Start Guide: Organizing a Citizen Lobbying Session with your U.S. Rep

This short guide contains the steps you need to take to

  1. Sign up as a CDRLA District Mobilizer
  2. Schedule a citizen lobbying meeting with your U.S. Representative; and
  3. List your meeting on OpenAir’s CDRLA Action webpage for others to see and share.

Mobilizer First Steps

1. FIND OUT WHO YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE IS.

Your first step is to confirm which U.S. Representative represents you and which District you live in, which is determined by your home address. The quickest way to find this out is to enter your zip code in the “Find your Representative” search bar at the House Representative search page.

2. SIGN UP TO BE THE MOBILIZER FOR YOUR DISTRICT, OR JOIN ANOTHER MOBILIZER IF YOUR DISTRICT ALREADY HAS ONE.

It’s really important that mobilization efforts in single districts are coordinated, and that all CDRLA activists are working together as a single group in their engagement with Representatives. For this summer’s mobilization, one Mobilizer should be the point of contact with a Representative’s office to schedule one meeting.

To facilitate maximum cohesion across District actions OpenAir has set up this Google sheet Engagement Tracker.

Using the tracker you can sign up to be the Mobilizer for your District, or see if another Mobilizer is already active. You can do this by scrolling down to your District in Column A (organized in alphabetical and numerical order by State), and then over to Column F (‘District Mobilizer’). If the field is empty that means that another Mobilizer has not yet signed up, and that you can fill the role by entering your full name in the cell, and your email address in Column G.

If another Mobilizer has already signed up for the District, don’t worry! You are still needed, and can still be a co-mobilizer with that person… Just email the Mobilizer and let them know that you are going to join the District group and will help plan and execute the action. Co-mobilizers can coordinate among themselves on who will be the main point of contact for the Representative’s office, and divide tasks according to availability and preference.

3. REACH OUT TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND SCHEDULE A MEETING.

When you go to your Representative’s website, the ‘Contact’ page will list multiple offices in your District, and one in Washington D.C. It is best to call or email the D.C. office in the Capitol for matters concerning legislation

and policy, like this one. But it’s okay to try any of them if you are having difficulty getting through to the Capitol office.

You can call or email, whichever you are more comfortable with. But be aware that confirming a date and time can take a few tries and a little time, so be patient and persistent. When reaching out by phone or by email this is the information you want to include:

  • Provide your name and be very clear that you are a constituent who lives in the Representative’s district.

  • State that you are a citizen climate advocate reaching out to express your support for the Federal Carbon Dioxide Removal Leadership Act (H.R. 7434), and to request a brief virtual (zoom or other platform of preference) meeting with the Representative and/or their staff to explain why, and to seek their support as cosponsor. You should mention that other constituent supporters will be joining the meeting as well, and that you are a volunteer with the OpenAir Collective, a grassroots climate advocacy network.

  • IMPORTANT: Request a time and date that is at least 2 weeks in the future, but not later than 4 weeks out. Having this window of time will allow for enough time to recruit others to join the event, and to plan and prepare for a successful meeting.

  • If you are reaching out by email

    • Use a very clear title: “Constituents requesting meeting to discuss H.R. 7434 co-sponsorship.”
  • include hyperlinks to:

4. POST YOUR DISTRICT MEETING ON THE CDRLA ACTION NETWORK CAMPAIGN PAGE.

Once you have a meeting scheduled with your Representative, it’s time to let others know it’s happening by posting the event on the

CDRLA Action page here.

Posting your meeting is super easy. We already have included

template language that you can plug the Representative’s name/district into. You just need to fill in your name as a mobilizer, and the time and date of the meeting. Just use this format for the info you include, and adjust the variables highlighted red below in your event description and you’re all set…

5. RECRUIT OTHER CONSTITUENTS TO JOIN THE MEETING.

For a zoom meeting it’s possible to have a large number of supportive constituents attend, and a big turn out is great! as long as all attendees understand the flow and goal of the meeting.

Having 10, even 5, constituents join a call is a great result! But the more the merrier.

Meeting recruitment will happen in two main ways.

  • Mobilizer contacts. Every Mobilize has their own circle of contacts who live in their same district - friends, family, associates and fellow climate and carbon removal advocates. Directly reaching out to these contacts is a great way to build a solid attendee list, and it’s the Mobilizer’s call, based on their knowledge and relationships, who to reach out to and invite. Posting the meeting opportunity on local climate focused fora can be effective, but be very thoughtful about where, and try and avoid potentially inviting bill opponents. In our experience, it’s safest and most effective to promote the meeting within your immediate circles where support for carbon dioxide removal and the CDRLA are most certain. We do not recommend sending out the invite on your general social media accounts.

  • OpenAir members. OpenAir maintains a large and active community all over the United States (and world). As new meetings are posted, OpenAir volunteers will direct existing members in those districts to RSVP for the meeting, and will make introductions to mobilizers.

NEXT STEPS……

  • Meet other new Mobilizers and prep, learn together! Once you book your meeting, you will have access to other Open members who will be mobilizing in their districts, experienced citizen lobbyists within the community, as well as other resources that will help you get ready. In order to participate and gain this collective support it is important to join OpenAir’s online Discord, if you have not already. This is the platform (kind of like Slack) where you OpenAir activists communicate and share. To get an access link to our Discord, just fill in this form and we will let you in ASAP.

  • Check in with OpenAir CDRLA Citizen Lobbying lead Karl Danz. Our CDRLA action lead is Karl Danz, an experienced citizen climate lobbyist with over a decade of experience. Karl will share resources and serve as your guide and sounding board as you plan and get ready for your meeting. Karl can be reached by email at karl.w.danz@gmail.com, or directly on Discord at @Karl_Danz.