People in attendance: Del Holland, Craig Mosher, Mary Mascher, Charlene Lange, Jamie McCoy, Mark Conway, Charlotte Fairlie, Ed Agran, Roshan Pandey, John Macatee, Eric Johnson (by phone), Peter Rolnick (notetaker)
NOTE: The movie Reinventing Power (see upcoming events below) is at 6:30 PM, not am as I initially said!
The monthly call featured reporter Amanda Ripley, who talked about “solutions journalism,” which is, briefly, journalism that goes beyond just getting a good story. In particular, she has learned to listen and ask questions when doing interviews with many of the same techniques we have been learning in CCL. One example: When someone says something to you that sounds completely off the wall, instead of saying something like “How can you say that?” say something like “Tell me more,” and then just listen. You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/OKJzd0k1cTQ. (It starts and ends with Mark Reynolds; Amanda Ripley is in the middle.)
Mark Reynolds reviewed the 2018 accomplishments of CCL (including 50 new chapters, 25,390 new members, 1394 meetings with MOCs, 49 newspaper editorials, 547 op-eds, 3045 outreach events). He challenged us to have 2000+ outreach events in the first quarter of 2019, encouraged us to go to the regional, state, and DC lobby days/conferences in June (June 9-11) and November.
Eric reviewed our chapter’s past months activities: Many letters to the editor, some op-eds, tabling, a conversation with Presidential Candidate Julian Castro, and a meeting with the new Regional Directors for Ernst and Grassley.
Peter asked for help with tabling at Prairie Preview on March 5, and John Macatee and Charlene Lange volunteered. Thanks! Peter will be in touch with you. Peter also asked for any suggestions people have for updating our tabling display. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter reviewed the CCL state plans for moving Grassley toward active support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act in the Senate. The two primary tasks for our chapter are to connect with Grassley’s Regional Director [DONE], and to connect with the nearest Farm Bureau office. Mark Conway has volunteered to be in charge of the Farm Bureau outreach and outreach to the local farm community in general. He will keep us updated on that.
John Macatee (the Liaison for Congressman Loebsack) will be arranging a meeting with Loebsack’s Regional Director Dave Leshtz. He will let us know when that meeting is so others of us can join him.
John Macatee has found many opportunities for presentations and tabling. He and Jamie McCoy will connect with the local Chamber of Commerce. John will let Peter know the details of the presentation and tabling opportunities he has found.
If anyone is interested in responding to Charlene Lange’s climate challenge (see LTE in CR Gazette, https://www.thegazette.com/subject/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/accept-the-climate-change-challenge-20181231), email her at email@example.com with your 10 things and discuss with her about either facebook or letter to editor.
Most of our meeting was spent talking with State Representative Mary Mascher (D, HD 86). Thank you, Mary, for taking the time to meet with us! We had a wide-ranging discussion. Here are some of the things we touched on.
- Mary will arrange for Iowa Utility Board Chair Geri Huser to meet with us–perhaps at one of our monthly meetings. This is a great opportunity for us to share our concerns for reducing emissions and to hear from her about what challenges the Board faces. Mary will be in touch with Eric about that.
- She suggested we arrange a meeting with MidAmerican and Alliant.
- Since Nan has already reached out to Bobby Kaufman (R, HD 73), perhaps she could get together with people in Bobby’s district (Nan was but no longer is in his district) and arrange a meeting in someone’s home. Del suggested Margaret Bailey, and he will contact Margaret.
- Sate Senator Kevin Kinney (D, SD 39) and State House Representative Jarad Klein (R, HD 78) are both very supportive of solar because of it’s use for farmers. They are also more supportive of hog confinement than many environmentalists. This is an example of how things are more complicated than they might seem.
- Vicki Lensing (D, HD 85) is a member of the State House Environmental Protection Committee–she would be a good one for us to talk to.
- Might the State Legislature start a bipartisan climate solutions caucus?
- Peter shared some suggestions from Cedar Rapids CCL co-chair Phil Engen in his outreach to State Senator Liz Mathis (D, SD 34):
- Utilities regulation. The Iowa Public Utilities Board should be mandated to have a carbon-free bias in all regulations. For example, ensuring regulations promote distributed renewable electricity generation and high efficiency energy usage.
- Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure, specifically removing the barriers to businesses to install car chargers on their premises and charge by the kilowatt hour for the electricity. E.g., I-80 Truckstop: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/method-used-to-bill-electric-car-owners-in-iowa-could-shape-future-for-vehicles-in-the-state-20180915
- Electricity Production targets. For example, no coal by 2025. No fossil fuels by 2030. These are aggressive but possible goals.
- Mary said Phil’s suggestions and others like them would be especially useful to discuss with the Iowa Utilities Board and with Vicki Lensing (in her role on the Environmental Protection Committee). Mary also suggested that having a Bill would be a good way to start the conversation. Perhaps we could work on coming up with a Bill for the State Legislature, run it by those Legislators that we are in touch with, fine tune it, and then ask them to introduce it!
OUR NEXT MEETING:
- Saturday February 9th
- Prairie Hill Common House, 140 Prairie Hill Lane, Iowa City
- 11:30-noon: Social Time
- noon-12:40: CCL Monthly Call
- 12:40-1:30: Meeting
- 1:30-2: Optional Further Discussion