A CCL roadmap through the COVID-19 pandemic

CCL zoom meeting

CCL chapters are meeting remotely during the pandemic and planning for the future.

A CCL roadmap through the COVID-19 pandemic

By Marc Peterson

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, CCL Salt Lake City’s steering committee started having weekly Zoom meetings to check in and support each other as well as discuss what our chapter could do to stay engaged, make an impact, and be ready to fully re-engage on climate when the time is right. 

Just prior to our second weekly meeting, the Governor of Utah and his COVID-19 task force, released a COVID-19 Roadmap for state actions. This roadmap identified three phases—called the urgent phase, the stabilization phase, and the recovery phase—which we could move through during the next 26 to 36 weeks. The roadmap suggests actions Utahns can take during each phase. I brought up the Utah roadmap during our second steering committee call and suggested using it as a best practice to develop something similar for our chapter.

Soon we were drafting our plan on a shared document, and once we had everyone’s input, we asked a member of our letter-to-the-editor editing team to clean up what we had collectively created. We now have a roadmap that we’ll introduce to our chapter membership at our next monthly meeting (held via video call, of course).

A roadmap for our chapter

The intent of our roadmap is to provide a framework to encourage members to think through how they can stay involved and when different actions are likely to make sense. For example, our roadmap acknowledges that we’re in an “initial response phase,” during which we need to adjust to new ways of communicating and living. During this phase, we can brush up on training resources like CCL laser talks, mentor new members via phone or Zoom, write letters to the editor, and more. Later, during what we call the “transition phase” and the “recovery phase,” we can add in other activities, such as laying the groundwork for public presentations and reaching out more often to our members of Congress.

This roadmap will help us keep the momentum we had, and identify a pathway forward. It is not to dictate specific actions, but rather to be used to engage our members and stimulate conversation about what we might do and when we might do it. It is also meant to help all of us realize there are phases that the pandemic, and we, will all go through, and provide a logical path through those phases.

Taking it national

This roadmap concept quickly got the attention of our regional coordinator, who brought it to CCL’s Strategy Director, Tony Sirna. Tony took the concept and developed a more general resource: COVID-19 Phase Planning For CCL Chapters. This resource will make it easy for all CCL chapters to think through these same types of questions. 

Both Salt Lake City’s roadmap and the CCL Phase Planning document are designed to be flexible enough to adjust to local conditions as they change over time as we all move through this crisis. They are meant to be living documents that change and adapt as our reality with the pandemic changes. 

Not everyone needs such a structured approach. Some people just need to be pointed in a specific direction and set free. And that is great, but for those of us that need to see a path forward, and where that path is leading us, this process could provide some comfort that we have a plan that will help us focus on the right things at the right times.

How is your chapter adapting your advocacy work during the pandemic? Share your ideas and stories in our COVID-19 discussion forum on CCL Community.

Marc Peterson is a volunteer with CCL’s Salt Lake City chapter in Utah.