December 2018 Meeting Notes

Attendees: Jim Throgmorton, Barbara Eckstein, Claire Muerdter, Emily Koury, John Macatee, Del Holland, Jamie McCoy

We wrote 6 handwritten letters to Rep Loebsack and Sen Ernst, and submitted 6 more letters electronically.

Endorsements are coming along great, Jamie is in discussions with an employee of Proctor and Gamble to see if they could possibly endorse the new bill (they endorsed the CLC’s plan).
Additionally, his work getting Nordex Accciona’s endorsement is now cited by CCL HQ as some of the big endorsements that can be achieved.

John Macatee had good success tabling and formed a LTE writer’s group with Charlene Lang, and Karin

John is going to arrange a meeting with David Leshtz so we can educate and answer questions about the bill.

Eric is going to work with John to schedule more meetings in January/February with the offices of Senator Ernst, Senator Grassley in Cedar Rapids.

We had two new members attend. Claire is going to write an op-ed and approach the UI Grad Student Government to see if they would endorse the bill. Emily is going to put up flyers in her workplace and work on giving us a web presence on Reddit, the 3rd most popular website in the US.

September 2018 Meeting Notes

People present: Daniel Marie, Peg Steffen, Nan Fawcett, Charlotte Fairlie (note taker), Ed Agran, Del Holland, John Macatee, Peter Rolnick

After watching the CCL Monthly Call, our discussion addressed the central question: how do we develop and maximize levers to create political will?

Should we have smaller sub-committees, such as a Tabling or Writers group that meets separately?There was some interest in a Writer’s group. John and Nan were interested.

Should we have more social events? There was some interest in a pot luck and movie.

Should we reach out to student science group on campus?

There was interest in an environmental book club. Peg has experience doing this

Should we have special events as a way to introduce people to us?

How do we reach K-12? Perhaps we could sponsor an ACE event.

We had a general discussion about the Five Levers for Developing Political Will (Grassroots, Grasstops, Lobbying, Media, Chapter Development), and and how the activities that we could do fit into those categories. If you are thinking of ramping up your level of engagement, you can download that list here:

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/9712ce40b41711a0b9dd1d876/files/cc7f6086-8288-49d5-aefa-b46ae9248c0e/Five_Levers_Possible_Activities.pdf

February 2018 Meeting Notes

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
Introductions:
  • 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).
Endorsements–GO TEAM
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.

January 2018 Meeting Notes

January, 13, 2018 – ICCA Meeting Notes
John Macatee, Linda Quinn, Chris Bergan, Miriam Kashia, Deborah Dee, Peter Rolnick, Nadja Krylov, Eric Johnson (note taker), Barbara Eckstein, Jim Throgmorton
Peter highlighted all of our accomplishments in 2017. We did a lot!!
4 Letters to the editor
11 Op Eds
572 letters and cards to members of Congress
1 Climate Advocate Training Workshop
2 Newspaper Editorial Board meetings
11 Meetings with members of Congress or their staff
13 Tabling events
9 Other outreach events or actions
6 Endorsements/Resolutions passed
5 Attendee at two Regional Conferences in Okoboji
2 Attendees at National Conference and Lobby Day in DC
Supervisors decided to not hear any more information about a revenue-neutral carbon tax. At issue is their concern that it will incentivize biofuels and nuclear. Chris B. knows an expert who is familiar with nuclear and doesn’t think that a carbon tax would make nuclear more competitive. Peterhas heard that ethanol is now more carbon friendly due to advances in ethanol. John Macatee pointed out that we have limited resources and if the supervisors are refusing to even talk with us, then we should move on to other “low-hanging fruit”. Chris agreed to put together information related to this topic for reference.
John noted the power of motivational interviewing (https://community.citizensclimatelobby.org/learn/communications/motivational-interviewing/) and he wants to focus on increasing our chapter membership and help start other chapters. He also suggested we watch a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my19I9NYaMA) showing all the capabilities of the CCL website at our next meeting.
John, Miriam, Eric, and Peter volunteered to participate in meetings with Grassley and Ernst about starting a bipartisan climate group in the Senate.
John and Linda volunteered to table at the Prairie Preview on March 1 [Linda has since handed over that role to Terri]. John talked about how powerful and fun tabling can be, and Linda chimed in with some negative experiences she’s had tabling, namely lack of visitors/disappointing turn out.
Peter is working closely with a person in Fairfield to start a chapter there. He also has some leads on starting a chapter in Cedar Rapids. John said he would reach out to Cornell and City High to see if he could speak to environmental groups there and start CCL chapters. Miriam wanted copies of our tabling postcards so she could distribute them at the Unitarian church. John agreed to give some to her. Peter will give a brief (3 minute) presentation about Carbon Fee & Dividend to the Johnson County Republicans on February 12, and a 45 minute talk to the University of Iowa Young Americans for Liberty–the student Libertarian group–on Thursday March 8, 7:30 pm in Schaeffer Hall on campus (public invited).
There’s an Iowa CCL Ag Group now and they’re looking for local ag liaisons to meet with Farm Bureau and other organizations. No one volunteered, but Eric has an ag background of sorts and could do it if he had more time.
John recommended CCL’s speaking to liberal and conservative podcasts
Peter announced the sign up for the June CCL conference is open and Barbara and John said they were planning on going. John also offered carpooling and hotel room sharing to the national conference and the regional conference (Rapid City, September)
Peter announced Iowa’s Grand Canyon Project, where we form a group where each person will call a congressional office once per month, but the calls will be scheduled to cover every business day of the month so the office is getting at least one climate change phone call per month. Everyone in attendance volunteered to be part of this project. [Thanks to everyone, and to volunteers elsewhere in the state we have enough people to begin the project, so you will all be hearing from Peter soon!]
John expressed interest in pursuing the climate grants (http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/local/2017/07/10/iowa-city-offers-grants-creative-climate-action-collaborations/460531001/) from the City of Iowa City and Nadja said she would work with him to look at the RFP.
Peter talked about Reaching Out to other communities. The ideas are good, but we need people to actually do the leg work. Peter wanted people to think about what chunks of activity they can personally take on. Jim brought up the concept MLK’s Beloved Community which is a vision where all people share in the wealth of earth. He suggested a way to work towards this would be to simply have ICCA members regularly attend monthly meetings of other groups and become links between the communities. Miriam said that made her feel like a spy. Barbara talked about Social Justice and Peter asked her to summarize so ICCA can start a reference file for future endeavors.
Jim mentioned another community we could try to connect with is latinos, particularly those who are in the Forest View housing area near Foster Road. They are being re-housed as part of a development project and we could connect with them and help shape the eco-friendliness of the housing.
UI’s theme semester is starting on January 16 and is a good opportunity to connect with the University community.
Eric- We have secured Merge in the Iowa City Ped Mall as a meeting place for the next 4 meetings [thank you Eric and Jamie, for arranging that]! They will be from 11:45 to 1:45pm, next one February 10.
The nation CCL video call can be see here:
2017 stats for the international organization:
457 CCL chapters
92,000+ CCL members
2,000+ conservatives joined CCL
2,535 endorsements
1,656 meetings with members of Congress
One takeaway from the guest speaker: People have a finite pool of worry, so try to find what their pool is filled with and talk to them about how climate change relates to the worries already in their pool.

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

    interested

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

    endorsements

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

    fair-minded

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

    GrassTops Outreach Team

  • –  Summary slideshow: http://bit.ly/2yiWs0W
  • –  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
  • –  350.org 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