By Lindsay Dahl, Deputy Director
If there is one group you can’t mess with, it’s a group of moms. I learned that lesson early on, as a defiant kid trying to get out of my chores. My mom always won (and it was probably for the best). That message rang true at this week’s National Stroller Brigade, which brought together around 200 moms, cancer survivors and nurses in support of safer chemicals.
Lisa Allen, mom of two from Chesapeake, Virginia said it best in her interview with CNN, “As a mom, it’s overwhelming, we do the best we can but we still need help. We’re hoping that our Senators will help us to protect our children.”
Here are some highlights:
- The rally was a great success, featuring public health hero Senator Frank Lautenberg, Senator Dick Durbin, and Senator Chuck Schumer. Media outlets from across the country showed up to share the Stroller Brigade story.
- Polly Schlaff, a brave mom from Western Michigan, shared her story with crowd putting moral urgency on addressing toxic chemicals.
- Those who traveled as far as from Alaska and Idaho were rewarded with face-to-face meetings with their Senators. In all, we talked face-to-face with 22 Senators and had 53 meetings overall.
- Nurses from Maryland had a wonderful meeting with Senator Cardin’s office, and heard later in the day that he will co-sponsor the bill.
- Christine from Louisiana shared her story of living in “Cancer Alley” with Sen. Landrieu’s staff, who were warm and receptive.
- A group of dedicated Maine moms drove over 12 hours to attend the event and share their stories with Senators Snowe and Collins personally.
- The online participation during the day inspired three moms to organize local stroller brigades in their community.
- The following day, several Senators dedicated their floor speeches to the issue of toxic chemicals and mentioned the Stroller Brigade. View Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s speech here.
It was an incredible moment for me to meet so many of you face to face, but something else happened that I didn’t anticipate. Regardless of where you live, your political beliefs, or religious background, you all connected with each other and were energized in our collective quest to address toxic chemicals in this country. I think I underestimated the power of connecting with people who share a similar goal and passion.
Lori Alper, a Massachusetts mom and prominent blogger describes this well in her blog. In a world where we tweet, Facebook, and email each other everyday, you can’t put a price tag on the ability to sit down and connect face to face. The energy and enthusiasm that has transpired from the past few days was conveyed on Capitol Hill and will continue as you all travel back to your homes and communities.
Thanks for a wonderful few days. All of us at Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families look forward to working with all of you on our goal towards common sense limits on toxic chemicals.