BY ON May 16, 2011

Roxana SotoI’ve never been one to get too politically involved in any one cause. I mean, I love politics, and as a journalist I’ve been exposed to many a cause that has opened up my eyes about the need to try to change things to make this a better world. But the extent of my involvement has been to sign a few petitions, forward emails to all my contacts, “like” an activist organization on Facebook and such.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I can’t vote. While I’ve been a legal permanent resident of this grand country for the past 18 years, I’m not a citizen yet and thus, I’m not allowed to vote. But that’s about to change. I recently told my husband that this was the year I would finally become a citizen. Having kids has made me realize that gone are the days when my activism was limited to “liking” a nonprofit group on Facebook. I’ve got to do more – especially now that I’ve joined the Mom’s Clean Air Force and know what’s at stake.

All this has been compounded by my recent realization that Latinos are more affected by dirty air than I could have ever imagined. As I mentioned before, first I was embarrassed that I wasn’t aware of the astounding figures, and then, I was enraged. So I’ve decided to do something about it.

First, I’m going to educate myself and I’m making a conscious effort to make the time to read and research all I can about this topic. If not, how can I spread the word, right? While there’s tons of information out there, I think the perfect place to start is right here on our MCAF blog.

Second, the journalist in me has taken over and I’ve been reminded that one of the key ways to elicit change is to make others aware of what needs to be changed. As a proud member of MCAF, I’m getting to do just that a few times a month. I was also recently invited to cross-post my articles (or write new ones) over at the National Resource Defense Council’s blog in Spanish, Pulso Verde. Not only am I honored to have received this invitation, but I’m also happy my message will reach fellow Spanish-speaking Latinos.

Finally – and I’m ashamed to admit it’s taken me this long – I put in a call to my neighborhood’s recycling provider and I signed up for their service. We used to recycle before in our old house in Miami, but that was when life was not as complicated (read: before we had children!)

I’m proud and excited about teaching my daughter what recycling is all about. I’m sure she’s going to be a great helper and once I explain to her what goes into our recycling container, I know she’ll become our recycling police. We’re getting our new container at the end of the week and the best part is that we don’t need to sort anything out because it’ll be done at the recycling plant!

I truly can’t wait to get started. I owe it to my children.

TOPICS: Activism, Latino Community, Politics, Pollution