Clean Buses For
Healthy Niños

Since 2017, Chispa has been rallying decision-makers at state and local levels to finance zero-emission electric school buses, ensure kids get clean rides to school and protect the people’s right to a healthy, unpolluted, diesel-free environment.

Why We Campaign

Twenty-five million children ride dirty diesel school buses each day in the United States, exposed to dangerous toxins that can cause asthma, heart and lung diseases, cancer, etc. 

Worse still, students and others in Latinx and low-income people of color communities are at most risk of breathing dirty air as they disproportionately suffer from the effects of diesel pollution. This doesn’t need to happen!

At Chispa, we want to change this forever – one community at a time. This is why we campaign. And this is why we’ll need your help.

About The Campaign

Maintaining a healthy environment is a human responsibility.

Chispa launched the “Clean Buses For Healthy Niños” campaign in 2017 as a multi-state effort to influence governors, school boards, and local leaders to work towards a cleaner environment.

Seeing the Volkswagen settlements as a perfect opportunity for environmental rehabilitation, the campaign set out to lobby decision-makers at the state and community levels to commit these funds to replace dirty diesel school bus fleets with clean, zero-emission electric buses in the affected communities.

Clean Buses for Healthy Niños

Working in tandem with coalition partners, the campaign organizes and engages locals in the communities and school districts of Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, and, most recently, Colorado and Florida, to spur actions and meaningful changes.

As we look forward to a cleaner and healthier tomorrow, we’re trying to improve the quality of our environments and our lives today. We just need to take that first big step together. Chispa is trying to achieve that with the “Clean Buses For Healthy Niños” campaign.

Campaign Progress

The “Clean Buses For Healthy Niños” campaign planning started in 2016, built on the hope and confidence that by amplifying the voice of the people, together, we can influence governance and policy decisions that affect our environments and our lives, starting from the adoption of electric school buses to help kids get to school and back home safely.

The “Clean Buses For Healthy Niños” campaign launched officially in 2017.

  • By fall 2017, the campaign secured and delivered over 31,000 signatures to governors in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, and Maryland, urging them to commit the VW settlement funds to invest in electric school buses.
  • The campaign grew momentum and expanded across Florida and New York in 2018.

From 2017 through 2018, the campaign drew crowds and engaged thousands.

  • Chispa organizers and promoters helped rally students, parents, and volunteers to demand actions from their governors to commit the VW settlement funds to invest in zero-emission electric school buses.
  • As a result of this, school boards in New Haven, Connecticut, and Prince George’s County Council in Maryland passed resolutions calling for dedicated funding for electric school buses.
  • As of 2018, multiple states in the US had announced plans to allocate millions of dollars to replace or update diesel school buses, though not specifying electric in some cases.

State-By-State Results

$20 million secured for electric school buses and electric vehicle infrastructure thanks to the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), our parent organization.
$1.4 million allocations in grants to start an electric school bus pilot program as the “Clean buses for healthy niños” launched in Massachusetts.
$3 million allocation for electric school bus pilot projects as part of the state’s state’s VW mitigation plan.
$13 million or 20% of the VW settlements allocated to school buses and other heavy and medium-duty vehicles with $4 million specifically for electric buses.
$180 million spending on vouchers for hybrid or zero-emission trucks and buses, $100 million for a program that replaces old school buses, other efforts that have grown the state’s all-electric school bus fleets to 150 and counting.

Gov. Hogan’s signing of bipartisan legislation to create a grant program for school districts’ adoption of zero-emission bus fleets.

Electrification of school buses in Trenton with a portion of the VW settlements and Gov. Murphy’s statewide program to put 330k zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025.
45% of the state’s $112.7 million allocated for the replacement and retrofit of school buses, with priority for electric school buses.
Phoenix Union High School District governing board unanimously approved an electrics chool bus pilot program in Arizona’s largest high school district where about 80% of the student population is Latinx.
Gov. Sisolak’s signing of legislation to incentivize school districts’ transition to electric buses, expand access to solar power for low-income families, and 50% statewide renewable energy standard.
Approval by the New York City Department of Education to pilot four electric school buses in fall 2019, thanks to LCV’s advocacy.
Federal legislation introduced in 2019 to provide $1 billion in grants to states to electrify their school bus fleets. The Clean School Bus Act echoes Chispa’s sentiments to invest in clean school buses in low-income communities most affected by air pollution.

Moving Ahead - An Unstoppable Drive For Change

The “Clean Buses For Healthy Niños” is one of Chispa’s most ambitious and most successful campaigns ever. This issue-based campaign has been a massive undertaking, generating results with huge implications for Latinx and low-income communities across the United States.

The victories so far have been possible because thousands of you stood by our side.

It might look like we’ve sprinted through the tape but we’re not yet at the finish line. We’re looking ahead now, and will keep going, with your support. Chispa, alongside LCV, will build on the current momentum to continue rallying the people to demand actions from governments at state and local levels to invest in zero-emission infrastructure that doesn’t threaten the health of our children and our right to a healthy environment for us and for future generations.

clean buses campaign

Importantly, we remain convinced and committed to the need to prioritize Latinx and low-income communities of color in this struggle for environmental rehabilitation.

For these communities suffering disproportionately from the effects of air pollution, this is the closest to justice we can ever get. To achieve this, we’ll not relent in our efforts to drum up support and awareness across the country, as well as engage and organize the people to build and leverage their political power to safeguard the rights to clean air and water, healthy neighborhoods, and a safe climate for generations to come.

How You Can Help

What once seemed unsurmountable now appears to be well within grasp.

This is all thanks to our tireless volunteers, resourceful partners, incredibly generous donors, and thousands of you all – who stood by us, putting your voices and resources behind solutions that reject dirty fossil fuels, clean up our air, and tackle climate change.

This campaign will continue to push for reliable and lasting solutions to critical environmental issues like the transition to electric school buses. But we still need your help!

This is our platform. This is your campaign.

With your continued support, Chispa will inspire a new era of environmental transformation for our communities, the United States, and the entire planet as a whole.

Thanks for your unwavering support for this movement to build a 100% clean energy future for all.
Join us NOW!

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