Aiko Schaefer coordinates the Communities of Color for Climate Justice a new statewide multi-racial coalition to educate, engage and advocate for climate equity. Founded by leading racial and environmental justice organizations including El Centro Del La Raza, this growing coalition, with the guidance of shared principles for climate justice, elevated the voices and interests of people of color who are disproportionately impacted by climate change – higher rates of asthma, jobs/crop loss, shorter lifespans, weather disasters here and in home countries, and more. This commitment and work to ensure equity is at the center of any climate policy is taking place through the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy a statewide coalition working to put an initiative to the people on the ballot in 2016. Aiko has been a leading and recognized anti-poverty advocate in Washington State as the founding Director of the Poverty Action Network. She has been appointed to various state task forces and boards to address poverty and injustice, as well as served on a number of non-profit boards. In addition to her work on poverty, equity and climate justice Aiko is on the faculty at the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.
Mauricio Ayon currently sits as a co-chair on the Washington State Racial Equity Team, which opposes policy and programs that will negatively impact communities of color and create inequity. He is also a steering committee member of the Communities of Color for Climate Justice, a new statewide multi-racial coalition to educate, engage and advocate for climate equity. As well as a steering committee member of the Alliance for Jobs And Clean Energy. Mauricio skillfully and eloquently tracks issues in Olympia, while developing allies in the legislature for further action. Mauricio has over 15 years of experience in multi-racial organizing, serving as a community leader for advocacy on environment, education, labor and lobbying for access to healthcare for immigrants and refugees. He is also a co-founder of Para los Niños, which he organized education opportunities for parents and children in South King County and coordinated access to education for Latinos in Highline School District. Maurico is currently the Political Director at WA Community Action Network the state’s largest grassroots community organization, which works to achieve economic, social and racial equality in order to establish a democratic society characterized by justice and fairness, with respect for diversity, and a decent quality of life for all those who reside in Washington State.