September 2017 Meeting Notes

Minutes from Iowa City Climate Advocates (ICCA) September 9, 2017 Meeting

Notes prepared by Eric Johnson

People present: Ryan Hall, Lydia Li, Del Holland, Jamie McCoy, Chris Bergan, Eric Johnson, John Macatee, Mazahir Salih, Martha Norbeck, Peter Rolnick

NOTE: Next month’s meeting on October 14 is at a slightly different time! See “Upcoming Events” below for details”
New volunteers:
Ryan Hall is not new to CCL (he was part of the Low Carbon Crossings bike ride across the country last summer, and lobbied with CCL in DC November 2016) but this was his first ICCA meeting; Ryan is a student at UI and a candidate for the City Council from District B.
Mazahir Salih is an at-large candidate for City Council.
Lydia Li is a former UI student looking for new groups to replace the groups she was in at the UI.
Welcome to the three of you!

Chris shared with us some of what he learned at a conference supporting the use of thorium as a nuclear fuel.

Eric reported $408 in our UICCU bank account. Money in paypal account is $181 which puts our total money at $589 (Eric forgot to thank everyone for their generous donations, but he wants to now in the meeting notes!)

Eric and Peter reviewed recent meetings (one with Ernst’s office, two with Grassley’s office, one with a member of the consultant team for the city).

John Macatee reported that he is going to DC for the November lobbying day. John can give rides to others who wish to go, and would be happy to share the cost of lodging with someone if they can afford it, or to simply share the lodging that he has if the other person could not otherwise afford to go. Thank you, John! (If you are interested, contact John at The more members of our group that go to this event the better; if you are thinking about going, registration and all information about it can be found at:

John Macatee also stated his intent to work with Terri Macey on applying for a grant from the City of Iowa City for climate change education.

Eric reported that we don’t currently have any next meetings scheduled with our local congressional offices, but we hope to meet with each office approximately once every two months.

Peter is waiting to hear back from Pennies on the Rail for our spring fundraiser. NOTE: They have since agreed! Peter will plan on a fundraiser with food and music (Pennies on the Rail and Sweet Cacophony) sometime in early April, 2018, at Beadology–probably a Friday night. Volunteers are needed to help plan and advertise the event, and to help with food.

John Macatee said that he and Linda need help tabling. If you would like to be “on call” for tabling events, contact Linda at

We discussed volunteer opportunites. Peter asked attendees to imagine what we like doing volunteer-wise, what we hate doing, what we are good at and what we are not so good at, to see if each of us can find a role in our group that would be a good fit. Things we are in particular need of at the moment include:
-Oversee Fundraising,
-Plan/Get the word out about our events,
-Develop a relationship with the Iowa Farm Bureau and with local agricultural interests,
-Develop a relationship with local Unions and other Labor interests,
-Do research on specified topics as needed by the work of other volunteers,
-Be on an “on-call” list for tabling, for meetings with members of Congress, or for meetings with newspaper editorial boards.

Contact Peter ( or 660-342-2671) if you want to talk more about any of these opportunities.

Gathering of Local Environmental Groups (Oct 23)
Martha Norbeck has done a lot of legwork talking with the other environmental groups to meet ahead of the City’s Nov 2 open house for climate change initiative ideas,
She expressed a concern that having an open meeting to all ideas would not be productive and a risk of no decision at all would be made in time for the Nov 2 meeting,
An idea that she found popular was advocating for eating of a plant-rich diet,
The environmental groups can prepare for the public release of the city’s climate change initiative which are due next May 2018,
Peter raised the concern of people feeling strongarmed into a plant-rich diet idea,
Martha will send an electronic survey ahead of the Oct 23 to gather ideas–that will be the next step in setting up the gathering.

National Video Conference (
Economist Shi-ling Hsu talked about the reasons why a carbon tax is the best way to address global warming. Along with his experitse as an economist, he lived through the implementation of the 2008 British Columbia carbon tax and saw firsthand the entrepreneurial innovation it spurred. His book The Case for a Carbon Tax is something Mark Reynolds says each group should have. NOTE: John Macatee has since puchased that book and will be happy to lend it to others in the group who want to read it. (John also has a copy of the book Drawdown, which was featured in last month’s video conference.)

As a communication exercise we talked about how using the pronouns “they” and “them” can distance a speaker from a group. As explained in this month’s Action Sheet, examples were presented of how you might convey the same information to a Republican friend or group you are speaking to while conveying different messages about group identity.

Republicans hold a majority in Congress and CCL believes that we need to be part of any legislation that gets introduced – in fact, CCL wants us to sponsor the legislation.
The first sentence clearly communicates that the speaker does not view him/herself as part of the group “Republicans”, the second is neutral, and the third communicates that the speaker considers him/herself a Republican. The division is really simple:
I am part of your group: we, us, our
I am not part of the group: they, them, their
If you are part of the audience’s group, use pronouns to drive home that point. If you are NOT part of the group, you can simply avoid the personal pronouns “they”, “them” and “their”.


Upcoming Events:
North Wind Regional CCL Conference, October 13-15
Lakeside Lab in Okoboji Iowa
Iowa City Climate Advocates October Meeting, Saturday October 14
noon – 2 pm, Iowa City Public Library, Room E (upstairs)
Gathering of Local Environmental Groups, Monday October 23
6:30-8:30 pm, Coralville Public Library, Schwab Auditorium
City Climate Action and Adaptation Community Input Meeting #1,
Thursday November 2
Exact time and location to be announced
4th Annual Congressional Education Day, November 12-14
Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington DC
9th Annual International Conference & Lobby Day, June 10-12, 2018
Washington DC, location TBA


One thought on “September 2017 Meeting Notes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s