Latino Voters Take The Environment Personally


More than 9-in-10 (92 percent) Latino voters said they “have a moral responsibility to take care of God’s creations on this earth—the wilderness and forests, the oceans, lakes and rivers” in a recent survey by Sierra Club and National Council of La Raza.
The study found that environmental protection seemed to be a personal issue with a majority of Latinos. Recent focus groups and a national survey designed to gauge Latino voters’ opinions on environmental issues reinforce results from other recent public opinion research as well as a similar survey by Sierra Club from 2008. In many cases, Latinos’ environmental attitudes have grown stronger in the past few years, according to this article.
Some of the study’s highlighted findings include:

  • Latinos see the connection between pollution and public health in a very personal way, including concerns about their families’ health.
  • Most Latino voters support environmental and public health protections.
  • Climate change is a reality for most Latino voters.
  • Latinos want to protect and expand the nation’s public lands.
  • Most favor clean energy over fossil fuels.
  • Today, more Latino voters report that they live or work near a toxic site than in 2008.
  • Latinos see protecting the environment as a moral responsibility, with important roles for government regulations as well as action by individuals—including energy conservation.
  • A majority of Latino voters say that environmental regulations protect our health.

Catherine Singley, senior policy analyst of National Council of La Raza believes that Latinos also tend to have values that make them inclined to be environmentally responsible. She pointed to a strong sense of personal responsibility, faith, entrepreneurship, the importance of family and community, and doing the right thing “because it’s the right thing to do,” according to the article.