This is a Moms Clean Air Force exclusive Interview with State Representative Jordan Harris of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
What is unique about protecting Pennsylvania’s resources?
Pennsylvania is rich in resources, from natural gas to coal to natural resources like our green spaces. We are rich in these resources and it is important because we can’t live our lives as if we’re just living for our generation. We have to be good stewards of these resources for our children, grandchildren, and for future generations to come. Also, we derive financial resources from our natural resources. They are intertwined and affect our budget.
Are you worried about the effects of climate change on children and the children of Pennsylvania?
While not yet a parent, I am “parent” to a community of children. Yes, I am worried. Climate change is real, it is not a figment of our imagination. (Tweet this) And we have to be mindful of it for future generations. While we develop industry, it is important that we do it in a well-regulated way that fosters industry while protecting the environment.
Why is a bipartisan effort so important and how can these efforts be achieved in our politically polarizing culture?
Pennsylvania is a place of different views and opinions, and my colleagues represent that. No one political party has a sole claim on what is right or wrong. We must come to a “meeting of the minds” because what we do affects our children and grandchildren. What we have seen is that our polarization has paralyzed us in terms of getting things done.
Is there anything you’d like to share that is important for Moms Clean Air Force members to know?
You will come across legislators that will agree with you all of the time, sometimes, and never. Never be discouraged because it is a message that needs to be heard. Be willing to compromise without comprising your morals or values. We don’t always get what we want, but you can advocate while understanding that with compromise, things can be accomplished.
State Representative Jordan Harris was elected to the State Legislature on Nov. 6, 2012, representing the 186th Legislative District in Philadelphia. Prior to being elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Harris was appointed as the Executive Director of Philadelphia’s Youth Commission where he advised the Mayor, City Council and other key decision makers on issues relating to the city’s youth and young adults. In this office, Harris spearheaded initiatives that helped address and ultimately end Philadelphia’s outbreak of nuisance flash mobs, including extending the hours of the city’s recreation centers and creating alternative activities.