NEVADA — With Congress about to make the largest investment in infrastructure we’ve seen in decades, and as the national budget comes together in the Build Back Better Act, Senator Cortez Masto discussed her efforts in Congress to increase funding for school districts to improve energy efficiency measures and transition to clean, electric school buses during a panel discussion on Thursday, September 2nd with Nevada parents and environmental advocates.
Senator Cortez Masto is leading on key pieces of legislation that will affect children’s health and wellbeing, including the Renew America’s Schools Act and the Clean School Bus Act. The virtual chat was hosted by Chispa Nevada, Nevada Conservation League, Climate Action – Nevada, and Moms Clean Air Force – Nevada and moderated by Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno.
“Our kids are our future, and we need to make sure they can learn and grow in a safe environment,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “That’s why I worked to pass legislation in the bipartisan infrastructure package to protect our children and address the climate crisis by investing in zero-emissions school buses and upgrading our schools to make them more energy efficient. These investments will make a big difference in Nevada, especially in our communities of color, and I’ll continue working to make sure they are signed into law.”
“Due to the work of so many, school districts in Nevada are in a position today to implement promising electric school bus and energy efficiency projects,” said Mark Campbell, Director of Sustainability, Energy & Environmental Services for the Clark County School District. “Leadership through this legislation from U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto will create a generational opportunity to expedite improvements to our schools and positively impact our environment.”
“I got involved in the fight for electric school buses because as a Latina, as a mother, and as a promotora with Chispa Nevada, we need our children to have a ride to school free of pollution, so that we as parents don’t have to worry about our kids not being able to live their full lives because of asthma,” said Sonia Garcia, a promotora (volunteer leader) with Chispa Nevada. “Studies show that Hispanic children have a 40% higher chance of dying from asthma. We need clean air for our children. We need to keep pushing Congress to authorize more funding for electric school buses.”
“From cutting toxic air pollution and fighting climate change to protecting students’ health and creating new jobs, electric school buses are a critical investment for our communities,” said Nevada Conservation League Organizing Manager Andrew Sierra. “We are grateful that Senator Cortez Masto is leading the way with the Clean School Bus Act to help our school districts upgrade to zero-emission school buses. We can do more to ensure our students breathe clean air, especially in communities of color and low-income communities, with strong federal investments in clean energy infrastructure that reaches all our communities.”
“I grew up attending a Title 1 school, and my children currently attend that same school,” said Jennifer Cantley, Northern Nevada Organizer with Moms Clean Air Force. “Its infrastructure has not been improved since I was a young girl. As someone with asthma, and as a mother to two little boys who have asthma, I know firsthand that the environmental condition of the school building is directly related to the health and well-being of the students who learn there. Cleaning up air pollution, mold, and other environmental problems inside the school will help my sons and so many others like them. It brings great joy to my heart knowing that we are taking action to clean up schools, because that will lead to a healthier future for our children.”