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Las Vegas, Nevada—Today, Senator Harry Reid, Congresswoman Dina Titus, Assemblywoman Oliva Diaz and Assemblyman Nelson Araujo helped kick-off Chispa Nevada, a new Las Vegas-based program aimed at getting Latino families involved in local environmental issues. At the event, local and national leaders discussed the essential role Nevada’s Latino community plays in the fight to combat climate change and increase access to clean energy.
Chispa Nevada is a program of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) focused on strengthening the voices and leadership of Latino families in the fight against climate change and to advocate for solutions, like clean energy. Latino families often live in some of the most polluted neighborhoods, suffer higher rates of environmental health illnesses and are often overlooked in the decisions and policies that impact their lives.
“The Latino community understands the importance of addressing climate change because it has witnessed its consequences firsthand. Roughly half of U.S. Latinos live in areas with high rates of pollution – in big cities or near freeways or power plants. I applaud Chispa and the League of Conservation Voters for leading the charge in the fight to save our planet,” said Senator Reid.
“Our community is often ground zero for pollution and contamination. But our community is ready to take action to ensure that we have clean air and water and a planet that can actually sustain future generations. If we don’t act now, our future is uncertain,” said Chispa Nevada Director Rudy Zamora.
Chispa Nevada is part of a growing network of Latino communities that are leading efforts to combat climate change and protect the health of their communities by advocating for solutions like clean energy. With programs already in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Maryland, the Nevada program will be one of Chispa’s largest.
“Generally speaking, Latinos don’t often identify themselves as ‘environmentalists’. However, our polling, research and on the ground work shows over and over again that Latino families are some of the strongest and most ardent advocates for environmental protections and action on climate change,” explains Vice President and National Director of LCV’s Chispa, Jennifer Allen.
Chispa Nevada’s team is out every day knocking on doors, doing presentations at schools, clubs and in neighborhoods to talk with families about what clean energy communities would look like and how they can get involved. The program is currently training their first group of “Environmental Justice and Action Promotores”, volunteers who after completing a 30+ hour training program will recruit their own friends and family to get involved.
“Nevada is our home and we all have a responsibility to protect it from polluters and pollution,” continues Zamora. “This is important for me and my family as much as it is for all Nevadans.”
Chispa Nevada strengthens the voices of Latino families to fight against climate change and for clean energy for a healthier future for us all. Visit www.lcv.org/chispa