DC capitol building

When Heather McTeer Toney visits her elected officials to talk about air pollution, she brings along her two-year-old son.

Toney: “I let him run free in the halls of Congress.”

Toney, the national field director for Moms Clean Air Force, wants to empower other moms to speak to their representatives to demand cleaner air and climate action. She says there’s no need to be a seasoned lobbyist – moms have invaluable, first-hand knowledge of air quality in their communities.

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Toney: “It is the highways that go by our schools. It is the air pollution that goes over daycare centers. It is the air traffic and pollution that is by our high school football fields. It’s at home that we’re experiencing it each and every day.”

Through its Moms and Mayors program, Toney’s group provides an online toolkit to help moms get involved. There are instructions on how to schedule a visit with your mayor, tips on what to talk about, even suggestions for how to get appointed to a local board or commission on environmental issues.

Toney: “Mothers can solve problems and that’s what we really need right now. We’re in this, and we’re going to be here, with our kids.”

Reporting credit: Ariel Hansen/ChavoBart Digital Media.