As we fight to reduce pollution, we’re prioritizing equity
Conservation Colorado’s Climate Advocate Lorena Gonzalez and Protegéte Director Beatriz Soto have worked hard to ensure that HB22-1362 will reduce emissions from new buildings while also providing equitable opportunities to contractors, saving people money, and ensuring that communities most impacted by systemic injustice have the opportunity to benefit from the resources this bill provides.
Soto, who is a LEED-certified architect, knows the importance of this firsthand. “The Latinx workforce is the backbone of the construction industry. Many trades across the construction industry, like insulation, drywall, framing, and roofing, are dominated by monolingual Spanish-speakers,” says Soto. “We know that meeting strict code requirements and obtaining certain licenses can exclude some builders or contractors, especially when training isn’t available in their language. These new requirements will only be equitable and effective if we invest in the workforce who will carry them out.”
The bill includes provisions to provide technical assistance on the new code requirements in Spanish. It also establishes two building decarbonization grant programs for electrifying public buildings and high efficiency electric heating and appliances at the neighborhood scale. These programs direct at least 30 percent of the funding to disproportionately impacted, low-income, and just transition communities, and include grant assistance for entities who may not have experience in applying for this type of funding.
All Coloradans deserve homes and buildings that are efficient, resilient, healthy, and ready for the future. Do you agree?