Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions: Your Pipeline to Local Climate Progress
Local officials tell us that they want to act on climate change but they need constituent support. Across the political spectrum we hear good intentions but don’t see enough good work. We want to change that.
Below you’ll find how our advocacy works and roles that volunteers can fill. To read recent advocacy updates and specific calls to action click here. Thank you for partnering with us in this important work!
FACS organizes its advocacy work by district in Fairfax County. Each of the nine districts is led by an Advocacy Team Leader that resides in that district. All advocacy team members are invited to participate in scheduled discussions with the Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Chair of the Fairfax County School Board. Currently, our team structure is:
FACS Board Chair, Eric Goplerud
FACS Executive Director, Meg Mall
FACS Advocacy Chair, David Kepley
Advocacy Team Leaders:
Chairman, At-Large, Sharon Bulova: Jean Wright
Braddock, John Cook: David Kepley
Dranesville, John Foust: Ray Martin
Hunter Mill, Cathy Hudgins: Jean Parcher
Lee, Jeff McKay: open
Mason, Vice Chairman, Penelope Gross: open
Mount Vernon, Dan Storck: Barb Bacon
Providence, Linda Smyth: Cindy Speas
Springfield, Pat Herrity: Dave Lincoln
Sully, Kathy Smith: Ed Sabo
Advocacy Team Members:
- Are invited to participate in monthly advocacy webinars and one in person planning meeting (held in January each year).
- Teams will meet at least twice a year with their supervisor: once in fall to present next year’s budget request and other advocacy priorities, and once in spring to reinforce the budget request and report on county progress in meeting energy reduction and other climate goals.
- Teams will meet at least once a year with their school board member, in the fall to discuss budget priorities for next year and FACS policy priorities for schools (e.g., solar in schools).
- Teams may meet with state senator and assemblyman in summer to discuss state legislation priorities and may support legislative priorities in the Virginia General Assembly.
- Due to the decentralized model of FACS’ Advocacy Teams, team members are encouraged to participate in district level opportunities (e.g. Mt Vernon’s Environmental Advisory Team), events hosted by their supervisor/school board member, subscribe to district newsletters, track any issues of concern in their district (e.g. land use decisions), etc. and are encouraged to share learnings and opportunities with the full advocacy team.
- Additional opportunities for engagement, such as testifying at the Environmental Quality Advisory Council’s (EQAC) Public Hearing on the Annual Report on the Environment (held in January each year), testifying at budget hearings, sitting in on EQAC and Environment Committee meetings, submitting letters to the editor, public comment, letter campaigns, etc. will be shared throughout the year.
- Participate in FACS-organized meetings as a representative of FACS, respectful of the agreed upon advocacy priorities and talking points developed twice annually.
- FACS leadership will assist team leads in recruiting team members, will convene the monthly advocacy webinars, manage FACS’ advocacy google group and calendar, set fall and spring advocacy talking points, and will provide additional materials, training and support periodically.
Advocacy Team Roles
Depending on the size of the Advocacy Team, an individual may fill multiple roles. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the discussion, but give deference to the constituents wherever possible.
- Leader – the Advocacy team member who empowers everyone to share and participate, especially the constituents, so that we build our capacity for this work. The lead may also facilitate the transitions in the agenda. The leader assigns roles before a meeting.
- Appreciator – the Advocacy team member who shows appreciation for something the member of Congress has recently accomplished. If possible, this should be a constituent.
- Timekeeper – the Advocacy team member who asks how much time do they have for the meeting and signals when there are just a few minutes remaining.
- Notetaker – the Advocacy team member who takes notes. If possible, the note taker should be an experienced volunteer. This person should be able to follow the thread of the conversation, specifically capturing what’s said by the elected official or staffer. SAME DAY, types those notes into the meeting feedback form.
- Discussion – all Advocacy team members are encouraged to participate in the discussion, especially the constituents.
- Asker – the Advocacy team member who presents FACS’s purpose and ask. If possible, this should be a constituent who has a strong grasp of our policy and its wider implications and ripple effects. The asker leaves the 1-page primary ask behind.
- Deliverer – the team member who is responsible for bringing constituent letters, postcards, or endorsements letters from community leaders to the meeting.
- Photographer—the team member designated to take a photo (with permission) and share online after.
- Follow-up – this Advocacy team member sends follow-up meeting materials and a thank you card.
Fairfax to Zero Progress:
The following is a list of Fairfax to Zero initiatives that have been approved in the 2020 budget of the Board of Supervisors. FACS has been working hard to advocate for these initiatives and are proud and excited to see this follow through:
- An increase in the budget for the Environmental Improvement Program
- Funding for LED Streetlight Conversion
- Funding for EV charging station infrastructure
- Fairfax county’s CFO Joe Mondoro, presented his recommendation for an Office of Energy and Environment, with additional staffing, bringing the total number of staff to seven (up from 3!)
- In addition to these wins, the Board also approved the Fairfax Green Initiatives Board Matter, which lays out a comprehensive series of actions and follow up the county should take related to climate change – and refers to FACS among several of our partner local environmental partner organizations.
THANK YOU to our dedicated advocates and community members who contacted their school board member and asked them to identify specific solar projects in an effort to take advantage of the Request For Proposals for a solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). There will be an amendment to the Capital Improvement Plan, which will include Chantilly High School, Thomas Jefferson High School and Mason Crest Elementary as three specific sites for solar projects in 2019!
Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions is a 501(c)(3) organization, and does not engage in partisan activities. We do not work for or against specific candidates or parties. All are welcome at the table.