Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Congress made our hearts sing with the introduction this month of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021. This package of bills seeks to improve Black maternal health and helps address this stunning inequality: Black mothers are three to four times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth compared to white mothers. Moms Clean Air Force is especially supportive of an important climate provision that takes aim at the impact that climate change has on pregnant moms and their babies.
“MOMNIBUS” BILL DEBUTS AMID BLACK HISTORY MONTH
As reported in Al Dia, Moms Clean Air Force supported the introduction of the ground-breaking Momnibus legislation. In fact, “nearly 200 organizations have endorsed the Momnibus Act, including the California Nurse-Midwives Association, the NAACP, Childbirth Survival International, and Moms Clean Air Force,” per Al Dia. The bill was introduced by Reps. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) and Alma Adams (D-NC), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and the Black Maternal Health Caucus—and counts 16 Senators among its sponsors.
In an Atmos feature entitled “A Clarion Call to Environmental Consciousness,” our senior advisor, Heather McTeer Toney, shares what it means for our advocacy to be rooted in the guiding belief that there should be “justice in every breath” against the backdrop of Black History Month. In honor of Black History Month, Heather is also profiled alongside other Black climate change-makers in a feature compiled by the Southern Environmental Law Center.
MOMS WANT CLEANER CARS
In a letter to the Holland Sentinel, Elizabeth Hauptman, our Michigan field organizer, called for strong leadership from elected leaders to clean up tailpipe emissions from cars: “We need to work together to eliminate climate pollution from cars, trucks and buses by transitioning to 100 percent electric vehicles by 2040. This will take a All of Government approach and everyone working together around three common goals: a commitment to climate leadership, a desire to restore our right to clean air and a new approach to pollution that prioritizes public health and environmental justice. Nothing less will do if we are serious about our children’s future. As a mother who has witnessed her son gasp for air in the throes of an asthma attack, I know too well that my son’s lungs, heart and other vital organs depend on clear air to function.”
OUR SUPPORT FOR EPA NOMINEE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR
In its coverage of a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the nomination of Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, CQ Roll Call quoted our director Dominique Browning on her views about the importance of the role: “Regan will inherit an agency that must move forward to pursue an ambitious agenda to better protect the health of all Americans and redress the grievous social disparities in who gets clean water and who breathes clean air.”
NOTED CLIMATE SCIENTIST SINGLES US OUT
In a wide-ranging interview with The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, noted climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe discusses how her organization is aligned with other climate-fighting mamas: “[T]here are many other successful moms groups that we are aware of and that we are definitely interested in establishing partnerships and collaborations with. For example, Moms Clean Air Force is absolutely fantastic. They’re focused specifically on political lobbying, and they do air quality and climate change.”
COAL’S NEFARIOUS IMPACT ON PUBLIC HEALTH, ECONOMY
Public News Service interviewed National Field Manager Patrice Tomcik—who lives in the shadow of oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania—about a new analysis suggesting that coal will be all but eliminated from electricity generation in the U.S. by 2033. Patrice emphasized that until our nation shifts away from coal-fired plants, the health impacts will disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income populations: “The reality is that Black, Brown, indigenous and other people of color, and low-income populations and children, are especially impacted by these polluting sources.”
Earth 911 features a Valentine’s Day gift-giving guide for those wanting to show some love for the planet. There’s a shout-out for Moms Clean Air Force as an organization worthy of donations: “Breathing dirty air actually leads to heart attacks and heart disease. Support a group working to protect air quality, and let your heart beat a little lighter.”
The Missoula Current plugged an upcoming book talk co-hosted by our Montana chapter in which parents will learn from experts about how to talk with their kids about climate change.
The Mansfield News Journal in Ohio profiled local candidates running for city council seats this year. The list includes our former Ohio field organizer, Laura Burns, who is running on the Republican ticket. She one of many of our organizers, volunteers, and staff who have gone on to pursue elected office.