Climate change is real and Democrats need to be on the front lines protecting our climate. Whether in heavily populated urban centers or rural communities, there is all too often a racial and class component to this fight. We need to support the survivors of lead poisoning in Flint, because it’s the right thing to do no matter where it happens and because we have our own versions of these injustices right here in California, including the fight to save our own natural water resources from the ravages of corporate greed. Our communities of color, including First Nation people who have been on the front lines of the environmental justice movement for years, should have a seat at the decision making table when it comes to charting the path for our state.
I agree with the State Party platform, which calls for a ban on fracking. We know there are no regulations that can make the practice safe. Fracking threatens our air and water. Disposal of wastewater from the process causes earthquakes. It’s a shame our state legislators chose to go the route of “regulation” rather than have the courage to finally stand up to the fossil fuel industry and just say no. “Regulations” have only allowed the practice to go forward. Even now, fracking wastewater is used to irrigate crops that end up on our supermarket shelves.
We need to join other states as well as the six counties in California and see to it that at the state level, we have our own initiative if the legislature won’t act. The citizens of Alameda, Butte, Mendocino, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties deserve high praise for showing the rest of the state what democracy looks like - may their example be the model for the rest of California.