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  Citizens' Climate Lobby  
  CCL Weekly Briefing, Sept. 6, 2017
Table of Contents:
CCL's approach gets attention
Helping out CCL in Texas
LTE of the week in Washington Post 
Dr. Shi-Ling Hsu on Sept. call
Prep for Nov. lobby meetings
North Wind regional conference
Learn to communicate effectively
The family who lobbies together...
CCU: The Dividend
CCL's respectful approach gets media attention


It’s right there in our core values: “We take the most generous approach to other people as possible—appreciation, gratitude, and respect.” In today’s political climate, that respectful approach is so unusual that it’s catching people’s attention.

This morning, E&E News published a wonderful article titled “How do you shift Republicans on climate? Be nice.” The reporter highlighted CCL member Ashley Hunt-Martorano and her chapter’s relationship with Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY):

During her first meeting with Zeldin after his election in 2015, Hunt-Martorano began with appreciation, as is CCL's custom. She thanked him for his public service as a member of the military and then as a New York state senator, where he supported legislation for peer-to-peer programs for veterans.

"Right away that had a huge impact on our relationship," Hunt-Martorano said. "And he literally said, 'Hold on a minute, I don't mean to interrupt you, but your approach thanking me and appreciating me is not normal.'"

The article goes on to quote several Climate Solutions Caucus members, including co-chairs Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL) and Rep. Ted Deutch (FL) and member Rep. Mia Love (UT), pictured above with CCL volunteers in June. "Their approach is all constructive, all the time," Rep. Curbelo said. "They're not just advancing the cause of sound environmental policy. They're also contributing to improving the nature of our politics in this country, which is sorely needed."

Thank you to all our volunteers who contribute to this positive, effective style of climate advocacy!



Helping out CCL in Texas

After Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, we reached out to all our Houston-area groups to check in and offer support. One area of need emerged quickly: Paul Suckow, who leads the Missouri City group in Texas, had 16 to 18 inches of standing water in his home from the nearby Willow Waterhole Bayou.

Amid all this destruction and loss, CCLers continue to do what we do best: work together on the big problems. So this weekend, CCL members from across four chapters showed up to help Paul tackle the huge project of gutting his home. ​It was a beautiful demonstration of the connection and support that are so integral to CCL.

If you know of any other friends or CCL members who need help, feel free to email brett (at) citizensclimate (dot) org so he can get the word out. Thank you all for the love and support you are giving so many right now, and for your tireless dedication to addressing the root of these events. As Texas CCL members Brett Cease and Peter Bryn said in their recent op-ed, “Though we can’t undo Harvey, we can work together to lessen the likelihood that we have to suffer through anything like it again.”

Write about it: Climate change & hurricanes

Last week brought Hurricane Harvey to Texas and Louisiana, and this week Florida and the Caribbean are staring down Category 5 Hurricane Irma. These extreme weather events offer an opportunity for us to write letters to Congress and to newspaper editors across the country, highlighting the link to climate change and urging Congress to act.

This week’s featured letter to the editor does exactly that. It comes from Carol Steinhart in Madison, Wis., and was published in the Washington Post on September 1:

Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath

Vernon Loeb’s passion in his Aug. 30 op-ed, “From Houston, this looks like a ‘black elephant’,” is possible only in one experiencing both the disaster in that city and the frustration of understanding how we brought this on ourselves and what will happen unless we reverse course.

Perhaps Harvey will bring deniers, doubters and climate-change profiteers to their senses. Perhaps we’ve been pushed to the escape velocity that will catapult us from complacency into serious action. 

We’re making progress. Media outlets are doing better at not only publishing paper-selling, viewer-grabbing photographs and crisis vignettes but also more substantive coverage of climate change itself. The list of businesses and state and local governments committed to green energy and other climate action grows and grows. Politicians in Congress and state governments are beginning to cooperate. The states acting most aggressively include those with the most to lose from climate change—such as Louisiana, where there is a strong bipartisan effort to address the problem. But more must be done, and faster, from modernizing electric utilities to taxing carbon to rewarding green-energy innovation and use. 

Progress should not be blocked by an administration marching in the wrong direction. Voters must shout loudly that everyone and every tool are needed to fight for a livable Earth.

Carol Steinhart, Madison

With such significant extreme weather events capturing the nation’s attention, now is a crucial time to submit your own LTE or op-ed urging Congress to act on climate. For support and advice on how to do that, join the Print Media Action Team on CCL Community. 

Carbon tax expert joins September call

At CCL’s next monthly meeting, we’ll be joined by Dr. Shi-Ling Hsu. Dr. Hsu is the Associate Dean for Environmental Programs at the Florida State University College of Law, and he wrote “The Case for a Carbon Tax: Getting Past Our Hang-ups to Effective Climate Policy.” He holds an M.S. in ecology and a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics, and he was an EPA Star Fellow from 1996-98. Dr. Hsu is also a member of CCL’s advisory board.

Don’t miss Dr. Hsu’s remarks! This month’s meeting is scheduled for this Saturday, September 9 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. Get all the dial-in details below, including September’s action sheet. 

Prep for November lobby meetings 


November’s Congressional Education Day is getting closer! Start planning with your chapter now to prepare for the lobbying portion of the event, which will take place on November 14.

Here are a few steps to make it a success:

  1. Find out if your group can send one or more people to represent your chapter and consider ways to help them with expenses.

  2. Make sure you know who will be requesting the appointment for this district and for your Senators.

  3. Review the format of the November meetings and plan other asks and information you may want to include in the meeting.

We’ve gathered lots of resources and more information to help you get going, which you will review in your chapter meeting this month. You can access all the tips now by downloading the September action sheet below.



P.S. Don’t forget that registration for Congressional Education Day opens on Saturday!

North Wind Regional Conference, Oct. 13-15

CCLers from across Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota are invited to the North Wind Regional Conference next month. From October 13 to 15, the conference will take place at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory on beautiful Lake Okoboji. It offers something for everyone, from brand new CCL volunteers to seasoned members.

Workshop topics will include making your chapter more conservative-friendly, connecting with the agriculture community about Carbon Fee and Dividend, and using social media to grow your chapter. Plus, don’t miss a Motivational Interviewing workshop with CCL National Program Director Madeleine Para. The weekend will also include Climate Advocate Training for new folks, advanced lobby training opportunities, and more.

For pricing, lodging and other details, visit the event page below. Registration is open now!

 Want to communicate more effectively?

Ever wished you could share the message of climate solutions a little better? The Effective Communication Action Team is here to help! You will learn dialogue techniques and communication tools, including Motivational Interviewing, that you can use in your advocacy work. This action team provides a system for learning and practicing these skills, and a forum for sharing how you are using them in your lobby meetings, outreach, recruitment and in all your CCL work.

The team, which just kicked off last month, is led by CCL volunteer Dave Christian and his wife Sharla, who have spent many years studying, practicing and teaching these skills. They also hold monthly calls, each one containing its own individual lesson. 

The next call will be next Thursday, September 14, at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET, focusing on the skills of reflections and summaries. It will be held on Zoom meeting ID 723-722-8489. To join online, go to and enter the meeting ID. To join by phone, call (646) 558-8656, and enter the meeting ID. 

If you are serious about improving your dialogue skills, join this action team today!

Family photos & climate activism

Santa Rosa CCL volunteer Park Guthrie knew he wanted to talk to his family about climate change. “Reaching out to my extended family about CCL has been on my to-do list for years,” he said. “I have been a little nervous about it because within my extended family there is a wide range of political and religious beliefs.”

He finally figured out the perfect way to do it: combine his message of climate advocacy with a slideshow of family photos. When he and his two oldest kids lobbied in D.C. in June, he put stories, images and educational links together into an engaging slideshow to share with his family.

See his slideshow and read about his family outreach efforts on the CCL blog.

CCU: Why the dividend is a game changer

On September 7, Citizens’ Climate University dives deep into the detailed hows and whys of CCL's dividend return. At 8 p.m. ET, join Dr. Danny Richter, CCL's Research and Legislative Director, and Rick Knight, Illinois State Co-Coordinator for this educational session. 

The webinar will address questions about the carbon fund, distribution framework, and the dividend's taxability. Speakers will field distribution challenges like handling changing eligibility and how to ensure other groups of Americans still receive dividends. All participants are encouraged to read or listen to the prior Dividend Delivery webinar ahead of time.  Submit your questions before the CCU to brett (at) citizensclimate (dot) org.

Join this webinar online or via phone at 1.877.369.0926, access code #2017201717

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