Every year, Protégete works with Conservation Colorado’s advocates and our partners to ensure that community-driven priorities are included and elevated in climate and conservation legislation. This year, our work was especially important because we had the stories and priorities of our Latino communities top of mind, thanks to the first-of-its-kind Colorado Latino Policy Agenda.
Over the summer of 2021, the Colorado Latino Democratic Caucus, Protégete, and our partners Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), Voces Unidas de las Montañas, conducted a listening tour where we heard from community members and leaders in Glenwood Springs, Greeley, and Pueblo. We also conducted a statewide poll of over 1,000 Latino adults and surveyed 168 Latinx community leaders. In every forum we heard loud and clear: Latinos in Colorado want Colorado to better protect the environment and their communities and for leadership in our state to understand the deep relationship between them.
Latinx communities in Colorado are disproportionately impacted by dangerous air and water pollution, and our listening tour made clear that ensuring clean air and water was a top priority for our communities. In March, Protégete worked with our partners to bring over 300 Latinos from across the state to the Capitol for Latino/a Advocacy Day. We trained dozens of participants in environmental justice and advocated for our priority environmental justice bills in meetings with legislators.