Nearly 25% of California’s State Legislature termed out in November, including numerous champions for urban forestry, parks, open space and environmental protection. And while we welcome those new members of the State Assembly and Senate that bring them with bold and ambitious ideas on how to move California forward, we also acknowledge the great work of some true environmental champions from the last few years.
Among those now gone from the State Senate are Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) and Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto). Both have chaired key environmental committees during their legislative tenure, and consistently fought for clean air and water policy. Also gone is Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), who championed clean air legislation, fire fees for State Responsibility Areas and, most recently, protection of California’s 278 state parks.
In the Assembly, Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) authored successful hazardous waste reduction bills and progressive water conservation policies, while Felipe Fuentes (D-Los Angeles) twice tried to move bills that provide local funding for GHG reduction projects.
Finally, Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), who has long been regarded as one of the most progressive environmental legislators in Sacramento, termed out this year and is headed to Congress. Huffman has tackled almost every resource conservation issue there is, and consistently worked to move key environmental measures off the Assembly Floor through tireless efforts to secure critical votes that would make or break some bills. Jared has been a great friend to the environment, and will truly be missed.
California ReLeaf extends a heartfelt thanks to these and other members that have supported resource conservation through their votes and actions over the last several years. Their dedication to building a better California is greatly appreciated.