Clean Air at Home: Interview with Moms Clean Air Force

By Kyle Cherrick
08 December 2016
Pick My Solar - Moms Clean Air Force

Pick My Solar joins with nonprofits across the nation committed to cleaning up our air, our energy grid, and our communities.  Here on the blog we are reaching out to leaders of the environmental and sustainability movements to hear their first hand takes on pressing topics like policy trends, how to get involved, and how to make an impact yourself.

Today’s guest is Ronnie Citron-Fink, Editorial Director for Moms Clean Air Force.  Moms Clean Air Force is a community of hundreds of thousands of moms—and dads!—working together to combat air pollution, including the urgent crisis of our changing climate.

Kyle Cherrick            Ronnie Citron-Fink

Kyle Cherrick of Pick My Solar and Ronnie Citron-Fink, Editorial Director for Moms Clearn Air Force

Kyle Cherrick: Thanks so much for joining Pick My Solar for an interview Ronnie.  What prompted the formation of Moms Clean Air Force and what is its driving motivation today?  

Ronnie Citron-Fink: We decided to reach out to parents to make a difference in the health of their children. When we started we explained the importance of clean air by talking about mercury. Moms are told when they’re pregnant, not to eat tuna. Many of us didn’t know why. So we explained how coal-fired power plants are the most significant source of mercury pollution. This airborne mercury is converted to methlymercury when it falls to the ground and into water. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that is particularly dangerous to pregnant women and children.

We continue to be driven by science as we work help parents connect the dots between pollution and health – the asthma connection, the food connection and the politics of supporting strong EPA rules and renewables that protect our families.

KC: As an organized voice in the community, how are Mothers (and Parents) received with community leaders and politicians as compared with workers groups or industry-supported organizations?  In some ways, you are the voice of the independent citizen, right?

RCF: Parents are passionate about the health of their children. So, whether you’re a republican or democrat, everyone can agree that children deserve clean air to breathe. This is a core shared family value. Parents from across country carry our message that to protect our children’s health, we must address the urgent crisis of our changing climate. This passion is powerful, so we like to say, “We are harnessing the strength of mother love to fight back against polluters.”

KC: How do you see this issue cutting across party lines with your constituents, and what type of actions do you expect to take during the coming Trump administration?

RCF: Clean air and clean water are basic human rights. President-elect Trump told the New York Times last week, “Crystal clean water is vitally important?”

So, we’ll continue our work by arming our members with trusted, reliable science and solutions through our online resources, articles, action tools and in-the-field events.

When the administration lies about internationally respected climate science, and threatens to cripple our health protections – like a mama bear protecting her cubs, we will fiercely resist. More than ever, being a loving parent will mean being a committed citizen.

Trump seems to care deeply about has children and grandchildren. Do you think he would want Ivanka’s babies to be exposed to mercury, chromium, benzene, or some of the other nasties his people want to welcome back into our air in the name of fossil fuel profits. Our challenge will be holding Trump and his team accountable.


KC: How does Moms Clean Air Force call on members to support the cause?  What community impact efforts are members able to join?

RCF: On our website, we post everything for parents to understand what is at stake: nothing less than the health of their children, as well as future generations. We explain how pollution connects to disease. We believe in Naptime Activism. With our online action center, we make it easy and fast for busy parents to make their voices heard – while baby naps. We also have Moms Clean Air Force chapters across the country. Through on-the-ground events, and legislative visits, our moms talk with politicians and tell them to vote for what is right – clean air for kids.

KC: What are some of the most common things that parents can do at their home to improve their communities’ clean air and impact the environment positively?   

RCF: Beyond becoming active in their community, and advocating for local environmental protections, parents can learn everything they can about asthma. Over 7 million children live with asthma! We can control many of the asthma triggers in our homes and schools. We can also protect our children from toxic chemicals at home by using safer cleaning products. And of course, ditching dangerous, dirty fossil fuels and switching to clean renewable energy.

Our website provides all the resources – the latest science, suggestions, events and actions to help protect families.

KC: Thank you for the discussion.  It’s great to hear all the great work happening around the country with grassroots environmental organizations like yours.  We look forward to hearing more from your team in the future.

RCF: Thank you!

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