Source: Reclaiming Our Democracy: Healing the break between people and Government by Sam Daley-Harris. Philadelphia, PA: Camino Books, 1994 & 2013.
In 1980 Sam Daley-Harris founded RESULTS, a citizen lobby committed to creating the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty. Over the past 35 years, RESULTS accomplished globally:
- Child deaths are down by nearly two-thirds.
- The number of children in primary school has doubled.
- TB deaths have fallen by almost half.
- More than 1 billion people have moved out of extreme poverty.
- Safety net programs cut the U.S. poverty rate nearly in half every year.
- Micro finance programs have reached 114 million families living in extreme poverty.
With Sam’s leadership, RESULTS become known for its creative strategies for empowering grassroots citizen action to regularly engaged their elected members of Congress. RESULTS’ model became the inspiration for Citizens' Climate Lobby, founded in 2007 by a RESULTS volunteer, Marshall Saunders.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s singular focus is to lobby in support of their carbon fee and dividend by building friendly relationships with our federally elected representatives. Their one rule is that “We do so with respect, appreciation and gratitude for their service.”
Respect, admiration and gratitude can be hard these days when Americans’ trust in government seems to be at an all time low. Mark Reynolds, C.C.L.’s executive director, response:
“It’s always easier to take the cynical view of politics. But if you actually say, ‘I’m a citizen. This is a citizen problem,’ it gives you an entirely different world to deal with. We adamantly believe that politicians don’t create political will, they respond to it.”
Has their approach been effective? According to Bob Inglis, a South Carolina Republican who served 12 years in the House of Representatives,
“Citizens’ Climate Lobby is taking very sophisticated ideas and putting them into letters and op-eds and face-to-face meetings with members of Congress. I think they’ve moved the needle on this issue.”
CCL currently has over 316 groups active across the United States and world. It is providing hope for thousands of its active volunteers, including me, that government can solve the climate crisis. It shows that we can overcome its brokenness and help heal our broken trust in government.
Image Source: Brian Ettling