Last week, I learned about Sierra Club’s Summer of Collective Action. The environmental organization has put out the call for small groups of us to urge our elected representatives to take bold action on climate change and to create jobs, address racial injustice and preserve democracy.
This is just the kind of initiative that I had been looking for. Last week, after the IPCC released its dire climate assessment, I heard from many anxious, grief-stricken and despairing readers. For me, taking action helps with ecoanxiety, as does socializing with like-minded people. So I signed up immediately to host a Sierra Club action party. (Go here to organize your own event.)
After registering, I received a toolkit with tips, tutorials and suggested activities such as writing letters to the editor, painting banners, creating signs, drawing messages with sidewalk chalk, or getting a group together to contact our elected officials. I’ve opted for a Zoom event during which we’ll make calls and post on our reps’ social media.
Now I just need the people.REGISTER
What we’ll do
1. Call the offices of our Members of Congress
Calling makes me nervous. It might make you nervous as well. But if we do it together, I think we will all feel a little less nervous.
After introductions at the action party, I’ll put the very simple instructions in the chat for calling your two senators and one representative. I’ll make the first call so you can see how fairly painless it is (and that I am nervous like some of you might be). Then we’ll all mute on Zoom while we complete our calls.
To call your first rep, you’ll simply text a number Sierra Club has provided and then follow the ensuing instructions to connect to your representative’s office. Once you have reached your rep, you can read from the short script I will have sent at the beginning of the event. Or overhaul the script to make it more personal. You’ll repeat this process for two more calls.
2. Post on the social media of our Members of Congress
After making our calls, we’ll unmute and move on to the next step: posting on the Twitter, Facebook or Instagram feeds of our Members of Congress. You can find your senators’ contact information here, including their social media. Find your elected representative’s contact information here. (I’ll provide these links again during the event.) We’ll use a hashtag so we can search for and amplify each other’s posts by retweeting and sharing, liking and commenting.
If you don’t have any social media accounts, first of all, bravo. Secondly, if you want to participate in this portion of the Zoom, you may want to start by registering for a Twitter account since US politicians spend more time on Twitter than other social media platforms.
When we’ll do it: Tuesday, August 31st, 12pm PDT
We’ll call during the August Congressional Recess, when members have returned home, where they will hear from us, their constituents. Sierra Club asks us to take our actions sometime between August 28th and September 3rd. By joining other people taking action that week, we’ll attract more attention from Congress and the media.
So that’s it. Pretty simple—a few phone calls and some tweets or posts, all with moral support from a group of similarly concerned citizens. And bring a drink or snack! If you’d like to participate, please register here.REGISTER
I look forward to meeting you at the end of the month!