You never forget your first Grateful Dead concert. Mine was July 4, 1990. With no shade and temperatures well above 100 degrees, it was so hot that Jerry Garcia wore cut-offs — causing a sensation in a crowd accustomed to his uniform of black T-shirt and jeans. The (literally) blistering heat was probably why the band wistfully opened the first set with “Cold Rain and Snow.”
I attended many more Dead shows in the years leading up to Jerry’s death, but none would match that one’s intensity — in terms of heat. It’s frightening to acknowledge that days of extreme heat like that one are increasing as a result of climate change. Already, 2015 is on record as the hottest year in history.
Twenty-five years later, I am a mom who worries about climate change and its effect on my daughter’s future. That’s why I am so excited to represent Moms Clean Air Force during the Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead tour, along with 20 nonprofits who were invited to join the tour’s Participation Row.
I will be with Moms Clean Air Force’s national field organizer, Gretchen Dahlkemper, in Chicago–including the July 4th concert on the 25th anniversary of my first Dead show. We’ll ask concert-goers to join our community of more than 500,000 moms and dads, and pledge to vote for candidates willing to address the climate crisis.
We’re asking you, too. PLEDGE TO VOTE CLIMATE.
Participation Row is organized by Headcount, an organization that stages voter registration drives at concerts and run programs that “translate the power of music into real action.” At Moms Clean Air Force, over half a million moms harness the power of mother love to fight back against polluters.
The Grateful Dead also harnessed the power of love — and music — for 30 years and more than 2,000 concerts, supporting a wide variety of causes. Since 1984, the Dead’s Rex Foundation has given $8.9 million to over 1,200 environmental, social justice, education, community, arts and indigenous culture organizations.
The Dead’s culture of love, community and stewardship helped shape the woman, mom and activist I’ve become. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do this work through Moms Clean Air Force, and to thank the boys, once again, “for a real good time.”