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COP22, Post-Election Reality Check and Utah Moms for Clean Air

November 18th, 2016

While the U.S. election could have derailed fragile international climate agreements, what happened at the recent climate summit in Marrakech (COP22) has given hope that global action on climate change will not be deterred by isolated politicians. Trump or no Trump, the world is moving forward.

While official COP22 negotiations made some progress in Marrakesh, it was the grassroots social movements from all corners of the globe that came together to keep pushing forward at a time when resolve is essential. The lessons of Marrakech are clear: Don’t look to bureaucrats or climate-denying Presidents to take the lead on global climate action. Look to the people in the streets and in communities around the world. These are the people-powered movements resisting fossil fuels and building a renewable energy future, and this is the path to victory.

Those people are us. Those communities are us.

Thus it is essential that Utah Moms for Clean Air regroup and re-strategize with the context of this new political landscape. All gains to be made with our air pollution and climate will likely be made at the local level with school boards, health departments, homegrown businesses and city councils. On the national level action will be needed to protect the gains that have already been made.

Utah Moms for Clean Air is thus looking for a few additional steering committee members and board members with passion, energy and commitment. Additionally, we will soon be launching a search for a new Executive Director or Assistant Director as well as a web designer (for complete overhaul of our website) and a development director.

We have entered a new era and all hands on deck are needed! Please consider donating your time, your skills, and/or funds to help us do our best work as it is needed now more than ever!

We have entered a new era and all hands on deck are needed! Please consider donating your time, your skills, and/or funds to help us do our best work as it is needed now more than ever! If you have questions or want to get more involved, please FB message me.

Clean Air and Healthy Climate are birthrights that must be protected, if they are to be enjoyed for generations to come!

With warm regards,
Cherise Udell
Founder, Utah Moms for Clean Air (a 501c3)

For more information on COP22:
Here are the remarks from Secretary of State, John Kerry at COP22.
The White House released a report: The U.S. Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization.
Tina Johnson with the US Climate Action Network (our partner) also made remarks: “This is not a choice, this is a moral imperative.”

Utah Moms For Clean Air partners with Utah Valley Earth Forum

November 3rd, 2016

Utah Moms For Clean Air worked with Utah Valley Earth Forum to create several billboards urging citizens to be Clean-Air/Clean-Energy voters this election. With help from YESCO, these signs are being displayed in different locations around Salt Lake City! Thank you, YESCO!

We also created a Voters’ Guide which can be found here. It is our hope that people can look beyond the partisan politics and ask our elected officials and candidates hard questions about one of the most pressing health concerns along the Wasatch Front – air pollution!

There’s nothing partisan about breathing! Whether you breathe liberal air or conservative air – it always should be clean air!

Utah Moms for Clean Air Wins 2016 Children’s Champion Award

October 4th, 2016

Thank you Voices for Utah Children for choosing Utah Moms for Clean Air as the recipient of their 2016 Children’s Champion Award! Ingrid Karoline Griffee, Carrie Butler and Cherise Udell were honored to accept the award for our advocacy on behalf of Utah children.

Below is their write-up of Utah Moms for Clean Air:

Utah Moms for Clean Air members describe themselves as “uncompromising defenders of our children’s health.” Their intent is simple — to ensure that their children, whose lives are entrusted to them, have a healthy environment in which to grow and flourish. Adriane Andersen wrote in Catalyst Magazine, “UMFCA members pride themselves in their unique approach to engaging in political battle. With a baby on a hip and the occasional baked good in hand, these moms favor an attack strategy that features good manners, sit-down conversations, and actively engaging those they’re trying to win over… Talk about a breath of fresh air.” Utah Moms for Clean Air has been advocating for better air quality in Utah since 2007. In December of 2015, UMFCA took their calls for better air quality to the international stage. They sent a delegation, complete with youth ambassadors, to attend the 21st Conference of the Parties — the historic United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — in Paris, France.

Utah Moms in Washington D.C. Lobbying for Clean Air and Climate

July 13th, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY

July 13, 2015

UTAH MOMS FOR CLEAN AIR PARTICIPATES IN NATIONAL
“PLAY IN” PROTEST ON CAPITOL HILL URGING AIR POLLUTION AND CLIMATE ACTION

Hundreds of moms and their children will gather on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., today (July 13, 2016) to hold a unique “Play-In” protest event. Among them will be Cherise Udell (SLC) and Shelley Marshall (Park City) and their daughters, who will help bring attention to the need to address climate change and air pollution on both local and national levels. Together, we are asking for immediate action on climate solutions like expanding our renewable energy portfolio and enacting federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

Organized by Moms Clean Air Force and co-sponsored by Utah Moms For Clean Air, the “family friendly” protest event takes place today, Wednesday from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at the Upper Senate Park, 200 New Jersey Avenue NW on Capitol Hill. Cherise Udell and Shelley Marshall, along with their daughters, will join families from across the country showcasing exactly what’s at stake as temperatures and sea levels rise: Our children’s health and future.

Later in the day, Utah Moms for Clean Air will meet with Senator Hatch and Senator Lee.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Cherise Udell, (510) 306-6963 or nomadicmuse@yahoo.com
Alex Frank, (703) 276-3264 or afrank@hastingsgroup.com
#playin4climate

Utah Moms For Clean Air Taking Grassroots Organizing to the Next Level

June 9th, 2016

Utah Moms For Clean Air is excited to be utilizing new software which will help us take our grassroots organization to the next level. Have you ever wondered why advocacy organizations eager ask you to “sign up,” “become a member,” or “receive newsletters?”

When we know where our supporters live, we can effectively map support for clean air policies. We can see which legislators should be feeling pressure from their constituents to prioritize air quality; in which districts we should focus outreach; and which neighborhoods could benefit from organizing their support into action. With this information we can better take our passionate, informed online conversations about air quality and translate them into effective actions to create real change for the better in our air quality – and we all know improvements in air quality mean better health for our families.

And that’s another new development – some may have noticed that we now also have a FB page, in addition to our FB group. For now, all of our main conversations will still be happening on our main FB group with some administrative posts going to both the group and the new page. We are looking forward because FB limits groups to only 5000 members! For now though, all the great information and discussion we all rely on will still be found in our group.

So please, click our sign up link and share some of your info with us! We are all volunteers at Utah Moms For Clean Air, and let’s be honest, we simply don’t have time to sit around creating spam to fill up your inbox, nor will we use up a bunch of trees filling your mailbox with junkmail. But your information will go a long way toward helping us more effectively organize the voices of clean air supporters in our communities – and sometimes offer you the opportunity to take direct action for clean air policies especially during the legislative session when important decisions are being made.

Sign up now!

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51634/signup_page/join-us

Utah’s Air Pollution Is A Moral Issue

February 25th, 2016

Superb editorial from the Standard Examiner!

********************************************************************************************************************************************

Monday, March 23, 2015.

Does the date ring a bell? Perhaps not.

It should, however. Because on that day, the Weber-Morgan Board of Health tabled discussion of diesel emissions testing.

And by “tabled,” we mean “decided to ignore because if we stall long enough, maybe people will forget about it.”

Then a funny thing happened — a group of about 30 parents, seniors, doctors, community workers and religious leaders showed up at Monday’s health board meeting to ask for diesel emissions testing.

Despite being stalled for 335 days, they didn’t forget.

In early February, Ogden endured some of the worst air pollution in the United States — and that was during “Idle-Free Week.”

A broken or disabled emissions control system allows a diesel to discharge up to 100 times the particulate emissions of a clean engine, a Davis County study found in early 2015.

A broken or disabled emissions control system allows a diesel to discharge up to 100 times the particulate emissions of a clean engine, a Davis County study found in early 2015.

Health board members knew about the research. They simply didn’t want to inconvenience commercial diesel operators.

So when the board’s own Air Quality Advisory Committee recommended a diesel testing program in March 2015, the board tried to quietly kill it.

“I’ve received many phone calls on this, (and) don’t know enough about it,” said Matt Bell, a Weber County commissioner and board member. “I’d like to take this off our agenda (to) work on it and do it another time.”

You’ve had 11 months to do something, commissioner.

“We’ve got a lot of trucks that are going to be licensed here,” said another board member, Morgan County Commissioner Logan Wilde. “We need more input.”

You’ve had 337 days to gather input, commissioner. And you’ve done nothing but contribute to another year of breathing problems and climbing health costs.

But you asked for more input. The Utah Department of Air Quality gave you just that Feb. 10, at the height of the inversion, when it presented data showing that diesels emit 44 percent of Utah’s on-road NOx emissions — the compounds that coalesce as particulate pollution and fuel inversions.

The DAQ shared its newest findings with the Weber-Morgan Health Department Air Quality Advisory Committee. Eleven months ago, the same committee recommended a diesel emissions testing program.

What’s your excuse now?

The 30 people who showed up at your meeting Monday understand something about air quality you fail to grasp: This is a moral issue.

“The air quality in our counties is a health issue, but it’s also a justice issue,” said the Rev. Gage Church of Ogden’s United Church of Christ. “It’s a justice issue for folks who can’t get away for vacation during bad air days, or who don’t have the means to go up to Snowbasin to get away for the day when the air is (bad).”

“The air quality in our counties is a health issue, but it’s also a justice issue,” said the Rev. Gage Church of Ogden’s United Church of Christ. “It’s a justice issue for folks who can’t get away for vacation during bad air days, or who don’t have the means to go up to Snowbasin to get away for the day when the air is (bad).”

The Weber-Morgan Board of Health should be dedicated to improving the quality of life for everyone it serves — even if they don’t drive diesels.

Do the right thing for the environment and the economy. Do the moral thing.

Implement a diesel emissions testing program.

Tailpipes and Utah’s Air Pollution: The Real Story

February 23rd, 2016

A little less than 50% of Utah’s air pollution comes from tailpipes. But let’s be very clear: that slice of the pollution pie (referred to as mobile emissions) includes refinery trucks, UPS trucks, interstate traffic, police cars, postal trucks, buses, Stericycle trucks and anything else with a license plate….so let’s not place all the tailpipe blame on citizen drivers who are just trying to get to and from work, run errands, and pick up kids from soccer practice.

DAQ, Governor Herbert, most of our Legislators and the BIG polluters love everyone thinking that it is just the little guys making most of the pollution – and therefore if we want clean air, we must just stop driving.

I do not deny that our cars are part of the problem, but until our government puts in the infrastructure for people to get out of their cars and still get to the places they need to go in a timely fashion, all their blame on mom and pop tailpipes is nearly meaningless. It is just a literal smoke screen that diverts attention from the BIG polluters who are unfairly hogging up the airshed – all the while profiting while our lungs and hearts pay the price.

Utah’s air pollution solution MUST include infrastructure for alternative transportation AND require stricter controls on ALL industrial sources of pollution.

BAD AIR OVERWHELMS UTAH DURING ANOTHER LEGISLATIVE SESSION: WILL OUR LEADERS ACT?

February 9th, 2016

BAD AIR is here to stay for the next week thanks to a high pressure system that is locking in a lid of warm air over our valley basin. Think of it this way: We are living in a toilet bowl that we are all using and no one can flush. YEP, it is that disgusting.

Consider keeping your kids in for recess even if your school doesn’t mandate indoor recess, change the air filters in your home furnace system and car (if it has one), run a portable air filter in bedrooms at night (especially in rooms with babies and young children), run that same filter in family areas at other times of the day, consider wearing air masks (to breathe cleaner air outside and to make a statement), and consider a President’s weekend getaway to some place blessed with cleaner air.

p.s. It does not have to be this way. As a society, we are CHOOSING this nasty dirty life-choking air. We can choose clean air, but only if we make our voices heard. Yes, clean air is expensive, but so is dirty air. The question is who pays the price. Should it be our babies, our children, our elders or the big polluters?

p.s.s Do you part to prevent more pollution from entering our airshed. Do not idle, but do trip-chain, carpool, delay car trips/errands that can be delayed and/or take public transportation. Also, avoid VOCs in home construction/cleaning & maintenance projects, do not burn scented candles, and no wood burning!

Sign up for air action alerts by texting CLEANAIR to 41411. Finally, PLEASE contact Governor Herbert, the DAQ, your mayor and other elected officials and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. UTAHNS DESERVE TO BREATHE CLEAN AIR.

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