For the past six summers, Moms Clean Air Force has hosted our annual Play-In for Climate Action in Washington, DC, welcoming hundreds of families from across the country to advocate for clean air protections to their members of congress. But this was a summer like no other. This summer, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we moved the Play-In to a virtual platform, hosting multiple “Stay-In & Speak Out for Climate Action” events with lawmakers and their constituents to continue to advocate for clean air and climate action.
As summer winds down, and kids are back in school – online-only for many of us – we are celebrating the ongoing work of our members to continue to meet with their lawmakers to talk about the issues that matter to them as parents. This effort will culminate this Saturday, September 12, 2PM ET, with a live-streamed event showcasing our summertime conversations with lawmakers, and featuring a lively concert with Latin-Grammy Award winning artist, author, and activist Mister G as well as Chilean Jazz Vocalist Claudia Acuña. The two will perform for a virtual audience in the historic Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, Massachusetts. Join us!
Our moms – and their kids – in Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC have recently met with their lawmakers to talk about air pollution and climate change. You can view recordings of those events here.
Another late-summer highlight was the conversation hosted by our Ecomadres program with Congressman Ruiz (CA-36), an emergency room doctor from an area with some of the worst air quality in the country. This important discussion with Representative Ruiz, Representative Raquel Teran of the Arizona House of Representatives, advocates for voter access, and clean air advocates addressed some of the overlapping concerns that affect the Latino community in particular: Access to healthcare; environmental and social justice; immigration concerns; and voter access. This intersectional conversation amplified the unique challenges facing the Latino community during this global pandemic that is causing disproportionate harm to Latinos in the US. Watch the replay here.
Faith Guides This Mom to Give Back to Her Community and Fight Air Pollution
Arizona field organizer Columba Sainz was featured on the Spanish-language Catholic website Aleteia. Columba fights air pollution based on her love for protecting babies and children, and this love is rooted in her faith. Columba discussed her journey as a Latina in defending babies and children who are exposed to harmful air pollution. As she explains: “My passion has always been to be present for my community; when I help others, I feel a happiness that comes from Heaven; I feel the presence of God and I see his Face. When I feel that I can give something for others, I want to give it; whether it be joy, or a little food that is in my house. And something that is moving me lately is the desire for my community to be informed. I have always felt especially identified with children; I feel that my vocation is like that of a teacher, I see myself that way, and that is why I feel fulfilled in the Moms organization, because it is working with our children and our mothers.” (Translated from the original Spanish.)
Moms Tell Automakers to Clean Up Their Act
Moms Clean Air Force recently joined with consumer, environmental justice, climate, and faith partners, to deliver more than a quarter of a million signatures to automaker CEOs urging them to stop supporting the harmful Trump administration rollback of our Clean Car Standards.
I spoke with the Palm Springs Desert Sun about the significant public outcry calling on automakers to change course to protect the health, safety, and future of our children: “Molly Rauch, a public health policy director for Moms Clean Air Force that signed onto the petition, said the fight to halt Trump’s rollbacks is also about air quality. ‘We’re here in a global pandemic that’s a respiratory disease,’ Rauch said. ‘As parents, we see this as a time to really ramp up protections from air pollution because it makes our health more vulnerable to things like COVID.’”
We are still collecting signatures on our automaker petition; join us in raising your voice to demand that automakers do the right thing.