Meet 3 New House of Representatives Women Fighting Climate Change

February 27, 2019
house-of-representatives-women
Courtesy of the Congresswomen's officesThese House of Representatives women—Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Susan Wild (D-PA), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)—have built or endorsed strong environmental platforms.

January welcomed a new class to U.S. Congress, including some emerging female superstars. Many of these political freshwomen hail from AMC’s region and bring environmental insight and ideas for climate change mitigation to our nation’s capital. AMC looks forward to working alongside these leaders, continuing to build broad, bipartisan support for the protection of Northeastern lands and waters. 

AYANNA PRESSLEY

District: Massachusetts 7th

Chief Environmental Concern:

Climate change and its effects on low-income and minority populations. Much of her district, including parts of Boston, Chelsea, and Cambridge, is on high alert for rising sea levels. 

Relevant Past Work:

A member of Boston’s City Council since 2009, Pressley sat on a committee that worked to introduce more green spaces and supported Community Choice Aggregation, which would make renewable energy more accessible to Boston residents. 

Signs of Promise:

Pressley values the role of partnerships, including AMC, in identifying key legislation. She will cosponsor the Keep It in the Ground Act, protecting public lands, and supports the Climate Change Health Promotion and Protection Act. 

Potential Challenges:

Pressley’s agenda could face opposition from regulation-averse colleagues. 

In Her Words:

“Environmental issues do not exist in a silo. They are interconnected to issues of public health, educational attainment, and economic opportunity, and I intend to continue working to ensure that our environment is protected.” 

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ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ

District: New York 14th

Chief Environmental Concern:

Transitioning the nation to carbon-free, 100-percent-renewable energy by 2035, benefiting the environment and the economy. 

Relevant Past Work:

Ocasio-Cortez campaigned for Bernie Sanders in 2016 before road-tripping to Flint, Mich., and to Dakota Access Pipeline protest sites. She has been outspoken on her coastal district’s vulnerability and her goal of reversing climate change. 

Signs of Promise:

Days after her election, Ocasio-Cortez joined the grassroots movement for a Green New Deal, which advocates using environmental policy to boost the economy. 

Potential Challenges:

The current administration continues to roll back environmental policies, with some politicians continuing to deny the existence of climate change. And while it is gaining House support, the Green New Deal faces a long uphill battle. 

In Her Words:

“We need to avoid a worldwide refugee crisis by waging war for climate justice through the mobilization of our population and our government. This starts with the United States being a leader on the actions we take both globally and locally.” 

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SUSAN WILD

District: Pennsylvania 7th 

Chief Environmental Concern:

Alleviating the effects of climate change on minority and low-income communities, and supporting the protection of national parks and natural resources. 

Relevant Past Work:

During her campaign, Wild earned endorsements from the Sierra Club’s Pennsylvania Chapter and the League of Conservation Voters. 

Signs of Promise:

Wild supports the FRAC Act, which would define hydraulic fracturing (fracking) as a federally regulated activity under the Safe Drinking Water Act and would require energy companies to disclose chemical additives used in fracking fluid. 

Potential Challenges:

Opposed by the traditional energy industry, the FRAC Act has gained limited traction in the past.  

In Her Words:

“I will continue to advocate for the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, to restore the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to protect our air and water, and to incentivize renewable technologies to create the green jobs of the future….It will take reaching across the aisle on bipartisan solutions that are best for the American people, not just the politicians.” 


LEARN MORE: 

  • Citizens make a difference, too! Learn how environmental voters impacted the 2018 midterm election.
  • Read how AMC turned climate activism into Earth-saving legislation with the Highlands Conservation Act.

 

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Kelleigh Welch

Kelleigh is managing editor of AMC Outdoors.