Happy Mother’s Day to All Mothers + A Message from the ATNJ Environmental Director

On this Mother’s Day, ATNJ would like to wish a happy day to all mothers, to biological mothers and adoptive mothers, to first moms and step-moms, to grandmothers and aunts and sisters, to grandfathers and uncles and fathers who stepped up to be the nurturing figure in a child’s life, to moms whose babies have fur, to women who nurture and build communities, businesses, and ideas. We honor you all.Today we also present a special message from ATNJ Environmental Director, Christine Clarke.


Hello everyone!  Happy Mother’s Day!

This Mother’s Day we would love to thank all of you for the work you do to protect our earth for children and for future generations. As current stewards of the earth and first responders to the global familial threat of anthropogenic climate change, we are in a unique position to stem the tide on sea level rise and bring our innovation into the blue wave we’re ushering in this year!

As Action Together New Jersey is an action group, here are ways to help:

1. Write the Democrats and ask them to include climate change action plans in the Better Deal platform!  The words “climate change” are currently missing altogether.  See here and here.   A list of the leaders to email appears at the bottom of this page.  We need to talk about climate action and science-advised policy; young voters are well aware of the urgency, now we need Congressional leadership to champion climate leadership!

2.  Ask your town council and your state representatives for a ban on single-use plastics!  As with climate change action in the wake of proposed withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, cities and states are leading the way in this initiative as well.  Here is a list showing example legislation as suggested language and ideas toward the goal of reducing plastic use & plastic waste in our oceans and landfills!    The list does not yet include the Long Beach Township, NJ resolution.  This article from January pushes the conversation too.  If you do schedule a meeting, reach out to ATNJ Environment and let us know how it went!

3.  Ask your town council and your county freeholders to invest in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations!  There are state reimbursement grant programs available for their installation.   To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, New Jersey needs to rapidly increase the number of electric vehicles on the road and electrify public transportation.  The website PlugShare shows drivers of EVs where to recharge their vehicles – New Jersey has a long way to go in this.  Zoom in to the map and check it out.

4.  Plant trees for New Jersey!  A recent study concluded that much of New Jersey is in the 10th worst area for air quality across the nation; environmental protection is every bit as much a public health issue as a justice issue or resource integrity issue.  Check out this page about the benefits of forestry for air and water purification!   Forests process nearly two-thirds of the water supply in the U.S.  This explains, for example, why 6.5 million of 9 million New Jersey residents get their drinking water from the New Jersey Highlands.

The ATNJ Environment team is going to plan a group photo session soon too, with a tree planting event as context and backdrop.  Keep an eye on our public-facing Facebook page’s Events section for the posting when we’re ready to schedule!

5.  Contact U.S. Senators and ask them to sign on as cosponsors to Senator Cory Booker’s Environmental Justice Act, S. 1996, and to use the premise as a talking point going into November!    Environmental justice is not only a question of stopping pollution but one of advocating human rights for the families in areas targeted for waste dumping and contamination.  A list of S.1996 cosponsors can be found here!

6.  Protect endangered animals from oil and gas drilling!  Sign our petition to the Alaska Bureau of Land Management as per this current Call to Action asking for a stop to all proposed oil and gas leases in the protected Coastal Plain of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge!  The Coastal Plain provides safe breeding space to caribou and home to thousands of species, some endangered.  Those mamas don’t want their home irreparably harmed by fossil fuels either!  The open comment period ends June 19. Even if Sec. Zinke of the Interior Dept. is determined to force these sales forward as per the riders mandating oil and gas drilling lease sales from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (or, #GOPTaxScam), the number of public comments submitted becomes a useful talking point in the resulting lawsuits that will delay drilling while the battle goes to court, so it’s important to add as many voices as possible before time runs out.  Thank you!

7.  Canvass for the blue wave, and remind people to vote!   Elizabeth Redwine, one of our fearless #FlipNJ11 leaders in the ATNJ CD11 Champions workgroup, is putting together a Mother’s Day canvass to talk about voting in the primary and the general elections!  If so inspired, connect with your local ATNJ flip district team to see when the next canvass event is planned!

8.  Join an ATNJ focus team!  Whether you want to work in any of our active legislative areas (Civil RightsEnvironmentDrug Policy ReformHealthcareImmigration) or any of the Flip District teams, we definitely have need of and use for your talent!

Don’t see something here you like? Suggest a new initiative you’d like to create and lead to Lizzie Foley at lizzief@atnj.org.

Thank you for all you do! We at ATNJ are honored by your membership, participation, time and energy and appreciate the good you add back into the world.  Keep going!  The string of blue victories around the country, and the recent 2017 gubernatorial election victory in our own home state of New Jersey, suggest a tidal shift in national and local politics that will hopefully run with the popular current and build the blue wave!  May that wave cleanse our shores of the pollutant corruption in our government, wash away characters like Scott Pruitt and his protective-regulation-repeal agenda, and help us push fossil fuel industries to convert to wind and solar like Orsted did, for a #CleanEnergyFuture and to #KeepItIntheGround.

May our children remember this time in our nation’s history as one in which caring families and neighbors all rose up to save our people and mother Earth!  Happy Mother’s Day!

Best regards,
Christine Clarke
Environmental Policy Director