Meet our 2016 One to Watch Awardee

Ohio Environmental Council, October 24, 2016

The OEC regularly meets and works with budding citizen activists, growing organizations, and changemakers. This year, one of those changemakers really caught our attention, and that’s why we’ve selected the Ohio Chapters of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby as this year’s One to Watch Award recipient.

The 11 Ohio chapters of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) are a true grassroots effort to fight climate change. The chapters in Cincinnati, Columbus, Delaware, Springfield, Toledo and Cleveland have partnered with congressional representatives and senators to persuade the passage of a Carbon Fee and Dividend bill by 2017.

For the last seven years, CCL’s dedicated volunteers have gone to Washington DC for a national lobby day. In June of 2016,  there were 800 CCL members on Capitol Hill, with meetings in 500 congressional offices. What an incredible show of support for climate action! The group from Ohio met with 14 out of 16 Ohio Congressional offices and both senators’ offices. “Each year the respectful conversations have become increasingly engaged, with growing interest in a solution to climate change.”

The progress Ohio’s CCL chapters have made hasn’t been easy. As Doug Bell, leader of the Cincinnati chapter, remembers, “Four years ago, we would explain the science of Global Warming and were disappointed when [lawmakers] continued to resist any attempts to address the problem. We learned to ask questions, to search out their concerns, and to discover what was important to them.”

After discovering the concern was government control and the economy, not the validity of the science, CCL’s Ohio volunteers were able to change the conversation, work on both sides of the aisle, and make progress. The Ohio CCL chapters will continue to be crucial to garnering the support among community leaders, faith centers, service organizations, and constituents that is needed for our congressional representatives to take bold action to protect the environment.

We are pleased to thank the Ohio chapters of the CCL for their hard work by presenting them with this year’s One to Watch Award. Join the OEC in recognizing the CCL by registering for the 2016 Green Gala today!