Kristin Mink’s Speech at the Play-In for Climate Action

BY ON July 23, 2018
Kristin Mink speaks at the 2018 Moms Clean Air Force Play-in

Kristin Mink

The mom/middle school teacher who confronted Scott Pruitt, Kristin Mink, spoke at our Play-In for Climate Action. This is her speech:

When I tell my 2-year-old to stop whining, he often doesn’t do it. So, when I walked up to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a DC restaurant last week and told him to resign, I didn’t actually think he’d do it.

But as we all know, just 3 days later, Pruitt was gone!

That was 3 days after the video of our one-sided conversation went viral, and 3 days that I got to spend putting his terrible policies on blast across the news media.

I obviously can’t claim credit for pushing him out — activists, environmentalists, and journalists had been working on exposing Pruitt’s corruption since he took office. But I like to think I provided a motherly nudge.

The power of the people was in full view with Pruitt’s exit. We took down the EPA Administrator and didn’t need Congress or the President to do it.

Unfortunately, Pruitt’s agenda remains. Because Pruitt’s agenda is Donald Trump’s agenda. When Pruitt resigned, Trump said that he’d done an “outstanding job.” This “outstanding job” included:

  • denying and suppressing the science of climate change
  • revoking emissions requirements for oil and gas companies,
  • refusing to ban a pesticide known to severely harm our children
  • suspending the Clean Water Rule
  • And so much more

Meanwhile, climate change is marching on, with rising waters putting entire coastal communities at risk of becoming uninhabitable swamps. I noticed our Representative from Florida is here today.

But speaking of swamps, let’s talk about this administration for a minute.

Why would anyone be against protecting the environment? What could possibly motivate someone to act against the best interests of all children, and the literal survival of our species?

The same thing that motivates Trump’s administration when it comes to nearly every other issue: corporate interests. This administration, stacked with wealthy, well-connected industry executives and former lobbyists, favors corporate interests over real people on virtually every issue. Pick an issue — they’ve picked their big business friends and donors.

The environment and public health: Trump, Pruitt, and now coal lobbyist Andy Wheeler’s wealthy industry friends make more money when they’re allowed to produce more pollution.

Another example: Breastfeeding: The Trump administration just fought an international resolution to support breastfeeding. Why? The infant formula industry is worth $70 billion. More, apparently, than the health and well-being of infants around the globe.

Here’s another example: Family Separation and Indefinite Detention: The Trump administration wants to hold immigrant families indefinitely. We know what they’re doing to families at the border is both inhumane and unconstitutional, but the bonus for their big business buddies is it’s also going to take a whole lot of housing facilities. Not-so-fun fact: The two private prison companies that run family centers each donated $250,000 to Mr. Trump’s inaugural fund, and the huge donations have continued since.

And let’s do one more: Guns: After meeting with student survivors of the Parkland shooting, Trump promised to stand up to the NRA and back common sense gun reform. After meeting with NRA officials, he walked it alllllll back.

What does this mean for us? It means that the endless pattern of this administration favoring corporate interests over real people won’t end unless we ALL VOTE.

There needs to be a massive and unprecedented voter registration and voter turnout movement, the likes of which we’ve never seen before in this country. That’s how much is at stake.

Donald Trump was elected by just ¼ of this country! The last midterms had the lowest percentage turnout since World War II. Elections are not decided by who cares the most; they’re decided by who actually gets to the polls.

Midterms are this November. The last midterms were a historic low for turnout. We must have a historic HIGH this time around. This is our opportunity to put representatives in office who will stand up and fight for our children and their future, fight for the air we breathe and the water we drink, fight for our health care, fight for humanity and common decency, FIGHT the Trump agenda!

Before Scott Pruitt, I’d never confronted a public official before. And when I walked away, my legs were shaking but I was standing tall. Because I am a MOM, and I knew I was speaking up for my child and ALL children. It is time to step out of our comfort zones!

There comes a time when “I can’t” needs to be replaced with “I must”. We have reached that time!

Confront your elected officials when you see them in public! Your taxes pay their salaries — tell them what’s important to you, and take a video of it!

Join Get Out The Vote efforts at home, donate your time or money to campaigns you believe in, go home today and send out a save the date for a voting party in November. Be sure to include friends who might not be registered yet, and save the wine for after you head to the polls.

Some people try to tell me that interrupting Scott Pruitt’s lunch wasn’t “civil.” They’re wrong. Civility is having clean air to breathe. Civility is having clean water to drink. An intact Earth for our children. Putting human rights above corporate favors. That’s the kind of civility our children deserve.

We are at a tipping point. There is no time to spare. Environmental justice and the futures of our children HAVE to win at the ballot box in November.

We have a message for you, Congressmembers. If you don’t stand up for our kids and their futures, WE WILL! And 119 days from now, we will VOTE YOU OUT!







TOPICS: Activism, Clean Air Rules and Regulations, Climate Change, EPA, Motherhood, Washington DC