What now? What's next?
How does our CCL work fit in to this new political climate and
what does it mean in terms of our actions?
It's been nearly two weeks since our world, as we knew it, shifted dramatically, two weeks since many of our hopes and dreams for our healthy futures took a steep slide. Many of us see choices about the Cabinet and feel ever more worried.
Where is hope to be found?
Understandably, it often as seems as such. Many of us are deeply tapped into the growing discussion, passion and concern about the state of affairs and the strong desire to "double down" on efforts to resist. Our ally in climate action, 350.org, recently shared that "change has always come from the bottom up, from people taking to the streets and then showing up to push for systemic change and better policy. Now more than ever, it's the only model we have for what can be done to fight climate change effectively."
Is resistance and opposition our only choice? Is it the only model?
We wholeheartedly agree that we need change -- a very deep paradigm shift in how we operate as a society, the choices we make for our futures, in how we treat one another. We couldn't be happier to see that people are ready to let our elected officials know that they are REALLY READY for change. While change is needed and most often comes from the grassroots, we respectfully submit that opposition through street-marching and fighting is not the only way to create this change. It is one important model, but not the only one. As a movement, we have more than one arrow in our climate change quiver. This is where our approach comes in.
CCL has 358 chapters across the country in a majority of congressional districts in the US -- building relationships with Republicans and Democrats alike. As an organization, we have not given up on a national climate solution within the next 4 years because we have seen big shifts in Congressional interest in a carbon fee in less time. So, while a local focus here in the Pacific NW is very important to slow/stop fossil fuel infrastructure and export industry, and marching and demanding change does catalyze change, we work to complement this work by building relationships with people and organizations who want a stable climate but perhaps aren't as comfortable with or inclined to respond to civil disobedience or protest.
What we are doing is working. We are seeing progress and growth...
Our Portland chapter mtg doubled this month.
We had 200 people on our intro call last week, up from an avg of 20.
Our web traffic is up by 200%.
And in Congress, we're seeing that Republican offices are more open than ever to hearing about Carbon Fee & Dividend*
CCL is in a position of strength in Congress, with a quality of relationship with members and their offices that no other environmental organization has. We say this in no way to imply that we are better or hold a more important position than other organizations, but instead to highlight that our approaches are different, and each has its place.
It's like Good Cop /Bad Cop:
Sometimes, we need the bad cop to keep us line.
And some people only respond to the bad cop.
Others, and the majority we believe, truly rely on that strength of relationship, and it's often those relationships that have us make the choices we do.
Members of Congress are human, too, and are no exception to this rule.
That's what we provide as CCL - a foundation of respect, appreciation and gratitude that can make it easier for our members of Congress to do the right thing, working from the inside out, from town halls and congressional offices, leaning on the strength of our relationships and the confidence we have in their desire and willingness to do what's needed to stabilize climate.
And in that vein, we will continue to encourage Republicans to speak out about climate.**
We continue to make sure those same Republicans feel the love, so that when they do speak out, they know they've made the right decision.
And we may consider more of an emphasis on state and local action, but not in a way that would jeopardize the national effort, including the relationships we have with our MOCs.
We all know we can't have too many on this path to securing a healthy climate. So, whatever you're approach, be it hanging from bridges or building relationships or both, thank you for being here and taking action in a way that matters.
For more details on strategy, approach and the latest from our DC conference, check out the latest Press Release from National, read the recent newsletter CCL in your inbox (subject: "CCL Newsletter") or the latest blog from the CCLs' Conservative Caucus, and/or join us at our upcoming meeting (Dec 10 - see below). If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Tamara and Daniela at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* of 502 Mtgs in June 2016 with Congressional offices on the Hill, 10 times more offices showed interest or curiosity in our CF&D proposal (156) than disinterest, up from 3:1 in 2014.
** through joining working groups on energy and environment, the soon-to-be updated Gibson Resolution, and the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus