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Report: Winning FL Latino Vote Could Mean "Going Green"

PHOTO: Many Latinos are as concerned about conservation, the environment and public-lands protection as immigration issues, according to a new analysis of voter surveys by Latino Decisions and the Hispanic Access Foundation. Photo credit: immigrationimpact.com.
PHOTO: Many Latinos are as concerned about conservation, the environment and public-lands protection as immigration issues, according to a new analysis of voter surveys by Latino Decisions and the Hispanic Access Foundation. Photo credit: immigrationimpact.com.
August 22, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida primary is just days away, and candidates vying for the Latino vote may need to address more than just immigration. A new report finds those voters also are concerned about the environment.

Nationwide, 91 percent of Latino voters agree that protecting land and water also protects their culture and communities, according to the report. As the primary and November elections approach, said Maite Arce, president of the Hispanic Access Foundation, candidates need to address conservation issues with their Latino constituents.

"The Latino community is a very diverse community that has a lot of interest in different areas," she said, "but what's different is that conservation is definitely a more unanimous issue among the Latino community."

Unlike other electoral groups, Arce said, Latinos are not divided by gender, party affiliation, age or demographics when it comes to environmental and conservation issues.

The report, released jointly by Latino Decisions and the Hispanic Access Foundation, analyzed nine major public opinion polls from the last three years.

Arce said the analysis indicates connecting with Latino voters on conservation and environmental issues could be just as critical to a candidate as his or her views on immigration.

"The decision-makers and advocates, it's very clear that they'll need to demonstrate their attention to these concerns and policy preferences as the Latino population and electorate continues to grow," she said.

A national survey of Latino voters in 2012 by the Sierra Club found that more than 60 percent believe the most important environmental issues for their families are water and air pollution.

The full report is online at hispanicaccess.org.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - FL