"I CHANGE by empowering others to have breakthroughs in their personal and political power as citizen climate lobbyists.”
– Susan Secord, Colorado co-coordinator for Citizens' Climate Lobby
After viewing Al Gore’s film "An Inconvenient Truth" way back in 2007, I knew that climate change was the urgent issue of our times. But aside from changing my light bulbs, riding my bike, and recycling more, I was unclear how I could make a true difference in stopping the warming of our precious planet. When I retired from public school teaching, I decided to dedicate myself to working on solving our climate crisis.
Initially, I worked with groups engaged in slowing the expansion of our fossil fuel industry, usually through protest. These groups are very important, but I yearned to do more than “stopping the bad stuff.” I wanted to work on behalf of a solution that would speed our transition to a renewable energy economy. In early 2013 when I was at a large climate demonstration in Washington D.C., I met a volunteer from Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) who literally handed me a pile of flyers as she looked me in the eyes, and said, “You must do this.” A bit dubious, I did take the time to listen to a CCL Introductory Conference call and when I hung up I knew that this was indeed what I must do.
Since then, I’ve become one of thousands of citizen lobbyists in the U.S. whose purpose is to build the political will for a stable climate. CCL is nonpartisan, and our whole focus is to build respectful relationships with our Members of Congress, to educate them about climate change, and to urge them to pass revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend legislation. According to an independent study by Regional Economic Models Inc., this legislation will reduce our U.S CO2 emissions by 50% within twenty years while also adding jobs, increasing our GDP, and reducing premature deaths due to fossil fuel pollution. It is a solution that truly matches the magnitude of the climate crisis.
In April 2013 I became a founding member and leader of our Boulder, CO CCL Chapter. As our own chapter grew, I worked with my co-leader to establish chapters across Colorado. We now have ten chapters, with constituents in every Colorado district, and over 1500 CCL members. CCL National has over 50,000 members and constituents in every district in the country.
As Colorado state co-coordinator for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, I am dedicated to helping fulfill CCL’s second purpose: empowering individuals to have breakthroughs in their personal and political power. It is through empowering others to take action that we will succeed in building the political will for a stable climate. Our children and their children are depending on us.