My experience as a first-time lobbyist

By Emerson Sturgis, Boulder chapter

I am a middle school student who first heard about CCL from Herm Sievering, a member of the CCL Boulder chapter. I was immediately interested when he told me about it. He told me how this is an opportunity to get involved in the fight against the climate crisis. I was already highly concerned about climate change. When I got home, I signed up immediately.

I chose lobbying because I am interested in anything that will help solve the climate crisis. I had 2 lobby meetings in December 2022. My first meeting was with Abbie Callahan, Rep. Joe Neguse’s energy and environment aide. My second meeting was with Susanne Brooks, Senator Bennet’s Energy & Environment Aide. In both meetings I was part of a lobby team made up of other CCL members.

I prepared for lobbying by meeting with my lobby teams a couple weeks before the meetings. We discussed the meeting plan and finalized what we were going to talk about. We chose roles for our meetings. I was the appreciator in both meetings. I told the congressional staffer about something the member of Congress did that I wanted to thank them for.

I was lobbying on Zoom. Lobbying on Zoom made it easier for me to attend because I did not have to be in any particular location for the meetings. I could do them from wherever was most convenient for me.

I learned about how easy it is to meet with a congressional staffer. This was surprising to me at first. I learned about how to effectively lobby. I learned about Congress. I learned about CCL. I learned that this is a great opportunity to help fight against climate change.

It played to my strengths that I was talking to a congressional staffer. I am a good public speaker. It was not difficult at all. It was easy.

I would highly recommend lobbying to new CCL volunteers. It is a great opportunity to make a big difference in the fight against climate change. I feel like it is something that most anyone can do.