Last October when I began this process of planning for our in-person gathering, I never would have imagined that we’d be where we find ourselves today.

Do you remember the shared value that we identified on our 350 WA Network Zoom call last November? I sure do! We wanted to make sure that everything we do in our efforts to build a statewide network is done in a way that respects and cares for our capacities as volunteers.

When I think about my own hopes and dreams for the 350 WA Network, I imagine powerful statewide campaigns and thriving local groups that have all of the resources they need to succeed. I imagine the thrill of creating easy ways for groups of activists to team up with like minded folks across the state to turn smaller, simple actions (like a die-in or bank protest) into coordinated statewide actions that pack a real punch in the news and help tell the story of the climate crisis. I bet you have your own hopes and dreams for the 350 Washington Network, too.

Before all that can happen, though, we need to be cared for as individual volunteers. The COVID-19 pandemic is radically altering each of our lives and changing the landscape of what it means to be community organizers.

Two weeks ago I was thinking about how to get more people involved in the climate movement.

Today, I’m thinking about how to make sure the people in my community are being fed and have their basic needs for shelter and safety met.

Tomorrow, I want to have a better understanding of what it means to be a climate activist in the time of COVID-19, and how to integrate the two.

Our in-person retreat was planned as a time of heart-to-heart connection, brainstorming, and collaboratively exploring a pathway forward as the 350 Washington Network in bigger, bolder ways than we could ever hope to accomplish as individual groups. With COVID-19 predicted to possibly reach its PNW peak sometime in April or May or June (these estimates change regularly as we learn more), it is clear that an in-person retreat is no longer a wise option for us. I am exploring options for us to instead meet virtually during that first weekend in May, but I also know that it is difficult to predict what each of our needs and capacities will be six weeks from now.

Our need for a 350 WA Network, though, has never been greater. We need ways to reach out and support each other, to lift up spirits and exchange ideas, and to share resources, too. The #1 rule I’m learning about organizing in the time of COVID-19 is to let go of past expectations and adapt to reality as it transforms the old normal into the new normal. That’s why I’m creating a brand new platform for us: a weekly standing Zoom call for all 350 WA Network members to have a reliable place to gather and reflect on the changing organizing landscape around us, and to find support.

What: 350 WA Network Conversations

When: Mondays @5pm-6:30pm

Where: Zoom! Register here (attend as many or as few calls as you have capacity for)

Why: To create a supportive space for 350 Washington Network local groups and affiliates to connect and share resources and ideas during the COVID-19 pandemic

Additionally, this week I’m launching the 350 WA Network Google Group as another option for creating room for meaningful exchanges of ideas and support with each other.

  • Thank you for reading along this far.

  • Thank you for everything you are doing to take care of yourselves and your communities.

  • Thank you for your willingness to adapt to our changing world and to sit with uncertainty as we continue to make the best decisions we can with the information available.

With all my heart,

Grace Hope


PNW Regional Organizer | 425-890-2145
Monday, Wednesday – Friday, 9-5pm PST
Ps, for those of you who have already paid some or all of your retreat costs, I am working with the folks at 350 Seattle to get your refunds to you ASAP. We know that many of us are experiencing rapidly changing financial situations and we want to get those funds back in your hands.