By Perry Hodgkins Jones, CCL/CCE Development
The team of staffers in Washington, D.C. acts as an engine for other departments within Citizens’ Climate Lobby and is the greatest source of up-to-date information and insights for our “peaceful army” of grassroots lobbyists across the country.
The D.C. office houses several groups of staff, all headed by Dr. Danny Richter, Vice President of Government Affairs. This office covers Government Relations, National Partnerships and Coalitions, Business Relations, Research, and State Level Carbon Pricing. The full time staffers and their CCL interns have a singular focus: to equip our volunteers to strategically lobby for durable climate policy with their Members of Congress (MOCs).
These are the folks who act as first responders when politics happens. They are the core of our legislative outreach and government affairs coordination, building strong partnerships and remaining committed to a bipartisan climate policy. It’s a great challenge to not only stay current with the changing landscape in the Capitol, but to also provide relevant strategy for how to best approach your MOCs, regardless of party or ideology, and given the climate in Washington.
The Government Relations team has to be flexible and speaks to MOCs and their staff on a daily basis about a range of policies. Ben Pendergrass, Jamari Hartley, and Morgan McCue are the staffers on this team. They are in constant communication with the Hill on policies, foremost of which is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, and they work to ensure CCL’s strategy is as timely and effective as possible.
A huge piece of our work, and one of CCL’s main values, is bipartisanship, and building support across the political spectrum. Taylor Krause is our National Partnerships & Coalitions Coordinator. She focuses on outreach to national nonprofit organizations, placing a priority on building alliances with green organizations. Kyle Kammien is our Senior Business Relations Representative and focuses on building business support for carbon pricing.
CCL focuses on one very specific policy, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA), but we are committed to knowing how it affects people and interests. The Research team is constantly looking into these impacts and helps us determine how we know the EICDA is the best policy and best first step toward lasting carbon pricing policy. Jerry Hinkle, Sara Wanous, and Rick Knight are the researchers who provide this crucial information. Some examples of past and current research projects include: the Dividend Delivery Study;compiling and distilling peer-reviewed literature; the Household Impact Study, and determining the economic and health impacts.
Alexis Hermosillo is our State-level Carbon Pricing Coordinator. She helps CCL volunteers effectively engage in supporting state-level efforts to enact climate policies, and helps build awareness and support for carbon pricing as a solution to climate change.
The D.C. team’s priority is always to give relevant and persuasive insight and information to our teams of volunteers. Internally, they also offer feedback on marketing and inform the Development Team, among other essential duties. We need the information they generate to push forward and remain the nation’s most effective and largest group of grassroots climate activists. The D.C. team does the reconnaissance and you, the volunteers, do the advocacy. This team allows you to have the greatest possible impact, making sure we’re using our almost 200,000 supporters effectively by building strong relationships with MOCs and their staff and approaching carbon pricing policy as strategically as possible.