CCL Organization Supports All of Us!

CCL Organization Supports All of Us!

By Sue Ballenski, Ft. Collins chapter

As a volunteer, you may be aware of the numerous layers of the CCL organization: national, regional, state and chapter. Normally, you would expect a structure like this to act as a bureaucracy, each with its own layer of rules. For CCL though, each layer of organization is actually an opportunity to support, encourage, and facilitate the work of volunteers. When I spoke with CCL leaders at various levels for this article, they confirmed that their focus and purpose was to “coordinate activities” with the underlying goal of helping people succeed. So with Colorado in mind, how are these layers supporting you?

Colorado is part of CCL’s Mountain West Region that includes Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. Our regional coordinator, Bill Barron, is located in Salt Lake City, where he started Utah’s first chapter. Bill spoke about his responsibilities of distributing information between the national level and the states, answering questions, and encouraging collaboration. He also provides guidance on whether activities are adhering to CCL values and how to deal with difficult situations. In considering CCL’s approach of encouragement and suggestion, Bill believes that by supporting people in finding a way to pursue advocacy that resonates with them, people will find a way to move the needle on climate change. You will most likely encounter Bill at the annual regional conference or in working with other state coordinators and group leaders.

Jim Hooton and David Kline are Colorado CCL state coordinators. When asked of his duties, David Kline spoke of the importance of knowing what actually needs coordination at the state level and what belongs at a chapter level, with the liaisons, or cross chapter teams. David and Jim both take seriously their roles of supporting chapter leads, and often field questions not only about CCL work, but “who is doing what where” in the state. David quoted Madeleine Para, CCL’s Vice President of Programs, saying “leadership is a commitment to helping things go well.”

As a volunteer and chapter member, you are probably most familiar with the role of chapter leader. In Colorado, we have a variety of leadership styles at this level: single individual, co-leaders, or a leadership team. All depends on what best serves the chapter. These leaders arrange and facilitate chapter meetings and activities, as well as communicate and collaborate regularly with leadership at the other levels. Chapter leaders are a great place to start when you have questions about the CCL organization or advice on ways to advocate for carbon fee and dividend.

Other roles within the state organization that you may encounter include the liaisons, cross-chapter team leaders, and delegates.

Liaisons – a liaison is a consistent CCL contact with the office of each Member of Congress (MoC). Colorado has designated state or district level liaisons for each MoC who put together messaging and coordinate lobbying. Your chapter ideally also has complementary liaisons who work with the statewide liaisons to ensure that we are “lobbying in a relentless, unstoppable, yet friendly and respectful way.” If you have questions about lobbying, your chapter liaison is a great place to start. Or if you don’t have a liaison, you can become one! See the description here.

You can find CCL’s Colorado Liaisons here.

Cross-Chapter Teams – these are typically state-wide or multi-chapter efforts in specific areas of interest. Examples are the Metro Denver CCL Presenters Group and the Colorado Conservative Caucus. Information on these groups is available here and links are always provided in the Colorado CCL newsletter. You are always welcome to become involved in these efforts or to ask questions by contacting the team lead (info is here).

Delegates - these are CCL volunteers who are reaching out to specific businesses or community leaders to seek endorsements of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. You can find out who is a delegate for a specific organization or community leader by checking the Grasstops Engagement Tracker. If you wish to reach out to an organization or leader and there is someone already listed as the delegate, please collaborate with this person going forward. If no one is listed, you can become the delegate.

CCL’s founder, Marshall Saunders, had a vision of “thousands of ordinary people organized, lobbying their members of Congress with one voice, one message, and lobbying in a relentless, unstoppable, yet friendly and respectful way.” Fulfilling that vision depends on you, and CCL’s organization takes seriously how to support you and help you grow as a climate advocate.