This week, Hispanic environmental advocates are heading to Washington, D.C., from around the country to engage lawmakers on issues affecting us all, like clean air, pristine waters, and the fight against climate change.
In California, the third annual Latino Advocacy Week kicked off with a kayak trip for youth leaders in Morro Bay, part of the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, which would run from Santa Barbara to Cambria.
Juan Rosas, conservation program associate for the Hispanic Access Foundation, led the event, and said the beaches must be protected for future generations.
"To be able to protect this coastline from offshore drilling, to be able to put our toes in the sand and enjoy the ocean," Rosas emphasized. "Not only for our generation, but I think of our great-grandkids that are going to be able to see this amazing coastline, like we're able to see it today."
Latino Advocacy Week also includes in-person and virtual presentations in English and Spanish on a range of topics, including ways to train future leaders on advocacy work and engage the media and clergy on environmental issues.
Rosas noted too many communities of color are plagued by dirty air.
"A lot of our Hispanic communities are suffering from asthma," Rosas pointed out. "We would definitely love to see the Hispanic community to raise their voice up and fight for quality of air. There's nothing more valuable than the air we breathe."
Data from the Public Policy Institute of California showed Latinos comprise 35% of the adult population in the state, but just 22% of likely voters.