Over one hundred Latinos participated in a historic Latino Lobby Day in Tallahassee on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 to advocate for Florida’s environment.
The results of the Chispa Florida community survey validated the concern Hispanics feel about climate change. With this information, Chispa Florida brought together 115 Floridians, senators, and representatives during the first Latino Climate Advocacy Day for the Defense of Climate Justice.
Together, we wrote a page in the history of Florida Conservation Voters and the Chispa Florida program by hosting the first event of this kind. For a whole day, Latinos from all over the state were able to talk with their representatives and senators.
Specifically, participants asked their legislators to vote against a measure that would negatively change the net metering system. This program allows millions of households to generate clean electricity by installing solar panels on their rooftops.
Additionally, they spoke up against a bill on seagrass mitigation banks, a set of bills that would have disastrous effects on seagrass meadows, the habitat of endangered species such as the manatee.
Representatives Anna Eskamani, Carlos Guillermo Smith, and Kristen Arrington, alongside Senators Víctor Torres, Anette Taddeo, Jante Cruz, and Jason Pizzo participated in the event, which was held virtually as a precautionary measure against the pandemic.
Despite being a diaspora of individuals with roots in different countries and cultures, Latinos share an appreciation for nature, conservation, and climate justice. “This event shows that Hispanics are very concerned about the issue of the environment, and it shows that Latinos are willing to participate in political processes if they have the opportunity and if it is done in their language,” said María Revelles, Director of Chispa Florida.