On the Ballot: Vote for California’s Environment

Climate, public health and environmental quality are front and center on state and local ballots this Election Day.  Across the country clean air, clean water, and community health are at stake.  Please make your voice heard and vote - and help your friends and families vote, too.

There are initiatives on state ballots across the west. Here in California, NRDC has recommendations on the following county measure and state propositions.

YES on Los Angeles County Measure W. Los Angeles County has a major water vote on the ballot, appropriately labeled “Measure W,” which invests in using water wisely and builds a more resilient water supply in times of drought.  As my colleague Corrine Bell details in her blog, Measure W would fund stormwater projects in Los Angeles County in order to address stormwater runoff, the largest source of surface water pollution in the region. It would raise roughly $300 million per year, costing the average homeowner about $83 a year, depending on the amount of impervious surface on his/her property.  Property owners can apply for a tax credit by reducing impervious surface area or installing a stormwater project onsite. Measure W prioritizes projects that decrease water pollution and increase local water supply, and those that are nature-based, meaning they primarily rely on vegetation and soil to slow, clean, and infiltrate stormwater. The projects would increase access to green space while strengthening LA’s resilience to climate change.  Projects could be small, such as residential rain gardens, or larger projects such as parks. Measure W ensures that the communities that typically bear the burden of environmental harms get their fair share of beneficial projects.

California Statewide Propositions

YES on Prop 1. Housing affordability is a major equity and environmental issue in California.  Prop 1, placed on the ballot by the passage of SB 3 in 2017, provides $4 billion to fund affordable housing programs, infill infrastructure, low-income assistance, and subsidized home loans for veterans. This funding is an integral part of a broader package to increase accountability, affordability and accessibility of housing to more Californians.  Our state is experiencing a spiraling housing market that has made California home to 21 of the 30 most expensive housing markets in the nation. Over the next decade, California must produce an estimated 1.8 million new units of housing to meet population and household growth demands. Prop 1 is designed to serve as a catalyst to kickstart housing, with provisions to locate housing near transit, reducing carbon pollution

No on Prop 6. This measure would eliminate vital public transportation programs that are helping to clean the air and reduce congestion.  It is a cynical attempt to turn back transportation progress already made and on track for more because of the passage of SB 1 in 2017.  An update to the state’s gas tax generates, in perpetuity, a $5 billion annual transportation infrastructure package to fund road maintenance, complete street retrofits to make streets safer for all users, congestion reduction, public transportation, active transportation, habitat mitigation and sustainable community planning efforts. This is a needed, significant investment in sustainable infrastructure, without borrowing from future generations.  It includes over $1 billion per year in dedicated and permanent funding for transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as new funding programs for habitat conservation and sustainable community planning. Prop 6 would eliminate all of this funding. To find out more, click here

Yes on Prop 12. Food production has a major impact on the environment and climate.  This measure would improve animal husbandry practices for eggs, veal and pork production that will help reduce antibiotic use in the livestock sector in line with NRDC’s years-long campaign, fix loopholes in existing law and require food production operations to meet new standards.

California voters keep making history when it comes to supporting strong environmental and climate policy.  Let's make history, again.  

About the Authors

Annie Notthoff

Director, California Advocacy, San Francisco and Sacramento

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