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Two Years In, Victories Big and Small

On the occasion of our club’s second anniversary, no one can say 2016 hasn’t been a busy year for San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action.

In the midst of an election year, and the vital, important role clubs play in vetting candidates, we’ve also had a full schedule of activism and action – and victories big and small.

At the end of 2015 we helped facilitate passage of the city of San Diego’s landmark climate action plan, which calls for a full renewable energy portfolio for the city and an embrace of community choice aggregation (CCA), through the San Diego County Democratic Party central committee. The move paved the way for Democratic lawmakers to back the measure at city hall, knowing they had party rank-and-file at their back.

In January the club facilitated a public meeting of Carlsbad residents opposed to the construction of a mall above Agua Hedionda Lagoon – one of only a handful of remaining such tidal bodies of water in Southern California – thereby galvanizing the movement into a cohesive force which defeated Measure A in February in what was easily the biggest win for the environment in the region since the fight to Save Trestles.

Since then the club has:

  • Demanded closure of a hole in the state constitution allowing for the circumvention of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) oversight by developers, i.e. the same hole that enabled the proposed Carlsbad development and the current, countywide ballot measure for Lilac Hills Ranch (Measure B).
  • Pushed back against the watering down of community choice aggregation (CCA) and rooftop solar by corporate interests.
  • Backed the ban on single-use plastic bags in the city of San Diego.
  • Sought answers over the unnecessary and secretive firing of the executive director of the California Coastal Commission.
  • Highlighted national GOP obstructionism and obstinance in renewing the 1964 Land and Water Conservation Fund (LCWF).
  • Highlighted national GOP moves to demonize and privatize public lands that belong to all Americans, like National Forests, BLM lands and Wilderness areas.
  • Led an informative, eye-opening hike to Lakeside’s El Monte Valley, currently threatened by a proposed sand mine that would undo the area’s solace and rural character, and harm local water and air quality.
  • Put our foot down against more freeway lanes, congestion and greater air pollution in communities beset by chronic environmental justice issues in our opposition to the SANDAG ballot measure (Measure A).

Along with the most critical election in our lifetime in November, there is much more to do before 2016 is over, and we need your help – particuarly as we put together a response to the Lilac Hills development proposal. A year ago I said we would call upon members of San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action to step up and do more in 2016, and this year you have in every manner.

From your support on controversial issues, voting on club measures, participating in discussions, attending fact-finding outings, helping us come to an impressive slate of endorsed candidates, to supporting our second anniversary event – the strength you’ve helped cultivate in this club will continue to pay dividends for our region and quality of life.

This election will come to an end Nov. 8th, but our determination to find solutions to pressing environmental issues as Democrats will continue into 2017, and with your help, beyond.

John Muir Wilderness photo © 2005 Tommy Hough, all rights reserved.