Carrie Katan on Innovative Tactics to Make a Lasting Change

Carrie recently joined the Climate XChange team as our newest Massachusetts Organizer, get to know her and some of her goals in joining CXC!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Carrie Katan. I grew up in Fairhaven, Massachusetts before going to Umass Amherst. I caught the organizing bug after interning for the 2018 Massachusetts Yes on 3 campaign while going to school. After that I took political jobs that sent me to places all over the country, including Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Colorado. While getting to work and live around the country was amazing, I’m happy to be back home in Massachusetts. 

How did you first get involved in and interested in climate work?

I’ve known and cared about climate change about as long as I can remember. I grew up with parents and a community of folks that cared a lot about the environment. I remember making pro-windmill posters in the 3rd or 4th grade when my town was debating whether to build two. 

What are some driving forces/values in your life?

I believe in the importance of social justice and that with dedication and the right tactics a small group of people can make a lasting difference. 

What are you looking forward to right now, in terms of joining Climate XChange, but also in terms of the moment of opportunity as you see it currently? What makes you the most excited?

I’m really excited that we seem to be entering a point where environmentalism is rapidly gaining political and economic power. Major car manufacturers are announcing they will stop making combustion cars, and oil companies are having to talk about their plans for climate change. In Germany, the Green Party may run the government after the next election and obviously the United States’ view on climate change has shifted dramatically with the new administration. Obviously there’s still a lot of work to do and not much time to do it, but barriers to the post-carbon future are weakening. 

What are you hoping to achieve at Climate XChange, why were you excited to join the team?

I want to pass the Green Future Act in Massachusetts so much. I’m not sure if it’s possible to fall in love with a piece of legislation but if it is I have. 

I’m also excited to be working with a great team of people with experience passing bills and promoting good policy in Massachusetts and across the county. 

What do you think is your superpower? How do you see your skills being the most useful to help us in the transition that we are all hoping to achieve?

If I have a superpower it’s initiative and a willingness to try out new things. I really love developing new messaging, tactics, and campaigns to achieve political goals. In three of my last four jobs before this one I wrote plans to carry out new kinds of campaigns that were very different from anything the organization had tried before (the plans were: leaflets that looked like money, bringing Finish textile recycling practices to North Carolina, and a new way to canvass rural areas). I hope one day a tactic I come up with becomes a standard practice for climate or other organizers. 

What does the future look like if we are successful in this work? What is the future you are working for?

I’m working towards a day when we don’t need to look at the future with trepidation. When climate change has gone from something that seems apocalyptic to a lot of people to a largely manageable problem. I grew up with climate change hanging over my head, I want future generations to not have to know what that feels like. 

Featured Image: Photo courtesy of Carrie Katan