July Newsletter: Highlighting Community Resilience & Environmental Justice Work

As July and the heat rolls in, we want to highlight our community’s resilience in the face of extreme weather challenges, and our commitment to clean air for our kids by securing funding for electric school buses. Our ongoing efforts to safeguard impacted Latine and communities of color from the harmful impacts of LNG also continue, reflecting our dedication to environmental justice. Join us this month as we continue the fight for cleaner air and healthier neighborhoods for all. Read more below and unite with us in making a positive impact!

July Events: 

Join Chispa TX for a Town Hall on Ammonia Production and Tax Breaks!

Join Chispa Texas and Texas Campaign for the Environment for a crucial community discussion on the risks associated with ammonia production and the proposed tax breaks from Robstown. RSVPs are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Limited door prizes will be available! Mark your calendar for July 18th, 2024, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd, Robstown, TX 8380. We look forward to seeing you there! RSVP HERE!

Applications Are Now Open for Electric School Bus Funding:                                                     

Nearly $1 billion in funding is now available, including $652 million earmarked for school districts to upgrade to clean, electric buses, replacing aging diesel models. The Biden-Harris administration, supported by the EPA and National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Clean Bus Planning Awards, is committed to assisting districts in securing these funds for cleaner transportation solutions. Grant proposals for the EPA Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicle Program are due July 25, 2024. EPA will conduct informational webinars and welcomes inquiries at cleanhdvehicles@epa.gov throughout the application period. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to bring electric school buses to your community! Urge your school district to apply now! For help contacting your school district and urging them to apply for funding, check out the Alliance for Electric School Buses!

News ICYMI (In Case You Missed It!) 

Extreme Heat Protections for Workers and Communities

This week President Biden and the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration proposed new extreme heat protections for workers and communities, including worker protections that are vital for anyone who works outdoors. Without a standard in place, all workers’ including Latine workers’ lives are at risk during these increasingly frequent heat waves – from farm workers to firefighters and solar installers, to construction crews. It’s time to take action and ensure their safety! Read our full Chispa statement with LCV here.

Washington, DC Fly-In

Leaders from Chispa Arizona, Chispa Nevada, Chispa Texas and Chispa national gathered in Washington DC June 11-14  to attend this year’s Conservation Voter Movement Fly-in. Our Chispa programs, along with community leaders, lobbied key Administration officials and elected officials on critical issues including support for a continued LNG pause, clean energy, offshore wind, land protection, electric school buses, and clean energy rebates from the Affordable Clean Energy Plan. Chispa leaders discussed clean air and water, electric vehicle infrastructure, heat islands, and maximizing clean energy tax credits. Check out Chispa TX’s, Chispa NV’s, and Chispa AZ’s posts of their time advocating for our gente in D.C.! And read our press release here.

Meet Enviro-Net! Chispa Nevada’s First Digital Committee

Our Digital Organizer, Crystal, and Chispa Nevada members officially launched the digital committee at the Chispa NV office! They spent their time together discussing what digital organizing means to them, brainstorming new content ideas, discussing digital practices and tools, and mapping out Chispa Nevada’s digital future. These digital leaders can’t wait to elevate our three campaigns: polluter accountability, clean air and transportation, and federal, and they can’t wait to help Chispa Nevada grow! Interested in learning more about social media, digital tools, and digital organizing? Send Chispa Nevada a DM today!

Chispa NV Joins Community Advocates Opposing NV Energy’s Plan to Triple Northern Nevada Basic Service Charge

“For many in our community, every dollar counts,” said Astrid Martinez, Community Organizer for Chispa Nevada. “NV Energy tripling fixed charges would hit Latine families and other vulnerable groups the hardest, making it difficult for our families to manage our budgets effectively. This would be the highest fixed charge in the country. We cannot allow this to happen without a fight. We call on the PUCN to protect consumers and reject corporate greed.” Read the full coalition press release here.

Chispa Arizona Launches New Website

Chispa AZ is thrilled to announce the launch of their new website! Experience seamless browsing with a focus on language justice for both English and Spanish speakers, as well as Disability Justice with settings catering to various needs. To celebrate their launch, they’re hosting a feedback raffle! Participants of the feedback survey have a chance to win a camping starter kit valued at nearly $500! Take the survey today to enter and visit their brand new website here at chispaaz.org. **This drawing is only open to residents of Arizona**

Chispa AZ Launches Voter Registration Drive Across Three Counties!

In June, Chispa AZ launched its new voter registration program in Pima, Maricopa, and Yuma counties! Despite the scorching heat, they’ve already begun building crucial relationships, sharing pan dulce, and hitting the pavement to achieve our ambitious goal of registering 40,000 voters. Nicole Morales, Democracy Director at Chispa AZ, emphasizes, “Without a robust democracy, our advocacy for Mother Earth cannot flourish.” Join Chispa Arizona here!

Chispa AZ’s Annual Grand Canyon Adventure!

Chispa AZ’s annual member-exclusive Grand Canyon trip was a transformative experience, blending adventure, stargazing under pristine skies, captivating theater performances, deep community connections, and profound insights into our connection with Madre Tierra! See more pics and videos from the trip here!

Chispa Maryland holds Environmental Justice Workshops

The Chispa Maryland team was happy to hold community workshops in June in Langley Park (pictured) and in Baltimore on what #environmentaljustice means for our communities and how we can make the air we breathe, the parks we play in, the water we drink, and the neighborhoods we live in cleaner, healthier and better for all! See Facebook post here.

Protégete Colorado Launches Toolkit to Help Volunteers and Workers in the Movement

Protégete Colorado has launched ‘Building a Sustainable Movement,’ a toolkit to help convert eco-anxiety to eco-action. To share it widely they invited partners, community members and experts to celebrate the launch of this resource in person on June 27th, and virtually on June 28th.. “We want to give our comunidad tools to deal with our changing climate,” said Patricia Ferrero, Protégete’s Leadership Development Manager and co-author of the toolkit. Anyone can access this FREE resource. Click here and share it with the people you love! Also available en español aquí.

Protégete Colorado Launches their Boards and Commissions Fellowship:         

Protégete Colorado has opened applications for its Boards and Commissions Fellowship. Colorado needs more voices from Latinx, Black, Indigenous, communities of color and immigrants to help create fair laws for everyone. Stay tuned on their social media, or message Patricia Ferrero, the Leadership Development Manager, at patricia@conservationco.org! Check out their post in English and Spanish for more information!

Sign the Chispa Texas Petition Against Tax Breaks for Polluters

Chispa Texas continues its petition for residents and taxpayers of Nueces and San Patricio Counties to make their voices heard and ask their county commissioners to stop granting tax breaks to polluters! It’s time for industries to contribute their fair share. Learn more and sign the petition today!

Chispa and LCV Statements on Executive Actions on Immigration:

  • Executive Order Limiting Asylum at the BorderChispa and the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) responded to President Biden’s recent executive order on asylum at the border, expressing concern that the action fails to align with American values of compassion and justice. Emphasizing our deep ties to immigrant and Latinx communities affected by climate change, we underscore the need for comprehensive and humane immigration solutions, akin to addressing the complexities of the climate crisis. Read our full statement with LCV here!
  • LCV and Chispa Statements On Biden-Harris Action to Keep Families Together: In response to the Biden-Harris administration’s recent actions to preserve family unity, LCV and Chispa welcomed the actions and emphasized the critical intersection of environmental justice and immigration reform. LCV highlighted the necessity for a democratic and humane immigration system amidst escalating climate challenges, underscoring the impact on vulnerable communities. We applauded the initiatives, stressing the importance of stability for immigrant families affected by environmental inequities. Read our full statement with LCV here

Better Fuel Benchmarks Headed Our Way

We’re cheering on better fuel standards and cleaner air in our future! In June the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finalized Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars, SUVs, and heavy-duty pickups and vans. “We applaud the Biden-Harris administration and NHTSA for their quick work to finalize these rules, which will help to create healthier communities and save families hundreds of dollars on fueling up. Fuel economy standards over the decades have successfully saved consumers money at the pump, reduced oil use, increased our energy security, and protected our health,” said LCV Government Affairs Advocate on Climate Change and Clean Energy, Darien Davis, Read full statement here.

Together, we are forging a path towards a greener, more just world. From advocating for electric school buses to amplifying community voices in Washington, D.C., and launching innovative digital initiatives, our community is working on the ground every day to make a tangible impact. As we embrace this summer’s opportunities, let’s unite in our shared mission to protect our planet and ensure a brighter tomorrow for all. Stay in touch with us to discover more about how you can be part of this transformative journey.

En comunidad,

Estefany Carrasco-González
Chispa Senior Director

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