FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 13, 2021
Hispanic Federation and Leading Latinx Serving Groups Call on Congress and Biden Administration to Enact Bold Comprehensive Infrastructure Package That Invests in All Americans
A coalition of Latinx organizations address open letter to Congress and President Biden, urging them to increase federal investment in elements of infrastructure that center equity and directly impact communities of color, low-income, and other frontline communities
WASHINGTON — Hispanic Federation and over 90 leading Latinx-focused organizations called on Congress and the Biden administration this week to prioritize a comprehensive infrastructure package that advances justice for communities on the frontlines of climate change and pollution, invests in a clean energy economy, healthcare, education, and water infrastructure in rural, tribal, low-income and communities of color.
The letter also called on elected officials to consider the historical disparities in investment that have long disadvantaged Latinx and other frontline communities, enact policies that redress these disparities, and create a path forward to greater economic and climate security by investing in a clean, resilient, and a renewable energy future that transitions us away from polluting fossil fuels. Finally, the letter outlines how the infrastructure bill presents an opportunity to make the environmental investments that will help protect all Americans from the dangers of climate change for generations to come. Communities of color and low-income populations have long been disproportionately affected by the consequences of climate change and lack of investment in pollution mitigation, so investments in combating the impacts of climate change must prioritize policies that advance racial and economic equity.
"We have a unique opportunity with the passage of the infrastructure bill to create a better future for our communities, who have traditionally been on the frontlines of climate change and pollution. We must address the wrongs of the past and invest in healthcare, education, and water infrastructure to make sure our children are healthy and can thrive. This means addressing pollution from abandoned oil and gas wells, providing oversight to ensure FEMA's policies do not perpetuate inequity, investing and electrifying mass transit, which benefits working families most, and making sure clean, renewable energy and the modernizing of the electric grid are done in an equitable manner. Setting our eyes on the future by working to transition to a clean energy economy will create jobs and support a sustainable future for generations to come," said Frankie Miranda, president and CEO of Hispanic Federation.
“This infrastructure package is an opportunity to make up for past mistakes and create the processes and structures we need to ensure a better future for all. Now is the time to act on reversing or mitigating the impacts of climate change and charting a more equitable path for American society in terms of healthcare and employment. As we continue to try and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must recognize the inequalities it spotlighted in our society and work to erase these unfair injustices. Comprehensive infrastructure legislation could be an important step to do just that,” said Laura M. Esquivel, vice president of policy and advocacy at Hispanic Federation.
The letter is an effort of Hispanic Federation, GreenLatinos, Poder Latinx, Hispanic Access Foundation, Ecomadres, and Corazón Latino.