1. Update
  2. Environment & Energy

No Time to Waste for Climate Change

The Advocacy Corps’ first month

By Katie Breslin, September 12, 2017

This Advocacy Corps is going to change the dialogue on climate change – I can already see it.

Last month, a group of 20 strangers came together for our Washington Summer Intensive training and left as stronger advocates with a powerful bond with one another. They learned from and challenged each other, and I’m happy to report, are still in regular contact with one another through calls and text messages to this day! When an Advocacy Corps organizer in this class hits an obstacle, they have the support of the group to brainstorm solutions and learning from each other’s experiences. It’s incredible to watch this group work out problems and come up with creative solutions on how to organize and work with congressional offices.

The first week of every month, I will be spending 30 minutes on the phone with each of our 20 organizers – and I’m completely blown away by their progress this month. So far we have 12 letters to the editor published and 13 people in to lobby, which is a record for the first month of the Advocacy Corps. I will also be updating our network in a blog post once a month, so stay tune on the FCNL page to see what our organizers are doing!

These updates highlight just one success from each Advocacy Corps organizer.

Abbie Patterson submitted a letter to the editor during the letter to the editor workshop at the Washington Summer Intensive and was published in The Anniston Star before the end of the Intensive! She wants to bring her peers at Jacksonville State University with her to lobby, so she utilized her student newspaper to encourage them to come with her to lobby.

Angel Nalubega has been focusing this month on making connections with her fellow community members at Yellow Springs in Ohio. She is scheduling lobby trainings and presentations to inform her peers and neighbors on how to lobby Congress on climate change.

Ben Wertz lobbied all three of his Congress offices on the same day! He left his lobby visits feeling very confident that he could make change on climate change working with his congressional offices.

Chau Phan attended her first Meeting at Mountain View Friends Meeting and was encouraged to hear that Friends wanted to help her in her lobbying.

Corena Owens was published not just once but twice in local newspapers. Her letters to the editor appeared in The News & Observer and the Herald Sun.

Daniel Bellerose had a letter to the editor published before the end of the Washington Summer Intensive. His letter, Goodlatte Should Joint Climate Caucus, was published in the Daily News-Record.

Graham Bonnell published his first letter to the editor in the Sun Journal about climate change in Maine.

Isabella Teti lobbied all three of her congressional offices in her first month. She was told by a congressional staffer that personal stories about the impacts of climate change in their community are very impactful in lobby visits.

Itzel Perez Hernandez spent the month reaching out to members of her community to lobby on climate change. She also recruited two people to come to Spring Lobby Weekend!

Jasmine Sturr is working with Whittier First Friends Church to engage her fellow Quakers in lobbying.

Jonathan Crisman attended a Congresswoman Karen Bass town hall with a friend. He not only asked her to join the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, but also asked her to bring a member of Congress from the Republican Party with her.

Jordan Kreikemeier is meeting up with former Advocacy Corps organizer, Adam Fenton, who lobbied on climate change during the first year of the Advocacy Corps. She has already reached out to her contacts in her community and at her school, but she is looking forward to re-engaging people from Adam’s Advocacy Corps year.

Jordan Fox Navarro was published twice last month: once in The Monitor and another in the Valley Morning Star.

Kate Sundberg lobbied her member of Congress from Florida, Representative Vern Buchanan, while she was home for the summer. She encouraged him to join the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.

Morgan Mack met with Friends in the Richmond area to encourage them to lobby with him on climate change. He has been reaching out to other community groups to start planning a lobby visit.

Nyla Williams-Edwards published a letter to the editor in the Marietta Daily Journal about how Hurricane Harvey is connected to climate change.

Sarah Holtsclaw networked with local farmers at local event put on by a congressional staffer. She is hoping to work with the farmers she met to advocate on climate change legislation.

Sarah Machiko Haber is working with Friends Meetings in both New York City and in her home Meeting, Newtown Friends Meeting, to encourage Friends to lobby with her.

Stephanie Rodriguez is working with student groups on her campus to schedule lobby visit trainings for their members.

Thompson S. Dickerson-Cox encouraged two of her friends to attend a town hall with Congressman Tom Cole. Her two friends reported back positive answers to their question about caring about the environment.

Katie Breslin

  • Young Adult Program Manager

As FCNL’s Young Adult Program Manager, Katie organizes, trains, and supports the efforts of young activists and leaders to affect big, long-term change within Congress. She offers hands-on leadership experience for young people across the country who work on their college campus or in their home community to mobilize people to engage with Congress.