Last week immigrant community members throughout New Mexico came together and submitted over 2,400 petitions to Gov. Martinez demanding she take action to protect the health and well being of their communities and increase renewable energy output in the state.
The petition gathering was organized by Juntos: Our Air Our Water — a project of Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund — which organizes Latino communities to protect air and water and advocate for clean energy.
From the Los Alamos Daily Post (emphasis added):
The petition gathering started early September after Juntos had conducted a survey, October 2015 through February 2016, which demonstrated that 89 percent of the surveyed families – mostly from the Latin immigrant community – expressed that their number one concern was the air quality and air pollution levels found in their communities.
The petitions recently turned in demand that the Martínez administration implement a strong plan to help our state transition to clean, renewable energy – specifically wind and solar energy – and creates more “green jobs”. Investments in renewable energy are investments in healthy families, and yet the Martinez administration continues to invest in dirty energy, despite its impact on New Mexicans’ air, land, water and health.
It’s clear that New Mexico could be a nation-wide leader in clean, renewable energy and Gov. Martinez should be trying to attract these industries to the state. As Juntos points out, solar industry employment has grown nationally by 123% in the past six years and nearly 40% of solar jobs in New Mexico are held by Hispanics and Latinos. Sadly, the Martinez Administration has been severely lacking in commitments to protect New Mexico’s air, land, and water.
Earlier this year ProgressNow NM Education Fund created the Put New Mexico First campaign to highlight the agenda of special interests that have exploited public resources in New Mexico for their short-term profit.
Gov. Martinez took over a million dollars from the oil and gas industry as a candidate and her administration even created a fictitious inspector allowing almost 500 new oil and gas wells to skip required inspections (85% of those wells then failed inspection after the ABQ Journal uncovered the scandal). [Read more here]
The recent petition campaign from Juntos shows that communities throughout New Mexico are keeping up the pressure on Gov. Martinez to protect the health of their communities and expand our economy to include more renewable energy.
Watch coverage of the petition delivery from Telemundo (story is in Spanish):
As Martha Favela, Leader of Juntos’ “Mother Promotoras” program said, “Our families are passionate about clean air and water for our children today and tomorrow. It is time for the governor to stop looking after the interest of big corporation that continue to pollute our environment at the expense of our families’ health. Susana Martinez has to listen to our needs and make sure to create a cleaner, healthier NM.”
Help spread the word about these awesome organizers! Share this story on your social networks using the buttons below.