Although we are holding all of our events virtually right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, our online events continue to bring members together around our shared passion for clean air and a stable climate. In celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day earlier this month, we hosted a lively discussion about motherhood and our connection to the Earth from the perspective of three Indigenous mothers. Check out our event calendar to learn about upcoming events.
PARENTING WHILE WILDFIRES RAGE ON
Jennifer Cantley, our Nevada field organizer, and her three sons are featured in a Nevada Independent profile that uncovers what it’s like to live day-to-day with heavy smoke from wildfires and the mounting health concerns that families like hers face. In Carson City, where Jennifer lives, heavy smoke from the record-setting fires raging in California is adding to existing concerns around the health effects of poor air quality. It’s also upending their family life: “I am literally deciding whether my children can go outside for 10 minutes. This is not normal.” Jennifer also shares her concerns for her two sons living with asthma, who are prone to asthma attacks when the air quality is unhealthy. Air pollution makes asthma attacks more frequent and severe. Joey, her oldest son, reminds us that extreme fires made worse by our warming world are a compelling argument for urgent action on climate: “This is not my future. It’s millions of kids’ futures.”
In Arizona, where Columba Sainz, our Arizona organizer, lives with her husband and three children, wildfire smoke is also polluting the air and forcing her kids to stay indoors. In her op-ed published in the Arizona Mirror, Columba explains the impact of poor air quality: “[A]s more smoke pollutes our air from wildfires raging in the West, my family has had to live by a new rulebook. And it’s one that is breaking our hearts.” In Maricopa County where Columba lives, the wildfire smoke adds insult to existing injury: her county has some of the worst air quality in the nation. “But it doesn’t have to be this way. Dirty air is preventable,” Columba says. Columba explains how dirty air is a matter of justice: “Too many Latino families I know are facing impossible choices — like choosing between using the air conditioning, paying the rent or buying food. This is environmental injustice, because no one should have to make these decisions, especially as climate change-fueled wildfires across the West threaten to send toxic wildfire smoke our way.”
WHAT’S ON YOUR BALLOT?
In a letter to the Columbus Dispatch editor, Moms Clean Air Force member Rashay Khripunova explains why she’s supporting a local ballot initiative to ensure that all energy in Columbus, Ohio, comes from 100% renewable sources by 2022. For Rashay, mom of two, the logic is simple: “energy generation toward sources like wind and solar […] will reduce harmful pollution and improve the health of our kids.” Rashay also points out that in Franklin County, 24,000 children live with asthma, which is made worse by air pollution: “My children are extremely fortunate not to suffer from respiratory illnesses, but my friends have kids who are not so lucky. I have seen them suffer on bad air quality days and have no choice but to limit the activities that let our kids be kids.”
TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE: IT’S BEYOND TIME FOR CLIMATE SAFETY