FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday Feb. 7, 2020
Abby Mnookin, Mother Up! Coordinator, [email protected], 802-490-6393
Heather Buckner, Mother Up! Organizer, [email protected], 612-718-0229
Give The Planet Some Love - Mother Up! at the State House February 6th
Montpelier, VT: On Thursday, February 6th Mother Up! held its fourth Annual Action Day. Parents and families from across Vermont filled the State House with poetry and song carrying the message that our current climate crisis must be top priority. They were joined by Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman for a press conference, presented to the Climate Solutions Caucus, and delivered "Love Letters to Mother Earth" to all 180 lawmakers, outlining specific climate demands this legislative session.
Mother Up! Coordinator Abby Mnookin cited parents and families as powerful voices speaking out "for the health and safety of our collective future." Mnookin shared how "much of the work that I do is rooted in my deep love for [my children] and a belief that all of our futures are unknown and we must do what we can to act now," which includes passing legislation beyond lip service.
Rebecca Dalgin of Montpelier said "I’m here giving a speech because I can’t bear the thought of a planet no longer livable for all of us. But in my baby’s lifetime he may have to do something far more dangerous than be on the side of justice....Dalgin’s call for justice included affordable health care, a livable wage, safe housing, reparations for slavery, respecting indigenous sovereignty and welcoming migrants."
Youth activist and poet Emma Paris of Putney, implored, "Poetry is the land we walk upon but that doesn't mean we don't need Mother Earth to survive."
Heather Buckner, an organizer with Mother Up!, appealed directly to Republican Gov. Phil Scott to “step up and be a real leader.”
Hannah Morgan of Plainfield asked, 'What do I hope for your future, my little baby? I hope that you will get to live to adulthood. I hope that you will get to experience deep snow. I hope that you will continue to have access to enough food and medicine and you will never want for clean water or shelter.'"
And Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman noted: “The scale of the problem has not at all been matched by the scale of the solutions being presented by the administration.”
The day concluded with Brattleboro parent Lissa Schneckenburger leading the group in a rendition of The Mammals' song "My Baby Drinks Water," pleading, "Now please spare the water for my little ones and me."
Climate demands include No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure (H.51 and S.66, supported by H.175); the Vermont Green New Deal (S.311), which taxes the top 5% of Vermonters who benefited the most from federal tax cuts, with funds going towards solutions like weatherization and public transit; and strengthening the Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688) with a faster timeline and more aggressive emissions reduction requirements.
Mother Up! monthly meet-ups in Brattleboro, Burlington, and Montpelier bring families together for open discussion of stories and concerns about the climate, for planning and organizing meaningful actions, and for learning opportunities about the underpinnings of the climate crisis. Meet-ups include childcare and a homemade vegetarian meal, as well as tips for self-care to prevent activist burnout. The project works to create family-friendly organizing spaces for parents and children to share stories with one another and to find ways to take action on climate.
For more info, contact Abby Mnookin, Mother Up! Coordinator, at [email protected] or 802-490-6393.
ABOUT 350VERMONT & MOTHER UP!:
Mother Up!: Families Rise Up for Climate Action is a program of 350Vermont bringing together families to talk about the tough realities of climate change and to participate in the transition to a healthier and safer world. 350VT is a statewide organization working to build a grassroots movement to reverse climate change. 350Vermont’s mission is to organize, educate, and support people in Vermont to work together for climate justice – resisting fossil fuels, building momentum for alternatives, and transforming our communities toward justice and resilience. Although we are an affiliated group of 350.org with a similar mission, 350VT is an independent organization, with local campaigns to bring about solutions to the climate crisis, stop any expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, and advocate for a Vermont Green New Deal and a stronger Global Warming Solutions Act. www.350vermont.org