Following reports that Governor Doug Ducey is considering using Arizona’s VW settlement for new school buses, Chispa Arizona, a community organizing program of the League of Conservation Voters, released the following statement from director Masavi Perea:
“We’re thrilled Gov. Ducey is considering using the state’s $57 million dollar VW settlement for new school buses. This is an opportunity to take bold action to put the clean air and the health of our youth and communities first by transitioning to clean energy electric school buses. This summer 34 members of the Arizona state legislature called on the Governor to make electric school buses a reality while Chispa Arizona’s members and dozens of other community groups have been rallying support. There is an unspoken disparity in our schools, with kids from low income and communities of color facing the highest rates of air pollution and respiratory illness. We are hopeful that Gov. Ducey will take this important step toward making sure all of our kids breathe clean air.”
Two Arizona lawmakers who have pushed for Gov. Ducey to invest the VW settlement in electric buses also reinforced their support for Chispa AZ’s Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign.
Rep. Charlene Fernandez, D-Yuma (District 4): “Schools desperately need this money to update our aging school bus fleets. Rep. Bolding and I have been working with Chispa Arizona for months to steer the Volkswagen settlement to our schools as a win-win for education and air quality, and we are pleased to see the idea has taken hold with Governor Ducey.”
Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Phoenix (District 27): “Chispa Arizona’s Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign was a truly grassroots effort and easily the best idea we saw for using the Volkswagen settlement in a way that helped Arizona move forward. More clean energy, zero-emissions buses will improve air quality and address a glaring need for our schools.”
Background: Chispa AZ launched the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign on April 6 to demand that Arizona’s VW settlement funding be invested in electric buses for children across the state, especially those in low income and communities of color where students and families are most at risk for suffering the effects of pollution. For more on the campaign, click here.
Chispa Arizona is a community organizing program of the League of Conservation Voters. We build the capacity of Latino families to influence policy makers and pressure polluters to protect communities’ rights to clean air and water, healthy neighborhoods and a safe climate for generations to come.
Learn more about Chispa Arizona at www.lcv.org/chispa or follow us @ChispaLcv on Twitter.