Why Do Latino Voters Care About Green Issues?


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All nine surveys conducted since 2011 gauging Hispanics’ views on the environment show that green issues matter. And, now, major environmental groups, from the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters to the Natural Resources Defense Council, are targeting Latinos to bolster their agendas.
Activists believe a tipping point has been reached for the green movement: a shift that political operatives are slowly waking up to and that could be instrumental in their courting of the all-important Latino vote on the eve of midterm elections.
“Contrary to the myth that Latinos are concerned with other issues, such as immigration and the economy, and that environmental issues ranked low among Latinos, our studies show that it’s a top issue for Latinos,” said Adrian Pantoja, senior analyst with political opinion research firm Latino Decisions and politics professor at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. “It’s shattering the stereotype.”
With environmental issues, Hispanics worry most about climate change, air pollution and water quality.
“Latinos don’t need the scientific studies to tell them what’s going on in their neighborhoods,” Pantoja said. “We asked ‘Why does this matter to you?’ and a lot of it is tied to their families and their communities.”
Impact close to home, from air quality to open space, is a prime concern. The outcry over environmental racism – the dumping of toxic waste or polluting factories in low-income neighborhoods – has galvanized Latino voters in communities across the country.
To read full story: ttp://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/9/17/green-latinos-midtermelections.html
Photo: www.latinogreenproject.com