One week ago, the United States House of Representatives voted to approve the single largest investment ever in climate safety and environmental justice through the Build Back Better Act. This historic climate investment builds on the recent passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which shores up the nation’s aging infrastructure and cuts pollution fueling the climate crisis. In a press statement, Dominique Browning, our Director and Co-Founder, praised the House passage of the Build Back Better Act which, if made law, would enable a “future safer, cleaner, and more secure for all of us, and especially our children.” As this legislation now moves to the Senate, Moms will be watching to ensure that all our Senators get the job done!
To connect with your Senator about Building Back Better, click here.
BUILDING BACK BETTER AT HOME
Georgia Public Broadcasting covered a press conference at which our Georgia organizer Almeta Cooper (pictured above) spoke about the Build Back Better Act. The event spotlighted the Act’s more than $620 billion in improvements to transform our transportation infrastructure — the largest source of climate pollution in our country. Almeta noted how this funding includes significant investments to bolster the growing market for pollution-free electric vehicles: “This is a goal that scientists say is necessary to prevent the impacts of climate change…. Time is running out. Going big on climate action and investing in our communities is crucial both to Georgia and to our nation.”
In a recent Medium op-ed that Almeta co-authored, she discusses how the Build Back Better Act will fight air pollution in her home state of Georgia, and why the Senate must act now to pass this historic climate bill. “As women of faith, we’re both gravely concerned for the state of the air in Georgia,” Almeta and her co-author, Ann Cramer, assert. They argue that the Build Back Better Act will help Georgia modernize its electrical grid to move cleaner, cheaper electricity to communities throughout the state: “It’s no secret that the areas with the dirtiest air continue to be disproportionately lower-income communities and Black or Latino neighborhoods. Environmental injustice is one of the most persistent threats to racial equity, and the proposed legislation seeks to address this by fully targeting 40% of the benefits of investments in climate and clean infrastructure to disadvantaged communities.”
In Arizona, our field organizer Columba Sainz is featured in a short video to bring attention to the benefits of the Build Back Better Act for families like hers. The video follows Columba with her family during an afternoon outing outdoors in Phoenix. Columba asks: “How are we setting up our kids for a bright future if we don’t clean up our air?”
URBAN GROWTH & DECLINING AIR QUALITY IN LAS VEGAS
Las Vegas’s ABC affiliate, KTNV, interviewed our Nevada field organizer Cinthia Zermeño Moore about her city’s air quality amid rapid growth and development. As Cinthia explained, “My son is the reason I became aware of air quality. When he was born we used to live close to Lone Mountain, and when he turned about a year old we moved to the east side of Las Vegas and that’s when I started noticing he was having allergic reactions. And when it’s really windy he starts having breathing problems.” As the summary on the news site further explains, Cinthia uses “multiple air purifiers in her home, and she limits her son’s time outside when the air quality is poor,” to counter the city’s unhealthy air.
CLEANER CARS FOR THIS MOM, PLEASE!
In Albuquerque, local newsroom KRQE interviewed Celerah Hewes, our project manager, about the city council’s move to enact stronger clean car standards and shift city vehicles to hybrid and low-emission fuels. Celerah noted the effects of climate change on New Mexicans: “Climate change is greatly impacting New Mexico and the southwest. With drought, we’re seeing longer, more intense wildfire seasons, as well as record heat waves affecting New Mexico’s families.”
Nevada field organizer Jennifer Cantley spoke to Inside Climate News for their reporting on Thacker Pass, poised to become the biggest lithium mine in the US. Jennifer spoke up about her concerns around this extractive process in her home state: “Many locals like Jennifer Cantley, an organizer with Moms Clean Air Force, a Nevada group that works with politicians to safeguard against pollution, said she believes any contaminated air from the plant is too much. ‘It scares me how quickly they did this. This is my home. This will affect my family. I can’t let up.’”
OUR MESSAGE AT COP26, DELIVERED
South Africa’s Mail & Guardian reported on a letter Moms Clean Air Force co-signed alongside hundreds of parent groups around the world to demand an end to the financing for all new fossil fuels. This effort marked the largest mobilization of parents on any issue ever. This letter was delivered to the COP26 President. Here is a brief excerpt: “We are a growing, dynamic movement of parents from all around the world. We make decisions every day for our children’s long-term future, and here at COP26, so do you. You have a unique responsibility and opportunity to protect all children, present and future.”
- At a Philadeliphia press conference on prioritizing environmental justice in Pennsylvania, Moms Clean Air Force got a shout-out from speaker State Representative Donna Bullock. Here is our related press statement.
- In Western Pennsylvania, the Allegheny Front and Environmental Health News listed Moms Clean Air Force as one of several groups to team up with on clean air action as part of a series on how climate change, polluted air, and water impact mental health.
- Our Iowa field organizer Karin Stein will receive the Iowa Environmental Council’s Community Champion award in recognition of her efforts to educate and engage frontline communities impacted by climate change.
- E&E News reports that Moms Clean Air Force is among the 22 environmental organizations urging the Biden administration to protect public health by reigning in emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks with a letter found here.
- E&E News also reports that Moms Clean Air Force has joined a coalition of organizations to launch a website and a series of digital ads slamming the auto giant Toyota for lobbying against climate solutions and blocking efforts to electrify the transportation sector.