We need your help to get local officials on board the Appalachian Climate Infrastructure Plan!

With Covid-19 and economy recovery plans being considered at the U.S. federal level, we need to ensure local communities have a place at the table. This moment provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to fund an ambitious Appalachian Climate Infrastructure Program to bring us into the 21st Century and create a model economy that is good for workers, communities, environment, and health.  Union leaders, racial justice advocates, environmental groups, faith-based constituencies and so many more are coming together to show our support for this new deal that works for us. 

Local communities standing up alongside our local elected officials is a powerful way to  ensure our voices are heard at the national level.

Below you’ll find a toolkit on getting your legislators on board, and frequently asked questions with answers to keep your process moving forward. If you have any further questions or thoughts, and if you got your local resolution passed, please contact us through our community member local government outreach form – we want to hear from you!

How to Pass Resolutions of Support Toolkit - A step by step guide

Print This Guide Here
Get your group together – This work is a wonderful opportunity to organize a local group to push for positive change at the local, national and regional level. 

Plan your campaign and draft your resolution  – Work with your local group to determine what kind of resolution you want to pass and organize in your community around that goal. Draft a template for resolutions that can be easily shared and replicated. See this sample resolution where there is language you can use for your resolution!

Here are some steps you might want to include in preparing for a campaign:

  • Bring the idea to your group’s leadership body.  Talk about how it will benefit the community. Talk about how it will build and benefit your local group. Talk about the role of public education in a movement for change. You are after creating unity and clear commitment.
  • Identify local resources for the campaign. What other local organizations might you collaborate with? Why is it important and beneficial to participate in a statewide, regional, or even national campaign for change? How does the work of a regional policy group like ReImagine Appalachia support the grassroots movement? How does the collaboration create new opportunities to have an impact on  state, regional and national decision makers.
  • Identify potential allies – Elected officials, municipality, county and state.
    • Agencies at all levels can provide essential insight. How can we organize them to our side?
  • Identify those who will oppose the campaign? Can you productively reach out to them. If not, what kind of “pressure” would it take to convince them?
  • Craft the messaging to your community. Do you want to reference a single theme, for example, getting a fair share of federal resources? Do you want to reference a recognized, particularly pressing or unifying local concern that could be addressed?
  • Identify your material needs for the campaign, for example, money for printing or a “town hall.” How will you get these resources?
  • Craft a step by step plan covering a specified period of time for the campaign with appropriate benchmarks of tasks, assignments, check ins/monitoring, accountability, progress, and WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED debrief at the end.     

Identify your targets (i.e. city council, mayor, school board, county commission, etc.) – Who’s most likely to be receptive? Who can leverage power in Congress? 

Request a meeting and ask for a vote – Contact your champion and request to introduce the resolution at a public meeting. It will be helpful to provide a draft language of your resolution ahead of time. Get their questions about the resolution, and see if you can find the answers in advance of the meeting. 

Attend the meeting and make your case for why the resolution is important and why it should pass. You can use a presentation to help make your case.  Pack the room with supporters.  

Educate the public while celebrating your success– Share your success with media outlets through op-eds and press releases, social media and blog posts. See the resources in the Reimagine toolkit!

Send your resolutions to members of Congress– This lets your elected officials know that people are asking for them to take action – and that the local communities will have their backs if they go out on a limb for your issue. 

Contact ReImagine Appalachia at info@ReImagineAppalachia.org-  tell us about your victory so we can add your officials to our growing list of supporters!

Follow up– Thank your champions, and continue to build off your new relationships to create even more positive change in the community.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where can I sign up to get more information? 

Sign up on our form here!

Can I print the step-by-step resolution guide?

Sure. It’s linked here. Contact info@ReImagineAppalachia.org if you have issues accessing any documents or have ideas for other documents that would be helpful.  

Do you have sample language for a resolution? 

Yes! You can find sample language to adapt to your community, village, town, city, council, borough, township or municipality here!

Why pass a resolution calling for an Appalachian Climate Infrastructure Plan?

Like so many in our country today, we are excited about the once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in our region through a major infrastructure package. We have developed an Appalachian Climate Infrastructure Plan, that we think would benefit communities across the region, and are hoping to bolster support for this plan by encouraging local governments in the region to show their support. 

In addition to helping build a national movement, passing a resolution is a great way to help build your local organization. For those who are new to engaging with local government, this provides a perfect entry point to build new skills and relationships. 

Because resolutions cost nothing, tend to be less controversial and are non-binding, local governments are more likely to pass them. 

If resolutions are non-binding, why are they important? 

One resolution passed in isolation won’t change the world, but many communities passing them together can make a huge regional impact. We’re going to work together across the region to pass as many resolutions as we can, to make as big of a splash as possible. 

Resolutions are also a powerful advocacy tool with federal legislators. Our Representatives and Senators pay close attention to the towns and counties they represent. Seeing resolutions in favor of a strong infrastructure bill both pressures them to do the right thing for our region and gives them much needed support when they receive pushback from those who are against these investments. 

My local government might not be open to this proposal – what points should I highlight? 

The ReImagine Appalachia Blueprint has a lot of powerful language – this document had feedback from dozens of stakeholders across the region. Our jobs studies, linked below, offer quantitative proof that Appalachia can become a leader in the new economy – if we demand the investments in our communities. 

One of the most powerful arguments is this: We know there will be a federal economic stimulus package. We know our economic and energy landscape is shifting, and Appalachians are seeing unprecedented job losses now, but have huge potential job advantages with new investment in our communities

The only question is whether we will be at the table when decisions in Washington are made. Passing a community resolution is a powerful way for communities to show their support and outline the investments they want to see in their communities. 

What other communities have passed resolutions? 

Maybe yours will be the first! We’ll link a running list of communities here when they start rolling in. However, we have seen significant support from local electeds for this work, including this Washington Post Op Ed signed by eight regional mayors. 

How do I get started? 

See our Step by Step Guide to Passing a Resolution  and attend one of our Community Coaching Sessions to get guidance from other people doing this important work. 

How many people does it take to pass a resolution? 

A group of 2-100 people can work together to pass a resolution. We can support you through our Community Coaching sessions – so don’t feel like you need more people to get started.  However, don’t be too shy to reach out to community allies. This can be a great opportunity to bring local people together for a good cause. 

Do you have a sample press release I can share after my resolution is passed? 

Yes! Here is a sample press release you can use. When your resolution is passed, you should spread the word. Don’t forget the press component of this work! Resolutions are an excellent media opportunity, they tell a story at the local level, and help build power when we combine all the local work to tell the story about how communities across the region can benefit from these policies.

Are there additional campaign resources or studies that show the importance of these investments? 

Where can I sign up to get more information? 

Sign up on our form here!

Can I print the step-by-step resolution guide?

Sure. It’s linked here. Contact info@ReImagineAppalachia.org if you have issues accessing any documents or have ideas for other documents that would be helpful.  

Do you have sample language for a resolution? 

Yes! You can find sample language to adapt to your community, village, town, city, council, borough, township or municipality here!

Why pass a resolution calling for an Appalachian Climate Infrastructure Plan?

Like so many in our country today, we are excited about the once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in our region through a major infrastructure package. We have developed an Appalachian Climate Infrastructure Plan, that we think would benefit communities across the region, and are hoping to bolster support for this plan by encouraging local governments in the region to show their support. 

In addition to helping build a national movement, passing a resolution is a great way to help build your local organization. For those who are new to engaging with local government, this provides a perfect entry point to build new skills and relationships. 

Because resolutions cost nothing, tend to be less controversial and are non-binding, local governments are more likely to pass them. 

If resolutions are non-binding, why are they important? 

One resolution passed in isolation won’t change the world, but many communities passing them together can make a huge regional impact. We’re going to work together across the region to pass as many resolutions as we can, to make as big of a splash as possible. 

Resolutions are also a powerful advocacy tool with federal legislators. Our Representatives and Senators pay close attention to the towns and counties they represent. Seeing resolutions in favor of a strong infrastructure bill both pressures them to do the right thing for our region and gives them much needed support when they receive pushback from those who are against these investments. 

My local government might not be open to this proposal – what points should I highlight? 

The ReImagine Appalachia Blueprint has a lot of powerful language – this document had feedback from dozens of stakeholders across the region. Our jobs studies, linked below, offer quantitative proof that Appalachia can become a leader in the new economy – if we demand the investments in our communities. 

One of the most powerful arguments is this: We know there will be a federal economic stimulus package. We know our economic and energy landscape is shifting, and Appalachians are seeing unprecedented job losses now, but have huge potential job advantages with new investment in our communities

The only question is whether we will be at the table when decisions in Washington are made. Passing a community resolution is a powerful way for communities to show their support and outline the investments they want to see in their communities. 

 

What other communities have passed resolutions? 

Maybe yours will be the first! We’ll link a running list of communities here when they start rolling in. However, we have seen significant support from local electeds for this work, including this Washington Post Op Ed signed by eight regional mayors. 

How do I get started? 

See our Step by Step Guide to Passing a Resolution  and attend one of our Community Coaching Sessions to get guidance from other people doing this important work. 

How many people does it take to pass a resolution? 

A group of 2-100 people can work together to pass a resolution. We can support you through our Community Coaching sessions – so don’t feel like you need more people to get started.  However, don’t be too shy to reach out to community allies. This can be a great opportunity to bring local people together for a good cause. 

Do you have a sample press release I can share after my resolution is passed? 

Yes! Here is a sample press release you can use. When your resolution is passed, you should spread the word. Don’t forget the press component of this work! Resolutions are an excellent media opportunity, they tell a story at the local level, and help build power when we combine all the local work to tell the story about how communities across the region can benefit from these policies.

What kind of press has this initiative received?

 Check these articles and editorials of support. We’d love to include press from your community here!

Are there additional campaign resources or studies that show the importance of these investments? 

What other local governments have officially endorsed this plan? 

  • Allegheny County Council, PA, led by Councilwoman Anita Prizio and sponsors Councilmen Macey, Walton, Palmosina and Futules
  • Mayor Gary Goosman, Amesville, OH
  • Mayor Steve Patterson, Athens, OH
  • Armstrong Township Council, Lycoming County, PA, led by Supervisor James Dunn
  • Mayor Emily Marburger, Bellevue, PA
  • Mayor Chardaè Jones, Braddock, PA
  • Mayor Rich Lattanzi, Clairton, PA
  • Clairton City Council, led by Councilwoman Lee Lasich
  • Castle Shannon Borough Council, led by Council President Mark Heckmann
  • Mayor Jason Walsh, Dormont, PA
  • Dormont Borough Council, led by Councilwoman Kate Abel
  • Mayor Frank Porco, Forest Hills, PA
  • Forest Hills Borough Council, led by Council Vice-President Patricia DeMarco
  • Mayor Mathew Shorraw, Monessen, PA
  • Monessen City Council, PA, led by Council President Matthew Shorraw
  • Pittsburgh City Council, PA, led by Councilwoman Erika Straussburger
  • Mayor Matthew Rudzki, Sharpsburg, PA
  • Sharpsburg, PA Borough Council, led by Councilwoman Brittany Reno
  • Mayor Kelley Kelley, Turtle Creek, PA
  • Mayor Marita Garrett, Wilkinsburg, PA

We need your community here! Fill out our local government official form and let us know of your success!