Can Pope Francis Mobilize Latinos That Care About the Environment?

Recent survey shows Latinos overwhelming support the Pope’s call to defend God’s creation as nearly 80% say they are already experiencing the effects of climate change. Polling Memo Here      Slide Deck Here

•  Over three-quarters (76%) of Latinos support Pope Francis’s theology on environmental conservation.

•  Nearly nine out of ten (87%) of are interested in what Pope Francis has to say about the environment.

•  The pontiff’s environmental messages resonates at exceptionally high rates with Latinas, immigrants and lower-income Latinos.

Latinos and the Environment Survey

Latino Decisions in partnership with GreenLatinos and Earthjustice conducted a national survey of Latino registered voters and their attitudes toward the environment. The survey, fielded between June 24 and July 8, is based on a national sample of 1,200 Latino registered voters who were interviewed by landline, cell and online in English and Spanish. The survey was initially released on Aug, 18, 2015. The final remaining questions regarding Pope Francis and Latino environmental values are being released in conjunction with the Pontiff’s historic visit to the U.S. The survey has a nominal margin-of-error of +/- 2.8%. The full survey including the polling memo and news release can be found at: http://earthjustice.org/features/poll-latino-opinion.

Other data points that connect the dots:

1. Latinos suffer disproportionate consequences of our nation’s pollution

•  Nearly forty percent of America’s Latino population lives within 30 miles of a power plant.

•  Nearly 80% of Latinos are already experiencing climate change such as deadly heat waves in some areas and frequent or more intense storms and flooding in other areas.

2. The U.S. Latino population is growing and has the power to shape our nation’s futureEvery 30 Seconds, a Latino Reaches Voting Age.

3. Catholicism is relevant to Latinos [see polling memo].

•  Catholicism is the dominant religious tradition among Latinos — 68% of Latinos are Catholic.

•  Even though recent studies suggest that this number has declined to 55%, we contend that the decline is due to a lack of formal engagement by Latinos with the Catholic Church.

•  Studies show that Catholicism remains an important source of Latino cultural and political values because nearly all major Latino cultural practices and celebrations include elements of it.

•  As a South American native (Argentina) who frequently communicates in Spanish, Pope Francis has a strong, unique bond with the Latin community.

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