2021 Chapter Action Guide
Use this guide to help your chapter make plans for 2021. The first section provides the strategic context and the second suggests specific action priorities for your chapter. A worksheet version with space for your chapter to brainstorm and take notes on goals and responsibilities is provided below the initial hand-out.
National strategic priorities for 2021
The best time to pass climate policy is always now, with the Congress we have. Our efforts are aided by having a good bill with many sponsors and over 2,000 endorsements, demonstrated bipartisan support, growing business support, a climate-friendly President, a half million new environmental voters, and rising public concern about climate change. In addition, the second largest economy in the world (the EU) is going to put a border carbon adjustment on its existing carbon price on Jan 1, 2023. Legislative success will take hard work and persistence, but that is what we’re here for! This is what we need to pass a bill in the next Congress:
- 10-12 Republican votes in the Senate, to overcome a filibuster
- Democrats willing to work with Republicans in both chambers and to vote for the bill
- The Senate Majority Leader willing to bring it to the floor
Demonstrate the popularity of carbon pricing
Members of Congress need to see more public support for carbon pricing. Our key activities include:
- Increased visible support from business leaders and other community leaders.
- Stepped up outreach to right-of-center Americans who are concerned about climate change. We need their voices working with us in our chapters, and we need them speaking up publicly as allies from outside our organization.
- Increased trust-building with organizations on the left and environmental justice organizations with a goal of establishing mutual respect for our differing strategies so that those who are able will also support the legislation.
- More visible support from constituents, from both inside and outside CCL.
The Senate is the key
The Senate will play a critical role. With the Senate nearly evenly split, legislation will need bipartisan support in order to pass. It is the time to go all out on gaining support in the Senate. We trust that when the Senate moves on a carbon pricing bill, the House will move as well. Working as a statewide CCL team to build support in the Senate is essential.
- Find out about your state strategy from your state coordinator and make plans to help.
- If you are in a red or purple state, promote right-of-center voices calling for climate action/carbon pricing.
- If you are in a blue state, promote left-of-center voices calling for bipartisan action and carbon pricing and help out in red states as your resources allow.
Note: For more background on strategy, listen to the March 4th update held by Dr. Danny Richter, CCL VP of Government Affairs.
Top Actions and Suggestions by Lever of Political Will
1. Chapter Development Lever: Grow your Chapter. How should Group Development activities be safely transitioned?
Onboarding, workshops, chapter action team meetings, recruiting, mentoring, collaborating with other chapters and administering are activities that can be done online or in-person, with in-person being more fun, and online sometimes more efficient or accessible. When and how will you resume meeting in person?
- a. Recontact and reenergize your roster. Welcome CCLers returning from election work.
- b. Stay in contact with each new person who comes to your meeting.
- c. Use Zoom work parties to accomplish your goals until we can meet again in person.
- d. Diversify your membership with more conservatives, youth and people of color.
2. Grasstops Lever: Engage prominent business and community leaders. What Grasstops Engagement activities are best done in person?
Building a relationship with a community leader may be easier in person, but if people in your chapter already have lots of good contacts, you might continue doing your grasstops work online. Add to your chapter plan how you will develop relationships with community leaders, secure their support for the Energy Innovation Act and turn them into champions so that they will speak publicly about their support.
- a. Do the research to decide who will have the most impact on your MOCs.
- b. Develop the relationship, educate them, and determine with them an action to show bill support. When appropriate, include them in lobby meetings.
- c. Pass local resolutions in support of the bill or carbon fee and dividend.
- d. Encourage existing endorsers to champion their support to Congress
3. Media Lever: Uplift voices calling for carbon pricing. Are Media Relations activities most fun when done in a group?
Meeting with a reporter or an editorial board to give them a chapter/CCL update may be done online or in-person, while authoring letters and reviewing each others’ op-eds is fun with a group of your fellow volunteers and some snacks. For your plan, be sure to also think about generating news coverage, TV, radio, social media and preparing for media interviews.
- a. Increase your voice on local opinion pages, work for an editorial endorsement, and increase your capacity to generate local news coverage supporting carbon pricing.
- b. Use your connections with local community influencers, business leaders and organizations to help them place op-eds in support of carbon pricing. Prioritize leaders who will be strategic messengers for your MOCs.
4. Grassroots Lever: Prepare to Mobilize. Which Grassroots Outreach activities are effective online?
See Action #1 in this Action Sheet for presenting and tabling and then decide what other grassroots outreach you will transition to in-person and what you will continue to do online. Consider: collaborating with local environmental organizations, film screenings, house parties, clip boarding, etc.
- a. Enroll lots of people in CCL’s Monthly Calling Campaign and identify 1 or 2 volunteers to be your local administrator(s).
- b. Build constituent support (send emails, phone calls, social media posts, or virtual postcards to your MOCs) to create a steady drumbeat of constituent advocacy.
- c. Increase the number of people signed up to receive text action alerts so you are ready to mobilize on short notice should it be needed.
- d. Build up your personal or chapter’s presence on social media to reach more people.
5. Lobbying Lever: Be strategic. What are your plans for Lobbying Congress in person?
Work with the liaisons to your members of Congress to determine your next steps in building their support or decreasing their opposition. In-person lobbying may become an option in the district as the pandemic eases, but it will depend on your members of Congress. Continue organizing constituents to contact them.
- a. Ensure your MOCs see the support you are building through periodic deliveries and through sharing in their social media.
- b. Continue finding and including trusted messengers in your lobby teams, such as by adding conservatives to your meetings with Republicans, progressive leaders to your meetings with progressives, and so on.
- c. Build a team around each liaison to work strategically and use what you learn from the lobby meetings to plan the next steps.
Major CCL-related events in 2021 (for your reference)
- CCL November Lobby Day - November 14-16, hopefully in person in Washington, D.C.
More action ideas and suggestions, organized by the lever of political will, are listed in the planning guide .docx file above. Remember: You’ll be able to do more as your group grows and you develop new leadership.