How Moms Helped Pass Historic Climate Investments
Moms helped get it done! From January 2021 to August 2022, Moms Clean Air Force staff and members worked to secure historic federal investments in clean energy and transportation.
- This intense 18-month effort built on our 10 years of work to ensure climate safety and protect children’s health since our founding in 2011.
- The Inflation Reduction Act includes an unprecedented $369 billion investment in cutting climate pollution.
- Climate-wise, it will put the US on a path to a roughly 40% reduction in emissions by 2030.
We did not let up—moms never let up—and Congress noticed.
MOMS’ CLIMATE INVESTMENT ADVOCACY BY THE NUMBERS
- Our members sent more than 80,000 emails to members of Congress.
- Our staff and volunteers had more than 300 meetings with congressional offices.
- Moms planned and participated in more than 100 events to raise awareness about how federal climate investments would protect our communities and get us on a path to climate safety.
- During the final two weeks before the Inflation Reduction Act was passed, when it was being considered in the Senate and then the House, Moms’ membership and organizers made dozens of phone calls to our members of Congress.
ENGAGING LAWMAKERS IN OUR STATES
How Moms made it happen. Moms across the country made personal connections to their lawmakers, either virtually or in person, over the course of these 18 months.
We planned or attended more than 100 events to show support for the bill that became the Inflation Reduction Act. Here is a sample of our work in key states:
Moms Clean Air Force vigorously advocated for the passage of federal climate investments through press conferences and visibility events in Washington, DC, starting in August 2021.
- Highlights included a press conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on September 28, 2021.
- During her remarks, Speaker Pelosi mentioned one of our local activists, eight-year-old Valencia Bednar.
- Throughout the year, Moms engaged with several key lawmakers in Washington, DC, including Senator Chuck Schumer (NY), Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI), Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), Senator John Tester (MT), and Senator Tim Kaine (VA).
West Virginia Moms provided a critical link to Senator Joe Manchin during this time.
- We met with Senator Manchin’s staff several times during the year and delivered messages from his West Virginia constituents.
- On Valentine’s Day 2022, for just one example, Moms’ West Virginia state coordinator, Lucia Valentine, joined Morgan King with West Virginia Rivers Coalition to deliver 75 handmade Valentines, each with a unique message from a West Virginian, to Senator Joe Manchin.
- Lucia also wrote an original song for Senator Manchin, “We Are One.”
- She performed and spoke at numerous memorable DC events, including a July 6, 2022, rally focused on the need for federal climate investments after the WV v. EPA Supreme Court case decision.
Arizona Moms similarly provided a critical link to Senator Kyrsten Sinema. We sent more than 1,000 messages to the Senator’s office in support of climate investments.
- Moms’ Arizona state coordinators also planned and participated in many events to increase awareness about federal climate legislation.
- On Earth Day 2022, we joined Congressman Raúl Grijalva (AZ-3) and the Climate Action Campaign for a nationwide mobilization to crank up the pressure on our elected leaders to get commonsense climate and clean energy investments done.
Colorado Moms met countless times with the offices of Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper about federal climate investments.
- Colorado state coordinators Laurie Anderson and Shaina Oliver were personally invited to attend the Senators’ celebration after the Senate voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act.
Florida Moms worked with our partners during this time to raise awareness about how climate investments could address environmental injustice in the state.
- On January 25, 2022, Moms Clean Air Force’s Florida state coordinators, Gabriella Da Silva and Yaritza Perez, spoke at a virtual press event hosted by Congresswoman Kathy Castor (FL-14) about federal climate investments.
- Gabi and Yaritza shared how important significant climate funding and the clean energy transition are in addressing the health and economic impacts of climate change in Florida’s communities, especially our Latino communities.
Georgia Moms also planned and participated in press conferences, rallies, and visibility events across the state, and worked to build a relationship with Senator Raphael Warnock.
- On August 3, 2022, in the final days before the Senate voted on the Inflation Reduction Act, Moms Clean Air Force’s Georgia state coordinator, Lily Zwaan, delivered hundreds of postcards to Senator Warnock’s office in Atlanta to push for federal investments in climate.
Michigan Moms planned and participated in press conferences, rallies, and visibility events across the state.
- In the weeks before the Inflation Reduction Act was announced, Moms Clean Air Force’s Michigan state coordinator, Elizabeth Hauptman, traveled to DC to meet with the offices of Representative Dan Kildee (MI-5), Representative Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI), and Senator Gary Peters (MI) to push for the revival of a climate investment bill.
Montana Moms have a strong relationship with the office of Senator Jon Tester, who was essential in getting the Inflation Reduction Act passed.
- We met with Senator Tester’s office once a month.
- After the act passed, Moms Clean Air Force’s Montana state coordinator, Michelle Uberuaga, delivered children’s drawings to Tester’s office to thank him for his yes vote.
Nevada Moms met countless times with Senators Jackie Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto about federal climate investments.
- Nevada state coordinator Jennifer Cantley also worked to spread the word about all the iterations of the Inflation Reduction Act via social media.
- Her August 2022 video about the Inflation Reduction Act got over 400 views on Twitter.
New Mexico Moms focused on spreading the word about the environmental justice benefits of federal climate investments in local communities.
- Moms Clean Air Force’s New Mexico state coordinator, Ana Rios, hosted several bilingual cafecitos for volunteers and their families to learn about climate investments and local climate action.
Ohio Moms sent messages in support of federal climate investments to Senator Sherrod Brown in droves.
- In March 2021, Ohio state coordinator Tracy Sabetta collected messages from children, whose future depends on commonsense climate action, and shared them with Senator Brown’s office in this slideshow.
Pennsylvania Moms worked to establish a strong relationship with the office of Senator Bob Casey.
- On August 5, 2022—two days before the Senate passed the bill—Moms Clean Air Force’s Pennsylvania state coordinator, Brooke Petry, spoke at a climate action rally outside Senator Casey’s office in Philadelphia to urge the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.
Texas Moms also focused on spreading the word about the benefits of federal climate investments for local communities.
- To celebrate Earth Day 2022, Moms Clean Air Force’s Texas state coordinator, Erandi Treviño, hosted a workshop on repotting plants for children and their families.
- Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) joined by phone to share a message about the importance of climate action and her own work on federal climate investments.
ENGAGING COMMUNITIES, LAWMAKERS, AND PRESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Moms Clean Air Force social media handles energetically promoted federal climate investments, from the first iteration of the American Jobs Plan through months of the Build Back Better framework and finally the Inflation Reduction Act.
News and information about the Inflation Reduction Act dominated our channels. We saw an 800% increase of reach on Facebook to 8.92 million people, and our reach on Instagram grew to 43,000.
Moms saw rapidly evolving responses on Twitter, not only from our communities but in retweets and shares from legislative offices around the country, as well as government agencies, such as the Department of Energy and EPA. We also engaged with reporters from major outlets looking for moms experiencing the real-life impacts of climate change.
- Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury (NM-1) retweeted New Mexico Moms’ thank you message for her yes vote on the Build Back Better Act in November 2021.
- Congresswoman Kathy Castor (FL-14) replied to Florida Moms’ recognition of her efforts to push federal climate investments forward in March 2022.
- Moms were recognized in tweets by Senator John Hickenlooper (CO) and Senator Michael Bennet (CO) after the Senate vote on the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) retweeted Moms Clean Air Force’s thank you message after the Inflation Reduction Act was finally passed on August 12, 2022.
Moms made news. In July and August 2022 alone, Moms Clean Air Force generated 11 press releases and had 23 media hits related to the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act.
- We drew attention to the state impacts of this important federal legislation in Arizona, West Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Colorado, and Texas.
- Our advocacy for climate investments in the Latino community, through the EcoMadres program, was featured in El Tiempo Latino.