Heat records were broken across the West in August, straining the energy grid and causing rolling blackouts. Unprecedented wildfires then tore across California, Oregon and Washington, blanketing over 70 million Americans in some of the worst air quality in the world for weeks, and forcing tens of thousands to evacuate their homes. And all this amidst an ongoing pandemic and economic crisis.
As Californians were experiencing in real life what climate scientists have been forecasting for years -- more extreme heat, drought, poor air quality, and wildfire risk -- the California State Legislature accomplished little of substance on climate issues in its abbreviated 2020 legislative session. Yet again oil, plastics and other industry groups were successful at stopping the few efforts at meaningful action on these issues, notwithstanding the fact that the scientific consensus is that things will NOT get better unless we act more forcefully. The price tag for this failure in leadership is shockingly high when one considers the long-term ramifications of further inaction.
Below is a recap of how things shook out after the end of the legislative session on August 31, 2020. Passed bills now await signature (or veto) by the Governor. To help the bills that passed - including AB 1788, AB 1851, AB 2345, and SB 288 - get over the finish line, please submit notes of support to the Governor via this form. Brief comments are sufficient, just be sure to select the Bill number from the drop-down menu).
The team at ActiveSGV would like to thank everyone who took the time to call and email your State Assembly Members and Senators over the past few months. Those calls are important, and will be even more important next year. Momentum for action is growing in light of unprecedented fires, which are often followed by more extreme flooding. However before all that is an incredibly important general election. As the most recent state legislative session illustrated, who represents us at the local, state, and national level matters. A lot. Now is a great time to make sure you and friends and family are ready to vote. ActiveSGV's VoteSGV page includes lots of information to help get you started, including how to make sure you address is current, how to sign up to track your ballot, responses to candidate surveys, and ballot measure endorsements.
Want to learn more? Check out ActiveSGV's new podcast, ActiveLab