From the moment Virginia mom Heather Clark first came to us with the dream of staging a play-in, we were excited. Our first event – a multi-tasking climate activist mom’s version of a sit-in – came to life last week with the Play-In for Climate Action.
We knew that bringing more than 200 moms and kids to the US Capitol grounds to ask Congress to protect children from climate change would be simple, effective, and powerful. After all, playing is what kids know how to do. And indeed, kids played parachute games, held pinwheels, did yoga, and brought a feeling of glee to the very serious task of demanding clean air for a healthy future. Senators Barbara Boxer and Sheldon Whitehouse also joined us and spoke to the crowd.
“We have some very big polluters who are polluting our planet,” said Senator Whitehouse. “We have those same polluters who are polluting our democracy with a lot of money and a lot of influence. And up against those big polluters, we have the Moms Clean Air Force. And I want to tell you that my money is on the moms.”
After, a line of families more than two blocks long marched to the Capitol.
What we didn’t understand until the actual event was how it would feel to be witnessing the arrival of a movement: a mom movement to end climate change. Together with parents from across the country — California, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Utah, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts — we showed Congress the new face of climate activism.
And here’s what we now know: We are going to win this fight. Because the corporate polluters will be no match for the families who are gathering in our communities, in our states, and across the nation to say, with heart and soul: Protect our children from climate change.
Join us later this month for four more Play-Ins in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC on July 29th and 31st. We will gather families at public hearings on EPA’s proposed rule to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants — our nation’s largest single source of greenhouse gas pollution. Because nothing shows how important it is to curb climate pollution better than skipping, tossing a ball, and generally just playing with our precious children.
Photo: Ted Fink Photography