Masavi Perea of LCV’s Chispa Arizona spoke at a rally before the start of the 2018 legislative session. Here are his words.
Buenos días! I’m Masavi Perea, director of Chispa AZ, a community organizing program of the League of Conservation Voters:
As I reflect on 2017, I recognize it was an intense year — one that prepared us for the biggest fights ahead to protect our environment, our communities and our vote in 2018.
Together we united to call for clean air, to protect our public lands, and to safeguard youth and future generations from the effects of dangerous diesel pollution. We stood with Dreamers, fought the racist views of Arpaio and those who defend him, and called for energy justice.
Without the support of our allies, efforts of our volunteers, friends, and community groups banding together to resist and fight back, we wouldn’t be in the strong place we are to hold our public officials accountable, to fight corporate polluters — or to put Arizona on the map as one of more than a dozen states calling for Clean Buses for Healthy Niños with the support of 34 members of the Arizona state legislature who called on Governor Ducey to make electric school buses a reality! On behalf of Chispa AZ and LCV, we thank you for this important work.
The work we started in April 2017 to demand that our state’s VW settlement funding be invested in zero-emissions school 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 diesel pollution MUST continue, it WILL continue, and we need to win in 2018 for our kids and communities.
Governor Ducey already stated that it is a good idea to invest this money into school buses. But listen Governor, we need zero emissions electric buses, and we have the state’s $57 million dollar VW settlement available for just that.
Our chance is now, our future is now, and our youth deserve to live in neighborhoods where they can thrive, not toxic ones where diesel pollution and dirty air limit their potential and ours! Reducing air pollution in an already contaminated Maricopa county and across the state is critical to our survival.
In 2018, si se puede! Yes, we can!