Washington, D.C. – Today, Climate Power 2020 announced its Arizona Co-Chairs, a coalition of state leaders and activists who reflect the diverse, grassroots movement needed to ensure 2020 is a defining moment for how our nation addresses the climate crisis.

State Senator Rebecca Rios, State Representative César Chávez, State Representative Kirsten Engel, Arizona State Director of Mi Familia Vota Eduardo Sainz, and Co-Executive Director of LUCHA Arizona Alejandra Gomez are partnering with Climate Power 2020 to hold anti-science candidates accountable for embracing anti-science policies that hurt all Arizonans.

Sixty percent of Arizonans, according to polling from Yale University, are worried about climate change, and almost as many think President Donald Trump and Congress should do more to address climate change. Yet Trump and his congressional allies are ignoring experts, refusing to believe in science, surrendering our government to big oil executives, and gutting public health protections, all at the expense of future generations.

“How much longer will we tolerate the Trump administration’s blatant disregard for American lives? As people are dying of COVID-19, the president has continued his efforts to remove key environmental protections – endangering vulnerable communities. It’s time for elected officials to prioritize climate action and environmental justice,” said Arizona State Senator Rebecca Rios. “I’m joining the board of Climate Power 2020 because I want to create a safer, healthier future for our children.”

“Arizona is one of the fastest warming states in America with toxic pollution degrading our air. President Trump has continuously made the choice to serve the interests of his fossil fuel CEO friends while Americans are literally struggling to breathe. It’s disappointing that elected officials don’t seem to value American lives over their own personal profit,” said Arizona State Representative César Chávez. “As we look to the future, it’s important that we boldly prioritize climate action. That’s why I’m proud to join the board of Climate Power 2020.”

“As one of the fastest warming states in the nation, Arizona is all too familiar with dangerous temperatures and deadly wildfires. Climate change is complex and poses unique challenges including serious threats to Arizona’s water security but one thing is clear – it is not a distant threat,” said Arizona State Representative Kirsten Engel. “Climate Power 2020 understands the urgency of this moment and I look forward to working with them to ensure we take action before it’s too late.”

“Latinos are disproportionately affected by climate change and environmental injustice. Our communities shouldn’t suffer because President Trump is more interested in keeping polluters in power than in ensuring the safety and health of the American people,” said Eduardo Sainz, Arizona State Director for Mi Familia Vota. “I’m proud to join Climate Power 2020 in calling for our leaders to create a more sustainable and just future for all.”

“It’s still not too late for us to stop climate change but it involves stepping up and taking real action. We’ve seen what happens when our leaders ignore science with both the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. This year, we have the chance to say that we’re taking a stand right now for our future and the future of our planet,” said Alex Gomez who serves as the Co-Executive Director at Living United for Change in Arizona. “I’m proud to join the board of Climate Power 2020 as they work to hold science-deniers accountable and engage voters on climate change.”

Climate Power 2020 will focus on Arizona because of its importance to the 2020 election map and the high concentration of individuals living there that data shows are most motivated by climate change political messaging. Fifty-eight percent of Arizonans believe Trump should do more to combat climate change even as he dismisses the crisis by calling it a “hoax.”

Arizona communities are also living with the impacts of climate change with periods of intense heat and drought on the rise. Since Trump took office, climate-related droughts and wildfires in the West have caused more than $22 billion in damages. Just in the last year, 197 people have died in Maricopa County due to extreme heat. Research shows that the severity of summer droughts could triple in the next three decades.

With a competitive Senate race and growth in climate-conscious individuals, a small increase in turnout among young or Latino voters could force a conversation on climate change and force anti-science candidates, including Trump, to defend his failed agenda.

The state co-chairs join an already formidable collection of Advisory Board members, including Founder of Fair Fight and the Southern Economic Advancement Project Stacey Abrams, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Co-Author of the Green New Deal,  Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Founder/CEO, Ocean Collectiv, Former Secretary of State John Kerry, Climate Strike Partnerships Coordinator at the Future Coalition and co-founder of the International Indigenous Youth Council Thomas Lopez, Former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Former Senator Harry Reid, Former Investor, Philanthropist, and Founder of NextGen America Tom Steyer, Varshini Prakash, Executive Director, and Co-Founder, Sunrise Movement, and Jamal Raad, Co-founder and Campaign Director, Evergreen Action, among others.