Stories From the Field: “I Like to Breathe, Deeply”

Nov 9, 2022

Kyra Madunich-Arevalo,, 909-767-9743

“Well – frankly I’m old, but you’re going to live here for a long time. Young people inspire me because they are mobilized. What they have done is very important, and we all have to do everything that we can.”

Magali has lived in Pennsylvania for over 40 years. Originally from Italy, she came to the United States by herself from France, where she was living at the time, to do research at Berkeley. She married in San Francisco and moved with her husband and new baby to Philadelphia twelve years later. She was a sociologist and a college professor for most of her life.

This election cycle, Magali is volunteering in support of John Fetterman’s campaign to represent Pennsylvania in the Senate. Through LCV’s 2022 GreenRoots program, LCV members like Magali are plugging in to campaigns across the country to help elect 50 of LCV Action Fund’s endorsed climate and environmental justice champions. Magali is one of 8,000 LCV members who have volunteered, and together they have reached hundreds of thousands of voters by knocking on doors, making phone calls, waving signs, text banking, and letter and postcard writing. 

“We must prevent people who deny climate catastrophe from coming to power. They have done so, unfortunately, by serving the oil companies.” What scares her the most is species extinction. 

“I am in awe of trees. And I like to breathe, deeply,” she says slowly, her voice reverent. “We are in a very grave season – the poles are melting so quickly. It gives me nightmares.”

Magali explains that Pennsylvania is historically a coal-dependent state. Connecting with voters on the promise of good paying jobs in a growing clean energy sector will be key. Magali also knows that we need cultural change to accompany this transition to clean energy. “Wind turbines are actually a beautiful thing in the landscape,”  she says.

Magali wants everyone to know that no matter who you are, there is a place for you in the climate movement. “There is something for everyone.” This year, she has focused mainly on letter-writing and done some canvassing,  but she encourages young people especially to join high-energy efforts, like boycotts and campaigns.

“[My favorite part of volunteering is that] I get to talk to people, and work with young people. I think that for all of us, the environment must be the number one priority. Like the movement says, there is no Planet B.”