GreenLatinos
  • Featured press release

    Latino Advocates Protect Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico

    May 19, 2016
    Contact: Christopher Espinosa
    8053022982

    Hispanic_Federation.jpg            League_of_United_Latin_American_Citizens.png                    Earthjustice-logo.png                         GREEN_LATINO_FULL.png

     

    NEWS RELEASE: May 19, 2016

    CONTACTS:

    Miranda Barbot, Hispanic Federation, (347) 678-1686, MBarbot@hispanicfederation.org
    Luis A. Torres, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), (202) 833-6130, LATorres@lulac.org
    Raul Garcia, Earthjustice (571) 294-0559, rgarcia@earthjustice.org
    Mark Magaña, GreenLatinos (202) 230-2070, MarkMagana@greenlatinos.org

     

    LATINO ADVOCATES PROTECT WILDLIFE REFUGE IN PUERTO RICO

    Latino and Environmental Coalition refocus Congress on an actual Puerto Rican Recovery

     

    Washington, DC The House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee unveiled the latest draft of the PROMESA Act which no longer jeopardizes thousands of acres of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge. In reaction, a coalition of Hispanic advocacy and Environmental groups issued the following Statement:

    The Latino community and our partners on environmental issues applaud the fact that this iteration of the bill eliminates a provision that would have conveyed 3,100 acres of the refuge and the cost to maintain it to the already struggling government of Puerto Rico. Past iterations of the bill contained this “poison pill” provision that jeopardized one of the most important economic engine of the island, endangered one of the most precious national refuges in the nation, and set a harmful national precedent by potentially privatizing public conservation lands.

    The continued protection of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge is a testament to the strength and unity among Latino and environmental advocates. The efforts to keep the refuge safe and to exclude language undermining the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) exemplify the collaborations needed to bring about a fair, healthy and effective Puerto Rican recovery that actually addresses the needs of the Puerto Rican people instead of playing political games with the future of the island.

    While the island is fighting environmental justice battles on all fronts - from dirty incinerator proposals to toxic landfills – to attack the pristine wildlife refuge on Vieques outraged Puerto Ricans and Latinos across the nation.  Thanks to the leadership of Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raul Grijalva, and other legislators that stood up against this harmful provision, Congress can now focus its attention on solving problems instead of creating them.

    Thanks to dedicated advocates in both the environmental and Hispanic advocacy communities who refused to allow harmful distractions to kill this important bill and worked together to call for revisions, the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge will remain complete, protected, and stimulating the economy in Vieques.

                                                                                                    ###

    Hispanic Federation is the nation’s premier Latino nonprofit membership organization. Founded in 1990, HF seeks to support Hispanic families and strengthen Latino institutions through work in the areas of education, health, immigration, civic engagement, economic empowerment, & the environment.

    The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization.  Founded in 1929 and with over 135,000 members in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, LULAC works to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of the Hispanic population of the United States.

    Earthjustice, the nation’s premier nonprofit environmental law organization, wields the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. Because the earth needs a good lawyer.

    GreenLatinos, is a national non-profit organization that convenes a broad coalition of Latino leaders committed to addressing national, regional and local environmental, natural resources and conservation issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latino community in the United States. GreenLatinos provides an inclusive table at which its members establish collaborative partnerships and networks to improve the environment; protect and promote conservation of land and other natural resources; amplify the voices of minority, low-income and tribal communities; and train, mentor, and promote the current and future generations of Latino environmental leaders for the benefit of the Latino community and beyond. GreenLatinos develops and advocates for policies and programs to advance this mission.

    Continue reading →
  • Featured petition

    CLOSE PUERTO RICO’S TOXIC LANDFILLS. URGE EPA TO END AN ENVIRONMENTAL INJUSTICE TO THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO

    PR_LANDFILL.jpg

    1,244 SIGNATURES
    GOAL: 20,000 signatures

    We call on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to fulfill its mandate in protecting public health in our communities and immediately close Puerto Rico’s most toxic and dangerous municipal landfills.

    People of color deserve equal protection from environmental and health hazards that are provided for by our environmental laws. For over 20 years, the government of Puerto Rico has been delegated the enforcement authority to regulate Puerto Rico’s municipal landfills. Over all this time, nearly all of these landfills have been in serious violation of basic environmental protection laws. This is by definition an environmental injustice. EPA has documented that more than two-thirds of Puerto Rico’s 27 landfills are not in compliance with federal and local environmental rules. Shutting down these landfills and building properly compliant landfills is the answer to fixing this problem.

    Nearly all these toxic landfills lack legally required controls on toxic liquids produced in landfills, known as “leachates”, which has allowed toxins to run into community soil and groundwater for decades. Many of these toxic sites have the potential of polluting drinking water sources on the island; several of the landfills in violation are located on top of the largest aquifer in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico government and the EPA have repeatedly documented the lack of controls on toxins at these sites and yet the landfills have been allowed to continue operating, continue accepting trash and solid waste, and continue poisoning communities. Most of the sites are also not properly covered, and have never had systems to monitor methane gas accumulation as required by law. With so many dangerous sites in so many communities in Puerto Rico for decades, the scale of this crisis places Puerto Rico at risk of being another public health emergency.

    The EPA knows the sites are dangerous and has yet to force their closure, potentially putting underrepresented communities in direct harm for generations. The harm faced by the families living near Puerto Rico’s landfills, in a U.S. territory facing an unprecedented economic and fiscal crisis, is an intolerable form of environmental injustice that cannot stand.

    We call upon the EPA to take immediate action, correct this injustice, protect the people of Puerto Rico, and close toxic municipal landfills that have been in violation of the law for years.

    Will you sign?

  • Featured post

    Do toxic dumps in Puerto Rico portend the next Flint tragedy?

    The tragedy of Flint has taught us a great deal about how poor governance can lead to a poisoning of a community. It happened after a decade or more of waning attention to crucial environmental concerns down at the level where Americans live, in their neighborhoods and in homes, particularly for the most vulnerable populations.

    What is particularly troubling about the crisis in Flint is that it is a clear example of how communities of color and low-income communities are often left behind.

    It's not surprising that a predominantly low-income, predominantly African-American city is facing the most egregious form of environmental injustice. Those who depend the most on government too often are the ones facing the greatest harm, and lack the know-how and political power to address the damage, risk and discrimination they face from this unequal protection.

    Worse, in some cases, the elected officials that claim to represent them turn a blind eye.

    Unfortunately, Flint is just one example.

    Continue reading → 3 reactions Share
  • Featured press release

    Latest Press Releases

    May 03, 2016
    Contact: GreenLatinos

     

    March 31, 2016
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Mark Magaña, MarkMagana@GreenLatinos.org, 202-230-2070

     

    GreenLatinos is excited to announce that Christy Goldfuss, Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality will be a presenting speaker at the 2016 National GreenLatinos Summit!

    goldfussportrait.jpg

    CEQ helps to develop the Administration’s environmental and energy policies and initiatives and works closely with Federal agencies to implement them. Christy helps oversee implementation of the President’s Climate Action Plan and works with other White House partners on new strategies to tackle this global challenge. She also leads work to advance the President’s agenda for protecting the lands and waters Americans value.

    Christy has significant experience as a leader on a range of environmental issues, most recently as a deputy director of the National Park Service where she helped lead efforts to set and meet strategic goals related to conservation and preservation of America’s natural and cultural heritage. In this capacity, she identified ways to make Federal resources more accessible, including by spearheading the Administration’s “Every Kid in a Park” initiative. Prior to joining the Administration, Christy created and directed the Public Lands Project at the Center for American Progress. Previously, she worked as legislative staff for the House Committee on Natural Resources and as a reporter in Richmond, VA, Reno, NV and Redding, CA.



    Scheduled for May 24-27, the 2016 National GreenLatinos Summit is right around the corner!

    Please make your reservations as soon as possible, you can register for the conference at: www.greenlatinos.org/summit_registration

    By participating in the 2016 National GreenLatinos Summit, you will serve as an integral voice in shaping a collective agenda for action over the next several years.  From networking opportunities with leaders and professionals in environmental and Latino policy and advocacy, nationally renowned speakers and key administration and agency officials, substantive and engaging discussion on the latest information on federal public policy initiatives affecting communities, to tools and resources that can be taken back to the local level that will propel your existing work on environmental issues. We have no doubt that your participation will be invaluable, both to the GreenLatinos Network and to your organizations and communities.

    We hope to see you there!

     

    ###

    March 31, 2016
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Mark Magaña, MarkMagana@GreenLatinos.org, 202-230-2070
    Andrea Delgado, AndreaDelgado@GreenLatinos.org, 202-230-6592

      

    GreenLatinos’ Statement in Honor of the Iconic Cesar E. Chavez
    A Beacon for Justice from our Community, for our Community

     

    WASHINGTON, DC --Today, GreenLatinos joins the world in celebrating and reflecting on the life of Cesar E. Chavez, a formidable labor and civil rights leader who awoke our conscience from the complacency and consumerism that disregarded the human toll of our agricultural system.  Cesar raised awareness about the inhumane treatment of farmworkers and the pesticide poisoning of the men, women and children that help bring food to our tables. He taught us about the urgent need to rise up against injustices and do everything in our power to make a difference in our communities.  

     

    Cesar demonstrated the power of community organizing and collective action to put a national spotlight on the inequalities that deprived farmworkers of access to basic working conditions such as clean water, bathrooms, hand washing facilities and a break for lunch.  Decent wages and safety on the job could only come when the dignity of farmworkers was recognized, not by empty words, but fomented by a union contract with the United Farm Workers of America (UFW).

     

    The mission of GreenLatinos is to advance an environmental agenda that is inclusive and representative of the unique views and needs of the Latino community.  The priority is always on the impact of environmental and conservation issues on Latinos, with a focus on the most vulnerable segments of our population.

     

    To this end and under the leadership of Board Member Andrea Delgado, GreenLatinos worked hand in hand with farmworkers and farmworker advocacy organizations to secure an Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) that finally prohibits children from serving as pesticide handlers; expands the content and quality and increases the frequency of worker safety training; provides new rules on decontamination and personal protective equipment; and improves the information that workers receive about the pesticides that have been applied at their workplace.  GreenLatinos led the way to ensure that farmworkers were involved at every stage of the rulemaking process and we will continue to do so throughout the implementation and enforcement process in 2016 and beyond.

     

    We encourage more Latino leaders, that have a unique understanding of the challenges facing our communities, to join us in this work.  As we remember him, we know that the fight for farmworker protections is ongoing and GreenLatinos will continue to honor his legacy via our work and advocacy.

     

     

    January 20, 2016

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: Mark Magaña, MarkMagana@GreenLatinos.org, 202-230-2070

    GreenLatinos Statement Supporting President Obama’s Veto of Anti-Clean Water Bill

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama issued a veto of S.J.Res 22 –a resolution that attempted to block the Administration’s Clean Water Rule. GreenLatinos President & CEO, Mark Magaña issued the following statement:

    “GreenLatinos thanks President Obama for standing up strongly to big polluters and their allies in Congress who would place the drinking water sources of 117 million Americans at greater risk of pollution. Access to safe, clean water is a critical issue among Latino communities across the country – but particularly in the arid southwest, where extreme drought associated with climate change places a greater strain on already-taxed communities, making stronger protections for precious water sources even more urgent.”

    “We hope, with the recent spate of water-related crises in Michigan, North Carolina, Florida, and elsewhere that Congress will now get serious about protecting clean water instead of standing in the way on behalf of polluter special interest groups.”


    ###

     

     

    August 3, 2015

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: Mark Magaña, MarkMagana@GreenLatinos.org, 202-230-2070

     

    GreenLatinos Statement on Clean Power Plan Final Rule

    The Latino community has been nearly unanimous in its desire for strong government action to fight climate change and today we celebrate President Obama's announcement of the final Clean Power Plan which represents the largest investment in fighting climate change ever made by any President of the United States.

    The long-awaited required reduction in carbon pollution from power plants will also serve to reduce dangerous air pollutants that cause and exacerbate respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses and disproportionately impact the Latino community. The Clean Power Plan will protect public health while reducing our electricity bills and increasing good jobs through investment in renewable clean energy and efficiency.  

    Today GreenLatinos celebrates the finalization of this historic rule and significant step in protecting our environment, health, economy, and security in the 21st Century and beyond.

    ----------

    Declaración de GreenLatinos sobre la Norma Final del Plan de Energia Limpia

    La comunidad latina ha sido casi unánime en su deseo que el gobierno tome fuertes medidas para combatir el cambio climático. Hoy celebramos el anuncio del Presidente Obama sobre la Norma Final del Plan de Energía Limpia, una norma que representa la mayor inversión en la lucha contra el cambio climático jamás realizada por ningún otro presidente de los Estados Unidos.

    La tan esperada reducción necesaria de la contaminación de carbono de las centrales eléctricas también servirá para reducir peligrosos contaminantes del aire que afectan de manera desproporcionada a la comunidad latina y causan y empeoran enfermedades pulmonares y cardíacas.  Además de proteger la salud y el medio ambiente, el plan del Presidente reducirá nuestras facturas de electricidad e incrementará buenos empleos mediante la inversión en la eficiencia y en energías limpias y renovables.

    En este día, GreenLatinos celebra la promulgación de esta norma histórica y un paso significativo en la protección de nuestro medio ambiente, la salud, la economía y la seguridad en el siglo 21 y más allá.

     

    Mark D. Magaña, Presidente & CEO, GreenLatinos

     

     

    Contact: Mark Magaña                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           February  4, 2015

    Phone: 202--230--2070                                                                                                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                                                                                                                                       

    Email: MarkMagana@GreenLatinos.org

     

    GREENLATINOSAPPLAUDOBAMA’S BUDGET CURBING CARBON POLLUTION Urge New Congressional Leadership to Stop Prioritizing Dirty Energy Agenda

     

    Following the announcement of President Obama’s new budget initiatives curbing carbon pollution, Mark Magaña, President of GreenLatinos –a coalition of Latino Environmental & Conservation Leaders – issued the following statement:

     

    “The Latino Community feels the damaging impacts of carbon pollution and dirty air firsthand – which is why we are applauding President Obama’s budget proposals tha will help address these problems. Unfortunately, the new Senate leadership has already made it clear that they will reject these initiatives, onceagain Putting  the interests of their dirty energy allies first. Latinos will play a decisive role in the 2016 elections, and our community wants leaders who will protect our air, public health and stop catastrophic climate change – not push the agenda of dirty energy.”

     

    BACKGROUND:

     

    Latinos Among Strongest Supporters Of Climate Action. According to a letter by a coalition of Latino Organizations, “Latinos are among the strongest supporters of climate action. Nine out of 10 Latinos want the federal government to take action to reduce the threat of climate change. We recognize that reducing carbon pollution is critical to protecting the health of our families and communities, and the future of our children and grandchildren. We must leave our children a legacy of health and opportunity not lives devastated by climate change. And we recognize that the U.S. has a global responsibility when it comes to climate change.” [Letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, 6/25/14; NRDC, Latino Decisions National Survey, January 2014]

     

    National Climate Assessment: Climate Change Would Amplify Existing Health Threats In Communities Of Color. According to the 2014 National Climate Assessment, “Climate change will, absent other changes, amplify some of the existing health threats the nation now faces. Certainpeople and communities are especially vulnerable, including children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and some communities of color.” [National Climat Assessment, 2014]

     Hispanics More Likely To Live In Counties With Higher Levels Of Pollution. According to the American Lung Association, “Communities of color also may be more likey to live in counties with higher levels of pollution. In a 2011 analysis of the population and air quality reported in the American Lung Association's State of the and Hispanics were more likely to live in counties that had worse problems with particle pollution.” [ALA,Disparitie  in he Impact if Air Pollution, 2014.

     

     

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DiJptvqGHKMXuCxXSMHfdJh-K5NW8QPfQ0AkYaawPw8/pub

     

     

     

    Statement for the Record from Mark Magaña

    President of GreenLatinos

     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        

    January 29th, 2015    

     

    Media Contact: Mark Magaña, GreenLatinos, markmagana@greenlatinos.org or 202-230-2070

     

    GreenLatinos make their presence felt on the issue of

    Ozone Pollution in the Air.

    GreenLatios are united in their concern for better air to breath, urging the EPA to adopt the lowest possible smog pollution standard as soon as possible.

    WASHINGTON D.C. – GreenLatinos welcomes the opportunity to submit a statement on the record on reducing the acceptable level of ozone pollution in the air we breath.  The level of smog affects the quality life of Latino children and families nationwide, since Latinos are more likely to live in counties that consistently violate clear air standards.  The issue of our children’s health and the health of our environment is a topic of great concern for our community, including concerned citizens, local leaders and environmental advocates, who are testifying and writing to the EPA to strengthen the smog pollution standard.

     

    In 2008 the smog standard was updated to 75 parts per billion (ppb), which is now known to be inadequate to provide a healthy environment.  Ozone pollution is known to cause or exacerbate health problems among the most vulnerable in our communities, such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. EPA has the authority, the science and the moral imperative to lower the standard to 60 ppb now to protect the health and the environment of our children, our families and our communities.

     

    Mark Magaña, President, GreenLatinos, released the following statement on the EPA Ozone Pollution Standard:

     

    Growing up in Los Angeles, we were exposed to many natural disasters; wildfires, earthquakes, floods, mudslides, severe storms, but the worst natural disasters for me were the days that we couldn't go out and play because of an unhealthy or harmful air quality index warning.

     

    For a child to be told that they shouldn't go out and play because of dangerous air quality levels -- a high level of smog -- is a societal shame, but for me it just became the new normal.

     

    The days that we could go out and play, especially the days that I would go out and play soccer, I remember coming home and often crashing on the bed gasping for air through my nose.  I remember vomiting in search of relief, this is a horrible consequence of a child going out to play, but for me it just became the new normal.

     

    My best friend and next door neighbor used to have to bring his asthma inhaler with him wherever he went out to play and I remember hearing him wheeze and witnessing him having to pull his inhaler out to help him breath.  A child should not have to carry around an inhaler to be able to breath, but to him this just became the new normal.

     

    Now I have two children, my oldest daughter is two years old and I feel a cold sweat when I hear her have a coughing fit, vomiting up what little she has in her stomach for relief.  I purchase air purifiers for every room in the house and filters for every air vent.  It may have nothing to do with the air quality, but it may, and my wife and I shouldn't live in fear reading about declining air quality and the rapid growth in asthma rates among children.  I fear that for her and children of her generation, air pollution, asthma, and lung disease, could just become her new normal but that is unacceptable when the Administration has an opportunity to do better, for many children like mine.  

     

    That is why I write this statement today.

     

    I refuse to accept that smog pollution is just something that we must accept. I refuse to believe that this has to be my children's new normal.

     

    A 60 ppb standard would be a step forward, it would follow science and it would protect our children and their growing bodies and lungs even more susceptible to ozone pollution.  This 60 ppb standard would start us on the road to cleaner air so that our children would be able to go out and play without parents having to worry what breathing in outside air is doing to their bodies and health. With this new standard we have the opportunity to make healthy, safe, clean air the new normal for our children and for generations to come.

    Continue reading →
  • Featured post

    GreenLatinos to Host Frank Karel Fellow

    GreenLatinos is excited to Announce that the organization will host one of nine Frank Karel Fellows in 2016.

    The Karel Fellowship honors and advances the legacy of Frank Karel, who established, led and nurtured the field of strategic communications during his 30 years as chief communications officer for the Robert Wood Johnson and Rockefeller Foundations. Karel believed that racial and ethnic minorities were underrepresented in the public interest communications field and that foundations and public interest organizations needed to be proactive in recruiting and nurturing broader participation and leadership in public interest communications and advocacy.

    Continue reading → Add your reaction Share
  • Featured post

    Puerto Rico Limpio

    Several weeks ago a coalition of Puerto Rican residents who have come together under the name “Puerto Rico Limpio” reached out to me about their struggles with several landfills that were environmental hazards to a number of their communities. 

    20160421_111721(0).jpg

    The group members had heard that GreenLatinos was effective in tackling serious environmental issues impacting Latinos, that we had several successes at the federal level, and they wanted us to come to down to Puerto Rico and see first-hand what they continue to deal with every day.

    Continue reading → 2 reactions Share
  • Featured post

    Latino and Indigenous Leaders Call for an Investigation into the Assassination of Lenca Environment Activist Berta Cáceres

    FULL STATEMENT PDF HERE

    Latino and Indigenous Leaders Call for an Investigation into the Assassination
    of Lenca Environment Activist Berta Cáceres, Justice for Those Responsible
    Solidarity Statement Demands Increased Protection for Environmental and Human Rights
    Activists throughout the Americas.  
    Washington, D.C. -- Yesterday, March 3, 2016, Berta Cáceres, a Lenca environmental activist and indigenous leader in Honduras, was assassinated in her home while she slept.  The prescient words she spoke upon receiving the Goldman Environmental Prize came true:  
    “The Lenca people are ancestral guardians of the rivers, in turn protected by the spirit of the young girls, who teach us that giving our lives in various ways for the protection of the rivers is giving our lives for the well-being of humanity and this planet.”  
    Berta Cáceres, 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize Winner  
    We express our condolences to her family, COPINH, and all those who knew her and loved her. We are deeply outraged for this senseless act and echo the words shared by so many indigenous peoples’ organizations, human rights leaders, and environmental organizations - there must be accountability and justice.   

    Berta Caceres was honored and celebrated for her work in Honduras fighting for the right of self-determination of the Lenca people who were not consulted and did not consent to the Agua Zarca Dam projected for construction on the sacred Gaualcarque River. Her leadership and advocacy helped pressure the International Finance Corporation to withdraw from funding the project in 2013.  

    Continue reading → Add your reaction Share
  • Featured press release

    Farmworker Protection Standard

    September 29, 2015
    Contact: Andrea Delgado

     

                                                          

    Contact: Mark Magaña                                                                                                                     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September  28, 2015

    Phone: 202-230-2070

    Email: MarkMagana@GreenLatinos.org

     

    Following EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy's announcement that the agency is finalizing updates and revisions to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for pesticidesMark Magaña,President of GreenLatinos –a coalition of Latino Environmental & Conservation Leaders – issued the following statement:

     

    "As an organization that advocates for environmental, energy and conservation policies that promote the health and well-being of the Latino community across the United States, we commend the EPA for delivering a stronger Agricultural Worker Protection Standard.

    Securing a WPS that protects farmworkers from pesticide poisoning is of utmost importance to ensuring environmental justice for some of the most vulnerable workers in our community.

    Honoring the principles of environmental justice and under the leadership of Board Member Andrea Delgado, GreenLatinos led the way to ensure that farmworkers were involved at every stage of the rulemaking process and we will continue to do so throughout the implementation and enforcement process."

    EPA's final rule will enhance the protections provided to agricultural workers, pesticide handlers, and others at risk of pesticides exposure under the WPS by strengthening elements of the existing regulation, such as training, notification, pesticide safety and hazard communication information, use of personal protective equipment, and the providing of supplies for routine washing and emergency decontamination.  

     

    Revising the WPS - a standard that has not been updated in over 20 years - has been one of five core priorities for GreenLatinos.

    ///

    GreenLatinos is a national non-profit organization that convenes a broad coalition of Latino leaders committed to addressing national, regional and local environmental, natural resources and conservation issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latino community in the United States. GreenLatinos provides an inclusive table at which its members establish collaborative partnerships and networks to improve the environment; protect and promote conservation of land and other natural resources; amplify the voices of minority, low-income and tribal communities; and train, mentor, and promote the current and future generations of Latino environmental leaders for the benefit of the Latino community and beyond. GreenLatinos develops and advocates for policies and programs to advance this mission.

     

    Continue reading →
  • Featured press release

    OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF CALIFORNIA LATINO VOTERS WANT CLIMATE ACTION NOW

    August 26, 2015
    Contact: GreenLatinos

     

    According to a new poll conducted by Latino Decisions for Earthjustice, a national environmental nonprofit law firm, and GreenLatinos, a leading national nonprofit of Latino environmental leaders, 81 percent of registered Latino voters in California strongly support state clean energy standards to combat climate change. Further, 81 percent of California Latino voters are worried about climate change, and 79 percent say they are already directly experiencing the effects of climate change in California. This poll demonstrates that for California Latino constituents, climate change is real—it’s happening now—and that they demand strong and decisive action by the state’s lawmakers and leaders. (Read the California results polling memo and California results full survey.)

    A majority of California Latino voters (64%) believe that enacting stronger environmental laws would have a positive impact on economic growth and create new jobs.

    The U.S. Census shows that Latinos are largest ethnic group in California, with 14.99 million Latinos living in the state as of July 1, 2014. Additionally, Latinos are critical to the workforce for the state’s $45 billion dollar agriculture industry.

    Over two-thirds of Latino voters in California (68%) accept the science, acknowledging that climate change is a result of human activities. An even greater number, 77% of Latinos in the state, say they are more likely to support policies and politicians that protect the environment.

    This community strongly rejects the false claim that increasing environmental protection has a negative effect on economic growth. In fact, the survey found that a majority of California Latino voters (64%) believe that enacting stronger environmental laws will have a positive impact on economic growth and create new jobs.

    The issue of proximity to the sources of air and water pollution greatly affects the Latino community. Voter response was highest (77%) among California residents, who see air pollution as a serious threat to their health.

    Nearly one out of every two Latinos lives in the country’s top 25 most ozone-polluted cities. Latinos are three times more likely to die from asthma than other racial or ethnic groups. In California, Latinos are suffering the harms of air pollution even more acutely: California has six of the nation’s 10 worst cities for air pollution, and Latino populations in the state are more likely to live in those areas overburdened by poor air quality and other pollution impacts. These problems are borne out in the polling data, as 77 percent of Latino residents in the state of California say air pollution is a serious threat to their health or that of their family members.

    Latino voters in California are also willing to put their money where their mouth is: 79 percent are willing to pay $5 more on their monthly utility bill in order to get their electricity from clean energy sources such as wind and solar, and sixty-nine percent may even be willing to pay up to $10 more.

    As California continues to battle a severe four-year drought, which scientists say is intensified by climate change, this recent study also sends a cautionary note to California’s state legislature that inaction on climate change is not an option.

    Trip Van Noppen, President of Earthjustice, issued the following statement: “Here in California, Latino voters have strong opinions about the need for California leaders to act boldly and swiftly on climate change. This powerful and growing community doesn’t need to be told that climate change is a problem because they are experiencing the dramatic effects first hand. Our Latino communities in California and their children are facing some of the worst air quality in our country and as a result, this data tells us that 77% of Latino voters see air pollution as a serious threat to their health. The poll succinctly demonstrates that elected leaders must enact policies that promote clean energy and protect the air and water that Latinos breathe and drink.”

    Mark Magaña, President and Founder of GreenLatinos, issued the following statement: “California is at the epicenter of the climate movement, both in the negative effects of climate change that they are experiencing daily and the ambitious, yet necessary, actions that they are taking to address it. This poll makes it clear why many California Latino elected officials are out front in addressing climate change; roughly four out of five California Latino registered voters say they are already directly experiencing the effects of climate change, are worried about the negative health effects on their family, strongly support state clean energy standards, are willing to pay more for clean energy if necessary, and are more likely to support policies and politicians that protect the environment. This is a community with significant commitment and consensus for demanding climate action now.”

    Lisa Garcia, Vice President of Litigation for Healthy Communities at Earthjustice, issued the following statement: “This poll reiterates the strong connection California Latinos have to the environment and the understanding that by enacting tougher environmental standards, we can protect the health of our people. Latinos understand that promoting a clean energy economy will only help California, their families and create green jobs. Latinos are saying it loud and clear—the time to act is now.”

    Earthjustice Staff Attorney Angela Johnson Meszaros issued the following statement: “This state’s air pollution issues are worsening and Latinos and communities of color are bearing the brunt of them. California can no longer turn a blind eye to the hundreds of thousands of people who need clean air and are suffering from asthma and other chronic lung disorders. This research shows California’s Latinos want action now.”

    This release is in coordination with Presente.org, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles (PSR-LA), and the Greenlining Institute.

    Statement by Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente.org: “We are thrilled by the data in this poll, which finds overwhelming support for key arguments in the environmental justice fight and validates strong Latino commitment to fighting climate change. Latino voters are sending a powerful message that we see a bright future without petroleum, with less pollution, where most resources and pollution reduction mandates benefit the most impacted communities in the state. Our community is demanding a healthier, greener, a more just and more equitable environmental transformation of our economy and society. But the poll also sends a chilling message of accountability to those elected officials still willing to advance the lies of Big Oil and their allies saying ‘we don’t support you and you do not speak for us’.”

    Statement by Martha Arguello, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles: “Community and individual health is threatened by poor air quality, the drought, wildfires, and extreme heat. Our use of fossil fuel comes with a steep price tag for asthma, cancer, low birth weight, and all chronic illnesses linked to poor air quality and climate change. Latinos want and expect strong climate policies that address air pollution, promote clean energy production and promote real economic opportunities. We know Latino health is threatened by the drought, extreme heat and other weather events. Additionally, climate change will make our current air pollution problem worse, as days get hotter we will see more ground-level ozone. With fires we will see increased particulate matter and with that will come more emergency room visits, hospitalizations and acute asthma attacks. As this poll suggests, addressing climate change is a public health imperative that Latinos understand and take seriously. Reducing health disparities and protecting the health of future generations is a major priority for Latinos who are calling for a rapid transition to a just and healthy economy by investing in clean energy solutions.”

    Statement by Strela Cervas, Co-Director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance: “California's new majority wants clean, equitable energy. Latino and other communities of color have been on the frontlines of fossil fuel pollution for decades and now our neighborhoods are among the most vulnerable to climate disruption and extreme weather. That’s why we need to be on the frontlines of the solution: clean, renewable, local energy. This poll clearly demonstrates that Latinos see the need for renewable energy to combat climate change. Latinos want to see the economic benefits as well—living wage, sustainable and healthy jobs—and they want to see renewable energy investments and infrastructure spread equitably across all California communities. It’s time to ensure that low-income communities of color no longer bear the disproportionate impacts of energy pollution. As California creates our 'next generation' of climate policies, we have the opportunity to build an even stronger renewable energy system that invests in the communities who need it the most. Equitable renewable energy can provide some of California’s most over-polluted communities with a clean, healthy environment and create living wage economic opportunities.”

    Statement by Alvaro Sanchez, Environmental Equity Director at the Greenlining Institute: "California Latinos understand how clean energy investments can bring both jobs and cleaner air to Latino communities— communities that now breathe some of the dirtiest air in the country. We've made a promising start, charging polluters and putting those dollars into clean transportation, energy efficiency and solar power for low-income communities, and Latinos want to see those investments grow. Every community needs a piece of the clean energy future."

    Statement by Byron Gudiel, Executive Director of Communities for a Better Environment: “Oil industry operations and fossil fuel combustion in transportation accounts for more than half of greenhouse gasses emitted in California in addition to causing wide range of other serious health impacts in Latino communities as well as low income communities and communities of color. The community is fully aware of these negative impacts, and they strongly support urgent decisive action by their elected officials as demonstrated by this revealing poll results. We need massive and equity-based clean energy investments through a just transition away from fossil fuels towards a sustainable path in economic development, job creation and building healthy, safe and resilient communities.”

    POLL DOCUMENTS

    BACKGROUND

    During Summer 2015, Earthjustice and GreenLatinos joined forces to field this state research poll among U.S. Latino voters. The survey, fielded between June 24 and July 8, is based on a national sample of 1,200 Latino registered voters who were interviewed by landline, cell and on-line in English and Spanish. As part of that effort, California, Colorado and Florida were oversampled, with 300 interviews completed in each of those states. The state samples carry a nominal margin of error of +/-5.7 percentage points.

    Continue reading →