Sometimes when you’re digging through the city archives, you stumble on some true gems. This letter I found deep in a box in the Seattle Municipal Archives is one of them.
In 1970, some students from the Rainier Beach Cottage Program (a sort of alternative school program for middle and high school students housed within Rainier Beach High School) founded a group called STOP: Stop Traffic’s Obnoxious Pollution. The group did not mince words. They wanted everyone to stop driving cars because cars are noisy and pollute the air. And instead of driving in the streets, we could dance there. Enjoy:
Have you ever thought of how nice it would be to get up one morning to a cleaner, clearer, quieter environment? And how much the elimination of the automobile would contribute to it? Some of the students in the Rainier Beach Cottage Program have been thinking, and have formed STOP (Stop Traffic’s Obnoxious Pollution) as a result. Though we realize that this goal cannot be accomplished overnight, we are organizing to sponsor a one-day city-wide protest of the use of the automobile. The date is tentative: Sunday, May 3, 1970.
Some of our ideas for activities that day include: Bicycle Sunday in the parks, seminars on pollution (with a particular interest in the automobile’s contribution), organized hikes and walks, and a street dance. We advocate bicycles, rollerskates, skateboards, transit, and walking as means of transportation on that day. We have much enthusiasm, and would appreciate your help in making this event successful, by means of support, donation, an idea for an event or publicity. To learn more or to contribute ideas and support, write to the above address or call PArkway 5-1677 and ask for Karen Wilson. Thank you.