Sign the petition to Ecuador’s president: Save the Amazon from another Big Oil disaster!

“As concerned global citizens, we stand in solidarity with these indigenous nations and urge you to immediately stop plans for new oil drilling in Ecuador’s rainforests!”Add your name:
SierraRise petition box test button PNG


Take Action

Jaime Vargas, an Ecuadorian tribal leader, stood proudly in the howling wind and rain to send us this urgent plea: “Big Oil will stop at nothing to destroy our sacred rainforest home. But with your help we can save it!” [1]

Jaime and his Achuar people are guardians of a spectacular land teeming with one-of-a-kind plants and animals. But Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, is racing to sell off the Achuar’s rainforest home and the neighboring Yasuni National Park to greedy international oil companies.[2]

The president is determined to put profit ahead of his own people — even though they’re still suffering from Chevron’s decades-old oil disaster. [3]

More than 1 million people have stood up to save Ecuador’s threatened rainforests [4] — now it’s time for the SierraRise community to join the fight. Let’s stand with Jaime and all Ecuadorians and flood the president’s inbox with 50,000 messages!

Tell Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa: The world is watching — protect the irreplaceable Amazon and halt all plans for oil drilling!

Big Oil can’t be trusted to operate safely in the rainforest. For three decades, Texaco, now part of Chevron, dumped 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste into the beautiful Ecuadorian Amazon. [5]Thousands of people are still suffering a plague of deadly cancers and devastating birth defects. [6]

This land is not only crucial for wildlife, but also to the seven vibrant indigenous communities that call it home. Jaime says it best: “For us, the indigenous people, the rainforest is life. There we are in touch with everything.” [7]The Amazon can’t afford another deadly oil disaster like Chevron’s.

Last November, hundreds of everyday Ecuadorians protested the proposed oil drilling. President Correa and his government, feeling the pressure, shut down Pachamama, a local nonprofit fighting the oil drilling, stifling his people’s free speech. [8] It’s clear — President Correa is feeling the heat.

Carmen, will you stand with Jaime and his tribe to save the Ecuadorian Amazon from another Big Oil catastrophe?

In it together,

Ashley Allison
SierraRise Senior Campaigner

P.S. Five signatures are even more powerful than one — after you take action, be sure to forward this alert to your friends, family, and colleagues!

Reject and Protect


A Major Anti-Keystone Protest, And Other Important Climate Stories

This year’s Earth Day coincides with the start of a week-long protest against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline that promise a “bold and creative” instance of civil disobedience. The Cowboy and Indian Alliance (CIA), a group of ranchers, farmers and indigenous leaders from along the pipeline route, will ride into Washington, DC and host an encampment on the National Mall, culminating Saturday in a 5,000-person ceremonial walk by the Capitol. The protest is called “Reject and Protect.”

Just last week, the State Department announced that it is delaying its decision on whether to construct the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. And while many pipeline supporters claim there are good reasons to think it was a politically motivated choice, according to Climate Progress, there are also “actual complications standing in the way of the pipeline’s imminent approval or rejection.”

In honor of Earth Day, here are some other top climate stories:

Fast for Families and more

The White House


 Immigration Reform


President Obama and his Administration continue to work towards achieving commonsense immigration reform to boost our economy, strengthen our security, and live up to our most closely held values as a country.

Last week the President met with faith leaders in the Oval Office to discuss the importance of taking action to pass commonsense immigration reform. The faith leaders shared with the President stories about the impact the failure to fix the immigration system has on families in their congregations and communities.

President Obama Meets with Faith Leaders in the Oval Office

President Barack Obama hosts a meeting with faith leaders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington April 15, 2014.(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Last week also marked the one year anniversary of the introduction of comprehensive bipartisan legislation in the Senate to fix our broken immigration system. The President has expressed deep concern about the pain felt by too many families when it comes to our broken immigration system. He has emphasized that while his Administration can take steps to better enforce and administer immigration laws, nothing can replace the certainty of legislative reform and that this permanent solution can only be achieved by Congress.

Click here for the President’s statement on the one year anniversary and here for an infographic that highlights the cost of inaction.

Recently, Vice President Joe Biden welcomed leaders of “Fast for Families” to the White House to hear stories of their national bus tour. Vice President Biden shared the White House’s commitment to reforming our broken immigration system and discussed his belief that America is stronger because of the immigrants that come and bring their talents and skills to the country, and we must preserve that national strength as we move forward.

Vice President Biden Meets with Fast for Families

Vice President Joe Biden meets with members of Fast For Families, in the West Wing lobby of the White House, April 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

In other news, on Thursday, April 17, 2014, while speaking to the press the President announced that 8 million Americans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act! Thanks to the work of many, more families have access to quality healthcare. Click here to see how the Affordable Care Act is helping families all across America.

Also, on Monday, April 7, 2014, President Obama and Vice President Biden participated in a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Maria Contreras-Sweet as the new Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA). Mrs. Contreras-Sweet is an excellent choice to lead the SBA, having served at high levels in both the public and private sectors. Mrs. Contreras-Sweet served as the first Latina cabinet secretary in the history of California, oversaw one of the largest state government agencies in the country, and built a successful bank dedicated to serving traditionally under-served Latino communities from scratch.

As always, please share this information with your networks, and help inform the Latino community on the latest news.

Thank you.

Jorge Neri
Associate Director
White House Office of Public Engagement 

Administration Highlights

Affordable Care Act by the Numbers
The Affordable Care Act is working. It is giving millions of middle class Americans the health care security they deserve, it is slowing the growth of health care costs and it has brought transparency and competition to the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Statement by the President on the Passing of Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Marquez
With the passing of Gabriel García Márquez, the world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers — and one of my favorites from the time I was young. Affectionately known as “Gabo” to millions of his fans, he first won international recognition with his masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude. To read the statement in Spanish click here.

American Job Training Investments: Skills and Jobs to Build a Stronger Middle Class
To create new opportunities for all hard-working Americans to get ahead, the President has asked the Vice President to lead an initiative to help individuals get trained with skills businesses need now and then placed in good, middle class jobs.

Agency Updates

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Pritzker Announces New York City Native to Lead Minority Business Development Agency
On Thursday, April 17th, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the appointment of Alejandra Y. Castillo, a New York City native born to Dominican immigrants, with more than 20 years of experience working in the private, government and non-profit sector, as the new Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).

Peace Corps Announces 2014 Top Hispanic-Serving Institutions for Volunteers
On Wednesday, April 16th, the Peace Corps announced its 2014 rankings of the top volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). San Diego State University claimed the top spot among HSIs with 33 undergraduate alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers.

United States and Mexico Celebrate Partnership for Historic Release of Colorado River Water to Delta
Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor and Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science Anne Castle joined other senior officials of the United States and Mexico to celebrate a historic first-time intentional release of water—called a “pulse flow”—from Morelos Dam near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Blog Highlights

Building on What Works With My Brother’s Keeper
When President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in February, the response from communities across the country was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. We quickly began hearing stories of creativity, collaboration, and triumphs from community leaders and organizations doing grassroots work to enhance opportunities for boys and young men of color. Some

Naturalization Ceremony Blog Post – “Welcoming New Partners to our Bold Experiment”
On Tuesday, 700 individuals from over 100 different counties, represented by different flags, different cultures and different systems of government gathered to take an oath in unison to become United State citizens at a naturalization ceremony held at hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, VA.

Working Towards Healthier Latino Communities
The relationship between environmental protection and public health is at the heart of EPA’s mission and the agenda of the National Hispanic Medical Association. For years, Hispanic communities have been living in areas where the quality of the air they breathe and the water they drink does not meet national standards. 

Get Updates

Jonathan Deeds, Ph.D., is working to assure that U.S. seafood is both safe and accurately labeled


04/21/2014 01:00 PM EDT
Using some of the technology used in mapping the human genome, FDA scientists are working to create DNA barcodes for fish.
The high-tech effort is aimed to preventing fraud, including the substitution of a cheap fish for an expensive one, and preventing illness.


FDA Logo

A Matter of Racial Justice


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A $10.10 Minimum Wage Means A $16.1 Billion Boost For People Of Color

Among the many important reasons to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, the issue is a matter of racial justice. Take a look at the graphic below from the Center for American Progress outlining how much racial groups would benefit if we raise the wage to $10.10 per hour:


People of color are far more likely to work minimum wage jobs: they represent 42 percent of those earners even though they make up just 32 percent of the workforce. And people of color who earn minimum wage are far more likely to live in poverty than average. A 2013 study found that three and a half million people of color would be lifted out of poverty if Congress passes a law raising the minimum wage to $10.10 — out of the six million total. That is 60 percent.

As we have mentioned before, raising the minimum wage has numerous positive economic effects for all Americans, like taking a step to reduce income inequality. It would also reduce government spending, providing an estimated savings from food stamps of $46 billion over ten years as fewer people with jobs need to rely on the program.

BOTTOM LINE: Low-wage jobs have dominated job growth since the end of the Great Recession, and these jobs are done disproportionately by people of color. New data shows yet another reason to raise the minimum wage to $10.10: it would provide a $16.1 billion boost to people of color and go a long way toward making sure that Americans working a full-time job don’t have to live in poverty.