Get in the FLOW with this CCL workshop
By Elise Koepke
In our push to move the Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act through Congress, CCL volunteers take on a variety of activities within our five levers of political will. But sometimes those levers might feel stuck, and we need something to get unstuck—to think bigger and work more effectively together. The Five Levers Organizing Workshop (FLOW) is designed to help our chapters do just that.
In just two hours, these workshops add new structure and purpose to CCL’s advocacy. “This isn’t new information,” explains Field Development Coordinator Elli Sparks. “We’ve been working on this for years. This workshop is new packaging.” FLOWs help chapters develop committee structures, strengthen individual members’ leadership capacity, and strategize across entire states.
Planning and working together
The workshops take a state-based approach, bringing together volunteers at all levels of engagement to identify and build strategies for their state. Elli has made this a priority, shaping the FLOW curriculum to highlight inter-chapter collaboration and feature agendas tailored to individual states. In 2020, she and her colleagues hosted 32 statewide and a higher ed FLOW.
Planning for a FLOW involves more than your typical CCL meeting. Preparation starts at least five weeks before the workshop, with elements like:
- Developing an invitation plan, including making personal phone calls to potential attendees and reaching out to all supporters in the state via email
- Building your FLOW team with relevant regional coordinators, state coordinators, and volunteers who will lead breakout rooms during the workshop
- Preparing slides and practicing the presentation
All this advance effort pays off—the more effective the workshop, the bigger the boost to our climate advocacy.
FLOWs in action: Pennsylvania
In December, CCL members from chapters throughout Pennsylvania gathered for a statewide FLOW workshop. With one of their Senators retiring in 2022, Pennsylvania chapters wanted to focus on coordinating their strategy for promoting the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act with their incoming senator.
Almost 40 CCL supporters attended this FLOW, from seasoned volunteers to first-time advocates. “I loved watching them learn about our five levers and figure out how they can contribute, because each and every one of us can be a part of history in the making!” said Regional Coordinator Jon Clark.
“This FLOW was the first, I hope, of several virtual FLOWs statewide and region-wide,” he explained. “These workshops help to strengthen our chapters and engage more volunteers to get ready for a Herculean lift in the new Congress next year.”
Want a FLOW in your state?
Missed your state’s 2020 FLOW or want to be involved in the planning process for an upcoming workshop? You can reach out to your state and regional coordinators and let them know you want to bring the workshop to your state. You can also learn more about the FLOW workshop in this training on CCL Community.
Elise Koepke is a communications intern with Citizens’ Climate Lobby. She is a recent graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she studied Earth Science.