(This piece was originally published on September 9, 2018 by WJCT Public Media.)

About 100 people braved the rain to attend the Rise for Climate Action march at the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday. Speakers focused on midterm elections and how climate change harms underserved communities.

The Indianapolis event was one of several marches that took place across the country with the help of the People’s Climate Movement — the group that organized a march of about 200 thousand people in Washington D.C. last year to protest President Donald Trump’s environmental policies.

With midterm elections only a few months away, Saturday’s speakers emphasized that now is the time to demand climate action and vote for politicians who make the environment a priority. Carolina Castoreno-Santana is the executive director of the American Indian Center of Indiana.

“What it’s time to do is find the people who are going to make change and it’s important that that happens this election cycle that we begin hitting the ground running,” she says.

But much of the event also highlighted how climate change has become a social justice issue.

“Guess who is affected by hurricanes, droughts, and floods? Say it with me — diverse communities and low-income communities,” says Esteban Ortiz of the national group GreenLatinos.

Other speakers mentioned the fact that, four years after the lead contamination began, the city of Flint, Michigan still doesn’t have clean drinking water.

Several activist groups were represented at the march, including Central Indiana Jobs with Justice, the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Sierra Club, 350 Indiana, Citizens Action Coalition, Union of Concerned Scientists, Citizens Climate Lobby, and the Indiana Forest Alliance.

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