Juntos, we’re making change!

By Vicente Garcia

“There’s no turning back…we will win. We are winning because ours is a revolution of mind and heart.”

Those words were spoken by civil rights and social justice activist Cesar Chavez in 1965. Now 50 years later, the Juntos team continues to find confirmation that those words still ring true. Similar to activism pioneers like Chavez, Juntos is calling for environmental and social justice. We’re asking our decision-makers to stand up for Latino families, who are often battling the consequences of pollution firsthand. We’re cultivating a spirit of activism by helping New Mexicans share their stories and create the change they seek in their communities.

As we celebrate our first year of work, it’s remarkable to reflect on all that we have accomplished. Together as a team, we have knocked on thousands of doors, met with hundreds of volunteers, and sparked dialogue through community meetings to help build a movement — and it is working.

Juntos has been working on an effort to stop New Mexico from investing in more dirty energy sources, like coal and nuclear. Right now, the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) is considering a proposal set forth by PNM that would allow the utility to heavily invest in more dirty energy instead of clean, renewable sources, like wind and solar. This is a colossal problem because coal and nuclear energy have huge
impacts on our health, our air and our water.

That’s why through our work, 6,500 New Mexicans told PNM and the PRC that New Mexico deserves a healthy and sustainable
energy future, not one heavily supported by dirty coal and nuclear. Dozens of our activists came to PRC hearings in Albuquerque and Santa Fe to tell the commission their stories first hand, and ask them to vote down PNM’s dirty energy plan. Finally, in April 2015 the PRC’s hearing examiner recommended that the PRC reject the plan. That means we’re one step closer to a final vote.

That doesn’t mean our work stops when the vote is made. Juntos is dedicated to long-term change by elevating Latino voices to call for climate justice. This summer, we’re kicking off the next phase of our work by launching a Promotor (promoter – in Spanish) training program to prepare the next level of Latino community leaders who will take responsibility to promote environmental values in their community and step into larger activism roles within our work. This is just one of the many ways we’re gearing up for the next big fight. We’ll be ready.

To keep up with Juntos’ work, sign up for our emails at CVNM.org or visit Juntos on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JuntosNM.

 

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