This is a Moms Clean Air Force exclusive interview with State Representative Brenda Gilmore Of Tennessee:
What is unique about protecting Tennessee’s resources?
Tennessee has some of the most beautiful natural resources in the country. From the grandeur of the Smokies to the plains of West Tennessee, this state has a lot of wonderful resources that have to be protected for future generations. I have sponsored and passed several bills dealing with solid waste disposal, which I believe, along with clean air, is one of the major issues that our state is facing. I have passed legislation that ensures that the commissioner of environment and conservation is reporting programs and making recommendations to the General Assembly on a regular basis so that we are fully aware of what progress is being made and what can be done in the future to address this issue.
As a mom and grandmother, are you worried about the effects of air pollution on the children of Tennessee?
As a Nashville resident, I look at the tremendous explosion of growth our city has had with a great deal of pride. However, as a mother and a grandmother, I have to be concerned about the number of new vehicles on our streets and what that means for the environment. The number of cars on our roads and highways is now mind-boggling as any commuter knows. That’s why Nashville has to have a strong auto emissions testing program to try to make the air we all breathe safer. It can’t end there however. As a nation, we have to continue to put a premium on more efficient vehicles. Locally, we have to encourage alternate avenues of transportation like improving mass transit to bring down the congestion on our streets that makes its way into the air we breathe and could potentially have a devastating effect on our children and our children’s children. This year, I co-sponsored a new law that will hopefully help improve the mass transit situation in Nashville and I will continue to try and find ways to make mass transit more of an option across the state.
Why is a bipartisan effort so important, and how can these efforts be achieved in our politically polarizing culture?
Saving our environment shouldn’t be a partisan issue. (Tweet this) We all, Democrats and Republicans, should want to leave the world a better place for our children. I am pleased to say that the solid waste legislation that I passed had bipartisan support. There are too many issues that divide us politically as it is, a clean environment should be something that unites us, not divides us.
Is there anything you’d like to share that is important for Moms Clean Air Force members to know?
I take our responsibility to the environment very seriously. In addition to passing laws on solid waste disposal and aiding mass transit, I have co-sponsored new laws that encourage recycling, authorize the use of green infrastructure practices within areas that have combined sanitary sewage and stormwater systems and expand the notice requirement when lead is present in the drinking water supply. I take our environmental responsibility very seriously. But it takes a partnership of government, groups like Moms Clean Air Force and involved residents working together to make a difference. I encourage people to bring environmental issues to my notice. We can all try to work together toward the mission of Moms Clean Air Force to make sure our children have clean air… and grow up in an environmentally safe world.
Brenda Gilmore is a former Metro Council Woman and is presently a State Representative, District #54, in the Tennessee General Assembly. She is on the Fiscal Review committee, the Budget and Finance committee and the Business and Utility committee. Rep. Gilmore Chairs the Tennessee Black Caucus of the Legislators, and Co-Chairs the STEM Caucus. Nationally, she is a board member of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. She and her husband, Harry have been married for 43 years. They have one daughter, Councilwoman Erica Gilmore and one granddaughter. She works with passion for issues affecting poor people, disadvantaged, women and children.