Signing the petition, making the call or writing the email has never been and will never be pointless
By Nathalie Christian, May 8, 2023
Sometimes signing petitions and writing emails or calls like those suggested below can feel . . . pointless at best, and performative at worst. But these actions – even as insignificant as they may feel – are neither.
Research, experience and most importantly results prove time and again that policymakers absolutely consider petitions, phone calls, emails and yet more petitions when making decisions. While your pebble may feel small, adding it to a pile and encouraging others in your networks to add their pebbles as well are the first steps in triggering a landslide.
In full disclosure, you may need a few more than three clicks to complete the three proposed actions laid out here today, but you can still make a big difference in the time it takes for your tea or coffee to brew. And the minutes you take today can influence years of decision-making and legislation, and ultimately the lifetimes of many.
[Note: I am ordering these by urgency, not importance. For example, while the EPA is accepting public comment on proposed regulations through July 5, there are important hearings May 9, 10 and 11 that you may want to know about.]
1. Call or Email: Tell your Assembly Members to OPPOSE Assembly Bill 538, which threatens California’s clean energy goals and autonomy
Anyone can participate in this important action, but if you’re living Bay Area Assembly Districts 11 (Lori Wilson), 21 (Diane Papan) and 28 (Gail Pellerin), your voice is especially needed. (Find out which district you live in here. If you live in Solano County, Lori Wilson is your assembly representative.)
These three members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee are voting on a grid-related bill that 350 Bay Area Action, the Sierra Club and Indivisible will lump California in with a multistate regional transmission organization, potentially throwing a pretty big wrench in CA’s efforts to meet its clean energy goals. The phone numbers, email addresses and script below provide a quick way you can help oppose this bill.
If you’re a constituent of AD 11, 21 or 28: Please use the following message for calling or emailing . . .
- Assemblyperson Lori Wilson [AD 11]
- (916) 319-2011
- Assemblyperson Diane Papan [AD 21]
- (916) 319-2021
- Assemblyperson Gail Pellerin [AD 28]
- (916) 319-2028
I am your constituent and a member of 350 Bay Area Action, a 20,000-member strong climate justice organization. After long consideration, we have taken an OPPOSE position on AB 538.
AB 538 creates a new multi-Western state electricity market that would threaten California’s clean energy goals and autonomy without significantly improving access to regional energy markets. Proposed amendments cannot fix this bill.
- If the bill is on the Consent Calendar, please request that it be it taken off.
- Once it’s off Consent, please don’t vote for it. Either vote against it, or don’t vote.
Thank you for your consideration!
[Name / City]
Non-constituents: Use the above message and simply start by saying you’re a member of 350 Bay Area Action.
2. Petition or public comment: Support the most ambitious vehicle emissions regulations ever proposed.
The EPA has just proposed what the Climate Reality Project is calling “the strongest regulations on vehicle emissions ever.” Despite improved regulations for heavy-duty vehicles, light- and medium-duty vehicles (like passenger cars and delivery trucks) still produce a tremendous amount of toxic tailpipe pollutants. According to Climate Reality, the regulations the EPA proposed could prevent nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions through 2055.
Naturally, the proposed regulations are under attack by the usual suspects. While the EPA is still taking public comments, they need to hear from us. It’s up to average citizens like you and me to balance the histrionics from the conservatives and corporations who desperately want to keep fossil fuels-guzzling cars on the road.
Here are three ways you can support this ambitious new set of regulations:
- Quick and easy: Sign the Climate Reality petition.
- A bit more time: go to the regulations.gov website (tagline: “Your Voice in Federal Decision Making”) to submit a public comment. In fact, here’s the page to just go ahead and start writing. You have until July 5, 2023 to submit your written comment.
- If you’re ready to level up: Attend the public hearings (on May 9, 10, and 11); this page on the EPA’s website explains how to register (you just send a quick email).
3. Petition: Boost Vallejo residents demanding independent police oversight
From the petition: “Vallejo Police Department (VPD) is the most troubled police department in northern California. This is clear to residents of Vallejo, potential VPD applicants, local and national media, and police professionals in the Bay Area. But this has never been directly acknowledged by our leaders, nor has there been a substantive attempt to make amends to the families who have lost loved ones, to those who have been subjected to police abuse, or to the community. Past attempts at reform have been completely ineffective.”
[P. S. I am sorry for shoving three important actions in a single post, possibly reducing the chances that you will complete any of them. The Benicia Independent has a backlog of articles and posts I want to publish and, in the interest of time and space, I am compromising. I encourage you to share these actions with your networks and really highlight the need and the urgency to ensure we have the best chance of being heard on these important topics. –N.C.]
Read more! While we’re talking about Air Quality, check out these resources:
- Benicia Community Air Monitoring Program website
- Smell My City (On Apple App Store, or on Google Play Store)
- Refinery Air Watch website
- Please – anyone can report Air Quality issues/events to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District: General Public Information: (415) 749-4900, or Air Quality Complaints: 1-800-334-ODOR (6367)