Advocates Urge Latinos to Support Conservation, Fight Climate Change
Thursday, June 4, 2020
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Conservation and public health groups are calling on Latinos to take action to preserve public lands and combat climate change.
Groups such as the Hispanic Access Foundation are specifically calling for Latinos to push for final passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. That legislation funds the $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance projects in America's national parks and monuments, and permanently funds future needs.
U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona says the COVID-19 crisis has focused attention on how poverty and pollution historically have affected the health and well-being of Latino communities.
"The link between conservation and Latino health was clear prior to COVID-19, but these last two months of isolation or more has made that case clearer than ever," he states.
Grijalva says a final vote on the act is pending in Congress this week. It also would fully fund the long-postponed Land and Water Conservation Fund, which would improve parkland in almost every U.S. county, and return $4 in benefits for every dollar invested.
Grijalva chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources and says decades of discriminatory housing practices have brought low-income jobs and industrial pollution to many Latino neighborhoods with little or no access to parks or public lands.
"The vast majority of Latinos do not have that access to green space and parks that is close to their neighborhoods and homes," Grijalva points out. "That's a preexisting condition, because that prevents the needed fresh air to maintain physical and mental health."
Shanna Edberg directs conservation programs for the Hispanic Access Foundation. She says the group has developed an extensive Congressional Conservation Toolkit to help advocates and lawmakers better understand the role of the Latino community in promoting conservation.
"Latino voters want Congress to protect clean water, clean air and public lands," she states. "It's a resource for lawmakers and it's also a resource for advocates to know how their Latino constituents are thinking and voting on these issues. "
Edberg says passage of the Great American Outdoors Act would fund thousands of conservation projects across the country, creating much needed jobs to mitigate the economic fallout from COVID-19.
Disclosure: Hispanic Access Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Environment, Human Rights/Racial Justice, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
get more stories like this via email
BOISE, Idaho -- Wildfires are affecting air quality across the West, bringing hidden dangers in smoke that can harm people's health. The Boise-based …
DENVER -- The days of exponentially high increases in health-insurance costs may finally be in the rearview mirror. The Colorado Division of …
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Cultural institutions in the U.S. are facing scrutiny to be more accessible and inclusive. The organization in charge of Iowa's …
MINOT, N.D. -- Many arguments are being floated about legislation before Congress that would bring big changes to U.S. labor laws. The bill has its …
Health and Wellness
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Health-care advocates called on Missouri lawmakers to allocate funds for Medicaid expansion right away, after the state …
AUGUSTA, Maine -- School meals in Maine will be free for all students again this year and into the future, but parents are being urged to fill out …
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A report outlines how federal efforts to bring solar energy to one in four American households could bring clean energy to …
RALEIGH, N.C. -- As more North Carolinians resume travel and take vacations this summer, most will be relying on their debit and credit cards…