Meeting Notes

January 2019 Meeting Notes

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 prolnick@truman.edu.

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 charlenelange@mediacombb.net 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):
  • 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
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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

July 2018 Meeting Notes

People present: Craig Mosher, Richard Bushby, Del Holland, Eric Johnson, Chris Bergan, Mark Conway, Brandon Jennings, Barb Bailey, Peter Rolnick (notetaker)

Today’s meeting was our first time at the Prairie Hill Co-Housing Community Room, and it was a great place to meet. Thanks to Craig, Del and Barb, who are members of that group, for arranging for us to meet there. Their housing community uses zero fossil fuels (other than what goes into MidAmerican’s electricity, but I think even that is going to be replaced by solar soon), so it is an appropriate place for us to meet!

In our introductions we were happy to see Brandon, who was a member of our chapter but now lives in Des Moines, who was back for a visit. He has been having success implementing a Grand Canyon phone call project for Congressmen Young in District 3–he said it is not that much work! If any of you in District 1 or District 2 want to start such an effort for Congressmen Blum or Loebsack let me know (prolnick@truman.edu) and I’ll get you started.

We also learned that Chris, who has been a very active member of our group for a number of years, will be moving to Decorah as part of a new job. We will miss you Chris, but maybe you will be able to be involved in some way with helping to get a chapter started in Decorah! Craig, who moved here from Decorah, may also be part of that effort.

We participated in the CCL monthly call, and heard a great presentation by Adele Morris, a well-respected economist and energy and tax policy guru. She spoke of a recent series of studies from economists that looked at eleven different carbon tax models (the phrase “carbon tax” used broadly, and including as a possibility a revenue-neutral fee). The quick take-away from her talk was that 1) a price on carbon will reduce emissions significantly, and 2) a price on carbon will not cause any significant harm to the economy. Here are two useful links for those who’d like to understand this more deeply:

Mark Reynolds urged us to call our member in the House and urge him to oppose the Scalise resolution (which is likely to be introduced this week); it says the House should not even consider any price on carbon. Eric said he would call on Saturday, and I’ve sent out a message to the rest of you (with more detail) to call Monday 7/16. If you haven’t called yet, here’s the link: Call your U.S. Representative today and urge them to vote NO on the anti-carbon tax resolution, H. Con. Res. 119!

We wrote letters to our members of Congress. In discussing what we might say in the letters here is what we came up with:

  • The recent rainfall event in Ankeny, near Des Moines, was ten inches in two hours. For comparison, ten inches in one day is considered a 1000-year rain event!
  • The wind economy that Iowa is embracing is a good thing, and has encouraged Facebook and Google to set up shop in Iowa. A revenue-neutral fee on carbon would make that wind economy that much stronger.
  • The increased flooding and drought that will come with a failure to effectively lower our carbon emissions will exacerbate the problem of migration from Mexico and South America into the United States. Craig learned that people now living in Postville and Marshall had to immigrate to Iowa for work specifically because a drought in their village in Mexico had made it impossible to earn a living there any longer.

As we went through the rest of our agenda (and we got through it all!), the following came up:

  • I am looking for someone to take over my position as co-leader of ICCA, so that I can put more energy into being State CCL coordinator.
  • We need someone to arrange a meeting with the Editorial Board of the Gazette to see if they will write an endorsement of Carbon Fee and Dividend (maybe we should pursue a meeting with Todd Dorman or Linda Waddington?).
  • John Macatee will be tabling at the Iowa City Farmers Market next Saturday (7/21). Want to volunteer? No experience necessary! Contact John (jrmacatee@gmail.com(319) 331-1860).
  • We need pictures for our Facebook page! Send them to me (prolnick@truman.edu).
  • We need volunteers to table at an event at St. Patrick’s Church September 9 (Sunday). I will be there and get things set up, and Del may be able to come. Let me know if you can help (prolnick@truman.edu).
  • We talked about doing a 5k walk to raise awareness of climate issues and what we do in particular. It was suggested that we raise money at such an event for some other group in town that would be effected by climate change (labor, immigrant community, ???) as a way to connect with other demographics. It was also suggested we somehow involve Dave Loebsack (via Dave Leshtz) and Chris Peters.
  • Del continues to be interested in putting together a short presentation and then meeting with other environmental groups to inform them of our work. If you are interested in helping with that contact Del (delholland@aol.com)
  • We should engage with upcoming election activities. It was suggested we reach out to the Hubbell and Reynolds campaigns.
  • We talked about Dave Loebsack’s wish for us to reach out to the farm community to help him get support for CF&D. Mark mentioned that he may reach out to Winnisheik energy district (which is not in Loebsack’s district, but would be a good group to connect with).
  • There are four (count ’em!) meetings coming up: State CCL in Des Moines in August, Regional CCL in Rapid City ND in September, National CCL in DC in November 2018 and June 2019. Consider going to one or more of them–these meetings are a great experience. (Details for all meetings are below under “Upcoming Events”). If money is stopping you let me know (prolnick@truman.edu)–we can provide some support.
  • We talked about the Rise for Climate effort leading up to the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on September 12-14. 350.orgwill be hosting a rally and march in Cedar Rapids on September 8, and Craig will be involved in an Electric Vehicle event that same day at the Iowa City Farmers Market. He may try to coordinate that with the Rise for Climate people.
  • In connection with the Rise for Climate stuff, we talked about my suggestion to have a public panel of a few groups in town (us, Center for Worker Justice (CWJ), ???) discuss climate change in light of the values and goals of each group, and look for shared values. It could be called “Many Voices, One Community,” or something like that. I have reached out to Rafael Morataya at CWJ and since the meeting he has gotten back to me and is interested. I will follow up with him in the next two weeks. People suggested that we also reach out to the Grannies, to the Service Workers Union, and to Damita Brown. It was also suggested that along with the panel we break out into small groups to facilitate discussion. Anyone interested in helping let me know (prolnick@truman.edu).
  • We decided there would be no August ICCA meeting–taking a vacation in August seems to have become a tradition. In that case, the next meeting will be September 8, except that that is the day for the Rise for Climate Events, so we will have the September meeting the Wednesday following that, September 12.

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.