June Newsletter: Voices of Change, Celebrating Environmental Justice & Pride Month

As June arrives, we’re thrilled to spotlight the voices of our communities taking action for environmental justice, coinciding with the celebration of Pride Month. This month, we focus on the power of collective action and the need for clean air in our neighborhoods to ensure healthy communities. Read on and join us in these efforts!

Chispa June Events: 

Washington, DC FLY-IN: Our Chispa states are gathering in Washington DC this month to attend this year’s Conservation Voter Movement Fly-in. Our Chispa programs, along with community leaders, will lobby key Administration officials and elected officialson several critical issues includingsupport for a continued LNG pause, clean energy, offshore wind,land protection, and clean energy rebates from the Affordable Clean Energy Plan. We will also discuss clean air and water, promoting electric vehicle infrastructure, heat islands, and maximizing clean energy tax credits. Keep an eye on our socials for updates!

More news ICYMI (In Case You Missed It!)

Chispa NV and Community Leaders Urge Berkshire Hathaway to Invest in Clean Energy: Chispa NV joined community leaders from Iowa and Nebraska in calling on Berkshire Hathaway, the parent company of Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power (NV Energy), to stop polluting our air with methane gas. Our leader, Maria Prentice, had the opportunity to ask a question during the meeting. She stated, “I’m a retiree from Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m here today as a member of Chispa Nevada, a group that’s developing Latine leaders for environmental justice. I’m also here representing many Latine families in Nevada who are struggling to pay their utility bills and want access to affordable, clean electricity. I want to ask today why NV Energy, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, is building new gas plants instead of investing in solar energy when Nevada is one of the sunniest states in the country?” Join Nevada in its polluter accountability efforts, and follow them on Instagram for updates and opportunities to get involved!

Chispa AZ’s Nicole Morales Joins Poderistas Panel to Amplify Latina Voices During Election Year:

Chispa AZ’s Democracy Director, Nicole Morales, joined a panel for Poderistas to discuss issues important to Latinas, especially during an election year. They listened directly to the women of Arizona about the most urgent issues for them, their families, and their communities in this election cycle and beyond. This event was recorded at the Telemundo studios with Eva Longoria! Check out their post here!

Environment and faith panel: “Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and Latino Priorities: Hearing the Cry of Earth and the Poor” 

Chispa’s communications director, Elena Gaona, participated in the Latino Leader gathering on “Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and Latino Priorities: Hearing the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor” hosted by the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. Speakers included Mark Hugo Lopez (Pew Research Center), Silvia Foster-Frau (Washington Post), Christian Soenen (Georgetown Initiative), Auxiliary Bishop Evelio Menjivar (Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington), and Bishop Joseph Tyson (Catholic Climate Covenant). An engaged live audience attended, and hundreds watched the live stream and recorded video. Elena shared stories from Chispa’s work and outlined how Latino communities experience environmental crises—their urgency, their physical effects, and their closeness to environmental justice and to the spirit for people of faith. Religion News Service ran an article about the event.


Protégete Colorado Unites With Latino Leaders at the GreenLatinos Summit:

Chispa leaders and staff from several states, including Chispa Senior Director Estefany Carrasco-González attended the GreenLatinos summit this year in El Yunque, Puerto Rico. In addition, Beatriz Soto, Director of Protégete, and Rebeca Medrano, Manager of Strategic Alliances, participated in a panel at the National GreenLatinos Summit. This dynamic event united the vibrant Latino environmental community, passionate climate justice champions, influential community leaders, and dedicated policy advocates, all striving towards a future of environmental justice. Check out photos from the panel and summit!

Debunking LNG Myths: Why Biden’s Pause on Gas Exports Benefits People and the Planet:

It’s been nearly five months since President Biden paused approvals for all new liquefied methane gas export projects, but misinformation about the decision still looms large. LCV breaks down the impacts of LNG and why the pause is a win for people, communities, and the planet this week on The Power Source Blog


Carmen Hernandez, a Comadre from Gregory, Texas, emphasized the importance of taking action: “We want to keep on living for as long as we can. The future of our children is at stake.”

New Analysis on President Biden’s Climate Action:

A new analysis from Climate Power and 20 other climate groups including Chispa highlights President Biden’s significant climate actions. According to the report, Biden has taken more than 320 environmental actions to address climate change. Lori Lodes, Climate Power’s executive director, stated, “The analysis identified more than 300 meaningful climate actions that are creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs, lowering energy costs, protecting our lands, and holding Big Oil accountable. President Biden made climate action a priority from Day 1, and he’s just getting started.” Read more here! Y en español aquí, por Telemundo.


Celebrating World Environment Day with Corazón Latino short films:

We celebrated World Environment Day yesterday by watching the award-winning Corazón Latino (in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, JPixx, and Heart Theatre) short films, “Addressing Our Future Now: The Environmental Justice Lens in the Forest Service Mission through DEIA – A JEDI Project.” The films highlight the crucial role of diversity and inclusivity in environmental justice and public lands. The films (available here) are a strategic effort to fulfill the USDA Forest Service’s obligations under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Justice40 Initiative. The effort includes three films (more to come), focusing on African-American, Latino, Indigenous, and Asian American perspectives in public lands management and how forests and public lands are experienced by different communities..

Revolutionizing School Transportation: EPA’s Clean School Bus Program Winners Announced!:

The EPA unveiled the winners of the highly anticipated Clean School Bus Program. With an impressive allocation of nearly $900 million, this initiative is set to revolutionize school transportation nationwide. A total of 3,400 new buses are slated to join the fleets of 530 school districts, marking a significant investment in the future of clean energy. An overwhelming 92% of these buses will be electric. In a move toward more equity, 60% of the funds will be directed toward low-income, rural, or Tribal communities, addressing historical disparities in federal funding. Congratulations to our Chispa-winning states: Chispa Maryland, Chispa Arizona, Chispa Texas, and Protégete Colorado! Their leadership and dedication have propelled this initiative forward. Let’s join together in applauding this step towards a cleaner, greener future for all. “The success and demand for the electric school bus funding shows that these investments are a critical step for children across the country to have access to healthier, cleaner rides to school, no matter their income or zip code,” said Chispa Senior Director Estefany Carrasco-González. Read our full statement with LCV here! Y en espanol aqui.

From our Blog: Why we must include our comunidad in the growing green economy: clean energy jobs, lower energy costs, and a healthier climate future

We have a monumental opportunity, right now, to bring everyone along into a new green economy that offers dignified good green jobs, lower household costs and reliable energy, and clear benefits to our health and the planet on top of that,” our latest Chispa blog states. Read more to learn how our communities can be part of the green energy revolution, save money, and you can get involved!

Work for Protégete, CO!

Protégete, CO has two positions open, with time to apply through June 17th. If you’d love to work with our teams, check out the job listings!

As we conclude this month’s updates, let’s reflect on the incredible strides our communities are making towards environmental justice and sustainability. From advocating for clean energy investments to holding polluters accountable, each action brings us closer to a healthier, more equitable future for all. As Pride Month continues, let’s celebrate our communities’ diversity and resilience. Together, we amplify voices, uplift each other, and create spaces where everyone can thrive. Thank you for joining us on this journey. Stay engaged, informed, and hopeful. Together, we’re making a difference.

En comunidad,

Estefany Carrasco-González
Chispa Senior Director

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