We have been proud to partner with LCV Education Fund and Chispa for the past five years with our CVNM Education Fund program Juntos: Our Air, Our Water. Together, we engaged Latinx families, the public and policymakers in critical conversations about the impacts of pollution on families in Albuquerque, trained 184 new community leaders who helped to lead organizing work in their neighborhoods, and sparked a regional dialogue about the impacts of diesel pollution on families through Chispa’s Clean Buses for Healthy Niño’s campaign and network.
After a fruitful partnership, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue our Juntos: Our Air, Our Water program in Albuquerque this summer. We will continue to partner with volunteers and other community members that were involved in Juntos to inform statewide policy and engage in the legislature for meaningful change. We will also continue to stand in solidarity and partner with allies in Albuquerque who are strong advocates of environmental justice, clean energy and conservation while continuing to hold all of our legislators accountable to represent the environmental values of all New Mexicans.
CVNM Education Fund has recently made a decision to deepen our program work to strengthen our partnerships in the rural communities of New Mexico that are not only severely impacted by the effects of pollution but are also not being represented in the state legislature. We will focus on our two existing rural programs in northern NM and western NM, and our new program in Grant County — areas that are in critical need of decision makers who represent the conservation values of their community.
Amplifying the voices and leadership of communities most impacted by polluting industries and climate change is a core priority of our work. We believe that this work builds a strong and equitable landscape for pro-conservation policy by: developing and supporting community leaders in engaging and advocating for New Mexico’s communities; working alongside community leaders and allies to educate and cultivate conservation-minded policymakers; advocating for pro-environment policies and administrative actions; and engaging the public to participate fully in the democratic process through civic engagement and voting. It is with this vision in mind that we will focus on aligning and unifying our rural organizing programs to work towards transformational change.
We are immensely grateful to all of the volunteers, staff, partners, and community members who have dedicated their time, passion and expertise to help lead the program over the past five years. Their leadership and expertise has helped to achieve significant wins on conservation policy, evolved our policy and organizing philosophy as an organization, and will continue to shape the conversation around environmental protection for years to come.
Over the past years, Juntos has:
- Drafted, introduced, and supported critical policies at the legislative session, from memorials in support of electrifying school buses to community solar legislation;
- Organized a multi-state rally to push Governor’s across the nation to support the Clean Buses for Healthy Niño’s campaign and commit to transition school buses from diesel to electric;
- Educated the broader public, decision-makers, and allied partners around the impacts that diesel pollution has on our air and public health;
- Organized and facilitated meetings with community leaders and state legislators during legislative sessions;
- Advocated for a strong climate action plan at the federal level by calling for a reduction in carbon and methane pollution; and
- Called on the Public Regulation Commission to push Albuquerque’s utility, PNM, to adopt a strong plan to invest more deeply in renewable energy.
We celebrate these many accomplishments of the Juntos team of staff, volunteers, leaders and partners, and are proud of the legacy the program has created. In the coming months, CVNM looks forward to maintaining a relationship with community leaders engaged and trained by Juntos, and standing in solidarity with the many organizations in Albuquerque who continue to lead important local work to protect healthy families.