Green New Deal
Seattle passed the Green New Deal, which it describes as a:
bold leap towards a climate pollution-free city aims to create jobs and advance an equitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy by prioritizing investments in communities historically most harmed by economic, racial, and environmental injustices.
At the same time, it adopted an aggressive new greenhouse gas reduction goal of being climate neutral by 2030. This goal is sufficiently aggressive that the City seems to regard it as being merely aspirational, and in most communications refers to the previously held goal of reducing 53% by 2030.
Also at the same time, it established the Green New Deal Oversight Board to help advise the City on greenhouse gas and climate justice policies. The Oversight Board is made up of volunteers, some picked for the communities they represent, and others picked for the expertise they have.
Oversight Board Work Items
The major work item planned for the Oversight Board is to advise the City Council on how to spend the $4.6 million set aside in the 2022 Budget for the Green New Deal, and how to spend the money that is expected to be allocated in the 2023. These funds come the JumpStart payroll tax, 9% of which the Council's spending plan allocates to the Green New Deal. The Oversight Board makes recommendations on how to the spend the money; these recommendations are then approved or amended by Council.
The Oversight Board is also tasked with advising Council on climate policy. In full, these are its tasks:
Establishing a definition of what constitutes a policy, program or project that advances a Green New Deal for Seattle;
Provides proposals for the design of new policies, programs, and projects and for modifications to existing policies, programs and projects to the Mayor, City Council, and City departments to advance a Green New Deal for Seattle;
Supporting the planning and implementation of individual City Departmental actions, policies, programs, and practices, to make Seattle climate-pollution free by 2030;
Provides recommendations on City budget priorities and priority City actions; and
Coordinates efforts with City departments and existing committees, boards, and commissions.