It was a sunny, beautiful day in May when dozens of moms, dads and grandparents converged in Sacramento to share concerns about clean air with our elected leaders. Arriving at the California capitol building, looking up at the stately neoclassical building as we walked toward the entrance, it was hard not to be inspired. The moms gathered in the basement restaurant of the capitol building, known as the “Eureka Room,” early in the morning to map out our schedule of legislative visits for the day. The Moms Clean Air Force staff did a great job setting up meetings for us all in advance, so we had only to down another cup of coffee, break into small groups and go visit our legislators.
I joined a handful of moms and children from all over northern California. Our first stop was with an assistant to a State Assembly member Bill Dodd whose district spanned a mainly rural part of the state. He listened with interest to our pleas for action on air quality and climate change, recognizing that agriculture plays a big role to play in addressing these two major issues.
Then it was a whirlwind of visits to our state senators and assembly members, including Senator Connie Leyva, who is, like me, a mother of twins, the assistant for Assembly Member Jimmy Gomez, and Assembly Member Matthew Dababneh, who represents my district in the San Fernando Valley. Air quality issues remain a huge problem here in the LA basin, especially in the valleys. As a mom, I explained, I’m really worried about climate change and my children’s future. And as a mom of a young boy with asthma, I expect our state legislators to do something about it.
With some of the most forward-thinking climate change legislation in the country, California is certainly not slacking off on climate action. But we still have a long way to go to improve our air and reduce harmful emissions because in places like Los Angeles, we continue to have the worst air quality in the country.
Moms across California, and especially moms of asthmatic kids, came to the Mama Summit want to let their kids out to play without worrying about air quality. So, as climate change continues to affect families in California, moms will continue to use our voices to fight for our family’s health.