Our guest is Mark Magana, the Founding President & CEO of GreenLatinos, a national coalition of Latino environmental, natural resources, and conservation advocates.
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Quinn: Welcome to Important, Not Important. My name is Quinn Emmett.
Brian: I'm Brian Colbert Kennedy.
Quinn: This is episode 34, I think, right? Thirty-four.
Quinn: I know. Today's question, Brian, can Latinos save the planet?
Brian: No big deal.
Quinn: You're super fucking helpful. Our guest is Mark Magana. He is the founding President and CEO of GreenLatinos. They are a national coalition of Latino environmental, national resources and conservation leaders. Fun fact, Mark was actually the first Latino to serve as senior staff at both the White House and in Congressional Leadership.
Brian: Pretty badass.
Quinn: Yeah. What have you gone for yourself? What would you say you were the first blank to do of something?
Brian: I was the first person in my fourth grade class to …
Quinn: This could go anywhere.
Brian: … to be able to, on the first try, fill in all the states on a map of the US.
Quinn: How did you learn those? I don't think I can do that still. Can you still do it?
Brian: I tried semi recently maybe like five years ago and I forgot New Hampshire.
Quinn: See, I would fuck up some in the middle…
Brian: Okay, okay, yeah.
Quinn: … which is pretty much what people in the middle think that people on the coast would.
Brian: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, if you just give it to me right now, yeah, there'd be some missing ones but …
Quinn: You can really just put … you can do every state?
Brian: I used to be able to.
Quinn: Can you do capitals too?
Brian: No. We did have a great placemat when I was a kid.
Quinn: That was very empathic.
Brian: It was all the states with their capitals. That was a cool thing to like look at while you're …
Quinn: I should get one of those.
Brian: Yes, it's really great.
Quinn: I'm writing that down right now, placemats.
Brian: We had a couple of good ones. We had that one and we had the solar system although it's different now probably.
Quinn: I put down the ceiling of our playroom. You got these stickers at Etsy.
Brian: I love Etsy.
Quinn: I love Etsy. I arranged them in order on the ceiling of the playroom.
Brian: That's so cool.
Quinn: Yup, with approximate distances …
Quinn: … so relative, the fact is they're not that close together. It's not all equal.
Brian: Apparently, there's a new map of the US coming out that's more accurate. I'm sorry, not map of the US, map of the world?
Brian: Yeah. That's more accurate as it relates to the size of all the continents and stuff.
Quinn: We've been fucking that up for a little while?
Brian: I think so, yeah.
Quinn: I mean, I know it was like way back in 1800s when they were like, "We don't know what this is. Let's put a dragon there."
Brian: I don't know.
Brian: That's my answer.
Quinn: It's interesting.
Brian: Do you have a first?
Quinn: A first what?
Brian: Thing that you fucking did before anybody else?
Quinn: We had a back-to-school night last night, met the kid's teachers and we're talking about how report cards are working out and things like this.
Brian: Oh, man.
Quinn: It's crazy like that …
Brian: Is it weird now?
Quinn: It's not as much as weird as it took me back to … and I describe this to my child who surprised no one, which is, at least once you get later especially in the public school system, there's just like these pre-selected remarks they can pick from …
Quinn: … for like not just your grade but like how you're doing, things like that, attendance or socialization or behavior or whatever. I feel like it was like, however many semesters it is from first grade to twelfth grade in a row, I got my pre-selected one because I always in the same school system was socializes at the inappropriate time.
Brian: Perfect, dude.
Quinn: Yup, yup. I don't know if that was a first but I feel like at some point someone else probably got their shit together.
Brian: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Quinn: At least maybe had a bump in the middle where they did all right with that.
Quinn: Nope. Again, not all these teachers knew each other, only the only constant is this guy.
Brian: Wow. Socializes at the inappropriate time.
Quinn: Yup. Couldn't keep it together.
Brian: I can relate. Yeah.
Quinn: Yeah, was that you?
Quinn: I can see you were sort of a class clown, were you the sitting in the back guy? Did you go to class?
Brian: I like to sit in the back so that I could fuck around as much as possible. Yeah.
Quinn: Sure. What was your method of fucking around? Was it passing notes or airplanes or?
Brian: Not airplanes or notes, no. It was, mostly just like cracking jokes quietly but obviously not quietly enough because then you'd get caught.
Brian: It turned into not doing it quietly but just being like right upfront about it. If my teacher misspoke for example, just misspoke I would be like, "Oh, excuse me. Did you mean to say that?" and like repeat it, like just to be an asshole.
Quinn: You were just a dick.
Brian: I turned into just a dick but never … I got to say it, never like I was never an actual asshole. I was just a raging smart ass.
Quinn: To you?
Brian: No, no like I never made any teachers feel shitty or anything like that.
Quinn: Did you ask them that though?
Brian: I am …
Quinn: Are you sure?
Brian: I'm very aware that I had a great relationship with all of my teachers. I was just too much of a smartass.
Quinn: Some of your teachers might be listening and they might be like, "Actually."
Brian: Everything was really good. I was just a smartass.
Quinn: How did that get broken out of you? Just life …
Brian: I got out of school and then it work for a second, then it doesn't work anymore.
Quinn: Yeah. Nobody gives a …
Brian: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Quinn: … of what you have to say. Welcome to the real world. It's like my kids, he's like, "Oh, can I have … make today a half day?" I'm like, "Oh, no, no." You're like a word of the state, they don't do that anymore.
Quinn: Sorry. He's like, "What if it's like important like I got to go grandma's?" I'm like, "That's not …"
Brian: Your important and actual important or not …
Quinn: Yeah. No, they're very different things. They're very different things. Sorry, champ. So hot as hell here, wild fire is just torturing California. Here's the thing though is that the conditions of climate change have made them worse and more violent and more …
Quinn: … spreadable.
Brian: They're oftentimes still started by …
Quinn: They're started by humans.
Quinn: One of them was literally a tire dragging on the road and they said the other one was it got … this is as far as I could get. It was started with a man with a hammer. I was like, "That could be…"
Quinn: That could be anything. It started the Mendocino Complex Fire which is the biggest fire of all time, "Still going."
Quinn: I got to get a little further on that. If anyone has any more information, start it with a gentleman with a hammer. A spark? I'm not clear. The point is everything is dry as fuck, the wind is blowing.
Quinn: The fire season never ends. Yeah, it's good times. It's good times.
Brian: Not good.
Quinn: Yet, you still keep picking hot coffee.
Brian: I can't stop. I can't stop, I won't stop.
Quinn: Are you not a cold brew gentleman?
Brian: Not really. I like that weirdo chocolate shake mushroom thing you get me. That is delicious.
Quinn: You better fucking like it.
Brian: I love it.
Brian: I don't know. I want to like slowly drink. I think that's it. I want to slowly drink and enjoy my coffee.
Quinn: You realize you made an enormous mistake?
Brian: Oh, every time. Yes, so, so hot. Not the coffee but my body temperature [inaudible 00:07:18] I feel like I run hot.
Quinn: Sure, sure.
Brian: What do you like calmly and like slowly sip on that's cold? Nothing. Cold shake, you fucking chug.
Quinn: Oh, yeah, I guess.
Brian: If I chug a bunch of cold brew …
Quinn: No, I get it. For you it's more about the ritual. I'm just saying that …
Brian: Yes, much more about the ritual.
Quinn: … there should be a … there needs to be a breaking point. I mean, you're drinking your coffee for the caffeine or for the ritual? Do you need the caffeine?
Brian: If I don't have coffee …
Quinn: Are you like brothers and my wife, they're nonfunctional humans?
Brian: … I'll start to have a psychological headache.
Quinn: That's not bad. I feel like half of the people listening this, they're like, "You're fucking lucky that that's all you got."
Brian: What happens to other people?
Quinn: Just nonfunctional. Can't get out of bed.
Brian: No. That's not me.
Brian: Yeah. It's like the taste and the ritual more than anything.
Brian: That hot, hot heat.
Quinn: Just making mistakes left and right. Welcome back, folks. All right. Let's go talk to Mark.
Brian: Let's go talk to Mark Magana.
Quinn: Okay. Our guest today is Mark Magana. Together, we're going to ask how will Latinos save the planet? Mark, welcome.
Mark Magana: Thank you, thank you for hosting me.
Quinn: For sure.
Brian: We are very happy to have you, Mark. Let's get it going very easily here. Just tell us who you are and what you do?
Mark Magana: Excellent. My name is Mark Magana. I am the founding President and CEO of GreenLatinos. We are a national network of Latino environmental and conservation advocates. We bring together Latinos from across the country, from the different sectors in the environmental movement, from the Latinos who work at big green groups, Latinos who work in local environmental justice, Latinos in the government sector, Latinos in the renewable energy corporate sector to come together to work with each other on behalf of our communities and also on behalf of each other professionally.
Mark Magana: We consider ourselves kind of a mix between a professional organization and a policy organization. We try to get more Latinos in the field, keep them in the field and give them a sense of belongingness, sense of family and then elevate them in the field while also addressing issues that are of key importance to the Latino community when it comes to environment and conservation.
Brian: Amazing. Cool. I dig it.
Quinn: How long has GreenLatinos been around?
Mark Magana: We start 10 years ago as the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change. We changed our focus about five years ago and became GreenLatinos.
Quinn: Besides shortening the name by about 12 words, how did you change the focus?
Mark Magana: When we first started 10 years ago, we were focused on specifically a cap-and-trade billing congress and how we could get more support for that cap-and-trade bill, the last major effort to pass a climate change bill. What we saw was that Latinos in the environmental movement were siloed and they weren't working together. We thought and found that the real need was to bring power that we all had individually in different resources and different access to bring it together as a shared resource and how we can work together and also how we could cross … breakdown historical barriers between the sectors of the environmental movement that have prevented sectors like the big green groups and the EJ groups from working together. How we could do that through the power of our relationships to breakdown those barriers.
Brian: I dig it.
Mark Magana: Yeah.
Brian: Did you start it by yourself? You got a partner in this?
Mark Magana: I did. I started with …
Mark Magana: … two other people who were my original board members and who's still are in the environmental movement to other Latinos. We took it from there. It's been great.
Quinn: That's awesome.
Brian: Yeah. I'm excited to learn more about it.
Quinn: Yeah, for sure.
Brian: All right. Let's get our conversation setup for the day, our focus here is to end this thing with steps that we and our listeners can take to actually make change. That's what we're going to do today. It is now more than ever, time for action quite clearly. Let's get into that. We want to know why what is happening is happening, how we can fix it and we want actionable, actionable steps out of these things so we can make some, make some changes.
Quinn: No fucking around, Mark.
Brian: Yeah. We don't want to fuck around.
Mark Magana: I got an [crosstalk 00:11:57].
Brian: All right, see you later.
Quinn: All right. Listen, Mark, we start with one super-duper important question, something to really set the tone of our conversation today. Instead of saying, "Tell us your life story," we like to ask, "Mark, why are you vital to the survival of the species?"
Mark Magana: I thought this is going to be boxers or briefs.
Brian: We can get into that [crosstalk 00:12:24].
Quinn: We'll get into that for sure. Yup.
Mark Magana: I think that we as GreenLatinos and other activists are vital to the species, the survival of the species, because now is the time when we need activists to be activists.
Quinn: I like that.
Mark Magana: We're at a moment when we have to … where a lot of people in DC are used to being indoor cats. We worked with having these comfortable meetings and …
Mark Magana: … going to writing letters and sending APEDs and doing comments to a regulation. All these things are not effective right now. We need to, at this point, learn and get our claws back and become outdoor cats so that we, as a group of activists, can make serious change on the frontlines. In order to save the future of society, we need serious sacrifice, sacrifice of our time, sacrifice of our comfort, our luxuries, our security, our safety in order to make the changes to huge pieces of who we are.
Mark Magana: Capitalism. The way we spend, the way we consume in order to have a chance of surviving, we need to have large scale social and economic change in this country. If we don't have that large scale change, which doesn't come from letters and it doesn't come from comments to the federal register.
Quinn: You're saying it doesn't come from twits or it does come from twits?
Brian: Should we be twitting?
Mark Magana: I think it was MLK who said. I just feel like …
Quinn: Yeah, right.
Brian: My God.
Mark Magana: I feel like twits is an aspect of organizing that I may not appreciate myself but it is effective. You see that with the dreamers. You see that with any town, the gun. You see that with the Me Too Movement. These …
Quinn: Absolutely, yes. We got to follow it up with feet in the street.
Mark Magana: Yes.
Quinn: Whatever the rest, I would like you to continue with the outdoor cat metaphor if you could for the rest of the conversation.
Brian: Big fan …
Quinn: Yeah with the claws. Yeah, man. I love it. Listen, we're going to setup a little context for today's question. We put together some notes here to get everyone, our listeners at home, they're probably not at home, they're fucking millennials, they're on the subway or whatever they do and around their …. what are those scooters that you ride, Brian?
Brian: The birds.
Quinn: The bird scooters. Anyways, Brian is going to ask some questions, Mark is going to us how wrong or just hang up. I don't know, we'll find out. Let's talk about, again, we like to dial back to the lowest common denominator here for folks. We got about 330 million people in the US, right? As of 2015, 14% of our population is foreign born. About 2016 and again, Mark, just keep correcting me as I'm wrong here, the internet is not a reliable source of information but about 58 million Latinos in the US in 2016 accounting for over half of our national population growth since 2000.
Quinn: How does that breakdown because Latinos are not one group, 36 million Mexicans, five million Puerto Ricans and that was, I believe, from 2016 to before the hurricanes hit, two millions Salvadorians, two millions Cubans, a million Dominicans, down the list Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, Spanish, Ecuadorians, Peruvians …
Brian: Et cetera.
Quinn: Yup. The growth in Hispanic population is predicted to triple in the next 40 years which is crazy.
Quinn: If you want to know what all these lovely baby boomer white people are scared of, the breakdowns are expected to be, by 2055, I think, 48% white, 24% Hispanic, 14% Asian and 13% black. We're going to look really different and that is …
Brian: Less than 50% white.
Quinn: … awesome. Yeah.
Brian: Pretty incredible.
Quinn: It's about time. Let's talk about Latino voters. It looks like a median age of a Latino in America is 28, white's median ages 43 which is …
Quinn: … Asian is 36, black is 34, 40% of Latinos have college experience, the dropout rate is at a new low. California hosts the most immigrants but Texas has the fastest growth rate. Georgia has doubled since 2000, fastest in the nation.
Quinn: Wouldn't have guessed that.
Brian: I know.
Quinn: This is a crazy side stat but it's just again painting such a different picture of America. Almost 20% of US cohabitors have a partner of a different race or ethnicity.
Mark Magana: Wow
Quinn: That's something I feel like you go back and watch "Madman" like that's …
Brian: Oh, my god
Quinn: … I don't think anybody saw it coming but …
Quinn: … it's beautiful. It's amazing.
Brian: It's so incredible.
Quinn: Let's get specific though for our topic, 66,000 Latinos turn 18 every single month in America, which is important because what can you do at 18, Brian?
Brian: You can vote, that's a big … but you want me to say, "You can vote."
Quinn: Yup. I do want you to say that.
Brian: There is other stuff.
Quinn: Yes, there is other stuff but we'll with …
Brian: 66,000 new voters every month.
Quinn: Yeah. Lots and lot of new voters. As always, important disclaimer, your heritage does not make for a homogeneous voting bloc. It's not true for Latinos or Hispanics or Asians or blacks or even white folks. For example, I and I think Brian, believe major policy decisions regarding the future of our planet should depend on empirical science and someone like, I don't know, Paul Ryan who's also white and lifts weight is this fine piece of shit who would sell it to a sorcerer at the drop of a hat.
Quinn: Anyways, Latinos will swanky races in 2018, that's no doubt. We look at Arizona, Clinton loss there by 91,000 votes, 600,000 eligible Latinos didn't even cast a ballot. Now we've got David Garcia running for governor, he's a vet and a teacher and a father of kids in public schools. He's a fourth generation American but just because he didn't come over yesterday doesn't mean he hasn't forgotten his roots. Hopefully that and better outreach efforts can get those folks out.
Quinn: Texas, Trump won Texas by 800,000 votes. Three million Latinos didn't vote.
Brian: Huston Texas?
Quinn: Yup. Fuck Ted Cruz. We have to get these folks out to vote whatever the catalyst is, I mean, hopefully conservation and clean energy is on that list because …
Quinn: … the other thing is not just coming out to vote, there's some evil working against them, a lot of folks who are trying to take their vote away. The GOP, the Republican party, whatever it means in 2018 is devolved into a feverish band racist and science skeptics and a lot of liars and they have a lot to be scared of. Trump has very good odds of winning again which is terrifying though, the past couple days has been fascinating. His approval ratings are high which is insane.
Quinn: Anyways, they're doing all those things because of folks we just talked about. Country is changing, I firmly believe it's changing for the better. Diverse perspectives, viewpoints, candidates, leaders, everybody wins. Some [inaudible 00:19:30] is if 70% of Latinos said that no conservation organization has ever reached out to them. The fact that 40% of Latinos live within 30 miles of a power plant, which is crazy to me.
Quinn: What I want to get into today is I want to hear all about Latino interest in clean energy and science and climate and conversation and on the positive side becoming robots and is not living on Venus 2.0. I'm sure Mark has pointed at and will tell me all the ways, those things were just wrong and why they don't matter and that is awesome. Mark, let's get to it man.
Mark Magana: Yeah.
Quinn: How exactly will Latinos save the planet? We talked a little bit about what prompted the organization of GreenLatinos, was there a particular moment? What came first? Was it that there was enough support or is it Latino background of minding the planet? Was there some sort of crucible moment? What got you guys on this path and has continued the momentum?
Mark Magana: When I first started, I started as a consultant. I got hired to do the work. The more I got to know about it, the more I read about it, the more I reach the holy shit moment of the degradation of our planet, the effects on animals, species, our homes, our health, A to Z migration, eco genocide, these things are massive. They're tumbling towards us faster and faster at blinding speed.
Mark Magana: It really shook me to my core. What really turned me was that five and a half years ago, I had my first child and the same month, my mom passed from leukemia most closely associated from industrial pollutants. For me, seeing what my baby daughter, what was going to be the biggest thing that's going to affect and completely have a negative effect on her life is the massive effects of climate change. Then honoring my mother, what she went through with her leukemia and the continuation of pesticide poisoning and industrial poisoning in our communities.
Mark Magana: All of that said to me, this isn't a consulting gig anymore. This isn't a job.
Quinn: Sure, much bigger.
Mark Magana: This is what I'm going to do fulltime and this is what I'm going to dedicate my life to. That was my aha moment. It was something that had been inside of me because Latinos are what I like to call cultural conservationists.
Quinn: Yeah. Can you talk a little bit about that again in the sense of dialing it back, just assume you're talking to a bunch of white people here. We are pretty diverse, we're like 85 countries and I'm sure we have plenty of Latino listeners but I want everybody be on the same page here.
Mark Magana: Yeah, absolutely. The concept I have is that when you're growing up as Latino, and many cultures will say, "Ah, yeah, that fits me as well." You have a respect for the conservation repurposing, reusing that comes from your Tias and your abuela and it comes from you learn environmentalism essentially from the back of a chancla which is a slipper. You learn to turn off the lights because you're going to get smacked across the head if you don't.
Mark Magana: You learn not to use …
Quinn: That happened to me.
Mark Magana: … Yeah, too many times. You learn not to waste food. You learn to put a sweater on instead to put the heat on. You learn to washout a Ziploc bag, that a butter container in the fridge never has butter in it, that you eat every part of the animal. You repurpose and reuse what you have and it's not because you are assigned on the dotted line environmentalist for a big environmental org or that you're a funder or that you are … it's because of your culture.
Mark Magana: What you've been taught, it's an assumed position. Whether or not I can afford a whole another bag of Ziploc bags, I'm still going to wash up my Ziploc bag and put it upside down to dry it. I'm still going to reuse a piece of tin foil and flatten it out for the next time. These things come from our culture.
Mark Magana: We did a survey that asked people, Latino voters, "Are you someone who considers themselves steward of the environment?" Seventy plus percent, yes. The very next question was, "Would you call yourself an environmentalist?" Low teens.
Quinn: No shit.
Mark Magana: It's not a label that they have. It's in this new position that has nothing to do with the policy. It's just, of course, I'm not going to shit where I eat.
Quinn: Right, right.
Mark Magana: Of course, I'm going to have respect for the land and of course, I'm not going to be wasteful. That would be disrespectful …
Quinn: Right, true.
Mark Magana: … for my family and I get some memories of getting smacked around for doing it.
Mark Magana: These things lead our community to be environmentalist in action but not necessarily in name and maybe not necessarily in policy action but …
Quinn: True. Yeah.
Mark Magana: They need to…
Quinn: How does that translate?
Mark Magana: Yeah, they need to be eye opened that, "Oh, I do all those things. I am an environmentalist."
Quinn: Sure. It turns out.
Mark Magana: B, there a lot of people who aren't and that's unbelievable and C, they're degrading my community that's under attack. Therefore, I need to be an active cultural conservationist and not a private cultural conservationist.
Quinn: Right, right. It's funny, I think in side note, I was a religious studies major and I'm a total Pagan Atheist at this point but how it's so interesting the way like western religion loves to throw labels on everything versus so much of the rest of the world, it's just a part of your everyday life.
Quinn: It's not like I'm part of this institutionalized thing and that means I go to church on Sunday for so much of the rest of the world, it's just how you live your day-to-day life. It seems like that's very similar. They're existing grain and that's part of your family and it's part of your culture and your community.
Mark Magana: Yeah. I adapted the label from cultural Catholics in that concept.
Quinn: Yeah. It makes sense and now I guess it takes a group like yours hopefully and others to then, like you said, it's like some super hero origin story where it's like, "Hey, you got to start using these powers that you have and these things that you care about in translating," in which it's the same thing people have been saying to white people for the past couple of years is, "I'm glad you've enjoyed this time of privilege but you need to start opening up your fucking pocketbooks and helping out these other causes that you may not see day-to-day for whatever reason."
Mark Magana: Yeah. Walk the walk, man.
Brian: Yeah, right. If you don't, it's going to take us all down.
Quinn: Right, right. All right. With those values and your new life calling, what were your and the group's initial goals and how are those translated? Where have been your successes and failures up to today?
Mark Magana: Our initial goals were A, let's find out who's out there. Who are Latinos that are in the field because we were siloed. You'd find four here and one here and two there but they didn't know each other. I would introduce a Latino from a big green organization to another Latino from the very same organization and they found out they worked on the same floor.
Mark Magana: They just kept their heads down and one did soil erosion and the other did ocean acidification and they did their work and they went home.
Quinn: Why did they keep their heads down? Was it because they hadn't been called upon or because there was a cultural obstacle?
Mark Magana: Good catch. They kept their heads down because they didn't necessarily feel like they were part of the larger organization. They didn't feel like they were going to be invited to the happy hour after work or that they were part of the water cooler talk. They didn't feel part of the community of that organization because they were such small minority.
Mark Magana: A lot of times, they wouldn't feel welcomed and part of our origin story was several people coming to me within months of each other and saying, "I don't feel like I'm being listened to. I don't feel like I'm being appreciated. I don't feel like there's any movement for me or my ideas are being considered. I'm going to go do Teach For America Or I'm going to move out to California and I'm going to do something else."
Mark Magana: We'd lose advocates in our movement. That was one of the key points of our origin story was how do we keep Latinos in the field where if they don't feel the love or the familia in their own organization, we can provide that as an organization and be that part to encourage and support their work even if they don't feel it in their own organization.
Quinn: How do you do that specifically?
Mark Magana: It is a matter of having some of our more senior members and members that, well, number one is, it's knowing each other. At first, the organization started with a LISTSERV, a Facebook page, the basic forms of communication. What we discovered was that these things are great and effective for a certain amount of things.
Mark Magana: If someone said to me, "Hey, Quinn is applying for a job, would you support his nomination?" I'd be like, "Fuck, Quinn. I only met him once …"
Mark Magana: … on the phone.
Quinn: Yeah. I get that a lot.
Brian: Yeah, in general, fuck Quinn.
Mark Magana: On a podcast, I don't know if he's any good at this job. What we did was to put together a summit where we all came together in person and we met each other and we drank together and we danced together and we talked together and we made plans together and we build relationships.
Mark Magana: After I've had a good dinner with Quinn and I know him, someone asked me and I'll say or Quinn emails me and say, "Can you get on this letter?" I'm going to respond and I'm going to do it. We build those relationships. That's the success has been from a very personal level of trust being built not from LISTSERVs, not from twits, not from emails, but from personal coming together in very intimate settings and building this trust where we might not trust where they come from, or their organization that they work for, but I know their heart is in the right place personally so I'm going to take a chance. I'm going to build this together and we're going to support each other in that way.
Mark Magana: It's been a huge success in that manner. The excitement is palpable. Our summits grew from 50 the first year to 100 the second year, 150, 200 this year. We get more and more and more and they continue to be increasingly environmental justice and local leaders like Juan Parras in TEJAS in Houston or Robert Garcia at the City Project in Los Angeles or Elizabeth Yeampierre in UPROSE in New York who come together and were able to help with resources and support and energy.
Mark Magana: Like you mentioned earlier, the equity in the resources in the Environmental Justice Movement wasn't there and it still isn't, but we're slowly making inroads on those types of things. It's exciting.
Brian: The general public I mean, what are we wrong about or need to be filled in on?
Quinn: Because there seems to be two sides of the coin. There's the white people are really terrified of the incoming revolution and the people that are excited about it. I feel like we've both, beside sort of raw statistics, I'm sure, I'm 100% sure we're all making plenty of assumptions that are incorrect or misleading.
Quinn: Where can we be pointed in the right direction, I guess, when it comes to whether it's culture or support or things like that? Where are assumptions and opinions …
Mark Magana: Yeah. I mean, in general, it's that the Latino community, our issues are the mainstream issues. We want to work good jobs that pay. We want to work hard and we want better lives for our children. We will sacrifice anything for our children and that shows on immigration. They stop and separate families on the boarder accusing these parents of abusing their children when they're willing to sacrifice everything to see that their children have a better life and that is unbelievable.
Mark Magana: We all feel that way. We will do anything for our children. This is a community that is very traditional, that's very family oriented, that's very patriotic, that loves the opportunity that they have, that loves freedoms. Really does work themselves to the bone and is loyal. Wants the best for their communities and will defend their communities and wants the best for their children.
Mark Magana: These things make for beautiful citizens, make for beautiful community members. We're in this together. We need to see it that way instead of being people that separate each other and try to divide each other. It's evil.
Quinn: It is fucking evil. I have a question for you. Giving in to the things that are most important to Latinos and coming from this sort of again, more softer quilted background of conservation without calling it conservation. It getting to sort of the harder statistics and we've talked a lot about sort of environmental justice recently here is, do Latinos know that 40% of them live within 30 miles of a power plant?
Quinn: Or are they becoming aware of that and of the fact that the system was designed that way or that that's where the cheapest housing is and that's where they are? Is that something that's becoming something they're raising arms about?
Mark Magana: Yeah. They know why they can afford the rent in their neighborhood. They know why they live south of Martin Luther King Avenue and west of the freeway. They know that it's important for them to standup and defend their communities.
Mark Magana: It's very interesting to note, to put this in context. When the immigration rallies happened, the marches, the huge immigration marches that happened across the country, they didn't happen because Latinos wanted beneficial immigration legislation or wanted open borders.
Mark Magana: They happened because congress put forth a completely negative immigration bill that would make it in a felony to be associated with an undocumented immigrant even if it was a family member that would make things like trying to get a better life for their family a felony.
Mark Magana: That they were fighting back on an egregious piece of legislation. What motivates Latinos for the most part is number one, I want to work hard. I want to be left alone so that I can have a better life for my child education, a home for the future. If you mess with, if you fuck with the mothers, by putting their children's health in risk, by purposefully putting a coal fired power plant in their neighborhood and they find out that that's what causing their child's asthma, then you're in trouble.
Mark Magana: That mother is not going to ask for a tax break or a mortgage interest deduction or anything, any sort of advantage, but they're not going to accept being fucked with purposefully. It's when they have their back to the wall when they see that this is purposeful and they're being targeted and their community is being targeted that they will standup and they will close down that coal fired power plant. They will find a way to get that chemical plant closed. They are relentless because ...
Quinn: Are we actually seeing successes there?
Mark Magana: We are.
Quinn: Specific success?
Mark Magana: In Chicago, their organization shut down two coal fired power plants after Latino mothers raised up because too many children in their communities had asthma and they would look up at what they call the cloud maker, which were the smokestacks.
Quinn: I remember that growing up as a kid. I love that. I thought I loved it. It looks so cool.
Mark Magana: Sure, it's like the ...
Quinn: Little did I know it's fucking destroying my insides.
Mark Magana: The Norman Rockwell pictures, the fucking kids running after the mosquito van in the streets, they're like, "This is fun."
Mark Magana: Yeah. Doing pesticide spring, yeah. It is unfortunate because growing up in LA for me, the worst things weren't … in California, you had wild fires, floods, mudslides, earthquakes, they still do.
Mark Magana: The worst days …
Quinn: Yeah. Come on back.
Mark Magana: The worst days for a child in the '80s and '70s were the days when the air quality was too low and you weren't allowed to go outside and play. Imagine, telling a child you can't go outside and play because your air is too fucked up.
Quinn: Yeah. That's wild.
Mark Magana: That just became the new normal for us. There was nothing weird about it. Then the days when we could go out and play, two or three of the kids would have to carry their inhaler with them. We'd have to take time outs from playing so that these children could breathe again by taking emergency inhalers. That was normal for them to have these inhalers in their pockets.
Quinn: Right. At what point does that become like just the fucking accepted status quo?
Mark Magana: When do we stop being the frogs in the ever increasing heated water and jump out instead of just adapting? It needs to stop. Now I'm a parent and I have water purifiers on all the sinks and air purifiers in every room.
Mark Magana: We buy organic foods. You know what organic foods used to be called? They used to be called food. We are getting charged to be able to live healthy by the same corporations that are polluting us. They get paid coming and going and we allow it. That has to change.
Brian: What are the science-based issues most important to Latinos? Obviously, you guys mostly cover the environment but I imagine there's a wide spectrum from DNA sequencing or disease to CRISPR and cancer developments?
Mark Magana: Yeah. It's funny thinking about that. Was it Time recently or Newsweek had a whole thing about … their cover story was basically essentially like why doesn't anyone ever DNA sequence black people like no one gives a shit about that genome. It shows all the issues with it. I imagine like this shit is just going to keep coming up. It's like another way they're being screwed.
Mark Magana: I'm curious about the people that have stood up. What are the other sort of science-based issues again so people can really understand this culture and where your people are coming from? What else are they fighting for? What else they really give a shit about here, everything else that's happening?
Mark Magana: Yeah. Just this week, federal court overruled the EPA when they chose not to ban chlorpyrifos which is a pesticide. A toxic nerve agent pesticide developed by the Nazis.
Brian: Good, good.
Quinn: I like where you're going.
Mark Magana: Related in the same family as sarin gas. Fucking EPA decided that the science wasn't closed on this. They're classic words that they use for everything and that despite the fact that children that were exposed to this chlorpyrifos, at any level, not just farm workers but residue on our fruits and vegetables, were having mental issues, were having concentration issues.
Brian: Hold on. Back it up again. You hear this kind of shit and you're like what the fuck. Where is this being used currently like in what products and practices?
Mark Magana: They banned the use of chlorpyrifos as an insect repellent for indoor use. Something like 20 years ago.
Brian: Oh, wow.
Mark Magana: Because it was abhorrent.
Mark Magana: They thought in their wisdom, "It's abhorrent for indoor use, but let's still spray it on farmworkers."
Quinn: On the people? On workers? As an insect repellent?
Mark Magana: They're working in the fields and this spray, although it may be sprayed on the next farm over, the wind takes it over and sprays it on them ...
Quinn: Right, right. It's the way wind works.
Mark Magana: It's a nerve agent. These people will start foaming and vomiting, it's happened and it's happened recently. It is horrific what has happened.
Quinn: Hey, Brian, who do you think makes up most of the farm workers?
Quinn: What happened with the judge now?
Brian: He said, "Fuck you EPA."
Mark Magana: Federal judge overruled the EPA and said, "You're not following basic science." This is a threat to children, to farmworkers, and you have to ban it and you've got 60 days to do it.
Brian: Was that recently?
Mark Magana: That was a week ago.
Brian: A week ago.
Mark Magana: They haven't decided whether they're going to take it up to the Supremes or fight it.
Quinn: What? Which is just fucking incredible to me, because at some point … and we always say, what they're going to do with this. Somewhere, there's a sequence of people who are going to either decide or be told to decide like you have to fight this thing. How the fuck do you go home to your children or even just, I don't know as a general human being, and go, "You know what, I think …"
Brian: Yeah. Look at yourself in the mirror.
Quinn: I still want this to happen. I think we should still nerve gas the people who are making me my yellow peaches. Where is the fucking schism? I just don't get it. I do truly miss the days of like intelligent conservatives. I'm happy to disagree on plenty of stuff and have an intelligent conversation about it. It's great. It's important for the process. It can always be super left or super right as much as I've like gone full hippy at this point.
Quinn: It's insane. There has been a schism in morality now that I genuinely don't fucking get.
Brian: Yeah, there's [crosstalk 00:44:06] conversation when people are foaming of the mouth.
Quinn: It's one thing, right. Right. What's the threshold? Foaming of the mouth?
Mark Magana: Yes.
Quinn: Got it. Is he foaming of the mouth? We should not probably not do that. Peaches are great but give it a fucking rest.
Mark Magana: We can use something else.
Quinn: There has to be something else. It's insane to me. Besides, of course, the ridiculousness of the fact that these people are at the EPA, it's not some ...
Mark Magana: Right, right.
Quinn: It's some of the group, but it's just like, who is this person? You just want to sit them down and be like, "Tell me where this is coming from? Who hit you?"
Mark Magana: That's a case where science came to our rescue. They've studied this nerve agent for years. There was nothing that the scientists really could otherwise say that could defend the use of chlorpyrifos.
Quinn: Yeah. Even again like it's like, you don't study for 20 years. Foaming of the mouth, check, that one is out.
Mark Magana: Right, right.
Quinn: Yup, nope sorry fuck head. I'm not going to use that one anymore figure another one out. I mean …
Mark Magana: It's when the lobbyist for Dow chemical becomes more important than your child that were a little bit to [crosstalk 00:45:19].
Quinn: Yeah. I mean we could go on about the fucking money stuff forever.
Mark Magana: Yes.
Quinn: It is a nightmare. All right. Listen, it is lazy and it is pretty fucking racist to think just because Hispanics are running for office or that they care about the environment that Latinos will turn out to vote and vote in the direction that one of us would prefer them to. What else can we do to encourage positive turnout in participation? More importantly, I guess, leading up to actual turnout of participation in the process along the way?
Mark Magana: Latinos are very community oriented. When they hear from peers that it's cool to vote, that it's important to vote, that I'm going to vote, that I did vote, that I registered, you should register, that this is information that's coming from their trusted peers. That's coming from the powerful comadres in the community, the priest, the soccer coach that the community leaders themselves are the one sending the message out. Also, in this day and age the celebrities, the athletes that they follow are …
Quinn: Do you guys work with a lot of those, more the faces and names? Is there an outreach there to try to give those people a podium?
Mark Magana: There is an outreach to do that. I couldn't say we've been very successful in being able to do that, but it is something that is important. I want to make sure that we do that more and more as we increase our social media usage. I am of a certain age where I did not grow up with social media and of a certain age where Twitter is not your natural instinct.
Mark Magana: I do believe that it is vital to be able to reach people with the influencers that influence them. That is the community influencers and it could be celebrity influencers, social media influencers, but they need to hear that A, it's the cool thing to do. B, it's important to do and that every vote is important and that C, that it will have an effect on their community and if they don't do it, they're fucked. Here is why.
Quinn: Are there a good amount of younger people, I guess, in the GreenLatinos part of the organization?
Brian: Yeah. How do your demographic skew?
Mark Magana: I am hard pressed to find a young Latino millennial or younger that doesn't say they're an environmentalist, so it's amazing.
Quinn: That's great.
Mark Magana: Above that generation, you get a lot of blank stares and a lot of … but it is almost universal. I'm talking lifestyle-wise, riding bikes, vegetarianism, veganism. Up and down water conservation, carrying water bottles. It's not just Latino community, but I'm more focused on that. Where these young kids are living what … not completely, you still have consumerism, but they're really breaking down the boundaries of what we had ... the assumptions we had growing up, capitalism is right.
Mark Magana: The consumption is right. Testing these things, and saying, "Hey, let's think about this." Let's think about society. Let's think about how we live and may be do it a better way. That's beautiful. I've learned so much from them.
Quinn: I love it.
Mark Magana: Me too.
Brian: Are Latinos going to turn out to vote on November sixth?
Quinn: How have things changed in the past 22 months?
Mark Magana: I expected in the first election for Latinos to come out heavily. Unfortunately, the Clinton campaign did not excite them and give them something to vote for. Voting against an unknown commodity that was fun to watch like a WWF wrestler was not enough of an incentive.
Mark Magana: Now there is a track record. There is words. There is deeds. There is family members suffering that I have got to believe that Latinos will standup when their back is to the wall and take the time to register, take the time to vote. Like you said 66,000 Latinos are turning 18 every month. Those kids are going to be in it.
Mark Magana: They're going to tell their friends to be in it. That Tuesday in November, it's going to be, "Hey, did you vote? I voted." "Hey, I got my sticker and here's a photo of it."
Quinn: I want to live in that world when that happens.
Mark Magana: Yeah. I want to be there when it happens. That excites me. I feel like with Pete Wilson back, he motivated Californians to vote and Sheriff Arpaio who motivated Arizonans to vote. Trump is going to motivate Latinos to vote and others not just Latinos. This is going to be a tidal wave. Say it with me Brian and Quinn, it's going to be a tidal wave.
Quinn: Yeah, I fucking hope so. The result in 2016, they're all ... I remember there are pictures of Latinos in line and everybody is making their jokes online, "Oh, thank god, the Latinos are going to save us." It turned out, it didn't go so well. Pictures of people online don't do it. Then you see these numbers of people that didn't turn out and those reasons do make a lot of sense.
Quinn: The Clinton campaign did a fucking terrible job of that, of reaching out to these people and giving them specific reasons and appealing to their basic moralities and family values and conservation values. You hate to say it, but it's like you hope it's gotten bad enough and specific enough to these people in their communities that they are, again, it's a midterm.
Quinn: A lot of people will turnout in midterms, always, you hope this is the biggest one ever, it's still going to be lower. US's voting turnout period is atrocious but you hope … you hate to be the party of no, but you hope there's something here for people to build on that they want to be part of to turn back this wave of fucking evil.
Quinn: All right. How can we help with that? Besides your group, which groups are having the biggest impacts over the next few months? Which groups are doing the best work? Where can we most specifically help whether it's helping to try to reach out to some of these influencers and things like that? Brian knows all those people.
Quinn: I'm kidding. Let's get specific here about mobilizing our people here.
Mark Magana: Yeah. I'll talk about other groups that aren't GreenLatinos and then hopefully you give me an opportunity to talk about our stuff. When it comes to getting out the vote for environmental and conservation advocates, the League of Conservation Voters if doing fantastic work. They're raising more money than they've ever raised for a midterm. It's record breaking, the amount of money that they're raising.
Quinn: Where are they applying that?
Mark Magana: They're applying it for pro-environment, pro-conservation candidates in these battleground raises. They're applying it against the dirty dozen environmental miscreants in the house and the senate to take them out. It is time when you can have a form of denial and expect that to become cheap where what's the cost? There is no cost to denial. I'll make up further with oil and gas industry. There's got to be a cost to denial.
Mark Magana: Now, groups like LCV and then you have activist groups like 350 and Green Peas and Sierra Club that are putting the boots on the ground. We've got the People's Climate March coming up on September eighth in San Francisco and across the country. Go to peoplesclimate.org and signup to go to a march on September eighth.
Mark Magana: You've got actions that are being taken at GreenLatinos, we're at greenlatinos.org. Right now, we're fighting in defense of the clean power plant, which just had a repeal announcement this week.
Quinn: Oh yeah.
Brian: Oh yes.
Mark Magana: We're fighting against the clean cars rollback which we repeal a couple weeks ago.
Quinn: Yeah. Let's get into that. How are you guys spending your time and your funding so we can send people there both now and over the next three months? What are your beach heads?
Mark Magana: Yeah. For us, we're really pushing in a community that we'd work within Los Angeles that's over by the port. There's an organization called the Moving Forward Network and they're organizing communities that live in high traffic areas with trucks and diesel and freeways and ports and goods movement areas to fight for electric vehicles.
Mark Magana: There is a group called Chispa, where they are fighting for the VW money that when VW cheated on their emissions standards.
Quinn: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Mark Magana: States got all this money and they're fighting to have that money go to providing electric buses for school children, school buses. Children shouldn't be riding in buses to school that are idling … or that are burning up ...
Quinn: Buses are always the grossest.
Mark Magana: Yes, that are burning up diesel.
Brian: It's just disgusting.
Mark Magana: You're stuck in that bus, the school buses should be electric and they're fighting for that. At the same time as they're doing this, the administration wants to roll back clean car standards when no one is asking for it. The industry isn't even asking for it.
Quinn: They did ask for like his first month in office and now they're like, "Oh no, no, no we fucked that up. This is not at all that we were talking about."
Mark Magana: Yeah. Just give us uniformity.
Quinn: Of course there's still just fucking knocking out trucks left and right all Americans buy these SUVs but anyways.
Mark Magana: Earlier, I had chastised the old form of organizing, but I have to say that that form, when you complement it without feet on the ground and the letters and the response to ... and comments to regulations and you put all these things together, we can turn around decisions of this administration.
Mark Magana: We have. These things, they had a dirty truck standard that they put out. They had to turn that around. Or an effort to sell public lands that they had to turn around. These things are happening. We're trying to organize the Latino community to push back on these developments through social media. We have guides, social media guides. We have comment signs.
Mark Magana: We have buttons where they could call. When the operator answers, they give them their zip code and maybe their address if needed and they'll hook them up with their member of congress with a script saying, "You have to fight for the clean power plant or against the clean cars roll back, or against pesticides."
Mark Magana: The issue that they find addresses them and their community that motivates them. Then, they speak to their friends. They speak to their family. They speak to their community. They belong to local organizations. This education that's happening to them and it's happening in their own backyards, that is what is making the change. It's happening. It's gradual but it's happening.
Quinn: Are some of these new [fingle 00:57:51] tools like the townhallproject.org or 5calls.org, are those getting into Latino community?
Mark Magana: It's not that they aren't. It's that some of the organizations that can afford to use those or have access to those aren't reaching successfully into the Latino community.
Mark Magana: For some of it, it's just lack of culturally relevant messaging. That goes beyond just taking an English language messaging and translating it. It goes into what would … if you're going to research what motivates your members, and you want to reach Latinos, then research what motivates Latinos.
Mark Magana: Or do an analysis, talk to some Latinos and say, "Does this messaging work on you?" If you don't address them in a culturally relevant way, it doesn't matter what tools you have. They're not going to hit that button.
Mark Magana: If you do …
Quinn: I feel like I want to hook you up with the 5calls.org people. They've done such a great job of start off as this website to now it's an app on your phone and it's just exploded, it's great. It could ...
Mark Magana: They made it easier …
Quinn: It couldn't be easier to use, but basically, it has a list of the timely shit that's going on. You pick the issue, you click on it, it shows you by your location, who your representatives. You click the button and there's a script and you click, they pick up, and I talk to them, or I was busy, or I left a message. Then, it tabulates the whole thing.
Quinn: You just read the thing and it plugs in the names. I mean it's so easy but I would love to see and maybe they're … they do have a translated version of that, but I doubt it because it's a lot of work and they're bootstrap.
Quinn: I would love to see some sort of integration there if something that's specifically focused towards those communities. That maybe takes out some of the extraneous stuff now that anything is extraneous these days but that's the problem as everyone feels like they're fighting on 500 fucking ...
Mark Magana: Oh, yes.
Quinn: I would love to see something a little more specific and if someone can go … can handle that translation to see that power because you can make an impact in the time that we have left whatever fucking days to get into those communities and get those people fired up and calling …
Mark Magana: Absolutely.
Quinn: … and interested in what's going on. That's interesting. Maybe even some of those Pod Save America people too as well. They just launched the whole new thing called Vote Save America.
Mark Magana: Yeah.
Quinn: Which is …
Brian: You know all about it.
Quinn: It's making sure you're registered and then checking it four fucking times because people keeps taking your vote away. Then, the next thing it does is point you towards specific things near your area where you can make a difference now because the 5calls.org work is great but that's talking to your existing representatives. Something like Vote Save America is a little more focused on phone banking things like that for the people who are running for office now.
Quinn: That's obviously a thing that's going to make such a big difference coming through and so …
Mark Magana: Make some of those five calls where you're talking to your peers.
Quinn: Yes. Not just fucking get elected. Talk to your peers. Make that election app one where on election day you have automatic five preset text that go to your five friends that you already had set. That said, "Hey, did you vote yet." That goes out automatically to 10 of them.
Quinn: Just a little reminder. It literally just says [crosstalk 01:01:12]. Take your best friend or take your most popular friend voting with you.
Brian: That's what I'm just thinking too, yeah.
Quinn: Yeah. That wouldn't be either us Brian, but the point remains.
Brian: Not everybody can be popular.
Quinn: All right. Do you guys take donations?
Brian: You guys like money?
Quinn: Yeah. Do you like money? Where is the dollar going when we give to GreenLatinos?
Mark Magana: You go to greenlatinos.org and there's a giant give button that should be the entire front page. If it's not, I'm going to …
Quinn: Right. Right.
Mark Magana: You hit that and then you take your retirement account and you just put in a couple numbers.
Mark Magana: Bingo.
Mark Magana: We're going and cooking with …
Quinn: Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. All right. All of that is going to go in the show notes. Yeah. This is the part where people actually are able to do things with it.
Quinn: We love philosophy and talking about the why of things. Getting into the what if's and the how's is that's the point these days.
Brian: All right. We are close here to time. Thank you very, very much, Mark, for talking with us today.
Mark Magana: Can't appreciate enough.
Brian: It has been fantastic.
Mark Magana: It's been a great conversation. There's a lot of important things that we need to address and podcast like other social media tools are more important than I ever thought.
Quinn: I know, it's shocking. It shock us pretty much every day.
Brian: Mark, who else should we talk to?
Quinn: Not necessarily climate or Latino. It could be anything. Again, I think you get the gist, we like to ask one big question that we could talk about one big topic from space to cancer to antibiotics to voting to …
Quinn: The existentialist stuff that is affecting people now or in the next 20 years. We found a great consortium of folks that are kicking ass on the ground that people don't really know about. If you have any recommendations now or later we would love to take those from you.
Mark Magana: All right. Let me think about it. I got your emails and I'll send you some good ideas. You guys are covering some very interesting topics and you do it smartly and with a sense of humor which is vital if you want people to listen, you got to be funny.
Mark Magana: You got to reach their [crosstalk 01:03:38] emotionally. That's important. Thank you for doing that.
Quinn: We're trying. Brian used to be able to cry in demand but all the surgery made that go away.
Brian: I can't move my cheeks anymore.
Mark Magana: You look good.
Quinn: Yeah. That's all that matters, we're keeping him young Mark.
Brian: All right. Mark, we like to wrap up our episodes with a lightning round of questions.
Quinn: Yup, lightning round. Mark, when was the first time in your life when you realized you had the power of change or the power to do something meaningful?
Brian: We should have the lightning bolt sound like bang.
Mark Magana: I think growing up for me, I was moved in musical theater. I was going to a theater high school.
Mark Magana: I had the ability to move an audience by words or song and by my voice. I thought this is something that I am going to use. It wasn't through musical theater. It was through politics, to be able to move people with my voice and my words. That was an early form of power for me.
Quinn: You're saying, you're a singer Mark?
Brian: Do you still sing?
Mark Magana: I was the only musical theater person in history that really was not recommended to sing.
Quinn: They were just like no.
Brian: Why don't you hum? Let's lower mic to three.
Quinn: The mic is not working today again. Sorry, Mark.
Brian: Weird sorry.
Quinn: It's so weird.
Brian: We had a yodeler on the podcast, didn't we?
Quinn: We did have a yodeler.
Brian: Yeah, yeah.
Quinn: If you want to, you can sing a few, what do you call it? I don't know talk about music. A few lines? A few …
Quinn: This is going great for you Brian.
Brian: I'm going to stop.
Brian: Don't sing.
Quinn: Yeah. We did have a yodeler. We [crosstalk 01:05:25] number two. All right. Mark, who specifically is someone in your life that has positively impacted your work in the past six months?
Mark Magana: I'd say, for me, I have to go to say Cesar Chavez. I mean he's not alive. I am in a mode of thinking about leadership and I said this earlier, so pardon my repetition. We are in a period of time where leaders were at a desk, have been at a desk writing letters, going to meetings at OMB, listening to funders.
Brian: Indoor cats. You're talking about the indoor cats.
Mark Magana: The indoor cats period.
Quinn: These fucking indoor cats.
Mark Magana: Leaders of movements are the ones that are out front taking the first baton going on to hunger strike the longest, going to jail. They are the ones on the ground putting themselves at risk and say Cesar Chavez lived what he preached. He was out there out front. He didn't ask anyone to do anything that he wouldn't do.
Mark Magana: I'm not putting myself in anywhere near that category. When I say we lack that kind of leadership at this moment, I'm including myself. Reading about him and learning about him and I was alive when he was alive, makes me motivated to say we can have and be those leaders again. That are the first to cross the bridge. That take the first baton. That make the giant social change that is uncomfortable.
Mark Magana: Because if we don't choose to put ourselves in a bit of discomfort now, we will have no choice but to be in discomfort later. We need to be the ones to say, "I am going to be the leader that puts ourselves out there." People like Cesar Chavez and others like MOK that I mentioned earlier were the leaders that did that. That motivates me.
Quinn: Do you ever think about running for office?
Mark Magana: If we change campaign finance reform, I didn't have to be a glorified telemarketer raising $5,000 every day I'm in elective office. I would consider doing it. In this current stage, I am not going to do that.
Quinn: I think that's a pretty fair answer. It's pretty ugly out there.
Quinn: Mark, I appreciate all the positivity and enthusiasm and successes. What do you do when you really get overwhelmed by all these bullshit specifically what do you do? Everybody is talking about self-care. Some of our guests go walk in the woods, some of them take a nap, some of them play with their kids, some of them Netflix. How do you take care of yourself?
Mark Magana: I take a nap in the woods with my kids.
Brian: That's insane. What a coincidence.
Mark Magana: Yeah. I love watching soccer.
Brian: Nice. Who's your squad?
Mark Magana: Barcelona is my number one squad. DC United is my local squad. I love traveling, spending time with my kids, going out riding bikes, going out in the woods, listening to music, going to see live music. These things really make life worthwhile. You need to escape because there is a lot that brings you down.
Mark Magana: There is more that we can do together that makes us optimistic.
Quinn: I like it. Is DC a good music town?
Mark Magana: It used to be a great punk scene in the late '80s. Then, it kind of died for a long time. They had a hip hop junkyard band scene here. Then, now it's coming back. There is about, where there used to be like three music venues now there's like 30.
Quinn: Yes, nice.
Mark Magana: It really is making an effort. I wouldn't say that DC had been a good cultural or art scene on its own, but it's coming back slowly where we create our own stuff.
Quinn: That's a really big one for me too when I need to get centered or just go escape, music especially live music.
Mark Magana: Oh yeah. Yeah.
Quinn: That's the best. Brian, have you even been to DC? This just occurred to me.
Brian: I have, yeah. A few times but just short trips.
Quinn: We have to do a little trip.
Brian: It is. I saw the …
Quinn: Team trip.
Brian: What do they call those flowers? The cherry blossoms?
Mark Magana: Cherry blossoms.
Brian: Yes. I saw the cherry blossoms I went to the mall.
Brian: I had some really good food.
Quinn: Okay, all right. We'll talk more about that.
Brian: We'll talk more about DC later. Mark, how do you consume the news? Where do you read your news?
Mark Magana: Mostly, I sign up for political and environmental rags that come in my email every morning. I do …
Quinn: What do you like?
Mark Magana: I get a mixture of political and Axios and ABC has the note and others. I will digest those as quickly as I can. Then, there are several that do strictly environmental that have good environmental news, energy and environmental news. I absorb those as well.
Mark Magana: Less and less do I watch TV, it's too depressing the news on TV.
Quinn: Yeah, it's dark out there.
Mark Magana: It's dark. I'm not good enough on Twitter to be able to really figure out how to be selective enough to not waste million hours trying to get one nugget of news. I wish I was because people who are good at it know first.
Quinn: Yeah, it's getting harder.
Mark Magana: Yeah.
Quinn: It's getting harder. All right. Brian, ask your favorite question.
Brian: This is a good one. Mark, if you could Amazon Prime one book to Donald Trump, what would that book be?
Mark Magana: It would be probably Naomi Klein, "No Is Not Enough".
Quinn: She's incredible.
Brian: Got it.
Mark Magana: It's how we can go beyond just using our words. Like I've said, you can't just be anti something you have to physically be someone who is on the ground being against something and using their time and their effort. "No Is Not Enough" in this scenario. We need to push back more physically and more aggressively.
Brian: Love that.
Quinn: Love it.
Mark Magana: I wish he read it.
Quinn: That's a different question. We don't ask that one.
Mark Magana: Yeah.
Brian: Somebody will read it to him.
Mark Magana: Yup.
Quinn: All right, Brian, take us home.
Brian: Where can we all follow you online, Mark?
Mark Magana: Let's see. GreenLatinos is our handle.
Quinn: Hopefully you're not the one handling that because you just described your Twitter.
Mark Magana: I may absolutely not.
Quinn: Okay. Great news.
Mark Magana: We have a team of 20 millennials locked in a closet that are working on that daily.
Mark Magana: Let's see, Facebook. We've got a couple GreenLatinos public sites. I believe we may have, I know, we have an Instagram and maybe have a Snapchat and they're all just top notch. We're getting better. We're getting better.
Quinn: Your confidence is overwhelming. Awesome. We'll put all the stuff in the show notes. I've tried to get Brian to do us a Snapchat. I don't know what that entails.
Brian: Me neither. I'm not millennial enough.
Quinn: We need a young person. Do you know we're technically millennials?
Quinn: I mean just like [crosstalk 01:13:44]. We're like the very tired.
Quinn: Just tired.
Brian: Yeah. Anyways.
Mark Magana: I think for me Snapchat is very difficult because … I'm like Nixon, if I'm going to tape it, I'm going to save it. With Snapchat they just erase these things. For me, it's like I just spent my time writing these beautiful two-sentence eloquent thing and it's gone in five seconds.
Brian: Yeah. I don't get it.
Mark Magana: I don't get it.
Quinn: Very upsetting.
Quinn: All right. Listen, Mark, we can't thank you enough man. This has been awesome and for all that you're doing out there. I wish you guys the best and we're going to mobilize these humans as much as we can to back you guys and help out as much as we can over the next few months. Then, after that, I mean, if things don't go well on November six, there's no after that.
Quinn: Going forward, we thank you for all that you do out there and for making this your mission.
Mark Magana: Thank you. Thanks guys. Keep doing what you're doing and let's hit the streets.
Quinn: Yeah absolutely. All right.
Brian: Sing your heart out if you want to sing.
Quinn: Yeah. Get back to singing, Mark. Don't let people tell you, you can't sing. All right. We'll talk to you soon.
Mark Magana: All right, bye guys.
Quinn: Thanks Mark. Bye.
Brian: Thank you Mark. Take it easy.
Mark Magana: Cheers.
Quinn: Thanks for our incredible guest today and thanks to all of you for tuning in. We hope this episode has made your commute or awesome workout or dishwashing or fucking dog walking late at night, that much more pleasant.
Quinn: As a reminder, please subscribe to our free email newsletter at importantnotimportant.com. It is all the news most vital to our survival as species.
Brian: You can follow us all over the internet. You can find us on Twitter @importantnotimp. It's so weird.
Quinn: Also on Facebook and Instagram @importantnotimportant, Pinterest and Tumblr, the same thing. Check us out, follow us, share us, like us, you know the deal. Please subscribe to our show wherever you listen to things like this.
Quinn: If you're really fucking awesome, rate us on Apple Podcast. Keep the lights on. Thanks.
Quinn: You can find the show notes from today right in your little podcast player and at our website importantnotimportant.com.
Brian: Thanks to the very awesome Tim Blane for our jamming music, to all of you for listening and finally, most importantly, to our moms for making us. Have a great day.
Quinn: Thanks guys.
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