On this Earth Day I want to congratulate President Biden on his just-announced commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030. While this is great news and a tangible goal, not to mention a welcome breath of fresh air following the change of administrations in January, we still have plenty of pressing environmental work to do at both the national and local level.
For one, the Biden administration and the federal government must cease the Trump administration’s destructive Border Wall building program that has devastated National Monuments, wilderness, and private property in the extraordinarily wild, rugged areas across our southern border since 2017.
And while Earth Day is a cause for celebration as we acknowledge the strides our nation has made in the preservation of wilderness and wildlife, and in ensuring enforceable clean air and water policy, here in San Diego we’re fighting a two-front battle against our climate emergency in the form of rising sea levels and increased, more unpredictable wildfires.
As we continue to fill our seas with plastic and our sky with exhaust, we San Diegans must double down on moving critical environmental policy forward – and ensure any policy passed in San Diego also advances our city’s landmark Climate Action Plan. We are not without challenges.
- Our city’s Climate Action Plan, revolutionary at the time in was adopted in 2016, has been plagued by the use of fudged numbers on greenhouse gas emissions from trucks to express progress on implementing the plan.
- While San Diegans agree they want to preserve our urban forest, last month healthy pepper trees over 110 years old were cut down over the objections of neighbors in Kensington. Other city trees have also been needlessly cut down over the years over the objections of neighbors and outside arborists.
- Our city has a Multiple Species Conservation Plan (MSCP) that specifically preserves native habitats for species and conservation, in part as mitigation from previous development. But City Hall seems to consider these lands available for use in a bizarre new parks system that substitutes a point system for actual acreage.
- And we have the ongoing sewage calamity in the Tijuana River Valley. What other area of the U.S. has a dilemma remotely on the scale of the poison our neighbors in the South Bay are exposed to in the air and water every day? With a visible plume of sewage that goes up to the county line, we all have a stake in this crisis, including the City of San Diego.
As a San Diego County Planning Commissioner, environmental leader, former Surfrider communications chair, co-founder of San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action, and coordinator of the ReWild Mission Bay campaign, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves to lead the way finding solutions, build upon the work elected officials and agencies have already done, and support our allies in the Tijuana River Valley – site of by far the most overriding, overarching environmental crisis anywhere in our region.
But to get there, I need your support for my San Diego City Council campaign for District 6 today. We know the Republicans’ hand-picked successor will have all the resources the GOP can muster to hold District 6 – the last Republican seat on San Diego City Council. That’s why I need your help and support this Earth Day to fund our marathon campaign effort.
If you’ve already given, thank you. Please tell your friends and family to support our campaign for San Diego City Council, and add your name to our community endorsement list. While you’re at it, follow us on Facebook.