ICCA/CCL Meeting Minutes, Saturday December 10
(prepared by Peter Rolnick)
People Present: Brandon Jennings, Jamie McCoy, Chris Bergan, Cheryl Miller, Del Holland, Terri Macey, Miriam Kashia, Betul Zora, Linda Quin, Barbara Eckstein, Jim Throgmorton, Peter Rolnick, Ryan Hall (came at the end of the meeting), Eric Johnson (had to leave a little early).
- After introducing ourselves, and having a piece of nice pound cake that Terri made, we watched the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) Monthly Call, in which Executive Director Mark Reynolds gave us an after-election pep talk. His resolve to get a revenue-neutral carbon fee passed by Congress by the end of 2017 has not softened! The primary speakers were Sam Daley Harris, a founder of the lobbying organization RESULTS, which worked toward increasing microloans around the world, and Jay Butera, a CCL volunteer who helped create the House Climate Solutions Caucus. Their subject was working with members of Congress (MOCs). One of the things they talked about was a Champion Scale. Here are the 6 levels of the champion scale that you might encounter with your MOC:
- Opposed. These MOCs might say things like, “I don’t support that,” or “What you’re talking about isn’t even a problem,” or “I agree it’s a problem, but I don’t like your solution.”
- Neutral. Someone who’s neutral might say “I need more information,” or “Could you give me some materials to read so I can make a more informed decision?”
- Supporter. A supporter might say, “I’ll co-sponsor that,” or “I think that’s a good solution, and I can get behind it.”
- Advocate. An advocate starts to go above and beyond, perhaps saying things like, “Now that I’m a co-sponsor it’s important to build more support, need to educate fellow congressmen etc
- Leader & Spokesperson. This MOC might be the lead sponsor of a bill or an initiator of a caucus, like the Climate Solutions Caucus.
- Champion. This is the final level, and Sam cautions against tossing this label around. “I don’t like it when groups call anyone who does anything good a champion,” he said. “To me, a champion is someone who’s so passionate that they’re out in front of CCL, and pushing CCL to catch up.” For example, if a MOC arranged for five Republican colleagues and five Democratic colleagues to host a town hall meeting on carbon fee and dividend, that would be champion-level effort.
It is an interesting exercise to see where we think Loebsack, Blum, Young, King, Ernst and Grassley fall on this scale.
- Suggestions as to how to move our MOC up the scale (from wherever they are at the moment) made by Harris and Butera, and that came up in our discussion afterward, included:
- Make frequent contacts with our MOC, find ways to become useful to her/him, and always be recalibrating (meaning be ready to change our approach as often as needed as the situation changes).
- Have monthly in-district meetings with our MOC (or staff).
- Try to get our MOC to have a town-hall meeting.
- Don’t think of our efforts as a sprint or a marathon, but as a long distance hike.
- We should try to coordinate with the liasons for Ernst and Grassley (those liasons are not in our group) so we can more systematically interact with our Senators. [I will contact Anita, our state CCL coordinator, about this.]
- Jamie told us about his efforts gathering endorsements (thank you, Jamie!).
- There is lots of information and support on the CCL website for gathering endorsements. To access the endorser program page go to https://community.citizensclimatelobby.org/endorser-program/. You will need to log on with your CCL username and password. Jamie will look into contacting the following people suggested at the meeting:
- Charlie Funk, Midwest One Bank,
- John Balmer, Plumbers Supply,
- John Lohman, Corridor Business Journal,
- The Iowa Farm Bureau,
- Eldon Stutzman.
- The simplest way to approach endorsements is to talk to people and/or institutions that you are already familiar with, for example your place of worship, your employer, or your school. If you would like some help from Jamie, or want to plug in to his efforts, you can contact him at mailto:email@example.com.
- I will try to contact some local unions about endorsements. It was suggested that John Fraser with Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) might be a good contact.
- We decided that we would dedicate most or all of our next meeting on brainstorming about gathering endorsements. Come with your ideas, whatever they are–endorsements from organizations in our district are the strongest lever we have in moving our MOCs “up the champion scale.”
- Cheryl and others filled us in on the work they are doing with the City Council’s sustainability efforts. A number of ICCA members were at the last City Council meeting where a resolution was passed unanimously (including an amendment Cheryl had worked out that set a goal of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2005 levels by 2050). Thank you Cheryl, Terri, Chris and Brandon! It was suggested that if the Council asks us for a representive to serve on the task force that will implement these ideas we send Cheryl (and she said that would be okay). It was suggested that we try to give (or arrange for someone to give) regular talks to a variety of audiences in the area on climate change and CF&D–this to help build support for the City’s efforts, among other things. The talks could be tailored to the audience. Suggested audiences include the Affordable Housing Coalition and racial equity and social justice organizations. The Iowa United Nations Association (IUNA) would be a good partner in this effort.
- We talked about developing a relationship with our state representatives. Chris has provided the following resource for finding out who our state reps are (thank you, Chris!):
- Go to www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find.
- Enter your address and will find your personal reps.
- Using the tab in the middle of the page you can enter city or zip code and get all 3 state senators (Dvorsky, Bolkom, Kinney) and five representatives (Kaufmann, Lensing, Stutsman, Jacoby, Mascher) for the Iowa City area. I [Chris] know Stutsman is retiring and her seat was won by Ann Nielson. I believe the others ran unopposed.
- A note at the page bottom reads “Please contact your county auditor for more information.” http://www.johnson-county.com/dept_auditor.aspx?id=12195.
- Terri will host a Years of Living Dangerously watch party (we will watch the episode featuring Jay Butera and the creation of the Climate Solutions Caucus, with Bradley Whitford hosting). The party will be the evening of Friday, January 6. Stay tuned for an exact time!
- I will arrange a fundraiser at Uptown Bill’s for some Sunday afternoon, 2-4 pm in January or February. I will arrange for my band and another band, and we will need people to make snacks. Uptown Bill’s will keep 10%-20%, depending on the take. Tom at Uptown Bill’s suggested we could have door prizes, a short speech by someone, and maybe schedule it on a day that coincides with some birthday or anniversay having to do with climate change. Let me know if you have any suggestions at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We decided to try having our monthly meetings on the second Saturday of the month for now, partly so we can listen to the Monthly Call live.
- Years of Living Dangerously Watch Party
- Friday, January 6, Evening (directions and exact time TBA)
- Next ICCA/CCL Meeting
- Saturday January 14, 11 am -1 pm, Coralville Public Library, Schwab Auditorium
- CCL North Wind Regional Conference
- Iowa Lakeside Lab, Okoboji, March 17-19 (Friday evening public presentation, conference Saturday all day, Sunday ’til noon)
- June CCL Conference and Lobby Day in DC
- The 2017 CCL/CCE conference and lobby day is set for June 11-13 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. Registration will open the second week of January. As with this year’s conference and lobby day, there will be a limited number of lobbying slots, so be sure to register early if you plan to meet with congressional offices.