Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Jim Vogt of Citizens Climate Lobby, a growing organization with roughly 6600 current members. Their purpose is  to create the political will for a sustainable climate and to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. They are a non-partisan group advocating a revenue-neutral, free-market carbon tax to fight climate change. This group is filled with non-paid lobbyists that trains members to speak powerfully to their elected officials, the media and their local communities. Their Cincinnati chapter meets monthly and teams provide each other with support and encourage breaking through comfort zones to act as community leaders.

CCL members meet with their members of congress, launch letter-writing campaigns, write letters to the editor and op-ed pieces, work with editorial boards to generate editorials and give presentations to community groups. In 2013 the organization has had 709 meetings with congressional offices, met with 46 newspaper editorial boards, generated 41 editorials and published 1265 letters to the editor.

In 2014, CCL grew from 151 to 193 chapters, covering 364 of 465 congressional districts. The Cincinnati chapter grew in size from 12 to 18 members. 600 members attended the annual conference in DC.

The culture of CCL is non-confrontational, non-partisan and always looking for common ground. They try to be gentle, persistent and persuasive as “loving bulldogs” and will talk to anyone (such as staffers and interns). The group builds political will by getting as many as possible to learn of and think about their ideas.

The basic idea with Carbon tax is...a tax is placed on carbon-based fuels at the source (well, mine, port of entry). This tax starts at $15 per ton of fossil CO2 emitted, and increases steadily over the years so that clean energy becomes cheaper than fossil fuels. All the money collected is returned to American households on an equitable basis. ⅔ of American break-even or come out ahead.

Find out more about this group at http://citizensclimatelobby.org/

Next week we will have our student of the month presentations.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Rebecca Victor who will speak about “Mastermind-the power of connection.”

Rebecca opened with a joke that illustrated how we often go through life without a clear direction. She shared some old photos from Batavia and Goshen which showed how people were important to the community. In order to “mastermind”, we must clearly identify where we want to go as an individual, business or community. Author Napoleon Hill stated that a mastermind alliance is “the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purposes, in the spirit of harmony (two heads are better than one). No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind (the whole is greater than the sum of its parts).”   

Who do you want as your mastermind alliance partners? People with a similar drive or commitment, diverse skill sets and problem solvers. The benefits are mutual support, differing perspectives, resources and accountability. Think about this...what if the people around you would not let you fail? It all begins with identifying a definite purpose or vision. This includes honoring the values and traditions of yesterday’s future community, incorporating new possibilities and building upon them with innovation that inspires the future community of tomorrow.

Next week we will hear from Jim Vogt of Citizen's Climate Lobby.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What We Learned About Our Community

Today we heard from Peter Weiglin who spoke about Rotary membership.

In 1905, the first Rotary meeting was held in Room 711 in Chicago, Illinois. They “rotated” their meetings between the various offices of their members. Rotary is a world fellowship of local clubs organized into districts, zones and an international office located in Chicago. There are 34 zones in the world and our district (6670) is part of zone 30. Rotary has 537 districts, each with a District Governor who serves a one year term and generally has around 13 assistant governors and various committees.

Local club service includes membership development, club communications, nominating committee, new member orientation, mentoring committee, fellowship committee, fundraising, etc. Service areas include community service donations to various organizations including boys and girls clubs and other community projects. Vocational service includes scholarships, vocational awards, student mentoring, industry recognitions, etc. International service includes the Rotary Foundation, youth exchange, Interact, Rotaract, four-way speech contests and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.

Members are responsible to attend or make-up at least 50% of regular club meetings, membership growth and participation in club programs, projects and activities as well as participate in club committees. Our members also make financial commitments which include funds to the club, the district and Rotary International.

The Rotary Foundation is a 501c3 with 16 trustees. It administers the annual program fund and the permanent fund. APF funds are invested for 3 years and revenue pays for TRF administration. In year 4, 100% of APF are disbursed and 50% of these funds are placed under direct supervision of the districts.  Foundation donations are used for Polio Plus, 6 Rotary Peace Centers worldwide, cultural and peace scholarships, humanitarian grants for things like water, health, hunger, literacy, disaster relief, etc.

Find out more at www.rotary.org.

Next week we will hear from Rebecca Victor who will speak about “Mastermind-the power of connection.”