April 2017 Meeting Notes

Iowa City Climate Advocates (ICCA)/Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL)
April 8, 2017

(prepared by Peter Rolnick)

People present: Cheryl Miller, Sean Turner, John Macatee, Linda Quinn, Deborah Dee, Miriam Kashia, Charlotte Fairlie, Ed Agran, John Prineas, Barbara Eckstein, Jim Throgmorton, Chris Bergan, Peter Rolnick

We introduced ourselves (welcome to new volunteer Sean Turner!) and had a lively discussion on, among other things, agriculture and Carbon Fee & Dividend (CF&D). I shared what I learned at the recent regional CCL meeting, that CF&D was not enough to address the issues facing agriculture and how it is being practiced, particularly in Iowa. I said I would share a recent article [attached] from Don Wilkin in Illinois on, among other things, suggestions for a revised Carbon Restoration Program (CRP) to shoot for in the 2019 Farm Bill.

We talked about letter writing and about having certain people monitor certain publications regularly, and a number of people volunteered. They are to send relevent articles to me (email either the text of the article, including the author if given, date and journal, or email a link to the article), and I will keep a page of the most recent ones available for people to use as reference for writing letters to the editor, or two their member of Congress. For the time being I will keep that page updated on our ICCA web page.
Here is where things stand now:
The Guardian: Charlotte
The Des Moine Register: Linda
The New York Times: John
Iowa City Press-Citizen: Peter
The Kalona News: Cheryl
The Corridor Business Journal: Jamie
We still need someone for The Daily Iowan and The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette.

We discussed our large stack of cards asking Dave Loebsack to join the Climate Solutions Caucus. I will email Dave Leshtz and ask him what is the best way to deliver the cards to Representative Loebsack, and to ask for feedback about any thoughts Congressman Loebsack has about joining the Caucus.

We talked about different ways to help out in our efforts to get CF&D passed, and to do other work related to the climate. Appended at the end of these notes is a Volunteer Opportunities Worksheet that we looked at as part of our discussion. In particular, we talked about item I. on that worksheet: figuring out a way to make sure that you write letters regularly. Important: Remember to cc me when you write a letter or op ed, so I can notify CCL.

We watched the monthly national call, and heard Katherine Hammack, former Assistant Secretary to the Army, talk about national security and climate change, with a focus on “resiliency” and “net zero”. [The slides from her talk in PowerPoint are attached with these minutes.]

There was a reference in Katherine’s talk to decreased carbon pollution and increased use of renewable energy in California, and Chris pointed out that those data are old and that the picture is not so rosy now that a number of California nuclear plants are offline. Chris will try to get references for that and communicate them to Mark Reynolds.

During the call, Mark Reynolds referred to a letter from the Ogallala and one other tribe to various government officials having to do with a carbon fee, and people wanted to see if we could a copy of that letter. I will write to Mark and ask if he can provide that.

We talked about tabling, which Linda and John are spearheading. Various people volunteered to help out in a number of events–thanks! John and some others will try to have an ICCA presence at the April 29 Climate March in Des Moines, and he will contact Steve Shivvers (from the Des Moines Chapter) about joining forces. Speaking of that march, I have just learned that there will be a march and an event in Iowa City, and anyone interested in representing ICCA in that effort should please contact me!

Finally, since recent research (described in a December 2016 Think Progress article) indicates that appealing to a nostalgic past and contrasting it to the present can be more effective in reaching conservatives than what we often do, which is to offer a negative view of the future, we did a communication exercise in which we were to come up with a story, that is true, that evokes the unsullied pristine past and compares it to conditions today. Some of us shared our stories.

Review of upcoming events:
5k Run/Walk in honor of Barbara Schlachter, April 22 (Earth Day)
Run for our climate!

Climate Advocate Training/Group Start Workshop, Saturday May 6, 1:30-4:30 pm
Want to do something about climate change? Come to this workshop to learn about Carbon Fee & Dividend, Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s elegant first step in dealing with the problem, and about our non-partisan approach to getting it through Congress–soon!
Workshop is free, but please RSVP to prolnick@truman.edu if you plan to attend.
This workshop is especially recommended if you are new to Citizens’ Climate Lobby, or if you plan to attend their Conference and Lobby Day in DC this June.
Also recommended if you are interested in starting a local chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

May Meeting: Saturday May 13, 11 – 1, Iowa City Public Library, Room E

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.
Early registration ends April 30!
Registration Deadline is May 26.

2017 CCL Conference

Pot Luck in the Park With The Sierra Club and Other Local Environmental Groups
Wednesday, August 16, dinner time, Hickory Hill Park (exact time and location to be announced),
Bring a dish to share and enjoy a pot luck in Hickory Hill Park,
Live music provided by Sweet Cacophony

November CCL Conference and Lobby Day in DC, exact days to be announced.
People needed for:
Tabling at KCC Earth Day Event, Tuesday 4/25/17, 10 am – 2 pm (people can take shifts)
Tabling at Craft Your Environment, 2 volunteers needed, Sun 4/23, , 12:30 – 3:00. http://www.salvagebarn.org/craft-your-environment.html To help, contact Linda at quinnhenry@msn.com

Volunteer Opportunities Worksheet

As you think about the volunteer opportunities below, keep in mind the following:

Having members of the group, both new and experienced, take on a variety of responsibilities makes us more effective in our work. Politicians do not create political will–they respond to it. Our mission is to create that political will. We do this by empowering members of the public­–and this includes ourselves–to have breakthroughs in personal and political power.

You can do most of these things without coming to meetings, so if you are not able to or do not want to come to meetings regularly, there are still important ways you can contribute.

If you are interested in something but don’t think you know enough about it, have no fear! There is training available for all of these activities on CCL-Community in the form of videos, laser talks and other written material. In addition Eric and I and other more experienced volunteers are glad to act as a resource should you have questions or concerns.

The skills you will develop in taking on any of these roles will be useful in all areas of your life, not just in your work with CCL.

Last and most important: In encouraging you to think about ways to be involved, remember that paying attention to yourself and your family is the most important thing–don’t take on responsibilities that will just add stress to your life. You are most effective in whatever you do if you take good care of yourself, and that means paying attention to the time you need for eating, sleeping, relationships, etc. No one of us has to do everything!


Make a plan to insure that you write one letter (to the editor, to your Representative or Senator, other?) at least once per week (or day, or month, or whatever–you choose).

In which of the following might you be interested in taking a volunteer role? For example, under “Help with a tabling event”, you would volunteer one time to work at a tabling event–an event that someone else has organized–for a certain time slot; all you would need to do is show up. Tasks needing very little preparation have 1 asterisk, more asterisks mean more preparation.

-Speak on Climate Change, Carbon Fee and Dividend, or a related topic at an event someone else arranges)***
-Help specifically with a Conservative/Republican outreach event**
-Help specifically with a Liberal/Democrat/Progressive outreach event**
-Help specifically with a Student outreach event**
-Attend a newspaper editorial board meeting*
-Help with a tabling event*
-Help to gather endorsements**
-Help with a social event*
-Participate in a meeting with a Member of Congress or his/her staff member***

Here are some areas where you may be interested in taking a leadership role–not a complete list! For example, under “Liberal/Democratic/Progressive Outreach”, you would seek out and schedule (including finding a place and time–always challenging!) events for reaching out to Liberals/Democratics/Progressives). (Some have already taken on some of these roles, and their names are listed in brackets.)

General outreach [Linda Quinn]
Conservative/Republican outreach [Dennis Gordon]
Liberal/Democratic/Progressive outreach
Editorial Board outreach
Tabling [Linda Quinn and John Macatee]
Endorsements [Jamie McCoy]
Liason for Senator Grassley
Social Events
Student outreach [Brandon Jennings]

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