This was written by Tracy Sabetta:
Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to have a job that enables me to interact with some fascinating people. Last week, I attended an event where I had the opportunity to visit with former US Senator, astronaut, and recent Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree John Glenn, as well as actor and activist Martin Sheen.
But the real hero in the room from my perspective was Senator Glenn’s wife, Annie. At age 92, Annie has bounced back from major surgery more quickly than could have ever been expected so that she could join her husband in Washington DC for the medal presentation ceremony and now on the road to stand up for the issues important to both of them. Having raised two children, Annie understands the power of a mother’s love and a mother’s voice. Just like the rest of us, she would fiercely protect her family from danger.
It was with that protection in mind that I also approached a staff member from Senator Sherrod Brown’s office. Brown is a US Senator from Ohio who has been consistently supportive of clean air regulations. The Senator’s staff member informed me that he will not vote for the Congressional Review Act resolution being offered by Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma. The measure would strip the authority from the EPA to implement the newly adopted Mercury and Air Toxics rule. Perhaps even more daunting is that this rule would prohibit a future rule from being developed or enacted.
Senator Brown had been a target of Senator Inhofe’s for the vote on this resolution. The US Chamber of Commerce has already spent millions of dollars in Ohio in opposition to Senator Brown, and they would love nothing more than to see him oppose the measure and open himself up for further negative publicity. And yet he remains committed to the cause.
Clearly, I was thrilled to hear that Senator Brown recognized the importance of these clean air rules, and would oppose efforts to eliminate them. But the story I heard next was what kept my attention. The staffer reported me to that those in his office were very excited to have received no fewer than 80 Moms Clean Air Force Naptime Note Cards and handwritten letters from moms around Ohio! Enclosed with the letters were drawings done by kids depicting the importance of clean air in their lives. According to the staffer, interns in the office were competing to see who had the cutest drawing. They went immediately onto the bulletin board in the Columbus, Ohio office of Senator Brown.
While it is always fun to mingle with celebrities and pay respect to those you admire for having the “right stuff,” I walked away that afternoon knowing that Ohio moms were the star of the show when it comes to protecting the right of their families and children to breathe clean air.