Citizens Climate Lobby: July 2012 DC Conference

CCL International Conference & Lobby Day(s)

REGISTER NOW for the Citizens Climate Lobby Conference
in Washington, DC, July 22-24, 2012

The Citizens Climate Lobby conference in Washington, DC, has become an annual experience of coalition-building, volunteer citizen lobbying, and of an extended family bonded by the shared passion for taking constructive action to save the planet. In June 2010, just 25 volunteers met with 52 offices on Capitol Hill, to offer fee and dividend as a people-centered alternative to cap and trade. In June 2011, roughly 80 volunteers met with 144 offices on Capitol Hill, to spread the word about CCL, fee and dividend and the growing nationwide grassroots movement for a speedy transition to a 100% clean, green economy.

This year, we plan to have as many as 300 meetings on Capitol Hill, while bringing more volunteers than ever from across North America. There will be lobby training workshops, breakout sessions about climate science, political communications, and green economics, as well as breaks for “zen lobbying” and just getting to know some of the inspired and inspirational volunteers from the CCL family. Below, please find the conference agenda and speakers’ bios…

- – - Conference Agenda – - -


9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Group leader meeting (for leaders of existing groups only)


2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Group start workshop: This session is for CCL members who have not attended a group start workshop or for new people who are starting CCL chapters in their communities. It covers the basics of CCL, how we got started, the CCL approach and methodology, and advocacy tools that we use.


6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.: Conference begins: After welcoming remarks, this session will be devoted to learning and practicing the speaking points we will use in our meetings on Capitol Hill.


9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.: Opening remarks

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.: Keynote address — Anthony Leiserowitz: Climate Change in the American Mind. This presentation will describe and explain recent trends in public opinion on climate change and support for climate and energy policies. It will also include a discussion of Global Warming’s Six Americas – six different audiences within the public that respond to the issue in unique ways and required tailored communication strategies. LOCATION: Commonwealth Room

11 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.: Joint plenary with Jeffrey Sachs, director of Earth Institute at Columbia University. In this big-picture session, CCL will join with RESULTS, whose purpose is to end poverty, for a session with world renown global economist Jeffrey Sachs, who looks at the challenges ahead for maintaining a sustainable world that can meet the basic needs of all people. LOCATION: Crystal Ballroom

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.: LUNCH ON YOUR OWN

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.: Breakouts

  • Listening Skills for Activists – Madeleine Para, co-counseling instructor: A good listener gains people’s trust, learns what people need to hear in order to change, and brings people closer together–just what we need to do with both our members of Congress and our fellow activists. Brush up your listening skills and practice them in this workshop. LOCATION: Jackson Room
  • Cutting Fossil Fuel Subsidies – Ben Schrieber, Friends of the Earth: They’re the most profitable corporations, and yet they enjoy subsidies and tax breaks that cost billions. “Green Scissors” author Ben Schrieber tells us how the fossil fuel industry is taking U.S. taxpayers for a ride and what should be done about it. LOCATION: Commonwealth Room
  • Border Adjustments: Making Carbon Pricing Work for U.S. Business – Chris Byrd, environmental attorney: Won’t a carbon fee put U.S. manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage with nations that lack a carbon-pricing mechanism? Not if we impose border adjustments. Chris Byrd explains how this works and why it would comply with World Trade Organization rules. LOCATION: Wilson/Harrison Room

2:45 – 3:30 p.m.: Breakouts

  • Can We Power the World Without Fossil Fuels? – Danny Richter, Scripps Institution of Oceanography: The discussion about clean energy often gets bogged down with doubts about our ability to meet energy needs without coal, oil or gas. Can it be done? According to an extensive study out of Stanford University, the answer is yes, and Danny Richter explains how it can be done. LOCATION: Commonwealth Room
  • Get Published and Influence (Important) People – Steve Valk, CCL Communications Director: Letters to the editor carry a big impact with members of Congress and their staff. The phrase “publish or perish” takes on a whole new meaning when we’re talking about climate change. Learn what you need to know to get published in your local newspaper, and see how fast your phone calls get returned. LOCATION: Jackson Room
  • Get Out of Your Comfort Zone to be Where the Magic Happens – Sam Daley-Harris, Center for Citizen Empowerment and Transformation: Creating the political will to stop climate change will require breakthroughs with our elected officials, the media and the public. These breakthroughs will not happen if we stay inside our comfort zones. Sam Daley-Harris helps us push through the fear of working outside our comfort zones to the place where the magic happens. LOCATION: Wilson/Harrison Room

3:45 – 4:30 p.m.: ”Zen Lobbying

4:45 – 5:30 p.m.: Breakouts

  • Great Meetings With Congressional Offices – Elizabeth Herman, aide to Rep. Pete Stark: What should you do to have a great meeting with a congressional office? How do you avoid having a bad meeting? Hill staff share their tips and answer your questions. LOCATION: Jackson Room
  • Romancing the Newspaper – Elli Sparks, CCL organizer, and Steve Valk: Want your newspaper to talk more about climate change and how we’re going to fix it? Step one is to meet with the editorial board at your local paper and develop a relationship with the folks who set the opinion agenda. Good things ensue as a result. Media seductress Elli Sparks and Steve Valk demystify the process. LOCATION: Commonwealth Room

  • What’s Good for Environment is Good for the Economy – Joseph Robertson, author of “Building the Green Economy”:There’s a myth that we have to choose between ecology and economy, that taking steps to protect the environment and stop climate change will extract and economic toll. Joe Robertson explodes that myth and explains how policies to address climate change will produce jobs and grow our economy. LOCATION: Wilson/Harrison Room


7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.: CCL Variety Show


8:15 a.m.: Lobby Day kick-off on Capitol Hill

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Congressional and World Bank lobbying. Note: Between meetings, CCL staff and volunteers will get together in the rear of the Rayburn cafeteria to share stories and encouragement with each other.

5 p.m.: Reception in B-369 Rayburn House Office Building


Additional lobbying


- – - Speakers’ Bios – - -

Anthony Leiserowitz

Anthony Leiserowitz, PhD, is director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and a research scientist at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He is also a principal investigator at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University. He is a widely recognized expert on American and international public opinion on global warming, including public perception of climate change risks, support and opposition for climate policies, and willingness to make individual behavioral change. His research investigates the psychological, cultural, political, and geographic factors that drive public environmental perception and behavior. He has served as a consultant to the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), the United Nations Development Program, the Gallup World Poll, the Global Roundtable on Climate Change at the Earth Institute (Columbia University), and the World Economic Forum.

Dr. Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 80 countries. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best known economist.” He serves as Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, as well as Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Health Policy and Management. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project. He has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011).

Danny Richter

Danny Richter is a Ph.D Candidate studying marine biogeochemistry at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. His research is focused on iron, zinc, cadmium, copper, aluminum, and phosphorus incorporation into marine diatoms, a class of phytoplankton responsible for producing 20% of the oxygen in the atmosphere. His studies have taken him to all 7 continents. He is the group leader for the La Jolla chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby. Danny received his B.S. in Environmental Geoscience from the University of Notre Dame, and his M.S. in Earth Science from UC San Diego.

Madeleine Para

Madeleine Para has been teaching listening and co-counseling skills to people from all backgrounds for over 30 years as a teacher of Re-evaluation Counseling. Her network of co-counselors keeps her going when the job of saving the planet feels too tough. She is also the group leader for the Madison, Wisconsin CCL chapter.

Chris Byrd

Christopher Byrd is a Senior Assistant General Counsel for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Public Lands Section, where his practice focuses on civil litigation, including a wide variety of sovereign submerged and public lands cases with a focus on coral reef and seagrass resources.  Prior to his current position in the Public Lands Section, Chris practiced in the Department’s civil regulatory enforcement section, focusing on wetlands, mangroves, water facilities, and beaches and coastal cases. Chris received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Central Florida in 2004 and a J.D. from Nova Southeastern University in 2008.

Joseph Robertson

Joseph Robertson is a visiting instructor in Spanish language and humanities at Villanova University, where he is also the creator and coordinator of the GreenNOVAtion online community for environmentally sustainable projects, organizer of the roundtable discussion series, and chair of the Technology Committee of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Through his volunteer work with Citizens Climate Lobby, he advocates for sustainable energy and climate policy, through contact with Congressional offices, institutions like the World Bank, at the grassroots level and in the media. In September 2010, he produced the report Building a Green Economy: The Economics of Carbon-pricing and the Transition to Clean, Renewable Fuels for Citizens Climate Lobby.

Steve Valk

Steve Valk is communications director and regional manager for Citizens Climate Lobby. He joined the CCL staff in 2009 after a 30-year career with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has worked as a media consultant for RESULTS. Steve blogs for Citizens Climate Lobby on Huffington Post, and his writing on climate change has appeared in newspapers throughout the U.S.

Sam Daley-Harris

Sam Daley-Harris was a substitute music teacher in 1980 when he determined that the biggest obstacle to ending poverty was a lack of political will. Sam then founded RESULTS for the purpose of creating the political will to end hunger and poverty. He is the director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, which seeks to give 175 million of the world’s poorest families access to micro loans. He is the author of “Reclaiming Our Democracy: Healing the Break Between People and Government.”

Ben Schreiber

Benjamin Schreiber is the climate and energy tax analyst at Friends of the Earth. His focus is on the tax code with a goal towards fighting tax incentives to global warming gas intensive technologies and promoting tax incentives for technologies that have greenhouse gas benefits. He also works on stopping subsidies for nuclear reactors, liquid coal and other dirty technologies. Ben came to Friends of the Earth from Environment America where he worked as an energy advocate, fighting subsidies to dirty technologies, increasing fuel economy standards and promoting renewable energy.

Elli Sparks

Elli is the founding leader of the Richmond chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, where she has done groundbreaking work to develop relationships with local media. She also teaches cooking classes in her kitchen where students learn to properly prepare nutrient dense food in the old fashioned healing and sustaining way. Elli is the development director for a non-profit that helps foster kids. She home-schools two children and has an urban farm with raised beds, hens, and ducks.

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