Last weekend, Alexa Aispuro, Youth Organizer with Chispa Nevada, addressed the crowd at the Las Vegas Women’s March. During her speech, she energized the crowd and shared what has been the most motivating factor in her work– the strength and commitment of women of color who are leading the movement to combat the climate crisis. Read her speech below:
Hi everyone, my name is Alexa Aispuro and I am a youth organizer with Chispa Nevada, a program of the League of Conservation Voters that builds the power of Latino communities to have a voice in the fight against climate change.
I’m also a college student, a daughter of immigrants, a Latina, a Nevadan. I’m here today because I believe youth leaders, especially women of color, must have our voices heard to bring about the action we need to combat the climate crisis. I’m here because I’ve seen how my community, my generation and even the next generation, have been affected by the climate crisis. I also know that this movement is largely led by women of color, women who are tired of inaction and ready to demand better. I’m proud to be here today with so many poderosas, women who are getting the work done and lifting others with them for a better climate and healthier futures.
For Chispa Nevada, I organize youth. I work with high schools and colleges to find people who want to take action to support clean air, clean energy, and clean transportation. Through our Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign, I’ve been organizing Latino youth and their families to push state officials to invest in zero-emission electric school buses. We see firsthand how young people, especially vulnerable children, are impacted by fossil fuel pollution in Nevada, how they suffer from asthma that keeps them from their enjoying life to the fullest. So many of our students have to miss school because they’re struggling to breathe. Asthma is now the number one cause of school absences. It also takes a huge toll on our families, economically, emotionally, and on our health.
It’s not just children who are affected. Latino communities are disproportionately impacted by air pollution, more often living near sources of pollution and breathing dirty air. We are more likely to suffer from illnesses caused by our environment. Latino children are twice as likely to die from asthma attack as their white peers. We’re the first and the worst hit when it comes to climate change, from drought to wildfires to intense heat to air pollution. We live these climate consequences and we suffer them daily.
That’s why we’re also working on our Change the Climate 2020 campaign, to call on candidates to prioritize the climate crisis in their campaigns and to be ready to act starting on day one if they’re elected president. Our volunteers, many of them mothers, are going to candidate events and asking them how they plan to protect the futures of our children. We’re training for the caucus and to make our presence known, so that leaders can’t ignore our calls for climate action.
What I see in all of this is that it’s the women who are raising our voices and speaking up. From the young women in high school who volunteer with us each and every week, to the dozens of mothers of kids with asthma who lead our clean buses campaign as promotoras and community organizers, Chispa Nevada is proud to be working with so many powerful women to protect our families and our environment. We are proud to help provide them the tools they need to make change happen in their communities, to amplify their voices and elevate their leadership.
What we’re calling for is simple: Climate action. Climate justice. For our leaders to put our communities first.
We thank you for letting us be a part of the 2020 Women’s March and we’ll continue fighting for our Madre Tierra, Mother Earth. We know that our futures are worth fighting for, and we won’t stop.