This is a Moms Clean Air Force exclusive interview with Representative Ann M. Williams of Illinois:
1. What is unique about protecting your district’s resources?
While my district lies in a city, we have many small treasures that need to be protected, especially our neighborhood parks. To me, protecting my district’s resources means protecting the thousands of constituents I represent and the health of their families.
2. Are you worried about any specific effects of climate change on the children of your district?
The 11th District is fortunate to be home to many vibrant neighborhood schools. I have been very invested in the education of our children and I believe every child should have the opportunity to grow up with access to the outdoors. Climate change is a threat to the health and well-being of our children now and in the future, and we must take action to ensure we preserve resources for generations to come.
3. Why is a bipartisan effort so important to you when working on issues of air quality?
Clean air should not be a partisan issue. When we pollute our air we endanger the health of our constituents, especially the most vulnerable children and elderly. Air quality is also an economic issue, placing undue health care costs predominately on impoverished communities. We must all work together to improve air quality, protect citizens, and minimize economic consequences of pollution.
4. Is there anything you’d like to share that is important for Moms Clean Air Force members to know?
I have made environmental issues a priority of my agenda as a legislator and at home in my district. As chair of the legislative Green Caucus, I lead a bipartisan group of legislators focused on these issues. This year, I have also been named chair of a newly formed committee — the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Committee — as well as joined the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition to ensure that a transition to clean energy improves air quality while improving economic opportunity.
Ann Williams is currently serving her third term as State Representative of the 11th District on Chicago’s North Side. The district includes the Chicago neighborhoods of West Lakeview, Roscoe Village and Northcenter, as well as parts of Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square and Ravenswood.