Moms are working in Illinois to fight for clean air and a stable climate. We host events, share information about what’s going on, and create opportunities for mothers to talk to their legislators about their concerns. Please join us in Illinois, and let us know about your priorities.
members in Illinois
How we’re making a difference in Illinois
Moms Clean Air Force applauds the passage of historic climate legislation in Illinois.
On September 15, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed into law the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act. This historic legislation puts Illinois on a path to 100% clean energy by 2050 and creates programs to clean up our transportation sector, by expanding access to light-, medium-, and heavy-duty electric vehicles and public transit. The new law also prioritizes clean energy investments, job training, hiring, and new business creation for low-income communities and communities of color. It prioritizes the closure of coal and gas plants in environmental justice communities and establishes transition programs for communities and workers affected by the closure of these plants.
This is a tremendous step forward for Illinois and our country to protect our children’s health and future.
Illinois moms call on EPA to set strong standards for methane pollution.
In June 2021, our Illinois members joined Moms Clean Air Force staff and volunteers from across the country to participate in EPA’s listening sessions on its upcoming oil and natural gas methane rule. The listening sessions were a unique opportunity for environmental justice and frontline communities to weigh in ahead of the proposed rulemaking. Moms advocated for at least a 65% reduction in methane pollution from oil and gas operations, compared to 2012 levels, no later than 2025.
Moms Clean Air Force intern Samantha Schmitz offered testimony. She gave her perspective as a young adult facing the climate crisis:
“As I reflect on all that I’ve learned about the climate crisis through my studies as well as my personal experiences, something I always come back to is my desire to be a mom one day. Air pollution is exacerbated by climate change and will only get worse by the time I want to have kids, if we don’t drastically cut methane pollution among other things. How do I justify bringing a child into a world knowing what I know about the growing negative health effects of air pollution and climate change?”
Read Samantha’s full testimony HERE.
Illinois moms deliver powerful message to US automakers.
In May 2018, Illinois moms and kids joined moms from across the Midwest to deliver 13,000 petitions from Moms Clean Air Force members to the headquarters of the Big Three automakers—Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler—in Detroit, Michigan. Moms urged the automakers to oppose the Trump administration’s rollback of the Clean Car Standards.
Read more about the petition delivery HERE.
Moms & Mayors
Our Moms & Mayors program connects moms with their mayors and local leaders to improve children’s health and build resilient communities. We educate, empower and mobilize moms in their hometowns to work with their local elected leaders to implement clean air strategies, reduce toxins in the community, and take action on climate change. We also train moms to join boards and commissions and urge them to run for office.
Launched in September 2018, the EcoMadres program brings Latina moms together to address issues of clean air, climate, and toxics that affect the health of Latino children and families. EcoMadres is a collaboration between Moms Clean Air Force and a number of partner organizations across the US.
The program provides comadres with reliable information and solutions through online resources, articles, action tools, and on-the-ground events. Our inclusive community empowers and lifts up the voices of comadres for the benefit of our families and communities. EcoMadres has a vibrant network of state-based field teams and allies across the country.
We host cafecitos around the country that provide opportunities for the communities to discuss air quality and climate change.
Community Health Equity
Moms Clean Air Force is committed to exposing environmental injustices in the African-American community by taking a stand against environmental discrimination, holding legislators accountable for lack of resources, educating communities on their rights and their issues, standing with impacted communities, and fighting for clean air and climate solutions to promote healthy children and healthy communities.
Through our environmental health justice program Community Health Equity, our goal is to advocate, educate, and amplify through partnering with impacted communities and environmental justice organizations on events and resource development. We hold Table Talks around the country, casual gatherings that organize, motivate, and activate volunteers; partner with churches to use our “Breath of Life” Bible Study; and provide information on environmental health issues in African-American communities.
Our children breathe polluted air.
The Chicago area experienced 39 code orange and 5 code red days for ozone pollution from 2019 to 2021. This high number of unsafe ozone days caused Cook County, along with DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, and McHenry Counties, to receive an F grade from the American Lung Association for their air quality.
Our lakes are at risk.
Illinois borders the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes on earth, the Great Lakes. The source of drinking water to more than 40 million people, the Great Lakes are threatened by pollution and declining water levels, which is already resulting in increased algal blooms. Scientists predict that climate change will cause water levels in the Great Lakes to drop significantly in coming decades, threatening this source of not only vital drinking water, but also transportation, tourism, commercial fishing operations, manufacturing operations, and sportsmen industries.
On June 15, three Moms Clean Air Force Illinois volunteers joined more than 70 Moms Clean Air Force staff and members in 22 states and Washington, DC, to testify at EPA’s virtual public hearing on proposed federal standards for carbon pollution from power plants.
On May 24, EcoMadres Iowa coordinator Karin Stein joined Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, Neighbors for an Equitable Transition to Zero Emission, American Lung Association, and Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for a virtual conversation about the consequences of environmental pollution on children’s health. Experts, including Karin, talked about pollution in the Chicago area and across the US and possible solutions for the future. Watch the replay.
On February 16, EcoMadres Iowa coordinator Karin Stein joined Pilsen Neighbors Community Council for a virtual meeting to discuss the consequences of environmental pollution in Pilsen, Illinois, on the health of our children. Watch the replay (in Spanish).
On January 10, 11, and 12, more than 60 Moms Clean Air Force staff and members from 21 states and Washington, DC, spoke out at EPA’s virtual public hearing about its updated proposal to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from new and existing oil and gas operations. Volunteer Annika Lutz offered testimony.
Illinois moms joined Moms Clean Air Force staff and volunteers from across the country to participate in EPA’s listening sessions on its upcoming oil and natural gas methane rule. Moms Clean Air Force intern Samantha Schmitz offered testimony. Read Samantha’s testimony.
On March 9, Moms Clean Air Force, along with partners EDF and Black Millennials for Flint, hosted an important conversation between Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14), pediatrician and environmental health expert Dr. Yolanda Whyte, and LaTricea Adams, Founder, President & CEO of BlackMillennials4Flint. This discussion, moderated by Moms Clean Air Force’s National Field Manager Tonya Calhoun, PhD, focused on Black maternal health, how inequities in health care and systemic racism impact Black moms and babies, and what we can do to tackle the problem. Watch the replay.
Members of Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended the sixth annual Play-In for Climate Action on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Members of Moms Clean Air Force testified at the Affordable Clean Energy Rule Public Hearing in Chicago.
Members of Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended the fifth annual Play-In for Climate Action on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Field organizer, Kelly Nichols was facilitator in a meeting with the City of Chicago Department of Health and the South East Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois members testified at the Manganese Dust Rule Hearing with City of Chicago.
Field organizer, Kelly Nichols joined Ohio field organizer, Laura Burns in Detroit to deliver over 13,000 petition signatures from Moms Clean Air Force members demanding that the big 3 automakers–Ford, Chrysler and GM–continue enforcing Clean Cars Standards.
Field organizer, Kelly Nichols attended the Manganese Town Hall held on the Southeast Side of Chicago as a part of the South East Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke.
Field organizer, Kelly Nichols spoke at a press event called by the U.S. EPA Region 5 local employees union (AFGE 704) around the fact that Scott Pruitt took a secret trip to Indiana without telling community organizers, EPA Staff, or reporters.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at MommyCon Chicago.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois met with Representative Robin Kelly’s office, and Representative Peter Roskam’s office.
Field organizer, Kelly Nichols spoke at a press conference around the redevelopment of the Crawford Coal Plant site in Little Village with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Sierra Club, Jobs With Justice, and other allies.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended the Mayor’s Climate Summit in Chicago.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended and spoke at a press conference in Little Village with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization.
Field consultant, Kelly Nichols spoke about local air pollution and advocacy to a standing room only crowd at the Highland Park Public Library in Highland Park, IL.
Field consultant, Kelly Nichols testified at an EPA Clean Power Plan hearing held in Charleston, WV.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois co-hosted a “Southeast Side Play-In for Environmental Justice” to call for clean and healthy community safeguards, including action on the local S.H. Bell bulk materials handling facility, which stores the powerful neurotoxin manganese in large outdoor piles that are blowing into the homes of local residents.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois members traveled to Washington, DC to meet with lawmakers and urge them to protect EPA’s budget.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois members met with Senator Durbin to discuss toxic pollutants.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois members met with Senator Durbin during the 2017 Play-In for Climate Action.
Field consultant, Kelly Nichols spoke at a press conference on EPA budget cuts with Senator Duckworth.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at the Highland Park Bike Fair.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois field consultant Kelly Nichols was featured in a “Lunch and Learn” event with Conservation MN.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois participated in the Poor People’s Campaign with coalition members from the Southeast Coalition to Ban Petcoke and Community Strategy Group.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois presented on clean air, children’s health, and advocacy at Chicago’s Sinai Congregation with Lorena Lopez of Faith in Place.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois participated in the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization’s 5th Annual Youth Summit, called “Strengthening your roots through self care.”
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at Earth Day Fest in Galena.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at ELPC Rally for the Planet in Chicago.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at Springfield Earth Awareness Fair.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended Party for the planet at Brookfield Zoo.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended an environmental justice rally in downtown Chicago with over 100 attendees. Rally speakers included Melissa Mays of Flint, MI, as well as Rev. Rivera of East Chicago.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois participated in Earth Day of Action Springfield.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended the Illinois Resistance Fair.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended the Loyola Climate Conference.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois hosted a Town Hall focused on diesel pollution with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO).
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at Green living fair in Libertyville.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended One Earth Film Fest.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at GoGreen Wilmette Fair.
Field consultant Kelly Nichols met with Congressman Danny K. Davis’s in-district office.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended a press conference hosted by Senator Durbin focused on the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head EPA. Following the press event, field consultant, Kelly Nichols attended a rally with EPA employees in Federal Plaza.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended One Earth Film Fest.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at GoGreen Wilmette Fair.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended a rally to oppose the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head EPA.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois members participated in the Women’s March on Chicago, part of a network of marches held across the country.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended and tabled at the Highland Park Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Event in Highland Park.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended a Lake County Coalition Fundraiser Event.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended a NatGeo “Years of Living Dangerously” watch party featuring CPLC coalition.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois hosted a Play-In for Clean Energy at Meineke Park in Schaumburg.
Moms Clean Air Force Illinois hosted a press conference focused on the Clean Energy Incentive Program on the steps of Old St. Pat’s Church with partners: Chicago Youth Alliance for Climate Action, Faith in Place, and Respiratory Health Association.
Field organizer, Kelly Nichols taught a lesson on clean air and children’s health at the Academy for Global Citizenship to Ms. Fyffe’s 3rd grade class.
Field organizer, Kelly Nichols spoke at an Environmental Town Hall on America’s Clean Power Plan with an expert panel from ELPC, NRDC, Illinois Environmental Council, Chicago Botanic Garden, as well as State Senator Julie Morrison, State Representative Elaine Nekritz and State Representative Scott Drury.
Field organizer, Kelly Nichols attended the dedication and ribbon cutting in Altgeld Gardens on the South side of Chicago.
Moms Clean Air Force members testified at the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) hearing in Chicago.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at Radish Healthy Living Fair in Davenport, Iowa.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois hosted a “School’s Out Food Drive” contributing to the over 4,542 pounds of food collected by Moms Clean Air Force chapters nationwide.
- Field organizer, Kelly Nichols tabled at an event at Piotrowski Park in Chicago with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization. The event focused on clean air and concerns over diesel pollution.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended the Highland Park Walk/Bike Fair.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois presented at a Rotary Club in Moline.
- Field organizer, Kelly Nichols presented a portion of a ReAmp webinar on grassroots tactics and approaches by C3 organizations in an election year.
- Field Organizer, Kelly Nichols attended the Environmental Law and Policy Center 2016 Dinner and Celebration in Chicago. Also in attendance were many state and federal legislators (including Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL 09), and Senators Dick Durbin (IL) and Elizabeth Warren (MA)). Kelly was able to meet and connect with Senator Warren who was very pleased to see Moms Clean Air Force in attendance and told Kelly that the work Moms Clean Air Force does is so very important and to keep it up.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois conducted a Read-In at Gumdrops playgroup in Geneseo.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois conducted a Read-In at Glencoe Public Library.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois hosted an Earth Day Read in with new Geneseo Mayor Kathy Carrol-Duda at Concordia Lutheran Preschool.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at Forest Park Nature Center Earth Day Festival in Peoria.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at Brookfield Zoo – Party for the Planet.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois presented on methane at an Earthkeepers meeting in Moline.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled and hosted Read-Ins at the Galena Earth Day Festival.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois hosted a “Mama Summit” in Springfield.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended Baker School Spring Fling.
- Moms Clean Air Force hosted a Read-In at The Peace School in Chicago.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois hosted a “Read-In” in Chicago.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois hosted a Read-In with a yoga class at Gather play space in Evanston. Contact Kelly at email@example.com for more info or to RSVP.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois hosted a Read-In at Ravinia Nursery School.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended GO GREEN WILMETTE’S ENVIRONMENTAL FAIR, “Sustainable Suburbs,” at Michigan Shores Club.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois attended the Loyola Climate Conference.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois tabled at a Merchants of Doubt screening at Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Episcopal Church, 2415 N. Butrick, Waukegan, IL 60087.
- Moms Clean Air Force tabled at a screening of Merchants of Doubt in Peoria sponsored by partner Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance.
- Moms Clean Air Force tabled at MommyCon Chicago.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois discussed methane pollution at Metropolitan Community Church in Davenport, IA and conducted a press event and rally after the service.
- Moms Clean Air Force Illinois hosted a Peoria Press Event to discuss clean air and healthy hearts. The press conference featured: Robin Garlish (a mom, and asthma sufferer concerned about clean air), IL State Senator David Koehler, Pastor Wayne Wickware (who will talk about how clean air affects the whole being), Crystal Yost and Kelly Nichols (talking about the importance of children’s health and clean air).
- Moms Clean Air Force tabled at a Guster concert in Des Moines, IA where we talked about methane with concertgoers and got nearly 200 methane cards signed.
- Moms Clean Air Force hosted a Clean Air Valentine making party at Gumdrops playgroup in Geneseo, IL.
- Moms Clean Air Force hosted a Clean Air Valentine making party at Metropolitan Community Church in Davenport, IA.
- Field organizer, Kelly Nichols traveled to Champaign, IL to present at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on clean air, children’s health, and advocacy. She presented with Union of Concerned Scientists’ Jessica Collingsworth to an environmental law class and a public health and climate change class, taught by Warren Lavey and Dr. Holly Rosencranz, respectively.
- NewsNOW from FOX, Will Chemtool fire cause long lasting environmental impacts?
- Press Release, Moms in the Great Lakes region are outraged at EPA’s attack on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in the midst of a global respiratory pandemic: Sabotaging these standards is an unforgivable assault on our health
- WTTW Chicago PBS, Group Forecasts Statewide Impact of EPA’s Controversial Mercury Plan
- Takoma Radio, Climate Summer: The Heat
- NRDC, Southeast Siders Call for Moratorium After Soil Samples Show Substantial Manganese Contamination
- EcoWatch, EPA to Test Southeast Chicago Yards for Dangerous Neurotoxin
- Publicnow, Southeast Siders Call For Moratorium After Soil Samples Show Substantial Manganese Contamination
- The State Journal-Register, Guest View: Our families can’t afford clean air rollbacks
- Chicago Sun Times, Scott Pruitt’s moves at the EPA are a mom’s worst nightmare
- Fare-Free Midwest/Plains, Rahm Emanuel’s Commitment to Lowering Emissions Falls Short of Addressing Pollution Hotspots Across the City of Chicago.
- Chicago Tonight, EPA’s Pruitt Wants Lead-Free Drinking Water, But Offers No Plan
- Chicago Tonight, Chicago Will Require Storage Company to Install Air Monitors
- CBS Chicago, Obama To Speak At Chicago Climate
- Chicago Tonight, South, West Side Residents to Emanuel: You’re No ‘Green’ Mayor
- Deutsche Welle, Activists voice opposition to Obama climate plan repeal in coal country
- Steve’s Weave – Green Classifieds, Moms Clean Air Force: Harnessing mother love to rid mother earth of air pollution
- MyInforms, DURBIN TO CDC: INVESTIGATE MANGANESE RISKS ON CHICAGO’S SOUTHEAST SIDE
- Chicago Tonight, Durbin to CDC: Investigate Manganese Risks on Chicago’s Southeast Side
- Chicago Tribune, Clean Power Lake County Applauds Waukegan City Council’s Adoption of Paris Climate Agreement Goals
- Riverbender, Duckworth warns against dangerous impacts of EPA cuts in Trump’s budget
- Chicago Tribune, Clean Power Lake County Members March for Climate Action on Trump’s 100th Day in Office
- The Greenpreneur Show, Climate Deniers
- Well Rounded NY, 25 Eco-Moms to Watch
- The Daily Herald, The appointment of Scott Pruitt threatens our future
- Illinois Business Journal, Exelon subsidy package splits legislators; governor, utilities like plan
- Goop, Moms on Modern Activism—and How It Actually Works
- Daily Herald, Program aims to make clean-air incentives succeed
- Macomb News Now, The Clean Power Plan Could Reduce Pollution and Save Millions of Dollars
- Chicago Tribune, Waukegan Residents Join Hundreds in Chicago for Clean Energy Rally and EPA Hearing
- Bloomberg BNA, Clean Energy Credits Sought for Low-Income Communities
- Public News Service, Study: Big Savings for IL Building Owners from Clean Power Plan
- River Cities’ Reader, QCA Today: July 20, 2016
- WQAD 8 Quad Cities, Moms Clean Air Force Take to Washington, D.C.
- Dispatch Argus, Your guide to the 2016 Healthy Living Fair
- Progress Illinois, Asthma And Allergy Month: IL Moms Want Cleaner Air
- 98.5 FM, Asthma And Allergy Month: IL Moms Want Cleaner Air
- 100.7 FM, Asthma And Allergy Month: IL Moms Want Cleaner Air
- Public News Serivce, Asthma and Allergy Month: IL Moms Want Cleaner Air
- Chicago Tribune, From the community: Waukegan Residents Join Hundreds in Springfield for Earth Day Rally
- Lake County News-Sun, Waukegan Residents Join Hundreds in Springfield for Earth Day Rally
- Fox 32 Chicago, Chicago students fight to keep environment clean
- Briefing Wire, Aurora (IL) Green Drinks Presents: Moms Clean Air Force in the Fox Valley
- Twinversity, 5 Ways To Teach Your Kids About The Environment
- TIME, I Was Poisoned by Toxic Water—Enough Is Enough
- Midwest Energy News, Developers make progress on southwest Wisconsin wind project
- KWQC, Moms Clean Air Force rally – Sun. Feb. 28
- Quad-City Times, Geneseo woman leads charge against fracking
- Central Illinois Proud, A Call for Clean Air in Illinois
- Chicago Sun-Times, Opinion: Sen. Kirk was right to stand up for Clean Power Plan
- Progress Illinois, Illinoisans Deliver Nearly 35,000 Petitions Backing Clean Power Plan To Rauner’s Office (VIDEO)
- The Inside Korea, IL Community Leaders Deliver almost 35000 Petitions Asking Governor
- Progress Illinois, Clean Power Plan Supporters Deliver Petitions To Rauner’s Office
- Chicago Tribune, Environmentalists, Waukegan coal plant clash over 9-year-old permit issue
- Daily North Shore, Tips To Help Your Town Go Green
- Daily Herald, Climate change forum in Highland Park
- Daily North Shore, Workshop: Environmental Health of Towns
- Daily Herald, A mom’s perspective: Why I joined a Capitol Hill climate protest
- NBC 5 Chicago, News Clip
- Highland Park Patch, Highland Park Woman Fights For Clean Air in Washington
- Chicago Tribune, Highland Park mom takes climate change mission to nation’s capital
- Chicago Tribune, Highland Park mom heads to Capitol Hill to support Clean Air Act
- WAND News, Families joining state officials to support clean air programs
- River Bender News, Moms Clean Air Force
- Fox 32 News, Chicago among worst cities for allergies, asthma
- Progress Illinois, Moms, Conservationists Say Senate Failing At Protecting Illinoisans’ Health
- Twinversity, Naptime Activism! Do Your Share for Clean Air
- Green Tech Chicago, You Cannot Buy Clean Air
- The Washington Post, Climate change drove her from New York. A climate protest brought her back
- Standard Examiner, Sandy drove her from N.Y.; a climate protest brought her back