We know climate change is a serious threat, as do 81% of Californians, according to a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. Thanks to the dedication and commitment of SD350 volunteers, we took climate action to Sacramento this summer.
As members of the SanDiego350 Public Policy Team, we work to educate our members and the public, lobby officials and create a healthier climate future. In addition to advocating for improved climate laws at the local level, we also review state legislative bills related to climate change and advocate for their passage or defeat. This year we focused on eight priority bills. We educated ourselves and members of SanDiego350, posting our positions on social media, making making calls to legislators, and lobbying key San Diego Assemblymembers to urge them to vote for our priority bills. We are happy to report that 50% of the priority bills we supported were passed by the legislature and have been signed into law by the governor, including SB 32, a two-year bill we also supported in 2015, which cements California’s place at the forefront of climate action by codifying the state’s ambitious emission reduction targets into law.
The SanDiego350 Public Policy Team decided early in the year to focus on identifying and prioritizing state bills that would reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and to train SanDiego350 members on advocating for legislation with elected officials. Members of our team identified relevant bills, prioritized the eight we felt were most important, and tracked the progress of these bills over the course of the legislative session.
We sent letters on behalf of SanDiego350 in support of legislation to shut down Aliso Canyon, to include an Environmental Justice element in General Plans, and to prevent coal from being shipped overland to the Oakland Terminal. We worked in concert with our allies in the Bay Area and in San Diego to increase visibility of these bills and encourage their passage in the legislature (for example, we authorized 350 Bay Area to speak for us at committee hearings in the legislature in Sacramento). [Read more…]