On the Front Lines: The Impact of Climate Change on Latino Communities

During an election season in which terrorism, immigration and the economy have been at the forefront, another issue is weighing heavily on Latino voters: the environment. According to a June 2016 Pew Research Center poll, roughly two-thirds of Hispanic voters consider the environment a very important issue—compared to only half of the overall voting population.

To mark Hispanic Heritage Month, Bloomberg Government, in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund and the Hispanic Federation, will bring together policymakers, Latino leaders and health experts for a discussion on the impact of climate change on Latino communities, and how climate issues may factor into Hispanic Americans’ voting decisions during the upcoming elections.

September 28, 2016
8:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Bloomberg Government
1101 K Street, NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC Map
8:00 AM Breakfast and Networking
8:30 AM

Welcome Remarks


Josh Eastright, Head, Bloomberg Government


Derek Walker, Chief of Staff, Environmental Defense Fund


Laura Esquivel, Director of National Advocacy, Hispanic Federation

8:35 AM

Understanding the Impact

The National Hispanic Medical Association reports that significant Latino populations exist in regions which often violate clean air rules. Hispanic communities located in the low-lying areas along the Gulf Coast and in South Florida have been impacted by major floods. Drought threatens the livelihoods of Hispanic farm workers in states like California and Colorado. How are Hispanic communities responding to the threats posed by pollution and climate change? What new issues might these populations face in the years to come?


Cecilia Martinez, Co-Founder and Director of Research Programs, Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy 


Dr. Elena Rios, CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association


Matthew Tejada, Director, Office of Environmental Justice, Environmental Protection Agency


Moderator: Vanessa Hauc, Correspondent, Noticias Telemundo

9:05 AM

Spotlight on Environmental Voting Trends

Latinos are powerful constituencies in both Republican and Democratic parties in terms of both size and level of activism–and they’re particularly influential voting blocs in the swing states of Florida and Virginia. How are Latino policy makers and community organizers approaching environmental issues with the upcoming election? How are they educating and activating Latino voters around this and other issues?


Delegate Alfonso Lopez, 49th District, Virginia House of Delegates


Maria Urbina, VP of Politics and National Campaigns, Voto Latino


Dr. Edward Vargas, Senior Analyst, Latino Decisions


Moderator: Ray Suarez, Journalist & Author

9:40 AM Closing Remarks
In partnership with: