Many California Assemblymembers are spending more time in their district offices now that the legislative session has ended for the year. Now is a great time to set up meetings with your representative to talk about conservation issues that are important to your chapter and region.
Last week, Audubon members met with Assemblymember Tim Grayson to discuss the bills we supported last year and learn more about his conservation priorities. We discussed climate change bills (SB 100 - which would have changed the renewable energy goals for California) and cap and trade reauthorization. We thanked him for his support of SB 5, the Parks Bond bill that will provide funding to local parks and Salton Sea restoration efforts. We will be advocating for the passage of that bond on the June 5, 2018 primary ballot.
We also talked about AB 890, which would have closed an existing loophole in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Although this bill did pass the legislature, the Governor did not sign it. Grayson voiced his support for CEQA refinement, not reform, and stressed the California Assembly has a strong environmental focus. We also voiced our support for a rat poison bill (AB 1687) that will be considered next year and our concerns about plans for the Delta tunnels.
Then it was our turn to listen. We asked Assemblymember Grayson about how we could support his environmental initiatives. He outlined three projects: the proposed Flyway Center in Fairfield, Concord Naval Weapons Station and preservation of Mare Island in Vallejo. Finally, we invited him to join us on a bird walk and one of our membership meetings. We look forward to hosting Assemblymember Grayson at the March 1, 2018 Mt. Diablo Audubon meeting in Walnut Creek.