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Political endorsements

Sierra Club endorses | Central Coast Candidates

Sam Farr | U.S. House of Representatives, 17th District

Sierra Club endorses incumbent Representative Sam Farr for re-election. Congressmember Farr was awarded National Sierra Club’s prestigious Ed Wayburn Award in September for his strong leadership in environmental legislation and causes.

In 2003, he spent time on a broad array of issues, all of which tie in to the quality of life on the Central Coast including:

  • Sponsored the Southern Sea Otter Research and Recovery act, a bill that will help bring back California’s beloved sea otters by authorizing a recovery program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The bill will also aid Monterey Bay area marine scientists in determining the causes of poor sea otter health and assist in population recovery by authorizing a research program administered by the Dept. of Interior.

  • Began drafting, and will continue to work on a piece of comprehensive oceans legislation in response to the soon-to-be released U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy report.

  • Secured funds for the planning and design of a new Agriculture Research Service facility in Salinas, as well as funds for research into pests and diseases that impact crops in the 17th district (i.e. Verticillium Wilt and Pierce’s disease.)

  • Introduced the Puppy Protection Act which would stop the overbreeding of female dogs in puppy mills and create a “three strikes you’re out” policy for chronically abusive breeders.

Ted Lempert

Ted Lempert | 11th State Senate District

The Sierra Club endorses former Assembly Member Ted Lempert in the 11th State Senate District, where Lempert and current Assembly Member Joe Simitian are vying for the Democratic nomination to replace term-limited State Senator Byron Sher. Sher has endorsed Lempert as his successor. The 11th Senate District, includes the Santa Cruz and San Mateo County coastline.

Lempert occupied the Assembly seat currently held by Simitian for eight years until term limits forced him to leave. As an Assembly Member, Lempert’s environmental voting record was rated 100% by the California League of Conservation Voters.

As an Assembly Member Ted Lempert authored the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act that became a model for the country in preventing and responding to oil spills along the coast. He also authored the California Coastal Sanctuary Act that banned new offshore oil and gas drilling and established a permanent ban on all new offshore oil and gas leases in state waters between San Simeon and the Farallons.

During his second four years in the State Assembly, Lempert authored the Ballast Water Management Program, the first of its kind in the country, to control the invasion of nonnative species along the coast.

John Laird

John Laird | 27th State Assembly District

Sierra Club endorses John Laird for 27th Assembly District. 2003 was John Laird’s first year in the State Assembly. No other first-term member had more bills signed into law last year than John Laird. Twelve of his 13 bills were signed by the Governor, and Laird was also named Chair of the Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials.

Several bills focused on environmental issues, including:

  • AB 1492 strengthens the Williamson Act by increasing penalties and closing loopholes for those who would violate the Williamson Act’s agricultural land preservation contracts;

  • AB 1700 preserves federal funding of toxic cleanup programs at former military installations, such as Fort Ord, helping spur economic revitalization at these sites;

  • AB 1420 establishes a statewide elk management plan and increases the effectiveness of the Department of Fish & Game’s code and regulatory enforcement without additional cost; and

  • AB 1640 enables tighter enforcement of Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) programs, ensuring better administration of hazardous waste and hazardous materials programs at the local level.

Assembly Member Laird was also the lead author of AB 1702, which strengthens the state’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) regulations through tougher reporting requirements and specification that owners and operators of USTs are responsible for legal compliance.

Highlighting Assembly Member Laird’s deeply held commitment to ongoing protection of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, he jointly authored AB 121 & AB 906. Together, these bills prohibit discharge of sewage, sludge, oily bilge water or hazardous waste into State waters and national marine sanctuaries along the State’s coast.

Jane Parker

Jane Parker | Monterey County Supervisor, 4th District

The Ventana Chapter endorses Jane Parker for Monterey County Supervisor for the 4th District. The 4th District is an open race as pro-growth incumbent Edith Johnson will be vacating her seat. This is an opportunity to put someone with environmental priorities and a social conscience on the Board of Supervisors. Jane Parker plans to advocate for policies to protect the quality of Monterey County’s land, air, and water; to pursue sound land use principles such as city-centered growth and a jobs/housing balance; to bring about more affordable housing to the community, and to work to ensure access to community health care and county health

Jane Parker currently serves as Chair of the Monterey Peninsula College Board where she is an advocate for quality education-opposing unfair education cuts proposed by Sacramento-and leading efforts to attract and retain quality faculty and teaching staff.

Parker also serves as a Vice President for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte where she raises $5 million/year for provision of essential family health services, education, and counseling. Prior to serving with Planned Parenthood, Jane founded and managed a healthy meal preparation and delivery service targeting working families and homebound seniors.

Dave Potter

Dave Potter | Monterey County Supervisor, 5th District

The Ventana Chapter endorses incumbent Dave Potter for Monterey County Board of Supervisor’s Fifth District, now representing Big Sur, Carmel, Carmel Valley, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, the Hwy. 68 corridor and Las Palmas in Salinas. Potter is running for his third term, having served since November, 1996. During this time, his accomplishments have included:

  • Opposing the proposed Hatton Canyon Freeway and supporting the canyon as open space.
  • Opposing the proposed new Los Padres Dam on the Carmel River.
  • Initiating the County requirement for proof of water supply before issuance of building permits.
  • Supporting the countywide ban on transferring water credits at the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District.
  • Supporting a General Plan Update for Monterey County based on the guiding objectives that reflect values and priorities established during an inclusive public process.
  • Opposing construction of a new hotel on Monterey Bay at Sand City.
  • Obtaining funding for returning rail service to the Peninsula.
  • Assisting and encouraging the formation of local citizen-based watershed organizations such as the Carmel River Watershed Council and the Garrapata Creek Watershed Council.
  • Acting as the Monterey County representative to the statewide task force on Sudden Oak Death.
  • Acting as the Monterey County representative to FishNet 4c, an organization sponsored by NOAA Fisheries to improve compliance with rules protecting threatened steelhead trout.
  • Preserving the local economy by working to keep agricultural lands in production.

Statewide environmental leaders such as Mike Reilly, chair of the California Coastal Commission, and Fred Keeley, endorse Potter.