Climate change is real, it’s happening faster than anyone predicted, and it is the biggest existential threat of our time. In order to avoid the worst case scenario, we need a massive green revolution, and we need it now.
I grew up in LA pre-EPA, with smog so bad your lungs would ache. As an 8-year-old child, I remember well the Santa Barbara oil spill in 1968 that affected our beaches in Santa Monica, with seals and seabirds dying, covered in oil. When studying architecture at UCLA, my thesis project was a green hotel, then found work with a large hotel architecture firm, designing sustainable green hotels. I became a licensed architect, but also earned my LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) accreditation so I could design environmentally-friendly buildings. I was able to travel quite a bit, and experienced the frightening air quality in countries without environmental protections like China and India. Today, I don’t eat meat or diary (in no small part because of the huge environmental impact of animal agriculture), and I drive a 100% electric Chevy Bolt, often with my 2 recycled rescue dogs in the back seat!
I decided to run for Congress when I was in DC for the Women’s March in 2017. It was an emotional day, feeling so inspired by the majority of people resisting the backwards direction Trump is taking us, but also sickened by the realization that, the day after Trump’s inauguration, we saw the Climate Change page disappear from the State Dept website, as if it doesn’t exist anymore. Our beautiful District 48, coastal Orange County from Seal Beach to Laguna Beach, has been represented far too long by climate change denier, Dana Rohrabacher, who also sits on the Science Committee in Congress at a time when we most need environmentalists & climate change champions in Washington. Dana Rohrabacher who, like Trump, thinks man-made climate change is a “liberal hoax” while the vast majority of scientists say it is real, while factual evidence grows, each year topping the last for record high temps, drought, floods, and unprecedented wildfires. Polar ice caps are melting, releasing more frozen methane, creating more cause for concern, while locally we stand to have many residents of our district (Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Sunset Beach) devastated by rising seas.
In order to avoid the worst case scenario, we need a massive green revolution, and we need it now. It’s time to drastically and immediately move away from fossil fuels and develop the energy technologies of the future. This will be a great boon to both the private and public sector in America, as well as a necessary and moral response to a global crisis. We can and we must be #1 in sustainable energy production in the world.
When I get to Washington, I know I will be a junior Congresswoman, but I am hoping to still have an impact.
- I will seek to become a member of the Science, Space & Technology, especially the subcommittee on Environment.
- I will work with other Democratic House members to end subsidies that benefit the coal, oil & gas industries, ban fossil fuel lobbyists from working in White House, and invest in clean, renewable energy.
- I will work towards a spot on the Transportation Committee to revolutionize our national transportation infrastructure, and work to re-engage with our international community to solve climate change.
- I look forward to joining the Climate Solutions Caucus and working with our local Citizens Climate Lobby to explore all policy options at the federal level to address climate change
Locally, there is much we can do. By working to improve our local air quality, water quality, and keeping our oceans clean, we are not only improving our quality of life, but working to create jobs and prevent climate change at same time (a win-win-win).
- Our individual cities can create “Climate Action Plans”. HB is leading way with updating their General Plan to include Climate Action Plan, to reduce carbon pollution, increase energy efficiency, and expand renewable energy.
- We can lobby our local city councils to allow for Community Choice Energy (CCE), a program that brings local control and freedom of choice and competition to the local electricity marketplace.
- Coastal cities should be looking at creating a “Climate Impact Plan” to address coastal erosion, damage to coastal roads, and sea walls.
- I will fight to protect our coastline and our ocean, and will fight all new offshore oil drilling being proposed off our coast by the current administration.
- We can bring federal dollars in to improve local transportation infrastructure, bring in light rail, green buses and trolleys to connect all the cities of District 48, reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions from cars.
- I will continue to work alongside our local environmental groups to see what I can do to help make district 48 a national role model for green energy and transportation.