WASHINGTON, July 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Raising the alarm about asthma attacks, infectious diseases, premature deaths, and other health impacts of climate change, an estimated 700 moms and kids gathered in a park on Capitol Hill today to hold a "Play-In" protest. Organized by Moms Clean Air Force, the families called for action climate change and air pollution, and also demanded climate solutions like renewable energy and federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
The 3rd annual event saw a major jump from the 350-400 moms and kids in attendance in 2015. This also marked the first time that those at the Play-In protest came from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Puerto Rico.
Photos of the event will be available online as of 2 p.m. EDT today at www.momscleanairforce.org/play-in-2016-photos.
In making the case for more federal action on climate and air pollution, organizers and speakers emphasized the health benefits of taking action. For every dollar invested in cleaner air and a more stable climate, American families see up to $7 in health benefits.
The family-friendly Play-In protest began at 9:30 a.m. with family activities, including music, hula-hoops, yoga, giant puppets, and storytelling. At 10:30 a.m., a news conference was held featuring the views of protest event attendees from across the U.S. The Play-In protest attracted a number of speakers including Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI.) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM.). Here is an overview of what some of them said:
Chamique Holdsclaw, former WNBA star and Olympic gold medalist, said: "More than ever, children need to move and be active. Climate change makes that harder to do, because it will lead to more polluted air, more pollen, more asthma, and more heat waves. Climate change and air pollution have a huge influence on the health and fitness of millions of American children. Our kids need clean air so they can play outside without getting sick."
Casey Camp-Horinek, actor, member of the Ponco nation, native rights activist and member of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said: "The inseparable relationship between humans and the Earth, inherent to Indigenous peoples, must be learned, embraced, and respected by all people, for the sake of our future generations and of all humanity. We can preserve, protect, and fulfill our sacred duties to live with respect in this wonderful Creation. We have the power and responsibility for change. That's why we are joining together today to call for action on climate change."
Heidi Cullen, chief scientist, Climate Central, said: "Climate change is truly urgent. And the science shows that every dollar we spend making our communities more resilient and our energy cleaner, pays huge dividends for future generations. Our kids are counting on us!"
Dominique Browning, co-founder and senior director, Moms Clean Air Force, said: "As moms, we try to teach our children to be responsible for the way they treat others. The fossil fuel industry doesn't get to ignore this basic principle of human decency. It's time for the fossil fuel industry to behave in a responsible manner and clean up its pollution. We all share the same air."
Vanessa Hauc, Emmy-award-winning correspondent, Noticiero Telemundo, said: "Children will suffer most from climate change, and Latino children in particular will bear a heavy burden. Latino children have triple the rates of asthma compared to whites, and they tend to live near some of the worst air polluters in America. Climate change will worsen pollution that triggers asthma attacks. That's why action on climate change is a real priority for Latinos."
Dr. Erica L. Holloman, founder and CEO of Ayika Solutions, Inc., and coalition coordinator for the Southeast CARE Coalition, said: "Poor air quality puts millions of Americans at risk and is an environmental justice issue that disproportionately impacts communities of color, such as the African American Community where African American children are twice as likely to be hospitalized and four times more likely to die from asthma than others. For our children, this is a life-and-death issue."
ABOUT THE GROUP
Moms Clean Air Force is a community of nearly three quarters of a million moms -- and dads -- working together to combat air pollution, including the urgent crisis of our changing climate. For more information, go to www.momscleanairforce.org.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Photos from the event will be available by 2 p.m. EDT today at www.momscleanairforce.org/play-in-2016-photos.
Footage and audio from the event will be available at www.momscleanairforce.org/play-in-2016-video.
SOURCE Moms Clean Air Force