Mayor McGinn announced the formation of Leadership Alliance Against Coal in an address held at Golden Gardens on Earth Day, April 22. The coalition comprises of leaders of city governments and tribal nations from across the Pacific Northwest who will work to raise awareness about the damaging economic, cultural and health effects of coal trains and exports.
The coalition formed from conversations between leaders from cities and tribal nations who are concerned about how their communities are impacted by coal trains. Members of the alliance are advocating for agencies to work together to determine the health effects of coal on those living nearby coal train rail tracks and coal terminals. The coalition also encourages state and federal agencies to consider the economic, health, cultural and environmental costs of coal in denying permits for coal exports proposals.
“These coal trains threaten the health of our communities, the strength of our economies, and the environmental and cultural heritage we share. We will stand together to stop the coal trains,” said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. Seattle Councilmember Mike O’Brien echoed Mayor McGinn’s thoughts. “I’m proud to stand united with cities and tribes to oppose coal exports and promote a climate friendly future,” said O’Brien.
Tribes are concerned about the impact that coal trains and proposed coal terminals will have on their cultural heritage. “For thousands of years Washington State tribes have fought to protect all that is important for those who call this great state home. We can no longer allow industry and business to pollute our water and land; we as leaders need to protect our treaty resources, our economies, and the human health of our citizens and neighbors,” said Brian Cladoosby, Chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.
The Leadership Alliance Against Coal comprises of the following members:
- Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle
- Councilmember Mike O’Brien, Seattle
- Councilmember Larry Phillips, King County
- Mayor Jon Nehring, Marysville
- Mayor Keith McGlashan, Shoreline
- Deputy Mayor Chris Eggen, Shoreline
- State Representative Reuven Carlyle
- Council President Ben Stuckart, Spokane
- Mayor Dave Earling, Edmonds
- Councilmember Strom Peterson, Edmonds
- Councilmember Nancy M. Dumas, Sumner
- Mayor Steve Bonkowski, Bainbridge Island
- Chairman Melvin Sheldon, Jr., Tulalip Tribes
- Chairman Brian Cladoosby, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
- Councilmember Jay Julius, Lummi Nation