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Instead of the usual trip for San Diegans to get heard – a flight or long car ride to Sacramento – officials from Sacramento came Thursday night to San Diego.
California Air Resources Board staff and one local board member hosted a forum in Barrio Logan on air quality and climate change issues.
The board staff tried to focus the group on the statewide goal of complying with AB 32, a 2006 law that requires California to cut greenhouse gas emissions far below what they were even in 1990. It’s a complicated and comprehensive process, including 18 different states agencies and virtually every sector of California’s economy.
About 100 people showed up, including many people from the Environmental Health Coalition, a local advocacy group whose executive director, Diane Takvorian, was recently appointed to CARB by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins when she was speaker of the Assembly.
Local residents threw out a mixture of concerns about things like the San Diego Association of Governments’ new bond measure, which would pay to expand and improve freeways, which in turn encourages driving, which in turn adds climate change-inducing gases to the atmosphere.
“We have enough freeways, I think, is what you’re hearing,” Takvorian told board staff after several residents questioned why freeway construction continues.
That appears to be a key tension in the success of statewide requirements like AB 32: They sound great on paper and in Sacramento, but when a community like Barrio Logan fights to improve its own air quality, local politics and industry interests can tear up the plan, as they did just two years ago.
Similar CARB events are planned across the state.
– Ry Rivard
Faulconer’s the New Face of Prop. 57 Opposition
Neither of them is running for office, but Mayor Kevin Faulconer set himself up this week for a showdown of sorts with Gov. Jerry Brown in November.
Faulconer will lead the charge against Prop. 57, a measure Brown is pushing that would drastically change sentencing laws by making far more people eligible for parole.
It’s an interesting move for Faulconer, given that 1) this will introduce him to voters statewide, though he suggested during the mayoral race that he would not run for governor in 2018; and 2) though he was re-elected easily, the one vulnerability he displayed that seemed to gain traction was on public safety issues.
Faulconer’s move also pits him against San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who supports the measure.
Two Gonzalez Bills in the Spotlight
Two stories this week address plights that San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has tried to address through legislation, but has so far come up short on both.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat examines the hardships faced by farmworkers in that region’s wine country, and talks about the ways in which a failed bill from San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez might have helped. The bill would have given overtime to farmworkers. Though the bill died, Gonzalez is trying to keep pieces of it alive.
In New York magazine, Ann Friedman details a California class action lawsuit that alleges gender discrimination in the workers’ comp system. A bill Gonzalez wrote to address the issue last year passed but was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
A second-attempt bill from Gonzalez aimed at eliminating gender discrimination in workers’ comp benefits is still alive.
Insurance executives spoke out against Gonzalez’s bill at a conference this week, and against a bill from San Diego Assemblywoman Toni Atkins that would expand disability benefits for California firefighters.
Filming the Police, Cont.
After a new round of police shootings caught on video, Citylab has a refresher course on the public’s right to film police – even if officers ask you to stop.
The gist: Police can’t tell you to stop recording, and they can’t destroy your recording (though some have). They can tell you to stop interfering with their work.
Last year, the California Legislature passed a bill re-affirming citizens’ rights to film the police. It was legal to begin with, but lawmakers felt that in light of how crucial some cell phone videos of police use of force have become that the right needed to be explicitly written into law.
For more on what your rights are when dealing with all types of police encounters, check out this handy guide.
Golden State News
• Late last month, San Diego Rep. Susan Davis joined other members of Congress in urging UC and CSU schools to incorporate into its consent education programs a powerful victim statement from the woman whose attacker, a Stanford athlete, was given a shockingly short sentence. Davis said in a press release this week that CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White shared the letter with all 23 campuses and “encouraged those who have not already done so to incorporate the survivor’s powerful statement in appropriate programming.”
• California students will soon learn more about gay Americans and gay rights, thanks to changes approved by the State Board of Education this week. (Associated Press)
• The state has launched a pilot program mandated by the Legislature that will help determine whether it makes sense to switch to a system that would tax drivers based on how much they drive – instead of taxing the gas they buy. (Sacramento Bee)
• A couple weeks ago, we talked with an adult film actress from Hillcrest who’s strongly opposed to the November ballot measure that would require porn actors to wear condoms. This week, CalMatters looks at the controversial activist behind the measure.