By Stephanie McFadden
Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers are notoriously dedicated and passionate, but Daniela Brod, co-leader of CCL’s Portland, Oregon, chapter, might have upped the ante.
After attending only one day of her first-ever CCL International Conference & Lobby Day in Washington, D.C., in 2014, Daniela and her then-fiance changed their 2015 wedding date, which was dangerously close to the time for the following year’s conference. While this decision might seem extreme to some, Daniela claims, it was a “no-brainer” and “the best decision” for her and her family.
This all started when Daniela joined CCL in 2013. She became more active over time and, in 2014, made her inaugural trip to the conference and lobby day in D.C. This was when there were a lot of new things happening in Daniela’s life, not least of which was a recent engagement to her now-husband Barry Daigle. Before coming to the conference, she and Barry had booked a date for the wedding planned for the summer of 2015. Lying in bed after that first day’s events, unable to fall asleep because of the excitement and adrenaline, Daniela realized with a sinking feeling that their wedding would fall right around the same time as the following year’s conference.
This had not been a factor initially when deciding their wedding date. But, realizing she absolutely had to come back the following year, Daniela did what any blushing bride who is also a dedicated CCL volunteer would do: She picked up the phone and called Barry about changing their wedding.
“Our love is eternal, but the CCL Conference happens only once per year,” Daniela told her fiance. “Are you okay with changing our wedding date?”
He agreed right away!
The next day Daniela called and changed the wedding date to allow travel to the June conference. Daniela and Barry were able to get the best of both worlds: Enjoy their intimate and special wedding on the coast of Oregon while also attending the conference together that summer. It was a year full of transformative experiences that she and her husband will forever hold dear.
Looking into what drew Daniela to her decision to change the date, she talked about the conference as one of those life-changing experiences. Being at the conference surrounded by people who are equally passionate and dedicated is affirming, validating, and refreshing. Missing out on that was not an option.
Daniela’s commitment to CCL extends beyond changing her wedding date. She co-leads the Portland chapter, works on the Endorsers Program, and frequently leads presentations as part of the Proactive Outreach Action Team.
Daniela has also gotten her family on board with climate action over the years. “I try to instill a love of the outdoors with my two children by encouraging outdoor play, planting a garden, hiking, and camping. I’m proud to say that my son picked climate change for his fifth-grade project.”
She realizes her family still has a pretty large carbon footprint with all of their traveling, driving, and consuming, but she says “that is a big reason I am drawn to the carbon fee and dividend solution. The problem is so systemic that the solution must be too. When well-meaning people still have a large [carbon] footprint, you realize you have to fix the system to make people do the right thing.”
Attending the 2014 conference was something of an uplifting, inspirational awakening at a time in her life when she was looking for something to grasp onto and believe in. Attending in 2015 with Barry grew the family’s enthusiasm as Barry found his niche by joining the Conservative Caucus Action Team. She knows when she is around other CCL volunteers they are bonded by their continued fight to make the world a better place. They cannot imagine a June that doesn’t include a trip to D.C. spent lobbying Congress with over a thousand other equally passionate people.
When asked what she would say to any volunteer on the fence about coming to the 2016 conference, Daniela said, “The conference is incredibly fun and meaningful at the same time! It is about feeling part of a growing movement. It is about putting learning into practice in a short time frame. It is about feeling important, having a message to deliver, a concern to share as you walk down a marble hallway with other CCLers. It is about meeting people from Florida, Colorado, New York…all with the same concerns and resolve as you.”