December 2017 Meeting Notes


In attendance

Eric Johnson, Deborah Dee, Linda Quinn, Chris Bergan, Jamie McCoy, Miriam Kashia, Brandon Jennings, Jim Throgmorton, Barbara Eckstein

CCL National Video Conference

We watched José Aguto tell us about the 75 million members(!) of the Catholic community in the US and how to engage the bishops (meet them where they’re at, just like talking with our politicians). We discussed several ways to connect with the Catholic community in Iowa City:

  • –  It was suggested that we contact IC Councilman Terry Dickens because he is tightly connected with St Patrick’s and he just voted in favor of an endorsement of a revenue-fee on carbon.
  • –  John Casko is active in the Catholic community and his wife is Kim Casko, head of the Chamber of Commerce, which recently endorsed action on climate change.
  • –  Iowa Interfaith Power and Light was suggested as a good resource.
  • –  Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa, Peter Damiano, healthcare advocate

    And we watched video about 14 high schoolers who went to DC to meet with their conservative Congressman, and they asked him to join the Climate Solutions Caucus and he said yes. We had the reaction that while it was inspiring to see their success, it probably relied up previous meetings of CCL to get the Congressman to the point of joining. Miriam wanted to see if there was still an active environmental club at West High and to possibly share this video with them.

    CCL reported already raising $385,000 of its $600,00 year end challenge

    Local Lobbying

    Eric, Miriam, and Chris gave updates about how our lobbying meetings went

  • –  Sam Pritchard (Ernst) – was positive and really seemed to respect how well-prepared

    and complemented how our group conducts ourselves and said we’re more effective than other groups he meets with. We asked for Sen Ernst to follow-up on a meeting with CSC founder Rep. Carlos Cuerbelo.

  • –  Fred Schuster (Grassley) – was skeptical of climate science, but said he thought humans could be causing part of it. Eric responded with the analogy of life insurance. Nadja asked for evidence/research that the market could address climate change quickly enough. We asked for Sen. Grassley to support CF&D legislation, and also asked Sen Grassley to commission the studies to see if the market will address climate change on its own.
  • –  Dave Leshtz (Loebsack) – no news on finding a Republican to join CSC. Updated him on success of British Columbia’s carbon tax. He recommended a number of local groups to connect with.

Other news

Jim Throgmorton announced that he had signed the Chicago Charter of the Global Covenant of Mayors (which covers 7,400 cities worldwide, 10% of the world’s population) which agrees to specific actions on climate change (all of which Iowa City is already doing).

Endorsements update:

Eagle Point endorsement (largest solar installer in Iowa).

Mark Nolte – leader of IC Area Development Group

  • –  Focused on bringing external dollars to our local economy
  • –  Jamie said that CF&D would bring fossil fuel dollars back to Iowa and Mark seemed


  • –  ICAD has a member of MidAmerica on its board, good connection to make for


  • –  Michelle Payne, former city councilor is heavily involved with MidAmerican and is


  • –  Mark Nolte offered a conference room for our meetings in the Merge building

    GrassTops Outreach Team

  • –  Summary slideshow:
  • –  Target wind energy businesses in Iowa based on which are easiest to approach and which would have the biggests endorsement impact
  • –  Jamie needs volunteers!
    • –  Will hold initial informational meeting so prospective volunteers can learn more
    • –  In general
      • –  Delegates to be the point of contact with different companies
      • –  Company researchers to find best targets
      • –  Computer skilled people for maintaining Google Spreadsheet
      • –  Liaisons for members of congress
    • –  Brandon, Eric were interested in learning more
    • –  Barbara suggested approaching the UI Business School to see if an unpaid

      internship program could be created to give the students valuable sustainability

      experience and help us cover more ground

    • –  Eric suggested that David Tominsky might be a good contact since he’s

      interested in CCL and works in the start up business community in Cedar Rapids

      When the Bill Drops

  • –  Brandon suggested reaching out to Indivisible as their main goal is to build an action network that can be mobilized quickly in response to legislation. He’s willing to contact them in Des Moines
  • –  Jim raised the issue of how do we pierce the noise already clouding the news when the bill does drop
  • –  We also discussed the failure of the Board of Supervisors to endorse carbon fee and dividend and the need to reach out to the social justice and other left-leaning groups in Johnson County to educate them so they know what CF&D is beforehand and connect it to social justice.
  • –  There are lots of social justice group meetings and events that we could table at
  • –  Indivisible is strong in NW Iowa
  • – and Cheryl Valenta in Cedar Rapids would be good to reach out to
  • –  Jim suggested contacting Greg Hearnes of the City Federation of Labor
    • –  Also Jessie Case
    • –  Royceann Moore
    • –  Juneteenth celebration at Mercer Park

– We need a messenger from the African American community

  • –  Affordable Housing Coalition (Sara Barron)
    • –  Connected with many other social justice groups
    • –  Monthly meetings
  • –  United Nations Association
    • –  Has events to table at
    • –  Good connection to immigrant community

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