This year members of Mi Familia Vota were invited to attend World Wildlife Fund’s annual lobby day. Our Fresno regional coordinator Josefa Vega attended and was joined by our committed Fresno volunteer Adaena Martinez.
Among our group of California participants the MFV team had the unique opportunity to connect the central valley’s relationship with lands and resources to those of frontline communities being impacted by climate change. Including manifestations such as, catastrophic weather events, depletion of ecosystems and the prevailing consequences of global warming being posed on folks in countries like Nigeria, Haiti and Yemen.
Other members from our group were from Southern California and were able to provide testimony on the impacts of the wildfires that ravaged those southern counties and displaced not only people residing in those areas but also had detrimental impacts on the surrounding wildlife.
We conducted visits with seven elected officials. Mi Familia Vota led the meetings with Senators Feinstein’s and Harris’ offices as well as two congressional offices. We had the pleasure to meet with two congress members that represent the central valley, CD-21 representative TJ Cox and CD-16 staff for Jim Costa’s office.
Our visits included connecting our experiences with those from other parts of the world facing similar challenges while also experiencing lack of international support and resources. With this we made a demand for a stay or up to 50% increase on the current conservation budget since it constitutes only 1% of our federal foreign assistance program, while our foreign assistance budget only makes up 1% of the total budget for fiscal year 2021.