Grassroots women want green homes for their family’s health AND what’s good for the planet

Jacquel Redmond and her son, Reakwan (7) are lifelong residents of Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood. Jacquel is actively involved in improving her community for all families through her leadership role in the Rainier Beach Empowerment Coalition. She is particularly interested in getting the word out about “green” in a way that cuts through the jargon so that other women can see how it is connected to them and their family’s health.

I’m a single mom, I’m low income and the health of my child is always my main priority. At night when my child and I sleep – I want to trust that the air that we breathe is clean. Both my child and I have developed respiratory issues, due to the mold on the outside of our apartment building – on the outside of our windows. I have my windows open now, because it’s summertime, but in the other three seasons I try to keep them closed due to the mold.

… I’m really into green cleaning products; because they’re less toxic for my child. I have those new light bulbs in my place, and I haven’t had to change one in four years. It has helped me save an enormous amount of money. I think that compact fluorescent light bulbs should be a requirement in rental apartments; they should be easier to access – cheaper or even free. Collectively this would cut costs as a whole – for families and for City Light.

I’m about raising awareness and explaining how “green” is really connected to our health. If landlords were more serious about becoming green and making apartments they owned green, we would have less issues with our health, less respiratory issues… Do I want to see a policy put in place for landlords?  Yeah, sure.  At the end of the day, that’s their property, they own it. They should have an obligation to maintain their property in a healthy and efficient way.

Got Green will be celebrating the International Day of Action Climate Change on September 24th a little differently than other actions nationwide by releasing a report on what low-income women and people of color have to say about their priorities for the green movement- to change the climate of our communities.

Click here to join Got Green on Saturday, September 24 from 12-2 PM at South Lake High School in Rainier Beach (8601 Rainier Ave S, 98118) as we release our report, Women in the Green Economy: Voices from SE Seattle. Free healthy lunch and childcare provided.

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