we can take to implement them!

Gillian Locascio directs the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, a group of 70 labor, faith, environmental, student, public health, social justice organizations, fair trade businesses and cooperatives in Washington State that are committed to creating a fair, balanced, and sustainable global trading system. Prior to joining the coalition, she worked extensively in the United States and Latin America in sustainable development, environmental health, and human rights.

Carbon Pricing 2017

Last year, Washington voters rejected Initiative 732, which would have established an economy-wide carbon tax. This legislative session is considering three alternative carbon tax proposals. SB 5127, proposed by Governor Inslee, HB 1646, promoted by the Alliance for Jobs & Clean Energy, and a third bill sponsored by Senator Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens. This session will discuss all four proposals, comparing the effectiveness with which each will reduce carbon emissions in Washington State and their ability to achieve equity for workers and highly impacted communities.

Jim Lazar is an economist with more than 40 years experience examining legislation and also evaluating electric utility resource plans and rates. Jim was was a founding member of the Northwest Energy Coalition and has served as a Thurston County Public Utility District Commissioner. Jim is Treasurer of Thurston Environmental Voters.

Sameer Ranade works as a Climate and Clean Energy Campaign Associate for the Washington Environmental Council. Sameer has been a staffer in the state and federal legislative branches and on multiple state and federal candidate campaigns. Last summer, as a candidate an open House seat in 43rd Legislative District, Sameer earned endorsements from every environmental group.

Vlad Gutman-Britten is Washington Director for Climate Solutions, where he is responsible for guiding policy development and building an integrated communications, advocacy, and government affairs strategy to foster a clean energy economy in Washington. A veteran campaign operative, he has run congressional and state legislative campaigns and worked on races ranging from mayoral to presidential.



Working Group Meetings: 1:35 pm - 2:50 pm

Accelerating Electric Vehicle Adoption

Eliminating petroleum-powered personal vehicles is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to acceptable levels. But most automobile manufacturers have huge investments sunk into internal-combustion powered cars and light-duty trucks. We can't afford to wait until car companies begin selling their electric vehicles as aggressively as they sell their pickup trucks and SUVs. The EVs on the market now can work very well for many car-owners, but EV market share remains tiny. This working group will focus on lowering barriers that prevent people from considering and choosing EVs when they are in need of a new vehicle. Our first project will focus on lowering the price of EVs by offering a group discount rate on vehicles available from dealers in Western Washington. We will also focus on lowering the costs of installing EV charging systems in homes and workplaces around the South Sound.

Convenor & Contact Person:

Thad Curtz, Carbon Thurston -

Healthy Energy Retrofits for Rental Housing: Tools and Solutions

50% of carbon emissions come from buildings, half of those are homes, and in Thurston County, half of the homes are rentals. While homeowners have a clear incentive to make energy efficiency improvements, landlords and renters face a split incentive (landlords pay for upgrades, renters get the savings) which makes the business case for healthy energy improvements difficult.  After four years working with the County Commissioners, Thurston Thrives and Affordable housing providers, we now have an opportunity to crack this nut with a coalition of support.  Fortunately, energy efficiency, incentives for business and affordable housing are issues with bipartisan support.  The session will explore strategies for climate activists to help build a broad coalition to harvest this low-hanging fruit for slashing carbon emissions, by focusing on economic and public health messages.

Convenor & Contact Person:

Chris van Daalen, Code Innovations Database  or  (360) 789-9669

Project Logic Model: Click Here

Speaking Out for Climate Action in Olympia

This group will encourage the City of Olympia, as part of its upcoming Climate Action Planning process, to adopt very strong, bold, and effective policies and investments to significantly reducing GHG emissions which result from activities of city residents and businesses.  Preliminary organizing at a recent TCAT community forum on the subject yielded the following action sub-groups: Community Education, Participatory Art, City Council meeting presence/presentations, Analysis & Proposals, and Media.

Convenor & Contact Person:

Tom Crawford, Thurston Climate Action Team -

Plugging South Sound Neighborhoods into Rooftop Solar

The Solar working group will review the status of solar projects in Thurston County and various financing options.  This will include a high level overview of standard residential and commercial solar, but also take a closer look at grant opportunities, non-profits, low income, and community solar.  The community Solar discussion will be divided into two parts; the WA Community Solar Law, and traditional community solar projects as implemented in other states.

Convenor & Contact Person:

Kirk Haffner, South Sound Solar - or (360) 352-7869

Citizens Climate Lobby: Advocating for National Carbon Pricing

Learn how to add your voice and your talents to a rapidly growing movement for a nationwide price on carbon. Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a grassroots, transpartisan organization that is laser-focused on persuading the U.S. Congress to pass carbon fee-and-dividend legislation.

At this work group you’ll learn why fee-and-dividend is supported by both progressives and conservatives, as well as by both businesses and environmentalists. You’ll hear about recent progress. And you’ll get a chance to influence what the Olympia Chapter of CCL will do over the next year

Convenor & Contacts:

Alan Hardcastle, Citizens Climate Lobby  or  (360) 485-8844

Sam Merrill, Citizens Climate Lobby

Presentation Slides: Click Here

De-Carbonizing Puget Sound Energy

Washington’s energy future is at a crossroads. Will we invest millions of our hard-earned dollars into new dirty fossil fuel infrastructure that we do not want or need, or will we seize a once in a lifetime opportunity to accelerate the clean energy revolution? By July 2022, Puget Sound Energy (PSE), Washington’s largest electric utility, must retire two units at its Colstrip coal plant in Eastern Montana. That means there will be 307 MW of electric capacity going off the grid that can be replaced with renewable resources like wind and solar. Unfortunately, PSE wants to throw this opportunity away by replacing Colstrip by with new gas plants. In fact, PSE wants to add 1,000 MW of new gas to Washington’s electricity grid over the next 10 years. If successful, PSE’s new capital investment will lock us into at least three more decades of fossil fuels. But the writing is not yet on the wall.Through a combination of public pressure and participation in regulatory proceedings, concerned Washington residents and PSE customers CAN stop PSE’s plans to build a new fossil fuel foundation for our electricity system and force PSE to invest in safer renewable power sources and energy efficiency solutions. The “Decarbonzing Puget Sound Energy” working group will brainstorm how Thurston County residents can effectively block PSE from doubling-down on fossil fuels and outline a campaign plan for the next 6 months.

Convenor & Contact Person:

Jessica Koski, Sierra Club  or  (206) 378-0114 x328. 

Cool Thurston Campaign: How to Lower Your Carbon Footprint

Are you ready to go on a “Low Carbon Diet” to reduce your impact on climate change, and save on energy costs at the same time? The Cool Thurston Campaign is a strategy to reduce your carbon footprint with the support of an EcoTeam. It is based on the book "Low Carbon Diet, A 30-Day Program to Lose 5,000 Pounds" by David Gershon.

In this session, you will learn about forming an EcoTeam, calculating your carbon footprint, and creating an action plan to reduce it. Attendees are invited to participate in an EcoTeam and attend a series of three meetings after the Convention. Books will be available for sale at the registration desk, or may be borrowed during the session.

Convenor & Contact Person:

Barb Scavezze -

Presentation Slides: Click Here


Afternoon Concurrent Sessions: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Opportunities and Threats in the 2017 State Legislative Session 

Our panelists have been directly involved in every piece of climate-related legislation under consideration in the 2017 legislative session. We’ll hear a report on the most up-to-date information available on legislation under review, as well as a review of what has gone well or poorly in the current session. This is the session for you, if you are eager to engage with your legislators about current and future opportunities for passing climate-friendly legislation and stopping damaging legislation from passing. 

Rep. Beth Doglio, 22nd Legislative District, and Vlad Gutman-Britten, Climate Solutions

Direct Action on Climate and Clean Energy

With the failure of standard legislative and policy routes to adequately address climate disruption, a climate civil disobedience movement has risen over recent years. This session will track that rise and illuminate the role of direct action in turning around the climate crisis.

Michael Foster is one of the five valve-turners who shut off all tar sands pipelines in four states entering the US from Canada on October 11th, 2016. In total nine people are facing charges, trial and the likelihood of prison sentences. He will present a rationale for taking nonviolent direct action and answer questions on his action, which can be viewed on

How Values Can Lead You to More Effective Climate Communication

This seminar brings together two powerful streams of social science research, the groundbreaking work of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and the rigorous public opinion research conducted by the Yale Center for Climate Communications. Haidt’s brilliant research has shown how moral judgments lie at the very core of human cognition and furthermore that people vary in systematic ways in how they make moral judgments. Can we communicate about climate policy initiatives in ways that harmonize with our audience’s moral framework? Can use a values-based strategy to avoid unnecessarily provoking negative reactions? We’ll get that conversation started in this seminar.

Paul Elwood is an amateur philosopher with extensive professional experience as an investment analyst, most recently for the Washington State Investment Board, and as a program evaluation specialist for housing and income security programs.

Presentation Slides: Click Here

Local Elections 2017

Many South Sounders concerned about climate change have recognized that, under the current federal administration, a local focus may be the most fruitful. Our local governments are regularly making policy decisions that impact current and future greenhouse gas emissions locally and beyond our geographic borders. In 2017, South Sound voters will elect city councilors in Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater and two Port of Olympia Commissioners. How can climate activists influence the outcome of these elections? Our panelists will get the conversation started, but who know where it will lead!

Sky Myers is a local theatre artist and political activist. Using agitprop techniques, her company, Frack Off Theatre Collective spotlights environmental issues and the global impacts of local policy. She also organizes the Port Action Team, a disappearing task force, committed to seeing the Port of Olympia turn over a new leaf.