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Many ways to honor the mothers in our lives.

Last Sunday, I called my mom (and heard about how all nine grandchildren and her first great grandson were doing) and checked out Facebook to see friends’ posts about the special tributes given to the moms in their lives.

Some of my FB friends posted about the activist origins of Mothers Day – before it was dominated by brunches, cards and flowers. One approach brought West Virginia mothers together to learn how to better care for their children in the days before any real public health protections or systems. Another push was for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to unite mothers in promoting world peace.

Last week, members of the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition celebrated the more activist origins of Mothers Day by telling members of Congress that the best gift for moms (and the people who love them) would be to protect our families from toxic chemicals. Here are some highlights:

In Connecticut, members of the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut visited Senator Chris Murphy’s office to express their continued opposition to the Udall Vitter chemicals bill (S. 967).

Connecticutt: mothers day lobbying
Members of the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut met with Sen. Chris Murphy’s state director Ken Curran in Hartford. Anne Hulick, Ken Curran, Dr. Mark Mitchell, Hacah Boros

In Washington State, the Washington Toxics Coalition led a meeting with the ARC of Washington, Latino Community Fund & area pediatricians with Rep. Suzan DelBene to urge her to stick up for strong reforms that protect vulnerable populations in any House chemicals reform bill.

Washington State: mothers day lobbying
Dr. Neil Kaneshiro, Randi Abrams-Caras, Catalina Angel, Suzan Delbene, Patricia Carrion Maras.

In Rhode Island, Clean Water Action director Dave Gerraughty seized the opportunity at an event with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to thank him for his work to improve the Senate bill and to urge him to keep fighting to make sure any final bill has strong protections for public health.

In Massachusetts, the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow and local groups including Green Newton, Medfield Green Moms, and Choose Wiser met with Rep. Kennedy’s staff to urge him to promote amendments that protect public health when the bill comes before the full Energy and Commerce committee.

Massachusetts: mothers day lobbying
Congressman Kennedy’s aide Stephanie Noguera (2nd from left) met with representatives from Green Newton, Medfield Green Moms, and Choose Wiser.

In Pittsburgh PA, Maureen Swanson of the Learning Disabilities Association and Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis from Women for a Healthy Environment met with Rep. Mike Doyle who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to talk about the improvements that must be made in the House discussion draft to make it a bill that really reforms chemical policy. They carried with them the concerns of Pittsburgh firefighters and followed up by joining a meeting with the congressman’s staff in DC by phone in advance of Thursday’s subcommittee review of the legislation.

Pittsburg, PA: Mothers Day Lobbying
Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis, Rep. Mike Doyle, Maureen Swanson