+

Seattle is two states and one big mountain range away from North Dakota.

But for Lisa Herbold, a Seattle city council member, the voices of folks shivering outside in America's heartland needed to be heard.

"It really moves me to think of the people who are hundreds of miles away from us today, waiting in the cold for our vote," Herbold explained to the Los Angeles Times.


Thankfully, Seattle was listening. And it voted unanimously on the right side of history.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

On Feb. 7, 2017, Seattle became the first city in the country to cut financial ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL — a project that could contaminate the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's clean water supply.

Seattle wasn't directly funding the pipeline, of course. But Wells Fargo bank is.

The bank says it's provided $120 million in loans — a dramatic underestimate to some critics — for the pipeline's construction. And for many Seattle residents, that's a problem.

The city had been in business with Wells Fargo until Tuesday, when council members voted to have the Emerald City move its $3 billion account from Wells Fargo to a bank that hasn't funded DAPL.

The transfer makes for one of the bank's largest consumer blowbacks ever.

Photo by David McNew/AFP/Getty Images.

In a statement, Wells Fargo said it was "disappointed" in the city's vote and that it "will continue investing in [Seattle's] diverse and dynamic community."

The bank's not getting any sympathy from council member Kshama Sawant, though: "We’re making it bad for their bottom line."

And to DAPL opponents like herself, that's the whole point.

What happened in Seattle is welcome news for opponents of the pipeline at a time when they could certainly use a win.

Many DAPL protesters have been feeling particularly discouraged recently as President Donald Trump gave the go-ahead for continued DAPL drilling (Barack Obama had halted construction before leaving office). On Feb. 8 — the day after Seattle voted to separate itself from Wells Fargo — drilling started up again, NBC News reported, and the company behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, was granted all mandatory approvals to carry on.

But Seattle made major waves by pulling the plug on Wells Fargo, and we may start to see other cities following suit.

"What Seattle voted to do ... is sending shockwaves through the banking industry," activist Shaun King wrote for The Daily News. "For pretty much their entire existence, banks have gotten away with taking our business, holding our money, and charging us fees, while simultaneously funding our oppression. People have had enough."

The vote in Seattle marks a major victory in the divestment movement — an effort to get people, groups, and governments to quit supporting businesses that are making DAPL possible.

A demonstrator in Los Angeles protests the Dakota Access pipeline. Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

Although Wells Fargo is one of the largest backers of the pipeline, many other well-known banks — including Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America — are quietly helping DAPL become a reality. (In fact, you'll probably recognize a lot of familiar names on the list of funders.)

If you refuse to play along with banks using your support to help fund DAPL, take your business elsewhere.

There are plenty of banks not supporting DAPL that also have good track records when it comes to a range of other social, economic, and environmental issues. Credit unions, too, can be a great alternative — they're nonprofits, tend to invest locally, and offer low interest rates and fees.

The corporate forces behind DAPL are strong. But as Seattle showed the world, you — and your bank account — are no weaklings.

"In the end, when you are fighting for what’s right, the rising tide of history will be on your side," wrote King. "Our fight may be hard, but be encouraged, we will win."

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

A man told me gun laws would create more 'soft targets.' He summed up the whole problem.

As far as I know, there are only two places in the world where people living their lives are referred to as 'soft targets.'

Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash

Only in America are kids in classrooms referred to as "soft targets."

On the Fourth of July, a gunman opened fire at a parade in quaint Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six people, injuring dozens and traumatizing (once again) an entire nation.

My family member who was at the parade was able to flee to safety, but the trauma of what she experienced will linger. For the toddler with the blood-soaked sock, carried to safety by a stranger after being pulled from under his father's bullet-torn body, life will never be the same.

There's a phrase I keep seeing in debates over gun violence, one that I can't seem to shake from my mind. After the Uvalde school shooting, I shared my thoughts on why arming teachers is a bad idea, and a gentleman responded with this brief comment:

"Way to create more soft targets."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75.

Lynch is part of a growing crowd of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory.

At first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
Keep ReadingShow less