CCL meeting
Citizens’ Climate Lobby workshop held earlier this year. (Photo credit: Bart Everson / Flickr )

Many people who are concerned about global warming want their elected officials to enact policies to reduce carbon pollution, but they may not know how to influence lawmakers.

So the nonprofit Citizens’ Climate Lobby – or CCL – teaches people how to lobby their legislators.

Danny Richter, CCL’s Vice President of Government Affairs, knows that meeting with elected officials can be intimidating.

Richter: “I remember the first time that I went lobbying, I was very intimidated. And what I found was that despite what TV shows and movies may lead us to believe, members of Congress and their staff are regular people. They’re real people and they’re approachable.”

To help volunteers feel prepared and confident, CCL provides trainings that include mock lobbying sessions.

Richter: “So our trainers will go and they will pretend to be a member of Congress or an aide, and that really goes a surprisingly long way to demystifying the process.”

Richter says that when CCL volunteers finally lobby for real, it can be a transformative experience.

'They're so excited because for the first time in their life, their democracy is real to them.' Click To Tweet

Richter: “They’re so excited because for the first time in their life, their democracy is real to them. They have for the first time exercised their citizenship to its fullest extent.”

Reporting credit: Daisy Simmons/ChavoBart Digital Media.