FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, Sept 15, 2018
Press contact: Press@dreamcorps.us // Nathaly: 510-593-8500
Green For All and Love Army Launch “Climate Refugees Vote” campaign, Bring 1,000 People of Color Together to Build Unity and Encourage Participation in the 2018 November Election
Photo caption: Reggaeton performer Jory Boy at We Are All America FreedomFest Sept. 15th in Orlando, FL.
ORLANDO, FL -- As Tropical Storm Florence tears up North and South Carolina, Green For All, Love Army, and the Florida Immigrant Coalition organized a 1,000-person gathering today in Orlando called FreedomFest: We Are All America, a concert to build solidarity and unity across Central Florida’s diverse communities, and to encourage voter turnout for the 2018 November elections.
Congressman Luis Guitiérrez (IL-04), Aja Monet (poet), DJ Blass (Reggaeton DJ from Puerto Rico), Jory Boy (Puerto Rican Reggaeton artist) Kerene Tayloe (Green For All policy director) and many others took the stage to celebrate the diversity of the Greater Orlando area and build unity across the many issues facing communities of color right now, including climate change.
The event also served as the launch of Green For All and Love Army's “Climate Refugees Vote” Campaign to register 10,000 Puerto Rican climate refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria and 5,000 additional people of color in the Central Florida area, to turn the tide on climate action.
There are many issues at stake in November, from open Senate and House seats, to an open Governor's seat, and a ballot measure to restore voting rights to former felons.
Michelle Romero, national director of Green For All, a national climate justice initiative said: “A few thousand votes can make all the difference in November. With thousands of displaced Puerto Ricans now living in Central Florida, and Hurricane Florence raging on as we speak, the Climate Refugees Vote campaign will empower people to take their power to the polls and turn the tide on climate action. Our families and our future are depending on it.”
3.4 million million American citizens in Puerto Rico were left without food, water or electricity after Hurricane Maria last year, a situation made worse by the federal government’s disastrous response. Hundreds of thousands of displaced Puerto Ricans were forced to flea to the states, with most now living in Central Florida. In the face of rising sea levels and extreme weather events, communities of color, coastal, and island communities are on the frontlines of climate change.
The current Administration has turned its back on Puerto Rico while continuing to deny climate change. Together, Green For All, the Love Army, Florida Immigrant Coalition, and local partners are ensuring that climate refugees have a voice in our democracy this November.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez (IL-04) called Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria “a continuation of his inhumanity” and said “everyone has to do their job to vote.”
Isabel Sousa, organizing director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition said: “[Trump’s response] was outright negligence and deliberate negligence, rooted in the racism he’s instilled since he started his campaign.”
Kalia Lydgate, national coordinator of the Love Army said: “With so much hate and divisiveness in the country right now, it’s more important than ever we are building unity, love, and solidarity. No matter where you came from, we are here and we vote. We need to vote for the country we want to be.”
By coming together to take their power to the polls, organizers hope to turn the tide on climate action and counter hate and division by showing solidarity on other issues affecting people of color. Learn more about the “Climate Refugees Vote” campaign at Lovearmy.org/climatevote or contact Michelle Romero, Green For All’s national director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-550-3121.
People are encouraged to register to vote at mivoto.turbovote.org
Green For All, the climate justice initiative of The Dream Corps, works to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Green For All has uplifted the voice of people of color in the climate movement and advocated for solutions that strengthen neighborhoods, improve health, and expand economic opportunities for struggling families, since its was founded by Van Jones in 2008.
#LoveArmy, the civic engagement initiative of The Dream Corps, is fighting hate and divisiveness in the United States, with love + power. Through education, connection, and action, the Love Army cultivates leadership and builds common ground using digital tools and platforms as well as face-to-face connection. Founded in 2016, Love Army has 3,000 Local Teams and 49,000 volunteers.
The Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) is a statewide coalition led by its membership of more than 65 member organizations and over 100 allies. FLIC was founded in 1998 and formally incorporated in 2004. FLIC has become a hub for a bold, agile and strategic multi-racial, intergenerational social movement. It works for the fair treatment of all people, including immigrants.