Citizens’ Climate Lobby Glossary

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A glossary of terms used by CCL that you may not be familiar with.
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Use this page to learn terms CCLers use when discussing the organization and its activities.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Glossary

Action Sheet

Monthly document with National Call description and actions and activities for CCL groups to take for that month.

Action Teams

Teams organized by volunteers around specific topics (Oil, Ocean, Agriculture, etc.) that work and strategize on ways to move that area towards supporting CCL goals and policy objectives. Most action teams usually meet regularly by phone.

Action Tracker

An easy-to-use online application that will log and display the actions CCL supporters are taking every day to build political will for climate action. Can include LTE’s, meetings, TV appearances, radio, tabling, etc.  Displays include CCL actions at the individual, chapter, or state/regional level.


An ask is just what it sounds like, asking a member of Congress to do something you want, usually during a lobby meeting. Each year, CCL determines both primary and supporting asks, which can vary depending on the current situation and the party and politics of the member being asked.

The primary ask for members of Congress has often been to co-sponsor fee and dividend legislation. See also: Making Primary & Supporting Asks


Description of a Member of Congress written by CCLers and available on Community. Includes past voting history, important facts and Member’s stance on CCL policy and climate change.

Carbon Fee and Dividend

CCL’s first policy proposal, carbon fee and dividend, calls for a rising fee on carbon content of fuels at the source, with all of the revenue returned to households on a per capita basis, and a border adjustment to protect American businesses and encourage other countries to have the same policy. For the past three Congresses, CCL has supported the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act which contains, for the most part, all the elements of carbon fee and dividend. 

Citizens’ Climate International

CCL’s international initiative that worked to get fee and dividend and a price on carbon into the UNFCCC Paris talks. Joe Robertson heads up and leads coordinated effort to allow stakeholders and ordinary citizens to participate in talks leading up to each year's Conference of Parties. 


Citizens’ Climate Lobby


Citizens' Climate University. CCUs are held Thursday evenings at 8:00 pm ET and offer a more advanced or specialized series of training topics for CCL volunteers. 

  • For the full list of upcoming trainings, click here to see the CCL Training category in CCL's Events calendar.
  • Need training on the basics? Catch our next session of Core Volunteer Training, made for newer volunteers and held Tuesdays at 8:00 pm ET
  • To join us via Zoom conference (instructions for how to log on) click the training event page link to find the log-in information as well as the option to RSVP and/or "Add to Calendar."
  • You can subscribe to CCL's training channels on iTunesYouTube, and to CCL's weekly training reminders via email or text.

Climate Advocate Training

Climate Advocate Training is an introduction to CCL for new volunteers and chapter groups, and covers our history, methods, legislation and lobby techniques.

Online Climate Advocate Training takes place monthly for new volunteers who register for the training. and are mainly geared towards preparing new volunteers to join a lobby meeting with their member of Congress . Climate Advocate Training Workshops (originally called Group Start Workshops) take place in person and typically launch a new CCL group

Congressional Committees

A legislative sub-group in the US Congress that handles a specific duty or topic such as Energy and Commerce, Intelligence, Natural Resources, etc.


A person is a constituent for a member of Congress if they live in the district or state (in the case of a senator) represented by the member of Congress.


The CCL volunteer who acts as the primary point of contact between CCL and an Influencer.


Statements from elected officials, businesses, individuals of influence, groups of influence, etc. that state their support for CCL’s goals and policy objectives or support the effort towards a solution on climate change. 


CCL point person located in Washington D.C. who is responsible for delivering hard copy materials to a Congressional office.


People in a position of power or influence at a local level.

Grasstops Engagement Manager

A Chapter Grasstops Engagement Manager (GEM) is the person or persons designated by a Group Leader to lead the chapter’s grasstops outreach. For more information see this training.

Grasstops Engagement Tracker

A contact management system used by CCL volunteers to, (1) avoid duplication of effort and avoid multiple requests to influencers, (2) track relationship progress, and (3) be a repository of secured endorsements

Groups, Teams, Chapters

On CCL Community, the term “Group” serves as an umbrella term for both teams and Chapters. 

“Chapters” refer to a group of people who gather locally in person- usually monthly or more - in their town, city or area to take action together on a regular basis. Chapters are typically organized by and led by a Group Leader (see below). New chapters must be approved by the Regional Coordinator.  Outside of CCL Community, people may also use the term "Group" to refer to their local CCL Chapter.

“Teams” can be either national Action Teams or teams organized within a a specific Chapter. Chapter teams are members  who come together for a specific purpose such as Grasstops Engagement, Veterans, LGBQT). See entry on Action Teams here

Group Leader

A Group Leader is the head of a CCL Chapter. There can be more than one Group Leader per chapter. They are in charge of coordinating meetings with all members, being the link for the group to headquarters, and providing leadership within the group.

House Ways and Means

The principal tax-writing committee of the US House of Representatives. They have jurisdiction over all taxation, tariff, and revenue-raising measures.


An prominent individual or organization, such as an elected official, church, important local business, or community leader whose position on or support of action on climate change may influence the views of a member of Congress. 

Levers of Political Will

    1. Lobbying Congress
    2. Media relations
    3. Grassroots outreach 
    4. Grasstops engagement 
    5. Chapter & volunteer development

These five core activities are the ways CCL volunteers influence and increase political will for a livable world (click here for the webinar). The actions associated with these levers help move people and officials towards an understanding of CCL’s goals and policy objectives and encourage them to be active participants in making change happen. When all of the levers are being activated, political will is enhanced. 


A CCL volunteer who is assigned to manage the relationship with a member of Congress (Senate or House) The liaison is usually a constituent and is in charge of all interactions with the office including scheduling meetings, sending CCL updates and providing any requested information.


Letter to the editor.


Monthly Calling Campaign.

Media Manager

In CCL chapters, the media manager is identified as the point of contact (or several) for your chapter’s media activities. They receive media materials and opportunities (usually no more than one per month) right in your inbox, as well as occasional training tips and extra support from CCL’s Communications staff. For more information see the "Media Managers" section of the CCL Media Basics training.

MoC or MOC

Member of Congress.

Typically, an op-ed is a longer opinion piece than a letter to the editor from someone not affiliated with the paper. The term derived from historical placement on a page “opposite the editorials,” though that is not necessarily the case now.


Resolutions are endorsements for fee and dividend or other climate action passed by local governing bodies such as a city or town council or county board of supervisors. When a city, county or state passes a resolution in support of carbon fee and dividend legislation, they are sending a message of endorsement to Congress on behalf of all of their residents.

Senate Finance Committee

This is the principal tax-writing committee of the US Senate. It deals with issues of taxation and revenue, and is considered one of the most powerful committees in Congress.

Supporting Ask

A supporting ask is a request to a member of Congress or their staff given during a lobby meeting. It may concern climate-related legislation other than fee and dividend. Generally a supporting ask follows the primary ask, and may be more acceptable to members of Congress not ready to support fee and dividend.

State and Regional Coordinators (SCs and RCs)

Regional Coordinators (RCs)

Regional Coordinators are the administrators for CCL’s eleven geographic regions. Responsibilities include monitoring chapter development, managing congressional liaisons, holding regular calls with Group Leaders, creating custom groups, and supporting region-wide initiatives.  List of regional coordinators and regions.

State Coordinators (SCs)

State coordinators are volunteers that work closely with their regional coordinator to provide support and coordination among the CCL chapters and volunteers in their state. State Coordinators may help with a variety of activities such as identifying MOC liaisons, developing new chapters, training new Group Leaders, or preparing for national conference lobby day.


Setting up a table at an event or in a heavily traveled spot with the purpose of handing out literature and — most importantly — making personal connections that bring people into CCL.


A public meeting of elected officials or candidates for office, typically open to everyone in a community. During town halls, attendees may express opinions and ask questions.


These core values guide our staff and volunteers along the way:

Focus We are focused on solving climate change. We move Congress to pass big solutions that will ensure a healthy climate. We also work on complementary solutions that help us work together in our communities and foster a more collaborative environment in Congress.

Optimism In the face of challenges, we choose optimism — that people are good, that democracy can work, that we can solve climate change, and that we are greater than our flaws. Optimism turns our concern about climate change into action, and it’s catching on — more and more people join us every day.

Diversity We empower everyone in exercising their personal and political power regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability, or political affiliation. We continue to bring awareness of important issues to all our volunteers and foster a sense of belonging to our organization. To find out more about CCL's diversity and inclusion trainings, programs, and support, click here.

Relationships We take the most generous approach to other people as possible — appreciation, gratitude, and respect. We listen, we work to find common ground, and we endeavor to understand our own biases. We are honest and firm. We know that there is a place for protest, but our approach is to build consensus, which we believe will bring enduring change. That’s why elected officials and their staff, no matter what their politics, say they are happy to see us — and mean it.

Integrity Our approach is thoughtful and thorough. We are prepared — we consult experts, use data, and solicit feedback before forming opinions or making decisions. We follow up when we are asked. We keep on going even when it’s hard. People know that they can count on us to be consistent and to do what we say we will do. 

Being Nonpartisan Our group is open to anyone who is serious about solving climate change. No matter where you live, what you wear, or who you voted for in the last election, you are welcome. We work with elected officials and community leaders from across the political spectrum because we believe that everyone is a potential ally.

Personal Power We use our voices to be heard in our democracy. This simple act transforms us from spectators to engaged citizens. We are volunteer-driven — trusting volunteers to make important decisions. Each of us is essential to solving climate change. 

Chapter Organizing
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