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Study: Latinos Are Enviros in Large Part

PHOTO: A new report digging deeply into public opinion polls shows conservation is a broad concern among America's Latino population and that candidates in upcoming mid-term elections should take note. Photo courtesy Hispanic Access Foundation.
PHOTO: A new report digging deeply into public opinion polls shows conservation is a broad concern among America's Latino population and that candidates in upcoming mid-term elections should take note. Photo courtesy Hispanic Access Foundation.
August 22, 2014

NEW YORK - While some might think immigration policy dominates the concern of Hispanics in New York and around the nation, a new report shows the environment is high on their agenda.

Two groups - Latino Decisions and Hispanic Access Foundation - dug deeply into nine recent public opinion polls and extracted demographic data showing Latinos overwhelmingly support greater environmental protections, such as preserving parks and public lands.

As with other communities, Latinos have concerns as diverse as jobs, health care and education, said Hispanic Action Foundation president Maite Arce, "but the difference is that conservation is definitely a more unanimous issue among the Latino voter community."

Not only should policymakers note this facet of the fastest-growing segment of the country, Arce said, but candidates running in the upcoming mid-term elections should study it carefully as well.

Arce said water and air pollution are especially important to a strong majority of Latino voters, something office-seekers should address.

"It's an opportunity for candidates to really start that conversation with their Latino constituents," she said. "It's a really great way to connect because conservation clearly matters to the Latino voter community."

Arce said the opinion polls conducted from 2011 to 2014 show solidarity among Hispanics on environmental issues.

"For the most part," she said, "Latinos are not divided by gender or party or identification or age, or any other demographic traits when it comes to conservation issues and the environment."

She said the research shows more than 70 percent of Latino voters are worried about global warming.

The full report is online at hispanicaccess.org.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NY