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Political endorsements

Sierra Club Endorses

October 2006

Sierra Club positions on State bond measures
Why Sierra Club supports Phil Angelides for governor
Club picks for statewide races
City of Santa Cruz Vote YES on I and J
Re-elect Assemblymember John Laird


Sierra Club positions on State bond measures

by Bill Allayaud, State Legislative Director, Sierra Club California

The November 7th ballot will be filled with many ballot measures. Sierra Club California has taken positions on a number of these measures. Some are very controversial, and the stakes are high. The Club has not taken a position on every measure. Vote for the environment on November 7!

Proposition 1c: Housing Bond:
Vote YES
This is a $2.85 billion bond measure that will facilitate several types of affordable housing. It will also provide money to local governments for infrastructure for transit-oriented development and money for planning infill development. Affordable housing and money for smart growth planning are consistent with our statewide growth management guidelines.

Proposition 1d: Schools Bond:
Vote YES.

This is a $10.4 billion bond measure for school modernization and to reduce school overcrowding. Like the housing bond, this is consistent with the Club’s growth management guidelines, as schools that need this money the most are in urban areas and older suburban areas.

Proposition 84: Water Supply/ Quality and Parks Bond:
Vote YES.

This is a $5.3 billion bond that would improve the quality of local drinking water supplies by conservation of open space, streams, and forests both through land purchases and conservation easements. Monies from the park bond measures passed by voters over the last eight years are nearly gone.

Proposition 85:
Parental Notification for Abortions:
Vote NO.

This constitutional amendment is very similar to Prop 73, which the Sierra Club opposed in last year’s special election. It would require parental consent or a court order prior to a woman under the age of 18 receiving an abortion. Many health care groups oppose this measure because it could encourage illegal, unsafe, amateur abortions. Sierra Cub has taken pro-choice positions since 1969 in support of our policies on population and women’s access to family planning services and reproductive health care.

Proposition 87:
The Clean Energy Initiative:
Vote YES.

This measure will fund a $4 billion dollar effort to reduce California’s dependence on gasoline and diesel by 25% over 10 years. It funds incentives to make alternative fuel vehicles and alternative fuels more widely available and affordable to consumers and research to bring clean, renewable energy and energy-efficiency technologies to the marketplace more quickly. The money will be raised by a tax on every barrel of oil extracted from land or water areas in California.

Proposition 89:
The Clean Money Initiative:
Vote YES.

This measure, sponsored by the California Nurses Association, would enact public financing of political campaigns and set new limits on political contributions and expenditures. This initiative proposes to remove corporate wealth as a major factor in elections through a voluntary system of public campaign funding. Prop 89 also sets new limits on campaign contributions to state office candidates and campaign committees. It introduces new restrictions on contributions and expenditures by lobbyists and corporations. The primary revenue for the Clean Money Fund is generated by a 0.2 percent increase in taxes on corporations and financial institutions.

Prop 90:
Eminent Domain and Damages:
Vote NO.

This measure is extremely important for all that the Sierra Club works on. The proponent, a wealthy East Coast developer and well-known Libertarian, claims it’s just about stopping the abuse of eminent domain by local governments; hence they call it the “Save Our Homes” initiative. But, we have re-labeled it as the “Taxpayer Trap” initiative because of a hidden provision that says that basically any regulatory action a city, county, or state agency takes could be termed as “damaging” the value of private property. This amendment to the State Constitution would both result in billions of dollars of taxpayer money being spent on litigation and payouts for bogus damages, and in local and state agencies being reluctant to regulate the uses that affect our air, water, and land. The Coastal Commission, the State Air and Water Boards, Fish and Game, and local zoning and planning bodies would all be adversely affected if Prop. 90 passes. Defeating Prop. 90 is a high priority for all environmental groups in the state.

For more information and a complete list of coalition members visit

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Why Sierra Club supports Phil Angelides for governor

by Bill Magavern, Senior Representative, Sierra Club California

Phil AngelidesWe can do better. We can have a governor who moves consistently toward a more sustainable future instead of one who tries to please his big-business supporters with one hand while making environmental promises with the other.

That is why Sierra Club has endorsed Phil Angelides for governor. The decision was reached after Angelides filled out a long questionnaire and met with us for an interview. Schwarzenegger declined repeated requests to return our questionnaire and meet with us.

While Governor Schwarzenegger deserves credit for programs to fund solar energy and reduce diesel emissions, among other advances, his pro-environment promises have too often been undermined by his strong ties to the corporate lobbies that oppose virtually every major proposal to safeguard our air, water and wild places.

Schwarzenegger has supported freeway expansion and the rollback of the landmark California Environmental Quality Act. Angelides supports the Clean Alternative Energy Initiative on the November ballot; Schwarzenegger opposes it. Angelides supports giving communities the ability to enforce California’s public health and environmental laws, while Schwarzenegger backed the business-sponsored initiative that took away that right. Angelides called a halt to the handouts to industrial dairies in the Central Valley, while Schwarzenegger tried to keep giving away pollution-control money to polluters.

Schwarzenegger has named one committed preservationist to the Coastal Commission; Angelides promises to name four. Schwarzenegger has campaigned for George W. Bush, the most anti-environment president in our history, while Angelides has opposed Bush. Schwarzenegger is proud of his role in creating the gas-guzzling Hummer; Angelides is proud that his family owns 3 hybrid vehicles.

The Club’s interview committee was well aware of Angelides’ past record as a developer in the Sacramento area, and we discussed it with him. We gave much more weight, though, to his record as our elected Treasurer over the last 8 years. He has put the weight of his office behind real investments in clean energy and smart growth and has prodded corporations to clean up their environmental practices.

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Club picks for statewide races

John Garamendi
The Lieutenant Governor sits on the State Lands Commission, the UC Board of Regents, and is a non-voting member of the Coastal Commission.

Insurance Commissioner Garamendi served in the Legislature where he authored laws on clean energy and toxic cleanup. As Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, he implemented the Central Valley Improvement Act water reforms and blocked the Ward Valley nuclear waste dump. As Lt. Governor, Garamendi promises to once again promote a green agenda as he has at the state and federal levels for three decades.

Debra Bowen
Are you concerned about touch-screen voting machines, hackers, and paper trails when you vote? The Secretary of State will decide the voting procedures for California as the state shifts to electronic voting and as absentee voting increases.

As Chair of the Senate Elections Committee, Senator Bowen led the fight to ensure that all votes will be accurately recorded and reported. She strongly supports Clean Money campaign finance reform and is extremely well-informed about the role and responsibilities of the office. Bowen, an environmental leader in the Legislature, played a key role in removing polluter-linked appointees from environmental positions.

John Chiang
The Controller sits on the State Lands Commission, the California Pollution Control Financing Authority, and the state pension funds.

Chiang has been elected twice to represent the Los Angeles area on the Board of Equalization. He has consistently voted to rigorously enforce “polluter-pays” fees that fund programs for electronic waste recycling, hazardous waste cleanup, and childhood lead poisoning prevention. He also advocated ocean and desert protection as a staff member for former Controller Gray Davis.

Bill Lockyer
The Treasurer influences environmental policy through investment decisions of State pension funds, and as leader of the California Pollution Control Financing Authority.

For eight years, Lockyer has been the greenest Attorney General in California history. He will carry his environmental commitment to the Treasurer’s office where he promises to wield his influence to be the greenest Treasurer ever.

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City of Santa Cruz - Vote YES on I and J

These two ballot measures would empower the City of Santa Cruz to take action to limit UCSC expansion if there are not appropriate mitigations. The Club decided to endorse these two ballot measures because of the lack of sufficient mitigations to prevent the significant environmental damages from the proposed UCSC expansion.

Measure I is an ordinance which enables the City to oppose University growth unless the University provides mitigations for the negative impacts that the growth would create especially in the areas of water, housing and traffic.

Measure J would amend the City Charter to clarify that the City has no obligation to provide water and sewer services to areas outside its present service area. Most of the proposed University expansion is on the upper campus which is not in the City’s water and sewer service area. With the clarification of Measure J, the University would be required to enter into agreements with the City to gain connections to the city water system and sewage treatment plant to serve the upper campus.

Measure I and Measure J provide the City of Santa Cruz with more tools to address the impacts of University expansion.
Vote YES on Measures I and J

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Re-elect Assemblymember John Laird

John Laird
John Laird

Assemblymember John Laird made significant progress on environmental issues in 2005-06 through action on the state budget as Budget Committee Chair and by moving key legislation.

John Laird has been working hard to finally turn the tide after years of the state’s under-funding resources and environmental protection. Laird’s most outstanding achievements include allocating $250 million to the state budget to begin funding the $1 billion backlog in state parks deferred maintenance, providing for $19 million to protect and manage California’s ocean resources, and augmenting Fish & Game’s funding by over $70 million.

This year, Assemblymember Laird authored many environmentally-focused bills, including:

AB 1881 to improve efficiency of water use in new and existing irrigated urban landscapes.

AB 984 to develop a plan to control or eradicate non-native invasive tamarisk in the Colorado River to help increase the state’s water supply.

AB 2496 to increase high-efficiency toilet standards from the current 1.6 gallons per flush to 1.3 gallons per flush.

AB 2348 would authorize the State to share in the cost of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Pajaro River levee project. This $200 million federal project will require a 25% non-federal cost share.

AB 2485 (jointly authored with Assemblymember Jones and signed by the Governor) will provide for new protections for sea otters by making California penalties for killing a sea otter equal to those under federal law, prohibiting dumping materials harmful to sea otters into state waters, and labeling cat litter as non-flushing to reduce harmful Toxoplasmosis gondii in sea otter habitat.

AB 3028 to encourage development of the California Coastal Trail and for more coastal resource protection.

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