Developing Your Chapter Action Plan

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This training provides a thorough action guide organized by CCL’s lever of political will that your group can use to plan and coordinate your areas of focus for the year ahead. We trust that each group will do what is appropriate for its local politics and volunteer resources.
TOC and Guide Section
Chapter Organizing

1. Make a plan for engaging new volunteers - recruit, train, engage and share the work.

2. Re-energize your list

  • Throw a party (see grassroots below)
  • Make calls to reconnect with members who have been active in the past and get them back

3. Follow-up right away (within a few days of an event)

  • Have a person or team who calls new people and gets them connected and involved

4. Divide and share the work

  • Ask different people to take charge of each activity you want to have happen
  • When new people join, ask them to be a helper to that person
  • Grow a team around your point people and work towards a team for each lever of political will

5. Diversify Your Group

  • Consider how well your local group matches the demographics of your district and set some outreach goals to grow in areas to help make it more representative:    
  • Connect with CCL outreach coordinators and action teams for assistance
    • Conservatives - Jim Tolbert and the Conservative Caucus Action Team
    • African Americans - Princella Talley and the Climate and Culture Action Team
    • Latinos - Karina Ramirez and the Latino Action Team (formerly Spanish Language)
    • Students - Clara Fang and the Higher Education Action Team

6. Help Start New Chapters

Lobbying Actions
Build and deepen your relationships with your members of Congress


1. Find a Liaison if you don’t have one. This is one of the most important CCL roles. Support new people to grow into this role. Email all liaison changes to

2. Determine what level of support your Rep and/or Senators have for the Energy Innovation Act and determine appropriate action to move them toward greater support.

  • Deepen your relationship
  • What evidence of support is most important to your Member of Congress?
    • Constituent Comments? - work with your grassroots team to collect a lot of them
    • Published Media? - work with your media team to get published or get an editorial.
    • Grasstops support? - work with your grasstops teams to find influential leaders to support the bill.

3. In-district lobbying - Jan-Apr  - Time to educate them about the bill and make your first ask.

4. June Lobby Day - What can you do to help get volunteers to D.C.? 

Media Actions

A steady drumbeat of pieces to local papers and postings on social media. 
1. Write letters to the editor and op-eds about the bill 

  • Buddy up to write letters
  • Volunteers pick a week and sign up to write letters
  • Grow an LTE team

2. Find a media contact and mark them as Media Packet Recipient in your roster so they’ll receive media alerts from CCL National.

3. Meet with your local Editorial Board - Request an editorial or, if they aren’t ready, an op-ed

4. Social Media

  • Have volunteers share and retweet all of CCL’s social media on FB, Twitter, Instagram
  • Larger Chapters - Set up or re-invigorate your chapter’s social media accounts

5. When you get published:

  • Share the letter with your Member of Congress and on social media
  • Let your Group Leader or field reporter know and celebrate with your group
Grassroots Outreach Actions

Educate, recruit and build support
1. Throw a bill party! 

  • Invite your group, all of their friends, and other organizations to celebrate and educate about the bill
  • You can re-engage less active volunteers, recruit  and collect constituent comment forms.

2. Tabling - Make a plan for where you want to table this year.

  • Inform the masses and practice talking about the legislation.
  • Recruit - use a sign-up sheet and have a plan for following up to invite them to your next meeting or event.
  • Collect constituent comment forms for delivery at your next lobby meeting.
  • Connect with other orgs - build relationships to lead to presentations, endorsements, etc.

3. Presentations

  • Start small
    • Pick your five best organizational allies and set up a presentation for them (climate or enviro groups, churches, etc.)
    • If appropriate, ask them to support the bill and/or recruit new members
  • Go bigger
    • List local clubs, groups and organizations that have regular meetings of members.
    • Send a proposal for a CCL presentation about the bill to everyone on the list.
    • Follow up a week later with a phone call.
  • Increase Capacity
    • Encourage new people to learn to present by first attending and supporting your experienced presenters (greeter/schmoozer, help with Q&A, staffing table, etc.)

4. Get ready to mobilize! (mobilizing means showing strength through large numbers)

  • CCL’s focus has been on building respectful relationships with our members of Congress. Now that we have legislation, we need to also grow our ability to mobilize and show strength in numbers, for example with call-in days. We’ll be working on that this year!
  • Find a volunteer or team to coordinate mobilization
  • Hold regular gatherings to write Congress
  • Build a team to make calls to Congress once a month. Aim for 3-5 calls each working day.
    • These will be your superstars when it comes to call-in days
  • Set goals for constituent comment forms. Make plans for gathering them (tabling, events, etc.)
Grasstops Engagement Actions

Demonstrating support from community leaders

1. Influential members of your community can endorse the bill at

  • Re-engage with any influencers who endorsed carbon fee and dividend
  • Start small
    • Top five influencers who will most impress your MOC or
    • Pick the lowest hanging fruit - who is easy to ask and will say yes?
  • Get more systematic
    • Get a list of existing endorsers from the Grasstops Engagement Tracker
    • Make a plan to reach out and share about the bill and ask them to endorse it.
    • Ask them how they can best impact their MOC (endorsement, sharing a story, joining you in a lobby meeting, asking others to endorse, etc.)
    • Ask them to endorse the bill at
  • Keep going--reach out to potential new endorsers
    • Make a list of who else  is influential, find out who your volunteers are connected to, set priorities and start reaching out.

2. Engage with local elected officials, large local employers, hospitals and Chamber presidents

  • Start small
    • Have volunteers list any elected officials they know and can ask personally to endorse.
  • Go bigger
    • Have a team make a list of the city council members, mayors, and county supervisors, state assembly members, state senators, and other local elected officials.
    • Break up the list and start making appointments.
      • Educate them about the bill
      • If they are supportive, ask them how they can best influence their MOC.
      • Ask them to endorse the bill at
  • Resolutions
Press play to start the video (42m 59s)
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Individual Actions

Chapter Activities

Lobbying Actions

Grasstops Engagement Actions

Grassroots Outreach Actions

Media Outreach Actions

Wrap Up & Contact Information

Todd Elvins

Download PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.

Download the video.
Audio length
Press play to start the audio (42m 59s)
Audio embed code
Audio Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Individual Actions

Chapter Activities

Lobbying Actions

Grasstops Engagement Actions

Grassroots Outreach Actions

Media Outreach Actions

Wrap Up & Contact Information

Todd Elvins
Go Deeper

Download this guide for your 2019 Chapter Action Planning

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Chapter Organizing
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Training Resources

See all resources associated with Energy Innovation Act

See all resources associated with Lobbying Congress

See all resources associated with Using Media

See all resources associated with Grassroots Outreach

See all resources associated with Engaging Influencers

See all resources associated with Chapter Organizing