Day 18: Call a local elected representative
Today's action: Calling your local representative about breaking up with fossil fuels
(If you're reading this action on a weekend, you can make a note to do this on Monday.)
We’re picking up the phones again! Take a few minutes to call your local city representative and ask them to push for your city to endorse the “Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.” The treaty focuses on ending fossil fuels and supporting a just transition; if you want to know more before you call, watch this <2 min video or read this short op-ed about why we need one. (If you need more info, check out the "looking for more" section below. If you'd prefer to call about a different topic, see our tips below.)
You can use this sample script:
→ Sample script: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm one of your constituents [LIVING IN NEIGHBORHOOD OR ZIP]. I'm calling today because I'm very concerned about the climate crisis, and I want to urge [REP NAME] to push our city to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. The treaty focuses on ending the expansion of fossil fuels, winding down existing production of fossil fuels, and supporting a just transition away from fossil fuels. Cities around the world, including Los Angeles, have already endorsed it.
If your office hasn’t heard of it, I can send more information. Would that be useful? [WAIT FOR ANSWER!]
The biggest city in the US to endorse is LA. If you want to double-check whether your city has already endorsed before you call, check here.
If your representative has never heard of the Treaty and wants more information, send them this document.
Don't have your local city/town rep’s contact info? See the Day 4 post for guidance on finding it.
Do you prefer writing? Turn the script above into an email to your rep (and attach this document).
Would you rather talk about something other than the Treaty? Then use today to call your local rep about a different climate-related request. What would you like to see in your town or city? Some ideas: municipal composting, a ban on plastic bags or styrofoam, safer bike infrastructure, more trees in low-income neighborhoods, better insulation in public housing, or a ban on natural gas hookups in new buildings.
Why this action? We’ve already pushed for climate action at the national level (yay!), but we also need to push for climate action at the local level. Asking your local rep to endorse the Treaty serves a dual purpose: making sure your local rep knows that their constituents are concerned about climate change, and helping to build support for the Treaty itself.
Why build support for the Treaty? Governments are still too beholden to the fossil fuel industry to make serious commitments to curtail oil, gas, and coal production. Even as scientists' warnings have gotten more dire and urgent, our government leaders continue to green light new fossil fuel projects. A non-proliferation treaty helps focus attention and commitments on what should be our highest priority: moving away from fossil fuels as fast as we can.
And you’ll be in good company! The treaty has been endorsed by 101 Nobel Laureates, 30 cities and sub-national governments, and thousands of individuals (including prominent leaders like former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and more than 2,000 scientists, academics, and researchers).
Looking for more? Read on for more info and related actions, including a petition you can sign and guidance on lobbying local officials.
Learn and reflect:
Want to learn more about the proposed Treaty? Watch the Ted Talk about it.
Read the letter signed by the Dalai Lama and 100 other Nobel Laureates about the need to stop the expansion of oil, gas, and coal projects.
Cities don't sign treaties. So what's the point of getting cities to endorse the Treaty? Among other reasons, it builds pressure on our national governments. A serious movement to push for this Treaty helps focus government attention and commitments on halting fossil fuel production as rapidly as possible. For this reason, we at 31DoCA like this idea.
Endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Free Treaty as an individual (add your name here).
Push an organization that you’re affiliated with to endorse it as an organization (see here for a list of organizations that have endorsed it to date).
Check out this crowdsourced list of 17+ ways you can take action to support the treaty.
If you want to work on a more sustained campaign to push your city to endorse the Treaty, connect with other individuals or groups in your town and check out these resources.
If you're thinking about lobbying your local elected officials about this Treaty or other issues, here's some general guidance on how to do it effectively.