July Newsletter

Dear State College CCL folks,
     It’s July in State College and that means two things- The Festival of the Arts and a CCL Social!
     In lieu of the July 18th chapter meeting, we are asking for your help to volunteer at the CCL table during the Festival of the Arts. It’s a great way to engage others to be part of the solution and to get involved in climate change efforts. 
     And, on Wednesday, July 19th from 5 pm to 7 pm at the Elk Creek Cafe in Millheim we invite you and your friends to join us for a CCL Social. We’ve planned this social jointly with CCL’s Susquehanna Valley chapter, so come on out to reconnect, meet some new friends and share ideas over a drink and appetizers. If you are interested in carpooling, let Lisa know. 

July 19th 5-7 p.m.
ElK Creek Cafe & Aleworks
100 W. Main Street
Milheim, PA  16854

We will provide light appetizers and a first round of drinks.  Please consider staying for dinner or to play Trivia after the event.
Members and non-members welcome–please bring a friend!

—Lisa Richardson  (lisa@smartpivotenergy.com)

Please note:  no regular monthly meeting this month – instead join us at Arts Fest and Elk Creek Café.

    The Arts Festival brings thousands of people to central Pennsylvania and offers us a wonderful opportunity to spread the word that climate solutions are available and to recruit people to help us.  But that means that YOU need to help at our tent located on the lawn at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church which is on the route of the Arts Fest at the corner of Foster and Fraser in downtown State College.  Tabling is easy, fun, and empowering.  What could be better than talking to people on a beautiful summer day and spreading a message of hope for the future?
     You can sign up for this event on SignUpGenius.  We need people from 11 am to 5 pm on Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15.  We will send you instructions about how to table successfully.  It’s fine if you are new to tabling.  Every shift will have an experienced person to help you.  
     This event is our most successful outreach event every year.  We really need you to sign up and join us.  If you have questions about how you can participate, please contact Diane Mills at tabling@StateCollegeCCL.org or Sandy Hoyte at sandymhoyte@gmail.com.   If all the slots on SignUpGenius are already filled, contact Diane or Sandy and let them know you are planning to come as well.  We need lots of enthusiastic volunteers for this event!

 Pie And Ice Cream Sale
     After you stop by the CCL table, enjoy a piece of homemade pie from the people at St. Andrew’s.  They will be selling assorted pies for $4 per substantial slice and $1 to add a scoop of ice cream. Whole pies will also be available and priced individually. Coffee, lemonade, and air-conditioning are free of charge.  All proceeds support the Community Cafe that offers a free meal on Thursday nights.
Kelly Forest reports on the CCL Conference in DC
     In December 2022 I signed up for my first CCL conference, all on zoom.     Days were filled with updates and informational talks on where CCL was headed in the next few years.  I was very interested in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and all the information they provided.  It was insightful and motivated me to reach out to my neighbors on the IRA and how the IRA helped our family get solar.   I had focused so much of my time and energy on the IRA, that I felt like an ill-prepared student at the in-person conference in DC in June.  Instead of focusing only on a price on carbon, CCL has added healthy forests, building electrification and efficiency, and clean energy permitting reform to their climate lobbying agenda.  And, if you never lobbied in person, like me, you are also learning the ins and outs of lobbying. 
     If I break down the days, these are my takeaways.  Be patient with yourself, there is a lot to take in during the conference.   Do some research before the conference if you can.  CCL provided a few training sessions online on lobbying and some of the key asks, do those trainings before the conference starts.   Take a lot of notes and ask questions if you don’t understand (especially when they start talking in acronyms).  Most of all, it’s a great time to practice telling your climate story and listening to others tell their stories.  You will need your story when you lobby in person on Tuesday.
     For me, in person lobbying was a lot of fun.  I loved meeting the CCL members that would join me in the representative’s offices and working with them to make our meeting time with each representative as productive as possible. At the beginning of each meeting, everyone in the office did a brief introduction which included their climate story. This was then followed by our key asks for the meeting.
     I met with a total of three representatives and each meeting was between 20-30 minutes long. After each meeting, our CCL team would get together to discuss the notes we took so that the secretary of the meeting (I was secretary once and timekeeper once) could report back to CCL.
     I will definitely put this on my calendar for next year and head back to DC to lobby with fellow CCL members. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you want to hear more about my experience in DC.  

—Kelly Forest (kelly68forest@gmail.com)

The CCL lobby team at Congressman Thompson’s office along with the staff members they met with. The CCL volunteers included Cynthia Kirsch (Pittsburgh), Kay Cramer (Susquehanna Valley), Kelly Forest (at the far right), and Andrew Eyerly, CCL’s Conservative Outreach Director, who grew up in central Pennsylvania.

Hundreds of CCL volunteers at the traditional photo taken on the steps of the Capitol
before lobbying begins on Tuesday.

Kelly (on the right) with other CCL volunteers at the conference.

CCL Members in Action 

CCL volunteers spread the word about climate action at two events in June.  Diane Mills, Betty Brendle, and Dick Jones tabled at the Pride Parade and Festival in State College on June 10 and Diane Mills participated in the Best of Clinton County event in Lock Haven on June 17. 
Dick Jones and Betty Brendle at the CCL table at the Pride Festival.

John Swisher’s letter to the editor which appeared in the Centre Daily Times on June 15 made a connection between climate change and the Canadian smoke:  Climate Crisis Created “Smoky Valley”

June’s contribution to our regular monthly Climate Watch OpEd in the Centre Daily Times was written by CCL staff member Steve Valk.  His clever and insightful piece showed how baseball illuminates climate change: Baseball: The common ground on climate change
Kelly Forest wrote an OpEd for The Keystone, an online news service.  Changing Hearts and Minds in Coal Country (published on June 20) described her work with CCL and with the Sierra Club helping people transition to renewable energy.  Kelly also wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in the Centre Daily Times on June 28: Seeking Solutions to ‘Pollution Blanket’ Thank you, Kelly, for your enthusiastic contributions.
The Creation Care Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania organized a virtual event via Facebook live to discuss energy efficiency savings for parishes and new financing opportunities for nonprofits. CCL member Sylvia Neely was one of 3 presenters. She discussed funding available in the Inflation Reduction Act and from local utility companies.   The recording is available here.  

Mobilization Manager Needed for State College CCL Chapter
See below for a full description of this volunteer opportunity.

Pickleball Climate Challenge
Are you a pickleball player?  Here is a way to use your competitive spirit to raise money for worthy causes, including CCL.  Click here to learn more.

ICYMI – In Case You Missed It 
In the first five months of 2023, more electricity was generated by solar and wind than was generated by coal.  This is a promising step toward the new energy economy.  CBS reports on this news here.  
We began using an electric mower with a rechargeable battery several years ago.  Electric mowers work great.  I did not know that electric outdoor grills are also available.  Here is the Canary Media article on them.  I wondered whether they could be easily purchased.  And the answer is “yes.”  When I checked Lowe’s, they had six in stock at the State College store.  So, you can enjoy outdoor grilling without fossil fuels.  Good news for all the lovers of grilled foods!  
Solar for nonprofits
Solar United Neighbors is offering a webinar exploring how nonprofits can go solar.  The Inflation Reduction Act now provides direct payments to nonprofits who previously could not take advantage of tax credits.  The webinar will be on July 26 at 8 pm.  Click here to register.
Climate Art Contest 
The White House Office of Science and Technology sponsored an art contest called Art x Climate that invited artists to explore the themes of the National Climate Assessment by visualizing climate change in the United States.  Thank you to John Swisher for forwarding this story where you can see the work of the five finalists.  Their artwork will be included in the Fifth National Climate Assessment. 

 Mobilization Manager Needed for State College CCL Chapter
               The State College chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby is seeking a volunteer to become the chapter’s Mobilization Manager. The duties of the Mobilization Manager are as follows:
Work directly with the CCL chapter leadership team specifically to:
Set a goal and create a plan for how many people you want to mobilize for each campaign or action.
Keep a spreadsheet and every month enter your goal and, when possible, the actual number of people mobilized.
Ask the person who logs your monthly chapter meeting in the Action Tracker to write your goal in the notes
Lead the mobilization action designated by CCL HQ during each month’s chapter gatherings. It might be a Climate Action Program (CAP) alert, a campaign, an item in the Action Sheet or something else. 
Follow up with chapter members who do not attend chapter meetings to help them take action. There is no need to follow up with folks who are unresponsive, unavailable or uninterested for a month or more. 
There is a good level of support provided to the Mobilization Manager by CCL HQ in terms of resources, a discussion group and peer support. You are not alone. Please contact Sylvia Neely or Lisa Richardson, chapter co-leaders, if you can help us with this important position.
—Dick Jones  (richard@rwjonesagency.com)
 —This month’s newsletter was edited by Sylvia Neely.  Please send us news for our monthly newsletter at PAStateCollege@citizensclimatelobby.org.  We’d love to know what you are doing to advance action on climate and make the transition off of fossil fuels.
June 2023 Newsletter
August Newsletter

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