Minutes prepared by Peter Rolnick
People present: Chris Bergan, Eric Johnson, Mark Conway, Craig Mosher, Edward Agran, Del Holland, Charlotte Fairlie, Barbara Eckstein, Jamie McCoy, Peter Rolnick
- We were happy to welcome two new faces: Mark Conway and Craig Mosher!
- Both Charlotte and Ed have been working on op-eds for the Press-Citizen–thank you!
- Eric is giving a presentation about Fee and Dividend to his workplace on Feb 15. If anyone else is interested in this idea for their own workplace, Eric can share his powerpoint and discuss the details.
We watched the monthly CCL call. Some highlights:
- Members of the US Olympic Cross Country Ski Team are speaking out about climate change and the very real conseqence, which is already happening, of having to use much more artificial snow than what was the norm.
- The speaker, Celia Paris, Assistant Professor in Political Science at Loyola University, talked about how bipartisanship in Congress is supported in public polls, but that there are other factors which influence people and members of Congress to be strongly partisan. [Unfortunately someone (who looks a lot like me) failed to turn on the power strip so everything went blank in the middle of her presentation….ah well!] You can watch her presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUbJL4yAHU4&feature=youtu.be.
- Celia connected her research to reasons why our Representatives will find it in their own interest to join the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus:
- There will be no loss in support form the member’s own party, but she/he will gain in crossover voters,
- The member will be associated with an increasingly popular policy,
- The member will be seen as a problem solver.
- There was also some discussion of an approach being taken by participants in COP (Congress of the Parties of the initial UN effort to examine and address climate change) called Talanoa Dialogue: “Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. The purpose of Talanoa is to share stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good. The process of Talanoa involves the sharing of ideas, skills and experience through storytelling…” (more at http://unfccc.int/focus/talanoa_dialogue/items/10265.php). Mark Conway has some experience with this in his work.
- We also saw a new CCL video for engaging people who are already concerned about the climate but who meed that extra nudge to become active. See it at https://citizensclimatelobby.org/undoyourpart/. If you engage in social media, share it!
Spring Lobby Drive and Meetings with Members of Congress
- I reported on a recent meeting with Senator Grassley in which we asked him to form or be part of a Senate bipartisan climate caucus. He asked for a written, clearly spelled out request so he could carefully consider it. We will follow up and hopefully have another meeting with him.
- A meeting is planned with Senator Ernst on March 7 at 2:30 in either Cedar Rapids or Des Moines. Eric, Barbara, Ed and I are all interested in participating. Jamie also mentioned some local leaders who might want to come–I will follow up on that.
- Since we already have things going on with Grassley and Ernst we decided to focus on Loebsack. Barbara suggested that, since Dave Leshtz (Loebsack’s regional director) was seen by some as wondering why we keep meeting with him since Loebsack is already on board with Carbon Fee & Dividend, and willing to join the Climate Solutions Caucus if we can find him a Republican, we just write him a note with any new information (for example, the info above from Celia Paris about why it would support his election to join the Caucus), and offer to meet if he wants. Perhaps we could also ask for a face-to-face with Loebsack during the spring break.
Grand Canyon Project
We have a robust state-wide Grand Canyon Project (making sure the member of Congress is called at least once every Monday through Friday) going for Senators Ernst and Grassley, and Jamie, Ed and Mark have added their names to the participants. We talked about having someone start one for Loebsack, but Barbara suggested we instead use that effort to help someone in a district with a more conservative member of Congress–Rod Blum in district 1 was suggested. I will follow up on that with my list of people in Cedar Rapids (even though they don’t have an active chapter there…yet).
The CCL GO TEAM is an effort to reach out to sustainable business leaders–particularly wind energy companies in Iowa–for endorsements for Carbon Fee & Dividend. Jamie will arrange an initial phone meeting with the leader of the effort with CCL. Eric and Charlotte will participate, in particular setting up the Google spreadsheet on which we will have possible contacts. I will reach out to Brandon Jennings in Des Moines to see if he wants to participate. Barbara has volunteered to provide contacts once the spreadsheet has been set up.