10 regional updates from across the nation
By Flannery Winchester
In order to provide support and strategy to our chapters across the country, CCL groups the states into 10 distinct regions. Each is led by a regional coordinator, or several coordinators. For the next installment of our 10th anniversary blog series, we’ve gathered updates from those coordinators on each of those 10 regions.
Some of the coordinators’ updates celebrated milestones like chapter growth and new caucus members, and others focused on the amazing relationships CCL has built in these areas. In every update, the dedication, enthusiasm and passion of our volunteers shines through—and the momentum of our nationwide movement is undeniable. Enjoy!
3rd Coast Region
Regional Coordinator: Brett Cease
The third coast region includes Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. To date this year, the region has produced 6,875 letters to Congress and experienced significant growth. Mississippi has 3 active chapters and 2 in progress, one of which is a thriving student chapter at Millsaps College. Mississippi also held a state conference last fall to cap off last year’s Southern Energy Freedom Tour.
Louisiana has 4 active chapters and 2 in progress. Team OIL held a recent workshop that drew CCL LA members from 4 of those chapters to discuss building deeper relationships with oil and gas industries in their state. It was so successful they’ll be doing more throughout the country. CCL New Orleans also succeeded in getting the City Sustainability Committee to endorse CF&D along with several other city council candidates.
Texas has grown from 2 active chapters back in in 2012 to 38 in 2017. Growth has also been huge in a key district: the 8th, which is represented by Rep. Kevin Brady, who also chairs the House Ways and Means Committee. This committee that would handle Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation, so growth here is especially helpful.
Regional Coordinator: Tasha Reddy
We’ve added around 12,000 supporters! We secured an Assembly Joint Resolution in the California State Legislature—one of the biggest endorsements possible—and we have a large number of municipal endorsements. California also has many representatives on the Climate Solutions Caucus, and one inspiring story is how Republican Steve Knight came to join the group. Our volunteer Cher Gilmore shared her story here.
Our region also hosts the International Headquarters of CCL, in addition to the team leads for the Presenters Action Team and Business Climate Leaders Action Team and more. And we want to give special acknowledgement to Bill Betchart, one of our star liaisons, who passed away this year. We love him so much and he greatly advanced CCL’s cause. He did amazing work and was an amazing person.
Great Lakes Region
Regional Coordinators: David Holmquist and Elizabeth Dell
Perhaps the Great Lakes Region’s greatest CCL claim to fame is that it’s home to the incomparable Madeleine Para! On the strength of her work as our first regional coordinator, we have been sharing best practices across the Great Lakes states at regional conferences for five years. Those who attended the first one in December of 2013 will remember the bonding that began in the cold and snow of Camp Manitoqua. The friendships made then continue to this day, along with many new ones.
North Wind Region
Regional Coordinators: Mindy Ahler and Paul Thompson
The North Wind Region is home of the agricultural heartland of America and renewable energy potential to power our future. We have CCL’s Fargo, ND chapter working on renewable energy to shift the conversation in a fossil fuel rich state. In South Dakota, we expanded from 1 to 3 chapters last year and launched a project reaching out to Native American tribes where climate change is well understood. In Nebraska, we welcomed our region’s first Climate Solutions Caucus member, due to our CCL chapter’s work during the 2016 election.
In Iowa, wind power is opening up conversations with both Republican Senators. In Minnesota, our Grand Canyon Project in a Republican district generates 2 phone calls a day asking for action on climate solutions
Pacific Northwest Region
Regional Coordinator: Tamara Staton
By the end of 2017, we will have completed 3 tours in our region: Alaska Big Dividend Tour in February; Oregon Stewardship Tour in October and November; and the Water, Wind & Fire Tour in Eastern Washington. All tours are targeted to build support in the more conservative areas of our states, drumming up constituent support for Rep. Greg Walden (OR 02), Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan in AK, and multiple representatives in E. WA. After the AK tour, we more than doubled the number of chapters, and those chapters are currently working on multiple municipal resolutions in the state. In addition, the governor of AK is now publicly discussing climate change, and a working group is being formed to create potential legislation.
We have new energy in Hawaii, a full time CCL staffer who has moved to the state and is excited about the potential to build more political will in District 01 and with the senators there. Sen. Schatz has co-sponsored carbon pricing legislation recently, as well as in the past, and he is a key ally.
In both Oregon and Washington, we have twice the number of chapters as we have districts, including both active and in progress chapters. We are working in both states to build stronger bridges on the left in the west, while recognizing the simultaneous need to continue building conservative support in the east.
Regional Coordinators: Jon Clark and Sabrina Fu
The Mid-Atlantic region is filled with compassionate volunteers working to create the political will for a livable world. Many working tirelessly, even through personal challenges such as fighting cancer, dealing with family illnesses, and other issues to focus on healing our climate, and our nation in the process. We have the most incredible volunteers, and our volunteers are the reason we will succeed!
Regional Coordinator: Iona Lutey
The CCL Northeast Region rocks! It is the birthplace of the first public move by Republican U.S. lawmakers in office to acknowledge climate change and the need for Congress to take action: the Gibson Resolution in 2015. Rep. Gibson repeatedly credited the CCL Columbia County chapter as the reason he did this. We have grown to almost 40 active chapters covering just about every congressional district. Our volunteers are passionate, smart, hardworking, persistent and loyal.
Northeast Region members of Congress are leaders when it comes to climate. Of 10 GOP House members, all have taken a pro-climate action, and all but one are either in the Climate Solutions Caucus, on the Republican Climate Resolution, or both! Northeast Democrats and Independents include some of the most climate-friendly MOCs in Washington: Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Susan Collins (Maine), Ed Markey (Massachusetts), Bernie Sanders (Vermont) and Rep. John Larson (Connecticut), the Congressman who originally introduced CCL to Carbon Fee and Dividend!
Regional Coordinators: Don Addu, Bill Blancato and Abhaya Thiele
For the Southeast, I would say that the most impressive thing has been our growth. The Southeast Region of CCL is growing faster than any other region in CCL. We are the largest region with 97 members of Congress across 9 states, and we are 72% Republican. I am proud that folks are making their voices heard all over the beautiful South.
Regional Coordinator: Carol Bradford
In Missouri, our new state coordinators, George Laur and Sharon Bagatell are jumping over hurdles to engage more and more groups. Arkansas continues to amaze me by engaging so many people, raising money to bring big teams to our national conference and taking advantage of so many CCL resources to be more and more effective. Their latest is engaging Brett Cease and the Business Climate Leaders to create a pilot tool to track their progress on reaching business leaders in key districts. Chris McNamara, the state coordinator, is leading the way on this one.
In Oklahoma, our new state coordinators, Kathy Rand and Marianne Bacharach, have reached out to several of their Republican members of Congress at town hall meetings. They recently got great results when Congressman Cole said publicly that we need to take action on climate change, and they are now working to have him join the Climate Solutions Caucus, which could be the first from our region.
The other state in our region is Kansas, and our state coordinator there is Tony Schmidt. He started reaching out to people he knew across the state a few years ago and got himself trained to lead our training workshops, and then he discovered that what he was doing was the work of a state coordinator, so he claimed the role! After traveling many miles to reach out to people across the state, he only has one district that is not covered, and that one is only a matter of time. I am so inspired by his tireless work!
Wild West Region
Regional Coordinator: Bill Barron
The Wild West region covers MT, WY, UT, CO, NM, AZ and NV and has grown considerably, covering this vast and spectacular section of our country. Through creativity, positive persistence and a focus on relationship building, both internally and through our outreach, we’ve been successful moving many levers of political will: from endorsements within the ski industry to city mayors; city and county resolutions from numerous states, and fostering relationships that have led to 3 Republican MoCs joining the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. We continue to work to connect with people and have fun as we dream big for what we want to happen!