Florida Latino Voters Express Deep Concerns About Climate Impacts
Enrique A. Chaurand
April 22, 2022
MIAMI, FL (April 22, 2022) - A survey commissioned by Dream Corps Green For All in partnership with UnidosUS Action Fund determined that Latino voters in Florida are highly concerned about the impacts of climate change, specifically extreme heat, the impact of hurricanes, and lack of access to clean energy in the Sunshine State.
In the door-to-door survey conducted between April 5-10, canvassers from the UnidosUS Action Fund network spoke to newly registered voters across three counties: Miami-Dade, Orange, and Osceola. Out of 8,000 homes, they spoke to 1,138 voters on their doorsteps to ask how climate change impacted their lives.
“The climate crisis is hurting Latino communities across Florida, and we have seen the devastating impact it has had over the past few years,” said UnidosUS Action Fund Executive Director Rafael Collazo. “Our partnership with Dream Corps Green For All only confirmed what we already knew - that Latino voters across the country and in Florida want to see their elected leaders take action to mitigate the climate crisis now.”
Among Latino voters who participated in the survey, 68% noted extreme weather-related events, such as excessive heat and hurricanes as their top climate concern, regardless of a political party, while 62% of those surveyed want elected officials to reduce air and water pollution and to invest in clean, renewable energy to combat climate change.
The major concern highlighted among most Florida Latino voters included the impact that extreme heat is having on energy costs, with 56% worried about not being able to afford the financial burden of increased energy consumption.
"Climate change is an issue that affects us all. It breaks global boundaries and crosses party lines,” said Dream Corps Green For All National Director Jessie Buendia. “To mitigate the crisis’s consequences, we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to implement solutions that protect our state, our neighborhoods, and our homes. From hurricanes and flooding to months of intense heat and high utility bills, Black and Latino communities are hit hardest by the climate crisis. We are happy to partner with UnidosUS Action to release this important survey to center these voices."
The survey also found that climate change is largely a nonpartisan issue in South Florida, with similar levels of concern among registered Latino Republican and Democratic voters alike, a trend that is reflective of attitudes around climate nationwide. Of the participants surveyed, 30% were registered Republicans, 33% were registered Democrats, and 37% had no party affiliation.
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, eight-in-ten U.S. Hispanics (81%) say addressing global climate change is a top concern to them personally. With many Latinos living in coastal states such as Florida, 71% say climate change is affecting their local communities, including 52% of Latino Republicans.
Today, Florida currently experiences an average of 25 dangerous heat days each year and has 3.5 million people at risk of coastal flooding. By 2050 those dangerous heat days are projected to increase to 130 days each year and with sea levels continuing to rise, an additional 1.1 million people will be at risk of losing their homes.
Dream Corps Green For All commissioned this survey in partnership with UnidosUS Action Fund to really understand how Latino voters in Florida feel about climate change. This collaboration is the first in a series of efforts aimed at engaging with Latino voters on a cross-section of issues in the face of an economic and affordable housing crisis that has been escalating in Florida.
About Dream Corps
Dream Corps closes prison doors and opens doors of opportunity through our nationally renowned programs Dream Corps JUSTICE, TECH, and GREEN For All. We bring people together across racial, social, and partisan lines to create a future with freedom and dignity for all. We are working to build a future where “we the people” means all of us. Learn more at thedreamcorps.org.
About UnidosUS Action Fund
The UnidosUS Action Fund works to expand the influence and political power of the Latino community through civic engagement and accountability.
Media contacts: Enrique A. Chaurand, UnidosUS Action Communications Consultant
Sonia Diaz, Florida Communications Consultant