By David Kline, Colorado State Co-coordinator
In the seemingly endless rounds of CCL calls to action on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), we were often reminded that the effort was “a marathon, not a sprint.” For both citizen marathon runners and citizen lobbyists, the key goal is to get over the finish line; and we did just that, helping to pass the largest investment in climate change policy in history, anywhere in the world. Let’s look at actions by Colorado CCL volunteers in 2022 that helped achieve that important milestone.
On an average weekday in 2022, one or two CCL volunteers contacted every member of the Colorado Congressional delegation. Those contacts were crucial in keeping our representatives focused on climate, with some of them playing important roles at key points in the IRA negotiations.
In an average week, more than two CCL volunteers published opinion pieces in local or national media and held two community outreach events. Every two weeks on average, CCL members met with influential community members to enlist their support for climate action. We lobbied all our Members of Congress, or their staffs, several times in 2022.
The chart seems to show that CO CCL volunteers breathed a sigh of relief and took some time to recharge after the IRA passed in August. But that’s not the whole story. As the election approached, many of us took our CCL hats off and worked to elect pro-environment candidates.
And in the fall, CCL Colorado also supported nonpartisan voter mobilization efforts. Forty-seven Colorado volunteers participated in 8 phone-banking events co-hosted by CO CCL and the Environmental Voter Project (EVP). EVP uses proven methods to turn infrequently voting environmentalists into consistent voters, including in midterm elections.
In December, CCL Colorado volunteers jumped back in to urge Congress to include more climate measures in the omnibus spending package. Those efforts helped provisions of the Growing Climate Solutions Act make it into the final bill signed into law by President Biden.
I invite you to look back at 2022 and be proud of what you achieved: CCL Colorado was an important part of the efforts that led to the passage of the most significant climate policy investment in history.
Reread the last sentence in this article. Close your eyes, take two deep breaths, and really let it sink in.