SAN FRANCISCO, CA (October 27, 2010) -- In an open letter to California voters, dozens of Latino organizations, leaders and celebrities are calling on voters to oppose Propositions 23 and 26 in the upcoming election.
Prop 23 is backed by out-of-state oil companies and Koch Industries with the intention to derail California’s landmark clean air law, AB 32. Prop 26 would protect polluters from paying for the pollution they cause, with an immediate cost of $1 billion per year to the state, for a total of $11 billion in the next ten years. Both propositions are clearly the wrong decision for Latinos and California.
Actor/Director/Producer Edward James Olmos is among the signers to the letter which reminds Latino voters that Proposition 23 would suspend California’s clean energy law, killing job growth in the only bright spot of the California economy -- the clean-tech sector -- and giving Big Oil free reign to pollute while increasing the public health risk to Californians. For a message from Edward James Olmos go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yv_MqVsDGQ.
“Protecting California’s strong clean air standards means protecting the most vulnerable communities from pollution,” said Adrianna Quintero, director of La Onda Verde de NRDC and Advisor to the Group Voces Verdes who organized the effort. “We can’t allow out-of-state oil interests to dictate the future of California and the health of communities at risk including Latinos in California.”
The letter urges California voters to vote NO on Props 23 and 26. Studies estimate that Prop 23 would destroy half a million jobs in California, many of these in the manufacturing and construction fields -- fields that have traditionally employed large numbers of Latinos.
“The clean technology sector is one of the few bright spots of California’s economy. Since California passed AB 32, clean energy technology jobs have grown 10 times faster than any other sector of the economy and now number over 500.000,” said Tom Soto of Craton Equity Partners. “With Latino unemployment in California holding steady in double-digit territory, it does not make sense to stop progress dead in its tracks for the purpose of lining the pockets of polluters.”
Proposition 26 is another harmful measure that would eliminate the ability to enact fees on industries that pollute the air and water, and endanger public health. Funded by big oil, big tobacco and alcohol companies, Prop 26 would shift the costs of dealing with pollution entirely to California taxpayers.
“We should not be expected to pay for the sins of big polluters and companies that put our health and well-being at risk,” said Arturo Carmona of COFEM. “Next Tuesday Latinos have the power to make sure California remains a leader by voting No on Props 23 and 26.”