Methods & Principles

How does Citizens Climate Lobby Work?

  • CCL uses a mix of group empowerment and support which includes monthly national conference calls with a guest speaker.
  • CCL trains volunteers to speak powerfully to their elected officials, the media and their local communities in order to inspire members of Congress to be leaders and spokespersons for a sustainable climate.
  • CCL volunteers meet with their members of Congress, launch letter-writing campaigns, write letters to the editor and op-ed pieces, and generate editorials to promote a sustainable climate.

Methods of CCL

  1. Organize groups of citizens by United States Congressional Districts, of at least five Partners per group. To become a Partner one must attend a Group Start meeting or three consecutive National Conference Calls and pass a Basics Test.
  2. Listen to a National Conference call monthly to learn about legislation; share triumphs and difficulties; and learn and practice a laser talk.
  3. Build helpful, friendly relationships with elected representatives and with members of the press by providing timely, reliable information.
  4. Organize Education and Action meetings where CCL partners educate friends and family and offer action to be taken.
  5. CCL is nonpartisan

Lobby Teams are comprised of at least five Partners

We operate in teams because people like to do things together and are more effective together.  Teams practice speaking together, visit their members of Congress and write letters to their MOC’s together.  When Partners write Letters to the Editor and submit them as a team, one or more is likely to get published.  The best teams provide support to each other, have fun together, and support each other in going through comfort zones to emerge as community leaders.

Each Lobby Team has a Group Leader (GL)

The GL leads the team and stays in contact with CCL’s Executive Director on a weekly call with other GL’s and stays in contact with his/her own team.

Monthly National Conference Call and Meeting

Each team meets together to be on the National Conference Call, usually the first Saturday of the month from 10:00 – 11:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern.  The calls ensure that Partners have the latest scientific and legislative information and that we are aligned on strategy.  This happens via the Guest Speaker and staff.  Partners are asked to write a letter at the meeting immediately following the National Conference Call and give it to the Group Leader for mailing.  The meeting is for one hour after the National Conference Call.

Monthly Action Sheet

The Monthly Action Sheet is sent to the Group Leaders and posted on our web site a few days before the National Conference Call.  There are two or three actions (e.g. a request for a face to face meeting with a Representative and/or Senator, a letter to the editor, a phone call to an aide) related to a proposed bill in Congress.

Laser Talk

Each month Partners learn a new Laser Talk relating to the monthly actions.  Upon hanging up the phone after Monthly National Calls, Partners pair up and practice the Laser Talk until it can be spoken without reference to notes.  This is the basis for talking to members of Congress, writing Letters to the Editor and talking to friends and neighbors.  If we aren’t articulate, we aren’t dangerous to the condition of ignorance and apathy.

Education, Outreach and Action Meetings

At least twice a year, CCL Groups invite friends, family and the public to a meeting or community event to learn about legislation, to take an action and to consider becoming a CCL Partner.

Weekly Group Leader Call

The weekly calls support the Group Leaders in empowering their teams to take the actions in the Action Sheet and in their growth as community leaders.  The calls keep GL’s connected and inspired.  They report to each other the Actions taken by their teams in the field.

Inviting Team

CCL is always growing.  We seek out Inviting Team Hosts, to form an Inviting Team, which is a group of five to ten people who invite friends and family to a Group Start Workshop in their area.

Group Start Workshop

CCL staff conducts a training workshop on how to lobby one’s member of Congress.  It is held in the city/town of the Inviting Team.  The purpose of the workshop is to start a CCL Lobby Team.

Op/Ed’s, Editorials and Letters to the Editor

CCL influences public and congressional opinion by getting editorials, opeds and letters to the editor published in newspapers served by the community and by being interviewed on the radio, television, and other media.  Lobby Teams are supported by CCL’s Communications Director with timely information and editing help.


We seek funds from foundations, individual donors, planned giving programs and bequests to meet the operational costs of staffing and travel expenses.  Contributions can be made to Citizens Climate Lobby, a 501(c) 4 and/or Citizens Climate Education Corp, a 501(c) 3.


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