In the Albuquerque Journal’s coverage of the National Governors Association summer meeting in Santa Fe, they included information about Juntos’ Rally for Clean Air:
Meanwhile, nearly 100 people attended a Rally for Clean Air that started at the state Capitol and ended with a march to the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.
The focus of the rally was to urge governors to invest their state’s share of $4.7 billion in settlements with Volkswagen for cheating on smog tests into zero-emission electric school buses.
“Each state has an opportunity to improve our children’s quality of life,” said Noe Orgaz, an organizer with Protégete, a Colorado-based Latino group that works against climate change. “Children are our most valuable asset. We must protect them from these emissions.”
The rally was part of the “Clean Buses for Healthy Niños” campaign by Juntos: Our Air, Our Water, which is supported by the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.
Organizers say governors need to prioritize the health of 25 million American children by replacing diesel school buses with electric buses. They say diesel buses expose children to pollutants and carcinogens and are a cause of asthma.
Martha Favela, of Albuquerque, said one of her three children suffers from asthma, and she blames it on school buses. She said her daughter has to take medicine, has trouble sleeping and has struggled in school because of the condition.
“Our kids go to school to learn, not to get sick,” said Favela, who now drives her children to three schools so they don’t have to ride buses.
Demonstrators, including several children wearing cardboard boxes made to look like school buses around their waists and wearing surgical masks over their faces, marched to the city’s convention center, where the NGA conference is based, chanting slogans along the way.