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The vast majority of Latinos in the U.S. are very concerned or even alarmed about climate change and will vote for candidates with strong policies on global warming, which could make a difference in tightly contested states with large Latino populations like Arizona and Florida. It could even put Texas in play for Democrats if they are the focus of mobilization efforts, according to Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Leiserowitz told NexusMedia that Latinos, “could potentially make a really big difference in states like Texas and Colorado and Arizona.” But Jeremy Deaton of Nexus Media reports that experts like Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, of the University of Texas, are concerned because politicians are failing to reach Latinos or failing to speak to issues Latinos care about.
The Yale Climate Communications Center has done polling that shows that Americans divide up into six groups on climate change ranging from “Alarmed” voters who care the most to “Dismissive” who care the least about climate change. Latinos who only speak Spanish are more than twice as likely to be “Alarmed” about climate change as non-Latinos. However, Latinos are also “less likely than other ‘Alarmed’ Americans to say they have been contacted by an organization working on climate change, a shocking failure of public outreach,” according to Yale’s research, demonstrating a structural bias when it comes to climate activism and outreach. As Leiserowitz explains, “That is the whole point of an advocacy organization — they recruit people….I think there are plenty of reasons to be engaging this community and really investing in this community.” And that Latino voters are more likely to understand climate change and demand stronger policies is not new — polling back in 2015 revealed the growing disparity between Latinos and other Americans.
More Than Immigration Issues
One problem may be that politicians and advocacy organizations believe that immigration is the issue that most motivates Latino voters. But because of the Trump Administration’s terrible response to Hurricane Maria, which caused a huge migration of Puerto Ricans to relocate to the mainland, many Latino voters are highly motivated to vote due to climate change. Ramon Cruz, who was recently elected president of the Sierra Club, is the first Latino to hold the position. He is focusing the organization on mobilizing Latinos and he believes his election as the club’s president partly due to the central role that Latinos will play in the climate movement. The Sierra Club is publishing materials in Spanish and reaching out to groups in key states like Arizona and Florida to motivate them to vote in order to ensure President Trump is not re-elected. “Clearly, there are a lot of people who would like to see him gone, but the challenge is how to mobilize those people,” Cruz told Nexus Media.
This past Sunday, France rode the green wave (or, as some of the French media has dubbed it, the green tsunami) as the country’s green party– Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV)– and its allies won big in major cities such as Lyon, Strasbourg, and Bordeaux. And the mayor of Paris, a socialist, also won handily.
Why This Matters: The local election has already pushed Macron to act on environmental issues.
Later this morning, House Democrats — Speaker Pelosi and (FOP) Representative Kathy Castor of the House Special Committee on Climate — will unveil the most detailed and sweeping proposal in a decade for dealing with the climate crisis, which reportedly also weaves environmental justice into every element of the plan.
Why This Matters: This is not a plan that the President can lambast as an end to capitalism.
By Miro Korenha and Monica Medina When we launched Our Daily Planet over two years ago, we wanted to change the conversation about conservation and climate change – to make these issues a key part of the political and policy discussion so that they would finally be addressed. We firmly believed then and still do […]
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