10 Reasons Latinxs Need To Vote This Election
November 2, 2020
Planeta G, Greenpeace USA’s Latinx web series, tapped into the power of voting by counting down the top reasons why Latinx communities need to turn out the vote.
Latinxs hold the key to this Presidential election. There are 32 million eligible Latinx voters, and 70% of Latinxs see climate change as a high priority. For Latinx Heritage Month and the lead-up to the election, we aired special Planeta G episodes, called Estamos Unidxs, to help Latinx folks vote for the climate.
This election is critical in setting the stage for the right to a healthy environment and democracy and a just, green, and peaceful future. We are already experiencing higher temperatures and record-setting heat waves with more frequent and severe droughts—and frontline communities are affected first, and worst. Latinx communities are among the most affected by the changing climate.
It would be wrong to talk about what Latinx people “need” to do in this election without acknowledging that Latinx, and other People of Color, especially Black Americans, have been barred from fully participating in this country’s democratic process. The solutions are not as simple as just voting, of course; our organizing for just, green, and inclusive governance will take a lot more work. But, this is a first step to ensure that we can build a people powered democracy.
Let’s elect a candidate who actually has a plan to tackle the climate crisis—and, more importantly, a candidate who actually responds to pressure and demands from us—the people—and our movements.
Watch the videos below and learn from the amazing Carolina Guerra, a Colombian actress and activist; Marina Testino, Peruvian American fashion icon and ARTivist; Natalie Carey from the #VoteLikeaMadre Campaign; and Mónica Ramírez, author, activist, and founder of She Se Puede.
10. We are all connected
The outcome of the election not only impacts people living in the U.S., but the health and well-being of the planet. The U.S. is the second largest carbon-emitter in the world and has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement which aims to cut back carbon emissions to zero by 2050. The U.S. needs a President that takes climate change seriously and rejoins the Paris Agreement. The U.S. has the capacity and global responsibility to not just rejoin the Paris Agreement, but to do more — fast — to move off of fossil fuels and to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.
Watch the Planeta G episode featuring Carolina Guerra for reasons 10, 9, and 8:
9. Climate Migration
Climate change is displacing communities all over the world, particularly affecting countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador. Many are left with no choice but to emigrate in order to survive. We need a President who won’t lock children and families in cages for needing to escape climate devastation.
8. LGBTQI+ Rights
The current administration has rolled back LGBT protections, targeting trans individuals and exposing them to discrimination. We need to elect a President who values the lives of LGBT+ people, reinstates protections, and advocates for the community.
7. Ocean Protection
Our oceans are in peril. We can’t afford another President that will allow the further destruction of our oceans. At least half of the world’s oxygen comes from the ocean; it’s our responsibility to restore it back to health. Protecting 30% of our oceans by 2030 is critical if we hope to restore America’s rich ocean ecosystems and mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.
Watch the episode featuring Marina Testino for reasons 7, 6, and 5:
6. Plastic Pollution
We have a plastic crisis in the United States. 65 trash trucks per day of plastic waste are dumped into the ocean in the United States via our land, rivers and coasts! Donald Trump continues to side with the fossil fuel industry, knowing that according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the burning of fossil fuels is responsible for 76 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. These gases contribute to the greenhouse effect and are already impacting millions of people. We need a President who will phase out fossil fuels and supports clean and renewable energy.
Latinx workers across industries have been historically exploited for their labor with minimal protections. Latinos also make up over half the labor force in service sectors that were considered essential after the COVID-19 pandemic started. Especially during the pandemic, essential workers, including farmworkers, have been overlooked, experiencing racism and inequality, and threats to their well being because of the pandemic and climate crisis, such as the record breaking wild fires. We need a President that prioritizes people over profits.
4. Environmental Racism
Latinxs in the U.S. are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Big polluters set up their plants in our backyards, putting our kids more at risk for asthma and other diseases. We need climate plans that center around environmental justice and force big polluters to pay for the harm they are causing.
Watch the Planeta G episode featuring Natalie Carey from #VoteLikeAMadre for reasons 4 and 3:
3. Fossil Fuel Accountability
Oil, gas, and coal companies have known about the effects of burning fossil fuels for decades. We need to stop bailing these companies, keep oil in the ground, and work on a just transition to a clean energy economy.
2. Climate Change
Heat waves, water shortages, wildfires, stronger and more frequent storms — these are just some of the changes threatening our communities. We need a leader who follows science and makes bold systemic changes to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
1. Advocate for Latinx Communities
We need a President who understands the issues that matter to Latinx communities and has a plan to address them. We need a President who doesn’t vilify our communities and labels us thugs or criminals. Latinx communities in the U.S. hold so much power. It’s time we use it to elect a President that has our best interest in mind.
Watch the Planeta G episode with Monica Ramirez from She Se Puede:
Planeta G is a web series about the intersection of the environmental movement and the Latinx community by Greenpeace USA. You can check out other episodes abd stay updated by subscribing to the Greenpeace USA YouTube Channel, or following @GreenpeaceUSA on Instagram.