September 2017 Meeting Notes

Minutes from Iowa City Climate Advocates (ICCA) September 9, 2017 Meeting

Notes prepared by Eric Johnson

People present: Ryan Hall, Lydia Li, Del Holland, Jamie McCoy, Chris Bergan, Eric Johnson, John Macatee, Mazahir Salih, Martha Norbeck, Peter Rolnick

NOTE: Next month’s meeting on October 14 is at a slightly different time! See “Upcoming Events” below for details”
New volunteers:
Ryan Hall is not new to CCL (he was part of the Low Carbon Crossings bike ride across the country last summer, and lobbied with CCL in DC November 2016) but this was his first ICCA meeting; Ryan is a student at UI and a candidate for the City Council from District B.
Mazahir Salih is an at-large candidate for City Council.
Lydia Li is a former UI student looking for new groups to replace the groups she was in at the UI.
Welcome to the three of you!

Chris shared with us some of what he learned at a conference supporting the use of thorium as a nuclear fuel.

Eric reported $408 in our UICCU bank account. Money in paypal account is $181 which puts our total money at $589 (Eric forgot to thank everyone for their generous donations, but he wants to now in the meeting notes!)

Eric and Peter reviewed recent meetings (one with Ernst’s office, two with Grassley’s office, one with a member of the consultant team for the city).

John Macatee reported that he is going to DC for the November lobbying day. John can give rides to others who wish to go, and would be happy to share the cost of lodging with someone if they can afford it, or to simply share the lodging that he has if the other person could not otherwise afford to go. Thank you, John! (If you are interested, contact John at jrmacatee@gmail.com.) The more members of our group that go to this event the better; if you are thinking about going, registration and all information about it can be found at:
https://citizensclimatelobby.org/congressional-education-day/

John Macatee also stated his intent to work with Terri Macey on applying for a grant from the City of Iowa City for climate change education.

Eric reported that we don’t currently have any next meetings scheduled with our local congressional offices, but we hope to meet with each office approximately once every two months.

Peter is waiting to hear back from Pennies on the Rail for our spring fundraiser. NOTE: They have since agreed! Peter will plan on a fundraiser with food and music (Pennies on the Rail and Sweet Cacophony) sometime in early April, 2018, at Beadology–probably a Friday night. Volunteers are needed to help plan and advertise the event, and to help with food.

John Macatee said that he and Linda need help tabling. If you would like to be “on call” for tabling events, contact Linda at quinnhenry@msn.com.

We discussed volunteer opportunites. Peter asked attendees to imagine what we like doing volunteer-wise, what we hate doing, what we are good at and what we are not so good at, to see if each of us can find a role in our group that would be a good fit. Things we are in particular need of at the moment include:
-Oversee Fundraising,
-Plan/Get the word out about our events,
-Develop a relationship with the Iowa Farm Bureau and with local agricultural interests,
-Develop a relationship with local Unions and other Labor interests,
-Do research on specified topics as needed by the work of other volunteers,
-Be on an “on-call” list for tabling, for meetings with members of Congress, or for meetings with newspaper editorial boards.

Contact Peter (prolnick@truman.edu or 660-342-2671) if you want to talk more about any of these opportunities.

Gathering of Local Environmental Groups (Oct 23)
Martha Norbeck has done a lot of legwork talking with the other environmental groups to meet ahead of the City’s Nov 2 open house for climate change initiative ideas,
She expressed a concern that having an open meeting to all ideas would not be productive and a risk of no decision at all would be made in time for the Nov 2 meeting,
An idea that she found popular was advocating for eating of a plant-rich diet,
The environmental groups can prepare for the public release of the city’s climate change initiative which are due next May 2018,
Peter raised the concern of people feeling strongarmed into a plant-rich diet idea,
Martha will send an electronic survey ahead of the Oct 23 to gather ideas–that will be the next step in setting up the gathering.

National Video Conference (https://youtu.be/TfEs_aUJRUM?t=35s):
Economist Shi-ling Hsu talked about the reasons why a carbon tax is the best way to address global warming. Along with his experitse as an economist, he lived through the implementation of the 2008 British Columbia carbon tax and saw firsthand the entrepreneurial innovation it spurred. His book The Case for a Carbon Tax is something Mark Reynolds says each group should have. NOTE: John Macatee has since puchased that book and will be happy to lend it to others in the group who want to read it. (John also has a copy of the book Drawdown, which was featured in last month’s video conference.)

As a communication exercise we talked about how using the pronouns “they” and “them” can distance a speaker from a group. As explained in this month’s Action Sheet, examples were presented of how you might convey the same information to a Republican friend or group you are speaking to while conveying different messages about group identity.

Republicans hold a majority in Congress and CCL believes that we need to be part of any legislation that gets introduced – in fact, CCL wants us to sponsor the legislation.
The first sentence clearly communicates that the speaker does not view him/herself as part of the group “Republicans”, the second is neutral, and the third communicates that the speaker considers him/herself a Republican. The division is really simple:
I am part of your group: we, us, our
I am not part of the group: they, them, their
If you are part of the audience’s group, use pronouns to drive home that point. If you are NOT part of the group, you can simply avoid the personal pronouns “they”, “them” and “their”.

 

Upcoming Events:
North Wind Regional CCL Conference, October 13-15
Lakeside Lab in Okoboji Iowa
http://www.bit.ly/NorthWindOct2017
Iowa City Climate Advocates October Meeting, Saturday October 14
noon – 2 pm, Iowa City Public Library, Room E (upstairs)
NOTE DIFFERENT TIME!!!
Gathering of Local Environmental Groups, Monday October 23
6:30-8:30 pm, Coralville Public Library, Schwab Auditorium
City Climate Action and Adaptation Community Input Meeting #1,
Thursday November 2
Exact time and location to be announced
4th Annual Congressional Education Day, November 12-14
Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington DC
https://citizensclimatelobby.org/congressional-education-day/
9th Annual International Conference & Lobby Day, June 10-12, 2018
Washington DC, location TBA

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August 2017 Meeting Notes

Iowa City Climate Advocates (ICCA)/Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) Meeting
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Minutes (prepared by Peter Rolnick)

People present: Terri Macey, Maria McCoy, Linda Quinn, Charlotte Fairlie, Edward Agran, John Christensen, Chris Bergan, Del Holland, Eric Johnson, Beth Parker, Dianne Platte, Peter Rolnick, Martha Norbeck

  • We introduced ourselves and talked a bit about what is going on. Terri brought a delicious blueberry-peach cake. John told about getting arrested demonstrating against the Dakota Access Pipeline where it crosses the Mississippi River near Keokuk, and about going to the Climate March in DC this past spring. Chris will be going to a Thorium Energy Alliance conference. Interesting fact from Chris: The US has a ban against mining thorium, and because most rare earth minerals (critical in certain manufacturing) occur with thorium we have in effect a ban on mining rare earths, so we have to buy them from other countries, mostly from China. We thanked Maria for her excellent work helping us this summer; she heads back to school September 6. Thank you Maria!
  • We talked about starting a regular (weekly? monthly?) meeting to help and encourage people to write letters to their members of Congress, and to local newspapers. What started as an idea to encourage ICCA volunteers to write letters about climate change and Carbon Fee & Dividend morphed into wanting to encourage anyone to write about whatever is on their mind (even if they want to write to encourage more fossil fuel use, for example). This could serve the purpose of getting a more diverse group of people together. It is not clear if this should be considered an ICCA activity, or just something that ICCA people who want help and encouragement writing could go to. Eric will look into making this happen, and Edward may help him out if it does happen.
  • I reported on plans for the meeting with Senator Ernst on August 17 and on trying to get Representative Blum to join the Climate Solutions Caucus. Charlotte agreed to submit an op-ed to the Press-Citizen for our September submission thanking Ernst for that meeting (I will forward to her info about how that meeting went after it is over).
  • We talked about a music/food fundraiser sometime early Spring 2018. I will look into using the back room of Beadology, and try to find two bands willing to contribute their talents.
  • We watched the CCL Monthly Call. Mark Reynolds suggested, for actions this month, that we:
    • Write letters to our members of Congress calling for legislative action on climate change. Most of the people present committed to writing one letter to Blum, Loebsack, Ernst or Grassley. Loebsack is already on the waiting list to join the Climate Solutions Caucus–if you write to him be sure to thank him for that! And whomever you write to please let me know (prolnick@truman.edu) that you wrote so I can report it to CCL.
    • Reach out particularly to left-wing environmental groups. Among other things, when Carbon Fee & Dividend comes up for a vote want to count on their support, which wasn’t there when the State of Washington tried to put a price on carbon. We made a decision about doing that which I’ll discuss later in these minutes.
  • The presenter on the call was Paul Hawken, editor of Drawdown, the first systematic cataloging of solutions to the problem of global warming based only on peer-reviewed research. I was surprised to learn that the biggest sector where we can address global warming is reducing food waste and adopting a plant rich diet (see vegan cake referred to earlier in these minutes!). The next biggest sector? Educating girls and making family planning universally available. Though reducing fossil fuel use doesn’t show up in either of those sectors, Hawken agreed that Carbon Fee & Dividend was definitely something important that we should try to get passed, because it would directly or indirectly push all the solutions they looked at.
  • We practiced, in pairs, the laser talk on the Climate Solutions Caucus.
  • Martha Norbeck, architect, member of Environmental Advocates, and member of the City of Iowa City Climate Action Steering Committee, suggested that, along with Environmental Advocates, ICCA coordinate a gathering of all local environmental organizations in which we would share our concerns and attempt to come up with a unified recommendation for outreach at the November 2 meeting of the Steering Committee.
    • This will be our way of doing Mark Reynolds’ 2nd Action Item (reach out to environmental groups), except we decided that our priority in this effort will be not shoving Carbon Fee & Dividend down everyone’s throat (to put it crudely) but to facilitate the City’s efforts toward sustainability in whatever way the larger environmental community wants to.
    • Martha had already been browsing the book Drawdown, and suggested that focusing on food waste and encouraging a plant-rich diet might be the kind of thing we could focus on. Thank you, Martha, for coming to talk to us about this!
    • Eric will try to book a room at the library for middle-to-late October. I will attempt to coordinate ideas–please email to me any thoughts you have about how the gathering (prolnick@truman.edu). Initially, we will use the following model for such a gathering as a starting point:

CCL chapter hosts ‘Day of Dialogue’ with environmental groups
By Davia Rivka

“Dear Jim, I know you are as concerned about climate change as I am. As we all regroup to face a Trump presidency and a Republican Congress, we are planning an event for a few of our colleagues in environmental groups. We at Citizens’ Climate Lobby know we can benefit from an open exchange of ideas on policy solutions and political strategies. It’s a good time to learn from each other and find points of agreement so that we can better support one another. Please join us for a Day of Dialogue.”

This is the opening paragraph of an invitation from the Pasadena-Foothills CCL chapter to four environmental groups: Food and Water Watch, Sierra Club, California Interfaith Power and Light and SoCal 350.

I’m scratching my head. A “day of dialogue” with environmental groups? Aren’t environmental groups already on board with our mission to preserve a livable world? Haven’t we practiced our speaking points hoping to find common ground with the right?

Well, yes. But in the fall of 2016, Washington State carbon pricing ballot measure I-732 was defeated for many reasons, with one piece of the puzzle being because some environmental groups were vocally opposed to the measure. This same situation is one that could also plague national carbon pricing efforts, so it’s important to bridge the gap.  Carol Kravetz is in the Pasadena-Foothills CCL chapter, which hosted the Day of Dialogue event earlier this year. She said, “We decided to do a forum with green groups, bring them together, and listen to their proposals for getting to zero emissions or 100% renewables.” Kudos to Pasadena-Foothills for their courage and willingness to listen.
The day began with opening remarks from Robert Haw, who reminded attendees, “We’re all after the same objective—decarbonization as soon as possible—although each of our groups has identified a different roadmap for achieving it. Yet that difference shouldn’t set us apart—we’re all travelers on the same road.”

Even before his opening remarks, much thoughtful consideration went into planning the day. The event’s stated purpose reads: “These are challenging times. Joining forces and understanding one another as environmentalists with common goals yet sharing different strategies can only make us stronger and wiser. The purpose of our meeting today is to learn more about each other’s ideas on how best to mitigate climate change in order to preserve our planet. And most important, we will explore how we can understand and support each other.”

The planning committee designed a concise agenda and paid careful attention to all the details. There were five representatives from each of the five organizations. The room was set with five round tables. The day opened with Rob’s welcome, introductions and snacks, then followed by five presentations, one from each organization. The presenters were asked to speak to three questions: what is your climate plan, what are its strengths and weaknesses, and what is your plan to get it adopted?

CCL’s John Odell spoke first, setting the tone. Each group was allotted 20 minutes to present and an additional 10 minutes for questions. In the afternoon, there was a working lunch. At each round table was one representative from each organization. Together, the groups discussed the common ground among all our climate plans, and they explored ways our organizations can understand and support each other.
All in all, it was a good day, Carol tells me. Not without its human foibles and some general grandstanding and chest puffing. But as Carol said, it was a good day because it was the beginning of a dialogue.

Turns out, people are people, whether they identify as Democrats or Republicans; men or women; black, white, yellow or brown. We, all of us, want to be listened to. We want to be heard. We get our feathers ruffled. We have a hard time letting go of being right.
But this is where the real work is: opening our hearts again and again and again, so we can build connections and achieve our common goal. All in all, I’d say it’s worth it.
If you want to consider planning your own Day of Dialogue, please feel free go to the Pasadena-Foothills Chapter website to read their planning documents and discussion notes, or email Carol Kravetz for support and advice.
*****

Upcoming Events:

  • Iowa City Climate Advocates September Meeting, Saturday September 9
    • 11 am – 1 pm, Iowa City Public Library, Room E
  • North Wind Regional CCL Conference, October 13-15
    • Lakeside Lab in Okoboji Iowa
  • 4th Annual Congressional Education Day, November 13-14
    • Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington DC
  • 9th Annual International Conference & Lobby Day, June 10-12, 2018
    • Washington DC, location TBA

July 2017 Meeting Notes

Iowa City Climate Advocates Meeting Minutes, July 8 2017
(Minutes prepared by Terri Macey)

People present: Jamie McCoy, Maria McCoy, Terri Donofrio, Charlotte Fairlie, Richard
Bushby, Chris Bergan, Del Holland, Linda Quinn, Terri Macey, Bill Panther, Eric Johnson,
Barbara Eckstein, Jim Throgmorton, John Macatee, Kai Hedstrom, Peter Rolnick
• Jamie McCoy reported on his progress finding endorsements for the CCL mission of
establishing a fee and dividend program for the U.S.
• Ryan Simpson of the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce said he would probably sign a
statement advocating action on climate change.
• John Balmer, CEO of Plumber Supply Company and an active Republican, was quite
supportive of a fee and dividend program.
• Jamie was advised to contact the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Bishop for Joni Ernst’s Lutheran congregation, who was believed to be willing to
participate in a forum with Senator Ernst and is a proponent of climate action, and he
has agreed to meet with her (see note about CCL Conference below).
• There was discussion about contacting the Nurses Union and the head of the
University Athletic Department for endorsements.
• If anyone has additional suggestions for Jamie, please contact him
(mccoyfam@mchsi.com)
• The Yale Climate Connections has developed 90 second spots on climate change that are
available for free to radio stations. We discussed which radio stations to contact. If
anyone listens to local radio (other than NPR) please think about contacting the station
and asking them to air these spots. Jim Throgmorton suggested KXIC as a local radio
station to contact. Information about this program can be found at
https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/about-our-radio-program/
• Attendees reported on the CCL conference. Six people from our chapter attended and
members of our group met with all six of our elected officials or their legislative
assistants.
• Jamie met with Blum’s aid who said Blum (a Republican) would be willing to join
the Congressional Climate Solutions Caucus if he were invited. Discussion followed
about how to proceed, as Dave Loebsack (IC Democratic congressman) has said he is
willing to join if he had a Republican partner (Loebsack is already on the waiting list
to join the Caucus). It was decided to contact Loebsack’s office, inform him of
Blum’s interest, and ask him how he wishes to proceed, and also to have Sean Turner
(our only member who is a constituent of Blum) similarly contact Blum’s office. Peter
will attend to both things this coming week.
• Joni Ernst is willing to meet with community leaders on climate change. This is the
opportunity to contact her Bishop and have him be part of that meeting. Steve
Shivvers in Des Moines is organizing this.
• Barbara and Maria met with Steve King’s aid who seemed interested in a fee and
dividend program. They also met with Grassley’s aid and with Grassley, both of
whom expressed more interest in Carbon Fee and Dividend than previously. Grassley
said Carbon Fee and Dividend was okay with him, and is open to a bipartisan Senate
group on climate change.
• The Iowa City Council has made up to $5,000 available for groups interested in
collaborating on climate action. The goal is to sponsor events, activities, or programs to
inspire, energize and motivate people to take action on climate change. Collaboration is
key, and it was noted that we do not want to collaborate with other climate groups. One
suggestion was to host a job fair with local unions. Another was to collaborate through
the arts and perhaps host a film series. John MacAttee and Terri Macey are willing to
provide the administrative support for this and welcome ideas. Contact them at
jrmacatee@gmail.com or tjm1895@gmail.com.
• John MacAttee would like to develop a working group on letter writing. His idea is to get
people together on a regular basis to write letters. The challenge of meeting with
newspaper editorial boards was discussed.
• The next lobbying days in Washington will be November 13 and 14. Peter recommended
that people make plans now if they wish to attend to allow time for transportation and
financial logistics to be arranged.
• Terri Macey is hosting a film get together at her home on Friday, July 21 at 7 p.m. We
will see a documentary on mining silica sand for fracking purposes in Iowa, Minnesota
and Wisconsin. The film is titled “The Price of Sand”. Terri’s address is 1366 Oxford
Place, Iowa City. The nearest cross streets are Muscatine and Scott. Peter will send an
email invitation. We agreed to try to have social events every couple of months.
• Jim Throgmorton, as Mayor of Iowa City, has signed the Mayor’s Global Compact. This
compact has been signed by representatives of about 10% of the world’s population. He
also has signed the Climate Mayors’ Letter. We appreciate Jim’s advocacy and leadership
on this issue.
• Our funds are down to about $80. We will collect donations at the joint potluck on
August 16 at Hickory Hill Park. There was no additional information about the
Gofundme campaign that Brandon was setting up.
• The CCL program included a presentation by Andrew Jones, head of Climate Interactive,
a research group that provides data about climate change scenarios to world organizations
and the press.
• According to the research, fee and dividend is the most powerful way to reduce
carbon emissions. It decreases emissions and increases alternative energy
development.
• Jones listed 10 reasons why there is reason to be optimistic about managing the
effects of climate change. These included an upwelling of support at the local level in
the face of Trump’s resistance to the reality of climate change; global emissions have
leveled off for the past three years; 7 out of 10 of the world’s largest economies have
put a price on carbon; the existence of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus and
others. Marshall Sanders, the CCL founder, discussed the origins of CCL and, in
particular, how they settled on Carbon Fee and Dividend as the best solution to the
problem.
• The meeting adjourned at 1:05

May 2017 Meeting Notes

CCL Meeting Minutes 5/13/17 (prepared by Kai Hedstrom)

I.)Intros

• Potential for setting up a Go Fund Me account (Brandon Jennings going to look into this) [Brandon is doing it…thank you Brandon!]
• Discuss this further with Peter

II.) Report on the Run/ Walk

• 78 people registered
• Lots of other groups tabled there (100 grannies, Environmental Advocates, etc.)
• Mayor Jim Throgmorton spoke about what the city is doing.
• Rob Hogg was there.
• Well done Eric Johnson in orchestrating a very smooth event.

III.) Linda Quinn Earth Day Tabling

• Cold calls haven’t worked well. (Loebsack’s district friends- you have to contact them).
• Have to try and influence people outside our bubble.
• Summer tabling opportunities?

IV.) Gazette and Daily Iowan Newspapers

• Brandon could do the Gazzette [thank you, again, Brandon!]
• Peter would like to know about/ have copies of any letters to the editor/ congressman.

V.) Lobbying Day Planning

• Personalized
• 5calls.org
The Call Itself

Dr. Natasha DeJarnett- Policy Analyst at the Environmental Health Association

• 1,170 people have already registered for the conference, and 154 are on the waiting list.
• APHA- Global community of Public Health Officials.
• A big emphasis of her talk was that we are the last generation that can do something about climate change.
• Discussed many of the negative health impacts on society caused by climate change such as air quality, flooding and longer, hotter warm seasons.
• Overall health is quite a compelling argument to do something about climate change.

**********************************************

Upcoming Events:

June ICCA Meeting: Sat, Jun 10, 2017 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room D, Public welcome

CCL Call-in Day June 9
Purpose: Congress needs to hear from citizens that we want them to enact carbon fee and dividend. On June 13th nearly a thousand citizens from across the nation (and six from our group!) will be meeting with members of Congress in DC to push for our proposal. Time and again we hear from members of Congress that they don’t hear enough from their constituents that climate change matters to them. Calling your Senators and Representative will help create the political will needed to solve global warming. Even a dozen calls to a congressional office have been shown to make a difference.
When: Call your legislators ahead of time on Friday, June 9th to amplify our voices and help move Congress closer to passing our legislation. If you can’t get through on Friday, try leaving a message over the weekend or trying again on Monday, June 12th.
How: Click the button here to get phone numbers, a prompt on what to say and to log your call: Make the call!
Call-in Day Resources: CCL’s online tool makes it easy to find your members of Congress’ phone numbers and to report your call.

June CCL Conference and Lobby Day in DC:
The 2017 CCL/CCE conference and lobby day is set for June 11-13 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.
Early registration ends April 30!
Registration Deadline is May 26.
http://citizensclimatelobby.org/2017-ccl-conference/

Sierra Club and Iowa City Climate Advocates Joint Potluck,
Wednesday, August 16, 6 pm Hickory Hill Park North Entrance (Conklin Street Entrance)
Come share a dish and meet with other Sierra Club members and members of Iowa City Climate Advocates, 100 Grannies, and Environmental Advocates at the Sierra Club’s yearly potluck. The band Sweet Cacophony (acoustic folk, blues, etc.) will play from 6:30 to 8:30. Possible hike after the potluck.

November CCL Conference and Lobby Day in DC, exact days to be announced.