By Perry Hodgkins Jones, Donor Relations Officer with CCL National
Not too long ago, Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Citizens’ Climate Education (collectively “Citizens’ Climate”) consisted of a few fledgling chapters in several states. Today, the organization has hundreds of thousands of supporters in over 480 active chapters around the world.
This exponential growth has both enabled unprecedented levels of democratic engagement and also necessitated establishing new staff roles for the organization to maintain consistent messaging, relevant trainings, and coordinated efforts. From building new partnerships and getting grasstops endorsements to creating more welcoming and inclusive environments, all the behind-the-scenes work is done to support and empower our chapters to do the critical jobs of educating and lobbying our representatives in the name of creating durable climate policy.
But how does it all come together? Who are the full time staff and what do they do that helps keep the organization growing, rolling, and working so well?
There are currently about 70 full-time staffers working around the clock to help support the volunteers advocating for carbon pricing. Most of the staff work virtually, and some work out of our offices in Washington, D.C. and Coronado, CA. Instead of giving the specific roles of each staffer (which would be much too lengthy for this blog article!), here is the basic, broad-brushstroke breakdown of the departments.
Citizens’ Climate has four large departments: Programming, Government Affairs, Marketing, and Administration. There are also Communications, Tech, Finance, Development, and Global Strategy departments. Each works in concerted cooperation with each other to aid the education and lobbying efforts of our many volunteers, under the direction of Mark Reynolds, our Executive Director.
Programming consists of Regional Coordinators; Conservative Outreach; Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; Education; and Events. These are the folks focusing on the chapters and trainings. Madeleine Para is the VP of Programming and guides the staff in building relevant and helpful training opportunities for chapters, staffers, and supporters alike. Among many other tasks, they work with the Government and Communications office to ensure timely sharing of important legislative updates and train supporters on engagement skills like writing letters to the editor.
Based in our D.C. Office, Government Affairs is headed by Danny Richter, who oversees the work of Research; Business Outreach; State-level Carbon Pricing and Policy; Partners & Coalitions; and International Operations. By sustaining strong relationships with Congressional staffers and Members of Congress (MoCs), the Government Affairs team is keenly aware of the status of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act and also to the specific circumstances that could persuade MoCs to endorse it and advocate for it. They also focus on partnerships, state-level carbon pricing work, and grasstops endorsements. Stay tuned for more information on the Washington, D.C. office in next month’s newsletter!
Our Marketing Department, led by Lesley Beatty, and Communications departments, led by Flannery Winchester, are constantly thinking about our messaging and our outward-facing identity. This ranges from radio to digital and includes all video creation. The campaigns you see on social and print media, the work your chapters and states do to inform the public and members of Congress alike on the urgency and effectiveness of the carbon fee and dividend act, and more are all rooted in the work of these teams. Communications works with media engagement to ensure consistent and accurate representation of our work, focus, and goals. From reaching out to engage new volunteers to communicating recent wins and priorities, this is crucial in keeping our supporters in the loop so our work advocating for carbon pricing remains up to date!
And, finally but certainly not least, the Administration team is the grease in the wheels and the trunk in our tree. Based in our Coronada, CA office, these folks keep our organization stable, running smoothly, and allow us to plan and grow sustainably. They are our Human Resources, Membership, and Finance/Accounting teams.
As a non-profit, we rely on the generosity of our supporters, foundations, and other donors to make this crucial work possible. Our Development Team, led by Development Director Lynate Pettengill, focuses on building and growing relationships with donors to ensure our organization stays flexible with the political climate, continues to sustain our chapters’ needs, and keeps providing our supporters with the training they need to share the urgency of this work with their communities and representatives.
This is just a bird’s eye view of the work that happens daily behind the scenes at Citizens’ Climate. If you want to learn more about CCL staff, please see their staff bios.