1,492 volunteers attend ‘Grassroots Rising,’ followed by 360 citizen lobby meetings

A man sits in front of a bookshelf, framed by a Zoom screen.

Van Jones delivered a keynote address to CCL’s “Grassroots Rising” conference.

 1,492 volunteers attend ‘Grassroots Rising,’ followed by 360 citizen lobby meetings

November 2023 — At least 1,492 attendees, determined to build their grassroots climate advocacy skills, came together at Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s fall virtual conference this month. 

After a summer of record heat and climate extremes, two-thirds of U.S. adults now say the country should prioritize developing renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, over fossil fuel generated energy. 

Meanwhile, the newly released Fifth National Climate Assessment, warns that no part of the U.S. can escape the effects of climate change and every fraction of a degree warming we can avoid will help Americans to protect themselves from the most severe outcomes. 

During his keynote speech at the conference, CNN commentator and author Van Jones stressed the importance of doing bipartisan work and moving past our echo chambers.  

“Republicans don’t win every election, Democrats don’t win every election. We’ve got to have a stable governing majority for the next two or three decades to solve this problem,” he said. “The right strategy is to be as big change as possible, as inclusive as possible and try to help both political parties develop real champions on this issue so that we can ultimately prevail.”

Jones’ advice resonated with CCL’s army of grassroots volunteers who meet with nearly every congressional office, regardless of their own political beliefs or party affiliation.

“We deeply share Van Jones’ commitment to building bridges,” said CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds. “At CCL, we’ve always believed that meeting people where they are and finding common ground will help lead to durable solutions to address the climate crisis. The more we can work together — Congress and Americans — the more we can get things done.”

In the days and weeks following the conference, CCL volunteers held at least 360 virtual lobby meetings with congressional offices across the country, asking elected officials on both sides of the aisle to support policies to reduce climate pollution.

In particular, CCL’s citizen lobbyists asked their members of Congress to support the Building Integrated Grids with Interregional Energy Supply Act, known as the BIG WIRES Act.

The bill was introduced recently by Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA-50) and would help ensure that America has a reliable, resilient grid that can provide affordable, clean electricity. CCL volunteers are determined to help garner support for the bill on both sides of the aisle. 

“We know that America needs to start building clean energy infrastructure faster in order to meet our climate targets,” explains CCL VP of Government Affairs Ben Pendergrass. “We are confident our volunteers can play a part in building additional support for the bill.”

CCL volunteers also took an active role in encouraging a bipartisan mix of members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus to sign a letter to House leadership asking them to prioritize permitting reform. The letter, signed by 26 of the 64 members of the Caucus, urges House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA-04) and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08) to advance U.S. climate and energy goals and commitments.

To view any of our conference programming, visit CCL’s YouTube playlist.

CONTACT: Flannery Winchester, CCL Senior Director of Communications,