EcoMadres is a program of Moms Clean Air Force that empowers and mobilizes Latino communities to fight for clean air, equitable climate change solutions, and protections from toxic chemicals.
EPA recently announced multiple proposed rules to help protect our most vulnerable communities from the harmful effects of pollution. Our participation in passing these health protections really matters, which is why dozens of Moms Clean Air Force and EcoMadres staff and members testified before EPA in support of cutting tailpipe pollution from heavy-duty trucks, cars and light-trucks.
Included in the recent proposed rules were stronger protections against mercury and other air toxics emitted from coal-fired power plants. Among the benefits of the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, is addressing emissions from the burning of lignite coal, an especially polluting form of coal found primarily in North Dakota and Texas.
- On May 9th, 47 Moms staff, organizers, and volunteers provided public testimony urging EPA to finalize the mercury standards as quickly as possible.
- Please watch an EcoMadres workshop that shows the public how to participate during an EPA open comment period. WATCH HERE
TAKE ACTION: You can make your voice heard too! The comment period for strengthening the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards is open until June 23rd. CLICK HERE
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:
Here are some highlights from this past month:
EarthX Panel Discussion: On April 22nd, Carolina Peña-Alarcón, Erandi Treviño and supermom, Mayela Bustos, attended EarthX Conference, the world’s largest green gathering in Dallas, Texas.
Along with partners from Corazon Latino, Clean Energy Works, and Natural Resources Defense Council, EarthX hosted a panel discussion on the power of voices in advancing environmental justice. The panelists shared how coalitions are working together to pave the way towards equitable change. They emphasized the need to support communities that have long borne the burden of the petrochemical industry, and how to hold these companies accountable.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Environmental Justice Roundtable: On April 27th, EcoMadres Carolina Peña-Alarcón and Erandi Treviño participated in a roundtable event to discuss environmental justice issues in Latino communities. This was the first roundtable on the topic hosted by CHC, which was attended by Democratic Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, where EcoMadres reaffirmed their commitment to protect people and the climate from toxic air pollution. One of the issues discussed was pollution from the petrochemical industry and the need to halt future buildout of petrochemical facilities and transition to safer materials and processes.
Clean energy site tour in Nevada: On April 12th, Mercedes McKinley joined Senator Jacky Rosen, Commissioner Justin Jones, and local community leaders for a clean energy site tour of Sol-Up’s Las Vegas facility to celebrate the historic investments from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA). The trip was featured on the front page of the Las Vegas Sun.
Mother’s Day Cafecito: On May 14th, EcoMadres and the Climate Power Education Fund hosted a virtual cafecito about motherhood and climate activism. Safeguarding the planet for future generations is a cherished value in Latino culture, and by creating a dialogue around the ways in which we can protect Mother Earth, we hope to empower others to join the climate movement. Watch the replay in English and Spanish.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT, KARIN STEIN
Karin Stein is the Iowa state organizer for Moms Clean Air Force and EcoMadres. Karin has been a nationally and internationally touring musician for over 20 years, and she brought her talents to EcoMadres in the creation of EcoMusica – a program that weaves music and messages of clean air, climate change, and environmental stewardship, to encourage hope and urgent climate action.
On Earth Day, Karin hosted a concert featuring songs that reflect Latin music styles to raise awareness of the recent Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. The songs promoted inclusion and participation of community members through petition signing.
The concert featured the launch of the EcoMadres album, which is a collection of compositions, mostly in Spanish, in a variety of Latin music styles – from cumbia to banda to bolero, a symbol of Latino cultural diversity. You can listen to the album on SoundCloud and read this flip book for liner notes and translations of the songs.
Additionally, Karin recently spoke on how air pollution from the transportation industry is affecting our children’s health.
CLIMATE CHANGE & MENTAL HEALTH
May is Mental Health Wellness Month. Climate change and other environmental crises are increasingly affecting the mental health of Latino families. Communities of color and low-income communities are often affected first and worst by climate disasters, and bear a disproportionate burden of climate distress.
For the Latino community, mental health and mental illness are often stigmatized topics, resulting in prolonged suffering in silence. We’re here to remind you that you are not alone. Every month, EcoMadres shares resources to support mental wellness and provides tools individuals and communities can use to mitigate the mental health effects of climate change.
Check out our Climate Change and Mental Health resource. You can also view creative arts therapy guides for climate emotions, as well as a parent’s guide and script for how to start a conversation with elementary school children.
Are you worried about the climate crisis?
On May 23rd, join us for a virtual conversion. Children, parents, and grandparents can ask a panel of climate and health experts questions about climate change and mental health. REGISTER HERE
ECOMADRES IN THE NEWS
- Liz Hurtado was quoted in the Washington Post commending EPA’s Clean Transportation rules for trying to reduce the conventional pollution that causes long-term health risks to their children.
- Liz was also featured in La Opinión, discussing how a transition to electric school buses will benefit the health of our children.
- In this op-ed in the Nevada Independent, Mercedes McKinley shares how clean-energy homes will help Nevadans struggling to afford gas bills.
- Erandi Trevino talks with Cronkite News how stronger solutions are needed to protect communities most affected by air pollution and the health issues it can cause.
On May 25 at 6:00 pm ET, Antonieta Cadiz of Climate Power will join EcoMadres for an EcoCharla (EarthChat) to discuss the state of the petrochemicals industry and how we can work together to protect communities from this toxic pollution. Join us live on Facebook and Twitter.
STAY IN TOUCH