IF YOU CARE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, CLL IS LOOKING FOR YOU
CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY VOLUNTEERS UNCOVER THE INS AND OUT OF THEIR ORGANIZATION
May 23, 2021
After receiving the results of the SIREN Demographic Survey, 86 percent of high schoolers, and 75 percent of middle schoolers believe climate change is real. If you are someone that agrees that this environmental problem exists, then CCL may be your best fit.
“From my understanding, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby prioritizes using constituent voices to pass, in particular, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act through grassroots advocacy. They are all about being nonpartisan and working to turn climate into a bridge issue instead of a wedge issue,” writes Avery Broughton, former volunteer and intern from Philadelphia via email.
But, how does one contribute to this particular group?
“CCL teaches Volunteers to be active and engaged citizens. All CCL chapters are organized around five core activities we use to leverage citizen voices: media relations, lobbying congress, grassroots outreach, grasstops engagement, and group development and organizing. When new members join, we try to find which of these levers they are most interested in contributing to, and get them involved with members of that team, ” Hilary Schenker, a Citizens Climate Lobby Liaison from California discusses via email.
However, Harry Hochheiser, another Citizens Climate Lobby Volunteer from Pittsburgh, goes into more detail about different possibilities for activities:
“If someone comes in and says, ‘I don’t know what to do,’ we will give them some options, but if they say, ‘Hey, I got this great idea,’ then we will try to talk that through, and figure it out. Now, in terms of what people can do; that’s really easy is, probably the easiest thing that people can do is we have monthly call ins that you can go onto Citizens Climate Lobby, and sign up for calling your Representative; and they’ll tell you to go call and ask your Representatives for support for legislation [on the Energy Innovation Carbon Dividend Act.]”’
Article readers who are more outgoing, may be interested in attending the monthly Pittsburgh Chapter Meetings as well:
“I think the point of the meeting is to make sure that I understand the issues that are unfolding…I am looking forward to when we get together in person [due to COVID the event is online]. We tend to have the social aspect as well, we end up breaking in the middle of dinner and having pizza, and talking to different people and seeing what they are up to,” Fred Bortz, a CCL Volunteer, and Science Author from Pittsburgh explains.
With each interviewee, the SIREN asked about their personal climate story, and what made them join CCL specifically.
“…[When] I learned about climate change and, I was like, ‘This is ridiculous, like why is nobody doing anything about this.’ It was so frustrating, and then I was like, ‘Oh, I need to do something about this, I need to have a lot of power and control to make change. By just putting my time effort, and energy into it, I actually ended up declaring an environmental science major…[later,] saying yes to CCL was a decision that I made…” Ellen Conrad, Green Drinks Organizer of Citizens Climate Lobby from Colorado says.
Cindy Kirsch, a fellow CCL co-leader for the Pittsburgh Chapter; that resides in Edgewood Borough, talks about the significance of teens in this group:
“Oh, I think that their voice is really important because they are going to be the voters…and politicians need to know that. The voters are on their way.”
Schenker provides a link for students that would like to join this organization:
“For the people really interested, there are twice a year lobby events, we go down to D.C. and meet with staff and congress people, I haven’t done it myself but, I heard it is pretty intense. I mean going around offices talking to staffers, it’s another way to get the word out, and show it as a force. I think that is last time they had several people do it in person. It’s a great way to show that there is support.” (Hochheiser)