PG&E is focused on building a stronger and deeper relationship with our increasingly diverse customers and communities. For many years, we've enjoyed a rich partnership with Radio Bilingüe, Inc., www.radiobilingue.org, a Fresno-based non-profit public radio network inspired by Cesar Chavez and the civil rights movement. Radio Bilingüe provides cultural, arts, public affairs and educational programming in Spanish and other native dialects for the Latino community, and basic information for immigrants and agricultural workers. By helping us reach important customers, providing trusted counsel and raising awareness on emerging environmental issues, Radio Bilingüe is a key community partner for PG&E. This unique partnership is a model of how corporations and organizations can work together to make a real impact on diverse segments of society, helping them prepare for a better future.
Hugo Morales, founder and executive director of Radio Bilingüe, is a longtime champion for the Central Valley's low-income population, elevating the voices of these communities through public radio.
At Radio Bilingüe, what is your primary mission?
Our mission is to empower the Latino community and other disenfranchised communities. We have the same mission as public broadcasting—providing news, information and music that is cultural in nature and enriches the lives of our audience. But our focus is to connect with the Latino population, and try to meet their unique information needs.
Tell us about your listeners and their unique needs.
We have family-friendly, healthy programming and a lot of respect for our audience. We draw from our audience to better serve them. You know, the highest high school dropout rates are among Latino youth, yet 80 percent of Latino parents want their children to go to college. Our response is to provide concrete information that people can act on. We help inform parents about how to ensure their children get a good formal education.
How have you partnered with PG&E over the years?
We're proud that PG&E is supporting our efforts to serve the community. In turn, we've helped PG&E promote energy efficiency and programs that save customers money on their bills to hard-to-reach populations, like the 100,000 Mixteco and Triqui customers from Mexico that don't speak English or Spanish. I also served on PG&E's community advisory board for 10 years, helping to build a better PG&E in terms of service to disadvantaged customers and diversity throughout all segments of the workforce.
Do you address the environment?
We've been covering environmental issues since the '80s. A recent independent survey showed a shift in awareness is happening. We now have a dedicated reporter covering environmental issues, a position PG&E helps fund through a grant. It allows us to inform people about the full scope of environmental issues and empower them to build a healthier community.
Why should communities learn more about issues like global warming?
It's important to have an educated citizenry. We want them to make the right choices. We want to help build a sense of responsibility. The Latino population will continue to grow, and it's our responsibility to educate our listeners.
What will it take for PG&E to become the utility of the future?
You should increase the diversity of your workforce from the Board of Directors, to the managers, to the staff. Build capacity inside the company to better serve your customers. Work with more diverse suppliers. Also, focus on other creative ways to help non-profits support the community, like engaging them in your programs for low-income customers. PG&E should join with others to answer these questions and have an even more meaningful engagement.