This was written by Ali Simpson, National Field Manager for Moms Clean Air Force:
I grew up in Los Angeles, a city that suffers from some of the nation’s worst air pollution. As a child, I was forced to stay inside countless times because of unhealthy air quality and harmful smog. I don’t want that future for my 19-month-old son.
That’s why I vote, in every election, for our climate, our kids, and public health.
That’s also why I’ve devoted my career to educating voters about the climate crisis and encouraging them to vote in every election.
You’ve heard that the right to vote is sacred. But let’s take a quick look at why.
- Women were first granted the right to vote in 1920, 131 years after property-owning white men could vote.
- Though the passage of the 19th Amendment was a victory a century in the making, it excluded Black, Brown, Native, and other people of color in practice.
- Poll taxes and literacy tests blocked millions from exercising their lawful right to vote.
- Not until 1965, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), was the right to vote for people of color truly protected.
For over a century, activists worked tirelessly to secure unfettered access to the ballot, fighting the same fights over and over again.
With the birth of my son last year, the right to vote became that much more sacred for me and my family. Voting is the most powerful tool we have to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our children. And this right is still under attack.
It’s getting harder to vote just about everywhere. Since 2013, the Supreme Court has issued rulings weakening the VRA, and we’ve seen a deluge of racist and restrictive voting laws pass at the state level. Just take a look at this New York Times analysis of the easiest and hardest states to vote in (looking at you, Ohio).
This is precisely why Moms Clean Air Force is undertaking a Get Out the Vote campaign—to educate voters on what’s at stake for our climate, our kids, and public health on November 8.
You can be part of our campaign too:
- Double-check your voter registration and find out who’s on your ballot.
- Take the pledge to vote for our kids, our climate, and public health, and share the pledge with your social networks.
- Sign up to receive “Why This Mom Votes” postcards to send to your friends and family, telling them the top reasons why you’re voting this year.
- Check out our handout about the climate, public health, and clean energy wins we’ve seen over the last two years. And share this handout with your friends and family.
The fight for clean air never stops. I hope you’ll join us.