Latinos in the United States are a growing influence in American society and bring an important and diverse perspective to the issues we all care about, including keeping our air and water clean and protecting our planet for future generations to enjoy.
Almost 9 in 10 Hispanic voters prefer the United States to invest in clean, renewable energy sources over fossil fuels. And 86% of Latinos support the Obama administration taking action to limit carbon pollution – an even higher percentage than the 61% of all Americans who support the President’s climate action plan.
Perhaps this is because people of color, including Latinos, are disproportionately affected by water and air pollution. Latino children have a 40% greater chance of dying of asthma and almost half of all Latinos in the United States live in one of the 25 most ozone-polluted cities in the country.
However, Latino communities across the country have been doing some inspiring organizing for environmental justice and to protect the health of their families. And since 2011, the League of Conservation Voters has been proud to partner with Latino communities across the country to push for action on the issues of climate change and clean energy.
In 2012, we worked with our state league partners in Colorado and New Mexico -- as well as local Latino groups -- to build a grassroots movement of Latino activists for environmental action in these key states. In that initial effort, we successfully mobilized more than 10,000 Latinos to take action to stop water pollution and protect against the public health concerns arising from oil and gas drilling.
In our nation’s capitol, LCV has been building relationships with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and working with other influential Latino leaders to create opportunities to elevate their voices and leadership on environmental issues. In September 2013, the League of Conservation Voters hosted a national press call with two environmental champions of the U.S House of Representatives—Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico—in which they discussed the need for national policies that address climate change, ensure clean air and clean water, and protect public lands for all Americans.
Going forward, LCV will continue to work with these leaders, community activists, and the Spanish-language media to tell the stories about how climate change is impacting Latino communities, and show how much energy there is for environmental action to protect ourselves, our families and our planet.