A Letter From Mark: New Role. Same Commitment.
Note: Mark's letter first appeared on CCL's Blog
The last few months have been an incredible season in CCL’s advocacy. The policy we’ve worked on for so long is now an integral part of the national policy discussion, with a possibility that it will become law. We still need to make it across the finish line, of course, but the progress we’ve already seen is astounding.
Because of that progress, our conference last month began exploring some exciting questions: What do we advocate for in addition to a carbon price? Which additional climate solutions could we support? In short, what’s next for CCL? I appreciate the thoughtful input many of you are already providing into the future of this wonderful organization.
As part of that future, I’m announcing that Madeleine Para will become CCL’s executive director on January 20, 2022, and I will become a member of CCL’s governing board.
Since I took this role in 2009, I have always believed in the importance of this organization being dynamic and continually evolving. In fact, I never planned to serve as director for this long. That being said, I have never loved a role as much as I love this one, and I will miss doing it. CCL, and supporters like you, have made these years some of the most special in my life.
I approached CCL’s board about this transition in the spring of this year, which I knew would be a critical one for our organization. We decided the right time to make this change would be when the organization’s influence was at its highest, the management team was very strong, and the board had selected an ideal successor. Check, check, and check.
I’m proud of all we have done to build political will for carbon fee and dividend in communities across America and in Congress. Over the last several years, we have morphed from the scrappy little grassroots outfit to the organization Senators come to first with their climate plans. Our state coordinators, group leaders, liaisons and action team leaders have developed a volunteer army that simply can not be ignored. The Energy Innovation Act now has more cosponsors than any carbon pricing bill in history. We demonstrated that we can stay focused on carbon pricing while evolving and adapting to help other climate bills get passed.
I have every confidence in Madeleine, who leads many of CCL’s day-to-day operations already. I remember calling Madeleine in the early days of CCL after she attended an informational session. At the end of the call, she asked, “So, what’s next?” To CCL’s benefit, Madeleine has never stopped asking that question, and she constantly searches for the answer in an informed, grounded, yet visionary way.
Madeleine’s pursuit of “what’s next” has contributed to our impressive growth and increasing sophistication over the years. Every piece of the organization she touches becomes more organized and more effective. Madeleine’s strength and competence as a leader and manager is really what makes this next evolution of CCL possible. I am so grateful to her and the rest of the management team, and I look forward to seeing what develops in their capable hands.
I will be able to spend more of my time in two key areas: international growth and fundraising. Citizens’ Climate International (CCI) now has 141 chapters in 76 countries, with two full time staff and four contractors. Climate change is a worldwide problem, and I am eager to help build out CCI. Also, as a not-for-profit organization, fundraising is a big priority, and I will be able to dedicate more time for CCL, CCE and CCI in this area. I am thrilled that an organization that has given me so much will give me these new avenues to contribute.
I’m looking forward to seeing you in many of the places I am used to seeing you. I will be hosting many of the monthly calls and attending the regional and national conferences. One of the things I am looking forward to is standing shoulder to shoulder with you as something I have never been — what 99% of this organization is — a CCL volunteer.