Moms Clean Air Force staff and members make news throughout the country!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Days before the winter holidays, Moms Clean Air Force’s Regional Field Manager Elizabeth Brandt and her four-year old daughter Natalia met with lawmakers and Santa’s “squad” in the US Capitol to talk about climate action. Energy and Environment News reporter Bev Banks spoke with Elizabeth and her daughter about the experience, which represented a respite from the negative energy surrounding impeachment: “Being able to be with Santa can be an actual bipartisan moment, and it actually can create a bipartisan moment on climate change, which is unfortunately rare,” Elizabeth said. When Natalia spoke to the reporter, she said, “I’m doing good behavior,” and her mother replied, “I think Santa really approves of us taking climate action.” At Moms Clean Air Force, we couldn’t agree more! Watch the NowThis video here.
THIS MOM PUSHED BACK AGAINST ANOTHER ROLLBACK
When anyone moves to weaken a 50-year-old law that is the cornerstone of environmental protection in the US, prepare for moms to disapprove. On January 9th, President Trump proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (or NEPA), which requires agencies to get public feedback on new projects and to consider the potential environmental harms associated with new projects. Taking her megaphone to Twitter, Moms Clean Air Force’s national field director Heather McTeer Toney tweeted: “This is a threat to communities across the country but especially to black and brown communities suffering from #AirPollution.” Justine Calma, science writer for the Verge, captured Heather’s timely reaction in her reporting.
MOMS UNITE IN ARIZONA, NEVADA
The Arizona chapter of Moms Clean Air Force continues to apply pressure on Senator Martha McSally for her climate inaction since taking office. As the Senator’s first anniversary in office arrived, our organization joined others to vocalize their outrage as part of a “Where Is Senator McSally?” campaign that was shared with reporters throughout the state. Learn more about this effort here, as reported in the Arizona Mirror.
Meanwhile, in Nevada, Moms Clean Air Force got noticed for its participation in the Nevada Climate Justice Coalition. With the goal of educating people about the effects of climate change — especially on low-income communities of color — Moms Clean Air Force and its program Ecomadres have teamed up with several groups to form the coalition. The group’s first priority is to improve a public lands bill that falls short of addressing environmental justice. See Public News Service coverage here and the Nevada Independent’s coverage here of these efforts to make our cities more equitable for all.
MOMS DEMAND SENSIBLE PROTECTIONS
Writing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper, Vanessa Lynch, the field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force in Pennsylvania, penned a letter to the editor calling for stricter state methane rules. Vanessa argues that, without comprehensive state-level methane protections, families like hers would be exposed to the health and safety risks from air pollutants such as volatile organic compounds and methane that can escape from unconventional gas operations. “As Pennsylvania is allowing this industrial process to occur in suburban residential communities like mine,” she commented, “parents who care deeply about protecting their families are speaking up.”
MOMS ON HOW TO TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT CLIMATE
Ronnie Citron-Fink, editorial director for Moms Clean Air Force, was quoted in an article showing how parents can introduce climate change to children of all ages: “Sex. Drugs. Global extinction. When difficult subjects come up, it’s not easy being a parent — especially when that subject is climate change.” As a former schoolteacher, Ronnie explains why, for example, it’s smart to share news articles with one’s teens about their peers making a difference. Take the flourishing youth climate movement: “It’s empowering for teens to see that the government and people are taking them seriously,” said Citron-Fink. “It shows them that their voices matter.”
A number of our Moms Clean Air Force team have recently been profiled in their local newspapers for climate leadership in their communities.
In a lengthy interview with the Arizona Republic, Arizona field organizer Columba Sainz shared what it’s like to mother her three children in an area known for dangerous air pollution. Describing the moment she found out about high-pollution advisories through an app on her phone: “‘My life just changed right there,’ Sainz said, her eyes filling with tears. ‘How do you limit a kid from four hours to 15 minutes outside? My life depended on checking on apps before having my children go outside. The house becomes your safe zone from the outside. But at the same time, you see all these other children outside and it’s like how do you communicate to them that this could happen to them as well?’”
In West Virginia, Leah Barbor, the first-ever field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force in the state, was profiled in her local paper the Buckhannon. Leah is organizing an event to bring climate change issues home, discussing how fellow residents can take action and hold their elected officials accountable. One why she joined the organization, Leah offered that her passion for the mission combined with her environmental science background “…was a really beautiful way to merge my two passions together and be in service to my children and all children, and to a cause that is greater than I am.”
In Ohio, Laura Burns, former field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force, was appointed by her county’s Republican Party to fill a seat on the Mansfield City Council. In a profile published in the Mansfield News Journal this week, Laura credits her more than three years working with Moms Clean Air Force with helping to lay the foundation for her new role: “I got a lot of really great opportunities and got to build a lot of great relationships.”
Lastly, in recognition of the remarkable life of our Maryland member Brigitte Jacobson, we share with sadness her obituary in the Baltimore Sun here. Ms. Jacobson was one of only a few black female pilots in the Navy – to name but one of this renaissance woman’s many achievements. As a Moms Clean Air Force member, she travelled to Annapolis and to Washington, DC to meet with legislators about air pollution and climate change. We are grateful for all that she gave to Moms Clean Air Force, and we mourn her passing.