Washington, D.C. — In response to President Biden’s announcement of the Build Back Better Framework, Chispa National and Chispa state partners issued the below statements.
Communities of color are disproportionately exposed to harmful air pollution and have been waiting for immigration solutions for decades. This historic Framework addresses these inequities and advances environmental justice as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 goals, as well as adds significant funding to address the needs of our nation’s undocumented and historically excluded communities.
“Arizona is on the frontlines of the climate crisis, from wildfires and extreme heat, to dangerous air pollution disproportionately harming Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities. This historic investment in climate action and clean energy responds to these urgent needs and ensures our most impacted communities are prioritized,” said Vianey Olivarria, Co-Director for Chispa Arizona. “We’re eager to see Arizona’s delegation support this investment and soon provide relief to our communities.”
“With the two fastest warming cities and among the most polluted counties in the country, Nevadans need meaningful, transformational federal investments in clean energy, pollution-free transportation, and restoration to address the climate crisis,” said Rudy Zamora, Program Director for Chispa Nevada. “This Framework gets us closer to investing in the jobs and technologies we need to protect our communities, our air, our lands, and our waters. We urge Congress, and especially members of Nevada’s federal delegation, to quickly pass this historic package and put us on a path towards climate justice.”
“Florida is ground zero for the climate crisis. Millions of Florida residents are impacted every day by coastal erosion, hurricanes, contaminated water, flooding, and vanishing wildlife and habitat,” said Maria Revelles, State Director for Chispa Florida. “Some scientists predict the lower third of the state will be underwater by the end of the century. Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other communities of color have for too long been on the front lines of toxic pollution and face the most severe harms from climate change, undermining their ability to participate equally in the economy and to live safe, healthy, and prosperous lives. People displaced by climate-related disasters need real solutions now. Congress can help to pass this Build Back Better Act that invests in tackling climate change and programs that deliver economic, public health, and environmental benefits to the communities that need them the most.”
“We commend President Biden’s leadership for taking action on climate change and for prioritizing the electrification of school buses, which will ensure cleaner air for the 25 million children who ride school buses each day and create good, family-sustaining, green jobs as we meet our climate goals,” said Chispa National Campaigns Manager Alejandra Ramirez-Zarate. “We also know that the climate crisis does not exist in a silo — environmental injustices are linked to racial, gender, reproductive, health, voting, and many more inequities. Our immigrant communities have long known the reality of this crisis and its devastating consequences. Justice for our communities is an and instead of an or. We need both a pathway to citizenship and bold investment in immediate climate action to ensure our future generations can benefit from a safer, more equitable country.”
We Build Back Better together by prioritizing highest-need communities; these investments can address climate change and secure the wellbeing and health of our nation’s immigrants and Black, Indigenous and people of color. We call on Congress to expedite passage of this package to respond to the needs of our communities, and we support the efforts of our partners to legalize and transform the lives of 11 million undocumented immigrants.