Wednesday, May 17, 2017

NEWS | Ohio Latino voters: A strong voice for climate action

By Mary Kuhlman
Ohio News Connection

As a growing population in Ohio, the voice of Latino voters is becoming more powerful, and a new survey finds a strong percentage of Latino Ohioans want action to combat climate change. Political opinion research firm Latino Decisions polled Latino voters in seven key states on the eve of the November election and found the majority are concerned about climate change, air pollution and other public health threats.

Senior analyst Edward Vargas said many Latinos are exposed to environmental threats every day.

"We tend to reside and live near environmental dump sites, factories; Latinos are also more likely to be working in the field," he explained. "So I think this is just a reflection of where we live and work is impacted by the environment."

Among Latinos polled in Ohio, 87 percent believe President Donald Trump and the new Congress should address climate change, with 93 percent supporting steps to reduce smog and pollution and 91 percent in favor of measures to develop clean energy sources.

Vargas said while Latino support for climate action is strong across gender and generational status, it's even more important to those who more recently arrived in the U.S.

"Latinos who immigrate to this country are more likely to be moving from places that have already been experiencing climate change," he said. "And so this is basically their personal connection and tie to their homeland and this has personal implications as they vote here in this country."

While nationally Republican Latinos were less likely than Democrats to support fighting climate change, the survey still showed 62 percent of Republicans said it still is somewhat important.

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