May 2016 Meeting Notes

Iowa City Climate Advocates/Iowa City Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Notes from our May 18, 2016 Meeting (prepared by Peter Rolnick)

People at the meeting: Terri Macey, Chris Bergan, Jenna Hammerich, Eric Johnson, Jeanne Smith, Cheryl Miller, Peter Rolnick, Miriam Kashia, Allison Roberts, Jim Throgmorton, Barbara Eckstein.

  • We all wrote letters or postcards to either Dave Loebsack (our District 2 representative in the U.S. House), Joni Ernst or Chuck Grassley (Iowa’s U.S. senators) expressing our personal concerns (whatever they are) about climate change. Peter will bring those letters and cards to D.C. in June and hand-deliver them to the members of Congress or their staffers.

    • I have in my notes that we discussed using Military Talking Points in communicating with Senator Ernst, as a strong military is one of her top values. I don’t remember if that was a reference to a particular document on the web, but if it was and someone knows the reference let me know and I will share it.

  • ICCA now has a Speakers Bureau. If you wish to be a speaker and/or if you know of venues where we might speak contact Linda Quinn (

  • We discussed putting on a 5k run to raise money for victims of climate change–perhaps the people displaced by the fires in Alberta, Canada. Some suggested broadening it to support climate refugees, or to support climate awareness. Eric will look into trustworthy ways to funnel money to such people, and he will also look into what is involved in putting on such an event (permits, etc.). He will get back to us at our next meeting. Assuming Eric gets those two things under control, Terri expressed an interest in helping to organize such an event.

  • There are three initiatives coming up (though not immediately) through the City Council which we agreed we would like to be involved in. They are:

    • Set a substantive and achievable goal for reducing city-wide carbon emissions by 2030, and create an ad-hoc climate change task force, potentially under an umbrella STAR Communities committee, [and] … devise a cost-effective strategy for achieving the goal”,

    • Set aside $100,000 to “Undertake a project in FY 2017 that achieves a significant measurable carbon emission reduction,”

    • Form a focus group to look into ways to use TIF (Tax Increment Financing)–this is a place where we could suggest ways to use TIF to encourage sustainability. A person with the city named Wendy Ford is a point person for this effort.

    • Two ways that we can help with this that we discussed are:

      • Have individuals write letters or emails to the City Council thanking them for their efforts in keeping sustainability as a priority along with the many other very important things they need to address. Some of these efforts are outlined in more detail at (scroll down to the third page – a memorandum dated May 18). You can contact them at (Appearing in person at Council meetings to express support is also helpful.)

      • Cheryl will write a letter to go to all the environmental groups in town to gauge interest in and perhaps initiate an effort to get representatives from all groups together to offer advice to the Council on these initiatives. Peter will help with that letter.

        • Cheryl is also contacting Brenda Nations (Iowa City Sustainability Coordinator) about the residential part of a sustainability effort, about which Cheryl has been doing some research.

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