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Guest Thinkers

Calif. Prop. 23: Greens Turn to Public Health Message to Mobilize Latino Voters

Opponents of California’s Proposition 23, a measure that would block legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions, have turned to a public health focus to mobilize Latino voters. Research that I recently published with Ed Maibach and colleagues finds that this frame of reference has the potential to engage segments of the public who may otherwise be ambivalent or less concerned about climate change. 

Below is the ad in Spanish that the No on Prop 23 coalition is running which features Dr. Luis Pacheco, Director of the California Medical Center.

Below is a summary of the campaign to mobilize Latino voters from the Center for American Progress’ Jorge Madrid.  Also see this report today at NPR.

“There is a very big component to the No on 23 campaign… the Latino community.  Poor environmental regulation and insensitive urban land use planning has a tremendous effect on our communities health…The next chapter is to translate all of these regulation and protections into economic development and green jobs,” said Tom Soto, co-founder of Craton Equity Partners.

“A lot of people think that ‘going green’ is a fad…We need to remember that green equals life,” said Dr. Luis Pacheco, Director of the California Medical Center.

Following up the event was another joint press conference organized by the BlueGrenn Alliance, a national partnership between labor and environmental advocates, and the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change.  Speakers urged Californian’s to vote no on the dirty energy propositions and touted the economic and public health benefits of California’s clean air and clean energy law (AB 32).  The event was held in both English and Spanish.  (Listen to audio here).

“The solution to global warming can create jobs while ensuring the health of the people.  Prop. 23 is bad for us, bad for our children, and bad for our communities… [The out-of-state oil companies] are only interested in protecting their profits at the expense of communities,” said Eliseo Medina InternationalSecretary-Treasurer,Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Rounding out the week was the release of an open letter to all Californians, in which dozens of Latino organizations and leaders urged voters to oppose propositions 23 and 26.  The effort was organized by Voces Verdes (green voices), a coalition of Latino business and community leaders who support sustainable environmental progress.

“We cannot afford to sacrifice our children’s health, our jobs and our welfare to enrich polluters. California must remain a leader and Latinos must ensure this by voting No on Props 23 and 26.”

See also:

Study: Re-Framing Climate Change as a Public Health Issue

Calif. Prop 23: Environmentalists Hold Fund-Raising and Mobilization Advantage In Battle Over Greenhouse Gas Limits


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