As a former program director for the Los Angeles Conservation Corp., I know firsthand the importance of protecting our environment, which includes the people as well as the planet. Regardless of who you are or where you are from, everyone is entitled to clean air and water, and green space. It is our charge as leaders to assure that this happens.

As a local and state elected leader, I have prioritized protecting and conserving our pristine and precious environment.  That’s why the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) awarded me a lifetime legislative score of 92% as a result of my longtime support of a progressive environmental protection agenda. 

Policies like AB 217, that aims to expand environmental justice by providing incentives for low-income families to encourage them to use solar electricity; SB 1275 that created the Charge Ahead California Initiative and tasked the Air Resources Board to develop a long-term plan of putting one million zero-and near-zero emission cars on California’s streets while making sure that disadvantaged communities are aided in the transition; AB 1739 which regulates groundwater and conserves this most precious resource; AB 1471 California’s water bond; SB 1455 which provides funding for alternative and cleaner fuels; to so many other smart environmental protections have been at the center of my legislative career. Beyond my legislative record, I’ve worked to explore new opportunities for bringing clean energy into California. An example of this is when I visited Brazil to tour their ethanol and low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) plants and to learn about possible imports and regulations we can replicate in our state to incentivize more renewable energy consumption.

Despite all that California has accomplished when it comes to tough environmental policy — there is nonetheless much more we need to do to address climate change’s persistent challenges.  Our world is at a major breakpoint, and with climate change, we’re witnessing an increase of extreme weather events and a complete transformation of our planet. Whether it’s addressing our unprecedented drought crisis, figuring out how to conserve more water while capturing rain water, further reducing the impacts of climate change, ending the state’s addition to fossil fuels and instead promoting a clean energy agenda, expanding green space, combatting pollution, protecting natural habitats for wildlife and more– it’s vital that California continues to move forward with a pro-environment agenda. Last year’s SB 350, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, represented a key milestone for that agenda, and I was proud to enthusiastically support it. Still, there’s more work to be done, and I look forward to joining forces with State Senate leaders to take every step necessary to ensure we leave our children with a clean, wholesome, and sustainable environment for generations to come.