May & June in Burlingame: CEC Offers Free Films, Grassroots Advocacy Training


The Citizens Environmental Council of Burlingame (CEC) is inviting the public to programs in May and June that feature a screening of Leonardo DiCaprio’s film, “Before the Flood,” and a deep dive into grassroots advocacy training.

On Wednesday, May 3, CEC and the Burlingame High School (BHS) Parents’ Group will present a free screening of “Before the Flood,” which features Leonardo DiCaprio on an international journey as a United Nations “Messenger of Peace,” sounding the alarm about the growing climate crisis. He joins scientists on expeditions uncovering the reality of climate change, meets with political leaders fighting against inaction and discovers a disinformation campaign aimed at confusing the public.

The program also will include BHS student Jeffery Chen’s video, “The Plastic Bottle Controversy Explained,” which recently was the Overall Festival Winner at the Clear the Air Filmfest. In addition, Phil Gregory of Burlingame law firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy will speak briefly about a landmark lawsuit by 21 young people who are suing the U.S. government to take action on climate change.

This program will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in the auditorium at Burlingame High School, 1 Mangini Way, Burlingame. Admission is free.


On Saturday, June 3, CEC is offering a “Grassroots Advocacy and Skill Building” workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Brian Rawson, an experienced advocacy trainer, at the Burlingame Recreation Center, 850 Burlingame Ave. “Our April 12 introductory program with Brian was such a success that we’re offering more intensive training,” explained Mike McCord, CEC chair.

Rawson will explain how to use tools and techniques to advocate for the issue of each participant’s choice. Those who attend will practice refining an advocacy message for a target audience, giving a brief, persuasive talk on an issue and developing tactics that get noticed by those with the power to create change. In addition, they will learn the best ways to contact leaders and how to partner with others to magnify their influence. While examples given will focus on environmental policies, the skills taught are applicable to any advocacy effort.

Coffee, tea and muffins will be served. The cost of $15 will help defray expenses; no one will be excluded from this program due to financial need.

The deadline for reservations is May 22. Checks made out to “CEC – Burlingame” may be sent to: CEC – Burlingame, P.O. Box 117926, Burlingame, CA 94011, or payment may be made by making a donation via EventBrite or via credit card or on the CEC website. Visit for full details. You can download a reservation form here: