With Gratitude #6: A CCL blog series
By Katie Zakrzewski
As the holiday season draws near, this is a great time to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished this year, and everything that we have to be thankful for. Fortunately, we have a lot to be thankful for, especially this year. One of the best ways to do that is to revisit all of the neat things that our volunteers have been up to over the course of the year.
Through the end of the year, CCL will be spotlighting some of our favorite volunteer efforts from 2022 as we look back on all of the hard work that allowed us to be where we are today, as well as the financial support that helped mobilize our volunteers to do incredible things. We couldn’t have done it without you.
In this blog, you’ll read about volunteers who participate in bike parades, who get op-eds in their local media, volunteers who table at festivals, and plenty more examples of CCLers creating the political will for a liveable world!
Iowa CCLers participate in bike parade
CCL volunteers in Decorah, Iowa, used a local bicycling parade to spread awareness for climate action. One CCLer tweeted about the float, thanking CCL’s Ann Arbor, Michigan, chapter for inspiration. The bike float appeared at the Nordic Fest bike parade, sporting signs and banners urging people to call their members of Congress and work for climate legislation.
Conservative voices sound off in the media
In the weeks following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), CCL conservatives reached out to their local media to make their voices heard. We featured CCL Conservative Fellow Hannah Rogers, who went on a media tour about the parts of the IRA that appeal to her as a young conservative.
CCL volunteers got the conservative version of our Inflation Reduction Act op-ed published in newspapers and magazines across the country, including Arkansas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
CCLers Tom Moyer and Lauren Barros also got an op-ed published in Utah’s The Salt Lake Tribune about the importance of Republican voices in solving climate change. Tom and Lauren point out that bipartisan laws are better than partisan ones, and that Republican participation is pivotal in making a difference.
“When the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed the Senate recently, it got no Republican votes. Bipartisan legislation is always better than laws passed by one party, but the IRA incorporates many good ideas that Utah legislators have been championing,” the two write.
The duo goes on to state that Utah Republicans have the opportunity to lead the way on climate change: the state and country depend on them.
Climate advocacy efforts in North Dakota are paying off
You might remember that on Aug. 22, Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) tweeted about meeting with CCLers to discuss the Growing Climate Solutions Act and conservative mechanisms for addressing climate.
“This could be a geopolitical tool for the US to capitalize on our energy successes,” Sen. Cramer wrote. “We do it better & cleaner than everyone else!”
But this enthusiastic support didn’t just come out of the blue. A lot of work had been going on behind the scenes to move North Dakota’s Republican lawmakers forward on climate advocacy.
Mindy Ahler is the North Wind Regional Coordinator for CCL. The North Wind region comprises Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and South Dakota. This past June, several CCLers, along with Mindy, organized an outreach tour across North Dakota. The tour consisted of conversations, presentations, and stops in cities such as New Town, Valley City, and Bismarck.
“In a rural state like North Dakota with a small population, every person has a big impact when they reach out to their members of Congress and talk to their friends and neighbors,” Mindy said.
You can read more about the North Dakota tour on CCL’s blog.
CCL’s Inclusion Conference is historic for CCL
Diversity and inclusion are part of our core values and allow us to work alongside climate activists and advocates from all walks of life.
It only seems natural, then, that CCL held a successful Inclusion Conference on Sept. 16 and 17. But the virtual conference (and setting the stage for that conference) had been several years in the making.
“The idea for this conference came about three years ago from then-staff member Princella Talley, who now sits on CCL’s board. The idea has always been to center the voices of the BIPOC community across CCL, and give them an opportunity to talk about the issues that impact them,” said Karina Ramirez, CCL Diversity and Inclusion Director.
The virtual conference consisted of a day-long session of listening to speakers on Saturday, which came after a virtual reception on Friday evening. The conference had over 125 attendees, spanning the spectrum of identities and locations. Speakers addressed topics such as theology in relation to climate change, barriers that BIPOC people face when engaging in the climate movement, impactful communication in the face of climate change, and harnessing the power of community through stillness.
To watch all of the speakers from the conference, visit our YouTube playlist.
Giving back: Illinois environmentalist uses retirement to go green
Mac Robinet has lived in Oak Park, just outside of Chicago, for 57 years. After a productive career at Argonne Laboratories, he retired in 2004 and began to direct his attention to environmental issues. Mac says that while he was respectful of the environment, he was oblivious to the serious threat of global warming.
“However, about 25 year ago, I attended a lunchtime seminar at Argonne given by James Hansen. (He is considered by many to be the Father of Global Warming.) For the first time I realized that we were in a crisis unlike any ever faced by humans.”
In addition to CCL, Mac is involved in several environmental organizations and makes donations to help the environmental community. He shares that he is optimistic, and will continue to work hard to help his local and international community.
You can read more about Mac in this article by Ken Trainor.
Utah CCLers hold climate change forum
On Sept. 26, The Salt Lake Tribune published a piece written by a local environmental policy professional reflecting on a town hall CCL organized.
The civil discussion took place in a library auditorium between Republican Representatives John Curtis and Blake Moore and their Democratic challengers Glen Wright and Rick Jones.
The politicians answered questions from local high school students, and talked about their personal experiences with climate change. While there were disagreements, the tone remained respectful and appreciative.
“Some of the candidates thanked the organizers, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, for providing the impetus and opportunity to deepen their knowledge about climate change and potential solutions,” the article read.
Asheville CCLers table at Cider Fest
This past weekend, CCLers in Asheville, North Carolina tabled at a local autumnal festival, Cider Fest. The group spent time talking with festival attendees about climate and the upcoming midterms.
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