Tag Archives: Environmental

CA Assembly Fails to Pass BPA Bill

As you all know, I and other members on the MomsRising.org team have been fervently working to pass a bill in California that would help eliminate the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic baby and toddler products like bottles and sippy cups. I thought I would let you know how the vote went on Friday.

It had already passed the Senate and was favored by the Assembly 35-32. Unfortunately, it did not garner the 41 votes necessary to clear the Assembly. Here is how individual Assemblymembers voted.

Here is a statement by Sen. Fran Pavley, who sponsored and fought her heart out for this important bill:

“California was poised to join Canada, Minnesota, Connecticut and several other cities and counties in the United States that, with significant bi-partisan support, have enacted bans on BPA in baby bottles and other feeding products for children. ‘The science on BPA clearly shows cause for alarm,’ said Senator Pavley. ‘Every child from every community in our state deserves access to safe, affordable products. I don’t understand how some lawmakers are willing to ignore science and risk the health of California children.’

“Bisphenol A (BPA) is an artificial hormone that is widely used in shatter-proof plastic baby bottles, sippy cups and the lining of formula cans. It leaches out of containers and into food and drink consumed by babies and young children.

“More than 220 peer-reviewed studies have linked BPA to a host of health problems, including breast and prostrate cancer, infertility, obesity, and neurological and behavioral changes, including autism and hyperactivity.

“Senator Pavley’s SB 797 was co-authored by Senator Carol Liu, D – Pasadena, and was sponsored by Breast Cancer Fund, Environmental Working Group and Physicians for Social Responsibility. The bill received widespread support from health care professionals, business owners and a long and diverse list of organizations including; Black Women for Wellness, Latinas for Reproductive Justice, The Help Group for Autism Spectrum Disorders, California Teachers Association, California Nurses Association, Asian Health Services, and California Women Infants and Children (WIC), SEIU, California Labor Federation, and Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice to name a few. The opponents include BPA manufacturers Dow and SABIC Innovative Plastics, as well as infant formula makers Abbott, Mead Johnson, and Nestle.”

I won’t lie. I am disappointed in the legislators who voted against the bill and abstained from voting. But I am also extra determined to fight for the bill when it comes up for reconsideration next year, and to convince these legislators that California families with science on our side are more powerful than corporate lobbyists. Will you join me?

Thank you, by the way, to those of you who called your Assemblymembers in support of SB 797!

Join The E- Revolution In California’s 24th CD

The E-Revolution From The Jorgensen For Congress Campaign

Building A New Energy, Economic, Environmental, Educational Future

For Our Country and Our Planet

          Democratic candidate for California’s 24th Congressional District, Marta Jorgensen has formulated a bold new campaign platform called E-Revolution.  She believes this platform, so named for its focus on the strong and productive reform of federal energy, economic, environmental, and educational policies as well as on citizen engagement, is necessary for the United States to compete and survive in the new millennium.  

The first pillar of E-Revolution is energy reform.  As our older energy sources continue to pollute our environment, make us dependent on foreign governments, and slowly get used up, we must adopt clean, independent, and renewable forms of alternative energy like solar power, wind power, tidal power, geothermal power, and biofuels.  

Countries like Denmark, which already gets 25% of its energy from wind power, and Germany, which expects to get 45% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2030, have already recognized the dangers of an addiction to oil and coal.  But Marta Jorgensen believes that the United States can meet this challenge head on; we can take back the mantle of energy pioneer we once held by supporting these new technologies with tax breaks and federal mandates.

The second pillar of this platform, economic reform, seeks to return the American economy to the robust strength it once had and to create new Green and higher paying jobs for American workers.  This can be done by steering our economy toward alternative energy sources, by making our economy more efficient, by working to overcome global warming, and by creating more favorable trade agreements.

While the American oil and coal industries are losing jobs, renewable alternative energies can create and support millions of new jobs.  According to studies, wind power can account for nearly 350,000 jobs, solar power for over 260,000 jobs and $45 billion in economic investment, tidal power for thousands of jobs per plant, geothermal energy for over 20,000 jobs; and biofuel for over 200,000 jobs.  California is the natural home for many of these industries, and with them our state’s economy, already one of the largest in the world, will surely grow even larger.  

We can also make our economy more efficient.  For example, one study found that an increase in fuel efficiency standards starting in 2001 could have saved drivers in upstate New York more than $2.4 billion in gas by 2012; the savings for California, with its much bigger economy and many more residents, could have been astronomical.  Calling for stricter fuel efficiency standards and supporting the creation of new cars with alternative forms of power like electricity, hydrogen, or fuel cells can make our economy more efficient and each of us better off.

Switching to alternative energies and making our economy more efficient as well as working to reduce pollution and instituting a carbon tax will have the additional and very important effect of helping to ward off the effects of climate change.  The costs of untreated global warming is an increase in wildfires, water conservation, public health, agriculture, and flooding could be incalculable; if we take steps now to mitigate those effects, we will be able to sustain and grow our economy far into the future.

In addition, we can take steps to keep our thriving international trade alive and growing while fixing bad trade agreements so that our only exports are American products, not American jobs.  We can also address the issue of our crumbling dollar by reducing the federal deficit and paying down the federal debt.  These policies form an important part of Marta Jorgensen’s platform.

       Such sweeping economic reform may sound difficult, but it is nowhere near as hard as keeping our economy beholden to the old energy sources, old technologies, and bad trade agreements that have made our economy so weak.  But America is no weakling, and Marta Jorgensen believes that we are strong enough and motivated enough to do what we must to secure success for our economy.

The third pillar of change in E-Revolution, environmental reform, is closely related to Jorgensen’s call for both energy and economic reform.  We face serious peril from the effects of global warming, including a catastrophic rise in sea level, widespread drought, and myriad extinctions in plant and animal species all over the planet, effects that will change our world for the worse.  But Marta Jorgensen thinks we can change the world for the better; Marta Jorgensen has a plan.  

First, she calls for freezing carbon emissions and instituting a carbon tax, which will go a long way to reduce any further impact we might have on the atmosphere.  But we also need to further reduce our creation of greenhouse gases by instituting a moratorium on coal plants not outfitted with carbon capture features, calling for the replacement of inefficient incandescent light bulbs, and building a more efficient electrical grid.  In concert, these changes will drastically reduce our negative impact on the environment.

Of course, while we in the United States bear well more than our fair share of responsibility for global warming, we cannot address this problem alone.  That is why Marta Jorgensen will call for a new and stronger global treaty, more effective than the Kyoto Protocol and with a closer compliance date, and she will do all she can to make sure that this time, we sign on and we stay on.

The final pillar of E-Revolution, educational reform, centers on the need to teach our children how to succeed in an E-Revolution world.  We need programs to teach them how to work on a wind farm, how to design a better solar panel, and how to build a more efficient energy grid.  We need to make sure that they know how important our environment is what they can do as individuals to make sure we maintain it.  In short, we need comprehensive environmental education, and we need to do it on the national level.

      The four pillars of E-Revolution are closely related; if one of them fails, the success of the whole project would be cast into doubt.  Without energy reform to create new jobs in alternative energies and to make the economy more efficient, true economic reform is impossible, and without a switch to cleaner energy sources, true environmental reform is impossible.  Without economic reform to create and maintain alternative energies, true energy reform is impossible, and without a more sustainable economy, true environmental reform is impossible.  Without environmental reform to wean us off our addiction to fossil fuels, true energy reform is impossible, and without an environmental policy that seeks to overcome the problems of global warming, true economic reform is impossible.   And unless we have educational reform to teach our children how to thrive in this new world, all the gains of the rest of the project will be for naught.

We need to make E-Revolution a reality; we need to elect Marta Jorgensen.

Please support Marta Jorgensen’s campaign to unseat Republican Elton Gallegly in California’s 24th Congressional District.

             For more information, visit her website at: www.jorgensenforcongress.com.


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Dan’s Election Recommendations for June

For what they are worth, here are my personal recommendations for the June 3rd California ballot.  I do spend quite a bit of time reviewing competitive races before making my recommendations.  

Feel free to comment, agree, disagree, forward, or ignore.  But please Vote on Tuesday (polls open 7a.m.-8p.m.) or vote-by-mail if you already have an absentee ballot.  

Dan Kalb’s Ballot Recommendations for the June 3, 2008 Election

CA State Legislature – St. SENATE:

S.D. #3 – MARK LENO – Three decent candidates; Mark Leno is the strongest of the three. He’s progressive, effective and easy to work with.

S.D. #5 – LOIS WOLK – Good Assembly Member; deserves election to the St. Senate

S.D. #7 – MARK DeSAULNIER – Strong environmental advocate in the Assembly. He will make an excellent St. Senator.

S.D. #9 – LONI HANCOCK – Two good candidates here. Loni stands out with her long history of working on important causes at all levels of government. She’s a leader in the `Clean Money’ reform effort and a strong environmentalist. She’s shown a strong willingness to stand up to Arnold against harmful budget cuts. Don’t be mislead by the negative independent expenditure mailings-they are mostly funded by tribal gambling interests that disagree with Loni because she fought to stop a huge new casino that was proposed in San Pablo (right down the street from where my mother lives); Loni Hancock is a firm advocate for effective public education.  www.hancockforsenate.com

S.D. #11 – JOE SIMITIAN – Very smart St. Senator. He will be re-elected easily, deservedly so.

S.D. #13 – ELAINE ALQUIST – Deserves re-election. Has very strong environmental voting record.

S.D. #19 – HANNAH BETH JACKSON – Former Assembly Member with strong environmental record. She offers a good chance to put this seat into the Democratic column.

S.D. #23 – FRAN PAVLEY – Fran was the lead author on what are perhaps the two most important environmental bills this decade. She is a hard-working leader, a former school teacher, and has developed a national reputation on global warming issues. We need her in the State Senate. www.franpavley.org

S.D. #27 – ALAN LOWENTHAL – Excellent state senator with strong environmental voting record who deserves re-election.

S.D. #39 – CHRISTINE KEHOE – Excellent state senator with strong environmental voting record who deserves re-election.

CA State Legislature – St. ASSEMBLY:

 A.D. 1 – WES CHESBRO – This former State Senator has an excellent record on most every issue. He is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, and will make an excellent member of the Assembly.

A.D. 6 – JARED HUFFMAN – Smart environmental leader in the Assembly. Deserves re-election.

A.D. 7 – NOREEN EVANS – Very bright legislator. Future chair of the Assembly budget committee.

A.D. 8 – no recommendation

A.D. 9 – DAVE JONES – Excellent state legislator. Very committed to helping low income and disadvantaged residents. Strong liberal voting record.

A.D. 11 – TOM TORLAKSON – Currently a smart state senator with a strong liberal voting record. He will return to the Assembly easily.

A.D. 12 – FIONA MA – Fiona has done an excellent job as a first-term legislator. She passed meaningful legislation and has an excellent voting record on environmental issues.

A.D. 13 – TOM AMMIANO – Tom has been an excellent progressive S.F. Supervisor. He will make a fine Member of the Assembly representing San Francisco.

A.D. 14 – NANCY SKINNER – Nancy Skinner is the best among a decent crop of candidates. Nancy is a long-time environmental professional with tremendous experience and a well-deserved national reputation on global warming issues. If elected, she will be only the 2nd environmental professional elected to the State Legislature. She is also a passionate advocate for protecting social services and for increasing funding for public education. She was active in her local PTA. Currently, she is an elected member of the East Bay Regional Parks District board (and a former Berkeley City Council member). She is also a `clean money’ campaign reform advocate. Nancy is endorsed by Loni Hancock, the Sierra Club and CA League of Conservation Voters, the MGO Democratic Club, NOW, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and several local labor unions, just to name a few. In my opinion, she will be an excellent addition to the State Assembly.  www.nancyskinnerforassembly.com

A.D. 15 – JOAN BUCHANAN – Well-respected school board member. She offers a reasonably good chance to take this seat and put it in the Democratic column in November.

A.D. 16 – SANDRE SWANSON – Excellent first-term legislator. Chair of the Labor committee and a passionate advocate for reforms to unnecessary incarceration. Absolutely deserves re-election.

A.D. 18 – MARY HAYASHI – Will easily win reelection-deservedly so.

A.D. 19 – RICHARD HOLOBER – There are three decent candidates here on the Peninsula. Richard Holober is clearly the most progressive. A former School Board member, he currently serves as an elected member of the San Mateo Community College district and has always been a passionate advocate for students and public education. He is the executive director of the Consumer Federation of California and has experience navigating the hallways of Sacramento. He is a strong environmentalist, and consumer and labor advocate and he would be a hard-working legislator. While Papan or Hill would probably be okay, Holober would be better. He would also help facilitate strong relationships between organized labor and the environmental community. Well-financed business interests are spending independent expenditure money against him. Please vote Holober for Assembly in the 19th.   www.holober.com

A.D. 20 – ALBERTO TORRICO – Incumbent who cares deeply and passionately about protecting and creating jobs as well as helping lower income residents.

A.D. 21 – IRA RUSKIN – Effective and well-liked legislator with a strong environmental record.

A.D. 22 – PAUL FONG – Elected community college trustee with a background in civil rights. He is endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Democratic Party, and outgoing assembly member Sally Lieber just to name a few. He is the more progressive of the two leading candidates. Go to www.paulfong.org for more info

A.D. 23 – JOE COTO – Chair of the Latino Caucus. He’s a good legislator who wants to accomplish positive things. He also has a very good environmental voting record.

A.D. 24 – JIM BEALL – Very friendly freshman legislator who wants to make difference. He earned a top-notch environmental voting score.

A.D. 27 – no recommendation

A.D. 28 – ANNA CABALLERO – Very good legislator from Salinas. Willing to vote on yes on controversial bills to help the environment.

A.D. 30 – FRAN FLOREZ – Only Democratic candidate in the race. She will make an excellent Assembly Member; but she may have a tough time in November.

A.D. 35 – PEDRO NAVA – Excellent legislator from Santa Barbara; strong environmental record.

A.D. 40 – no recommendation

A.D. 41 – JULIA BROWNLEY – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.

A.D. 42 – MIKE FEUER – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.

A.D. 43 – PAUL KREKORIAN – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.

A.D. 44 – ANTHONY PORTANTINO – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.

A.D. 45 – KEVIN DeLEON – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election. He will be the new chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee.

A.D. 46 – JOHN PEREZ – Long-time community and political activist. He’s been a dedicated labor leader, environmentalist, and city commissioner. He will be an excellent assembly member

A.D. 47 – KAREN BASS – The new Speaker of the Assembly, Ms. Bass has earned a well-deserved reputation as a bright, dedicated, compassionate and effective legislator. She will make an excellent Speaker.

A.D. 49 – MIKE ENG – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.

A.D. 50 – HECTOR De La TORRE – Well-respected and effective legislator. Deserves re-election

A.D. 51 – CURREN PRICE – Excellent first-year legislator; well-liked-deserves re-election.

A.D. 52 – ISADORE HALL – Strong candidate for this open seat. He’s been endorsed by the Calif. League of Conservation Voters, L.A. City Council president Eric Garcetti, several state elected officials and dozens of community leaders.

A.D. 53 – TED LIEU – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.

A.D. 54 – BONNIE LOWENTHAL – Strong candidate for this open Assembly seat.

A.D. 55 – WARREN FURUTANI – Won special election in February. He’ll make a good legislator and deserves re-election.

A.D. 62 – W. AMINA CARTER – Very good first-year legislator. A more conservative candidate is challenging her in the Primary. Carter deserves re-election.

A.D. 65 – CARL WOOD – Former State Public Utilities Commissioner and passionate defender of consumers. This will be a tough district for a Democrat in November, but it’s worth a (long)shot.

A.D. 76 – LORI SALDANA – Strong environmentalist who clearly deserves re-election.

A.D. 78 – MARTY BLOCK – Strong, progressive candidate. Currently serves as president of the San Diego Community College District. Nominating Marty gives the Democrats a strong chance to move this seat into the Democratic column.

A.D. 79 – MARY SALAS – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.

A.D. 80 – MANUAL PEREZ – More than one good candidate in this race. Mr. Perez has support among a number of environmental and social justice advocates. Let’s nominate him and try to take this seat back for Democrats in November.

U.S. Congress:  

 Vote for all the Democratic Incumbents.

 In district #4 – vote for CHARLIE BROWN and help him move this district into the blue column in November.

Alameda County Board of Supervisors:  

  District #4 – Nate Miley – Effective and compassionate Supervisor who deserves re-election

  District #5 – Keith Carson – Same as above!

Oakland City Council

At-Large seat – REBECCA KAPLAN – Rebecca is exactly the type of person Oakland needs on the City Council. She is smart, progressive, experienced and accomplished. She will shake things up on the city council and move it in a more progressive direction. She is a former civil rights attorney, policy advocate, and environmental activist. She understands the variety of issues facing Oakland residents and will work hard to make Oakland a more livable city. She is currently an elected member of the A/C Transit Board of Directors. She is endorsed by the Alameda County Democratic Party, the MGO Democratic Club, the Sierra Club, East Bay Young Dems, Supervisor Nate Miley, and a wide array of organizations and community leaders.   www.kaplanforoakland.org

District #1 – JANE BRUNNER – Smart, effective and experienced city council member. Effective mediator with progressive values. She has been a leader on affordable housing issues on the council.

District #3 – NANCY NADEL – Experienced, progressive city council member who deserves re-election.

District #5 – MARIO JUAREZ – Experienced community activist. He is trying unseat the more moderate incumbent who has been in office for a long time. I think it’s time for a change.

District #7 – CLIFFORD GILMORE – The incumbent is tied too closely to developers, landlords, and other business interests. Mr. Gilmore, on the other hand, is a long-time community activist and leader. He will make a very good city council member.

Oakland School Board

District #1 – JODY LONDON – Jody is the only candidate in this race with children in public schools. She is also the only registered Democrat in this race. She has been active in supporting funding for public education, an energy advisor to the school district, and an active member of her local PTA. She is endorsed by the Oakland Education Association, the Sierra Club, the Alameda County Democratic Party, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and dozens of local educators, parents, and community leaders.

District #3 – Olugemiga Oluwole – This is an open seat. Of the two candidates, Mr. Oluwole is my choice.

District #5 – Noel Gallo – Incumbent who deserves re-election

District #7 – no recommendation

Judge, Superior Court (seat #9) – Alameda County:

    Dennis Hayashi – Dennis is a highly qualified public interest attorney. He is a former attorney with the Asian Law Caucus, and was director of the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Clinton. He was also the director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. We desperately need more public interest attorneys as judges. He is endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Alameda County Democratic Party, and numerous state and local elected officials, as well as a handful of judges. Dennis will make a superb Superior Court judge.  www.dennishayashi.com

Oakland City Attorney – John Russo – Deserves re-election.

Los Angeles County Supervisor (District #2)

Mark Ridley-Thomas – The more progressive of the two leading candidates, Ridley-Thomas is a former L.A. City Councilman. He is currently a State Senator. We will miss him in Sacramento, but he will make an excellent County Supervisor.

State Propositions:

 98 – NO – This is an extreme proposal that would cost taxpayers and local governments millions of dollars and make it extremely difficult to enact new land use, housing, and environmental protection laws. This is not merely about eminent domain-it’s about private interests versus the public interest. Wealthy landlords and their Republican friends spent millions to get Prop. 98 on the ballot to eliminate renter protections and hamstring local governments. Prop. 98 could also destroy local land-use planning, erode environmental protections and lead to higher taxpayer costs.

 99 – YES – Prop. 99 is a genuine and reasonable eminent domain reform measure because it simply prohibits government from taking homes for the purpose of transfer to private developers. For more information, go to www.no98yes99.com

Local Ballot Measures

 Oakland and Alameda County measures:  

     F – YES – Extends the existing Utility Users Tax for the unincorporated areas of the County only, to fund vital County services, including services to unincorporated areas (e.g., Sheriff, Libraries, Code enforcement), and altering the tax to include video and cable services. County libraries very much need these funds.

    J – YES – This measure modernizes the existing telephone utility tax without increasing the current tax rate of 7.5%. It will tax telephone communications services in a uniform and equitable manner, regardless of the means of transmission or technology used.

Democratic County Central Committee – San Francisco

12th A.D. –

  Michael Bornstein

  Emily Drennen

  Mary Jung

  Hene Kelly

  Eric Mar

  Jake McGoldrick

  Trevor McNeil

  Jane Morrison

  Melanie Nutter

  Connie O’Connor

  Matt Tuchow

13th A.D.

  Bill Barnes

  David Campos

  David Chiu

  Chris Daly

  Michael Goldstein

  Robert Haaland

  Joe Julian

  Leslie Katz

  Rafael Mandelman

  Aaron Peskin

  Laura Spanjain

  Debra Walker

Democratic County Central Committee – Alameda County

14th A.D. (vote for no more than six of the following seven candidates):

  Edie Irons

  Elizabeth Echols

  Karen Weinstein

  Cecilia `Ces” Rosales

  Eleanor Moses

  Andrea Laiacona Dooley OR Janet Flint

16th A.D. (vote for no more than six):

  Wayne Nishioka

  Sumi Paranjape

  Mark Briggs