This was written by Angela Youngblood:
“God bless you, thank you for what you are doing,” the man said to us as we waited for the light to change from a big red “stop” hand to the “walk” signal. We were a group of mothers, children, grandmothers and a few dads dressed in red Moms Clean Air Force t-shirts. We were concerned citizens on a mission. (Tweet this) We had traveled from 31 states to Washington D.C. to meet with Senators and their staff to encourage them to vote against Donald Trump’s nominee, Scott Pruitt, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. We want an EPA head who encourages the strongest environmental policies to protect our families health.
I’ve been a part of Moms Clean Air Force for almost four years. I got involved because I wanted to support an issue that I felt passionate about, one that was also bipartisan.
You see, I am a Democrat from a part of Michigan that is predominately Republican. I wanted to be involved and active on an issue with my fellow Democrats AND Republicans. Why? Because everybody wants cleaner air and clean drinking water. And, we all need to fight climate change.
Here’s how I became active with MCAF:
- I made Earth Day cupcakes inspired by Pinterest, and invited my friends to learn about how they could get involved.
- I went to my state capitol with MCAF and talked to our state legislature about protecting Michigan’sair and lakes.
- I met with moms whose children suffered from asthma triggered by air pollution. I learned about what kind of policies they needed to help their children breathe.
- I took my kids to Washington, D.C. to meet with senators to say thank you and talk about the importance of addressing climate change.
It felt like real progress was being made, as more of my friends – Republicans and Democrats, and even a few Independents – came to my parties.
Then things started to change. Being active in fighting climate change seemed to become a partisan issue. Discussing limits on methane emissions, advocating for wind and solar energy, and even, recycling, seemed like a liberal cause.
And then Donald Trump won the election.
This is man who flip-flops on climate change. And now he has chosen some of the most anti-environmental people to join his team, like his EPA pick, Scott Pruitt.
Walking around DC last week carrying signs and wearing red t-shirts that let the world know moms are powerful, I noticed people making eye contact. Some reached out to touch our arms and say, “Thank you” and “Keep up the good work.” These strangers nodded at us with quiet understanding of what a partisan, uncertain time we live in. I have never experienced anything like it, especially in DC. These women and men seemed to be urging me to keep fighting.
Fighting for my children’s, and everyone’s health and strong environmental policies, while urging politicians to take a long view about climate change and a compassionate consideration of the world, is important and vital work.
When we got in the elevator of the DC hotel to head out for our last day of meetings, armed with posters signed by kids, and packets of information about Scott Pruitt’s awful environmental record, a man stepped into the elevator, read our shirts and said, “It’s going to be a busy four years for us.” He added, “Good luck,” and then told us he covered terrorism for NBC.
Yes, it’s going to be a tough few years all around. But from the people on the street to the many senators we spoke with, I’m inspired by the encouraging words of support. Most importantly, I’m ready to work even harder than ever.
There’s hope, because there’s Moms Clean Air Force.