This year for Earth Month, Moms Clean Air Force is honoring climate champions who are working hard to fight for the health and future of our children.
Our Michigan field organizer, Elizabeth Hauptman, interviewed Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) about her work in Congress fighting air pollution and climate change, and why it’s important to protect the health of Michigan’s families now and for the future.
As we celebrate Earth Day, what are your priorities to tackle climate change to protect the planet, our children, and future generations?
Climate change is one of the most critical issues of our time, and it’s a problem that we need to address now. I’m committed to advancing policies in Congress that protect our planet and the health and safety of our communities. I’m supportive of legislation that would establish requirements to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, with the goal of obtaining net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and provide enforcement mechanisms to the EPA and other federal agencies. I’m leading the push in Congress to invest in electric vehicles and its respective infrastructure to reduce our carbon footprint and prepare ourselves for the future of transportation. By addressing the threats to our environment, we take the much-needed steps towards a better, more sustainable future for our planet, our children, and future generations.
This year’s theme for Earth Day is “Restore Our Earth,” and Moms are fighting for Justice in Every Breath. How do the themes of restoring, rebuilding, and advocating for equity in climate action resonate with you, personally, and professionally?
Climate change disproportionately affects underserved and marginalized communities. Rising summer temperatures have severe implications for urban areas like Detroit, where more heat is trapped and generated by dark surfaces like asphalt, tall buildings, and reduced tree cover. This means an increased threat of heat-related illnesses. Poor air quality can also lead to various lung and cardiovascular diseases that disproportionately affect people of color. We must advocate for equity in climate action. Countless lives in Michigan and across the country depend on it.
Congresswoman Lawrence represents Michigan’s 14th Congressional District that includes a portion of Detroit, the City of Southfield and 16 other cities located in Oakland and Wayne counties. She was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November of 2014.
Born and raised in Detroit, Congresswoman Lawrence is a product of Michigan’s public-school system. She is an alumna of Pershing High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University. Before she began her career in public service, the Congresswoman had a notable career with the U.S. Postal Service.
Congresswoman Lawrence serves as Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and 2nd Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. She’s the Vice Chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and serves on the subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services (LHHS), subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) and the subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG). She is also a member of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform where she serves on the subcommittee on Government Operations.
Congresswoman Lawrence and her husband, McArthur Lawrence, are the proud parents of Michael and Michelle. They also adore one granddaughter, Asya.