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Clean Air Ambassador: Iris Christian

Ambassador Photo Post: 
Our legislators need to quit listening to the money and start listening to the people.

In Milwaukee, we have the highest rate of childhood asthma in the entire state. This issue became important to me as a result of my work as a food justice activist in my community. While researching how food insecurity was affecting my community, I began to learn that food insecurity wasn't the only thing contributing to chronic illness in communities of color and low-income communities. For example, I found that environmental pollutants were contributing to the childhood asthma problem in my community.

My daughter in her first year of life was sick quite a bit and it was all do to respiratory distress. We made constant visits to urgent care and the emergency room. This caused much time away from my job. Although most of my activism is centered around food insecurity I am more and more beginning to see the importance of connecting environmental justice and food justice work, especially as it relates to health disparities.

Particulate matter, lead and other pollutants that come from brownfields are big issues for Milwaukee. Also, the majority of our energy comes from coal. This is a big issue and strategies for transitioning to greener energy sources need to be taken more seriously by our state legislature.

It's real simple. Give us the Green! Green Economy, Green Earth, Green Jobs!

Ambassador Group Affiliation: 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Ambassador Profession: 
Concerned Citizen