As Congress continues negotiating the Build Back Better Act, our members and staff are pulling no punches in ensuring passage of the act with the strongest possible climate provisions. We are rallying support with phone calls, emails, opinion pieces, social media posts, events, and much more. It’s an all-hands-on-deck moment in the fight for a cleaner future—with climate safety for our children and future generations at the heart of it all. To learn more about some of the most important climate provisions in the Build Back Better Act, read Trisha Dello Iacono’s roundup here. To tell Congress to get its act together on the Build Back Better Act, please add your name to our petition here.
COME ON, CONGRESS!
Writing in the Des Moines Register, our Iowa field organizer, Karin Stein (pictured above), calls for Congress to bring more electric school buses to Iowa: “We are advocating for the current infrastructure discussions in Washington to lead to increased and consistent funding that would equitably electrify our school buses.” And as Karin makes clear: “This is a significant opportunity for our state to transition away from diesel school buses to improve our children’s health, education, and well-being, and to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s get it right, Iowa. Let’s electrify. Our kids’ health is at stake.”
WHO IS AT MOST RISK IN A HOTTER SOUTHWEST?
The Associated Press spoke to our Nevada field organizer, Cinthia Zermeño Moore, about living in an already hot and fast-growing desert area: “Environmental activist Cinthia Moore said she’s watched Clark County’s population explode as more people move to southern Nevada, even as her largely Latino East Las Vegas neighborhood endures more frequent heat waves. ‘People here don’t walk outside in the heat unless they have to.’” As the article points out, “people at greatest risk are often in poor and racially diverse communities where many households lack the means to cope with more and more frequent heat waves.” Paraphrasing Cinthia, the article says that “heat is especially hard on low-income renters who cannot install solar panels to save energy costs and must rely on landlords to fix broken air conditioners.”
HAVE WILDFIRES MADE AMERICANS MORE AWARE OF THE CLIMATE CRISIS?
This is the very question at the heart of a new Forbes article featuring our Nevada field organizer, Jennifer Cantley, who opens up about her experience living dangerously close to the Caldor fire that raged near her Lake Tahoe area home: “The first wildfire started here at end of May, when we physically had to evacuate our house. None of them are fully contained yet. The smoke is still coming in and out. About two weeks ago, it started clearing out. But from the end of June to the end of September, we have just been covered in smoke.” As Forbes notes, “[Jennifer] is also only too aware of the impact that fires have both on the environment and crucially on the air we breathe—a connection that not everyone makes.”
PRESSING WV SENATOR MANCHIN TO BUILD BACK BETTER
Our West Virginia field organizer, Lucia Valentine, spoke to Public News Service about her ongoing work to urge Senator Manchin to support President Biden’s climate agenda: “[Lucia says] she takes Manchin at his word, who asserted he is listening to West Virginians affected by the extreme weather events of a changing climate: ‘I think that the climate impacts in our state are too consequential to ignore. I live along the Potomac River, and my family has been displaced by flooding recently that has only worsened over … my time living in West Virginia.’ For Lucia, [she] believes the well-being of West Virginia’s next generation depends on reducing the pollution from carbon emissions: ‘We’re in this moment. And we have this opportunity for Manchin to really step up and support our nation and our state, by allowing these investments.’”
HOW THE CLIMATE CRISIS IS RESHAPING FAMILY LIFE
And finally, a shout-out to our wonderful volunteers and members: The Washington Post has a powerful feature out on how teens and their parents are reshaping their relationships in light of the climate crisis. This in-depth piece profiles families that are longtime Moms Clean Air Force members and collaborators hailing from Iowa, North Carolina, and West Virginia. In each case, the parents and their children have galvanized their families to reflect and act on climate. As 17-year-old Kallan Benson put it: “My entire teenage life I have been aware of the climate crisis, focused on this very large issue that impacts our entire world, so that certainly has been a weight on my growing up.” As the writer says about Kelle Pressely: “She has always made a point to talk to her children frankly about the issues that will shape their lives, particularly as they reach their teen years and begin to move more freely in the outside world. And not just climate change. As a Black family, systemic racism and police brutality have often been topics of worry and discussion.” Stephanie BadSoldier Snow, who lives on the Meskwaki Settlement in central Iowa, says that complex climate conversations are the norm: “One of our teachings in parenting is that you treat your children as if they are little adults, you don’t talk down to them. We bring them into these conversations about big topics.”